The Fallencairn Valley

Scouting Report
Found Them.

After walking through the maze that is this forest, I’m glad to see a straight path to our enemy.

We’ve finally found the main camp of the Draiads under Jumping Jack. I have confirmed this, but only slightly, as I have no idea if Jack’s actually home. Looks like there are a few sections within the town; first are the ogre huts, about 5 or 6 surrounding a central fire. In the middle of the camp is a stronghold, and there are 2 guardhouses in front of it. One of the houses has smoke coming out in puffs, and is how we spotted the town in the first place. Behind the stronghold there is a field full of giant squash and pumpkins. I count 5 ogres and 1 Draiad visible in camp at the moment, so hopefully the evening patrols are walking right now, however I cannot take into account how many are in the huts or the stronghold itself.

There are a few strategies we could take to assault this:

  • Draw the Ogres out into the forest and slaughter them before attacking the stronghold.
  • Attack directly.
  • Recon their patrol patterns to see when the least amount of contacts will be in town, and see if Jack is actually here.

At this point, I would suggest recon, however it’s not my call.

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From the journals of Wolfsturm Daein: Forest Frolicking
I've forgotten how to breathe through my nose...

From the Journals of Wolfsturm Daein, entry 19
This page is dotted with dripped liquids and has an odd smell. It is considerably crisper as if it has been dried out

If there are gods, they have decided to spit in my face and let me boil under the effects of their plague ridden gift.

I was finally enjoying myself in so many long weeks! I had been swept up in the high adventure of the woods. It was not often that I got to bask in nature in the twisting spires of steel and wood that make up The City. The forest seemed innately more wondrous than the drab countryside that we passed on our way to the Fallencairn Valley. There is something… magic out there. I can feel it. What it might be I do not know.

Getting back to the heart of the matter though, our little picnic in the forest was going quite well. We seem determined to beat a path of conquest into this valley, starting here. It’s a silly concept to me. A boastful pirate could claim an entire ocean to be his territory, but what point does it hold? Shall he tax the water itself? Even the most hardened work ethic would never cover the whole of it from interlopers. What sort of rule can be erected here? Better to plunder the sea of it’s riches with no worry of such things if you ask me. Riches are universal, you see, and travel far better than a country.

These dreams of conquest are sure to only work against us. As they already have! How long did Sticks and Adran argue on how to trap a wandering band of Draiads into some preposterous deal! I expect preposterous and outlandish deals from Sticks but that does not mean you need to encourage him by listening! We were nearly ambushed while they tried to plan this foolishness. Thankfully Sard seems to have a good (if addled…) head on his shoulder and took the fight to the enemy. I was not shy to swing into battle! It was far more fulfilling than the previous bout with the treacherous fey. We dispatched them quickly nevertheless.

As night fell and we made our way back we stumbled on a grisly sight. A pack of wolves feasting on fallen prey. At the head of the pack was a Wolfman! A disgusting creature caked in the blood of its prey, neither wolf nor man. I’d only heard of them in stories… and this one was holding a familiar weapon. The Kukuri of the hermit. The conclusion felt too obvious at the time, although I wish it had been something more sinister now. Our attempts to sneak past them were fruitless. A fierce fight erupted as the wolves pounced our mounts and the Wolfman lashed out with blade and bite. We were not so easily spurned however, and took control of the battle quickly. As I plunged my blade into the Wolfman’s heart, a horrifying transformation took place. His hair fell out and his skin morphed before my very eyes. My sword then had skewered not a beast, but a man.

I felt my heart dip into my stomach. Killing is not a pleasant business. In all of my righteous campaign in The City I tried to keep any sort of casualties to a minimum. I have always striven to make my exploits as bloodless as possible, although the harsh nature of these lands will surely change that. Perhaps it was more merciful to slay him. Would I seek death in such a wretched situation? Unable to control myself, battling with an inner demon? I cannot say. One cannot be blamed to strike out in self defense, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth nevertheless…

…much like this foul medicine that Adran seems intent on poisoning me with! On one hand it is almost humorous to see this would-be conquistador dottering around like some nurse maid. On the other hand, I hate debts. I must admit I am feeling better, even though something still scratches at my mind every night.

To make matters worse the Werewolf’s brother is the king. The ramifications I do not even want to consider under my addled brain. Something for tomorrow.

