Pathfinder: A New Hope

Part 12: Forge of the Giant God

Jahlvoraz was dead. The so called "Flame of the Forge was no more, and with him, the dragon fire needed to complete the ritual of relighting Minderha’s Forge. The heroes we spent, and thankfully, no dangers seemingly remained on the ruined cathedral tower. Gathering up what valuables the dragon had within its nesting area, the party descended back down to the lower levels of the structure.

The bound duergar and the hobgoblin troops had seemingly escaped, but no severed bounds could be seen. Something or someone allowed them to evade capture, but this was not a pressing matter right now. The magic wielders of the group were all but out of their abilities to call on arcane and divine magic, and all the heroes were in need of rest.

The best agreed option was the secondary chamber off of the main hall, where Fydon had encountered the hill giants. They would rest here, but do so with the utmost caution. Bor wove glyphs of warding around the chamber entrance, while Dorian brought forth his spell to provide a secure place to rest. As usual, Cyrus took the full watch after his evening prayers and brief rest, thanks to his magic ring.

Just as the dawn light began to shine into the cathedral, Cyrus prayed to Iomedae for guidance, and sent his lantern archon emissary on its usual way to deliver word to his beloved family in the North.

No sooner did he finish his prayers, Cyrus heard the unmistakable voices of giants entering the grand hall. The paladin quickly signaled his companions to prepare themselves and made his way up the stairs to listen more closely. The trio of giants made their way down the hidden passage to the lower level, and returned in moments with Etena the Forge Keeper.

By now, the heroes had assembled and preparing to take these giants by surprise. Dorian cast a spell of invisibility, while fydon crept out of sight along the walls. The two saw their targets clearly now- the old giant Etena, along with three stone giants.

As they watched, the other companions used magic to strengthen themselves in the lower chamber. However, this did not go unnoticed. The lead stone giant turned towards the lower chamber as his hammer burst into flames.

“Show yourselves little ones. The forge will be lit now. Thank you for eliminating our hindrances. Bring me Aggrimosh, and you will be spared.”

The heroes had learned their lesson by this point; there would be no bargaining with these zealots. Spells flew as the warriors dashed into the main hall. Before the groups closed, a stone giant fell under arcane spells and arrows, while the warriors moved in. Valgoth closed in on the lead giant, aided by magic allowing him to spider climb up the steep ledges of the dais, while Cyrus and Fydon flanked around past the forge.


Bor, Gage, and Dorian kept up the barrage of magical attacks, and beneficial spells to aid their allies. This kept the giants from gaining the upper hand long enough for another stone giant to be felled. But the good fortune would soon run out, and Valgoth and the final stone giant both saw the rogue Fydon find himself in the midst of the melee.

“Come face me, ya overgrown bastard!” Valgoth shouted as he tried to dissuade the giant from engaging his vulnerable, and oft in the wrong place at the wrong time, friend.

“Take him down now Valg-” Fydon began to yell as he drew his blade to surround the massive foe. Unfortunately, the giant took the opportunity to unleash its fury on his vulnerable assailant. With a riposte of its hammer, the stone giant stunned the rogue with a blow across his midsection with the heavy shaft of the weapon. A follow up crush with the full weight of the hammer spun the rogue around in a bloody spiral as the rest of the companions watched in horror.

As the giant lifted the large weapon for the killing blow, Cyrus cried out to his dear friend.
FYYYYDOOOOOON” Cyrus screamed as he gestured an act to prostrate himsef as he called on Iomedae’s divine pity. As the cruel blow from the giant came down with a wet crunch on the helpless rogue, the magic took hold. Fydon, in a final act of refusal to go easily into the darkness, drove his rapier up.

The blade struck true, and spilled a like amount of giant blood as the half elf collapsed; a smile of defiance on his face as the stone giant howled in pain. Both fell back, but at Fydon’s body fell to the ground, the divine grace of Iomedae grew luminescent around both he and Cyrus. In an act of selflessness, Cyrus begged his god to spare his young friend, for all his faults, and allow her servant to receive the wrath of the fatal wound in his place.

And so it was…

Fydon’s shallow breath lifted his blood soaked chest, as the heroes screamed in both anger and praise. They did not pause at this moment, driven by the sacrifices of their allies, and pressed the attack. Cyrus’s wounds were grave, but his holy armor breathed life into the aasimar as he drew the fury of the two remaining giants. He did as his god demands; he fearlessly waded into battle at all costs.

Foaming at the mouth, with tears of rage, and a white knuckle grip on Aggrimosh, Valgoth leaped at the stone giant. With the sound of a stone cracking upon an anvil, Aggrimosh sent its enemy to whatever afterlife awaited it. The killer was dead, but the dwarf turned to regard ruined body of his one true friend. A mistake the proud dwarf never makes in combat… almost.

The cackling crone of a giant Etena seized the moment to call on a chant of evil power and grabbed for the distracted dwarf. As she spat a vile curse, her wretched claw reached over the helm of Valgoth to deliver its dark power; the dwarf reacting too late to stop her.

CRRRRRAACKKKK!! A huge stone caught the aged giantess across the face, sending her wrinkled corpse staggering backwards to fall in a heap of blood. The form of a fur covered hill giant stood silhouetted against the sunlight flooding in from the entrance of the great hall.


It utter disbelief, the heroes all stood slack jawed at this sight. To further confuse them, a score of armored mounted knights galloped into the cathedral behind the giant. The echo of the horses made it seem as if an army was charging into the fray. The moment, which seemed an eternity, was driven back to reality when the archon “Michael” flew in and above the scene.

Relating quickly what had transpired elsewhere, the lantern archon described his finding of these holy knights, and their guidance by the recognizable hill giant, Orud. It would seem through their mercy and deeds within the cathedral, the giant had found it within him to lead these knights into the valley. It was only by divine grace did Michael answer the call of the leader of this band of Iomedae worshipers; a tale he would speak to Cyrus about another time.

For now, the knights began to speak of their journey from afar, and their quest for atonement. They believe that their path, and that of the heores, was destined to cross by the will of the Last Herald, Iomedae. They would see to leading the heroes to the secluded mountain settlement known as Shinnerman’s Fortune; a place of refuge in these dangerous mountains.

The heroes agree to a much needed respite from the cold and dangers of Minderhal’s Valley, and prepare for the journey.

“What of the forge? We still cannot light it, but could others? Dragonfire and Aggrimosh, aside, is it wise to just leave it idle?” Dorian questioned.

