Frontiers of Red Oak

Sorcerer of Red Oak
Three months ago the Patriarch of the temple of Solan (god of rulers, Law and the Sun), in the nearby of City of Solanport died. He was buried in temple mausoleum in the local cemetary. A few days ago a group teenaged youths went to the cemetary and on a dare one of them (Jaden) entered the mausoleum. He opened the coffin of the patriarch and removed a ring buried with the cleric. Unbeknownst to anyone the ring was a powerful magic item – Ring of Djinni Summoning. Once back in Red Oak, Jaden soon learned of the magical properties of the ring. As the master of the ring Jaden asked the Djinni to make him more powerful so the genie awakened Jaden’s innate sorcerous abilities. Jaden had a lot of fun with his new found ability to summon small creatures to torment unsuspecting people. Jaden summoned tiny fire elementals to attack the adventurers staying at the Ox and Oak Inn where he worked. The fire elementals were quickly dispatched and the fire was put out. The next day Jaden followed the same adventureres to the local market fair and summoned several monsters. These were quickly dispatched and an observant party noticed Jaden and his friends watching the monsters but not running in fear. Jaden’s friends found this situation funny until the party of adventurers confronted Jaden. At which point Jaden’s friends fled the scene. In response Jaden summoned the Djinn to defend himself. The Djinn being a goodly creature used its major creation spell-like ability to imprison the adventurers in large wooden crates, while Jaden tried to summon more monsters. The party’s Druid had his wolf companion disrupt Jaden’s spellcasting while the rest of the party tried to take Jaden down. One of the party members ran for the help of the local wizard. The wizard Corvus attempted hold monster on the Djinn but it failed. Bow fire from the party ranger, fighter and rogue, incapacitated Jaden shortly after that. The Djinn ceased its attempts to imprison the party in wooden crates when Jaden’s life was threatened. The ring was removed from Jaden’s hand and given to the Djinn who destroyed the ring and gave the party with several barrels of fine wine (using its major creation and create wine spell-like abilities). The Djinn then departed for the elemental plane of air. Jaden was turned over to Wizard Corvus who took him to local guard barracks. What will happen to Jaden? Will he return to plague the adventurers of Red Oak again? Or has he learned his lesson about fooling around with powerful magics? Only time will tell.
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Return of the Ring
Having defeated the upstart sorcerer Jaden, the party met a dwarven Diviner. The dwarf agreed to accompany some of the party to the mausoleum in Solanport to return the remnants of the patriarch’s ring. Upon arrival at the Solanport cemetary the party quickly found the tomb used by the church of Solan. Validor the party lock expert quickly gained access to the crypt. Once in, the party determined which of the sarcophagi contained the newly buried patriarch. They opened the coffin and saw a nicely preserved body of the cleric dressed in his splendid robes of office. The cleric animated and climbed out of the coffin. The party druid quickly tossed the remains of the ring of Djinni summoning to the ghoul. Upon return of the ring the ghoul returned to its inanimate state. Satisfied that no more dangerous items were left unprotected in the mausoleum they returned the cleric to this coffin and resealed the crypt. The party then proceeded into Solanport to report to the new patriarch what had happened in the Red Oak and the cemetary. Patriarch Kheldar, new patriarch of Solan, was unavailable to meet with the party so they left a note detailing what happened. Will this note come back to haunt the party. Will Patriarch Kheldar take kindly to the party meddling in church affairs and breaking into their mausoleum? At the least we can expect additional security at the church’s tomb.
