Dahara: Fallen Harvest

To The Keep

Eldra massaged her neck as she took a small sip of her tea.

“Now where was I?”

“They were going to go to the Baron’s Keep!” chirped one of the children.

“Oh that’s right. Yes, so Kerrick and Tarik were to set off to visit the Baron’s Magister, Fennel. But Sheriff Rufus requested that all of what had happened be kept quiet for the time. He didn’t want to worry the Baron needlessly.

“But before the pair could set out, Magda, one of the town gossips and a well-respected match-maker found and cornered the young woodsman. Magda had been wondering where the young man had been. Once she learned the details, she began to talk about Dorlee the clothier. Well, not so much about Dorlee, but more about her daughter, Gwen. She was very keen on seeing the two get together.”

“Why?” asked one of the children.

“Why? Well, men and women like to spend time together. Sometimes, if they like it enough, they become married.”

“My mother says that sometimes you get married because you are told to, or because someone wants your land.”

Eldra smiled. "That is also true. But in this case, Magda sought love. She made Kerrick promise that when he returned from his business at the Baron’s Keep that he would meet the lovely Gwen for a dinner. He agreed, though he was quite shy about it.

“So the pair set out. And the road from Terrian’s Stand to the keep of Baron Atregen is a safe one, and our heroes saw that it was. Soon enough, they found themselves in the keep. They made their arrangements to meet with the wizard Fennel, and found a place in the keeps inner court to make their camp.

“While enjoying the ale and food in the open air inn, they met a strange human who went by the name of Falkirk. This heavily bearded man claimed to be a guide, and spoke to the heroes at length about the recent events in Terrian’s Stand, as well as things Falkirk had witnessed. As time wore on, so did the drinking of ale, and the three passed their time into the night.

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Seeds Sprouted

“This story is boring!” One of the children whined to Eldra.

“Yeah, all they are doing is finding rocks.” Added another.

Eldra chastised them with a click of her tongue. "You children. Always so impatient! Any story worth the telling must take some time. If I just told you about hobgoblins attacking the town, that wouldn’t be that fun, would it? A monster attacking for no reason gives no point. But, shall we see if we can find out why they attacked?

“Of course, remember that our heroes had finally fended off part of the hobgoblin attack. For it was obvious there were others. They could hear the shouts, screams, growls and sounds of combat nearby. But there were burning buildings to attend to. Citizens of the town were quickly filling the streets and buckets of water were moved in a line. As ou heroes went to help with the growing flames, something happened.

“It was like a snap sound, and they they saw lines of flame shoot into the nighttime sky. Orange fingers stabbing the darkness. And there were seven in total. One in the place where they had found a stone and moved it, another in the place where they’d hidden the stones in the chest, four surrounding the town of Terrian’s Stand, and the last one right in the center of town. It looked, in many ways, like a clawed hand.”

“What stone did they find and move?” One of the children spoke as he raised his hand.

Eldra cocked her head. “What, my dear?”

“You said they found a stone and then moved it. I don’t remember you telling us that.”

Eldra through for a moment and rubbed her forehead with a wrinkled hand. Then she smiled. "I didn’t did I. Well, yes, our heroes had found another circle, through some determined searching, and had found a stone within. It was dug up, then moved slightly and reburied. Perhaps they were testing the obvious magical nature of the stones. But back to our tale.

“The heroes stood transfixed by the flame fingers, but not for long, as they quickly vanished. Sheriff Rufus soon found them. Though our heroes had rescued someone from the hobgoblins, several others had been taken by the fleeing beasts. They needed to be rescued, and quickly. Panic would soon set in. Sheriff Rufus was worried as well. These hobgoblins appeard to be from a tribe known as the Nightmoon Bloods, one of the larger hobgoblin tribes in the area.

“But the good Sheriff was worried because the Bloods had been, for the last few years at least – peaceful. He even claimed there were stories of trade with the beasts. If the hobgoblins were starting to raid like this again, it could only mean one thing. War!” Eldra gave the word a harsh whisper, bringing a gasp from the children.

