Northern Reaches

Stirling, Ranger's Log 3

I have been shot, so I will be brief.

Looking into the disappearances of the serfs along plantation row, we learned that the Talglory lands had been abandoned for quite a while. Upon further investigation, I discovered fresh tracks leading to a barn, within which we discovered a skeleton animated through the dark arts and a strange dark-skinned man. The alert man attacked us, attacking me from a window with what first seemed to be an arcane tool, but was simply the exotic musket.

We have recruited a halfling sorcerer to replace our dead elf, and she promptly set fire to the barn. The dark-skinned man was slain attempting to escape, decapitated in mid-stride by one of our sturdy dwarves. As the barn burned down to cinders, we discovered he had a printing press and had been printing revolutionary tracts encouraging a revolution against the black sovereign. Typical political maniac. We agreed it would be best to blame the burning barn on him.

The dark-skinned man was not alone. As we were resting that night in one of the hovels that the peasants had been disappearing from, a second man fell victim to one of my well-placed traps. We captured and interrogated him, learning that he and his former companion were simply trying to cross this land for their own strange mission, and the man we killed was a bit of a half-wit.

This second man had a similar goal to ours, as the third member of their group had disappeared into the same area the peasants had. He had been occupying himself with a daft plan to lure out more skeletons with captured skeletons, including one held in a pit. We crushed this pile of bones lest it escape and run rampant among the good people on the plantations here, and proceeded towards the source of the trouble, a dark forest, encountering a horrible shack filled with zombie crows along the way that inflicted vile, but minor, injuries with their foul beaks.

This forest was clearly tainted by evil, as we immediately stumbled upon undead wolves, and our cleric was stricken with strange dreams at night. We encountered a hunting party of elves who explained the extreme difficulties their people had been suffering trying to live within this now-blighted place.

Pushing deeper, we encountered a small temple, with an empty pool and overgrown statue, of the god our cleric serves. He claimed that this was exactly what he had seen in his dream, and insisted that we do the work of the lowest of his order’s underlings, clearing scrub from a temple no one will visit as he re-filled the reflecting pool for I know not what purpose using one of the stranger magical tricks I’ve seen, shooting water from his hands. I hope he doesn’t expect me to drink that.

In the middle of this labor, we were set upon by a monstrous armored skeleton as well as more wolves. A life or death struggle ensued, but we managed to overcome the beasts (although not without significant injuries). As I sit down to rest my aching body, I remain unsettled by this whole place, especially that pool. There is something unusual about it.



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