Shaintar: Legends Awaken Rangers of Sky

The Sokolov Situation I

The heroes returned to Lookout Point and discover that Ivan’s adopted parents have been kidnapped!

The delivery for the Poop deck had been delayed, and thus after a couple days, Alieris sent a runner to see what was wrong. The runner reported that the house had been ransacked, as if the attackers were looking for something but unable to find it. There was blood on the floor by the table but no sign of the Sokolovs. Also, the staff reported no sign of a note or ransom demand.

Yesterday, a note was delivered to Lookout Point for Ivan. It says:

“We have your parents, surrender to us what is ours by noon in four days or they will hang from The Needles. Oh, and in case you are as stupid as you look, we want the Keys. Bring them to Starcross Library and leave them with Stefan. Your parents will be returned the next day. We shall not meet.” it is signed the Stygian Brotherhood.

The heroes made haste to Starcross library, but were refused access. It turns out that allowing Traaver stay at Lookout Point, made them guilty by association after he had tried to kill a Scrollkeeper as described in an earlier report. This meant they were barred from the library until they were rid of him. They asked to speak to Stefan, who after some time did come to the door.

He explained that the kidnappers had offered the Library a translation of a book meant to have come from Earth-Heart City, with a promise of the actual book when the keys were delivered. The Scrollkeepers could not pass up on this opportunity. After some conversation in which the heroes tried to convince Stefan into accepting a different offer, so they could find they kidnappers, they finally relented and handed over the keys – as the other outcome would have involved ivan storming the Library, which would have caused all sorts of problems of its own.

Stefan vanished with the keys, and Caelor decided to disguise Nava as a different dog and send him into the Library to find Stefan and hopefully witness the handing over of the keys to the kidnapper(s) and be able to follow them to gauge the location of their base.

Edwin volunteered to stay and keep watch for Nava as the others went to Stillwater, to seek evidence as to the events surrounding the disappearance of Ivans parents.

At the Sokolovs’ home Caelor managed to find several clues:

  • The blood on the floor wasn’t human
  • There was a small amount of black material torn and caught on the latch of a door
  • Som long hair was found which again wasn’t human
  • An arrowhead was lodged in a wall in the kitchen
  • Two guards had been killed, and they had not had time even to draw a weapon. Footprints a couple yards away suggested a woman, or someone of a light build

They stayed over at the brewery and travelled back to Starcross the next morning, after ensuring the staff didnt disturb either the house or the place where the guards were killed.

Meanwhile Edwin entertained himself with some of the ladies of Starcross while looking out for Nava, of which there was no sign. The next morning they regrouped at the cafe where Edwin had stationed himself the day before. After discussion they realised it may be longer than they expected to see any movement from the kidnappers, given the timeline they had suggested in their note. Edwin investigated the arrow head and discovered it was made of Black Iron, and in addition to a makers mark it had strange runes upon it. Caelor resolved to investigate the runes to determine their origin, and while he was doing this they took shifts keeping an eye out for Nava.

A messenger handed them a note and then walked off into the busy throng of cityfolk. The note read “Thank you for the keys. Ivans parents will be returned home tomorrow. Undestand that your actions in staking out the Library will have consequences”

Eventually, Littleclaw spotted a dog that looked ‘out of place’ in the street, and when he called him, Nava came over. It was realised that in the haste to disguise the dog, Caelor had forgotten to tell the others how he had disguised him. caelor managed to determine the likely location of the kidnappers from the information Nava communicated.

The next day the heroes sent Littleclaw to Stillwater to find out how the Sokolov’s were and what had happened. When he returned it turns out that they were taken by a tall slender very pale kidnapper, whom his father said was a Shayakar. They were overpowered and hooded. they remembered being carried, placed on a boat, and taken to a place which stank of fish. They were fed and allowed to drink, and after a few days hooded again, put onto a boat and returned home. At this point Littleclaw noticed Ivan’s fathers hands were bandaged, and he was told that the Shayakar had cut off each of his little fingers due to the heroes staking out the library. Littleclaw made sure their staff were on hand to keep them comfortable and returned to Starcross.