“But, if our heroes could rescue the kidnapped citizens, and slaw the hobgoblins, a war might be prevented. So off into the woods they went, all three of them. Kerrick, the brave woodsman’s son soon found their trail and tracked them through the woods.

“It didn’t take long to find them. The beasts had made their camp. There were a number of hobgoblins, maybe ten or more. They’d tied up each captured citizen to a long stick, and built a raging fire. It looked like they were getting ready to cook the good people!”

Another gasp.

“The heroes were unsure what to do, but Kerrick had a clever plan. He set up his traps and snares, the few he had. He would cause a distraction, and get most of the hobgoblins to follow him. From there, Torris and Tarik would move in from the other side of the hobgoblin camp, and try to free the captives, fighting any hobgoblins along the way.

“Kerrick made himself known to the beasts, and slew one with his steady aim. From there, he ran, with almost half the hobgoblins in pursuit. One by one, they fell pray to his traps. Through they did not hurt the hobgoblins enough to kill the vile creatures, it did catch them up and slow them down. By the time Kerrick ran out of tricks, there was only one left. He did not want to face the mighty woodsman’s bow, so he fled into the night.”

“But what about the other two?” A child asked, worry on his face.

“I was getting to that.” Eldra smiled. "The other two surprised the camp and moved in. With the small crossbow of Tarik and the mighty raft staff of Torris, they dropped one, two, then three hobgoblins. But the leader was still there. His massive form came upon Torris and cur him savagely with his axe. The blood rage overcame the simple raftman and his swung his mighty staff, striking the gruff beast square in the head. He hit so hard, his staff cracked a bit. Now it was the hobgoblin’s turn to be in a rage. He cut the raftman once again. This time, however, it was too much to bear.

“Torris, the raftman fell to the ground.

“As the leaders turned to the lowman merchant, Tarik (who nearly wet himself in fear), Kerrick returned. A mighty shot from his bow, slew the leader where he stood. Seeing their commander now dead, the rest of the hobgoblins fled.

“Tarik raced to Torris’ side, desperate to save him, but alas it was to late. The Hu had died. His last word was love for his now dead dog, ‘Grady’ was all he spoke, before the life left him.

“The heroes, of course were sad to see their new friend die, but they couldn’t mourn him for long. With the newly freed citizens of Terrian’s Stand, every set out to return to their town. But before they could, something strange happened.”

“Strange?” One of the children muttered.

“Yes,” said Eldra. "Strange. They were all about to leave when suddenly everyone felt an odd feelign of menace. As if something was very angry at them. It didn’t linger long, but they all felt it nonetheless. This unnerved everyone, and they made haste back to Terrian’s Stand.

“Once back in the town, Torris Raftman was buried by the river he worked most of his life on. Kerrick and Tarik counseled with The Right, Honorable Sheriff Rufus about what to do next. The Sheriff voiced worry over the masquerading hobgoblins. Kerrick and Tarik voiced theirs over the stones. Eventually, they agreed that the Sheriff’s guard captain, Derrick, along with a squad of his own men would seek out the Nightmoon Bloods and Tarik and Kerrick would travel to see the baron’s Magister, Fennel.

“And that is what they did.”

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Dark Seeds

Eldra looked around at the children seated in front of her. All seemed eager for another of her stories. She smiled pleasantly. “What kind of story would you children like to hear today?”

A young girl, no more than eight raised her hand high. “I want to hear something about heroes fighting a great evil.”

Another child joined in. “Yes, Eldra, something exciting!”

“And with romance, or a broken heart.”

All the children began to chatter at that point, and Eldra held her hands up. “Now, that is a very tall order, and such grand requests from such small children.” Eldra stroked her wrinkled chin. “But I may know of such a story.”

“Are there heroes?” the first girl asked again.

