The Bestiars

Returning the Aurochs and the start of something new
Meeting the Lord of Cows

After a short rest the party approaches the final section of the Ancient Trade Post, half a dozen brutally killed goblins are scattered about the hall that leads to the final two rooms. The first room has a very sophisticated lock that most of the party spends time puzzling over as Brogol enters the unlocked room. As he quietly enters the room Brogol sees the a large older Minotaur bandaging his wounds. It turns out the Minotaur, named Jong, had rescued the Aurochs from the goblins and locked them in the room the party had been attempting to get into.

Jong helps the Bestiars return the Aurochs to Keld and work out an arrangement with Gwen to sanction Jong to be a protector of Keld. The now apprentices decide to rest up in Keld for the night and then move right onto the next mission. The next mission is regarding unusual things happening with wildlife and monsters in the Pale Wood, they are to meet with a contact named Faine in Nera at the center of the woods.

On the parties’ way between Keld and Haverton, a town between Keld and the woods, they come across a group of bandits extorting people for money for using the road. The Malice and Brogol disagree on whether to pay up and a fight ensues where the bandit leader is killed and Keluvial intimidates all but two into fleeing. The two who didn’t flee are apprehended and taken into Haverton to the authorities there. One of those two was unconscious for several hours, that really can’t be good for him. I decided to give the new apprentices their badges in Haverton, I know we usually wait until the celebration but I thought they could use the authority while we are in Nera.

From Haverton the Bestiars decided to take the direct road from Haverton through the Palewood itself. The old road through the woods has some striking similarities to the architecture to the Ancient Trade Post that Jong lives in. Things were uneventful until the party went to bed down for the evening where we were attacked by swarms of bats that Slithiss realized could be driven off by Jarik’s unique form of music. Slithiss also noted that these were fruit bats, not usually likely to attack. As the party slept several twig, needle and a vine blight attempted to ambush the camp; however, Jarik noticed and sounded the alarm so everyone could defend themselves. The blight’s are clear evidence that something is terribly wrong in the Pale Wood.

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The Ancient Trade Post
Hunting goblins and the Lord of All Cows

Things begin with the party at the entrance to the ancient trading post. Slithiss is chosen to remain behind to ensure the rest of the group does not end up getting flanked by goblins or cocatrice, her ranging skills no doubt the best suited to this.The prospects enter the ancient trade post through the great brass doors to find a grand structure of masterfully carved granite walls and lovingly crafted ironwood doors. . This structure once molded at the loving hands of true artisans now, after eons, has new inhabitants ones who have thoughtfully left lit torches on the walls.

Just behind the doors sit two guard rooms, where guards likely would have checked visitors and gone through goods, now old cracked weapon racks are all that stand vigil here. Keen eyes find an old elven dagger wedged beneath a rack its strong steel leaf blade meeting a bloodwood handle chased with a silver vine inlay. The in lay runs the length of the handle shifting to a brass inlay of the same pattern on the blade. It could use a good polish but is otherwise in fine condition.

The rust coloured dust from the mountains side that covered the once magnificently polished granite floors give away the trail of the goblins and aurochs leading to the first room. Within three goblins sit at an ancient crate rolling dice and gambling with coins both ancient and new not expecting an orc monk to literally crash their game. The party makes quick work of the goblins, ensuring that they cannot raise the alarm.

Further in the Bestiars find a room with a caved in ceiling and earth filling the vast majority of the room. On closer inspection it is noticed that the granite has been eaten away by something. Age not touching the rest of the granite block these ones seem to have been intentionally eroded. The party quickly goes through their knowledge of what could cause such damage some considering the alchemical while others beasts like black dragons and oozes.

Down one of the side halls the party finds three rooms all much smaller than the rooms that had been previously explored. The first having been an arms storage room, the Bestiars find 3 goblins rummaging through the old weapon and armour racks. In a vicious scuffle a goblin strikes a key blow on Brogol opening his side with an old short-sword. With Malice incinerating foes and Keluvial causing goblin minds to hemorrhage the situation is quickly handled and Jarik tends to Brogols wound healing it near miraculously. The party does find 2 old dwarven hand hammers in forgotten among the broken weapon racks. In the second room sits a an old sack on the floor, while the prospects are curious they are also suspicious of such a set up. Brogol quickly thinks to toss one of the dwarven hammers at the sack should it be trapped, his throw strikes true and all cringe as glass can be heard to shatter. When the party approaches the bag the contents turn out to be several pieces of gold jewelry, a beautiful if dented copper goblet and a now shattered mirror. Thankfully it turns out Malice can easily fix such things and takes the pieces for safe keeping. The third room turns out to be the least interesting, full of ancient crates and barrels the contents long becoming dust. As it turns out the goblins got to this room first and scattered the contents.

Beyond the three small rooms and the collapsed room the party finds a massive recessed room that had once been the center for trading. The remains of old stone stalls surround an enchanted pool the water within cool and fresh. Jarik notices that two of the stones around the pool seem discoloured and as the party approaches two grey oozes strike out at them. Malice and Keluvial not relying on material weapons and armour have the easiest time striking back, Jarik and his equipment take the most punishment as he imposes himself between the party and the oozes, Brogol made the sound decision of using pieces of old racks to lay into the oozes. Once the oozes are obliterated Malice takes the time to repair the damage the creatures did to the items. Once the party ascends the stairs to the other side of the room they spot a clue, dung, to where the aurochs have gone.