Meanwhile, Caelor had taken the arrow to a weaponsmith, who identified the makers mark as belonging to Chind who operates out of Fortune in the Freelands. Ivan asked for his Greatsword be melted down and use to make a maul – if there was any spare white silver it was to be used to make a Rrka for Littleclaw. The weaponsmith said it would take 2-3 days to complete.

When Littleclaw returned the heroes resolved to assault the kidnappers base, as he did not have his greatsword, Ivan fashioned a makeshift maul out of a section of tree trunk and the heroes prepared to set off.

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The Dead Rise III

The heroes gained entry to the hillfort and after dealing with some Undead in the murder hole, came face to face with animated statues.

The statues were dispatched with startling and efficient brutality by the heroes, as were the remaining undead archers from the left side of the murder-hole. They ventured further into the underground passages and chambers, seeking the necromancer. When they opened the double wide doors to a large room, they discovered it was set up like a throne room, several doors led off it, and at the far end was a raised dias with a large seat upon it. The room was deathly silent, but as they entered, they could hear a whining sound, like that made by an animal in distress. The source of that sound was a cage suspended some fifteen feet above the ground. As Ivan walked closer and his light reached it, huddled in the cage was Nava, Caelors trusty canine companion. Caelor insisted that he climb upon Ivan to retrieve him, and while he did this the others inspected the rest of the room.

Nava began to bark excitedly and cause the cage to rattle violently as he tried to reach Caelor. When caelor opened the cage however, this all changed. His excited barking turned to angry snarls and he launched at Caelor snapping and biting. After he had bitten Caelor he ran, heading for the exit of the hillfort. Caelor called after him and Nava turned and looked, sadness in his gaze.

Littleclaw, ran after him and reaching him in the corridor, tried to grab him. Nava, being so quick, bit him before his hands could reach him, and caused a pretty serious wound. Littleclaw did notice that Nava had one of the collars on him (the collars mentioned in earlier reports) and he shouted this to the others. By this time, Caelor had reached them and he used his magic to target the collar and destroy it. Nava was somewhat shell-shocked and seemed to be trying to clear his head as he followed the heroes.

From the room they were in was a sudden commotion as doors were smashed and skeletons came rushing though. With the combined might of the heroes, they did not last long at all, and upon investigating the room they were in they found cells. Two of these cells contained villagers who had gone to investigate the disappearance of the bodies from Pryvale cemetary. They freed them and they followed.

A labratory was found, one of the villagers had been strapped to a table and various necromantic experiments were being performed upon him, as there was nothing the heroes could do, they ended his suffering. At this point, saddened by what they had seen the villagers decided to return home to safety.

Just off from the labratory they found the living quarters of the necromancer. As they searched the contents of the room they came across a note:

“Return to me immediatley Lorik, the Stygian Brotherhood has need of you” it is dated three days ago and signed by Konyk.

The heroes realised that Konyk was the name of the Tor Mastak operative who had been given one of the keys they sought. As for the Stygian Brotherhood – all they were aware of is that is is only spoken of in hushed tones in darkened rooms, and is rumoured to be a group of necromancers and ne’er do wells who exist to further the cause of Darkness.

The heroes resolved to finish cleaning out the undead from the fort and then return to Lookout Point to plan their next move, which would likely involve going into the jungle to find the source of the person who controlled the Childer.

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The Dead Rise II

The heroes observe the hillfort and try to decide the best way to attack.
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The hillfort has a central gatehouse and four towers with a pallisade wall, each of these towers is manned by an undead with an emplaced ballista. Each wall section (there are four) has two undead guards atop it and both the inner and outer entrances to the gatehouse have two undead guards.

The heroes decided that Littleclaw should approach the pallisade wall stealthily and determine if there were any weak spots in its construction and weaken them as best he can without attracting attention to himself. This works for a while, until he is spotted by a tower guard who shouts to raise the alarm and fires his ballista but misses. Littleclaw runs back to the safety of the rest of the group but in the process is hit and badly injured by a ballista bolt. Luckily, Edwin is at hand and through the blessing of Arkanon restores the brinchie to full health.

