Westmarch - Mission 03
We almost die and still want to fight an owlbear...

Mission 03, Bugbear Stronghold & Shunned Valley

Party: Hilniflit, Franmar, Fledermaus, Astrid

Day 0: Settled up with the city taxes for Mission 02 loot.  Learned a little stuff about things… that we didn't write down.

Guild Kitty after buying supplies (need more clerics): 140 GP, 5 SP

Mission 3 Adventure Map

Day 1: Left town, made camp at the edge of the woods (as is becoming habit).  Uneventful day. Astrid on night watch, spots a large cat and a large boar fighting.  She wakes (P) and (P) decides to leave nature to its own devices and doesn't take sides. (Circle of life is cited?)

Day 2: Weather is pleasant. (P) spots a large murder of crows circling over the woods. We go to investigate, come upon a very old stone fountain covered in roosting crows. the fountain is filled with murky water. After a quick conversation with the crows, we learn they call this fountain home. We tell them we mean them no harm and they are otherwise unhelpful with local intel. Search the fountain and find some beads and a shard of reflective glass. Hil offers the beads to the crows (which they seem to appreciate) and keeps the mirrored glass for almost no reason whatsoever. Later (P) comes across a possible goblin skeleton in armor killed by arrows.  Night passes without event.

Day 3: For a while during the day, party is followed by something in the trees. They choose not to investigate. (P) makes camp a ways back from the edge of the woods surrounding the Bugbear Stronghold. Strange weather noticed from previous adventures witnessed again on night watch.

Day 4 – The Stronghold AssaultBugbear Stronghold

When (P) arrives at stronghold, they spy from the edge of the woods and find the burned head of the bugbear from Mission 2. Three human heads on spikes are outside the stronghold as well. The drawbridge is still down, but the entrance is now plugged with crude, criss-crossed sticks rigging a series of smaller entrances. (P) spots watchers in the towers and tries to kill the closest with a magic missile. This only alerts the stronghold and (P) formulates a plan to torch the entrance as the goblins are focused in the direction the attack came from.

Stronghold before attackFledermaus sneaks around the back of the stronghold with a jar of Alchemist's Fire. The rest of the party waits at the edge of the woods until he is in position. Hil fires a series of Dancing Lights at the goblins watching the party's position to make them think they're being attacked, Fledermaus then throws the Alchemist's Fire at the entrance. The party waits for the structure to be burned and then races to join Fledermaus near the wall. Goblins fire arrows from the parapets. It requires a bit of hacking from Fledermaus and Astrid to get through the charred mess and while waiting for them to do so, Franmar and Hilniflit scale the wall with grappling hooks.

When Astrid and Fledermaus get through the tangle, they are ambushed by goblins with Alchemist's Fire and it wasn't pretty. Astrid takes the most direct hits and spends multiple rounds trying to extinguish the flames.  Fledermaus gets through unscathed and tries to engage the largest goblin that seems to be leading the stronghold, outnumbered he begins to succumb to the numbers.

The assaultMeanwhile, Franmar and Hilniflit are clearing the walls of archers and are not totally aware of what's happening below. As the tower guards with arrows kept going down to assist with the frontal assault, they are more successful gaining progress.

Astrid is eventually consumed by flames before she can pull the stopper on the party's only healing potion and Fledermaus gets overwhelmed.  Eventually, Franmar and Hilniflit are able to take out the last of the goblins and revive Astrid and Fledermaus after tossing the stronghold for more healing potions.

(P) then searches the stronghold and the dead goblins: The loot includes some basic weapons and armor, 105 GP and a wooden trinket that looks like the carved wooden mask from Mission 2.  Franmar gets to experimenting with the wooden mask itself (Hilniflit brought it along for unknown reasons) and finds a stool that follows him around when commanded to by the mask.

The party also finds a cage with the corpses of the human heads outside and a pile of bedrolls and trash where the goblins slept.  One of the goblin wall archers was not quite dead and (P) finds him in tower 1.  They capture the goblin and interrogate him. (P) learns the mask belonged to the Bugbear and when wearing it, it can command goblins (and stools) to act without question.  Franmar then decides to keep the mask and wear it permanently. (Reader should take it as given from that this point forward, he commands everything he lays eyes on. Seems it's just goblins and stools so far.)  The goblins called themselves the Dark Tree Gang and the new leader after we had killed the bugbear was Khlorak (the hobgoblin? with the spear).  We also learn of the Blood Moon goblin tribe 2-3 days to the East – the largest goblin tribe in the woods, currently.  (P) also learns the goblins had kidnapped some carpenters/engineers from Dulwich to fix their drawbridge, which is why it was always down.  They killed the humans when we killed the bugbear leader in Mission 2.  (Oops – don't think too hard about the mask and how it would have made everything about storming a goblin stronghold easier… mistakes were made.)

