The Rose of Cheldraen

Midnight Snack, Session 5


The tomb of the unknown goblin

Midnight Snack, Session 4

Everyone reconvened
went back to cave mouth
Bertand had a silly notion of expansion with heat (like, what is that?) from his days as a cooper
going off of this, he decided to start a bon fire in the cave mouth hoping to cause a collapse
On the way, Bertand and Thoraim are picking up log and dragging them with them.
Meanwhile, Sen grabs willow and runs off to find a bear with the notion that it could help drag the logs.
Meanwhile, Sen take off to go to the trade town looking for gunpowder to help blow up the cave.
After tracking down some bear tracks, they find a medium-sized black bear wandering about.
Sen casts Animal Friendship, and poof! he has a bear.
Upon arriving back, they had a decent start on the bon fire.
the bonfire, did not split the rocks.
They did however, accidentally discover how to make quick-lime!
After searching into their failure, Sen got a face-full and a lung-full of the salt acid, he tried to wash it off with water and made it worse!
His face started melting off, and his lungs were burning, and Bertand had to lay on hands to fix his face.
After a little experimentation, they discovered that the quicklime and water got hot enough to ignite a leaf.
New plan: heat more limestone and get more quicklime.
After much argument, a decision on a trap was made.
They created a framework of sticks, and stretched cut open waterskins to make makeshift buckets.
The buckets were filled with water and set to a trip wire.
Willow stayed behind to observe the trap, everyone else was set in town.
20 monsters came out that night.
7 of them got badly burned and fell to the ground, the other 13 ignored their wounded and kept running.
The party was all set for their usuall hit and run tactics.
Except that the 13 ignored all attacks and ran through the town straight towards the center.
Sen created water in the form of mist and took down a few of them.
They hustled back to the well and gathered water and splashed them as they passed.
They splashed twice before they got to the well.
At this point, Willow caught up.
Willow cast grease and delayed several, two made it out.
Willow whittled them down with buckets of water, as they tried to escape.
One got away and was trailing behind.
The monsters kept running straight, and heading out of town south
The party ran down the two in the lead, and got close enough to trick them into throwing their axes.
Tried to run them through with a spear like a lance,
As they hit one, Sen was carried off the horse, almost knocking off Bertand, and Dwindler had to take the reigns.
As they finally turned around and caught up, they killed the two.
The one in the back finally catches up, They managed to knock it out.
As per the apothecary’s request earlier, it was brought alive for him to dissect and collect a liver.
The Apothecary jumps off of the granary and feather falls to the ground, seeing this, Dwindler joins in the dissection and asks him to teach her magic
she gets a spleen
he sends her to get the heart of a skeleton.

Midnight Snack, Session 3

The next night was attacked again from the north, and the party was awoken by Tiron who spotted sparks in the sky and hopped on the horse again to ride and meet the incursion. Upon arriving, the party found that there were ten of them, this time marching in formation and straight for the town center. They attacked using the same type of hit and run tactics, except that they didn’t turn on their injured this time. Sen cast entangle, and trapped the majority of them in overgrown zucchini plants. Three of them broke free, though, and the party hit them with similar hit and run tactics, and arrow shots from afar and from horseback. Before the first three were fully dealt with, the entangle wore off, the zucchini plants shriveled up and withered, and the trapped monsters were now free. Chasing the party again, the party rode circles around the monsters, wearing them down with arrows. Another attempt at a rope trip was done, and one of the monsters grunted, and in unison all of them jumped over the rope, distinctly not tripping. After identifying the leader, the arrows were focused on hitting him. A particularly amazing shot hit him right between the eyes, killing him instantly. It was only a matter of time before the rest were finally dealt with down to the last man. By now, the arrow supply was near finished, so it was a matter of necessity to face him hand to hand. Dwindler hopped down first, and launched her spear, missing spectacularly. The monster turned on Dwindler, and Bertand stepped in the way to block him, fighting defensively. At this time Thoraim decided to hurl his morningstar frighteningly close to Bertand’s head in an attempt at hitting the monster, it missed, but it was spectacularly frightening. Bertand deflected his axe strikes, and Willow stabbed him with her short sword from around Bertand, delivering the final blow.

After looking down at the fallen foes, Willow states “I’m glad that worked, otherwise I would have had to use my Magic Missile.” Dwindler gets furious: “Are you KIDDING ME!?! You could have used that on the horse and we wouldn’t have had to get close at all!” Willow, deciding that her job was done now that they were all dead, walks away and goes to stay at the farm where she has arranged a stay. The rest of the party, angry with her, get to work cleaning up the bodies and retrieving arrows. After the bodies are stacked back into the granary, they realize it is quite full. So they gather all of the supplies and load it onto the cart. Dwindler then cuts one of the bigger one’s head off for her own nefarious purposes.