Following the trail of prints and dung the party finds themselves in a room that was and is still being used as a kitchen. The party looks about the room and Malice finds venison awaiting someone’s meal. Finding nothing else they proceed to the next room, unsurprisingly an eating hall with mahogany tables and stools. A goblin boss and two of his crew enter the room from the opposite side as the party is entering. The battle is quick Malice putting to sleep the boss helps the Bestiars make quick work of them, however Keluvial is nearly run through by one of the vicious beasts and Brogol miscalculates sending himself crashing through one of the dry aged tables, back first. After this everyone decides to rest.

- Scribbles

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A Simple Test
Aiding the people of Keld

The adventure begins, the prospects show up at the Bestiar‘s Hall where they meet the Guild Master Lelien Raliegh. After being kept waiting Lelien came in and let the prospects know that the path they are embarking on could be a lethal one, with outside politics sometimes getting in the way but the work they would be doing is for the good of the people and they would be paid well for it. All the prospects agreed to the first mission something small scale to show their abilities and give them a chance to see if the Bestiar’s Guild is the place for them.

The first mission would be to go to the village of Keld and respond to reports of monsters stealing cattle. The Journeyman Scribe “Scribbles” would be sent to observe and guide the prospects on this mission. The crew set out in a mule pulled cart, Brogol walking beside, North East on the Old Trade Road towards Keld. After a fairly uneventful ride the party arrives in the village that afternoon and goes to the largest building in town to find Gwen, the mayor, and discuss the missing cattle. Gwen welcomes the Bestiars with free drinks and between her and her head rancher David they inform the party that while no one saw the monsters that took 5 of Gwen‘s prize aurochs there was significant evidence of goblin foot prints near the broken pen. It is highly unusual for goblins to herd large animals as they are more the kill and loot style of monsters thus the party realizes they have something unusual on their hands. After an unproductive conversation with the pig farmer Theodor the party decides to sleep in the cattle barn on Gwen’s ranch. The night is blessedly uneventful and the Bestiars set out bright and early following the Goblin’s tracks to the mountains north of Keld. The thieves make little effort to hide their tracks so the party has few issues keeping track of where they are headed, once onto the mountain trail the party puts together that the Goblins have some how lost the Aurochs and it would seem now both the Goblins and Bestiars are chasing down the Aurochs.

The trail of hooves and small feat leads to a long abandoned ancient trading post carved into the mountain side that once hosted elves, dwarves and humans few ruins remain outside the over 2000 year old building. The Bestiar’s almost immediately run into their quary as a goblin with an armload of cockatrice eggs attempts to throw off the angry cockatrice after him by throwing an egg at Brogol and fleeing. The egg comes no where near the target but the bird changes the direction of it’s wrath. Brogol quickly subdued the goblin as Keluvial, Malice, and Slithiss struck the cockatrice from range as Jarik holds back the bird’s petrifying blows. With the ugly bird taken out the Bestiars take their attention to the conscious goblin who once roused by a bit of heat tells the party that the “Leader of all cows” had taken the Aurochs from the original thieves and he, the aurochs, and goblins are now inside the Ancient Trade Post. Brogol hangs the subdued little wretch from a tree branch but as soon as the party approaches the great bronze doors of the ruins Malice snuffs out it’s life.

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An Interesting Offer
It all begins with a letter

A young courier approaches you a half elf girl who is nearly an adult… perhaps not it’s always difficult to tell with the half-breeds, her short cut tousled brown hair aids in the youthful look. She has several scroll cases and satchels on her, they almost distract from her well worn leather armour and sword at her hip. A very official letter presented to you in her out stretched hands, it has an official large wax seal and everything. She confirms your name and offers to read it to you should you not be versed in your letters. The wax is thick and blue and imprinted on it is a surprisingly detailed chimera with the word “Bestiar” in gothic block letters underneath. The wax gives a satisfying snap as you open it, within you find the following message.

Let it be known the Bestiars regard you as a prospect.
We have seen that you have certain skills and natural ability that would lend itself well to our guild. We search carefully for new sisters and brothers to guard each other and face our duties side by side. Ours is a dangerous life to slay and parley with monsters, but if you join you shall be compensated well. We wish for you to meet with us that you can see us for what we are and we can give you a taste of what would be awaiting you in the field and if all goes well we would take you on as an apprentice. Due to the nature of our work we pay our apprentices as you will be taking on great risks. If you are interested please let our courier know. You future sisters and brothers await you. Lelien Raleigh, Guild Master

The half elf girl shifts her feet anxiously awaiting your response. “What should I tell the Master?” Her voice gives away her clan upbringing a certain lilting accent that is found in the Pale Wood. It’s then you notice the fine scars on the right side of her cheek that lead to the missing tip of her right ear, it would seem the work is dangerous for all members. Her voice is less the frustration of waiting and more the tone of excited anticipation. “The Master is very picky even if you decline you should feel honoured. So what will it be my friend?”

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