“We have the hammer, and it was wise we did not light it given the opportunity with the dragon. Besides, where would one get dragon fire now that Jahlvoraz is dead?” Bor stated, very matter of factly.

The simple minded hill giant Orud scratched its filthy head, pondering something with its weak mind. It nervously pointed to the corpse of the slain giant speaking a simple word, “firerocks” and grinning its cracked, yellow teeth. And indeed there were three odd stones, warm to the touch, seemingly lit from withing with a brilliant flame- Dragon fire!

The snow began falling heavily as the party watched a dozen knights shut the doors to the grand cathedral, as the set out south. They all prayed that the coming storm would secure the cathedral, for the sake of the brave knights tasked with defending the gate. Their greatest adventure had nearly cost the lives of several of the party, but with great risk came great reward. They would go to this mountain village to reconnect to the world, but would return to the cathedral of Minderhal with haste.

“Think the snow will keep them gobbies & giants away til we come back, Val?” Fydon said, a slight slur in his voice from his real or imagined lingering jaw pain.

“Nah, Jahlvoraz will be keepn’ them at bay” Valgoth said sternly, as he pointed to the beast’s head adorning the mountainside above the cathedral where the stone hammer of Minderhal was proudly stood.

HAHAHA, I go him good, didn’t I buddy?” Fydon said acting out a bow strike with his hands.

“You sure did, kid. You sure did” Valgoth said as the other heroes quietly followed, realizing at that moment, just how close the dwarf and half elf truly were.

Part 11: The Flame of the Forge

The great staircases of the cathedral interior climbed to great heights, and led to massive giant sized doors. Pushing through, the party came across a chamber cluttered with large crates. Among them, several human corpses bearing the sigil of Lastwall, a kingdom of men to the East, lay piled up like firewood. They had been slain within the last few days, and brought here for some reason. What were knights of Lastwall doing within this supposedly hidden temple?

While sifting through crates, Fydon made a point to listen carefully at the next door. He could clearly hear the deep whispers of giants. The heroes prepared themselves with magic, and Valgoth burst through the doors like a juggernaut. A massive two headed troll stood at the ready, along with two hill giants at the ready to encircle their adversaries.

The giants closed in on the front line of Valgoth and Cyrus, while Fydon moved through the melee to find a weak point in the giants formation. The first blows were vicious, but soon were silenced by the magic of Bor, now transformed into a earth elemental. His new powerful form provided edge the heroes needed, as he and the warriors struck down their beastly foes.

The grand stairs leading up yet again, disappeared into a dark, still chamber. The party knew the silence was a telling sign that danger awaited them, and so they took precautions as Fydon slid like a serpent up into the darkness. Dorian soon followed him under a veil of invisibility, and both were halted by a field of cruelly spiked caltrops laid out before them. A clear trap was in waiting, and the tight formation of tower shields could be made out at the far end of the room.

The time to strike was now, and Dorian let loose a fireball, but the enemy was prepared. Magic met magic within the air of the vaulted ceiling, and cancelled each other out in a flash. Spells and flaming oil was hurled towards the staircase, and the hateful words of duergar echoed all around. Cyrus charged up to meet the challenge, as Fydon leaped for the safety of a nearby stone shelf. The battle had begun, as Valgoth moved in with Gage, behind the cleric Bor, still possessed of the power of elemental earth. Bor’s stone form melded with the very stone of the floor, and burst from the ranks of the enemy as Gage and Dorian pelted them with yet more magic.

The spells of the party had devastated the hobgoblin shield line, and Bor’s massive elemental form had broken their ranks. The warriors Cyrus and Valgoth moved in to cut down the foes, and close in on their now handicapped duergar masters. The gray dwarves did all they could to retreat behind a conjured stone wall, but the elemental force of Bor, and spells of Gage and Dorian held them in place. One duergar fell, while the other, left helpless, was captured along with his hobgoblin guards.

The prisoner was defiant, but saw no reason not to tell the heroes the frightening truth- the dragon Jahlvoraz held the top of the cathedral as its lair. If the heroes wished to relight the forge, they would need its primal dragon fire to do so. The duergar almost pitied them; almost…

Prepared as best as one could be, they climbed the tower stairs until the cold mountain air howled above them. This chamber had become exposed to the open sky, with decidedly half of the ceiling and floor long ago having been destroyed somehow. Stone debris littered the icy ground, and a large mound of young trees, bones, and other assortment dominated the far end of the ledge. The heroes took each step with purpose, and saw the mighty creature gliding with grace above the tower. It circled, clearly regarding the party, and when hailed by Valgoth displaying the Hammer Aggrimosh, the drake roared and came to a thunderous landing before them.

“You have brought me the Hammer of Unmaking. And with that, the forge shall be relit” the beast hissed, bearing its knife like teeth.

“We have done no such thing, drake” Cyrus said, stepping forward. " Your servants are no more, and this cathedral is clear of the evil that once claimed it"

“The hammer belongs to me, and I won’t be parting with her anytime soon. We’ve come to relight the forge; that much you have correct. But we’ll be doing this the easy way, or the FUN way…” Valgoth slowly spun the magic hammer as he locked eyes with the dragon.

“I am Jahlvoraz, the flame of the forge! My line has been steward to this cathedral since the earth first spit the stout folk from the depths, and Minderhal himself dropped hammer to anvil.” The dragon reared up on its hind legs to a fearful height. Its crimson wings buffeted ice and snow before it, and it turned to steam within an instant, as the heat from its maw issued forth.

In the back, Dorian and Gage whispered their doubts on their course of action; their minds turned towards the potential for disaster should the forge be relit and fall to evil. Bor having seen dragons of the north before, saw the signs of dragon fear overtaking Fydon. The young rogue’s hand trembling as he struggled to hold his bow steady.

“What do you want? The forge will be lit, and the hammer will stay with us. We are willing to negotiate, but know dragon, that good will triumph this day” Cyrus said as he stood shoulder to shoulder with his dwarven companion.

“Yes, what could be bring you, as compensation for cooperation? Dorian chimed in hopefully.

The dragons eyes flared with fiery fury, as its fully opened its wings carried it aloft above the ruined tower.

“What do I want? A MEAL, worms!”