The entry ends.

from the journals of Wolfsturm Daein, 20th entry

Crisis averted, it seems.

My lunacy has been thrown off and it seems the town has not strung us up above the castle for all to see. Fortunate indeed.

We set off into the forest again like the good little lemmings we are. I… wanted to make a point of putting down a grove I saw to paper… was it a grove? I can’t really recall for the life of me now. Well, no need to ponder on it further.

21th entry

Now it seems we’re on to something… we’ve revealed an old path in the forest that seems to moving to a smoke trail. Could this be the barbaric settlement? Orge Town? I’m quite intrigued now. Jumping Jack could be but a mile off… my sword trembles with anticipation.

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Into the Valley.
Killcount: 1

Labyrinthine patterns may have a strong place in my people’s culture, but every Minotaur knows that combat breaks the walls of the mind and creates a clear path towards a finite goal… the death of your enemy. It is when that path stretches forever madness rears it’s axe.

Killed my first foe since the prison and pursuit. Felt good to get some practice in, but if this is all that we fight during our time here I might just join the guard. I remember stories of the Fey, but these try to be cunning, stupidly so. One of our compatriot’s cunning clearly outmatched our foes, and our steel and magic laid waste to the majority of them. The rest of our assailants fled. I was half expecting another ambush (it’s what I would have done), but we reached the city without incident. I write from my room in an inn owned by the cunning one’s kin, while the elf thinks I’m asleep. I am tired from the combat, and cannot deal with his delusions.

The Minotaur here are of the Hanthau tribe. No other. I must meet with the Elder to see if anyone else has exiled themselves here.

Of my compatriots: The elf I’ve known the longest, and act as a bodyguard for him. Why? He sheltered me during my first exile. I fought with him against his enemies, and rescued him from certain death to repay the debt owed. Now, I travel with him because he has the power of healing, and we just happened to hear the same news of passage opening up to the valley.

The cunning human has ties to this place, as well as a map, a cart, and a strong punch. I might like traveling with him. The other two with him are magic users. One is a human who seems like a pretentious arse with a pension for thunder (he didn’t even finish the combat). The other is a shifter not from the isles, constantly talks about his search for ruins and flings magic spells like it’s commonplace.

I’m grouped with a bunch of outsiders… I know how I feel about that, but since we have fought with each other and not against, I’ll just go for the ride for now. I just hope they don’t expect me to take off my weapons.

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From the journals of Wolfsturm Daein
How did it come to this...? (Session One Summary)

From the journals of Wolfsturm, first entry

I write this from a wagon heading off to the east. What a bother.

It seems the Duke took my “escapade” a little too personally. It’s not my fault that justice obsessed freak blew the damn thing up! Regardless of the unfortunate outcome, there’s no way a stunt like that will be forgotten anytime soon! Worth every effort. The bounty on my head has jumped up quite the magnitude. Every contact in The City has advised me to leave immediately, save for the ones that tried to collect me as a reward. They’ve been dealt with accordingly. I feel as if I can leave The City fulfilled. I’ve bested all those who crossed the Daein name and humiliated them in spectacular fashion.

Still, my current predicament couldn’t appear any more dull. Riding on a wagon with some buffoon who won’t shut up about his damn deals (no, I don’t want your bloody wine!) and some spacey shifter who keeps mumbling as he reads into a book. The guards are useless, practically fainted at the first sign of danger. How did it all come to this…?

Several more short, mundane entries pass

From the journals of Wolfsturm, 14th entry

We’ve finally left Tundum for the Fallencairn Valley. This part of the world feels so devoid of action or intrigue. Just petty land squabbles between the locals. Hopefully the Fallencairn Valley will offer the adventure and intrigue that I have been yearning for. How I miss those days of breaking into Lord Salisbury’s private art gallery to steal the head off of his garish statue of himself! How I miss crossing swords with that insufferable inspector!

Fallencairn. I’ll certainly be out of my element here. But that makes it all the more exciting…

15th entry

... and now we are five! I thought we were an odd trio, but these two seem even more out of place. A half-elf and a minotaur camping on the road? I suppose you wouldn’t find some mundane farmer coming out to this corner of the world. Darkhorn seems alright, straight forward fellow, much like the rest of his people, but the half breed seems broken in the head. When we first entered the valley he simply smiled and said “Look at it all… my kingdom awaits”. The glint in his eye was sickening. Raw greed and ambition. It reminded me of Norman’s eyes as he held Daein’s deed in his hands. Disgusting.

