23 August, 2008
Smash, Senvy, and Finn (Finnian) head to Tarnuble from Willow Lake after Smash gets in a fight with the reeve’s son and Finn is found in a field. Laurel is scouting the area around Tarnuble after recently moving there. Sa’ul is escorting Ash (Astarte), Bahl, and Niko (Nikolaus) to Tarnuble from Madred’s Hold. That latter group is three Tieflings and one Dragonborn.
Ash (Astarte), Tiefling warlock, is quiet about his home town. Bahl, Tiefling paladin of Avondra, is from the farming village of Fortule’s Junction. This is a predominately Tiefling community near Madred’s Hold. Niko (Nikolaus), Tiefling rogue, grew up in Lost Creek, another Tiefling farming village near Madred’s Hold. Sa’ul, Dragonborn cleric of Bahamut was born in the farming village of Messer’s Grove, but was sent to Madred’s Hold at a fairly young age for religious training. Lauren, Elven ranger, grew up in the Elf village of Vast, in the forests about 30 miles east of Tarnuble.
Ash, Bahl, and Niko all made their way into Madred’s Hold. There they met and became friends (or at least allies). Madred’s Hold isn’t a particularly warm place in general and it certainly isn’t for Tieflings. A few months after getting together there Bahl was introduced to Sa’ul and to their surprise they were told by their respective religious authorities that the two of them were to travel to Tarnuble and that it would be best if they could talk Ash and Niko into joining them.
The eight are near each other when they are set upon by bandits. After defeating the bandits they enter Tarnuble, claim their reward, and decide to work together.
(Notes from Senvy’s journal begin here.)
After the feast, they find there are two options for making an armed expedition and getting bounty money from it: first is an area called the Dead Zone for its nearly complete lack of vegetation, which is an old ruined city area not far off the main road, now seemingly infested with kobolds and large insects, while the second is an area towards the lake into which the Baron would like to expand, but there are known to be goblins in that direction.
The party opts for the Deadzone, which is about two days’ march away. Bahl, Sa’ul, and Ash talk to the Baron’s Chancellor and get maps and information, but get little enough. There are three ways into the Underneath (subterranean zone): (1) the Ramp; (2) Ioun’s Finger Hole; and (3) the Pit. Kobolds are thick around the Ramp; climbing gear is needed for the Finger Hole. Climbing gear isn’t really needed for the Pit but rope will help considerably. The top areas have been picked over by adventurers, but there will still be kobolds and giant insects wandering around there. Of those who have gone below, have returned….
The trip there is uneventful. There are old, old ruins in the area. The party heads for the Pit, which is 3/4 of a mile or so into the ruined city. We are beset by a mixed squad of giant beetles, which we overcome with nominal difficulty. We collect some loot (25 gp in cash, a 50 gp ring, and a Rod of Corruption which Finn gets) and withdraw to camp across the road.