Wolfsbane

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Chapter Four of Under the Goblin Trees

Campaign adaptation by Thomas Kelly

Wolfsbane

The morning light dawned on a scene of horror. Blood splattered the walls and washed the floors of many cottages. The afflicted resumed their human forms with no memory of the terrors of the night. More than a dozen villagers were dead, some slain by the wolves, some slain as wolves. Others came wandering into the town, naked and confused, unable to say why they awoke to find themselves alone and unclothed out in the woods.

Myron is never above sarcasm or gloating, “So what is your diagnosis master priest? What do you think? Is it merely the winter fever?”

I spent most of the day dressing wounds and invoking the gods for healing. Both Bruin and Mercifcul nursed ugly bleeding wounds. Cirilli and I treated their torn flesh. We exchanged knowing glances. At the next full moon, both men might be howling to one another.

Myron scolded Bruin, “Use your head instead of your brawn next time. What are we going to do with a werewolf your size? How are we supposed to deal with you this time?”

Bruin smiled sheepishly and explained, “I didn’t think I would get bitten.”

The afflicted were again restrained before sunset lest the affliction remain upon them under the waning moon. At sunset we burned the dead according to the custom of the villagers, and I entrusted their souls to hands of the gods.

As Luna rose, we stocked the bonfires and prepared to face the beasts again, but all remained quiet in the village. I fell into bed at midnight, utterly exhausted. I slept until late into the following morning, my sleep beset by nightmares the entire time.

The Investigation and the Mission

When I awoke, the others were already up and finished with breakfast. Cirilli sat with the daughter of Micksallicks, speaking to her about herbs and cures and how to dress her wounds. The girl showed absolutely no symptoms. If not for the torn flesh and rope burns on her wrists and ankles, I would not have believed it possible that this fair girl might be the same as that snarling, twisting creature from the previous night.

Myron took me aside, out of the girl’s earshot, and said to me, “Today, priest, we will get to the bottom of this insanity.” He proposed visiting every cottage in the village and taking inventory. I saw sense in this plan and agreed to accompany him. He put on his best face, so to speak, and we made the rounds. At each cottage we asked a series of questions, cross-examining and double-checking as best we could, and we took careful note of the answers. Was anyone here afflicted? Did anyone shift into wolfen shape? When did symptoms first manifest? Was anyone bitten? Does the afflicted possess any memory of the incident? Does the afflicted remember being bitten by a wolf or dog in the past? The investigation put me in remembrance of the diligent work we did in Orlane to solve the riddle of the naga witch’s enchantment.

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Horse Thieves

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Chapter Two of Under the Goblin Trees

Campaign adaptation by Thomas Kelly

On the Edge of the Wood

“Four or five days to the keep at Forest Watch. We know not precisely how far beyond the Foredge to the baron’s lodge,” Sir Merciful and Sir Belvenore poured over parchment with a few sparse lines that sufficed for a map. Many miles passed before our road entered the wooded lands. Groves and wild woods stood in patches now and again, thicker to the north. We had fair skies for two days, but on the third day from the keep, more snow hampered our progress again. This time we camped and waited out the weather in shelters beneath a stand of white chestnuts. Bruin foraged about in the woods and collected dry timber enough to keep a merry fire blazing, despite the wind and the snow.

The warmth of the fire was not enough to chase the chill from the bones but it melted some of the ice between our party and our chivalrous escort. Considering their coming errantry in Farvale and Orlane, Sir Belvenore and Sir Merciful inquired of us regarding all we could tell them about that place. Their questions gave us the opportunity to recount for them the tale of the naga witch. After hearing our story and asking after the details until they were at last satisfied, they looked on us with newfound respect, and their demeanor improved.

We woke in the morning under skies both clear and cold. Cirilli and I conducted our prayers while the others stoked up the fire, heated the water, and boiled the grits. The Watchers followed their own monastic-styled devotions, reading the psalms of Cuthbert and the odes of Heironeous each morning and conducting themselves according to their fixed routines before strapping on armor. Myron reviewed his spells. Bruin saddled the horses.

Now the trees had begun to grow more closely, and we saw that we drew near to the shadowy world beneath the boughs of the Dim Forest. Nevertheless, we camped that night in good spirits for we knew that Forest Watch remained only a short journey on the morrow. We looked forward to warm beds, cooked food, and strong drinks.

An Interrupted Night

Sir Merciful was at watch when thieves stole into the camp and made off with the horses. How it came to pass that he neither saw nor heard, I received no explanation. None was needed. It was clear enough that he had fallen to sleep. Some hours after his watch had begun, he roused us. A Watcher is a watcher in name only, I suppose. Now in the middle of the night, shivering in the darkness and stiff from the cold, we did not know what to do, nor did we know then the culprit that had stolen our steeds. Bruin wanted to pursue immediately, but what was the point in that pitch darkness? Myron cast a magical light on his quarterstaff, and we searched about the immediate vicinity of the camp. The light proved to be a bad idea as it made him a clear target. The first arrow stuck him and buried its head into his chest. As if a dam broke, they charged from out of the woods.