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Trouble in the Forest
Upon returning from Solanport the adventurers spend some time finding out what is happening in Red Oak. They hear that the Blue Drake Trading Costar is looking for guards and that one of the local lumber mills has been having trouble with their logging operations. One of the logging camps has been attacked and one of the lumberjacks was seriously injured by arrow fire. Interviewing the lumberjack they learned that persons unknow attacked the lumber camp without provocation. The party examined the arrow removed the injured lumberjack. It was a masterwork crafted arrow with an unusual feature. The arrowhead was made from sharpened animal horn instead of metal or stone. Attempts to find out additional details from the mill foreman fail. Management denies that anything is wrong. Careful interviews of the staff at the mill revealed that something is happening out in the forest but no one at the mill seems to know what. The party departs for the scene of the one known incident. The adventurers find the lumbering camp. Signs of the attack are apparent. Several more of the mysterious horn tipped arrows are found. The camp’s cooking fire was extinguished and the animals released or stolen. Nothing in the lumberjack’s gypsy wagon was disturbed. The party then decided to check out other logging camps in the vicinity. The camp farther along the trail had also been attacked and these lumberjacks were not so lucky as to survive. The dwarven wizard sent his raven famaliar back to town to inform his dwarven friends that the lumberjacks had been killed. Unfortunately the raven could not make clear its message. Meanwhile the rest of the party decided to bed down for the night. The druid took the time to bury the lumberjacks. With the return of the wizard’s famaliar the party prepared to continue their investigation. An observant Druid and monk noticed the party was being watched. A Satyr was standing just inside the treeline. The druid greeted him cordially. The Satyr related that the compact of Red Oak, an agreement between the village of Red Oak and the forests local fey as to what can and cannot be harvested from the forest. The party tells the Satyr that the lumberjacks are not to their knowledge violating the compact. The satyr agrees to show the party his evidence. Turns out unknown to the party there were more satyrs in the forest. The satyrs lead the party a few more miles into the woods where a large clear cut had been made in the forest. A hundred or more trees had been indiscrimately cut down. Confronted by this evidence the party agreed to investigate and find out who the responsible culprits are and end their activities. The Satyrs agreed to give them 3 days. The party followed a trail out of the clearcut eventually finding a recently renovated fort deeper in the woods. Upon approaching the fort the party managed to gain entry. Inside they found a group of men inhabiting and rebuilding the fort. While no evidence of illegal lumbering is found except for a stack of milled boards, the dwarf tries to confront Gregor the leader of the fort. A short scuffle takes place and the wizard, druid and Milliken are taken prisoner. Validar the party rogue manages to ingratiate himself with the fort inhabitants and avoid being locked up. What will happen? Will the party be able get out of here or are they in deeper trouble then they can get out of on their own? We can only wait and see.
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Ambush on the River
The party was last seen trapped in secret outpost with what appears to be some nefarious characters. Validar has managed to ingratiate himself with the inhabitants and is invited to leave the outpost. The others continue to be held captive as a result of the Dwarf’s earlier actions. Validar and 8 others head down to the river where they board canoes and head downstream to the local ford. Meanwhile back in Red Oak, the Blue Drake Trading Costar has decided to take action against the brigands that have be harassing caravans and travellers along the trade road. Octavius and a group of 6 mercenaries pretend to be a trade caravan and head north up the trade road. At the ford Validar and the brigands attack the small caravan. Things do not go well for the brigands. Octavius manages to take down a few before he is defeated. With the help of the four hidden mercenaries the brigands are eventually dispatched. Validar and his brigand friend swam away and escaped. Validar decides to return to the fortress for his companions. While Octavius and some of the mercenaries begin the hunt for the brigands base of operations. Validar watches as the make their way upstream in search of the brigands trail. What will happen if Octavius and the mercenaries find the outpost? Can Validar get the druid, monk and wizard out before Octavius and his allies arrest them as brigands?
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Escape from the Brigand Fortress
Moving sleathily ahead of the searchers Validar makes it back to the outpost first. He reports in and manages to get the monk and druid released from detention but not the fortress. The poor diviner was however being tortured for information. Two brigands are dispatched to find out what the other ambush survivor knows and might be telling people back in town. While searching for the brigands trail Octavius and his group find an old mill on a small side river. Investigation of the mill finds evidence of recent repairs and use. Continuing up stream Octavius and his fellow mercenaries find the trail. They follow the track up to the outpost and observe it. They see the two brigands being sent to town. After discussing their options the mercenaries decide to send for help, follow the two brigands and learn what they can and keep the outpost under observation while they wait for reinforcements. Octavius catches up to the two brigands and interrogates them. They give some story about being woodsfolk who were trading with the outpost. Being the helpful cavalier that he is Octavius offers to escorts the men to their home. The brigands lead them to an old hunter’s cabin that has seen better days. Eventually the brigands give up their false tale and tell Octavius that they were taken captive by the brigands and forced to participate in attacks on caravans. Taking them captive Octavius returns to outpost while the others return to Red Oak with the captives. Meanwhile Validar, the druid and monk try to escape over the wall of the smaller tower. Unfortunately the guards on the adjacent taller tower are too observant and notice them trying to lower a rope over the side. Luckily they notice the guards. Quick thinking by Validar gets them out of a jam by convincing the guards that they are arguing about whether the shorter tower is crooked. The guards find this hilarious. Being unable to get out of the tower unobserved they decide to take a different route. Returning to the outpost proper they move upstairs to the room where the