Caelor used his magic to weaken the wall even further before Ivan crashed through it into the courtyard. The rejuvinated Littleclaw leapt onto the guard tower and began attacking the undead found there. The heroes all found their targets with spell, claw, sword and crossbow, and before long the undead were destroyed. Arkanon was surely with Edwin this day as he survived unscathed from a direct hit with a ballista bolt.

However, the shed in the courtyard was smashed apart to reveal the Troll they ran into earlier! Better prepared this time, the heroes prevailed quickly, and as it died Edwin recognized it as having been Trax – the ogre they rescued from Traaver, but now he was wearing one of the curious collars. As he died he looked at Edwin and said “This … is .. all your fault” as he slid into the death.

Somewhat confused by the meaning of Trax’s last words, the heroes press on into the hillside, through the doors of the necromancers lair. They encountered a murder hole, first of all, arrow slits lining the walls of the corridor and undead behind them firing through. Somewhat incensed by this, Ivan smashed through the wall and the heroes engaged the undead in melee.

The combined might of the heroes smashed the undead into smithereens very quickly and they m oved into the corridor beyond. This had statues stood in wall recesses, and as the heroes watched some of them began to move and approach them, weapons drawn.

To be continued ……

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The Dead Rise I

Whilst at Lookout Point, the heroes were made aware of a situation developing in the villages surrounding Desperation out to the west. There are reports of three dozen graves being desecrated and the bodies stolen across the villages of Pryvale, Northden and Greenley. Some locals have set out to investigate but little has been heard from them since.

Stoatra felt this was a more pressing matter then locating the keys, as this could indicate necromancer activity.

The heroes travelled to Pryvale and made themselves known to the village leader ‘Tamic’ – he bids the heroes investigate and grants them access to any resources the village can aid them with. The bodies were stolen from the graveyard around the church.

The heroes reason that the thieves may return, so they set watch at the graveyard. While Edwin was ‘spreading the word of Arkanon’ among the local womenfolk, the others kept watch for necromancers and others of that ilk.

Nava was sent off to scout about for traces of the corpses or those who took them.

Soon a large lumbering shadowy figure was seen in the mists of the night. As it got closer they recognized it as a Troll! Made aware of the creature by Sessrik’s mental powers, Edwin rushed to get dressed and reach the graveyard while he remembered what he knew of the Trolls.

Meanwhile, the heroes attempt to tackle the Troll in case it attacked the village. After several futile attempts to harm it, they manage to drive it off via an illusion of a Thratchen, cleverly created by Sessrik.

Returning to the village inn, the heroes spent the rest of the evening learning the lay of the land, and asking about strange events taking place. They learned that an old abandoned tower in the Childer Hills has had a recent increase in activity; the tower was owned by a Mage by the name of Thisur, who died a century or so ago – and its been empty for as long as anyone can remember, until recently that is, there’s been lights in the windows and carrion birds have been seen circling the top of the tower.

The heroes resolve to go to the tower the next morning and investigate. There is still no sign of Nava.

The next morning, the heroes strike out for the tower. Reaching it about noon, Ivan decides to ‘knock’ on the door with his foot. He kicks the door completely off and it crashes into the room beyond with a thunderous noise. They are surprised when someone shouts at them from within, demanding to know what is going on; it transpires the tower has been occupied by a Druid by the name of Ralen. He explains he came to Sky a month or two ago and found the tower abandoned and empty so he moved into it.

After the heroes fixed his door, they asked him about movement of undead. he said there is a fort of some kind to the north east in the hills. He offers to take them to see it. A few hours later and they are on a hill overlooking a hillfort. Part of it is built into the hillside and it is staffed by zombies and skeletons.

As they intend to assault the fort they send this report in case they don’t succeed.

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Stonekey Investigators IV

The characters had decided to go and see what Traaver wanted to show them and then go and find the key on Captain Gifardus’ ship in Janfrey Lake.

Traaver, asked the heroes to meet him on the road between Starcross and Corville. Consequently they found themselves travelling down to meet him. In roughly the place specified, they saw a campsite and a figure waiting for them near the road.