(P) decides to camp in the stronghold overnight.  It is uneventful.

Day 5: On the way to Dulwich, (P) comes across a burial mound and that's all I wrote about that.

In Dulwich, (P) heads straight to the Cathedral for healing and blows through the recent spoils to get healed back up. (P) then learns of a wizard in town named Saini Alanen that researches mysteries. She's a wealth of local knowledge and a wealth of gold FOR knowledge.  She tells us about the switchbacks leading to Khundrukr and we tell of everything we learned about the bugbear stronghold, including the fate of the captives, the tribe and the Blood Moons.  (P) is given 50 GP for the information.

(P) also learns some stuff about town and the governor's crackdown, but again… lack of notes.

(P) also learns that the strange weather they're seeing on the lake is probably caused by a strange wizard living in Smoking Mountain that is West of Westmarch.

(P) shacks up in town for a solid rest before moving on to Shunned Valley to search the rest of the caves because Hilniflit won't shut up about it.

Day 6:  Shunned Valley is an easy half day away from Dulwich and (P) finds things basically the same as they left it and quiet.  No sign of owlbears.

Snunned Valley

(P) goes about exploring the rest of cave F (still avoiding the water) and finds a room filled with banners and shields of early hobgoblin tribes. There are murals depicting hobgoblin victories with symbols matching the banners and shields on the wall.  On closer inspection, (P) finds one of the shields is a masterwork heavy shield that Fledermaus claims. Another is a masterwork buckler that (P) keeps as loot.  (P) also pulls down all the banners in hopes that they can be exchanged for information in Dulwich with Saini.

In an adjacent room is another tomb with murals depicting a hobgoblin couple having sex and being victorious in battle and stuff.  The tomb is guarded by a skeleton that attacks the party. Meanwhile, another skeleton and a ghoul attack from the tomb.  (P) manages to dispatch them all with nobody dying and no cleric.  (P) finds a silver circlet (thin, tiny, crown/headband thing), masterwork longsword (Fleder claims it), chainmail shirt, a golden ring, and silver armband.  Everything is stashed for appraisal when (P) returns to Westmarch.

When (P) exits the tomb, they find the owlbear mother across the way. It had apparently returned from hunting.  Hilniflit tries to talk to it and confirms it is the mother of the baby killed in Mission 1. When the mother starts trying to pick up the party's scent, Hilniflit hits it with a magic missile and (P) attacks. In a remarkably efficient battle, the party kills the owlbear and, um… skins it… because loot. (Insert Callehalahath's lecture here.)

Hilniflit then mumbles something about a claim and runs into the owlbear cave to survey the bat guano for possible profit and while wading around in the muck, finds some dwarf remains and a masterwork warhammer with lightning bolts on it (dwarves, amirite?) and 4 small, yellow gems.

(P) then returns to Dulwich, passes on Shunned Valley intel to Saini for another 100 GP worth of information.  Hilniflit tries generating interest in bat guano mining and Saini humors her while the rest of (P) questions Hil's sanity.  (P) then returns to Westmarch by stones.

Reflective glass from crows.
Plain stool (that follows mask, currently in Franmar's possession)
150 GP for intel gathering from Saini
Masterwork heavy shield (Karen's Character)
Silver circlet
Masterwork long sword (Karen's character)
Masterwork buckler
Gold ring
Silver armband
owl bear hide (look away)
masterwork war hammer w/ lightning bolts
4 small, yellow gems
6 pots Alchemist's Fire (Hilniflit)
Masterwork chain shirt

Westmarch - Mission 02
Sometimes, it's the journey that matters...

Mission 2: Bugbear Stronghold

Party: Hilniflit, Franmar, Fledermaus, Ioelena, Callehalahath, Finial

Day 0: Settled up with the city taxes for Mission 1 loot: Tourmaline gem: 250GP, Gem shards from the walls: +100GP, Potion of cure moderate wounds (300GP, given to Finial), Bracers of Armor +1 (1000GP, given to Fledermaus), Masterwork cold iron dagger (306GP, given to Hilniflit).

Guild profit from Mission 1: 100GP, 15SP

Yanos Fazumin(P) studied the map found in the Shunned Valley and found it marked a city called Khundrukar to the South of Dulwich. Ashryn sends (P) to meet with Yanos Fazumin at The Arcane Codex, Library of Knowledge and Scrolls to ask about it. (P) learned it is an old dwarven city, once home of Durgeddin, a dwarven smith that made powerful swords. The city has since fallen to goblins and hobgoblins and has been empty for centuries.

