Halaran's Knights

Prologue

Ursh and Drek were hired by Gundren Rockseeker and his two brothers to guide a caravan to the mountains of Karameikos. Gundren had a map. Ursh and Drek were to meet the brothers at the village of Orlane, from which they would then follow the map to the mountains to the north west.
But the brothers were gone when Ursh and Drek arrived. Initially the villagers all claimed to have never seen the brothers, and Ursh and Drek searched along the road from Kelvin. Eventually a villager leaving the village claimed the dwarves had been in the village, but had then disappeared in the night.
Ursh and Drek reported the missing dwarves to a city guard captain in Threshold.

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Chapter 1: Threshold

Each of the party members received a summons from the Baron of Threshold. They actually met with his niece, Aleena. She appointed Kelvin to investigate the reports of missing and “changed” people in the village of Orlane, with the rest of the party deputized as well.
The party split up to investigate rumors of Orlane from people in Threshold.
1. A huge, many-headed creature has been stealing children at night.
2. People in Orlane are being altered, and the “changeling” can be recognized by fang marks in their throats.
3. A wizard from Alphatia has moved to the Moors and is working foul enchantments there.
The party then had the choice of path to Orlane, the longer, but safer route by roads (south to Kelvin and then back up north to Orlane) or to cross overland. The party went overland.

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Chapter 2: Ambush in the Hills

Not far from the village, the party came across a dead horse on the trail, still saddled. The party was suspicious and was not surprised by the goblins that attempted to ambush them. Several goblins were killed, and one was captured and interrogated, but the party didn’t get much information from the goblin other than that they were waiting for more humans to come along with gold.

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Chapter 3: Golden Grain Inn

The party entered the village and went to the closest Inn (it was late). The innkeeper was very welcomining, though the food was poorly prepared. The innkeeper claimed his cousin was the cook and was still learning the trade. Keith and Kelvin were offered the best room in the house and the finest wine available.
But the wine was drugged, Keith was soon out cold, barely making it back to the room. Kelvin resisted the drug, and was still awake when a secret door opened and was attacked. Drek was wary of the odd behavior of the villagers in the common room, and when Kelvin yelled for help, Drek was forced to fight his way up the stairs. Ursh, Thalaric and Valesca came out of their rooms and assisted Drek and Kelvin. The last assailant, Derek, ran out of the Inn. Thalaric briefly followed, but let him go rather than run off alone in the village after him.
The party rested at the Inn, and searched the rest of the Inn in the morning. A few locked doors were left alone, with a merchant from Glantri being the only person left in the Inn. He claimed to have no idea that anything had happened in the night.
The party found the village constable and reported the attack and deaths. The constable was accompanied by two well armed friends. The constable’s only concern seemed to be getting the party to leave the village, saying he would have to arrest them for murder if they stayed. The party agreed to leave.

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Chapter 4: Derek

The part left the village tracking the one attacker that got away, Derek. They found his camp not far from the village, and Derek attempted to flee. He did not get far before collapsing. He was seriously wounded. The party healed him and then interrogated him.
Derek says he was forced to join the cult. People are kidnapped, carried away several days to some secret hideout in the swamp, and then brought before the leader of the cult who then enchants them in to joining the cult. Derek resisted the enchantment, but after seeing a child resist the enchantment and then be carried away screaming, Derek went along with the cult pretending to be a “true follower”. Derek claims the constable, along with at least some people at the temple, are part of the cult. But mostly he stayed at the Inn, and the party already killed most of the cult members he knows.
He asked for some help in acquiring some treasure to help him move to the capital. He knew of a secret door (another one) in the inn that leads to rooms below the inn where there was a large ivory statue. The party eventually agreed to travel with him back to the Inn.
Derek led the party through the woods and across the bridge to the Inn. A fake torch rack opened the secret door, leading to a meeting room and another door, barred from this side. Past the second door was a ladder down.
Where there was a maze of tunnels. One central chamber had a large constrictor snake. Another room held the statue, and while breaking the statue in to smaller parts, the party was attacked by a pair of undead ghouls.
The party then took their treasure and left the village, where they parted ways with Derek.

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Chapter 5: Old Hermit

Along the way in the woods, Derek warned the party to be quiet. When later asked why, he said an old, crazy hermit lived in the woods. The party decided to visit the old hermit. He lived in a ramshackle cottage, with his weasel Whiskers. The hermit apparently likes gnomes (when he remembers what they are), speaks Elvish (as well as Thyatian and Gnomish) and doesn’t like visitors. The weasel was a little more forthcoming, speaking to Thalaric via speak with animals. Whiskers likes to spy on the village, though he seemed more interested in what the party was doing rather than explaining himself.