Smoldering embers spat from its mouth as Valgoth shouted the order for retreat. Not that his companions needed any prompting however. The party dove and ran for the relative safety of the stairs leading downward. The Jahlvoraz, seeing this, dove in for the kill on Cyrus who lagged behind. The huge beast came crashing down with its full force, driving a claw down on the paladin. The dragon let out a roar of challange, as it called upon arcane magic to bolster its already formidable prowess.

Thinking Cyrus to be pinned the dragon prepared to use the paladin as bait to lure the others in for the kill. But Iomeade be blessed, Cyrus was wedged between the flagstones of the ruined tower. The dragons claw, although above him, could not push its crushing weight or sharp claws passed the ancient stone. He could move, but was far from safe. And his allies knew this. “FOR GLORY!” Valgoth charged head on with his shield high and hammer spinning.

The dragon took a solid hit from Aggrimosh, and coiled around to sink its blade like teeth into Valgoth. Trading blows like this could not be sustained for long against a dragon, but the dwarf held his ground. Seeing this, Gage and Dorian hurled magic at the drake to only have the beast snarl at them; its primal essence affording it natural magical resistance. They would compensate however, by casting spells to safeguard their brave warrior companions.

Fydon seeing his arrows having no effect against the dragons tough hide, saw a different target. He let lose his arrows against the magical stones the dragon possessed, as Bor focused all his power to call waves of holy power down on the companions. The God Gorum would certainly favor such a brave battle against a mighty red dragon, and let his divine power keep their sword arms swinging true.

But the dragon would not be undone so easily. Jahlvoraz realizing Cyrus to be free, and Valgoth engaging him head on, preventing the dragon from moving in to kill the bothersome spellcasters, drew its breath in. For a moment, all was silent- then the fire erupted across the tower. Valgoth rolled into a covered stance behind his shield, as Cyrus lay prone just under the deadly flames. The fire swept across the ground, forcing those on the stairs to hunker down. The heroes had survived the brutal assault, and grew even more determined by this. Valgoth raged forward landing a crushing blow to the dragons jaw, as Cyrus swung his blade, empowered by the grace of Iomedae into the beasts flank.

The battle raged on with dragon fire, magic, and weapons reigning down. The divine power of Gourm flowed, as the other spellcasters safeguarded the warriors, until at last the final blows drove the dragon back until it slumped down, dead…

Part 10: Cathedral of Minderhal

“The map ends right ahead, boys…” Valgoth said with a grin, as Fydon’s mouth dropped open at the prospect of the riches within.

The heroes prepared at dawn , sharpening blades, tightening armor straps, preparing arcane powers, and praying to their gods. This was the culmination of weeks of perseverance, and they would not stumble now. The wind swept field before them was a daunting sight; moving across a snow white field would make them targets for whatever evil lay ahead behind the great wall surrounding the mountain entrance.

Alas, as usual, Fydon needed no prompting to head out alone to survey get a closer look at their goal. The half elf darted from bush, to snowdrift, to rock with grace. Had the party not been intently watching his progress, they would surely have lost track of the rogues movements. Even still, had Fydon not signaled back an all clear, they too would had been oblivious to his location once he settled in.

The smoke to the north showed no sign of and immediate danger, and the muddy tracks in the ice and snow heading south along the mountains at least showed that a large force had recently left the walled mountain stronghold; but for how long? There was no secure route to take that was obvious, even after Gage reached out with his powers of vision. The way in would need to be direct to avoid lingering in the open, where none of the party had the same knack for remaining unseen as Fydon.

Jogging forward as briskly as they could, they knew it was inevitable that their approach be noticed. The blare of a great horn broke the silence of the snowy plain, and from the great gate ahead the beastly sentries made themselves know. A hill giant hoisted the large portcullis, as hobgoblin longbowman readied themselves at his side. The truly horrific danger was a two headed beast known as an ettin, strolling out to all but block the gateway with its massive girth.

There would be no melee; Dorian would not risk open combat before reaching a more advantageous position. The arcanist reached into his pouch to draw fourth one of the alchemical black rattlecap mushroom components. Drawing on his power and that of the fey mushroom, Dorian let loose a fireball of magnificent power. The spell melted a path of snow from the field as it sailed directly at the guardians of the gateway. Within an instant the hobgoblins were no more, and the ettin dropped, still smoldering. The giant dropped the now flaming pile of rubble that was the portcullis, and fell back in a shriek of fear and pain. The way was clear, or was it?

Coming from the North like phantoms from the snow, a line of riders appeared. Hobgoblin heavy cavalry assumed a charge positon and lowered their lances. Astride a behemoth wooly rhino, the commander led the way as they barreled forward, shaking the very ground beneath them. “Scatter” was the echo screamed by several of the heroes, yet one did not. Dorian, still holding the fey mushrooms, began the same incantation as moments before. Again a great ball of flame flew from his outstretched hands towards his enemies. The great blast was just as massive as the last, but the enemies were better suited to evade the fiery explosion.


The line of cavalry broke, and the three riders to the left of the commanders were annihilated by the explosion. The remaining riders pressed on through the flames continuing their deadly charge, and scattered among the heroes. The hobgoblin commander and his great beast stayed on course, and met the cleric Bor head on. The lance skewered the battle priest, as the artic rhino trampled the brave cleric underfoot. Bor’s blood left the snow crimson around him, as he grasped his holy symbol, voicing a prayer to Gorum to heal his faithful. Bor would not die without a fight.

The remaining horsemen likewise lanced at the scattered heroes, inflicting dire wounds and charging past to circle around for another strike. The advantage still belonged to the hobgoblins, but the party was not without options. The blast from the fireball had forced them to break their line, leaving them singled out among the party. This allowed a much needed counter attack, which came without pause. Valgoth lunged out with the hammer Agrimmosh, crushing through the armor of one rider to fell him. Cyrus assumed a defensive posture, almost daring his enemies to attempt their charge again.

Spells flew, blades swung, and soon the field was still once more. The grunts of the wooly rhino almost muted the sound of Fydon piercing the throat of a downed adversary, as Cyrus looked at the rogue coldly. The displeasure with the rogue’s callous disregard for honor was visible in the paladins eyes. “We need to clear the field immediately” Valgoth barked, as if trying to clear the tension between his comrades.

The great entrance to the mountain complex was ancient carved stone, the runes around it denoting prayers to Minderhal, god of the stone giants. This was clearly a place holy to stone giants, and was indeed ancient, as the runes dated to the great giant kingdoms of antiquity.

