We last left our heroes waiting outside an ancient Dwarven crypt. A young lady by the name of Eleane hired the adventurers to do some so called “earth work.” Harkyn lead the party into the depths only to find three sarcophagi, each adorned with a single red flower. These red flowers (known as blood orchids) are rare and usually only found in warm climates. It is odd to find a small thing of beauty surrounded by the cold dark earth of the crypt.
Harkyn questioned his group’s purpose there but Lady Eleane explained that she needs the heroes to defeat “the guardian.” Oddly enough however there is no guardian in sight. That is, until Ivar’s keen eyes detected a mound of earth in the corner of the crypt. Unflinching, he loosed an arrow upon this mound of earth. Suddenly this mound of Earth began to move! Harkyn immediately identified the creature as an earth guardian. Sacred to many people, earth guardians are protectors that watch over places of importance. Hornswoggle quickly informed Finn that he would be unable to strike such a powerful creature. With this information our heroes decided to flee the crypt, leaving the riches behind. As the party turned to leave the earth guardian charges over to Harkyn and swung his fists wildly into the ground. A huge smash echoed through the crypt as plants began to emerge where the guardian struck. Out of respect, fear and even regret our heroes left the guardian to continue his eternal vigil over the three sarcophagi.
The three heroes returned to the inn to find Trel Zek (the barkeep) looking like he had seen a ghost. During the expedition the town of Badun was attacked by a creature known as a Gremeth or Varl slayer. Many Varl were slain in the attack. It seems to occur each month around the same time.
Ivar decided to meet with Zeph Breech, the elder of the city of Badun. Interestingly enough Zeph had seen the weapon that Ivar wields before. It is an ancient weapon of lore known as “The Giant’s Arm.” The two discussed prophecy and the god known as Stravhs. Stravhs is the creator of both Varl and the Dredge, an interesting duplicity. Finn also began a discussion with Zeph but his was more confrontational. Finn did not like the way Zeph described humans and the two got into a bit of an dispute. Though it got very tense in the room nothing came of it.
After the Gremeth attack the caravan decided to leave town as soon as possible. They did not want to stick around any longer then they had to. The adventurers departed with the caravan on their way to the city of Faburh. Faburh is the last stop on the caravan’s trip before having to return whence it came. Faburh is a network of streets and alleyways bordering a forest. It is as though the forest is actually slowly reclaiming the city over time. Trees seem to “pop-up” every few days, making logging an integral industry to the city. The heroes entered the inn of Faburh known as “The Hero’s Fall.” The name of the inn gave Harkyn the heebeegeebees.
Inside, the heroes were met by two pairs of polar opposite patrons. One pair, a priest and a merchant. The other pair a young halfling and a Dwarf. Each gave no reprieve to the other. Finn approached the priestly looking fellow and actually noticed a snarl coming across the merchants face as he did. The priest’s name was Wine and he was looking for assistance in defeating an evil locked away in a tower to the west. Finn seemed bothered by the religious rhetoric that the priest is spouting but nonetheless Finn remained respectful. Harkyn took a seat at the bar and indulged in an ale and some lentils. He overheard that the merchant deals in stolen goods and shouldn’t be trusted. He shrugged it off and enjoyed his refreshments. Finally, Ivar approached the Dwarf. Ivar immediately noticed the halfling disappear from sight. Harkyn even went to look for him to no avail. The dwarf introduced himself as Jalmri. He has recently purchased some farmland and has a few unwanted visitors staying there. He wanted some adventurers to “persuade” these visitors to leave and stay away for good. Jalmri described these visitors as conniving halfling thieves.
Our heroes decided to assist Jalmri in purging his farmland of halfling usurpers. Upon arrival at the farm, the adventurers found what seemed to be an abandoned farmstead. It did not seem like anyone is home. The first place they decided to explore was the barn. Harkyn was attacked by a ghost upon entering. He swears the place must be haunted. Our heroes attempted to get to the upper level of the barn. This proved to be no easy feat. Ivar and Finn climbed a rope which wound up breaking on their way up. They plummeted to the ground, knocking the wind out of them. Harkyn saw a ladder and decides to give it a shot, only to have him suffer the same fate as his companions.
Bumped and bruised the heroes gave the grain silo a try next. The door was stuck, and as Ivar forced it open it burst forth with a wave of grain that could knock even the strongest warrior to the ground. Ivar nimbly avoided it. A similar situation to the barn was presented to our heroes: get to the top. Finn and Harkyn were actually able to climb their way to the top this time. Ivar wass not so lucky as the rope ladder snapped under his weight. While Harkyn and Finn were atop the inner grain silo, they found a very interesting barrel. To find out more information Harkyn tried to hand the barrel over to Ivar, at the bottom of the silo. He yelled “catch!” as it plummeted to the ground with a crash. A viscous amber fluid splashed all over the place. Ivar tasted the fluid and realized it was delicious honey.
