By Jared Rascher
Flamerule 3rd - 29th 1372DR
Flamerule 3rd-6th , 1372 DR
As they begin to travel the forest edge, the group is caught by a trap and hit by sleep poisoned arrows. Grim, Naarsmul, and Stilgar drop dead asleep, and Meriden is left alone in the group. He is then confronted by a man he remembers, a man with tattoos of death and grey and black robes. He remembers him as the Monk of the Long Death that he faced back in Scardale.
He informs Meriden that he as been working for the Zhentarim now, and that he has done several jobs in exchange for Zhentarim wizards aiding him in creating his “gauntlet.” He tells Meriden that he will allow Meriden and his friends to leave if he agrees to run this gauntlet and they survive.
Meriden agrees, not sure of the power of the Monk or if he is accompanied by others. When he agrees, several groundlings burrow up from the ground and begin to carry off his sleeping friends, and the monk leads them to his “gauntlet.”
The monk throws all the gear in the first room of the underground gauntlet, then has the groundlings put the party members on the edge of the gauntlet, and motions for Meriden to join them.
Upon waking up, Grim casts a flameblade so that they can see in the darkness, and they notice a ceramic pot in the corner with a wick. Grim throws a dagger and spills the fluid out of the pot, and they move on to the first door.
Several doors and traps later, Grim has been poisoned and badly battered, and Meriden has been engaged in healing him often. The group manages to fight a group of basilisks and avoids a black pudding, sets off more traps, and gets attacked by a swarm of hellwasps, and encounter that nearly kills all three of the adventurers, though they manage to keep Naarsmul away from the creatures. Stilgar uses up many of his flasks of alchemist's fire on them, but it is a long and arduous process that uses much more of Meriden's and Grim's healing abilities.
Entering a large room, the group sees a large, metal plated bull-like creature, but amazingly, Stilgar charges it and hits it so hard that the massive creature is actually staggered and falls to its knees, and Meriden follows up with a sword thrust that kills it with only the second stroke.
After resting the group heads out down another corridor, and runs into a plant creature. It proves resistant to fire due to its gooey consistency, and its tendrils wrap around Stilgar. Still, the group manages to hack the plant creature down, and Grim finds a lightning glyph on the door leading out, which Meriden promptly dispels.
After leaving and healing, Stilgar wants to finish off any creatures still inside, and Meriden agrees that leaving dangerous beasts that might be in there around would be a mistake. When they search for the rooms they missed, they find a dire bear trapped within a room too small for it to leave. Grim tells them that he needs a nights rest, then the next day uses the power of Meilikki to warp the rough stone around the door frames and soften it, allowing the dire bear, who is disposed to liking the druid, to push its way out of the door frames, and the bear is free.
By the afternoon of the 6th of Flamerule, the group is within walking distance of the farmhouse, and the group stops before they enter the retired Harpers estate, resting and finishing their healing and preparations.
Flamerule 7th, 1372 DR
At the at the retired Harper ranger's house, the party is invited in for lunch by his female dwarven housekeeper. Reslin, the ranger, talks to them about their reason for brining Naarsmul to him, and pays them a sum of platinum for their time and effort. The heroes also tell the ranger about the monk of the Long Death and the roaming vampires in the woods to the south.
The groups goes into Shadowdale village. Upon asking some questions and getting the lay of the village, and consulting Meriden, who had been there before, Stilgar goes north to the shrine of Tempus to make his devotions to the God of War. Grim heads to the temple of Lathander to pick up some holy water, as well as to acquire some blessed items, if they have any extra. Meriden then stops by the Tower of Ashaba to deal in weapons and armor with the dwarven smith Gunthor, Mourngrym's personal smith. Meriden then stopped by the temple of Lathander to speak with Morninglord Rewel Thunderstorm to see what the cleric might know about vampires. Rewel dispatched a great deal of information about what to do to hunt vampires.
The group travels to the Old Skull in, and Jhaele Silvermane asks Meriden about his last stay at the inn and the elven “werewolf” that made the stir in the common room. Meriden apologizes for Mourn's lack of wisdom, and the group rent several rooms, Grim specifically interested in the Ferns room.
