Tyranny of Dragons

Fleeing to the Keep
2nd of Eleint, 1484 DR

Our caravan was journeying upon its way, when a shadow fell upon the party on an otherwise cloudless day. The party looked up to see a large dragon tearing its way above them following their road to Greenest. As they ran in fear towards the town, they came upon an overturned wagon surrounded by blood spattered kobolds.

Heedless to the danger, a few of the more foolhardy adventurers, namely Vicorin and Bersesh, charged ahead and attempted to subdue the kobolds by brute force. They were not prepared for the well-aimed slings that brought them down too easily.
As half of the party lay unconscious in front of the kobolds, Caius the mage stepped forward, reached inside his cloak, tossed something in the air and in a moment the kobolds just started dropping where they stood. The kobolds were then summarily dispatched with extreme prejudice.

Magnus, the cleric attended to the wounded and unconscious in front of him while the other members of the party gathered more closely to examine the kobolds and wagon. When out of a fold in the road, a large lizard like creature sprang up, looked over the party, grabbed a kobold in its jaws and trotted off into the horizon.

After their feeble attempt of subduing the kobolds and realizing that greater danger lay in wait, the adventurers decided to hurry to town as quickly as possible. As they drew nearer to Greenest, they realized that not everything was as it appeared. More kobolds and darkly robed figures walked openly in the streets.

As dusk ended and night began, the adventurers determined they were ill prepared to combat kobolds and cultists in such large numbers, so they sought other means of entry into the town. Reviewing the map they shared, they hiked down to the river that flowed along the outskirts of Greenest and floated amongst the tree branches until they reached a point where they could see through the trees and to a road not far from the river banks.
As they climbed out of the river and into the woods, they skulked to the edge of town and in amongst several wooden structures. They snuck to the edge of a large field where the town’s large, freestanding tower stood overseeing the surrounding countryside. Several town guards beckoned to families racing into the keep ahead of the cultists and kobolds.
The adventurers saw 3 or 4 of these parties entering the field across from where they had hidden themselves. As they snuck around trying to find a more advantageous route to the tower, a family fleeing the cultists stumbled into them. Followed quickly by 6 or 7 kobolds and a robed cultist.

Then disaster, disguised as D’vynn, struck both parties. D’Vynn started mumbling to himself and then threw himself into the middle of the kobolds. Some dark tendrils, like snails bursting forward, erupted from D’vynns head and attached to kobolds and to cultist and to adventurer alike. Once D’vynn regained control of himself, Bersesh and Magnus lay dying in the middle of the street along with a few of the family members.

The adventurers searched through Magnus’s pack for a healing kit but couldn’t find one. During their delay and squabbling, Bersesh bled out and succumbed to the snail like tendrils that had eviscerated his tiny gnome body.

Sensing that to delay any further would be madness, they quickly devised a plan to get as many people into the keep as possible. Aelar and Caius crept away to create a diversion so the other party members could make a dash for it.

Aelar and Caius snuck away to a location a few hundred yards away and proceeded to make a ruckus. Then D’Vynn, muttering to himself again, ran in front of the tower and starting gesturing about like a mad man. And then to our astonishment, the cultist parties started fleeing away from the tower. Do wonders never cease?

The remaining adventurers made a dash for the keep. With nary a second to spare, the party and a few other families made the safety of the town’s tower.
Once inside, the town’s lord invited a few of the party into the ramparts to discuss what should be done to save the town. Vicorin, flaunting his membership in the Lords alliance like a dimwitted wanker, unwisely criticized the efforts of the Lord who essentially handed their care to Escobar the castellan.

Escobar made them aware of a few plans they had to secure more information. Now it was up to the party to decide how they would help.

XP GAINED: 176XP.

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Defense of Greenest - Finding and Taking Hostages
2nd and 3rd of Eleint

After taking a few moments to gather our breath, we meet with Escobar at his request. We tell him that we’re frustrated at the lack of information that the mayor had for us. So we suggest to him that we should gather a cultist or two to see if we can learn anything from them.