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Errand in Hookhill

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Chapter One of Under the Goblin Trees

Campaign adaptation by Thomas Kelly and sequel to Against the Cult of the Reptile God.

574 CY

In the year that Prince Thrommel vanished, the news of his disappearance did not reach the court at Hookhill until winter. I know this to be so because, when the news did arrive, I happened to be at the court of His Most Resolute Magnitude Commandant Petros Gwalchen of the Gran March to deliver a report about recent affairs in the neglected Barony of Farvale. Rumors abounded, and, as everyone now knows, the strange circumstances around the kidnapping of the prince have never been satisfactorily resolved. The disappearance of the prince and the handsome reward offered for his return inspired many Knights of the Watch and heroes of Gran March to set their hopes on errantries.  What is more, the arrival of the news was shortly followed with a specific summons recalling heroes loyal to Furyondy, including two of my companions, those respected veterans of the Troll Wars on the borders of the Pale and also Emridy Meadows, the half-elven brothers Llywain and Dorian. Fealty to the fifth of the Seven Families of the house of Furyondy obliged them to depart at once.

Now this turn of events I took sorely because I had hoped that they might accompany me back to Farvale and Orlane, guarding me for safe passage through the hazards of the Dim Forest. They assured me, “You have nothing to fear Father Tabor. You have the mighty sword of Sir Bruin and the competent dweomers of Myron the Glamorer. What is more, we are sure that the commandant will provide you a company of doughty knights back to Orlane.”

In the Court of the Commandant

My appointment with the commandant came on Freeday the last day before the week of Needfest. This unfortunate piece of timing forced me to keep the report and its corollary appeal as brief as possible, for the court was eager to dispense with business as preparations for the festivities were already well underway and the everyone was already swept up with the spirit of the holiday.

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Fonkin, Flerd, Faffle, Frush, Roaky, Gleep, Redmod, Beek, and Cloyer Too

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

The Giant Slayerpart 2: Fonkin, Flerd, Faffle, Frush, Roaky, Gleep, Redmod, Beek, and Cloyer Too
(Thomas Kelly)
A campaign based on Living Greyhawk Geoff and Against the Giants.

“It’s not safe for you here,” Father Trantle cautions the visitors. “Those guards you left slumbering outside will not sleep long, and your presence here cannot be kept hidden. Come with me, and we will speak more in the privacy of my home.” He leads the travelers through the streets of Pregmere to a seemingly abandoned cottage near the edge of town.

Safely inside Flerd’s home and with the door shut and barred behind them, everyone relaxes. Almost everyone. Mayloriel keeps an eye out the cottage window. Ansgar speaks to the priest, “The Lady Sierra Blackblade sent us here to find you, Father Trantle. She says you are a famous giant slayer.”

“She wants you to return with us to Hochoch and help us fight the giants,” Bryn adds.

Father Trantle’s Resistance

Father Trantle does his best to make his guests comfortable in the one-room cottage before replying. “It’s true. I’m one of that band of heroes sent out by the king of Keoland to punish the giants. We passed through Sterich, ascended into the Jottens, and slaughtered the hill giants in their own timbered lodge. We massacred their chief, Nosnra, and all his kin around his feasting table. We soaked the floor of their banqueting hall with their blood. We found our way, past many dangers, into the frigid glacial rift of the Crystalmists where the frost giants dwell in caves of ice. We slew their jarl and looted their frozen caverns. If not for the mercy of the True Light, I would still remain there, frozen in the ice. My companions thought me dead, and they left me in the rift. Without me, they descended into the Hell Furnaces to extinguish the fires of King Snurre Ironbelly. Among all those giants we left carnage, recompensing them a hundred-fold for their trespasses into the lands of men. We thought to teach them a lesson they might never forget. Surely, our bloodlust brought disaster upon these lands. Giants are vengeful and cunning. Our strikes against their chiefs stirred the stirges’ nest. We incited this terrible reprisal. I now atone for my sins by laboring here among the slaves of Rhychdir Rhos in Pregmere.”

“Aren’t you a slave yourself?” Bryn asks.

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Finding Flerd the Giant Slayer

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

The Giant Slayers part 1: Finding Flerd
(Campaign Notes by Thomas Kelly)
A campaign based on Living Greyhawk Geoff and Against the Giants.

“Neumann wants a rebellion,” Bryn insists. “Bad enough that I need writ from the governor what to drink a single cider. Now he says we can no more speak our own tongue?”

“Cause he knows our tongues are making sport of him behind his back,” Ansgar laughs. He quaffs his third cider and pounds the mug on the tabletop to summon the maid for more. “Another round for the heroes!” he motions to his friends.