This figure was Traaver. He led the heroes to a cave in the caldera wall, and after some worry about what it might contain and who should go first, they went inside. What they saw there shocked them; a wooden cross had been placed in the floor of the cave, and upon it hung the corpse of a Thratchen! The body looked like it had been savaged by some kind of large animal with very sharp teeth, maybe some kind of wolf. Traaver explained that he finally caught and killed the Thratchen. He had done this because it lied to him about its motives and its willingness to help him.

Traaver said he had brought the heroes here to show them this and to ask their help; he is willing to aid the heroes in their ventures provided that when they reach this cauldron through the doorway they found, they would allow him to use it to return home. Seeing how well he had succeeded with the Thratchen, the heroes agreed quickly. Traaver also asked to stay at Lookout Point, as the cave at the base of the cliffs looked like it could be made comfortable – and he could always eat with the heroes when not affected by his lycanthropy. The heroes agreed to this too, with the provisor that he not snack on the nearby villages when in moon(s) are full.

Returning to Lookout Point, the heroes got Traaver set up in his cave and then headed off to Brave Soul in order to find the shipwreck and retreive the key.

After hiring a boat Caelor took them out to the previously identified site of the wreck. Sessrik elected to dive down to find it and the key. Caelor cast a spell to protect Ivan from the water and he dove in too, both to anchor the boat and provide protection to Sessrik.

After an encounter with some rather sharp toothed fish, Ivan enabled access to the wreck by smashing through it, and using his mental powers, Sessrik found the key. Along the way he found a few other items which appeared as magical. Ivan took four journals from the table where they found they key, and they brought the haul to the surface. Caelor used his magic to dry out the books, and between himself and Edwin they identified the magical items found.

The heroes returned to Lookout Point to decide upon their next course of action.

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The Stonekey Investigators III

The characters had decided to research the locations of the last two keys before deciding which key to go after.

They day after the events chronicled in the last report, Alierris and a stranger arrived at Lookout Point, she introduced him as Dederic, the necromancer she was to bring to see Caelor about the coin situation. After much shocked outcries the heroes reasoned that they were duped. Alierris mentioned that as far as she knew, necromancers couldnt use healing spells. Dederic left shortly after somewhat annoyed about wasting his time.

The heroes retired to the Starcross Library to research the locations of the two remaining keys. After several days research they discovered the following about the remaining keys:

One sits with the leader of the Warrior-Adepts of the Jade Flame in the town of Stay.
One lies at the bottom of Janfrey Lake when Captain Gifardus’ ship was crippled and sunk by bandits.
As they were discussing what to do next, a messenger arrived; he held a missive from Traaver, asking the heroes to meet him on the road between Starcross and Corville; he has something to show them.

They resolved to go and see what Traaver wanted to show them, and then decide which key to go after.

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The Stonekey Investigators II

The heroes had resolved to find the key sunk in Barkadeer Lake with the wreck of Captain Lazlo Roughnight’s ship.

The heroes gathered and discussed their plans. Zanros was quick to point out the potential danger of Barkadeer Lake and that they had no real idea where the ship might be found. They resolved to investigate further. Starcross Admiralty governs lake and sea travel as well as records shipwrecks; the heroes enquired there and were told the location of the wreck as well as the dangers of the tidal lake by Lanzo.

They hired a boat and went out on the lake. When they reached the location of the wreck, Sessrik was chosen to find the shipwreck as he is amphibious and thus doesnt have to worry about breathing – and he has a powerful ability to swim. They attached some of their rope to him and he dove in. As the water was so murky he found the ship using his clairvoyance at first, and then relied on his ability to detect magic to find the key. Caelor, not wanting to be left behind cast a spell upon himself and followed the guide rope down until he reached Sessrik; distracted by a trace of a magic item, he found a large ornate gold coin, which he brought back to the boat. On the way back to the boat, Sessrik was attacked by a shark, which Caelor destroyed with a single blast of Arcane power, blasting its body into thousands of pieces across the lake surface.

They had their second key, but what was the coin? When they returned to land, they retired to The Poop Deck, whereupon Caelor took the coin from his pouch and held in his hand to examine it and try and determine what magic it contained. At this point, it drained some magic from him and fused itself to the palm of his hand. Over the next few minutes, his skin started to dry out, looking like it was beginning to mummify, this spread up his arm and across his body.