Escobar agrees that this may be a good plan as they have limited intel as well and don’t have any means to gain it without compromising the integrity of the keep. He tells us that we can use the sally port to entice a few attackers into an ambush or we may want to ry and escape through a tunnel that exits at the river mouth. Not wanting to tempt fate and the anger of the cultists surrounding the keep, we figure that caution is the better part of valor.

Escobar leads us to the tunnel entrance and tells us that we may have some difficulty at the door below as it has been some time since it has been used. We cautiously make our way forward until D’Vynn missteps. He crashes into the side of the tunnel and it collapses exposing a rats warren. At the sight of a large pack of rats swarming us from all sides. We thrown caution aside and race to the end of the tunnel, avoiding rat bites at every turn.

When we arrive at the end of the tunnel, we find that the tunnel door is locked. Fingresh decides to just try to muscle it down and to our surprise the gnome is able to open it. Who thought someone his size could generate so much force. We fling ourselves to the side of the door and watch in amazement as a horde or rats exits the tunnel and flows into the river. I have never seen so many rats in my life.

As our attention has been drawn to the rats, we failed to notice the patrol of cultists wandering nearby. Luckily for us, D’Vynn ran up to the cultists and just destroyed them in one fell swoop. How the hell are we going to capture any cultists if D’Vynn keeps killing everyone, quite against “lets capture some cultists, bitches.”. At least this time he didn’t completely kill the gnome. Lucky for us gnomes are handy to have around.

Since we needed to find some cultists to interrogate, we headed down the river to see what we would be able to stumble into. As we crawled up the river bed, we saw a purple robed cultist leading a few other robes marching into the forest. The acolyte seemed to be leading one of the cultists by his wrists, while the other cultist trailed behind head down.

We watch in curious anticipation as the acolyte leads one of the cultists to a tree and lashes him there and begins to whip him savagely. Fingresh immediately rushes to the cultist’s aid. We all decide to rush in and help Fingresh take down the acolyte and the assistant consultant.

The group of us are able to knock out the assistant cultist fairly easy, but the acolyte is a much more difficult task. He soon sees hes outnumbered and begins to flee. As he does, Vicorin races to catch up to him, and finally succeeds in bringing him down, but not before he raises the alarm. Vicorin scoops up the acolyte and races away from now alarmed cultist patrols.

Caius waves his arms about in a wildly expansive manner, and then a small fire begins to glow behind Vicorin and illuminates him as he begins to run towards the others in the group. The fire spreads in such a manner that it guards our retreat and we are able to make it back to the keep without further incident.

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Defense of Greenest - Rescuing the Believers
2nd and 3rd of Elient

Once we return to the keep, we separate the cultists and prepare our interrogation. Caius and D’vynn take turns interrogating the prisoners and are able to extract some helpful information. We learn that the cultists have been gathering outside of town for several weeks and the main purpose of their attack was to sack the town of its valuables and to perhaps gather a few prisoners.

While the interrogators are doing their dirty work, Escobar approaches Vicorin and Fingrish to let them know of some information they have received from some of the villagers. It appears that a few villagers hid themselves in the local temple hoping that they would find protection there. From the ramparts of the keep, Escobar has seen that a few of the cultists have surrounded the temple and are looking to start a fire. Fingrish is anxious to help these people and asks the rest of our group to join him in rescuing these believers.

Following Fingrish’s lead, we agree to help these individuals. We leave the keep through our hidden tunnel. Fortunately, the tunnel exit remains undiscovered by passing patrols and in the confusion we caused by the fire in the field, we bypass other patrols and are able to sneak to the river and along the river bank until we are hidden behind a low wall outside of the temple.

We wait a few moments until we get a feel for how the patrols are moving around the temple. We see one patrol circle the temple to make sure no villagers are getting out. We see another group of cultists at the main entry way chanting and carrying on and making a ruckus to distract the villagers inside from the bundles of wood and sticks they are piling around the base of the temple.

One other group of cultists stand protecting the back door and piling wood about the door. This is the group we will focus on first. Once the patrol circling the temple moved out of sight, Vicorin leapt over the stone wall and headed directly for the cultists. Fingrish is not far behind his taller companion. D’Vynn gathers shadows about himself in anticipation of the imminent conflict. Caius points at the temple and where fire flickered at the wood, steam appears and the fire dies down.

