Far Primus

To Echeron

28th of Morad – 5th of Fharl, 564 QC


After searching the rest of the newly emptied caves, Miles Fairchild, Dazzetaine Deepfury, Gorok, and Sir Edward woke Sildar and started asking questions. Most of his answers were reasonable, so the party began the end of their long trek towards Echeron. Over the next few days, Sildar regained his composure and was able to more fully answer many of the party’s questions.

When the party finally arrived in Echeron, they found a town teeming with troubles. A negligent and pouty regent, Edward Y’Danves, had been ignoring a number of festering issues in the town, including a recently arrived gang of toughs known as the Redbrands. The party spent a day or so asking questions around town before deciding to investigate the hidden headquarters of the Redbrands themselves. There, they found a strange psychic creature and an unexplained group of bugbears. They seemed to be generating more questions than they were answers…

A Watery Cave

27th – 28th of Morad, 564 QC

… before the battle could be joined, the interior levee crumbled further, sending another flood down the tunnels. Miles Fairchild, in his weakened state, was unable to resist the deluge. He was pulled off his feet and towards the cave entrance. The remainder of the party (Dazzetaine Deepfury, Gorok, and Therani Woodlight), unwilling to leave him to die, jumped into the flood and tumbled to the cave entrance. There, they found a paladin, Sir Edward, tending to their fallen comrade. For reasons as yet unknown, he was also searching for Gundren Stoneforge, and had tracked him to these caves. They decided to join forces.

For the next 16 hours, they raided the goblin hideout, killing the defenders and retreating multiple times to tend to their wounds. Despite some close calls, they were able to defeat all of the cave denizens and rescue one of their missing employers. Sildar Hallwinter was badly hurt, having been near death and thrown from a cliff. However, he was conscious, and had many things to say.

Dazzetaine Deepfury

It is not often I sleep during a battle but strangely I did today and rather deeply, too. It was a dream about bugbear-fighting.

It was a narrative and it went like this:

Bugbear-fighting is a creepy sport which is very popular in caves in the forests. There were professional bugbear-fighters. A bugbear-fighter is called a matador, and his equipment consists of a healer’s kit called a muerta, and a bright red armor. He waves his armor at the bugbear, which makes the bugbear big and causes him to charge. The matador then goes through a series of bloody dodge maneuvers to avoid getting hit by the bugbear’s “sword.” If the matador kills the bugbear, the spectators yell, “harder, harder!” and throw their arrows into the ring. If the bugbear wins, they yell “Shit!!” and call for another matador. Bugbear fighting is a very fun sport, but it will never be popular in Lan’Gess because the Lan’Gessi don’t believe in cruelty to beasts.

Sir Edward

Sir Edward reviews: Monsters That Hit Me.

  • Bridge goblin archer: unsatisfying. Got a good hit in while my back was turned, but refused to attack my shield. Stop hitting the ranger — I’m the one with the bullseye on my shield! One star.
  • Water goblin: too weak! Hit me once and then got killed by a dwarf. Points for trying, I suppose. Two stars.
  • Bugbear leader: Great muscle, decent stamina, lousy attention span. Slammed my shield for four or five rounds, but just as I was getting into it he turned his back on me and went after the ranger, so I had to kill him. Four stars, would’ve been five if he’d managed to knock me unconscious.
  • Sauna goblins: Won’t stay in front of me. The shield’s over here, guys! It’s got a big bullseye on it! Stop flanking — I’m not into that! Also, frankly, I like them better when they keep their clothes on. One star.
Something Greater

27th of Morad, 564 QC

Having spent a few weeks together, traveling west from Lan’Gess, the party members were now well-acquainted with each other. Dazzetaine Deepfury, Gorok, Miles Fairchild, and Therani Woodlight had started off as strangers, but had all been hired by a Gundren Stoneforge to ferry supplies from the swamp city to Echeron while he raced ahead. On the 27th of Morad, however, they discovered that Gundren had likely been waylaid a handful of days prior, less than a week away from Echeron. They followed goblin tracks from the ambush spot back to a cave, which they investigated. After some flooding and goblin-squishing, they found themselves face-to-face with a corpulent bugbear. He seemed displeased with their presence. Given their weakened state, they were no happier…


Don't You Ever Forget

17th of Olid – 25th of Corell, 561 QC

Having successfully passed the tests in the basement beneath the manor, the villains of Branderscar were finally fully welcomed into Cardinal Thorn’s circle. A toast was made, and their training truly began. For three months, the Cardinal and Tiadoro whipped and molded the villains, driving their bodies and sharpening their minds. They were not alone. Another group, known as the White Ravens, was being trained alongside them. However, once the training was complete, it was the escapees that formed the Knot of Thorns.

