The Moonshaes

Prologue
In which our heroes become acquainted

Featuring: 
Aimon Kompetant, the wizard who was almost drowned by evil seaweed
Corry Brightsea, the bard who is good out here
Grick, the warlock with an uncanny sense of direction
Taznyl, the fighter who is never getting on a boat again, thanks
Vala Thogrun, the cleric who can spot a kelpie at 20 paces
and guest-starring Lily Highflower, the royal brewmaster who is trying really hard not to cry over shipwrecked strawberries.

Five adventurers set sail for Caer Callidyrr aboard the Obedient, a Ffolk vessel en route from Rogarsheim. Although all of them headed to the capital for their own reasons, they found themselves bound together by circumstance when their vessel was smashed by the Leviathan, an enormous whale. Finding themselves shipwrecked a mere 20 miles from their destination, the five adventurers – alongside Lily Highflower, the royal brewmaster who was injured in the calamity – set off for the capital on foot. 

They headed for the nearby fishing village of Swadlecote in search of aid, only to find the tiny hamlet deserted. While its inhabitants had clearly packed up and left some time ago, some mysterious creature had clearly been there recently. A statue of Valkur that stood watch over the village's cemetery had been grotesquely defaced. After dispatching a pair of giant badgers that had set up their den in one of the abandoned homes and doing their best to restore the shrine, the party set forth aboard one of the abandoned fishing boats. 

Following an unfortunate incident with a giant crab, the crew headed ashore to repair their boat when the came across the remains of the unfortunate crew of the Obedient. They had been drowned and partially consumed. A stray horse wandered nearby; Vala correctly identified the beast as a kelpie, a nasty shape-shifting fey that drowns and consumes its victims. The party battled the creature and easily dispatched it. They spent their evening giving the dead a proper burial at sea, and set out again the next morning.

They soon came across an ancient shipwreck where an evil sea hag had made her lair. They tried to convince the evil fey to leave, but finally the ugly creature attacked. The ensuing battle was quite short, and the five adventurers were able to easily defeat her. Traveling farther west, they soon came to a ridge from which the capital was easily visible, and made their way to the gates of Caer Callidyrr.

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Book I, Chapter I
In which the adventurers are given a task

Upon arriving at the capital of Callidyrr, Lily Highflower led the party to the city's keep, where they met with the High King, Derid Kendrick. Despite his impressive title, the castle of Caer Callidyrr has fallen into some disrepair, and the king seemed stressed by the pressures of running his kingdom. Nonetheless, he was very grateful for the safe return of his brewmaster, and rewarded the group with another task and the promise of payment if they could successfully complete it.

He told the party that an ancient prophecy had recently come to light, regarding five lost temples of The Earthmother, a local deity revered by the Ffolk. He explained that many of the events in the prophecy had begun to occur – including goblin attacks in the Dernall Forest, the disappearance of the Great Druid, and an astronomical phenomenon in which the Tears of Selûne precede the moon rather than trail it. According to the prophecy, it was essential for these five temples to be found and rededicated to the Earthmother.

The five adventurers agreed to undertake the task, and set out early the next morning for the village of Lehigh, where the king had suggested they begin their search. On the way, they spotted a goblin ambush and rescued a woodcutter from Lehigh who had been taken captive by the goblin forces that were terrorizing the town. After this fight, Corry found a small, well-crafted toy soldier puppet the goblins had clearly stolen.

Continuing to Lehigh, they heard a commotion some distance off the road. After heading into the bush to investigate, they found a large group of goblins attempting to subdue a majestic white stag and capture it in the name of something called "the Great Gark." Upon dispatching the goblins, the stag gave its blessing to Grick in thanks for their part in its rescue, and set off into the woods. Grick immediately sensed that the creature would later return.