The cultists take immediate action against Vicorin and Fingrish and within moments both Fingrish and Vicorin are passed out at the feet of the cultists. Fortunately, D’vynn and Caius are wreaking havoc amongst the culitsts and all but two kobolds are incapacitated very quickly. The remaining kobolds run off to warn the other cultists.

p.Worried about the reprisal the kobolds may bring down upon them, D’vynn and Caius leap over the prone bodies of Vicorin and Fingrish, and bang on the door in an attempt to get the villagers out of the now burning building. However, the screams and cries of the women and children from within the building, and the snapping and crackling of the burning flames overpower the banging on the door. With time running out, D’vynn blasts the door open and steps into the temple.

The people around the door step back in horror at D’vynn’s devilish appearance, fearing that he may be one of the wretched cultists.. Caius searches about the room and miraculously finds a soapbox near the raised dais of the floor and stands on it to calm the worried villagers. The villagers are confused by the appearance of their rescuers, but the combined efforts of Graccus and Caius and the growing flames eventually persuade the villagers to leave as quickly as possible.

As the villagers flee out the door, Graccus see the prostrate bodies of Fingrish and Vicorin and with a quick prayer is able to bring them back to conciousness. Our group of adventurers, hurries the villagers to the river while Caius and D’vynn watch our backs to ensure that our pursuers don’t get too close.

Our return to the keep is met with a raised cheer and grateful tears and many slaps on the back. Even D’vynn is somewhat accepted by the villagers, but mostly they avoid him and his prehensile tail. We know that we have done well when even the governor invites us to his quarters. He congratulates us on a job well done and lauds the bravery and honor evident in our actions to rescue the villagers and capture the cultists. We have evidently redeemed ourselves in his eyes. Hopefully that will pay off for us in the very near future.

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Defense of Greenest - Defeating a Dragon and Gnome vs. Goliath
2nd and 3rd of Elient

Cries of “Dragon!” “Quick, Run, Hide!!” “Help, Help!!!” ring out as we stand in conference with the mayor receiving accolades and kudos for how amazing we are. As soon as these yells ring out, we adventurers leap to the ramparts to see what the villagers see. Every adventurer but D’vynn, who is much more interested in self-preservation or in just being a coward depending on your point of view.

Vicorin runs to the ballistae and ties a rope around the missile loaded in the ballistae. He then ducks down and hides while the dragon makes a pass overhead. As the dragon comes around for a spout of flame, Vicorin launches the missile directly at the dragon and scores a direct hit. The dragon screeches and yells at Vicorin, who immediately runs in fear and hurls himself off the rampart of the keep. The dragon alights upon the crennellations and lightning spews forth from his gaping maw. All those below cower in fear at this creature.

All those except D’vynn, who leaps up to confront the dragon, confident that his master will protect him. After some type of curse or magic that none understand, stand in awe as D’vynn single handedly drives the dragon from the keep. The limp body of Vicorin dangles behind the dragon still tied to the rope. As the dragon rises higher, his jaws reach behind him and snap the rope in half. Vicorins body falls to the ground, dead.

After the departure of the dragon, a quiet hush falls upon the villagers. Relief washes over the keep as those still alive marvel in what has just occurred. They have survived an attack by a dragon. Quiet sobs of relief are heard from many, and not only from women and children.

In the calm of their survival, a booming voice snarls in challenge from outside the doors of the keep. "Who dares face me in battle? Do so now or this female pink and her eggs shall die. "

The challenge echoed around the keep, until the captive mother screams for help. A youth, no more than 16 of age, leaps to his feet and runs to the mayor at the sound of the voice.

“Mayor, please let me go help my mum. I have to try and save her.”

Fingrish steps to the young man. “Do not worry lad. I will save her.”

“Thank you. Thank you.” He sinks to his knees with tears in his eyes. “Please save her.”

The gnome gathers his shield and walks to the doors of the keep. He makes a gesture and two guards stationed at either side of the gate open it just wide enough for him to pass through.

Fingrish brandishes his weapon and says, “I challenge you! I accept your duel! Your evil shall not claim the lives of these innocents. I shall set them free.”