Horrified, the heroes rushed him to the Church of Light, where a senior priest went to research the coin. As they waited; Caelor tried to use his magic to make the coin leave him – this activated it and in a minute of two he had two zombies crawl out from the ground below him awaiting his command; he quickly sent them back from where they came and resolved not to put any more magic into the coin. When the priest returned he had recognised the coin as The Coin of Lazlo. Lazlo, the last of the original pirate princes of Starcross gained this coin and staffed his ship with undead, intending to take the settlement for his own; he was defeated and sank into Barkadeer lake to his fate. When asked about how to remove the coin which was now fully part of Caelors mummified but still living body, all the priest could suggest was to chop off the hand.

After some discussion it was suggested that as it was necromantic magic, maybe a necromancer could aid them; consequently Zanros went to find Alierris and see if she knew where there was one. The heroes smuggled Caelor back to Lookout Point to await the visit from the necromancer. When he arrived he was a typically black robed figure and introduced himself as Serrill. When questioned as to his motives for helping them he said the coin was destined to be put on display. Sessrik covertly scanned his mind and determined that he was telling the truth. They were then told that the only way to remive the coin was to remove the hand; luckily he knew how to heal it back to normal. Consequently, Ivan did the deed, and the necromancer spent quite some time with Greater Healing to restore the appendage. After he was done, he took his leave with the coin.

The newly restored Caelor and the rest of the heroes decided next time to research the places and the properties of key locations before they went stumbling around in the dark. They decided to research the two keys they have not determined the location of, and then decide which to go after.

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The Stonekey Investigators I

As previously decided, the heroes were to try and find the history of the doorway and it’s six keys, as well as the probable location of the keys.

Scrollkeeper Benedict approached the heroes as they entered the Library of Starcross. He begged their audience and said:

‘I know you’re here to study, but I wonder if you may aid me with a problem? It seems the recent skirmishes in the jungle have disturbed some of the local wildlife and the libraries undercroft has become infested with enormous centipedes, bigger than Ivan here’.

He went on to say ‘as you can no doubt guess, we are not really able to deal with such things given our dedication to more cerebral pursuits’ so I wondered if you may be able to help?’

The heroes chose to help hunt down the centipedes before starting their research; Edwin and Caelor also wanted in on the action and decided the investigation could wait. After an initial ambush by one of the massive creatures, which injured Edwin badly; they went through the rooms of the undercroft, found and destroyed the five centipedes aiming to cause as little destruction as possible. They were truly massive creatures with a strange kind of poison that made muscles lock, joints freeze and tendons to tighten.

Benedict led the heroes back to the library and began their research. They managed to uncover some information about the history of the key and the locations/previous owners of four of them.

1 – Many decades ago, the Pirate Princes who created Starcross were given six keys by a very strangely coloured dwarf. They were told it led to a treasure more valuable than silver or gold. Consequently the pirates began to fight over who should have all the keys and thus all the treasure.

2 – One key fell into the possession of The Red Store, and likely remains there, somewhere in the Poop Deck.

3 – One key was given to the leader of the Tor Mastak on Sky Island, who shortly thereafter disappeared.

4 – One key remains with Kevdak – the last of the Pirate Kings.

5 – One lies at the bottom of Barkadeer Lake, lost when Captain Lazlo Roughnight’s ship sank 200 years ago, he was the last of his line of Pirate Princes.

Hearing mention of The Poop Deck they went to see Alieris, who confirmed she had a key which had belonged to the previous owner of the tavern, whom she suspected was of The Red Store. She went and found they key and handed it to the heroes.

They resolved to find the key which lies at the bottom of Barkadeer Lake, as it were closer and likely to be less dangerous an acquisition than the other two.

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The Childer Cauldron IX

This report is compiled from letters received and filed by Otiian, the scribe of Stoatra, as he is nowhere to be found (for reasons explained in report #6).

The heroes discovered it would take about a week to mass the army from the islands villages, towns, and cities. Therefore they decided it was prudent for them to go into the jungle to the mapped location of the Cauldron.