“You can’t pay for your own cups, cuss, quit saying you’ll pay for us,” chides the gnomish bard. Squint’s fingers find the strings of his shalm. He strikes up a lively reel, but the music stops abruptly when the wooden door of the speakeasy flings open. Ansgar leaps to his feet, nearly tipping the table. Customers freeze in fear; their laughter and conversation falls silent. A man steps through the open doorway. Every patron of the establishment recognizes the stern, scowling face of Cadofyth Parn, a commanding officer of the Army of the Liberation. “Alcohol consumption without a writ! Speaking in the Flannish tongue!” he scolds the crowded room.

“Yes sir,” Ansgar concedes too readily.

The captain fixes his stern gaze upon the young ranger, “Best pour me a cider before I report the lot of you to the constables.” A devious smirk spreads across his face. The patrons cheer and clap the officer on the back. Squint resumes the reel.

Calling all Giant Slayers

Trailing behind the commander, stepping lightly through the door and into the light, comes a grinning elf. “I found this pour lost elf wandering the camp,” the cadofyth announces. “May I present Gundoriel Thingolin, back from fey Dimwood!”

Bryn leaps up and throws her arms around grey elf priest. “I thought we might never see you again,” she gushes in the elvish tongue. He shrugs sheepishly.

“We have had a few adventures without you, elf!” Ansgar says as Parn and Gundoriel join the rangers at their table.  Bryn presses her elvish friend with questions about his months in the fading feylands of Dimwood Forest, but he only shakes his head.

After the barmaid pours up ciders and collects coins, Parn admits, “Not for cider and Flan-speech did I seek you out tonight, friends, but a quick trot back into those occupied lands from which you only just returned. We have a rumor from Darlon Lea, our exiled ranger lord. He claims that Father Trantle survived the invasion and still lives, dwelling among those unfortunate slaves, our kinsmen who labor under the lash of the giants.”

“I don’t know who that is,” Ansgar shrugs, unimpressed by the name of Father Trantle.

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A Little Bit of Wood

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

A Little Bit of Wood
(Campaign Notes and Adaptation by Thomas Kelly)
Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO1-05 by Wesley Wright.
Beware total spoilers.

Bryn sighs and sweeps her sleeve across her face to wipe the perspiration from her eyes.

Fang lifts and cocks his head quizzically as he trots beside her. “I’m worried about Gundoriel,” she explains to the uncomprehending dog. The mud-packed roads of the encampment have baked dry and solid under the mid-summer sun. This is the camp of the Army of the Liberation outside Hochoch’s walls. Bryn and Ansgar navigate the maze of streets, shacks, and tents to make their way toward the command tent of Cadofyth Parn to which they have been summoned. “It’s been nearly six months and we’ve still seen no sign nor heard word. How could we have left that noble elf to such an evil fate?”

“An evil and miserable fate, indeed! I thank the gods ‘twas not me you abandoned in the arms of that soggy river nymph,” Ansgar agrees too readily.

Bryn rolls her eyes, “You wish!”

“I never!” the young ranger objects, blushing red through his whiskers. “Don’t even like daffodils,” he mutters.

“And what of Boots? Will we ever see our dearest friend again? Have we forever lost them both in fey lands? Fie on the shadows of the Dim Forest! Let the light of Pelor burn it!”

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Vampires of Grabford

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Session One of GRNC 2 – The Retaking of Grabford

A GREAT NORTHERN CRUSADE ADVENTURE from Greyhawkstories.com

(Campaign Notes and Adaptation by Thomas Kelly)

Scene One: Search for Dina

Sir Harassin wakes from a troubled dream in which he saw two lovely women vying for his attention. It’s daylight, midmorning before noon, but the sun shines pale through the accursed never-ending creeping fogs that rise and fall all around the city walls. The siege is underway. The shouts of soldiers, the cries of the wounded, and the battering of the ram against the unyielding Morsten Gate fills his ears. The battle goes well by day, despite the weird shadows and creeping fogs, but by night, terrors from inside the city come out to stalk the men in the camps. Mournful wails of ghosts and specters haunt the night. Not one of the men dares sleep so long as the sun is down.

Harassin tries to remember the details of the previous night, drinking with the raftmen of the Lucky Prince. Captain Paddy Lash and his crew have been making some extra coin by running supplies up the canal for the army while waiting for their promised reward. Ordinarily they don’t stay the night near the cursed city. But their Vetha wisewoman failed to return yesterday. Harassin waited with Paddy Lash and Danni, spending the night on the barge. They shared the last of their Pomarj Black. That’s the last thing Harassin remembers.