It took half the party to shoulder the great doorway open, revealing the massive cathedral beyond. Awe inspiring stonework created a giant sized temple, complete with a massive domed ceiling, pews, and amphitheater. A grand stone statue of Minderhal stood watch along the far wall, while a great anvil and forge dominated the cathedrals center. The forge was cold, and a reservoir of hardened slag ringed the platform. Its magical aura astounded Dorian, and Valgoth too sensed its power. Valgoth was haunted by blinks of visions and a swelling of power in his hands; the forge called to Agrimmosh…

The heroes investigated the forge area, and the grand statue as well, which revealed hidden door at the base of the statue. During the discussion, Fydon took it upon himself to check the far areas of the massive cathedral. He investigated a stairwell that descended to a dark chamber choked with flies; the room divided by large drapes. To one side were large barrels, and to the other were a pair of sleeping giants. Fydon decided to take matters into his own hands, and drew his rapier. He stalked over to the larger male giant, and drove his blade into its thick neck. With a roar and gurgle of blood, the giant rose in a frenzy, waking its mate. Fydon began to flee, but the long arms of the brute grabbed him before he could make it to the stairs.

The bloody hulk squeezed with great strength and slammed the rogue to the cold floor, while his mate moved in with a large rock. “Hold it steady, I squish with rock. It die” the ugly female grumbled as she cruelly grinned. The rock smacked into the half elf with a wet crunch, as blood sprayed from Fydon’s face. The giants laughed as the female lifted the rock yet again for another deadly blow.


Without pause or fear, Fydon’s party charged into the chamber, engaging the giants with ferocity. Quickly, Dorian cast an enchantment on the weak mined brutes, causing them to lash out at each other. The unforeseen consequence however, was the feeble minded creature used Fydon as a weapon to do so. Now free from the grasp of the male, Fydon staggered away as the warriors moved in and cut down the pair of giants.

Gage began to heal the gravely injured Fydon, just as Cyrus became furious at the rogue. The paladin had enough with his fellow’s irresponsible actions, as he felt the jeopardized the entire party. Bor stood firmly behind the paladin, as Valgoth lend his support to his long time companion. The debate eventually ended, but both walked away with cold eyes for the other.

Moving forward, Bor ended the debate by entering the staircase hidden within the statue of Minderhal. The party quickly regained their composure and followed suit. The passage led below the dais and forge area of the cathedral, and an oval chamber housing the belly of the great forge lay before them. But the chamber was not without an occupant. Lit by numerous candles, an elderly stone giantess kneeled as she worked metallic powders into runes on the floor.

“In times now lost, my ancestors built the sacred forge in the cathedral above to honor He Who Makes and Unmakes. Minderhal’s Forge is a repository of awesome power, but long have its fires lain cold. Only with Minderhal’s great hammer, Agrimmosh—which I sense in your hands— can the effects of long ages be unmade and the flames restored. I, Etena, am Keeper of the Forge. I inherited my position from those who walked this world before me, and those before them. I am the guardian of the sacred forge, but I am not its creator. Were that the case, I would have long ago renewed its fire, but this task is beyond my ability. You, however—you, the bearers of the Hammer of Unmaking—you have the power to relight the forge".


The stoic giantess went on to speak of the duergar that have come to this land seeking the power of the forge, and it is they that brought the hobgoblins. She seemed forthcoming with the heroes in her statements, in that she wished to see the forge relit once more. Agrimmosh was needed, but so was dragon fire, which she claimed the duergar possessed. She bid the heroes return to her with the power of dragonfire, and she would assist them in the task ahead.

Armed with this new knowledge, the party was invigorated with purpose once again. They began to sweep the cathedral in search of where these duergar were held up, but instead found more giants within a feasthall. The giants were so perplexed at the entrance of the party, that they met them only with confused stares. This was all it took for the heroes to gain the upper hand, and they flew into an all out assault on their foes. Valgoth and Cyrus fearlessly strode towards the hill and massive frost giant, but Fydon, overzealously hurled a smoke stick at the towering frost giant. The smoke choked the air, but did indeed give pause to the giant as Cyrus attacked.

Valgoth began his trained maneuvers of giant fighting, using traditional dwarven techniques for battling the oversized brutes. Bor summoned creatures of fire to assist the paladin, and Dorian and Gage harnessed spells once more. Quickly, the frost giant was slain under the assault, and the remaining hill giant, fearful for its own life, pointed the party towards a far doorway in exchange for its release. It fled through the doors back into the snowy valley, as the heroes nodded at each other’s efficiency in combat.
“Together no evil can stand against the righteous” Cyrus said, as he glanced at Fydon.
“See, he loves ya after all” Valgoth exclaimed as he slapped the rogue on the back. “Now tighten your boots, we’ve duergar to chat with”…

Part 9: Keep on the Borderlands

The cold winds and snow swept through the valley as the party questioned their captive, with the ancient keep just ahead. Through charm magic, Dorian was able to coerce the hobgoblin to give some information, vague as it was, about what lay ahead for the group. They gave the defeated warrior his gear and sent him back the way they had come, and moved in on the keep, now known to them as Vraath Keep.

The stronghold was indeed ancient, and bore the scars of a furious battle long ago. Collapsed walls, ruined towers, and remnants of the siege littered the grounds around the keep. The snow provided some cover as Fydon moved into position along the front of the ruined gates. A lone sentry was spotted atop the parapets, but it was unclear who or what it was.

The rest of the group followed in behind their rogue companion, with the warriors Cyrus and Valgoth skirting around the side of the keep towards a collapsed wall. Gage and Dorian cautiously followed, awaiting Fydon to lob his fire flask over the wall as a lure to any would be defenders of the keep.

The alchemical weapon flew easily over the old walls, and its fiery contents did indeed ignite. The heroes waited, as the sentry, now seen to be yet another hobgoblin, moved in to investigate before seemingly leaving his post to move in for a closer look. Fydon quickly moved in through the ruined façade of the entry tower, surprising the sentry as it descended from its post. A hard thrust from his rapier pierced the hobgoblin thoroughly, not giving it a chance to yell an alarm.

The others took the opportunity to enter the keep as well, with the warriors finding entrance into a chamber through yet another ruined wall. This chamber was unlike the exterior of the keep, in that the fire burning in a pit, and the furnishings were home to more hobgoblins. Before the creatures could protest, Valgoth and Cyrus dispatched two with deadly strikes. The remaining two began to rouse from their cots, but were cut down before they too, could sound off. Valgoth made to secure the chamber,moving to a closed tower door, while Cyrus wiped the gore from his blade.

