Varnhold mystery continues…I will sum up what we have done in pursuit of the answer to this mystery. We returned to Varnhold, I was delayed in arrival due to some minor military matter, so Trixie led Pandora, Corvaan and Ookami to the town. They managed to scout all the buildings and made a base at the inn. There they set up a “Vladimir” decoy and found the notes from a professor who happened to be in the town during the vanishing. That night they were attacked by the giant gnome like creatures that we now know to be called spriggans. Luckily for them, the “Vladimir” decoy can take a hit better than the real one and they killed the two spriggans in the fight. A day or so later, I returned with our High Diplomat Ezekiel. We tried to draw the spriggans out of the fort, but they seemed content to wait for us inside the fortress. We tried a frontal assault, saw the futility of getting through the front door and decided that the roof would be the best point of entry. We jumped right into the fire. They were waiting for a possible attack and assaulted us immediately. It took a while for all of them to rally to the top floor and we were able to reduce their numbers before we were overwhelmed. In the end, we took the fort. We recovered a good many items from the fort that the spriggins had gathered from the town. We will keep them safe until we learn the whereabouts and fate of the townsfolk. Among the items discovered, a very special longbow that should have some importance among the Nomen. Trixie was also able to piece together the remains of a map that will allow us to quicken our search of the surrounding area.
With the town secured, we set out to follow the clues and find the inhabitants. The search was productive in that we found the fate of the missing merchant and we discovered a Roc’s nest. Pandora had to do some fancy flying to keep from being a Roc snack. The fight was not easy but we prevailed. It was not quite as tough at the Mastadon who nearly trampled us all including some of our horses. We also came across a Nomen hunting party. They parleyed with us and we were able to discover the name and location of their chief high priestess. It is to the east so we will have to explore our way towards them. As we needed to return to Stagholm to perform our leadership duties, we turned our attentions homeward for a short period. The Kingdom is doing well all except for one little island in the middle of Candlemere Lake. The ghostly orbs continue to infest the island. We need to clear them out because it is a great site for a future city. It should be the first thing we do after we complete our search for the Varnhold inhabitants.
We (Pandora, Rocky, Ezekial and Vladimir) set out again from Stagholme with the ambition of completing the Varnhold mystery. We got off to a rough start. We camped in an area we had traveled through a number of times and were awoken in the night by a very nasty creature. It breathed fire as if it were a dragon but it also scattered poisoned spines as if from a giant porcupine. It killed Rocky Stonehammerbrew and very nearly took the rest of us as well. Pandora took Rockys body back to Stagholme so that the scroll of Raise Dead we had found earlier could be used. They returned the next day with a weak Rocky but he wanted to continue. We spent a couple days traveling east and made contact with the Nomen. They were not friendly at first and our Diplomat had to talk fast to get us out of hot water. The bow we found in the fort at Varnhold was also helpful in easing our relations. The discussion was fruitful. The Nomen want a treaty that gives them full control of the all lands within 50 miles of their camp. This will include the town of Varnhold. But as they have been here for hundreds of years and we are the encroachers, we accepted the treaty. Besides, it will not affect the lands of Stagholme as they currently exist. The priestess mentioned the disappearance of her daughter. She went missing in the lands knows as the Valley of the Dead. Coincidentally, the clues we found also seem to point us towards the Valley of the Dead. In order to earn trust with the Nomen, we agreed to enter that Valley of the Dead in search for the priestesses daughter. We also agreed to visit the spriggan cave and drive any remaining spriggans from the area.
We set out southwest in search of answers. The first night was rough as a group of Cyclops wandered into the camp and nearly ended us. Apparently, I was about a hairs width away from death. At least, that’s what they say as I don’t remember. What I do remember is that everything in this $%^&ing land outreaches me by at least 5 feet and penetrates my defense as if it did not exist. I’m not sure how much longer I should bother wearing armor, it only weighs me down. I wonder if I’m any good wielding a spear… Anyway, we camped at the edge of the Valley of the Dead. May we return from it with answers soon.