Taking a break from the humdrum of the city noise Keth ventured out around mid morning, traveling out into the Northern Fangwood Forest. As the elf traverses the thick foliage, he quickly stops putting his ear to the wind believing that he has heard someone or some creature close buy. After a brief pause the forest went silent, the everyday sounds of the tiny woodland critters seemed to cease. As Keth stood there pain pierced into his back he was forced to the ground by a large and heavy creature. As the creature using the force of its attack continued for close to fifty feet before it came to a stop, turning to face Keth head on. A loud tree splitting “ROAR” filled the sky as Keth regaining his composure lifts his eyes to gaze on the thing that was able to surprise him. As Keth stairs into the cold blood thirsty gaze of this large Tiger in front of him the only thought racing through his mind was how could he possible get out of this predicament he has found himself in.
As the warm midday sun crests the clear sky, Qael and Paladin sit in the shadow of the large temple that rests at in the midst of the city of Tamran. It is a large Temple that takes up the entire block. This temple is the newest building in the city, built almost a year ago. This cult of Razmiris said to have been able to gain more followers and wealth as the weeks passed, since they first arived here in Tamran, especially for only just arriving in the city only 2 years ago as a small band of missionaries fixed on spreading this new religion from across Lake Encarthan. The temple sitting in the midst of the town square is encompassed by numerous shops from the lowly baker to the fancy jewelers. The streets have become crammed full of citizens of varying race, age, religion, sex, All traversing the streets going from one shop to the next. Scattered along the streets cloistered together citizens gather to exchange welcoming greetings, spreading the latest news or rumors that they have heard earlier that day.
Walking in to the middle of town the little purple gnome ducked and weaved his way through the crowd until, one in particular caught the eye of little Xugar. As he stood there standing by Qael, and Paladin, they watched as a person in a black robe stood for front preaching to the crowd, as the party gazed upon him they noticed his facial features were being obstructed by a strange Iron mask. As this self proclaimed priest began preaching to the masses on the street there were several of the same iron masked cloaked figure standing amongst the crowd, though they were cloaked in white robes, each preforming various acts used to amuse the crowd and keep their eyes upon the central figure as he preaches of the glory of Razmir. All along there are two other figures wrapped in gray robes dawning the same iron mask, moving amongst the crowds collecting various donations from the onlookers.
As Keth’ronae stands there face to face with the large Tiger he calmly inched closer to the beast, Humming a sweet barely audible tone, attempting to sooth his adversary. Once only a few feet from the Tiger Keth’ronae began softly talking to the large cat. Once Keth was only a few feet away, a large Paw swiped just inches from his face, as he quickly jumped backwards. With the distraction made the Tiger made off into the woods, leaving the Elf alone. After regaining his composure and collecting his things that fell from the initial attack from the Tiger, Keth made his way back into town.
As the afternoon moved into the evening the party made their way to The Forest’s Bounty Feast hall. The Feast hall is made from enormous timbers, The Forest Bounty is a long hall, open at both the front and back, filled with wooden tables and benches. Dozens of people gather here, eating, drinking, and laughing. One table of patrons even carries on with a bawdy song that seems to have most of the folk smiling.
As the party stand in the entry way of the feast hall, a strikingly attractive serving wench greats them, “Good evening good sir’s come in, find a seat, and join in the festivities.”
“Miss.. Do you know were we can find, Reginar Lacklan.” asked the dwarf.
“Ah… Yes he is around her somewhere.. Yes there he is over at the far table.” replied the lady.
Weaving their way through the crowds and between the tables, the crowd thickens as more people come into the hall, slowing the parties movement through the crowd. At the table before the party sits a robust man, wearing green and brown leathers and cloaked in a large bearskin. A longbow rests against the table next to him. He looks up with a hearty laugh, “Welcome, friends. I hear that you have been looking for me. I am Reginar Lacklan. Please sit, We have much to discuss.” As he sweeps out his arms in an inviting gesture as a serving maid places a tray of roast boar and forest vegetables on the table before him.
“So the rumor is that you have aided, Professor Lorrimor in escaping from an attack from a group of religious fanatics out on Lake Encarthan.” he exclaims between bits of roast boar. “My thanks to you. Come eat, there is plenty to go around.”
As the serving maid comes around taking drink orders from the party, Dag Malek looks towards Reginar “The Professor said that you might be in need of some help, so what kind of services do you need?”
“Ah. straight to the point, Very well then.” Reginar glances around the hall assuring himself that there are no eavesdroppers, “As you might know if you were roaming around town during the day time hours, there is a religious order dedicating themselves to the path of the Living God Razmir.” pausing a moment, taking a drink from his mug. “The cult of Razmir appeared in Tamran about 2 years ago, initially as a small group of missionaries. They soon raised the funds to build the a Temple, no dought you have seen the large structure in the center of the market place, it has been constructed about a year and a half ago.” as Reginar take bite of the veggies.