When the party finally finishes, they speak with Captain Tiron about where they can stay, since this is the first night they can actually sleep. Captain Tiron agrees to let them stay in one of the abandoned houses from the recent attacks. Dwindler uses cantrips to clean the blood stains out and they move the door to the lavatory to the front doorway. They all (except Willow) share the bed, and Bertand sleeps at the hearth so as to have his death screams be an early warning for the rest to get out, just in case they came back tonight.

The next day, the party gathers to seek out their trail westward to follow them to the source. They set out, leaving Thoraim behind to mind the horse. While moving in the forest, there is a rustling in the bushes. The party stops moving, and keeps a close eye out. After throwing a couple of rocks towards the bush, whatever it is runs away through the underbrush. The party does not pursue.

The tracks lead westward and slowly turn northward until they spread out as they reach the foothills of a mountain range. At the base of one of the foothills, they find a cave mouth, a narrow opening into the limestone of the hill. Bertand volunteers to go into the cave to check it out. They tie a rope around his waist and he descends into the caves. The caves are large and expansive, and after tugging for more rope a few times, it becomes apparent that he cannot find his way to the source quickly. returning, he gathers the rest of the party and they explore the cave system. Eroded out limestone caverns, there are many crevices and nooks that they cannot fit into, but neither can the monsters they hunt. They stick to the large broad caverns filled with stalagmites, stalactites, columns and guano. On occasion, they find chambers with random, erratically places boulders. After a while, they find a collapsed wall that leads to an old, underground river course that has long dried up. following one way the path continues seemingly indefinitely, they turn back to explore the other way, and it widens into a few series of larger chambers, but then disappears into crevices too narrow to traverse. They turn back to the long passage, and it takes them after a long period to a series of caves. These caves have even more erratic boulders placed.

random encounter with something
came to foothills of mountains
entered cave
limestone caverns with bats
ancient river tunnels
oh shit
run away
save me
owe the forest two favors

Midnight Snack, Session 2

The party spent the rest of the night resting and recuperating. In the morning, Dwindler and Bertand had a disagreement regarding how to reveal to the villagers their success. Bertand wanted to chock and awe the crowd by showing the bodies of the monsters to show that they were mortal and could be defeated. Dwindler worried about victims (such as the three year old survivor) seeing them and being scarred again. In the end, Bertand showed the corpses in all of their might and gruesomeness, while Dwindler went walking into the back reaches of the fields and practiced her magic conjuring illusions of giants and scaring the occasional peasant. The crowd was shocked, and inspired. Somewhere in the back of the crowd a little girl shrieks in horror, and a large man with a leather apron picks her up, glares angrily at the party, and carries her off. After free ale and food in the tavern, the party asks for volunteers who can cantrip to help in the detection of these monsters. Four volunteers step forward: two farmers, one young teenage boy, and the creepy apothecary. After sharing drinks and dwarf song from Thoraim, they agree to meet just before sundown and they go their merry way.

After a day of rest, study and prayer, the party gathers by the tavern as the volunteers arrive. The new plan consists of volunteers on top of the granaries ready with cantrips to send up sparks into the sky should they see anything coming. The party will pile on top of the large War horse and ride into the fray at the signal. The human should be able to see the sparks, even if the others can’t.

Early in the night, around 11 o’clock, sparks fly from the granaries in the north. The party mounts the horse, gnome on it’s neck, elf in front steering, half-elf in middle reaching back and holding the human who sits at back facing rear holding a bow and arrow. This time, there are six of the monsters. They charge straight at the party, and the party circles around them and draws them to the west of the village, firing arrows from horseback while moving, running ahead and stopping to get better aim, and moving again before the beasts catch up. A few hits and it became clear that they were turning on their injured and ripping them to shreds and devouring them. After a harrowing few minutes the arrow cache was running low, so the party sent back Dwindler’s spear to Bertand. Bertand tied a rope onto the spear, and stabbed it into the ground while maintaining a hold on the rope. Willow steered the horse around in a circle, and the rope was pulled up to the creatures at knee level. About half of them jumped over it, and the other half tripped and fell, then turned on each other. Continuing to lead the monsters, they followed the edge of town just inside the forest and kept the hits going. The monsters were ultimately taken down by the hit and run cavalry tactics. After gathering the bodies and putting them in Bill’s granary, the party and the volunteers celebrated their victory and there was more ale to share.

