FalsKrag Session 1 – The Crimson Oracle

Moonday, the 10th Goodmonth 576 CY.

Twelve people stand near a path to a cabin, looking annoyed, confused, angry or surprised. There is a main road to one side, and what sounds like a large river close by. Most people have drawn weapons, many are wounded. An elven woman points her bow at an armoured gnome and takes a step back. Everyone watches each other. Then the gnome raises a shiny disc on a silver chain. “Have any of you got one of these?”

After some discussion of what has recently happen, and introductions, they realise that they are all likely far away from where they began the day. A steep mountain rises behind woodland to the south and greater mountains can be seen in the far north. Lanliss moves to skirt the cabin and Merxif warns that the person who wants them dead is likely inside. As some of them move forward, the door opens. “Its about time someone got back here…” A older human male in a bright red cloak looks out through the door. His expression becomes one of horror. “You… you should be dead!” He steps back inside. There is a rush for the door by most of those present and a lightning bolt is fired back out. The mage casts a number of spells, inflicting many minor wounds and avoids being hit for some time. Eventually the numbers against him are his defeat. The group have decided not to kill him and Merxif makes sure his condition is stable while others tie him up. They search the cabin, recovering many papers, scrolls, some magical items from the mage, and six pouches with gold and gems. A page of a calendar has a cross on the 10th Goodmonth, and a circle around the phases of the moon on the 11th. (Both Celene and Luna are new on the night of the 11th.) A finely scribed parchment sheet is with the calendar. Seldrel recognises the writing as Suel, but cannot read it. Other papers are a recent history of Bissel and Veluna, notes on a ruin called Fals Hold, and two maps that they realise display south-western Veluna. One page mentions a magical crystal skull, another the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords. Usko, originally from the Yatils, believes they are in the region shown on the maps, and that the mountains to the north are the Yatils. Lanliss climbs on top of the cabin and sights a castle across the river to the north-east. They grab what they consider of interest or value and find that the mage is dead. Merxif examines him, but can’t explain why he died.

The castle turns out to be Fals Keep, a small fortress with many Velunese troops that patrol the river road. They are taken to a half-elf wizard named Nassic, who is intrigued by their stories and tells them about where they have ended up, and what the surrounding land is like. He suggests they could travel to Mitrik if they have money to pay for magical means to return them home. They also speak with the Dwarf Cleric Stoll, and a soldier who speaks Suel translates their parchment. It sounds like a riddle or prophecy – three moons doom the seer, he falls on one – two rise anew… coins of fate, six strangers brought together by chance, revenge, fear, curiosity. Almost everyone has only their armour and a weapon with them, so they spend some of the gold found on general equipment and a mule with saddlebags. They also use the opportunity to rest and eat.

The group decide to head together to Falsford to seek lodging and think about the future. A few miles outside the town, a path leads to the southern mountain – FalsKrag. Half the group elects to head down the old road and look at the ruined castle, while the remainder head into Falsford. The castle still has mostly undamaged walls, but most of the towers appear to have collapsed. One, though broken rises high into the air. The party moves of the overgrown road, taking a side trail towards oddly regular trees and bushes. They soon realise they are entering a graveyard – the outer fence is covered by vines and bushes. Trails wind between long grass, holes and damaged grave stones. Near the northern side rises a huge block of stone, engraved with the name “Falshadren”. Seldrel notes a magical aura and searching the block reveals a iron door or gate in the side of the stone, hidden by an illusion that only a few of them can see through. Lanliss spends time attempting to pick the lock, but eventually decides that it is way beyond his current capabilities.

They head for the eastern gatehouse of the ruin and are fired upon! Arrows fly from slits in the second level, and three strike Hardaz, severely wounding him. Merxif hides in the long grass and creeps forward while Hardaz quaffs a potion of healing. Everyone else runs for the door or walls of the gatehouse. Eight goblins taunt or shoot at them through a hole in the floor as Bacon and Winter find positions to fire back. Both Merxif and Seldrel conjure a glimmering humanoid figure on the castle walls to disturb the goblins, and Bacon lobs one of his necklace globes through the hole. Most of the goblins are knocked unconscious. The last two attempt to flee but are brought down by Hardaz and Winter. The south-west tower has solid walls and a ceiling and appears to be used by goblins. There are signs that more goblins have recently vacated the chamber. Seldrel comments that what remains of the high tower walls show signs of old magic. Both the north-west and south-east towers are full of rubble. In a small grove of trees in the south, three stick-like humanoid plant creatures attack them. They are beaten without much difficulty and the recently dead body of an adventurer yields some coins and masterwork leather armour. A well in the courtyard is partly blocked by branches. Seldrel notes a hole in one wall of the deep shaft near the blockage. A fountain in the centre of the courtyard is brken and holds a pool of stagnant water. The north east tower is in mostly good condition and occupied by a ghoul. It is quickly destroyed and the group are excited to locate some platinum coins and a fine rapier. The second level of the tower has many bird nests and bacon declares the floor to be unsafe to walk on.

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