“The thing that concerns me is that power and influence in the city have grown ever since, and the local guards seem to pay them no heed, even going as far as to dismiss any reports of their foul practices. It seems as if the temple is paying off some of the guards to help protect the temple, and aid in watching out for thieves and intruders.” he continues. “Their actions out side of the temple come across as suspicious, even though the cult members go out frequently to aid the poor and proselytize. This just seems like a cover for some of their more illegal activities, I have been hearing reports and claims of the cult being accused of thievery, blackmail, and extortion.” Reginar goes on, “I have even seen some of these cult members beat a man within an inch of his life, claiming that the humble cobbler stole from the temple. All the while the city guards just merely stood there and watched as the event took place and did nothing to intervene.”
“So what is it that you wish of us?” replies Keth’ronae as Reginar pauses to take another swig of his Ale.
“Well… I would like you all to acquire more information on this cult. Currently we do not know enough about the cult or have the evidence we need to take any overt actions against them. I would suggest that you would have to find some way to infiltrate the temple. I stress that you use caution in your endeavor, even though you are investigating and searching for any illegal activity, if you are caught yourself doing anything illegal you will be subjected to the consequences of the law.” he exclaims.
“Very well Reginar, we shall get the information that you are looking for.” replies Keth’ronae.
“I shall be around, You will be able to get a hold of me if the need arises, I eat here about every few days. Otherwise we shall meet here in about 1 weeks time and you can relay what you have learned.”
With that the party finishes their meals and take their leave. The party travels back to their lodgings. As the party leaves passes buy the town center, the shadowy silhouette of the Temple of Razmir looms over the quite and dark streets. Taking some time to observe the outside of the temple as they passed buy it, they continued to their rooms.
Closing the door to their room, Keth’ronae securely locks the door. “Tomorrow I will go and scout the temple, observe their habits and patterns, seeing how we might go about entering this place.”
“Very well, I will see what I can do about making some arrows. Then I will come and join in scouting out the Temple around midday.” replied Dag Malek.
As the Early morning fog floats in from the lake, Dag Malek awakes, gathering up his newly acquired wood working tools, Dag steps out into the darkness of the we hours of the morning and heads out into the Fangwood Forest. After going fairly deep into the forest Dag Malek comes to a clearing were he spots a strong, sturdy tree. “This will work nicely.” exclaimed the dwarf, as he dropped his tools to the ground keeping the large woodsman axe in his grasp, he starts chopping at the base of the tree.
After several minutes of hacking at the tree, it finally fell into the foliage covering the forest floor. Walking over to the fallen tree he cut the tree into smaller sections. Once in smaller sections Dag sat on the tree stump, and using the rest of the woodworking tools began fashioning a set of arrows out of the wood.
As the early morning light began to shine through the windows of the bedroom, Keth’ronae stood there in the center of the room strapping on his gear as he readies himself for what lies ahead. The elf goes out into the streets and makes his way to the town center, the streets already starting to fill with people moving about heading to the various shops, to prepare for the days business. Keth find a bench circling a flower garden, and takes a seat and surveys the area. As he sits there the young elf covertly stacks out the entrance to the Temple of Razmir, trying to find out if there is any routine followed, lapse in security, or other opportunities to infiltrate the establishment.
After several hours of observing the entrance, Keth has noticed that there really is not any consistency in which these people leave the temple, Just that all of them are dressed in either white, gray, or black robes and all wearing the same iron mask. Upon realizing this he decides to pursue the next group that exit the temple. A few minutes pass by and another group consisting of a single gray robe, and four white robed individuals exit the temple and head towards the western edge of the city, making there way to a local leather tanner’s establishment, and enter into the building.
Once Keth’ronae reaches the Tanners shop, in a most discrete manner, the young elf attempts to enter in after the priests, only to be denied entry, finding that the door has been locked shut and the windows drawn shut.
“Interesting…” muttered the Elf as he listens closely at the door.
From inside there are several muffled sounds, and the evident sounds of some kind of struggle, as various bangs and crashes permeate the door as things sound like they are falling over.
After several moments young Keth is startled as he hears the locks of the store begin to move. Quickly and quietly Keth vacates his current position blending back into the crowd on the streets, as he sees the group of robed figures exit the building.
Once Keth’ronae is confidant that they have left the area he heads into the Leather Tanner’s shop.
Entering into the shop, Keth sees a stout rugged looking human behind the counter picking up a few sets of boots and leather pelts, and placing them onto shelves.