Bhalthol Rho, Grey Dove, Payne Trayne, Wilhelm Thorn, and Borealis Tarian were brought before the Cardinal and told of their mission. They were to accompany a captain Kargeld Odenkirk and his ship, the Frosthamar, north beyond Talingarde and into the Hordelands. There, they were to deliver the shipment of arms and armaments to a waiting horde of northern bugbears. Afterwards, they were to travel south to the Talingarde tower guarding the border, where they were to harry and sabotage the tower, in preparation for the invading hordes.

The next day, they left. For over a week, the plied the waters just off the eastern coast of Talingarde, heading north. From afar, they encountered a few locals and fishing vessels, but were mostly unmolested. There was a brief incident with a local customs ship. However, with quick wits and sharp minds, they bluffed their way past. A few days and a winter storm later, they pulled into the mouth of a river just north of Talingarde, heading into the Hordelands. That night, they were silently set upon by a group of tritons, aided by strange water elementals. While the captain and sailors fought panic, the party fought the invaders. It was a fierce battle. Balthol was even thrown overboard. However, the escapees were eventually victorious, and the Frosthamar was saved.

Tommy McGregor

Tiadoro’s report:

Thomas Conor McGregor

Known Alias:
Tommy McGregor, “Mad” Tommy McGregor, “Notorious” Tommy McGregor
5’ 9’’
150 lbs
Hair Color:
Eye Color:
Skin Color:
No history of permanent address on file
Karfeld, Talingarde
Charges Filed:
Lewd Lascivious child under the age of 4
Bullying a knight as a minor
Vandalism of a Funeral Home
Harassment of a Cleric of Heironeous
Trespassing in a sewer
Impersonating an Orc
Cruelty to a horse, pig, cow, and dog with intent of beastiality
Thievery of a horse, pig, cow, and dog with intent of beastiality
47 counts Truancy from court ordered church services
Desecration of a children’s playground
Public urination while intoxicated
Public urination while not intoxicated
Defecation in the presence of a royal subject
Defecation on a royal subject
Participation in the outlawed game of mob football, aka soccer
Indecent exposure in all public squares of Karfeld
Possession of poison with intent to distribute
Selling and supplying poison to minors
28 counts Soliciting a woman of ill-repute
39 counts Public intoxication with disorderly conduct
16 counts Resisting arrest with excessive use of violence
31 counts aggravated assault and battery with the following used as weapons: Fist, Head, Foot, Dagger, Candlestick, Brick, Holy Symbol of Heironeous, Ham leg, Human leg, Victim’s wooden leg, Shoe, Spoon, Cat, and one episode noted in particular of “grabbing a man’s balls and twisting while farting in his face”
The Nine Lessons: Lessening

16th – 17th of Olid, 561 QC

Dr. Mortimer Blackweather was drained by the previous battles, and retreated back to the manor. However, the remaining escapees (Payne Trayne, Grey Dove, Wilhelm Thorn, and Borealis Tarian) soldiered on, plowing deeper into the basement below. They marched through 5 more rooms, encountering devious traps, ravenous undead, and mysteriously quiet giant fungi. At the end of the basement, they found a lone officer of the Alerion guard imprisoned behind an iron-enforced door. How long had he been there? Why was he imprisoned deep beneath a manor house so far from his home? Why did he still have his full complement of arms and armor? These questions were neither asked nor answered. The escapees were united in a single purpose. Grey Dove lured the confused knight out of his cell and into a well-laid ambush. He was slaughtered with little fuss, with Payne Trayne cleaving his head cleanly from his shoulders. His silver-and-sapphire Heironean holy symbol was unceremoniously stripped from his body and returned to Adrastus Thorn.

The Cardinal was pleased with the results.


The Nine Lessons

13th – 16th of Olid, 561 QC

After a few days of lazing about the manor, the party was greeted by Tiadoro bearing gifts. He had all of the equipment they had requested, along with a couple of surprises from the Cardinal. Good news for them, as some Branderscarian soldiery showed up at the manor door moments later. While Tiadoro left to keep them occupied, five of the escapees (Payne Trayne, Dr. Mortimer Blackweather, Grey Dove, Wilhelm Thorn, and Borealis Tarian) took a side route out of the manor, flanking the unprepared guardsmen. The battle was won handily by the party (although Payne was felled following an unprotected charge), and Tiadoro was duly impressed.