Yanos has heard rumors that the city of Newkeep is having an ettin (giant) problem with their bridge.

(P) restocked rations and left the city to explore the Bugbear Stronghold found in Mission 1.  Nobody in Westmarch knows anything about it, either.

Mission 2: Bugbear Stronghold

Day 1: Reach the edge of the forest outside the city, following the same trail as Mission 1.  During the night watch in camp, (P) sees strange weather patterns that suddenly appear.  The wind picked up and they could see weird clouds in the distance. Dissipates quickly. Nobody can determine what's causing the event.

Day 2: After setting off in the morning, (P) comes across a strange copse of bone white trees that seemed to have been poisoned.  They have no leaves and there were no leaves on the ground, but there were small green buds growing on them despite the trees being desiccated and dry.  Hil collects samples of branches and buds to bring back to town for further study.

Strange weather appears again in the afternoon.  Still no clue what it is.  There's a heavy mist on the lake that appears during the night watch in camp.

Day 3: Cloudy and warm.  (P) comes across a pack of feral dogs attacking a dire wolf.  (P) decides to help the wolf after Hil speaks with the wolf and determines it's hungry.  (P) kills the dogs and offers them to the wolf.  Calle and Sasha make dead dog overtures to the wolf.  It decides (P) is its pack now.

That night in camp, Franmar and Ioelena find a trail of blood and follow it to a druid's grove (circle of trees) where a massive wolf (larger than a dire wolf) lies dying, pierced with arrows and covered in strange black wounds.  They return to camp and wake (P) including the dire wolf who approach the dying creature to see if aid can be offered.  Party is generally unsuccessful as the wounds seem magical and can't be healed.  The wolf speaks telepathically to Die Fledermaus and Calle and says it can't be saved, but if they pray to their god, it might help.  It is the Spirit of the Woods and it is succumbing to some unknown danger.  Fledermaus tries pulling the arrows from its body.  This doesn't seem to help, but the Spirit, who has bonded with the dire wolf by this point, suddenly takes the body of the dire wolf.  This turns the dire wolf's fur white and the Spirit thanks us for giving it a new body.  Promises a favor if it can ever repay us in the future.  Then it disappears.

Hilniflit collects teeth, bone, fur and claws of the Spirit's former remains… just in case.  Die Fledermaus and Calle bury the remains.

Day 4: Raining and muddy, travel is slow but uneventful.  That night in camp, while Fledermaus and Callehalahath are on watch, they are approached by a well-armed human adventurer. (P) learns he is Valio Ilmonen of the Order of the Cockatrice.  The Order is made up of wealthy sons of nobles that don't have birthright claims, so they go adventuring to prove themselves. Valio is incredibly charismatic and charming and has a war horse.  He agrees to help when told about the Bugbear Stronghold and (P) negotiates his cut to be 30% of all loot if he helps. (P) is not as charmed by his aggressive negotiation, but they are generally trusting of him.

BugbearDay 5: (P) quietly approaches the stronghold and sends stealthy kitties out to go assess the situation. Valio suggests storming it outright, but (P) spots a party of goblins lead by a bugbear heading out of the drawbridge entrance (which is open when (P) arrives).  (P) decides to set up an ambush in the woods, stringing a rope across their path in the hope of tripping them up.  Valio is left to keep an eye on the stronghold and he says he'll come to help if we need it.  (P) loses the element of surprise because being stealthy is hard.

The Ambush of the Bugbear Party

The battle is relatively quick, but Fledermaus takes the brunt of the bugbear's wrath and is nearly killed before (P) kills it.  Valio shows up at the last minute to "help" and doesn't really help much.  Finial restores Fledermaus to full health and then (P) sets about looting the goblins.

Despite Valio basically being a useless tool, Hil settles up his share of the loot so we can send him on his way (Valio takes the agate and abalone shells).  What Hil didn't mention is the unknown value of the mask and potion, so Valio basically got 30% of the known value of the loot as opposed to the full value of the loot… so that was kind of a silver lining.

Loot:  150SP, 18GP, carved ivory egg (40-50GP), Potion of endure elements, magical wooden mask that seems to alter the wearer's voice to be a couple octaves lower (not cursed), 1 pot of alchemist's fire (Hilniflit claimed this).

Valio's share: agate (9GP) and abalone shell (10-20GP)

Westmarch - Mission 01
Journey to Shunned Valley

Mission 1: The Shunned Valley

Party: Hilniflit, Ostric, Franmar, Fledermaus

Day 0: Westmarch – Party (P) met with Ashryn at the Fellowship of the Wand and Sword. Given adventuring passes and stones of returning (meditate for 10 minutes and you can return instantly to Westmarch). Stocked up on rations and potions.