Upon arriving in Lehigh, the party found that the small village had been besieged by a large force of goblins. Their leader, a shaman, was conducting some kind of a ritual to raise the corpses of goblins killed in the fighting, summoning spirits to inhabit their bodies and continue their campaign of terror throughout the forest. Corry and Vala made quick work of killing the shaman, while the rest of the party picked off the goblin guards and worgs that accompanied her.

The villagers were extremely grateful for their rescue and offered the adventurers places to stay in their homes until athe next step of their journey became clear. Corry was able to return the lost toy soldier to a local girl named Trawlindy, who had lost her parents in the attack. She was extraordinarily pleased to have the toy – made for her by her father – back in her possession.

 

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Book I, Chapter II
In which the adventurers build a great, great wall, which the goblins will pay for

Quick notes

Current quest: Find and reconsecrate the five temples of the Earthmother for High King Derid Kendrick
XP received: 550 XP
Total XP: 1460 XP
Loot: 4 silver badger collars (worth 25gp each)

Adventure Summary

The adventurers found themselves in Lehigh, a small village in Dernall Forest that had recently been subjected to a goblin attack. Fifty-four of the towns 284 residents were killed in the attack, including most of the town’s council, the royal guard stationed in the village and many peasants. The survivors were extremely grateful for their rescue, and offered their saviours lodgings until a sign appeared to guide them to the first of the five temples of the Earthmother.

On their first night in Lehigh, Grick received a vision from their patron, a vision of winter turning to spring, only to be obliterated by a coming wave of darkness. They sensed their patron’s desire to avoid this fate, and received a new aid from the Frostmother: a familiar in the form of a white pseudodragon.

The following day, the party did what they could in Lehigh. Corry accompanied Forje Le Goff, the only surviving member of the town’s council, to inspect his lumber mill, and also entertained many of the village’s children at their fort by the stream. Vala tended to the wounded at the town hall, including Saxi Welde, a Northlander with an infected wound that cost him his leg but fortunately not his life. Welde’s husband, Asmund, and the town’s healing woman, Mona MacAuley, were extremely grateful for her assistance. Taznyl repaired weapons at the town’s small garrison and gave lessons to a promising young soldier named Devus. And Aimon’s research into the notes he received from the High King garnered some clues that could assist with their search for the temples.

That night, Corporal Eazelle Farwynn, the highest-ranking soldier left in Lehigh, requested the group’s assistance in constructing a palisade to defend the town from future goblin attacks. The next day, the party worked together on the construction of the palisade, and were able to secure lumber for the wall, devise a method of fireproofing it, and locate or create the remaining materials required. Leading the townsfolk, they were able to complete a majority of the wall before evening, when a strange astronomical phenomenon caught their attention.

Looking at the sky, they saw that the tears of Sêlune, the comets that normally trail the moon, were for the first time in living memory actually preceding it. They recognized that this was one of the signs mentioned in the prophecy, and Grick then spotted the silver stag the party had rescued a few days early, and immediately sensed the animal intended for them to follow it.

The party followed the stag through the woods, although they were interrupted by an ambush of hobgoblin assassins and giant badgers. In the ensuing fight, Corry was knocked unconscious and nearly killed by Aimon’s ill-considered used of the Thunderwave spell in close quarters. They successfully defeated the hobgoblins and their badgers and soon came to the entrance of the Temple of Life.

After dispatching a krenshar and pair of giant weasels that had made their home near the temple, the party made their way inside, where they found a series of toppled statues and frescoes depicting scenes of a life well-lived. They soon realized this was a magical puzzle trap, and the trap’s magical energy again knocked Corry unconscious, but fortunately the solution was included in the notes Aimon had discovered.

Solving the puzzle healed the party of their wounds, and they were able to venture deeper into the temple …

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Book I, Chapter III

Quick notes

Current quest: Find and reconsecrate the five temples of the Earthmother for High King Derid Kendrick
XP received: 940 XP
Total XP: 2400 XP
Loot: Golden pendant of the Earthmother (worth 100 GP), Smith's Ring (allows the bearer to cast Mending 1/day), Silver Hairpin of Exaltation (contains 4 unreplenishable charges of the Bless spell (1st level)), engraved spyglass (worth 500 GP), gems and coins (worth 150 GP), ancient manuscripts (worth 500 GP).