The paladin had a moment of pause while he considered his actions. Was this how a high born knight was to act? Was slaying a foe in its bed within the code of righteousness and honor set fourth by the paladins of Iomedae? He stared at the corpse of the hobgoblin, but was roused by Valgoth, “they’d be slitting your throat without so much as a thought!” and motioned for the paladin to regain himself and take position.

Breaking the locked door free with a crowbar, the warriors entered the tower chamber to find it unoccupied, but lived in. Gage and Dorian had circled around the abandoned courtyard to join the warriors, just as another door on the far end of the barracks burst open! Hobgoblin soldiers flanked a minotaur, and accompanied by viciously fast undead engaged the heroes.


The minotaur charged Cyrus, knocking him clear across the floor, crashing into the tower chamber. Before the beast could wheel its great axe around to face Valgoth, the dwarf spun in his heels crushing his adversary with an uppercut swing from his magic hammer. The crack of the minotaur’s skull was followed by the thud of a second blow that knocked the creature to the ground, dead.

Spells flew as the hobgoblins and zombies moved in, and Fydon found himself entering right into the fray. Trying to dodge free of the melee proved too difficult as the hobgoblins stabbed at him as he fumbled for his blade. Fydon and Gage both were pressed into melee, just as Dorian magically repositioned himself and let loose a fireball that scorched his enemies, turning the tide of the battle.

This battle raged, and alerted several more hobgoblins which chose to flee astride their dire weasel mounts. It would seem that the hobgoblins would escape to give away the position of the party, but Dorian was not done. Calling on the power of his magic rod, he empowered yet another fireball to the fullest of his potential to drop the escaping foes. Fydon rushed in to ensure they were indeed slain, and watched a lone weasel mount run off into the snowy valley. Hopefully no other humanoid forces found the riderless mount before the party vacated the region.

With the keep clear, the party began business as usual and investigated the chambers for answers and supplies. With practiced eyes, Valgoth found a hidden staircase with the aid of Dorians spell sensing powerful magic below. Indeed a long hidden chamber had not been disturbed by the humanoids that took the ancient keep as their own.

The lone chamber was now an unlikely tomb for a dwarven warrior that succumbed to his wounds here long ago. Still gripping his magic blade, the dwarf also wore the secret keys to this treasure chamber. Coins, historical documents, and a superbly powerful staff were some of the valuables the dwarf gave his life to keep from his ancient foes before sealing them away. A dwarven citadel with the marks of Janderhoff here in the Mindspin mountains? Things were indeed looking like the treasure map was leading to something important. Perhaps the forge the hobgoblin spoke of was also of ancient dwarven make?


There was no time to linger, and the snow was not slowing. Covered in new furs, and armed with the knowledge that giants walked among the hobgoblins at the behest of cruel dueregar, heroes came at last to their destination. A massive structure carved into a mountainside lay just ahead. Campfires glowed in the distance, giving away the position of yet more foes. The party would need to move cautiously from here on, lest they bring down the full force of humanoids on them. This “cathedral” was the end point of the map, but must not be the end of the heroes….

Part 8: The Battle of Hobgoblin Pass

The heroes pressed on through the mountain valley, heading south towards the unknown destination on the ancient map. They stayed true to the most direct route, not veering off on the numerous splits in the valley. It was midday when the group came across a curious sight before them, and sent Fydon to investigate.

Here among a briar patch, and hanging from some nearby trees, were what appeared to be the remains of slain dwarves. Fydon moved in cautiously, and seeing no immediate danger, the rest of the companions moved in. The dwarves were clearly taken down recently by blade and bow, and 2 of the bodies were hung from trees, possibly as a warning to others.

Valgoth and Cyrus began to cut the hanging bodies down, while the others prepared to light a pyre to burn the fallen. It was here where the calmness of the valley turned to a battle cry, as a small force of hobgoblins sprung from their well hidden positions. Without warning a flurry of crossbow bolts swarmed the warriors Valgoth and Cyrus, as more sinister alchemical firebombs were lobbed towards the other heroes. The trap was sprung!

Upon the nearby hill, the sinister giantess that had escaped the party a day earlier oversaw the assault; flanked by hobgoblins possessing divine magic. Her well armed and disciplined hobgoblin warriors had positioned themselves well, hidden behind rocks and within the bramble patch. Others with swords, spears, and more gruesome weapons moved in to create a perimeter while their comrades let loose their bolts and fire.


Fydon drew his bow and began letting magic arrows fly, but his targets were well defended. Valgoth and Cyrus pressed on towards the closest position of enemies, and were met with heavy fire and a coordinated defense. Bolts sunk deep into his dwarven shield, and glanced clean off his thick armor; Valgoth moved in like siege tower covering his allies advance. Cyrus, seeing his chance opted to take a flanking position, but was quickly met by hobgoblin warriors, halting his advance.

Dorian and Gage took cover, but were enveloped by the vicious firebombs the hobgoblins had unleashed. Gage was forced to retreat, seeking cover in the trees, while the flames took Dorian down- but not out. The arcanist had fire of his own, and rolled from the clinging flames of the alchemical fire, to unleash a fireball towards the hidden bramble bunker.

The fireball exploded within the ranks of the hobgoblins, setting the bramble patch and hobgoblins alike, aflame with arcane fire. Several of the beasts were overcome, while others writhed in pain, looking to extinguish the flames that overtook them.

The heroes pressed the attack against the dire odds, and the warriors began to thin ranks of hobgoblin vanguard with hammer and blade. It would have seemed in that moment that the heroes would recover from the initial assault, but it was not the case. Boulders flew overheard, hurled by the giant, now known as “Gristlecrack”, as heard from the hobgoblin commanders using her name. The hobgoblin clerics also hurled dark magic into the fray, as a second group of warriors flanked around the flaming bramble patch to engage the spellcasters and the rogue.

Fydon ducked, dodge, and rolled away from the counterattack; still managing to let fly arrows as he evaded his pursuers. Gage and Dorian were forced to defend themselves, and were overrun by the menacing brutes. Seeing this, Cyrus called upon Iomedae’s magic to goad the hobgoblin commanded to face him in combat over all others. The paladin turned his attention back towards his allies, and during this chaos Valgoth continued to press on towards the crossbow nest that was targeting the party.