Day 1: Left the city proper, inner walls large and stone, guarded by city’s Dragon Guard (humanoids). Remote, outer walls are large and wooden and also guarded by Dragon Guard. Outside the outer walls in the grassland can be found scorched earth where the dragons repel any enemies that encroach from the surrounding forest. Night watch uneventful.

Day 2: Came across a messy camp seemingly left by adventurers. Searched the camp for anything of interest, nothing found. Buried the trash in their latrine and moved on. Came across a party of humans fleeing Dulwich that had been attacked by goblins earlier. Mother and younger son dead. Ostric revived the survivors (Swampo Masterson = father, Vilgo = teen son, Satu = older daughter, Lena = younger daughter). They are a wealthy merchant family fleeing Mayor Weido Gall of Dulwich who they describe as a warlord. (P) gives them rations, spend the night with them, help bury the dead. Can’t find goblin tracks beyond an ambush point that had nothing more than chicken bones.

Day 3: Send the Mastersons off to Westmarch. Hil marks their cart with her visible arcane mark in case it helps them gain access to town. (P) sees smoke in the distance and sneaks up to find a hunting party of 3 humans eating boar. Learn about goblin presence in the Eastern woods, they live in Dulwich suburbs outside main city. Learn Weido (the mayor) is making life difficult for the merchants in town. Weido’s friend, the high priest of the town, died recently and has been replaced by a new high priestess (Irori) that does not like him much. They shared some boar and (P) let them be. Following lake shore, party came across a honeycombed stone stronghold that seemed ancient and magical.

The surrounding moat is filled with garbage and detritus. (P) notices they are being observed and when they try to speak to the observer in a tower, they are met at the entrance by a bugbear in scale armor. Makes it clear we’re not welcome. (P) decided to put a pin in this and moves on without conflict. The night is uneventful, but (P) hears a lot of night time activity that makes it seem like something is afoot around Dulwich.

Day 4: Warm day, hear a party of hunting dogs and horns nearby, can’t locate them, (P) moves on to town of Dulwich and enter through the East Gate. The East Gate Inn is close at hand and (P) enters. Hil and Fledermaus hang with the wealthy merchant clientele to get a feel for the mayor. They don’t like Weido at all and say he’s meeting with foreign mercenaries. After hearing some rumors about Shunned Valley (stay out of the water ‘cause ghost lady) and learning of a wealthy hunter named Custarelda (who is likely the hunting party we couldn’t track), Hil and Fleder rejoin Ostric and Franmar and head to the Dancing Bear Inn across town.

Dancing Bear is lower class clientele and tell us Weido is planning on expanding to a town East of Dulwich called Long Bridge (?). He has a female captain of the guard, called Tula, who the locals call the “Iron Maiden”. (P) gets a single room in the Dancing Bear for the night (Hil and Ostric share the bed and there was nothing untoward about it) and restock on rations in the morning.

Day 5: Shunned Valley – Recap from the map marker: A valley consisting of a marshy pool fed by a small creek that feeds out over a waterfall/rapids. At the floor of the valley are 3 ancient, moss-covered cairns. The sides of the valley are dotted with a few caves (E,F,G) that have been converted into 2 hobgoblin tombs (E,F) and an owlbear lair (G).

Mission 1: E explored totally. A hobgoblin tomb covered in murals depicting a hobgoblin priestess/wizard sporting a flaming lightning bolt insignia. Traps protected chests filled with moldy, wealthy, foreign (unknown) clothing and coins (looted). A sarcophagus chamber containing the remains of the hobgoblin in the murals (presumably) guarded by a living stone statue of her likeness (destroyed and sarcophagus looted). F explored partially. Entrance guarded by goblin skeletons (destroyed). Not explored further. G owlbear lair occupied by young owlbear that “spoke” to Hil, leaving the impression an adult female was out hunting. (P) killed the owlbear. Large bat grotto covered in a few feet of bat guano (did not search).

After killing the goblin skeletons, the party left cave F and returned to Westmarch by stones of returning. The paladin, Ostric, has the ledger of the loot. Hilniflit has laid claim to a masterwork cold iron dagger and will be honest about it when she returns.

Loot list:
Valuable Gem
A Plainly Wrought Dagger
Leather Bracers
value in total)

Masterwork, cold iron dagger (in Hil's posession)

50 GP
15 Silver
Blue Potion (unknown)
map (unknown)
various jewels from the tomb wall carving (to be appraised)


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