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Chapter 6: Temple of Petra
Part 1

The party then moved on the temple. It had 200’ wide walls on its four sides. At night, the large gate was closed and barred. Thalaric transformed in to a giant spider and crawled over the wall, where he found two wolves being led by a servant. When Thalaric unbarred the gate, the servant set the wolves to attack. The party easily handle the wolves and Valasca chased down the fleeing servant in to the large common room of the temple.

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Chapter 7: Temple of Petra
Part 2

Having captured the Temple “dogwalker”, the party moved through the Temple. After the main hall, the Temple was divided in two sections. Through the western door, they found a dining hall, several mediation cells and the High Priestess’s quarters. The dining hall was unoccupied, but the meditation cells held three monks that attacked the party as soon as one of the doors was opened. One of the monks was captured.
The party found the High Priestess, Misha, in her quarters, also armed and ready to battle. Though the party had little trouble dealing with her. They added her to their pile of captured people, and while disarming her found an Amulet of Orcus (gold with rudy eyes) and a magical ring.
The party then went back to try the eastern door in the main hall. There was a Hall of Statues, containing numerous, very expensive, golden works of art dedicated to Petra. The party left these alone. Beyond that was a waiting room, where eight skeletons had been waiting for way too long. Valesca turned most of them, with only a few getting off shots from their short bows before the party smashed the skeletons to pieces one at a time. (Skeletons are vulnerable to bludgeoning weapons apparently).
Beyond the waiting room was a library and a reading room. A once exquisite book of Petra had been defaced horribly.

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Chapter 8: Under the Temple
Part 1

Having explored all the Temple (except the one door in the Dining Hall), the party turned to their captured. After the rest of the party moved the other captives and themeslves to the dining hall, Thalaric charmed the dogwalker, intending to learn the location of the cult headquarters outside of town. Instead, the dogwalker took him to a trapdoor in one of the medication cells, leading under the Temple. He was looking for reinforcements against the people invading the Temple. The druid would not let him head down and in trying to knock him out, the dogwalker fell down the ladder to his death.
Collecting the rest of the party, they headed under the Temple. They found roughly dug tunnels. A central chamber was used for torture, and there were two other exits. The party headed straight on, finding a pair of stone chambers. The first chamber had some arm chairs, a desk and a lot of trash. A secret door lead to the second chamber. A young girl was captive inside an iron cage, and some odd furniture and statutes. The girl’s name is Finla had been captured by Abramo, an “evil” man. As the party released her, they were heading back when they heard someone coming down the tunnel. The girl charged, threatening to kill him. It turned out to be Abramo, a cleric of the Temple and now a cult member.
After defeating Abarmo, the party left the Temple to take the Finla to their camp outside the village and rested.

Treasure: Jade Statue of a goat with a woman’s head (~5,000gp), Ring of Protection +1 (Misha’s ring), Chainmail +2 (Abramo’s armor), Amulet of Orcus (~1,000gp). 12gp, 14sp, 29cp from the chests in Abramo’s room.

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Chapter 9: Invasion?

Resting after returning to the campsite in the woods, the party pondered what to do with the young girl, Finla. After rejecting taking her with them, or leaving her at the camp, they decided to try the hermit in the woods.
The hermit (Ranme is actually his name) quickly accepted Finla (and Finla accepted staying with the hermit). Ranme was no longer playing crazy/senile or whatever he was before. While recounting her story to Ranme, Thalaric heard something familiar in her story. A gem that was held by “the bad man” that tried to convert her to the cult. It sounded similar to the Eye of Traldar that he was seeking. Drek knew something of the story of the Eye of Traldar, mentioning that it was one of a set of three made long ago to seal a pact between the Traldar (Humans), Calarii (Elves) and dwarves (which clan of dwarves was unknown). The gems were to be a sign of the promise they each made to come to each others aid.
The hermit asked the party to investigate something new in the town.
Something new was a small army that had arrived in the night. They took over the currently abandoned Golden Grain Inn that the party was so familiar with. There was at least a company of 60 soldiers, with several horses. They were lead by several sergeants and a leiutenant Anders.
Kelvin discussed current events with the LT, which mostly amounted to somebody (or something) invading the Duchy of Halag (formerly the Black Eagle Barony). The 4th Division sent his company from the King’s Road Keep to reinforce Halag.
Several familar faces had joined the King’s Army. Derek, the former cult member, had been spotted by a sergeant, who claims to recognize him from a wanted poster as a deserter. Lt. Anders is concerned that his crimes are worse than just desertion, since they rarely bother with wanted posters for deserters. The two friends of the Constable had also joined the company, claiming to be members of the Army and wishing to join the fight. The party warned Anders that they suspected the two to be members of the cult.
The King’s Army company would be leaving in a few hours, they could not stay to deal with the cult. The party returned to the hermit to inform him of what they learned.

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