The next day, the party did some investigation into the monsters and their attacks. Sen went scouting to the north, the direction from which they last came. In his search, he found a light trail of recent trampling going east and west. He followed it east. The trail curved gradually southward, seeming to skirt around the town. After following it for several hours, he returned back to town. Bertand began questioning the times of the attacks and correlating them with the direction they came into town. Finally, a pattern to their attacks was discovered. All of the attacks from the north side of town came around 10-11 at night. All the attacks from the east and south came from around 12-1 in the morning. All of the attacks from the south and west came from around 2-3 in the morning. Added to the trail that Sen discovered, the party has concluded that the monsters must be coming from the Northwest, and are circling around the village so as to attack it from random angles.

Another night was spent watching for the monsters to come with the volunteers posted on the granaries. Captain Tiron and Bertand took turns watching through the night for sparks while the other party members slept.

Midnight Snack, Session 1

As our beloved expatriots travel northward into Kegruthorn, they once again are ambushed by the annoying kobolds. This time it was a tripwire that released counterweight boulders triggering a multitude of devices: 1) two nets that captured and lifted Sen and Willow and 2) a circle of staves pointing inwards in multiple rows surrounding the party were lifted up to about a 30% angle from the ground. Meanwhile, the kobolds assault the party with a hail of sling-stones. Bertand, the only one with a full helmet, pretends to get knocked out while Dwindler and Thoraim go lights-out. As the kobolds approach, Bertand rises and crushes them with his shields, chasing down the few that try to run away and smooshing them into goop.

Carrying on, our intrepid wanderers arrive in a small village hamlet. The village is quiet and without cheer. In the Tavern the party learns that there have been attacks in the dark of the night from unseen monsters. Willow and Sen take the horse to stable it somewhere, and are lost for a day and a half. Talking to the villagers, they learn that so far only one man has seen him, but he isn’t talking, Bill. They head to Bill’s farm and are greeted by Bill’s wife. They are a young couple, and Bill is catatonic. Bill’s wife, busy with the farmwork and caring for Bill, has neglected any cleaning chores within the house. Bertand uses his calming aura to settle him, and he starts to babble. “They only come out at night in the darkness, so we thought we could blind ‘em with light. We thought we could blind ’em. We went in there with quick-light torches and flash bombs. But it didn’t matter. Nothing matters. They don’t care that we flashed ‘em, they just kept coming as if we didn’t do shit. Why didn’t it blind ‘em? Why didn’t they care? They ripped them apart. They started eating us right there. So much blood, so much crunching…” When asked about what they looked like, he could only say “sharp teetch, white eyes, so much blood, so much screaming…” The wife tells them that some of the strongest men in the village went to follow their trail, Bill among them. And after a few days, Bill wanders back into town and hasn’t spoken a word since. That was a few weeks ago. During this conversation, Dwindler busies herself using cantrips to clean the house and the dishes while Bill’s wife is distracted.

Bertand, Dwindler, and Thoraim decide to host a stakeout and see if they can find any of these monsters in the night. They hole up on the roof of a grainery and stand vigil over the night. After a singularly uneventful night, they head back to the tavern to reconvene and have some food. Bertand gets an ale and crawls into a corner to take a nap. Dwindler and Thoraim go out to speak with Captain Tiron, a proud guard driven to drink by the last few months’ terrors. Captain Tiron quickly agrees to help upon hearing that they are traveling with a paladin, so Tiron, Dwindler, and Thoraim head back to the tavern to get Bertand, who had just finished his ale and has not yet had the opportunity to begin his nap.

As a group, they head to the site of the most recent attack, a farmhouse that has been utterly ravished, no survivors. The doors had been bashed in with large claws and axe cleaves. The damage is on the door heading into the home, the door to the bedroom, and on the bed frame and mattress. The bedroom is splattered with blood. No body parts were found or recovered. The site of the next most recent attack was very similar. One of the attacks examined was were the only survivor from a family of 7 was a 3 year old girl. Looking at the site, the farmhouse was entered in a very similar way, the blood splatter was all over the bedroom. Dwindler crawled under the bed to take a look where the girl hid, and saw blood stains throughout the floorboards where it dripped through, and on the thresh on the floor where it pooled, except for a clean spot in the center where the girl was, meaning that she hid while the blood of her family poured down on top of her from the bed above her. Captain Tiron states that she is being cared for by her cousin, the blacksmith, and she has begun acting like a normal healthy toddler and playing with other kids now. The party decides that interrogating her would be pointless and damaging. The attacks show no pattern, and come from all directions from the forest.