The five were taken to see Cardinal Thorn directly after the battle. The Cardinal gave them a chance to explore the Nine Lessons, a series of rooms under the Manor. They accepted, and were shown downstairs. In the dank and gloom of the Manor basement, they navigated through three increasingly fiendish rooms. The last was a magically darkened chamber, where they were attacked from below by a vampiric mist. With a combination of torches, spells, and grit, they managed to destroy the blood-sucking creature, but not before being seriously depleted.

The Manor

12th – 13th of Olid, 561 QC

The escaped prisoners spent the night fleeing through the Southern Moors. They stumbled through the disorienting rain, barely keeping ahead of the chasing dogs and guards. With Wilhelm in the lead, they slogged through miles of brackish swamp, frequently losing their bearings. They had finally managed to put some distance between themselves and their pursuers when they were ambushed by a pair of giant toads, one of whom swallowed Grey Dove whole. Luckily, the party was able to kill the toad quickly, and Dr. Mort deftly extricated the dying Grey Dove from its still-warm belly. She was resuscitated. Eventually, as the sun began to rise, the party cleared the thickest part of the swamps, and found themselves in front of the manor-house.

With a helpful Tiadoro and his band of slaves playing host, the party spent the day resting and recuperating in the manor; Healing their wounds and getting some well-deserved rest before they met with the master of the house, a Cardinal Adrastus Thorn. They had a brief meeting, and, after some prevaricating, they agreed to work for the Cardinal. A deal was brokered, and a compact was signed in blood.

On the 18th hour of the 13th of Olid, 561 QC, the escaped prisoners became the Ninth Knot of Thorns.


Balthol Rho

Taverns, Public Houses & Dives
By Bhalthol Rho, Connoisseur

Mysterious Mansion by the Moors
4.5 out of 5 stars

Today’s destination is strictly for those “in the know.” Halfway between a rock and hard place, even getting here is quite an adventure. But my oh my, once you arrive, you’ll never want to leave. Don’t let the shabby exterior fool you; it’s what inside that counts!

That which I loved:

  • The service! Finally an establishment that knows how to take care of its patrons. One needs but ask, gesture languidly, or grunt, and one receives. Bravo!
  • The atmosphere! Silver scones, fine tapestries, rich woodwork. Elegant, yet cozy.
  • The hosts! Such charming people! Delightfully malevolent.

That which I loved not:

  • The turkey leg was a bit on the dry side. A brine would do wonders.

If you’re coming from Brandescar Prison, head straight through the Moors, wander aimlessly for a day or two, and then turn left at the giant man-eating frogs.

A Great Escape

12th of Olid, 561 QC

And the Forsaken escaped.

With the bloviating Bolthol leading the way, the prisoners crept, lied, and killed their way out of Branderscar. The barged into Branderscar Tower, killing the surprised warden. The snuck along the ramparts, and onto the gatehouse roof. While fighting off waves of guards, they managed to belay the ropes and climb down the gatehouse walls. In the process of fleeing, two of their number were cut down by arrows. However, before any more could fall, they managed to trick and kill the lone guard on the other side of the bridge, and force their way out through the gated entrance.

Now, outside of the prison walls, they have miles of brackish swamp to survive. With angry prisoner guards and dogs behind them, and a threatening swamp ahead of them, their options are dwindling. The manor may be their only hope… if they can make it…

12th of Olid, 561 QC

In the kingdom of Talingarde, many crimes may send one to Branderscar Prison, but the sentence has but one meaning. The guilty are wicked and irredeemable. Each has received the same greeting on arrival. Held down by rough hands and branded upon the arm with a runic F. The mark signifies forsaken and the painful scar is indelible proof that each has betrayed the great and eternal love of Heironeous and his chosen mortal vassals.

With the help of an unknown noble, the forsaken managed to sneak free of their chains and cells. They then released a fellow ogre prisoner named Grumblejack, and slaughtered all of the guards on their floor. They crept their way down to the lower levels of the prison keep, which was remarkably unguarded. They searched around, finding enough spare arms and armor to equip themselves and don the disguises of prison guards. They also ran into the ill-tempered Sergeant Blackerly, who they killed quickly, quietly, and without incident.

However, when they walked out of the keep fully equipped and disguised, their quiet times were over: a pack of kenneled dogs barked madly; a pointing, accusatory statue stood over them; and guards on the parapets above leveled bullseye lanterns down on them.