That night, Meriden, Grim, and Stilgar spend some time with some adventurers staying in the area. Meriden has a chat with Holy Justice Vhale of Tyr, the leader of the Company of the Shining Lance, and adventuring company out of Melvaunt that is exploring Myth Drannor. Meriden and Stilgar also play cards with Silmund of Tymora, a cleric with the Wanderstriders, who despite his goddess seems to have horrid luck at cards.
Flamerule 8th, 1372 DR
The morning starts out with Silmund of Tymora flipping a gold coin that lands on its side. The group starts out for the forest to continue the hunt for vampires and to make sure the militia members that were looking for them are alright.
The groups stops at the Millpond to see if the workers at Mirrorman's Mill have heard any rumors, but they had not. The group travels until nightfall, and then make sure they post their watches vigilant against vampire attacks.
Vampires do not attack, but in the middle of the night, during Meriden's watch, the forsaken bodies of several of the Mistledale Militia members that did not succumb to the lure of immortality shamble into the camp. The zombies move in to attack Meriden, and he calls out for his allies, then proceeds to incinerate a large number of the walking dead upon presenting the holy symbol of Helm to them.
Grim and Stilgar awaken and make quick work of the remaining zombies. The group then makes sure to bless, consecrate, and dispose of the bodies that attacked them.
Flamerule 9th-10th, 1372 DR
Pressing on into the early morning hours, Grim casts a druid's charm that gives him the power of scent, and tracks the smell of decay from the corpses. Grim notices that the forest is unnaturally quiet and free from animals.
Eventually, Grim leads them to a hilly outcropping shielded from the sun where three of the vampire spawn are resting during the day. The group manages to come upon them undetected, and Meriden unleashes a shining ray of divine power to burn them as Grim and Stilgar stake their hearts, cut off their heads, and douse them with holy water.
The group travels on along the Mistle Trail trying to find more clues as to the vampire infestation in the area.
Flamerule 11th, 1372 DR
The day is disturbingly calm, and the party travels on, setting up camp in the evening. Just after they set up camp, they notice a figure darting along the trees, and they are ready to defend themselves.
Out of the trees come a beautiful female with jet black skin and white hair, with glowing red eyes. She identifies herself as Gwaussi, a scout from the dark elven city of Maerimydra, whose party ran afoul of Jaelre drow, Mistledale Militia, and finally, a vampire. She wants the group to kill her master so that she will be freed. She promises them that she will return to Maerimydra as soon as she is free.
The group is wary, but they decide that they want to have an advantage over the vampire master, so they follow her through the night to an abandoned logging camp that contains her master. She warns them about traps and minions within the camp, then leaves before the sun comes up.
Flamerule 12th, 1372 DR
The heroes move in to the logging camp, and scout out the outhouse and well outside of the camp before checking the front door for the traps that Gwaussi warned them of. Grim finds the trap on the front door, and they enter the common area. Meriden destroys a host of zombies in this area, and Grim and Stilgar finish off the ones that did not fall to Helm's power.
In the next area, the sleeping quarters, Meriden finds several possessions in trunks of men who have families back in Mistledale, and Grim checks the trap in the next area, nicking himself with a wyvern's poison arrow when he does so, and falling desperately wounded. Two swarms of creatures, what appear to be undead mosquitoes, attack Meriden and Stilgar, weakening them and sapping the vitality from them. Utilizing large amounts of holy water, alchemist's fire, and torches, they finally manage to disperse the swarms, badly wounded and battered.
Meriden heals Grim and Stilgar, and they discus whether they can actually press on while they still have daylight. They eventually agree that it would be worse to face the vampires wounded at night than wounded during the day, and they press on down into the storage cellar.
After scouting the first area of the cellars, the three adventurers find large suspicious crates, and the three decide to slowly, quietly open three of them and then try to coordinate their attacks. Each one strikes at the same time, dispatching the three vampire spawn at the same time.