Adventure Summary

After being healed of their wounds by a magical energy, the quintet of adventurers headed north, to explore a breach in the wall of the temple. There, they discovered a colony of giant ants, the remnants of an ant-hill that had mutated as a result of hundreds of years spent between planes. Or at least, most of them did – Corry spent much of the battle attempting to open the temple's other locked doors. He rejoined the group in time to assist with dispatching the second wave of ant warriors.

After defeating the ants, the group discovered an large silver emblem of the Earthmother half-buried in one of the cavern's walls, and returned it to its proper place in the main antechamber, hanging from a chain attached to the ceiling.

Heading into a room to the west, the adventurers discovered a pool of shimmering, clear water, with a hint of gold at the bottom of the pool. A debate followed about whether to enter the pool and retrieve the potentially valuable object. Vala eventually decided simply to reconsecrate the pool by pouring moonwell water into it – a good move, it turned out, since the pool was home to a trio of angry lesser water elementals, who were grievously injured by the holy water. The ensuing battle was quite short thanks to the purification of the pool, and they were able to retrieve the gold pendant at the bottom of the pool.

They then headed for the last room of the temple, a place of mourning where those who lost friends and loved ones could grieve. The room was haunted by four grief motes, undead spectres that could pass beyond the walls of the room. The group realized that the rooms walls were insubstantial to those who had taken damage in combat, allowing them to pursue the shades until the spirits' eventual defeat.

With the temple cleared of monsters and reconsecrated to the Earthmother, the adventurers set back for Lehigh, where they found the palisade completed and new reinforcements arrived from neighbouring villages. They also received some dire news: goblin attacks were widespread throughout the forest, and many neighbouring hamlets and thorps had fallen to attacks like the one in Lehigh. They also learned a little more about the mysterious "Great Gark," the unknown entity believed to be in charge of the goblin forces, reputed to be from beyond the Material Plane and a magic-user of some distinction. They rested awhile in the town before being approached by an irate pixie named Jext, who was concerned by a building that had appeared out of the mists in his glade. Corry bought a loaf of bread.

The sprite led the adventurers to the glade, where sure enough, a large edifice was gradually materializing out of the ether. Unfortunately, a large pack of wolves and wargs had also gathered in the glade, and they beset the group until for several tense seconds until the temple finally materialized completely in a flash of light, and the party was able to enter.

Rooting around in the rubble of the temple, Taznyl came across an ancient journal belonging to someone named Lexinova, a high-ranking member of a group known as the Order of the Gleaming Night. Taznyl was able to break the journal's code and uncover several hidden passages which would prove useful later on. Approaching the altar at the centre of the room, Vala attempted to deduce the role of the crescent moon buttons upon its base. But when she touched one, the group was attacked by an angry wraith who planned to have the group join her in death. 

After a protracted battle, Taznyl was able to deduce that the spirit belonged to Lexinova, the woman mentioned in the journal. Hearing her own name shocked the wraith into stillness, allowing Grick to deal the killing blow and finally put her to rest. The group rested in the temple's main floor before returning to try and find their way deeper into the temple …

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Book I, Chapter IV
In which the party makes strange new friends

Quick notes

Current quest: Find and reconsecrate the five temples of the Earthmother for High King Derid Kendrick
XP received: 650 XP
Total XP: 3050 XP
Loot: Amulet of the Crescent Moon (more information below), Failbhe (more information below).

Adventure Summary

Taznyl and Vala pressed the two crescent moons on the base of the altar, opening a hidden staircases that descended into the darkness of the temple. As the party headed down the staircase, the stairs and room beneath were lit by magical moonlight, and they were greeted by three doors: one, to the west, badly decayed and falling down; a door to the north with a carving of a halberd impaling a wolf; and a door to the east with a crescent moon and a circular hole embedded in it. 