Zanros led the way into the jungle and after avoiding three large encampments of Childer manages to reach the locastion of the Cauldron. They entered a clearing in the jungle which contained only a small hill. The map was wrong! Zanros reminded the heroes that he had told them it wouldnt be right. Chalking it down to small errors in the translation of data from the map they found so long ago, Zanros noticed a small trail leading off to the west.Along the trail about 2 miles, Zanros and Nava saw another small clearing, this time containing a stone ‘doorway’, a half dozen ratzin, Traaver and the greasy looking human he often has with him. They return to the other heroes who join them.

Reaching the clearing brought them to the attention of the Ratzin who alerted Traaver to their presence. After an amiable greeting Traaver informed them that they must talk after a small matter was taken care off; he signalled the Ratzin to attack and the heroes destroyed them with frightening ease. Once the Ratzin were all dead Traaver admitted he did not know how to open the Cauldron and that things had got out of control somewhat. He was drawn to Shaintar from Norcan Darr by a Sorceror, and after killing him found himself trapped. He fell into the company of some Childer, which included the Thratchen and learned of the cauldron. He wants to use it only to return home to his pack (at this point the heroes realised he was in fact a Werewolf) and had no interest in causing the deaths of the islanders. Sadly the Childer had seen this as an excellent opportunity to claim the island as their own and he could not dissuade them, so he went along with their plot until now.

The heroes move off to the side of the clearing to discuss what to do. They unanimously agree that they should not activate the Cauldron as it was far too dangerous. While this discussion was going on a voice and a familiar smell came from the jungle telling them to have a better look at the ‘cauldron’ as he didnt think it went where Traaver thought it did – and Stoatra walked into the clearing, bandaged but alive. Caelor and Edwin walked over to the cauldron and sure enough found strange symbols reminiscent of the numbers they had been following; Builder writing, a relief of a city and a cauldron with wires and cables connecting it to strange and eldritch machinery. Although they couldnt understand the writing, the concept of it all they got all too clearly – it would appear the ‘cauldron’ was in fact a doorway leading to a place where a Builder cauldron was located (an Arcfire Cauldron as it were). As they closely inspected the markings and drawings they noticed there were six keyholes; three on each side of the ‘door’. Caelor recalled from his studies of the island, legends of six keys which were owned by the Pirate Princes when they established Starcross so many years ago – they were said to guard a great secret, but he had thought nothing of their significance until now.

They decided all this needed further research, so rubbings and drawings of the reliefs and markings were made so this could be done at the Library in Starcross. Edwin was incensed as he felt Traaver had lied to them about the structure being a Cauldron and stormed over to confront him. As Edwin spoke, Traaver got angrier; he did not know of this, he had been led to believe it was a way home for him – he was furious he had been lied to and resolved to find the Thratchen and kill him. As he angrily stalked off into the jungle, his form twisted and shifted into a truly massive werewolf, and with one last look at the heroes he ran off into the jungle.

This left his scruffy companion alone with the heroes. Quickly he introduced himself as Thana and said that he was willing to serve the strongest masters. Edwin decided to take him on as a manservant rather than leave him to the mercy the jungle, at least until they reached Starcross.

Edwin and the others resolved to follow him and help in the fight, and were set to go, until Stoatra reminded them of how dangerous the Thratchen was, and should they go, he would have to start looking for new heroes. This brought them to their senses and they decided to travel north join the road at Woodbush and travel back to Starcross, to the army. This route was chosen so they didnt run into any of the pockets of Childer hidden within the jungle. At Woodbush they tagged along with militia who were heading to Starcross to aid in the fight.

Once at Starcross they geared up for war. As the Heroes of Starcross, various items were given to them to aid them in the battle and during future adventures. Edwin was given a Holy Symbol from the Church of Light in Starcross, Ivans lamp was enchanted so it aided (Blessed) the heroes when lit, Littleclaw was given a white silver Lo-sska, Zanros a belt that aided his fightng and Caelor figured out that his chain of command boosted his ability to cast spells. Thana, having seen how strong the heroes were asked to remain in Edwins service and to be his manservant through their adventures, Edwin agreed to this, despite advice from some of the others.

