Heroes of Khemer

Journey Through the Witchwood

Hobgoblins, Hellhounds, and a Hydra

     Having saved the day at the tournament and ensured that the marriage of Duchess Esabelle and Count Callen took place, the heroes are rewarded handsomely and offered a boon from Duke Jarmaath. Ian quickly asks that he be shown to the court’s alchemist so that he may purchase some potions, while Azgar and Mithon request a small plot of land from the Duke who agrees. Sir Atreus however, wanting no material boon, requests that Lady Vreen be spared prosecution for her actions, believing that the young noblewoman was caught up in affairs that escalated quickly out of her control. The nobles confer and after some discussion, they agree to release Lady Vreen to Sir Atrues’ custody, but request that he undertake a mission of his own. Before his death, Sir Ethan Houge had plans to secure a castle, Vraath Keep deep in the Witchwood, on the western border of Allondale. Duchess Esabelle requests that Sir Atreus take up this cause and pledges to grant him the keep if he agrees. The young knight feels compelled to help and agrees to the task, and the rest of the party agrees to join him on this new adventure.
     The heroes agree to escort the Duchess back to Allondale and spend a ten-day to prepare and gear up for the journey. During this time, Mithon took his leave of Brindol and makes his way into Marth Forest to meet with the leader of his order, Gelb Targen. The young druid brings the horns of the dragon Nightscale, and beseeches his master to help him craft a bow out the horns and to enchant the weapon to help him fulfill his druidly duties. Knowing that this young elf is more than he seems, Gelb agrees and along with the help of the master elven bowyer Winlass Grall, they spend three days and nights crafting and laying spells upon the bow. When they were finished, the relic Sgiathatch Karak was created. When the crafting was finished, Mithon took the bow and spent two days in meditation so that he could attune to the bow. In the end, the woodland spirits found the young druid worthy and granted him Sgiathatch Karak.
      The journey to Allondale passed uneventfully as the caravan passed several little flyspeck villages and hamlets before arriving in the town of Allondale, the duchies’ capitol. The heroes re-provisioned and set out for Drellin’s Ferry, the town nearest Vraath Keep. With mosquitoes, flies and the oppressive heat of the south being their only companions, the party struggled through the next couple of days trying to avoid dying of boredom. The group was shocked out of their lethargic state a few hours away from Drellin’s Ferry, when they were ambushed by a group of hobgoblins hiding in the woods on each side of the road. To complicate matters, one of the hobgoblins was a cleric that summoned a couple of hellhounds to the battle. The group fought a long and arduous battle and defeated their foes, including a second wave of hobgoblin soldiers. Upon looting the corpses the heroes found that the cleric wore the symbol of Tiamat, the queen of dragons.
     Continuing on to Drellin’s Ferry the party takes up residence at the Green Apple Inn to rest from their travels. A few hours after settling in, a knock on the door to their rooms announces the presence of Norro Wiston, Lord of Drellin’s Ferry and his captain of the guard Sir Holger. Lord Wiston informs the party that the town has been under attack for several days by hobgoblin raiders he believes have come down out of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. Lord Wiston fears that the the hobgoblins may be numerous enough to sack the town and asks the heroes to help. When the party tells him they are headed to Vraath Keep, Lord Wiston warns the group that it is possible the hobgoblins have seized the castle for their stronghold, and that the keep is supposed to be haunted. The heroes agree to help the town and make plans to depart the next morning for Vraath Keep while Lord Wiston and Sir Holger depart, pausing briefly to give one final piece of advice. Sir Holger tells the heroes that a hermit lives in the Witchwood by the name of Jorr Natherson and encourages the group to seek him out if they need a guide.
     The party leaves town the next morning and makes their way into the Witchwood, a lush, wet woodland interspersed with swampy areas near the larger rivers and streams, and teaming with mosquitoes and other annoying insects. A few hours in, the group comes across a small cabin overlooking the Blackwater—a large swath of drowned forest and swampland in the middle of the Witchwood. After meeting with Jorr, he confirms for the party that the woods have been crawling with hobgoblins and that they most likely have taken Vraath Keep as a base of operations.
     The heroes thank Jorr for the information and make their way north toward the castle, when they come upon a causeway traversing a flooded area of the forest. They start to make their way across, when the swamp erupts in a spray of water as a large six headed hydra emerges looking for its next meal. A vicious battle ensues, and although the heroes fought valiantly, they were unable to slay the beast, as every time they killed one head of the hydra, two more would grow in its place! With the group wounded and low on resources, they decide to flee, but not before losing Edward’s horse and their packhorse in the process. Finding a safe place in the forest the group decides to rest and regroup.

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