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Company of the Silver Wolf

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Jared “CruelSummerLord” Milne

“The Crown’s a sacred artifact to the gnomish gods, one that Kalrek could use to become the king of my homeland of Flinthold,” Airk said. “We defeated Kalrek and his minions, and then we learned that the Crown was in the Great Kingdom of Aerdy’s South Province. We traveled there to retrieve it and were caught in a plot to destroy the Iron League. We thwarted that plot and retrieved the Crown, but by then it was nearly the end of autumn. We need to sail to the Principality of Ulek to return to Flinthold, but we won’t find a ship traveling at this time of year. We’ll be staying until after Needfest and then we’ll take a ship to Ulek in Fireseek.”

“May we see it?” the first young man asked.

“What, the Crown?” Airk asked in surprise.

“It’s just a request,” the young man said. “We only want to look at it-we don’t have much use for mineral wealth.”

At first Airk wanted to refuse, but he realized the truth in what they were saying. Reaching into his pack, he pulled out an object and unwrapped the cloth covering it, revealing it to be the Crown of Arumdina.

The Crown was a masterpiece of gnomish craft. It had a beautifully tailored cap of pure sable fur, a golden circlet ringed with rubies and platinum arches each lined with two rows of diamonds. The spaces between the Crown’s half-arches were filled in turn with the images of a raccoon, a sable, a badger and a mole, each wrought in gold and bearing bright emeralds for eyes. The Crown’s monde was of platinum like the arches, topped by a piece of mithril crafted to resemble a battleaxe.

Despite his reservations, Airk smiled at the Raballah youths’ admiration of the Crown’s beauty.

“How does the Crown get its name?” one of the young men asked, looking from the Crown to Airk and then back again. “You said your kingdom is called Flinthold, didn’t you?”

“Arumdina is the name of the battleaxe wielded by Garl Glittergold, greatest of the gnomish gods,” Airk said, beaming proudly. “That mithril axe is said to be a piece of Arumdina, giving a powerful magical blessing to the gnomish king who wears it, and the kingdom he rules.”


The Silver Wolf trilogy is now four complete books. Which means it’s not a trilogy any longer.

The Company of the Silver Wolf originally developed online at Canonfire! as Jared “CruelSummerLord” Milne chronicled the adventures and developed the stories of his campaigns across the Flanaess. With the addition of his latest installment, For the Honor of the Crown, Milne brings the tale to its epic conclusion. Read the new installment, or start at the beginning. You can read all four books in the Silver Wolf series here.

Summer’s Passing

THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

Summer’s Passing (Campaign Notes-SPOILERS by Lyle C Brown)

Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO2-06 by Eric Menge and Diane Hazlett

An IC report to the Midnight Ravens by Hodkin Surefoot:

While recuperating from our most recent adventure, my companion Foruk and I were “requested” to assist the Druids’ Circle with a dilemma. It seems the Circle was in need of a new Archdruid. Apparently they had selected Gwenllian, sister to our dear Brennin, for this position. There was just one problem, Gwenllian was in the Fey Lands as a personal “long term” er … ”guest” of the Seelie Fey King. As such, she was at the least unaware of her new destiny. Additionally, while she may decide she would like to embark on this new career, it seemed highly unlikely that her host would allow her to leave.

This is where Foruk and I come in. Along with four other intrepid adventurers, the Circle solicited our assistance in retrieving Gwenllian from the lands of Faerie.

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Caves of Twilight Resplendent

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

The Gifts of the Fey part 2: The Caves of Twilight Resplendent 
(Campaign Notes and Adaptation by Thomas Kelly)
Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO1-03b, by Eric Menge and Sholom West.
Beware total spoilers. Read part one here.

“Wake up, mortal!” Cold water sprinkles Bryn’s face, forcing her to wakefulness. A strange-sounding voice urges her in cross and impatient, gargling tones, “Enough with your slumbering! The queen expects you, and you will be a sorry to keep her waiting!” Bryn opens her eyes to behold a scowling sea-green faerie crouched over her. His webbed hands flick more water into her face. He motions toward a nearby bench on which her clothes are laid out. “Get dressed. Lilly Petal and Cottonseed have brought watered wine and bread to break your fast. Your companions are already up and dressed.”

Bryn shakes her groggy head and tries to remember the details of the previous evening. It’s all a blur—the ballroom, the costumes, the fey, the music, the stars. Was I drinking wine? I can’t remember! Nothing for it now. She slides out from under soft blankets and dresses herself. The green-skinned faerie impatiently bids her eat, and she obliges him with a few bites. The door opens and Ansgar, Boots, and Gundoriel enter the room. “Good! You are all ready,” the faerie observes. “The queen’s grace is in her court. Don’t make her wait!” With no further ado, the nixie turns and paddles off down the hallway, his webbed feet leaving small puddles of water with every footstep.

“Wait, if you please! Where is the queen’s court?” Bryn inquires.

The nixie turns back and offers a condescending smile. “Precisely where it needs to be.”

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