And with that Fingrish lunges at the hulking brute and strike him with full force. The blow does not affect him in anyway. In fact he is barely swayed by the blow of the gnome. He then rears back and swings at the gnome, who deftly ducks out of the way. The return blow glances across the shield of the gnome and sends him sprawling several yards away. He stands up and tries to attack the brute but his attacks are rebuffed. The pace of the fight is staggering and it is amazing that our gnome friend is standing so calmly against such a force of nature.

But our gnome tires and makes a mistake of which the dragon kin takes advantage immediately. He knocks the gnome solidly and the gnome falls back unconcious on the ground. Brute leans over the gnome and spits full in his face.

“You are not even worthy to gaze upon our master.” He kicks him once for good measure.

The brute makes a gesture to the kobolds, and the woman and her 4 children are thrown to the ground. As soon as they are out of the clutches of the kobolds, they stumble over themselves running to the keep.

Graccus rushes out of the keep to attend to Fingrish. We other adventurers come to make sure the new hero of Greenest is well cared for.

The mayor and other villagers look on us all as we reenter the keep. A hush falls upon the crowd before, a loud “Huzzah” reaches the top of the keep.

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Adventurers Wanted
4th - 6th of Elient

After the battle with the dragon and the bravery of Content Not Found: fingrish, our group of adventurers took a few hours to find a quiet corner and regain a sense of peace and quiet. We took this opportunity to mend our gear and more importantly ourselves. A few of us needed to time to mentally and spiritually prepare for what were to be likely hostile engagements. We knew we needed to find and track the Dragon cult and we had a very large trail to follow.

Before we could head out and begin our journey, a few interesting fellows of a familiar type approached our group inquiring after our intentions regarding these invaders. We explained to them that we were going to be following the Dragon Cult to determine their intentions and to see what intel we could gather. These fellows admired our derring do and moxie and stated that they would like to join us if we we would have them. After brief introductions we told them to gather their things as we were about to begin our journey.

The first of the fellows looking to join our band was Gracchus. He had been the local priest we rescued from the temple just last night. How long ago that now feels. He has a very real desire to exact justice upon these cultists and we think his skills at healing will come in handy. We are grateful he has decided to join us. May his god’s favor shine upon us.

A weather worn lad also approached us and is seeking to accompany us in our pursuit of the Dragon cult. His name is Content Not Found: vlad_ and he says he is looking for someone that may have been captured by the Dragon Cult. The last time _Content Not Found: vlad saw his contact, he was fighting a group of cultists which gave Lian the time he needed to escape. We hope his contact is alive, as any info we could gather about this cult would be helpful indeed.

The last person to seek to accompany us is a swarthy dwarven fellow by the name of Korin. We are grateful for this offer of help from the dwarven fellow as his people’s reputation for battle is highly regarded. And when blows are assured there is no better person to have at your back.

Now that we are gathered together, we head out in our hunt to discover the Dragon Cult.

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Investing the Dragon Cult - There's always a rear guard!
4th - 6th of Elient

Our group of adventurers huddled together with in a few hundred yards of a group of cultists and kobolds . We had been able to sneak within sight of their group without attracting any attention. We briefly conferred about what we should do next.

Lian suggested that he could potentially create some type of illusion on the other side of their camp. That seemed like a good way for the rest of our group to get within range of the dragon cult so we could destroy them before they had a chance to respond.

However before we could get anything arranged with finality, D’vynn jumped down the embankment so he could get a better view of their encampment. All of a sudden, something having the appearance of a small devil or demon seemed to land upon his shoulder, speak to him briefly and appear next to the foot of a kobold. Before we could do anything, the cultists and kobolds were at each others throats. Within moments, all the kobolds were dead and a few cultists remained alive but in very bad shape. Seeing our advantage, we sprang upon the remaining cultist and soon had dispatched all but a single cultist.

We took a few moments, to question the poor frightened lad. He couldn’t have been more than a 17 or 18 years of age and was obviously suffering for the poor choices he had made in his life until this point in time. In response the ministrations of Content Not Found: fingrish and Gracchus, he was soon willing to share with us the bit of information he had.

He simply told us that the camp was always guarded but that once we were able to make our way in we should be able to blend in. With that info obtained, we tied him up and told him that he should find his way back to Greenest or some other town in the morning.