At about this time, Thoraim goes to check on the horse and the others, and Willow shortly returns to join the party. She immediately insults Captain Tiron in a rather rude manner. After sorting out their feelings for each other, Tiron excuses himself to return to his duties. Willow and Dwindler decide to search the bed for any bits of body. Meanwhile, Bertand decides that he really needs a nap, and curls up under the hearth. From there, he sees chalk drawings from a child on the ceiling over the mantle, pictures of flowers, rainbows, sunshine, people playing, etc. Moments later, Dwindler wakes him up (he hasn’t slept in bout 36 hours) to get his attention about something, and proceeds to get involved in a discussion of theory with Willow. Grumpily, Bertand asks what they woke him up for. In midsetence Dwindler raises a finger to tell him to wait a moment. Frustrated, he turns over ignoring them, and promptly goes to sleep. Willow and Dwindler finish searching through the bed debris and find two teeth and a small, irregular bone. Dwindler heads into the village to see if anyone can scry or find out any information from the remains. Willow, meanwhile stays and watches Bertand sleep like a creeper.

Back in town, Dwindler is pointed to the apothecary as the resident magic man in the village. She is utterly creeped out by his introverted, socially awkward, dry monotone conversation with little sense in his responses. Somehow deciding he is both useless and creepy, Dwindler leaves without having recieved any real aid from him. Bertand wakes up, momentarily questions Willow’s creep factor, and then the two of them head back into town to catch up with Dwindler and find out what’s new. Curious about the apothecary, Bertand goes in and talks with him. They purchase a salve that encourages healing and wound closing, and three small clay jars of high-intensity potpourri in a vinegar solvent that they could splash and hopefully confuse the senses of these monsters that they had concluded must be blind and rely on other senses.

That night, they do another stakeout. Bertand is on top of the Grainary at Bill’s Farm in the Northwest of town, Dwindler is on a grainary in the Southwest, and Willow is on a grainary in the Northeast of town. They have decided on a simple system to signal each other. They will cantrip sparks into the air, green for spotting a monster, red for an alarm for help. Late in the night, Bertand and Willow hear movement from the forest. Willow can’t see shit since it is beyond her 60’ range of Infravision, but Bertand sees them as ark shadows moving in the distance. He watches them come out of the forest from the north between his position and Willow’s. There are four figures and they are heading due south toward the village center. Bertand drops down and advances with a bow and arrow borrowed from Captain Tiron. He runs to get within range and sends up green sparks. Too bad no one else can see the sparks with infravision, since it’s further than their 60’ visual range. By the time he is within range and fires his first arrow, it is close enough for Dwindler to hear as well. He fires an arrow striking one, and they turn as a group an head straight towards him. Panicked, he runs away back to his grainary shooting up red sparks until his cantrips are exhausted. Too bad noone else in the party can see the sparks. Willow and Dwindler are running after the noise they hear. Bertand gets back to the grainary and climbs up, firing back at the group that is closing on him, killing one. Willow catches up enough to encounter the one fallen body and resolves to run past stomping on him to ensure he is dead. However, she screws up and trips herself, falling prone right on top of the body. Dwindler arrives to find Willow sprawled embarrassingly ontop of one of these creatures who obviously was killed by the arrow sticking out of him and not by Willow. The two of them quickly run to help Bertand. These monsters are humanoid with thick, scaly grey skin and wide, strong builds. They have pure white eyes and sharp teeth, and long, greasy black hair, and wicked claws. They are dressed in filthy rags and wield axes. Upon arriving, they find Bertand on top of the grainary firing arrows down as the creatures are climbing the ladder to join him. He has killed one more and set for a final stand. One strikes him in the shoulder embedding it deep into his flesh rendering it useless and limp. Bertand, knowing where the roof beams are, strikes the muddled thatch roof with all his might collapsing it. As he and the two monsters fall through into the grainary, he catches himself with his one good arm on a roof beam. Willow arrives at the top of the roof to aid him and Dwindler secures the lower area in case more arrive. The creatures rise and begun to climb the upright beams towards the roof. Willow casts grease on the interior of the grainary, and they fall to the ground again. Willow pulls up Bertand and the creatures begin climbing by clawing into the beams. Dwindler uses ventriloquism to create the sound of a human baby, and the one on the bottom goes after it. The one climbing willow sprinkles some of the potpourri on and it is repulsed and disoriented, but keeps climbing. Firing some of the last few arrows, willow misses utterly and as the creature reaches the top, Bertand light a torch and shoved it directly into its face. The creature howls in pain and keeps pushing through despite its face melting, then finally drops to it’s death. Bertand calls down to insult the one remaining whom has ceased to chase after the baby noises, and it deftly launches it’s axe the full 25’ up right at him, narrowly missing as he rolls out of the way just in time. It also begins climbing up the post towards the top. Bertand brings the edge of the shield down on its hand hard as it reaches the top, breaking bones, but not breaking through the tough skin at all. It howls in pain, and likewise falls to it’s death.