dwarf is being held captive. After engaging the guard in conversation Validar tries to get him to abandon his post but fails. So instead the monk stunning blows him and they tie up the guard and escape out the window. As they slink through the woods, the dwarf stumbles and Octavius observes them. Making himself apparent the party meets Octavius and form a plan to take out the fortress. The dwarf is in no position to aid them, being injured from his torture and out of spells. Validar sneaks up to the fortress and gets over the wall. Unfortunately the tower guards are too observant but Validar is a quick thinker. He convinces the guards that he has seen something wrong with the door and removes the bar. Returning to the tower he tricks one of the guards into leaning over to look at the door and pushes him over the side. This is the signal to Octavius and the others to attack. Validar is confronted by the remaining guard. Unfortunately he is no match for this guard. At this point the last tower guard raises the alarm. Octavius and the others make it to the courtyard and begin to confront the remaining brigands. The druid heads up the tower to help Validar. Between Octavius and the monk the majority of the brigands are dealt with quickly. Then the leader takes out Octavius with a simple magic missile spell. That left it up Milliken to take out the wizard. After trading blows Milliken eventually takes down the leader. Meanwhile the Druid tries to take out the last tower guard. When that fails he decides to revive Validar and double team the guard. Validar manages to regain his feet and together they manage to take out the last guard but not without Validar falling again. The druid stabilizes Validar and Octavius and the brigands. With the brigands taken prisoner the party searches for clues to what is happening. Letters are found implicating the brigands in a wider plot to disrupt local trade and begin a conflict with the local fey for violating the compact of Red Oak. Interrogating the brigands and their leaders get very little information. They receive instructions by letter from a mysterious character who signs the letters with a single R. The brigand leader has met R once and reports that he is medium humanoid who kept his face covered with a deep cowled cloak and smelled faintly of an abbatoir. Reinforcements arrive and the party returns to Red Oak with more questions than answers. The satyrs approach the party on the return and accept the evidence that the party has dealt with the immediate threat. The Satyrs warn that they will continue to keep an eye on things and encourage the party to continue their work in seeing that the rest of the conspiracy is dealt with swiftly. Who is the mysterious R and what are his plans and goals for Red Oak and the surrounding area?
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Trouble in Gryphondale.

After disrupting the brigands activity in Red Oak Validar and the other explored their options in town. While visiting the local gambling den, Validar learned that someone in the nearby town of Gryphondale is recruiting people for some nefarious purpose. The trip to Gryphondale went without incident. Upon arrival they learned of the various events occuring around the town. Validar met with his contact and was recruited. He moved to the brigands secret outpost. At the same time the Druid interviewed the local wildlife and discovered that an abandoned farmstead nearby has a negative reputation. He investigated it and discovered some skeletons but did not enter the farmhouse alone.
Validar joined the brigands in his first mission. The Druid discretely followed. When the brigands arrived at their destination it was discovered that the brigands intended to burn down two farmsteads. The brigands broke up into two parties. Validar and three others went towards one farmhouse while the remainder went toward the other. Validar’s group was attacked by a guard hiding in the barn. While Validar and one other brigand went toward the barn the other two went toward the farmhouse. At this point the druid broke cover and attacked the two brigands going to the farmhouse. The druid and his animal companion quickly dispatched the first two brigands. Validar managed to get to hayloft in time to incapaciate the teenaged guard without killing him. The third brigand left killing the kid to Validar and returned to the farmyard. Upon arriving in the farmyard the wolf ripped out the throat of the last brigand.
With this group taken care of the Druid and his wolf ran off to the other farmhouse where the local farmers were holding off the brigands. With the druid’s help the group defeated the brigands. The druid returns to town with the captured brigands while Validar returned to the brigand outpost to maintain his cover.
What will happen now. Will Validar be able to continue his infiltration of the brigand organization. Or will the mysterious “R” not believe his story. What’s wrong at the farmhouse?

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The Brigand Trap
Following the defeat of the brigands at the farmsteads, Validar returns to the brigand camp. There he is met by the mysterious R. R is revealed to be a human male named Rexlor. Rexlor is impressed that Validar managed to keep his head about him. Validar is told to gather what forces he could recruit and take them to a fortress about 2 days north of Gryphondale. Validar returns to Gryphondale and meets with Octavius and Milliken. The group formulate a plan. Octavius is to meet with the Baron of Gryphondale and try and get some men to infiltrate the brigand base with Validar and to attack it from without with himself and the others. Octavius manages to arrange his meeting but Baron Alister is relucant to go along without meeting Validar. A meeting is quickly arranged at the abandon farmstead the druid had previously investigated outside Gryphondale. Milliken preceded the Baron to the farmstead to make sure the coast was clear. The baron followed with a trusted gnome sorcerer. Validar not knowing who the Baron was and not seeing Octavian remained in hiding. Eventually Octavian arrived streaming the sigil of Gertierron from his lance. Needless to say the Baron did not like this as he was trying to keep a low profile on this meeting so the brigands spy would not hear of it. Validar told his story and they agreed on a plan. The baron would provide Validar with 5 trusted men he had recently recruited to help with the problems the brigands were causing. The gnome and an additional 8 would be supplied to Octavian for the external assault force. With their additional resources both groups head north. Octavius’ force manages to come close to catching Validar’s force but backed off once it appeared they had caught up to them. That evening both groups had nighttime vistors. Validar’s group saw a bear-like figure in the woods and chose not to poke it. Octavian’s force was set upon by a small group of goblins living in the area. The bear-like creature wandered off while the goblins attacked.