Now having dispatched the rearguard of the dragon cult, we made our way to the cultists camp.

We had traveled for the space of an hour or two, when in a dash, D’vynn immediately fled back down the canyon the way we had come. Always one to seek his best interests and not because he was a coward, D’vynn did not even take a moment to inform us of what he had noticed. It did not take long for us to see the reason for his haste when a rain of arrows fell among us. Content Not Found: fingrish took several bolts through his shield and armor but he was able to hobble back to the mouth of the canyon.

[[:vlad | Lian Lao] desperately wanted to wage war upon the cultists and did his best to sneak up to a position flanking these archers. However, they spotted him as soon as he got within range of their bows. He attempted to hide in a fold of ground but this did to protect him for their bow shots. Several of us did our best to challenge the entrenched archers but nothing we attempted even got us in a position to where we could see much less harm the rear guard.

We retreated to the mouth of the canyon, well out of bow shot for these archers. Our only course of action is to retreat to our previous camp and attempt to sneak our way to the cultists camp.

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Investigating the Dragon Cult - infiltrating the Camp and Extracting Liosin
4th - 6th of Elient

After being trounced by the rear guard of the Dragon Cult, we realized that maybe, just maybe, fighting each and every member of the cult may not be the best option. So as soon as we snuck up to the camp of the Dragon Cult, we looked over the hundreds, maybe a thousand followers and debated on whether or not we could fight our way in and out of the camp. We are not always the most astute individuals but we eventually reach a satisfactory conclusion. Camp Rumors

Our first task included a quick reconnaissance of the area. Afterwards we compared notes and identified the main tent, two watch towers, a protected cave entrance, and Content Not Found: null’s contact tied to a post. All in all, not a very small encampment. Through a few charms and skullduggery, we were able to enter the camp unobserved and mingle with the campers and gather bits and pieces of information from several of the groups that made up the camp.

We identified several mercenary groups as well as several cultist groups. Through our meanderings within the camp, we were surprised by how little order existed amongst the followers. With the precision the cultists had shown in their overwhelming display of power in Greenest, we had expected a more military organization here. Our expectations couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Lian was able to make to contact with Liosin, his contact, and after we had regrouped, we devised a plan to extricate him from his perch. Lian cast a minor spell so we were able to stealthily approach Liosin and untie his bonds. Thanks to the healing potion we slipped him, he was rather refreshed and was able to accompany us without too much trouble.

With Liosin in our midst, we were able to make our way back to Greenest without trouble. He informed us about the motives and designs of the Dragon Cult and their aims now make much more sense. In short, the cult is sacking towns to acquire people and gold to raise the standard of Tiamat once more. The cavern we saw is the location of several dragon eggs that are stored in a secure location deep underground.

Now we have a decision to make. Do we continue investigating the Dragon cult or do we try and capture more information about those that are making the decisions at the camp? We have the rest of the evening to decide. We head out again in the morning.

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The Dragon Hatchery - More to edit
10th of Elient

We leave Liosin to his travel north to El Terel and head back to the camp of the dragon cultists. We plan our arrival to occur in the evening to avoid detection. We hide ourselves above the entrance to the camp and observe what is going on.
The camp seems to be very lax in its discipline. The guards outside the entrance to the cave slouch against the sides of the cave. The tents have been cleared out accept for a few scattered around the camp ground.

We mingle for a few moments around the outside of the cave. One our group approaches the guards and tries to talk his way into the cave saying that he has a message from Cyanwrath. One of the guards leaves to take the message. The rest of our group approaches the remaining guards and immediately try to overpower them.

After a scuffle of a few moments, we are able to dispatch the guards without too much difficulty. We sneak further along and when the room divides into two parts, a path through a fungal garden or into a darkened hallway.

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Fingrish's Triumph

He remembered it well, the blue scaled creature that was an a front to his god. The foul creature had stood outside the fort of Greenest and held a family. He remembered the husband wanting to sacrifice himself to the beast for his family. He could not let that happen. He took the fathers place and faced the blue drgonkin in combat. He fell, painfully. But the mark left on his flesh was not nearly as terrible as the mark left on his soul. But the dragon was honorable for such an evil creature and kept his word releasing the family. While a great loss for himself it also brought him closer to the group that saved him after he fell.