Corry approached the door to the west, which immediately disintegrated when he went to push it open. Inside, the party founded a disoriented pixie named Ingrin, who claimed to have been locked in the temple for 600 years. The party noticed there was something a little odd about the faerie, who seemed disoriented and unfocused, and often twitched intermittently. She had locked herself in a prison holding an ancient, malevolent wolf in order to escape from Lexinova, the wraith the party had earlier defeated, and begged for the adventurers to open the prison door and kill the wolf inside. The party became suspicious of her odd behaviour, and Aimon remembered something from the king's notes which encouraged the party to first seek a relic of the Earthmother before approaching the Wolf. They left Ingrin to her own devices and returned to explore the rest of the temple.

Heading north, they found an enormous chess-board presided over by Failbhe, a sentient halberd who tested their skill in battle by trying to kill them. Further complicating matters was the room's switching gravity, which frequently caused some party members to fall to the ceiling or the floor. Despite incurring numerous injuries from the room's gravitational fields, Corry fenced gamely with the sentient weapon while the rest of the party focused on moonbeam-blasting statues and pelted the halberd with spells. 

After dealing a great deal of damage, Failbhe admitted defeat and chose to bestow itself upon Corry, due to the bard's uncharacteristic bravery in combat. 

The weapon's hilt also unlocked the final door in the temple, where the group found a box made from moonlight. Corry approached the box and was able to open one of its six locks, but the group was set upon by magical statues that emerged from the murals, and whenever a statue fell, another would emerge from the wall to replace it. Corry and Grick were knocked unconscious as the rest of the party struggled to defeat the statues and open the box. It was Taznyl who finally unlocked the box's final seal, receiving a blessed amulet of the Earthmother that granted her the knowledge of how to reconsecrate the temple.

Returning to the wolf's prison, Aimon attempted to cast an illusion that would trick Ingrin into believing the wolf's door had been opened. However, the pixie was wise to the spell and hardly even noticed it, though she continued to beg for the party to open the door, while giving Taznyl and the amulet a wide berth. Taznyl opted instead to reinforce the wards upon the door, locking the Wolf within away for another 600 or more years. Ingrin immediately seemed to shake off some kind of fugue state, and thanked the party heartily for successfully rescuing Alaron from the Wolf. She had been possessed by its spirit for hundreds of years and with the wards reinforced, was free to leave the temple and return to her home without its evil influence. 

Important Loot

Amulet of the Crescent Moon
Wondrous item, rare

While wearing this amulet you are cloaked in a soft light that only shows itself at night. The glow is as powerful as torchlight, and it can be turned on and off with an action.

When the moonlight is glowing, you can reroll a Wisdom saving throw against a spell. This power recharges after a long rest.

The Amulet also has the power in it to reinvest the wardsof the Wolf’s prison.

Failbhe, the Sentient Halberd
Weapon (halberd), rare (requires attunement by a creature it has accepted as worthy)

You gain a +1 to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. It has the following additional properties.

Wolf Slayer. Failbhe scores a critical hit against wolves, werewolves and the Wolf on attack rolls of 18+.

Dancing Halberd. Once a day Failbhe can take to the air and dance about in battle. Failbhe acts on its wielder’s turn and can do the following for 1 minute:

  • (1/day) Spinning Halberd. Failbhe starts to spin and makes an attack against any adjacent foes. It uses the attack and damage modifiers of the creature it is attuned to.
  • (1/day) Defender. As a reaction, Failbhe can add 2 to its wielders AC against one melee attack that would hit them.

Sentience. Failbhe is a sentient neutral good weapon with an Intelligence of 14, a Wisdom of 11, and a Charisma of 14. It has hearing and vision out to 30 feet and can speak and understand Common.

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