“Heroes. That is a strange and troublesome word, is it not? Let us say that there are those who rose to the call when it came upon them. And they did so at great cost to them. But would you call them heroes? Maybe not at first, for our story starts out rather ordinary.” Eldra smiled broadly. “Of course, that’s how the best stories always start…”

“Our tale begins in the town of Terrian’s Stand, a town nestled in the foothills of the great and mighty Gurrteck Mountains. This town held a small shop. A shop run by a LowMan named Tarik. Tarik’s shop sold all manner of strange and odd things. From dried bat wings to the fangs of a Drolling Snake from the islands of the Clanholds of Men.

“Tarik was in the midst of looking at an albino pelt, captured by the Woodsman’s son. Now he goes by the name of Kerrick. Kerrick was a stout young man, and quickly learning the skills of his trade. He had a reputation for being an excellent shot with his bow, and he was catching the eye of many of the town’s matchmakers. But Kerrick was not interested in such things, or at least that is what he told people. He simply lived with his father, trapping and exploring the woods.

“While both of these folk were in Tarik’s shop, the Right, Honorable Sheriff Rufus entered in with one of his town guards. The Sheriff was in a bit of worry, for he’d received reports of strange, circular areas of dead plants. Even some dead animals. He asked Tarik, since he was knowledgable of such strange things if he, and even Kerrick would examine these, for one of these dead circles was in the woods Kerrick called home.

“They agreed, and Derrick, the guard who came with the Sheriff, Tarik and Kerrick set off to find the first circle. In the woods north of town it was. It measured nearly thirty feet in a circle, and everything within it was dead or dying. Most peculiar was that the circle seemed to cut straight through the trunk of a tree. Part of the tree was dying, while the rest seemed yet still very much alive. The trio explored, and curious Tarik stepped within the circle. Nothing happened to him, but he did discover that someone had dug something into the ground. Digging on his own, he found it. Nine inches deep into the earth was a smooth, gray stone. Tarik plucked it out and stuffed it in his backpack.

“They moved to the second report, that from the good farmer Belding Tendriss. Farmer Tendriss was worried; worried why this was happening to him and his farm. He feared a curse from the gods, but felt he’d done nothing to anger them so. Again, they located the circle, and the stone hidden within, and Tarik plucked it free.

“Another circle, and another farm. This time the farm of goodman James Johnfen. Like Farmer Tendriss before him, he felt he’d done nothing wrong, but Farmer Johnfen suggested that perhaps Farmer Tendriss might be to blame. He may have brought a curse down upon the town, after getting into a feud with a trader who knew a powerful wizard. The group later learned that Farmer Johnfen also might be to blame. He did not attend the yearly Harvest Thanks ceremony where all the farmers pay tribute to a successful year. Perhaps he brought a curse.

“Finally, the crew paid a visit to the makeshift camp of Torris Raftman, a boatman who often worked the river. He showed the heroes where he haid laid for the night, and where his dog, Grady, had died. Again, all seemed the same. Tarik plucked this stone as well.

“Now with so many stones, Tarik suggested securing them in a chest. Having a sturdy one fetched form his shop, the group placed all the stones in the chest and hid it along a line wall one the edge of the Johnfen farm. From there, they returned to town.

“After conducting business, the group set to meet once again, but fate had something in store for them. A scream in the dark brought forth a surprise attack by hobgoblins! The savage beasts charged through the streets, grabbing bystanders and throwing torches. The heroes moved to stop the ones they could, and proved successful. Even Tarik, a simple shopkeep proved his skills with a small crossbow true, taking down one last goblin before he escaped with a frightened child. Kerrick Greebolt, the woodsman’s son, also shot true with his bow, fellign many. Torris, the raftman scored solid strikes with his stout staff. Without thought for his own safety, he rushed into a burning shop to rescue those trapped inside.

“Our heroes thought themselves safe, despite the sounds of combat several streets over. They could not have been more wrong.”

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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