Dr. Mortimer Blackweather

Before Dr. Mort was unjustly arrested for a bit of harmless grave-digging, he ran an unpopular advice column in the local paper. Copied below is a recent edition:

Bedside Manner with Doctor Mort
A Weekly Advice Column on All Matters Phlegmatic, Choleric, Sanguine & Melancholic
by Mortimer Blackweather, A Doctor of Medicine

~ ~ ~

Dear Dr. Mort,
My stomach is most vexed. I spend my days squatting in the fields, crying for relief, or thee mercy of death. Is it a terrible spirit haunting my bowels?
- Squatting in Strathmont

Dear Squatting,
Almost certainly! Seek treatment from a qualified exorcist. To prevent a relapse, make a balm of fenugreek and owl grease and apply twice daily to the stomach area. If you don’t make your own owl grease, just ask your friendly neighborhood owl grinder.

Your Faithful Servant,
Dr. Mort

~ ~ ~

Dear Dr. Mort,
The leaches you prescribed some weeks ago prove ineffective, I am still bleeding. Darkness is all around. Death, is that you?
- Listless and leached

Dear Listless,
As my father, Dr. Blackweather Sr, is fond of saying, you can never use too many leaches! Trying doubling the number and make sure you have nice, uniform coverage over the genital areas. Don’t be shy! The leaches don’t mind.

Your Faithful Servant,
Dr. Mort

~ ~ ~

Dear Dr. Mort,
My vision becomes blurred. My work as a smith suffers. My longswords are crooked, my helmets don’t fit. I fear I will lose everything, and become a pauper.
- Blurry Blacksmith

Dear Blurry,
Think back and try to remember when the problem first started. If it was during a full moon, it’s likely you’ve offended a druid. Embark on a quest into the wilderness to find the druid and challenge he or she to ritual combat. Emerge victorious and the druid’s clanmother will be honor-bound to restore your vision. If the moon wasn’t full, you need glasses.

Your Faithful Servant,
Dr. Mort

The Harrowed Realm: Striding Fortress
Harrowed Realm, 71st Hour – ?
Devereau & Zassrion

After a much-needed rest in the Nightpeddler’s Tent, the party (Ra Quel, Eduard du Leon, Adanna Fionn, Finwick Shortwick, and Maya Foxtail) followed the tokens to a massive striding castle, roaming through the endless wastes of The Trackless Dearth. At the foot of the stomping keep, they encountered a pursuing Lord Brambleson. With his help, they ’ported themselves to the courtyard above, where they encountered a shriveled gnome and his diseased ogre minions. They made quick work of them, all the while being peppered from above by freezing arrows. In the middle of the battle, they lost track of Brambleson.

They then charged the front gates, and burst into a palatial room filled with silks, scantily clad women, a dancing dervish, and a masked courtier. These enemies turned out to be a trio of succubi, their missing friend, Horros Moonshadow (though evil, and dark-skinned), and the halfling they had been searching the breadth of the Harrowed Realm for: Devereau. There was a pitched battle in which Horros was curb-stomped, and Finwick and Eduard nearly had their souls sucked out by the Succubi. Devereau was damaged early, but managed to sneak away. After a struggle, the party defeated the remaining succubi, and made their way upstairs.

There, they finally encountered Zassrion, the massive draconic ruler of the Harrowed Realm, in his vault-ceilinged library. The battle was joined. After some early success, the party was pushed back, and badly hurt. Zassrion cornered Eduard and Adanna, tore into both of them, and left their nearly lifeless bodies bloody and still. In the meantime, Seeker snuck back and nearly assassinated Finwick with freezing arrows from the shadows. Things were looking grim for the party. However, with some last-second healing from Maya, they were able to turn it around. Adanna and Eduard were brought back from the brink, and Finwick saved himself by burning Seeker to death with a flaming sphere. Eduard made one last heroic blow with his lance, piercing Zassrion’s skull, and bringing his reign to an end.

As soon as Zassrion fell, the Striding Fortress began to fall to pieces around them. It was a mad scramble, but they managed to pull Rilrador’s Magnificent Thought from Devereau’s lifeless body, and to figure out how to use the golden telescope to escape back home. The last thing that Eduard saw before he shifted back to Far Primus was the walls of the Striding Fortress collapsing, revealing the endless desert around him.

The party came to in the same dull and dreary alley in Westcrown that they had originally left from, but the world around them had changed. Buildings were obliterated, and uncontrolled fires burned. They could hear the crash of battle, and the screams of the dying.

War had come to Far Primus.


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