His hammer knocked the hobgoblin line open, but before he could break their position, dark magic enveloped the dwarf. Darkness overtook him, and the warrior found himself struck blind by the evil magic. Alone and surrounded, Valgoth could hear the bloodthirsty growls and laughs of his enemies. He backed up, forcing the brutes to come at him head on, and was able to defend the first slashes and stabs. But hobgoblins were no mindless beasts, and Valgoth could hear them moving through the trees to encircle him.


The battle raged on, with spells on both sides being hurled effectively. The evil clerics summoned columns of flame, and ghostly weapons to harry the party, while the foot soldiers pressed their advantage. The party managed to regroup behind Cyrus’ defeat of one of the hobgoblin officers, and with the aid of magic began their counter attack in earnest.

Fydon took to the sky, flying high above the melee, where his skillful aim was not hindered by the hobgoblin defensive positions. Dorian and Gage began to heal their wounds, and then turned their spells towards aiding their allies, and it was desperately needed. Cyrus seeing an opening in the ranks, moved deep into their position, only to fall prey to a deadfall trap. His situation seemed grim, and he called on Michael the archon servant of Iomedae to his side.

With most spells hurled at the evil clerics, one was used timely in aiding Valgoth. With the magical blindness lifted, the dwarf raged towards the remaining cluster of hobgoblins surrounding their trapped prey within the pit. From within the deep pit, Cyrus watched a hobgoblin drop to his death beside him, seemingly stepping into the deadfall as if possessed? Most certainly magic of his allies! Others howled as the were felled by hammer strikes, with the last being skewered by a diving blow from a still airborne Fydon.

The bloody and beaten heroes formed up, and with all of the hobgoblin foot soldiers and archers slain, began to advance on the enemy leaders. Gristlecrack landed solid hits on those heroes within sight, and the clerics’ powerful spells shielded them well from harm. The gap would need to be crossed, or the party would not be able to hold.

Beaten but not downed, Cyrus and Valgoth engaged the clerics blow for blow. It was a devastating exchange, with the hobgoblins holding their ground thanks to their many layered enchantments. Hammer, sword, arrows and spells, came at the villains without pause. The first cleric collapsed dead on the hill, and at the sight of this, Gristlecrack downed a potion yet again, and evaporated into a foul mists to be carried off by the wind.

The now abandoned cleric, wide eyed with fear, found no quarter from Valgoth. The warrior shouted a dwarven call for justice as he crushed the skull of the final enemy, avenging his slain kin. The battle was over, and the valley was once again deathly quiet, save for the crackling sounds of burning brambles, grass, and trees.

The smoke loomed large in the clear sky, and Valgoth warned to post haste in gathering valuables from the dead. Surely all within the valley could see the dark plume of smoke, and within the cradle of the mountain walls, sounds of battle would have echoed far.

The fallen were well equipped with masterfully crafted arms and armor, and magic was also in no short supply. This was no rag tag band of raiders to be sure. Gage investigated several fallen enemies looking for anything noteworthy, and was startled….

ONE STILL LIVES! Its wounds are fatal, but it draws breath… for now”

Valgoth raised his hammer, to be calmed by Cyrus and Dorian. Valgoth knew why they stopped his hand; better to pry information from it, than to continue forward blindly. Fydon on the other hand, simply said “ask it where they keep their loot…”

Part 7: Melfish

The Wave Dancer reached Melfesh with haste, and without incident. Captain Lyssa made it clear to all, that the shore leave would be but a single evening, as she had decided to continue East along the river to the Mindspin Mountains. It was the least she could do for the party, and admittedly craved for some excitement herself. If the party was on a quest for fortune and glory, she would see to it that the bard’s songs mentioned the ship Wave Dancer!


The restocking would be no bother, and Captain Lyssa strolled off for some time to herself on dry land. The Mindspin Mountains lay within sight to the East, and with it the great City of Janderhoff. The heroes would reach its legendary walls within 2 days, and from there, the true adventure would begin.


Crowded around a candlelit table, the heroes rolled the bloodstained handle of Valgoth’s hammer relic along the incomplete map. The overlay of blood seemed to drunk in by the ancient leather, and the details of the map became clear. Now all that was left was to decipher its secrets….

Valgoth slammed his tankard down on the table- " TO JANDERHOFF…. AND GLORY!"

Part 6: Haunted Halls

The party entered the watery cave cautiously, and spread out among the debris within. Fydon quickly moved towards the rear near a wrecked ship, and discovered why captain Lyssa had called these the haunted shores. An apparition formed from the very waters, attempting to drown the rogue, and the companions sprung into action. Dorian and Gage surmised that the restless spirit was linked to the corpse within the wreckage, and with a blessing, the group move on from the haunt.
The next obstacle was more familiar, yet still confounding to the group as the magically trapped entrance revealed this was no ordinary cave. Moving forward, the cave became stone halls. Curiously old and odd chambers spread our beyond the doorway, and still even more spirits were drawn to the life force of the heroes. Wraiths, monstrous zombies, and an insidiously wicked ghost assaulted them at every turn.
The deeper the adventurers explored, the more clear the picture became to them. They were within the ancient refuge of a Thassilonian mage, that seemingly was attempting an arcane ritual to cheat death and become undead; become a lich.
It had appeared that the ritual failed, or perhaps was thwarted, yet the soul of the mage persisted within the subterranean ruins as a ghost; a ghost that harried the party at every turn. Even after leaving the tunnels, the ghost and the undead it commanded, followed the heroes to their ship.


A host of undead assaulted the ship, seemingly after the magic hammer Valgoth looted from the ruins. Its value was far greater than they had expected; the ghost stopping at nothing to reclaim the artifact.
Captain Lyssa however, was adamant in not allowing the heroes to continue in the journey East while a vengeful spirit hunted what they possessed. After heated debate, the party was sent ashore to either rectify the haunting, or continue on as they please without the aid of Captain Lyssa and her superstitious crew.
One final foray into yet another entrance of the expansive cave network had led the group to come across a mass grave, as well as the resting place of the would be lich. Ancient dead, water elementals, and the ghost itself assaulted the party is waves. The fighting was vicious but swift, as the combined might of the heroes vanquished the undead and expelled the ghostly spirit the netherworld.