Willow runs off to get Captain Torin and Thoraim. Willow and Torin arrive first, and Torin rigs the pulley system at the top of the grainary to be harnessed to Bertand. He is pushed off to hang freely and is lowered safely, if a bit roughly, to the ground. The short legged Thoraim has now arrived and heals his shoulder as he removes the axe.

Dwindler, meanwhile had gotten they key to the grainary from Bill’s Wife, had loaded up the bodies on one of Bill’s carts, and wheeled ’me into the grainary and locked ’me up.


While passing through the forest, Bertand falls into a spiked pit trap, but is mostly unharmed because of his armor. The party is assaulted by 6 kobolds with spears and Dwindler, Sen, and Willow are seriously injured. Bertand and Thoraim manage to fight off half of them and scare away the rest. Thoraim gives chase while Bertand tends to the wounded. Thoraim runs down the exhausted kobolds and kills one while the other two split in opposite directions. The poor dwarf is now lost in the forest. Bertand blares his war horn and Thoraim manages to follow the sound back to the party. They hop into their horses and continue down the road.

Attracted by the sound of the horn, a group of 8 goblins ambush the party no more than 40 minutes later. They spring nets before and after the party on the road and hail sling bullets onto them, knocking out all but Bertand. Bertand feigns being knocked out. As the goblins approach the party, Bertand cantrips a flame under one of the horses and spooks it. Taking advantage of the panic he surprises the goblins and bashes in 3 of them. Scared, the goblins run. After rousing the rest of the party, they mount their horses and ride hard to the next town to get out of the forest.

After 2.5 hours, they get to town and begin to resupply. They trade all but one of their horses for supplies, spells, armor, new outfits and lodging. They all discard their uniforms and begin to find some work in town to pay their way while waiting for their armor to be finished. Bertand works at the cooper during the day and at the livery at night. Sen devotes himself at the local Church of Talsine and receives his vestments and has his holy symbol blessed (a georgeous piece of silver jewelry worth 600gp). Willow and Dwindler spend their time practicing their spells against unsuspecting objects throughout town. Thoraim mostly drinks and sings in the tavern.

After about a week, word has spread that Fort Valemont has fallen and the barony had fallen into Kelgruthorn occupation. The military forces march into town and the party lays low.

Considering that they can no longer cross the border south back into their original kingdom, they instead turn north to wander the new country that they have found themselves suddenly citizens of. Along the way, Bertand hopes to achieve atonement for his grisly murders.

The Battle of Fort Valemont
The Backstory

Party is conscripted to join the army of Cheldraen. Many of them have lost their home villages to the conflict, and some have been hapless travelers in the wrong place at the wrong time. As they train, they are a part of a company designed to lead the front lines against the Invasion of Kelgruthorn.

After Kelgruthorn captures Fort Valemont, an important trade route and military waypoint fort in the defense of the Barony of Valkafell, the company is sent in a as an ill-prepared wave of grunts hoping to take the fort through sheer numbers. The military commanders have apparently deemed the costs of attrition to be acceptable.

After the successful capture of Fort Valemont, the company of 1000 has been reduced to about 400 survivors. The approach of a full company from Kelgruthorn is imminent, and the Lieutenant in charge of the company plans a similarly bone-headed plan to hold the fort against the incursion. Deeming the mission to be suicidal, he prepares the troops and plots to abandon the fort just before the conflict.

That night, Private Bertand Cooper blocks him and his personal guard inside of the fort HQ, and set it on fire, burning them to death. In the leaderless aftermath, he rides the white flag to meet the army from Kelgruthorn, and negotiates a peaceful surrender of the Fort, allowing the survivors to leave without combat. Most of the company disperses to head back to their own homes, but Private Cooper and the rest of his squad begin to travel to the Capitol, Hillgrade, to turn themselves in to military judgment regarding their treason/desertion. The rest of the squad travels with him to support him.

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