Grim manages to find another trap, a glyph on the door leading to the next room, and Meriden dispels the glyph before they enter. They find an actual coffin in the next room, and find a glyph on the coffin. As the adventurers open up the coffin, the vampire lord sits up with a partially driven stake in its heart.
Turning to a mist, Meriden strikes the mist with a powerful healing spell, injuring the vampire greatly. Upon its return to the coffin, the stake is driven all the way in, and the master vampire is done for.
That night, Meriden and Grim are exhausted, and leave Stilgar to watch the camp. Gwaussi appears in the camp, and enthralls Stilgar. While Stilgar is enthralled, Gwaussi has Stilgar ingest a small amount of her blood, then tells him to be ready for her to return to this area, and to forget her visit to him this night.
Flamerule 13th-15th, 1372 DR
The three adventurers begin to travel home. The first day, they encounter two ettins that block the Mistle Trail, but they dispatch them, takings some injuries, but managing to prevail. The next night they stay over at the Abbey of Silvanus, with Grim noticing that the place is not in as good a shape as he would like it to be, having respect for an allied god's holy place.
Another day down the road, where the Mistle Trail changes to the Holy Road (a formal road, not a trail), they stay the night at the Abbey of the Golden Sheaf, getting a tour of the place from the local clerics.
Finally, the party returns home to Ashabenford. They travel to Noristuor's Tower to have their items identified, and eventually Targen Holdfast catches up with them. Since the northern logging lodges are part of his responsibility as a Councilor of Mistledale, he presents the group with a reward for saving his area of this menace and thanks them.
The group makes sure the bows and personal items that they recovered from the Mistledale Militia and the loggers make it back to their respective families within Mistledale.
Flamerule 16th-21st, 1372 DR
Early on in the morning, Neylessa Shendean comes knocking on the door of Meriden's rented house, bearing a message from Haresk Malorn, requesting their presence within the hour at his manor. Meriden rouses the other two adventurers, and the three set off for Haresk's home.
When arriving at the house, they are shown into the meeting chamber, and Haresk invites the adventurers to travel with his entourage to attend the Sheildmeet Dalelands council in Essembra, in Battledale, but they must be ready to leave immediately. He then tells them that Varim's band might be willing to travel with them instead, and all three quickly take up the offer.
The adventurers are introduced to their traveling companions for this particular trip. In addition to Haresk's family, Neylessa Shendean and Sir Renward of the Golden Sheaf, another paladin of Chauntea are traveling with the group, as well as the rangers Skennis and Witter, and the Militia scouts Searlith (Meriden's old aquaintance) and Sandril o' the Helm, a half elven scout from Pelden's Helm.
Meriden notices that Stilgar has taken to counting troops and supplies, yet doesn't remember doing it when confronted with the information. Meriden finds out that Stilgar is enchanted with a domination spell, and upon dispelling the effect, the adventurers speak about when this could have happened, and eventually they come up with the drow vampire Gwaussi.
On the trip Haresk and Meriden talk about Haresk's recent trip to Cormyr where the Phaerimm managed to take over several of the Dale leaders in an effort to bargain with Alusair, and expresses his desire to find some kind of magical device to make him immune to such metal tampering. He also shares with Meriden his plans for a concerted agreement for mutual protection between the Dales in regard to their militias. Stilgar spends some time trying to get to know the half elf scout, and Grim speaks with Saerlith, learning about what happened with his sister and Meriden, from Saerlith's point of view, and the catfolk's concern over his sister's involvement with Varim. Upon insulting Saerlith by comparing him to a cat, Grim tries to make amends by shifting into an ape to amuse the catfolk.
The adventurers have learned that the Abbey of the Sword will have a tournament leading up to Shieldmeet, and Meriden and Stilgar are both interested with this development. While taking a meal break, Meriden borrows a lance from Neylessa, and Stilgar borrows a shield and a lance from Sir Renward, and the two practice jousting, and Meriden practices landing on the ground, flat on his back.
The group passes Ulwen Sharin's lands, the Sharin Freeholds, and then end up in the dwarven settlement of Glen, where they stay for the night. Chorn Stoneturner greets the adventurers and buys them a round of drinks, and eventually shows Stilgar the entrance to the Low Road, since Meriden seems to trust him. Chorn also unsuccessfully tries to get Grim to sample some dwarven fare, though he excuses himself early.