16th entry

I knew this fool merchant would try and push his dubious wares on nearly anyone, but it seems he’ll even try to push it on anything! Imagine my surprise when he nearly struck a bargain with some fey creature. It was a bemusing tirade to watch, but it became even more hilarious when the savages charged us thinking they could make a killing on his marked up wines! They had no idea what they were getting themselves into. We sent the bunch of would-be brigand fey running off with their mossy tails between their legs. What a trivial battle. It was hardly worth unsheathing my sword. Regardless, it proved a fine break from the boredom of the road.

The town that shall become our launching point out into this great wilderness lies ahead. It shall be the throne from which we strike out and plunder the riches and adventure of this land! I wonder what it will be like…?

17th entry

What a shithole.

I suppose nothing can really measure up to the City. It’s my own fault for getting my hopes up. Everyone here is too damn serious. Slaves to the brutal nature of the valley they live in, I suppose. It was so oppressive I considered breaking into the castle just to see something happen. From what the half-elf tells me it’s more a historic landmark than actual estate. What a shame.

What a surprise though, to find a fellow City-fairer out here already. A Dragonborn blacksmith with a penchant for guns. An intriguing fellow to say the least. I must admit he seems to have made the best of his new situation. Perhaps he has the right attitude. The City is behind me. A new adventure awaits! Surely we shall strike out to find riches beyond compare tomorrow…

18th entry

Dear Journal. I’ve come bearing wondrous news! Our ever so wise group has decided to hunt the fey brigands in the forest so that we might plunder their magical bark!

What a joke. I can’t believe this half-elf. “My kingdom shall be devoid of such thieves”. Ah yes, your majesty, let us strike out to commit genocide of an entire forest’s residents!

Blasted fool. Perhaps when the gravity of the situation hits him ( or more likely the wrong end of an ogre’s club ), he’ll come to his senses. What do we have to gain from this?

Sard seems obsessed with some wives tale of an eldritch ruin. Even if such a ruin exists, what of value could possibly remain after nearly 2000 years of history? I’ve my doubts.

The only thing that intrigues me are these tales of Jumpin’ Jack. Split an ogre with a single blow? A duel with him could be dangerous…

... but a feat indeed to best him.

So far we’ve only come on an old hermit’s cabin and some mass of swirling vines and leaves. The day is still young, however…

end entries

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Travels and Travails
The end of another road.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve felt this way. The last I had this feeling of expectancy, of nigh unbearable expectation was when I first set foot in the ruins of my homeland. The lands we are coming to are largely unexplored and inhabited by many fractious groups. Sticks assures me that Highcliff will be a suitable location to base my travels from and that his cousin is sure to have room at his inn. Besides this he has proven to be an admirable companion on this trip, quite gregarious and capable, at least when he’s not trying to sell some of his trinkets. Still not quite certain what to make of Wolf, he’s kept his reasons for leaving the city mostly to himself but he is at least capable. The Minotaur city of Longhorn is clearly visible now and from there the gateway to the unknown.

There are secrets waiting to be found there and I can’t wait.

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The Return of the Darkhorn Tribe
A warrior comes home.

I’ve missed the mountains. They remind me of the cooler months when the trees start to turn, and all of nature starts to close in on itself to weather the frost. I always pray that my awakening will come, just like theirs, after the frost takes me.

The elf and I have at last reached Longhorn, the main city of my people, as well as the current tribe leading them. The Longhorn are very wise, with many mystics to help guide our path as a whole. I am glad they have survived better than my own clan. We have stopped here to replenish supplies and rest before going into the valley proper, as well as seek knowledge of landmarks that might help us map out what lies ahead. I will seek out the Longhorn council to ensure them that the Darkhorn tribe still lives, and request that our lands be cleansed of the filth that is Tudum’s occupancy. I know that they will decline, but this is only to plant the seed in their minds, so that after my exile into the valley I will once again call for aid and be heard. The semblance of the power struggle is evident, as more and more outsiders pour onto the island each day.

I am not fearful of the valley. I am fearful of what will happen outside of it.

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