Upon exiting, the cool air of the lake was calm; the storm seemingly dissipating as if linked the hatred of the undead within the ruins. A break in the clouds revealed a welcome sunset, and the sails of the WAVE DANCER, anchored just off of the coast. A rowboat was moored on the rocky beach below where a clearly impressed Captain Lyssa stood.
“Something told me to have faith in you; something I had left of, until this moment. The storms end heralded your return, my friends. It would be in bad form to leave you stranded here, and my crew informs me that a pox would certainly befall us if we did. Well done lads”


And so the Wave Dancer hoisted its sails, the winds heavy behind her. With smooth water and full sails, Melfesh would be seen sooner than expected. Lyssa and her crew’s demeanor had changed to one of respect. During the 2 days to Melfesh, the entertainment of the night was a barrel of ale being tapped, while listening to the heroes tales of adventure!

Part 5: Eastdown and bound

The group had spent many days resting and pursuing their own interests in Wartle after returning Turra home safely. The celebration was long lived, and the down time welcome. But as always, there were other interests to be da, and more adventure to be found. Wanderlust called…

Several members of the group sailed to Nybor, north of Wartle to stretch their legs. While there, they learned that the owlbear threat was indeed real, and the fabled menace Featherclaw was quite real. After an offer of bounty was made, the heroes decided that other matters called to them, and left this matter to itself for the time being.

On their return to Wartle, they learned that Turra has set off in search of answers to his dilemma of this “Fellnight Queen” and likewise so had their companion Enril. Both left to follow their own paths as their faith had dictated, so the party had decided to move on without them. But with every loss, a gain is to be found. In this case, a wanderer. A odd fellow named Gage sought out the group, Dorian in particular, and explained his travels to them. Gage was what was known as an oracle; a seer of what is to come, and his destiny had guided him to Dorian and his companions. Seeking only to walk the path of his visions, Gage pledged to accompany the group as one of them.

Valgoth had acquired an old map, believed to be of dwarven make, from Breeg the smith. A deal was struck, and plans were drawn; the expedition would begin immediately. The course of action decided on was to travel far east to the citadel city of Janderhoff, where the group was hopeful more information concerning the map could be found.

Pattson and young Ruppert yet again assisted the party with passage on their river barge upstream towards Whistledown. Whistledown was a small yet thriving town on the west shore of Lake Syrantula, a massive freshwater lake of unknown depths. The bounty of fish the lake provides, and its connection between major Varisian cities have made it well travelled and home to several settlements.

On the third day of travel, the danger of the Mushfens reached out one last time, as if to remind the heroes the bog would not suffer them to pass. The barbaric boggards of the fens, cruel frog men, swarmed the barge as it passed a narrow in the river. The beast men assaulted the barge on all sides, with the aid of two large crabs holding the vessel fast in the river.

The fight was fierce with both Pattson and Ruppert being gravely wounded during the initial raid. The boggards swarmed Cyrus as he attempted to rescue Pattson, and almost overtook him. With aid from his archon guide Michael, and his fellow Fydon, Cyrus was able to fend off the creatures.

Valgoth took to the stern of the ship, engaging the boggards head on while Dorian and Gage unleashed spell after spell to safeguard the vessels from the swarming savages. And through steadfast determination, the tide came to favor the party, sending what few enemies remaining diving back into the murky depths of the river.


Whistledown was not Wartle, this much was clear. Whereas Wartle was a quiet town, and generally civil, Whistledown, or at least the docks and their locale, were rowdy and unwelcoming. The tavern of “The Mad Bunyip” was full of gruff, seaworthy fellows that drank swill by the gallon. A quick trading of words with the barkeep, and a few dropped coins, left the group with the scantest of information regarding where they were going, but did somewhat reaffirm a vision their new companion Gage has foretold.

Cyrus, as always, sought out to use his cordial ways to book a new vessel, seaworthy enough to cross the great expanse of Lake Syrantula. However, Cyrus was not prepared for Captain Lyssa. A breathtakingly beautiful half elven woman was the last thing he expected; and a sharp and stern captain too boot no less. She did agree to terms with the paladin, and once the rest of the companions arrived, Captain Lyssa found herself in the middle of a discussion of barter.

Despite Fydon’s best efforts to impress her, captain Lyssa was steadfast in her price and how far she would go. She eventually agreed to take the party to the desolate stretch of beach along the shores of the Fenwall mountains, but gave warning that only one days time was all she would wait. Anchoring in a stormy cove, believed to be haunted and curse, was not something she was willing to risk for too long.


The storm that surrounded the beach was like no storm any of the heroes had ever seen. The howl of the wind was lifelike, and the purple hue of the lightning strikes bathed the shore in an eerie shroud. The rocky beach was slick, and gave way to sheer cliffs of the Fenwall mountains. The stink in the air was foul, and seemed to pour from the cavern opening beneath the statue ruins that was their destination.

It was here that the rumors of this cove became truths. Scampering out of the rocks and fetid tidal pools came the undead. Ghouls, scavengers of the dead, blocked their way, only parting for their foul champion. An armor clad warrior of darkness, brandishing a massive horsemans axe, strode from the cavern ruins atop a feral giant boar. Both rider and mount sent chills down the spine of all who dared look. And with a gesture, his pack raced forward, tongues hanging from their vicious maws, as the fog grew dense around the beach, lending a foul energy to the undead.


The two groups collided in a blitz of fury. Fydon unleashed flame and lightning from his magic arrows, one after another into the creatures as Valgoth stalked into their midst shield high, his hammer pulverizing the bloated flesh of the ghouls with each swing.

Gage and Dorian fell back, recognizing the fog for the evil spell it was, calling on their own magic to aid their allies. Spell after spell was hurled at the undead champion, but the creature shrugged off the brunt of their magical assault.

The battle raged on, with Cyrus, however outmatched, holding his ground under the brutal attacks of this ungodly warrior. With dark power guiding its strikes, the ghoul knight struck down the paladin, and wheeled his fiendish mount next towards Valgoth. The dwarf and the ghoul traded blows, while the new companion Gage rushed to aid the fallen paladin Cyrus. Valgoth did his job of holding the line, until the brave dwarf succumbed to the unholy magi empowering the ghoul knight.
Dorian and Fydon continued to harass the ghoul knight, and finally felled the fiendish boar, dropping the anti-paladin to the stony ground. And as the undead creature began to rise, Cyrus, healed through divine magic of Gage, struck down the creature with holy power. The battle was over…

Yet now the question loomed… what lay before them inside the ruins of the sea cave?

Part 4: Once more unto the breach...