The goblins were quickly defeated and survivors interrogated. It was quickly evident that the goblins were just local monsters and not working with Rexlor.
The next day Validar and his men entered the brigands fortified manor house. Validar was in for a big shock. He was met by one of the brigands who had been captured in the farmstead attack that the druid disrupted. It was in fact the Ranger leader of that group who Validar knows was executed by Baron Gryphon. Yet this person addresses Validar as if he was Rexlor. It is soon learned that Rexlor has abandon his previous body because the stench and decay was getting to be too much. After being shown a place for his men to bunk Validar is given unrestricted access to much of the house.
Meanwhile Octavian and his group survey the manor from without and plan their assault. Validar meanwhile moves around the manor nonchalantly closing all the curtains in hope that brigands in the manor would be less likely to see Octavian’s forces attacking and give them extra time to attack from within.
Octavian times his strike to occur near the time he expects the outside guard to change. He personally dispatches one guard while the rest of his forces attack the manor proper. This is the signal that Validar and his group have been waiting for. They start attacking brigands inside while the others are attacking from without. The brigands are relatively easy to defeat but Rexlor appears more resilient. He creates magical effect without apparently spellcasting. Soon some of the party’s forces are dazed, standing confused or attacking each other. The Sorcerer drops and is revived by the cleric sent with Octavian’s forces. After a tough fight, Rexlor retreats back into his study where his body collapses and a tiny brain-like creature scurries away. Validar tries to attack it but it manages to enter a mouse hole and escape.
With the brigands defeated and Rexlor escaped the party searches and loots the house. As they are doing this a tall cloaked figure appears in the rooms the brigands were using as a common area. The Figure begins to talk but the party immediately attacks. As the illusion of the figure startles some of the party notice a strange tentacle protruding fromt the figures face before it disappears.
Who was the cloaked figure? Is it the force behind the brigands activities? What will it do now that it knows its forces have be compromised? What is Rexlor? What will it do next? Will it go back to its master or try something else? Only time will tell.

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Return to Gryphondale
The party returns to Gryphondale after being victorious over the brigands. After reporting their success to Baron Alister the party decide to see what was up with the abandon farm. Upon arrival there the party reinvestigated the barn and the skeleton of the dead horse. After satisfying themselves that there was nothing in the barn they moved on to the farmhouse. The sorcerer tried a disrupt undead spell on the skeleton lying on the floor. The Monk investigated the attic room while the other searched the main floor. Validar found a small stash of coins hidden in the fireplace. Octavian went into the main floor bedroom and discovered a body still lying on the bed. This body turned out to be a ghoul as did the one on the floor of the main room. The party dispatched both ghouls back to the grave. A search of the bedroom found the farmer’s stash of family treasures. With the undead dispatched the party burned the farmhouse to the ground.
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Back to Solanport
The party left Gryphondale and headed to Solanport in hopes of having some of the documents found on the brigands translated and have their treasures identified. At the church of Gertierron, Octavian made a large donation and got promise to translate the documents the next day. Unfortunately attempts by the priests to identify the items failed. The sorcerer took the items to the local mage’s guild and connived to trick an apprentice into identifying the items. The first apprentice was unable to do it so he continued looking until he found another who could. The next day the documents were translated. It turned out the items were written in Illithid. It also mentioned Rexlor meeting his illithid masters at a DeepEarth city called Deshergon. Needing more information the monk pursued hiring a sage. Unable to pay for the information he agreed to take on an investigation for him. It seems that his great grandfather had built a family estate outside of Solanport. Recently he hired workmen to rehab the house. The workmen departed for the house several days ago but attempts to contact them since have failed. What is going on at the Sage’s house? Will the Sage be able to uncover useful information about goings on in Deshergon?
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The House on the Cliff
The party departed Solanport to investigate the sage’s family estate. The trip there was relatively uneventful. The party encountered an owlbear while camping along the coast. Upon arrival at the sage’s house the Druid talked to some local crow’s who were less than informative. Approaching the house the party was set upon by the work crew who had been animated as zombies. They managed to dispatched the zombies. What’s going on at the house on the cliff? Will the party investigate further or will they return to Solanport?
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