When the group sets up camp near the Standing Stone, the adventurers take not of the historic monument, though Stilgar is less interested than the others. The writing makes his head hurt. The adventurers then realize that they look like tourists compared to the dale natives that they travel with.
Two days travel to the south of the Standing Stone, and the group ends up at Lord Ilmeth's manner, and are shown to their rooms along with the other Dalelands leaders that have arrived.
They also visit the fields outside of the Abbey of the Sword and see the various warriors and knights from the different regions, including the Thayan knights and their Red Wizard masters from the enclave in Scardale, the Impilturans, Damarans, and other Dalelanders. Grim insults the Sembian knight Hithdannar Wearandiloth, and Meriden runs into Sir Evast Huntsilver, whose apprentice, Orlass Greystag, is Meriden's brother.
Flamerule 22nd-29th, 1372 DR
After enrolling in the lists, the adventurers manage to hear about the exodus of the Jaelre drow from the portal network underneath the Abbey of the Sword, and the unfortunate fate of the founder of the Abbey, Priest General Eldan Ambrose.
Meriden enrolls in the wrestling competition and the jousting lists, Grim enrolls in the archery contest, and Stilgar enrolls in all three competitions. Meriden defeats Sir Kandan of the Essembra, and Stilgar defeats Sir Renward. Grim looses his archery round against Lhoraev Wolfstar (a wood elf adventurer recently returned the the region), after defeating Randler Khane, an archer from Mistledale's Militia. Stilgar advances in the archery completion, but is eventually knocked out by the archer Nellis Rosterford of Sembia. Meriden is knocked out by Sir Eremban of Damara, and Stilgar defeats Rodan Tulfan, a cleric of Tempus from the Abbey. In the end, Stilgar is defeated by Sir Brelast of Impiltur, a cavalier and experienced jouster.
Meriden loses his first round in the wrestling competition to the monk, Brother Invar of Ilmater, and Stilgar defeats Gryphlin Hammertong of Glen, and Bran of Chandler's Cross, setting himself up for the championship bout against Brother Invar.
Grim and later Meriden start to take bets on Stilgar, several of the bets being with the Tempos clerics from the Abbey. While betting, Grim notices a southern man, tall and thin, with an unhealthy pallor, taking notes on people in the crowd. While the events are going on, Grim follows the man to the Bold Banners, a famous festhall frequented by many of means that travel through the dales.
Grim outlays a great deal of gold to enter the house and to secure an escort that is well versed in conversation and information, and he meets with a Tashlutan woman of very cultured mean, who explains to Grim that the southern man that he has been trailing is a Hlondeth native named Kysanish Rhearhrd. She also tells him that he has recently arrived in Battledale and works at the Adderposts, a local pawnshop that doubles as a place to fence goods, and that Kysanish may be a sorcerer employed in appraisal work.
Stilgar faces the monk Invar of Ilmater, and the two have an epic struggle. Stilgar, unarmed and desperate, draws upon his natural fury to keep on his feet. Brother Invar manages to trip him and lands several telling blows on Stilgar, and the two are greatly battered when Stilgar manages to take a wild, powerful swing and knocks Invar unconscious. He manages to stay on his feet long enough for the administrators to name him the winner, then collapses.Meriden finds out that Lord Ilmeth is a follower of Helm, and performs morning ceremonies for him and his soldiers. Meriden briefly mentions funding for his new temple, and also champions Heresk Malorn's plan for a mutual defense agreement for the Dalelands, and Ilmeth listens to him and takes it seriously. While Meriden and Stilgar dine with the warriors most nights, Grim stays with the Dale representatives at the castle, and gains access to Lord Ilmeth's map room in order to do some research. Meriden eventually takes his brother with him to the dinner at the castle in an effort to speak with him, though he gets only minimal results.
The content of the Mistledale Camapign is the property and copyright of Jared Rascher, and is not to be published or redistributed without permission.
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