The time had come to set off to the Leadbelly mines, and the party was prepared after two days spent in Wartle. Stocked well, Pattson and Ruppert ferried the heroes south through the swamp towards the location Ygritte Leadbelly marked on maps of the area.

Upon reaching the site, Valgoth and Fydon took to the task of scouting the entrance. Their caution was justified, and Fydon quickly did away with deadfall traps guarding the tunnel leading below. With some magic, Dorian was able to manipulate a counter-lever that disabled the traps for good, which put the party at ease.

They descended through the narrow, sloping tunnel and were immediately set upon by the most curiously foul creatures. Spriggan gnomes, that had been “infected” with an odd malady with caused them to grow vile, poisonous growths of plantlife from their very skin. The warriors rushed in, and even as the evil fey began to grow to giant sized beasts, they were cut down in timely fashion. The magical sword Valgoth had reforged proved its worth.


Venturing deeper still, a more curious cave revealed strange growths and amazingly large beetles normally found in the deep. It was here that the party knew the evil within these warrens was calculating and plotting their deaths. A illusion masked a trap to lure the party to accepting one of the blighted fey into their group, disguised as Turra Natal. The group saw through this and dealt with the beast easily.

The final cavern they entered was massive, and what seemed to be the lair of the fey. Neither side held back, and within moments, spells were hurled and blades lashed out. Fydon peppered the fey with arrows while Cyrus and Valgoth moved in to engage their enemies. The spriggans here were all but taken out of the fight under the combined magic of Dorian and Enril, and even the great cat Diego tore through his adversaries, taking out the rust monster they fey had released to defeat the parties mighty warriors.

The battle was all but won, when an eerie song began to echo throughout the cavern. Its haunting melody began to muddle the thoughts of the heroes, with Dorian, Fydon and even Cyrus falling under its magical lure. It was then the horrid visage of a satyr that was blighted by some evil corruption entered the fray. The monster quickly commanded those under its spell to turn on their allies, and so they did. The battle was out of control and about to turn against the party when Cyrus heard the plea of Enril to spare his companion Diego from his blade; and this cry gave Cyrus the strength of will to break the spell. Cyrus instead swung his sword at the satyr, gravely wounding it. And this opening allowed Valgoth too, to land a vicious blow that sent the fey into retreat.


The creature dove back into the filth from which it came shouting one last threat “we shall never return to our prison!” and was gone…

Turra was indeed here, held within a cocoon of fungal growths, as was his boar companion. The day was won, Turra was rescued. But what now….

Part 3: The Drake, the Witch, and the Mushrooms

Ever pressing forward, the party closed in on the location of the forest drake within the western reaches of the Mushfens. Believing they would surprise the draconic beast, the party prepared an ambush at its lair with magic and traps.
However the drake was no mere animal, and became well aware of the groups presence within its abode. Dorian called forth phantasms to lure the drake into the waiting trap, but instead the keen eyes of Enril saw that it was THEY who were being ambushed! Immediately, spells were hurled, and warriors rushed in to counter the drake’s attack on their flank.
The drake, as most dragon kin do, spat its vile spittle towards the onslaught of arrows and bolts being hurled its way, but was struck down within druidic spells ensnaring it to the ground. Under a steady barrage of magic and might, the beast fell to a final smite of holy power by the Paladin Cyrus.
Returning with the head of the drake to present to the woodsmen, the second task to resolve the matter of the Coachwood Pond was acquiring the magic tokens to restore the felled trees. Melianse the nixie wished the party to venture to the cottage of the witch Old Beldame. And venture there they did.
The witches home and appearance were appropriate to a sorcerous hag of a woman known to all as a witch. The old crone clearly had become less of a human and more of a creature of the First World over her years, and her magic seemed to as well. The oddities she displayed, such as her animate scarecrow, and odd trinkets were unsettling to most of the party.
After a rigorous haggle of requests and offers, the witch bade the party to retrieve rare components for her- yet another task! Alas, the group needed to comply if they were to help Melianse as promised, and the set off towards a landmark now known to them as the Mud Bowl, armed with the knowledge of the guardian here was a powerful monstrosity of the First World; a TENDRICULOS, a carnivorous plant with alien intelligence.
And it was here that things went wrong; horribly wrong….
Knowing full well the beast was within the mud pool, Fydon agreed to be the one to collect the valuable “Black Rattlecap” mushrooms, growing so dangerously close to the deadly mud pool. And so they approached, weapon and spells at the ready, with Dorian firing the first salvo of magic. The beast roared to life, towering to a size unthinkable by the brave warriors at the vanguard of the attack. The bravely strode towards the creature to allow Fydon precious time to reach his goal, but were all dropped low by the poisonous nature of the very valley in which the Mud Bowl festered.
Valgoth and Enril both succumbed to the vile air, but Cyrus fought through the pain to engage the beast- but the tendriculos was a ravenous predator and quickly lashed out with its powerful and horrific maw, snatching up the paladin and forcing the brave warrior down its gullet. The great cat Diego leaped to his aid, only to be likewise be overpowered by the massive creature.
With great apprehension, Dorian hurled magical fire from his enchanted necklace again, and again, damaging the beast enough to free the tiger. All looked doomed, as other spells were failing, and the melee was decidedly going against them, when Valgoth roared back into the battle still spitting bile from his beard as he rushed towards the tendriculos with reckless abandon. Again and again Valgoth swung his dwarven hammer until the deadly creature was felled like a perverse tree.
Without hesitation, Valgoth continued to eviscerate the monster and pulled brave Cyrus from its foul gut. They day was won, but the victory was paid for with blood. All the heroes were gravely wounded; in spirit if not in body. Cyrus and Valgoth cleaned themselves off as they debated the points of the battle, each learning hard lessons from the experience.

The battles had been fierce, and the journey arduous to say the least. The quest at hand to find the druid Tura Natal still stood, and Melianse was eager to help. Revealing the true power of the Coachwood Pond, she allowed the party to pass through the Fey Crossroads within, magically spiriting the heroes from the cool waters of the pond, to the spring within the town of Wartle.
The group was home for the first time in a tenday, and now had a clear understanding of what lay ahead of them. These “mines” the Leadbelly dwarves had discovered had been much more than mines, and whatever they allowed to enter the surface world from the Darklands, had its hand in the druids disappearance. They would prepare, gather their strength, and finally set out with tools and knowledge needed to return Tura Natal to the lands that needed their druid.


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