When the fight came it was swift and very decisive. a thousand of Skys’ finest met the eight hundred strong rabble of Childer, and each time battle was met more Childer died; they kept their nerve to the last even faced with the might of the Brinchie, the unstoppab;e force of Ivan and the power of Caelor’s magic. For five days battle raged in the jungles of Starcross, until finally the last of the Childer were put down! At the end it was discovered that apart from varying degrees of injury, not one of the Defenders of Sky had been killed in the battle. The people of the island rejoiced that the Childer had been eliminated from Sky (apart from a tiny pocket in the Childer Hills to the north of Desperation) and that their own Heroes of Sky had had a part in it all.

When the bodies were disposed of, it was revealed that the Commanders of the Childer army were all wearing collars similar to that carried by the Goblin earlier in their adventures, and found with Ivan when he was a baby. Although the symbols are different, the collars are the same.

Of Traaver and the Thratchen – nothing has been seen.

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The Childer Cauldron VIII

This report is compiled from letters received and filed by Otiian, the scribe of Stoatra, as he is nowhere to be found (for reasons explained in report #6).

The heroes arrived back in Starcross without Caelor, who had gone to warn the pirates about the Childer threat.

Upon returning home to Starcross the heroes set about performing some much needed information gathering tasks; Edwin headed to the library to try and solve the mystery of the collars, Ivan and Zanros went to Lookout Point to see if there was any clue as to the whereabouts of Stoatra.

Alieris was tasked with finding out which nobles in Starcross would provide soldiers to help against the Childer, and to spread the word to the other communities of the island.

Edwin discovered that both the collar dropped by the goblin and found with Ivan were similar to those used long ago by Kal Necromancers. The victims wearing them when given a comman would slavishly follow that command until it was done. They essesntially made them a puppet of the collar-owner when given specific tasks. Why they have been found on Sky and to what purpose they are being used remains a mystery.

Ivan and Zanros discovered Stoatra was still missing. Trax had apparently been working in the caves below Lookout Point and went beserk, attacking Stoatra then fleeing. I (Otiian) have been asked to use Stoatra’s network of contacts to warn others of the Childer.

The next morning at The Poop Deck, the characters were approached by a pirate. he said he was a messenger from The Cove. he deposited Caelors trademark blue armor from the sack he was carrying. Zanros kept his temper and thankfully didnt shred im as he went on to say that if they wanted Caelor back they had to bring a ransom to a desginated point on the coast ten miles south of Starcross in two days.

The heroes decided to pay the ransom and so gathered at the collection point. They had resolved to rescue him without paying a ransom; Sessrik and Ivan decided to swim out and meet the boat, and take Caelor from them before they reached shore. Sure enough the ship moored a half mile from shore and Caelor and four pirates took a boat heading inland, roughly halfway – Sessrik leapt from the water, one flick from his powerful Dregordian tail carrying him over the boat, snatching Caelor as he passed him, and headed for shore.

The pirates, no doubt realising their fate should Caelor get free from the mage shackles, fled back to their ship and made for the horizon.

Once Caelor was safely back on land, dried off and he explained what had happened:

“He found a small group of pirates just as he entered The Cove. He gave one of them the note as his friends gather around him commenting on hisshiny blue armor. The pirate reads the note, gives a wry smile and says “Thanks for the information, seems to me the Childer would be doing us a favor by killing you landlubbers – we might even get Starcross back. As I see we have a celebrlity here Mr Caelor, i wonder how much your friends would pay to have you back intact”

With that he felt a heavy blow to the back of his head, and as it all goes dark he saw Nava running away.

He awoke suspended in the air over a cargo bay, his arms and face bound in mage shackles making speech possible but no spellcasting. He was told by the same pirate he gave the note to that a ransom has been sent, and that he is on the ship ‘Laguna Breeze’ moored a mile off shore from The Cove."

The heroes decided their primary mission was to raise and join an army to fight the Childer and break off to go and investigate the ‘Cauldron’ whilst the battle carried on. The Pirates were not a concern and they felt they deserved to suffer if the Childer attacked them.

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