The entire purpose of climbing the grain silo was to get to the top of the barn. Harkyn took a leap of faith from the silo onto the roof of the barn. With a loud bam!, Harkyn crashed through the roof onto the floor below. Finn had better luck though. He easily jumped to the roof an entered the barn through the convenient hole that Harkyn left behind. Regardless the two explored the upper level of the barn finding nothing but piles of hay. Finn found a pitchfork he wished to use to rifle through the piles but he was unable to wrench it free. Harkyn had better luck, at first… As he ripped the pitchfork free, he fell all the way back down to the ground floor with a thump. Obviously that place was haunted. Harkyn tossed the pitchfork up to Finn and he stabbed at all of the hay piles until he reached one by the window. Finn “lost his balance” and fell down to the ground. Exhausted and broken the adventurers decided to move on the main house.
Once the reached the main house Ivar was presented with a delicious surprise. A fantastic looking pie was resting on the windowsill. Ivar immediately dug in, only to find that the main ingredient of the pie must have been lava. Ivar’s mouth was on fire. He doused his mouth with his entire waterskin, and even ran to the grain silo to start eating honey hoping the burn will abate. Finally it did. Finn took this as an opportunity to investigate the back door of the house. Finn entered the back door and found that his feet could not leave the floor. Rather than giving up his boots (which he cannot lift off the floor anyhow) he hollered for his friends to come and help him. Meanwhile Harkyn decided to open the front door. Without thinking twice he grabbed the handle and found his hand unable be removed. Harkyn simply crushed the handle in his stone fist, freeing himself from the doorknob but trapping his hand in a closed fist. Ivar came to the rescue and used his alchemy skills to free Harkyn from his plight. The two adventurers then left to assist Finn with his boot problem. They grabbed a hold of him and ripped him free, boots and all. Ivar then went to the grain silo to cover the tar with grain, preventing anyone from getting stuck again.
Our heroes then decided to enter the house to explore. Again Ivar was tempted by a delicious surprise. This time a fantastic spiral ham. Unlike before the main ingredient was not lava, but more likely salt. Harkyn shared his waterskin and Ivar immediately imbibed the entire thing. The only thing left to drink was a pitcher of fire ale. An extremely spicy type of spirit. This immediately piqued Harkyn’s interest. Harkyn grabbed the pitcher to enjoy later. As the adventurers ventured deeper into the house their plights only got worse.
First, as they rounded the corner Ivar runs into a very flammable hallway. A trap was triggered and Ivar nimbly dodged out of the way of a giant fireball. His boots caught fire as he ran out of the room. Panicked, he gave Harkyn permission to use magic to put the fire out. Harkyn produced a frost bolt that puts the fire out quickly. It did hurt Ivar a little bit. Thanks to Finn’s gourmet meal he was practically unharmed. Next thing they knew Ivar and Harkyn were rounding a corner and got smacked in the head with soup cans. Ivar got knocked unconscious, Harkyn was just smacked in the back of the head. Still was not a pleasant experience. Begrudgingly Harkyn poured the fire ale down Ivar’s throat to wake him up. Ivar awakened breathing fire. He must have not enjoyed the spicy flavor.
Our heroes ascended the staircase to the second floor of the house. More soup cans and a broken staircase nearly tripped them up but as they progressed through the house of horrors they became more clever and avoided many of the dangers. Once they reached the top of the stairs they were presented with three doors. Finn was intrigued by a doll sitting in front of one of the doors. As he investigated he triggered a trap, causing a clothes dresser to crash into the door sending him flying through the railing, down the stairs, into the hole in the stairs, falling all the way down to the basement with a thump! Again he founds himself surrounded by tar. Ivar’s quick thinking immediately produced a solution. Ivar took the clothes from the dresser and tossed them down to Finn below. Finn used the clothing to make his way back to his companions.
When the three adventurers rejoined each other, they were fed up with all these traps and tricks. Ivar and Harkyn decided to approach the other two doors differently. Rather than trying to avoid the trapped doors, Ivar and Harkyn used their axes to carve new holes in the wall to use as their own doors. This helped them avoid many of the other traps and tricks. As the party explored the remaining rooms they found a number of interesting items. A book on trapmaking, a magical wand, a music box, and a peculiar portrait of a family. The family members were halflings and not dwarves. If the traps weren’t hint enough the portrait sure proves it; this farm must belong to the halflings.
The adventurers called out looking for the owners of the portrait: The Monder family and their son Jake. Ivar noticed that the painting actually hid the deed to the land. This deed would have given either interested party the ability to truly claim ownership over the land. Ivar called out for Jake and his family, threatening to bring the deed elsewhere. There was still no response. With that, they left.
Our heroes returned to Faburh and offered the deed to Jalmri. Suprisingly, he seemed pretty uninterested in the document. He offered a mere hundred gold pieces for it. Unconvinced the party returned to the farmstead to finish the original intended job. When they arrived, Finn used the music box as a last ditch effort to summon one of the true inhabitants of this “farm from hell.” Thankfully Jake Monder emerged. Jake explained the situation to the party. He did not have any gold to offer them. He could offer nothing but food and a free pass for breaking and ransacking his home. Our heroes decided to do the right thing and let the Monder family stay at their farm.
The party returned to Faburh and had the deed to the house officiated. Not before Jalmri tried to tempt the party with even more gold. The adventurers stayed on the same path and decide to do what is right and just. This left them with many bruises, aches, and pains, and no gold. However, it did give them a new friend and a good amount of food!
Next, our heroes will attempt to conquer the tower to the west for the priest known as Wine.