He swore silently to himself that he would take vengeance on the blue beast and end its life. It took all of his willpower to not challenge the dragon when they first arrived at the cultist camp, and again when the teifling informed them that it was down that hole. Instead he waited, saved up his energy and prepared. When his eyes locked with the dragon’s he strode forward and let loose a challenge of single combat. He gave a small grin as the dragonkin accepted and headed to face it. His first blow hit true and Bahamut’s wrath filled his blade as he sliced into the beast. The dragonkin’s own blades hit though rarely as fiercely as his own. Though the dragon used all his might to fell the proud Gnome, the cleric gave a small prayer and brought him back to the world of the waking. As breath filled his lungs he stood and swung his blade,still glowing with holy light, and sliced through the dragonkins head, toppling it over and panting heavily on top of his felled enemy.

As the party cleaned up the rest of the cave system and pulled the dragon eggs they had been sent to collect from the swampy muck, he pulled the mighty great sword that was easily taller and maybe even twice the size of himself, away from the fallen dragonkin and snugly put it on his back. It was heavy but he was strong for almost any race.

He had claimed his trophy and slain an evil dragonkin for his god.

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Misery in Haster
Farmers and Kobolds - 13th of Elient

We returned to Greenest after defeating Frulam and Cyanwrath in the dragon hatchery. While there, we returned gold and silver to Mayor Torball and asked him to distribute these goods to the people that most needed it. He was overly impressed with our generosity and promised to let the surrounding towns and villages know of our heroic deeds.

We left Greenest and made our way to Scornubel passing through Berdusk, where we stopped, resupplied and continued our journey with the utmost haste. On our way to Scornubel, we came upon a town called Bywater, where the most gruesome and vile scene lay before our eyes.

In our immediate view, we see a group of white, flabby bodies dancing around a shrine made of bodily waste and other detritus. As these villagers danced and frolicked in a large circle, another group of villagers lay curled in the fetal position rclutching their horribly bloated and distended stomachs. Some of the bodies lay dead, with viscera and entrails lay exposed and small two legged creatures wobbling about. The last group of villagers stand around the well, spitting and retching blood and small flecks of flesh.

The dancing villagers invite us to come take the worm and join in the revelries. Fingrash scans the villagers and immediately detects the evil aura that surrounds this place. Lian sees the mark of the dragon cult upon the bodies of those dancing and rushes into battle to slay them. D’vynn’s horse is spooked by the crazy chants and noise emanating from the villagers and drags him off into the darkness.

Fingrash, Tiberius and Lian leap into the fray to combat the cultists, while Gracchus and Korin fire into the crowd from distance. After a short time, the cultists are all destroyed. The wanton destruction of all the evil evident in the area sickens and confuses us. We can’t understand how these simple farmers can engage in such wanton acts of brutatlity.

We are jostled from our thoughts by a loud scream emanating from the nearby inn. Fingrash rushes into the room and is shocked to see these normally staid villagers engaging in all types of sexual depravery. The mark of the dragon lies upon the back of one person and we immediately see the influence of the dragon cult upon these people. Though we try to avoid it, we slaughter the people inside as they run themselves upon our weapons.

We leave the building sickened by what we have seen and done. We discuss what we’ve done and try to determine the best way to dispose of the bodies and to cleanse the village so no one else would ever have to witness this again.
As we look around, we see a building off in the distance, where we can hear glass tinkling and voices murmuring.

We journey to the house and see a group of individuals gather around drinking and laughing, one voice is heard above the others to say, “This village has been very profitable.”

Upon this being heard, D’vynn throws a rock at the window, breaking it and tosses in a Molo’tov’koko’tiel right behind the rock. Immediately, the inhabitants of the house try to escape. Fingrash does his best to fight these cultists but he is knocked down several times. Thanksfully Gracchus prevents him from dying. After a brief tussle, the cultists are defeated. We burn the bodies of the villagers and burn the village down to the ground. The evil of Haster will not be seen by anyone else.

We journey to Scornubel, where we rest for a day or so to trade and exchange our gems and gold, speak to the priests in the temple, and prepare for our journey to El Turel.

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