“Good day to you fine sir!” with a friendly demeanor the ranger continues, “How is business this day?” He asks.
“Business is going” replied the trapper, “What can I do for you?”
“I have some fine fresh pelts here that I would be interested in selling. if you have need of them.”
“Well, I am always in need of more materials to work with.” Replied the trapper “What have you there?”
As Keth pulls out his pelts and lays them about the counter, he asks " Is every thing alright here sir? You seem to be a bit on edge."
“Every thing is fine, just finished with a large order, and about to begin on another.” as the trapper cleared his throat “Those are pretty nice pelts that you have there. I will give you ten gold for the lot of ’em”
“Ten gold, I was hoping for more around twenty-five, These are extremely fresh and exotic to this area.” the ranger countered.
“Be that as it may, I am offering you Ten for the lot, take it or leave it.” boasted the leather worker.
“Are you positive you are doing okay?” Keth inquired again
“I am fine, Ten, Take it or leave it.” replied the shop owner.
“Very well, I will take it” garbing the gold from the man and turning to leave the shop.
After leaving the leather shop, Keth’ronae, turned back towards the center of town and worked his way back to the town square. Once he reached the edge of the shopping district the young ranger noticed that while two of his companions, the sorcerer and the Paladin, were sitting on a set of benches were he was just this morning, his other traveling companion, Xugar, was up at the front gates of the Temple talking to the guards. Shaking his head in disgust the ranger spotted Dag Malek entering the square on the far end opposite himself. acknowledging him as the dwarf spotted Keth as well they started walking towards a set of benches on the far south end of the square.
“Hello!” as the gnome walked up towards the guard, “How are you, can I come in?” asked Xugar
“You shall not enter this building under divine mandate.” Interrupted the guards as they lowered there pikes to block any entry into the building.
“But this is a temple right? I should be allowed to go into a temple.” replied the gnome.
“Entry is only permitted to those dedicated to the faith. Heretics and all non believers have no business with in these walls.” enforced the guards.
“Well, is there some one that I can talk to? I will only be a minute. I wont touch anything” asked the purple gnome.
“NO!” Replied the guards.
“Well then how can I join the order?”inquired young X.
“Initiations will be held this evening at the Rangers Lament.” answered the guard. “Now step back!”
Stepping back only a couple feet, “Okay” replied X, as he stands there looking at them.
“Back further” insisted the guards.
“What the hell is he doing?” Asked Keth as the elf and the dwarf sat at one of the far benches facing the temple.
Watching the Gnome inch his way backwards from the guard, pausing after every two feet, only to have the guards yell for him to move back further. “I have no freaking clue, I try not to pay attention to him” replied the cleric. “Anyways here are the arrows that I was able to fashion for you. Have you found out anything about this group?”
“Thank you, Dag. As for these people, there seems to be no consistency to the times they leave, seems move random then anything. I have found out that they go out into the city and provide various services to the poorer folks of the town, giving them bread, water, and sometimes cheeses.” explained the ranger “But I am thinking this is more of a cover in that they are actually facilitation more illegal activities. I ended up following one of the groups as they left the temple and headed west. They went to a Leather tanner’s shop, and upon trying to go in there after them, I found the doors and windows shut and locked. Waiting outside I heard sounds of struggle, once I was able to enter into the establishment, after they had left. The shop keep seemed extremely on edge but was unwilling to say why, his shop was in some what of a disarray, as it looks as if things were knocked over, possible they were in the proses of extorting money from him, and probably others in the area.” Pausing for a moment as he glanced back up towards the front gates of the temple. “I think that our best bet is to try to infiltrate the temple in the middle of night. But we need to find a way in.” stated the Elf.
“With those stone walls, it should not be a problem.” continuing in a quite tone “I will be able to make a door into the back of the structure allowing you to enter in unnoticed.”
“Well then we wait until tonight” as they got up to leave the square.
Back at the inn the two run into Xugar as he is making his preparations before his meeting with the priests. As the Ranger and cleric watched X unloaded all his items into the chest at the end of his bed, only keeping the cloths he was wearing and concealing his wand in his boot covering it with his pant leg.
“What are you doing” asked Dag Malek
" I am getting ready for my meeting" exclaimed X.
“What meeting” the dwarf inquired.
“Well, Tonight I have a meeting with the priests of the temple so that I can join up with there order” the gnome explained.
“While he is at the meeting hopefully distracting the priests, we will have our chance to go on with our plan.” whispered Keth, just loud enough for the dwarf to hear.
Later that evening the young gnome returned to the front of the temple. “Hello, again” He said to the guards as he sat down in front of the gate.
“What do you think you are doing?” asked the guard “you must move now”
“But I am here for the initiation into the order” replied the gnome “I was told it was tonight and here I am.”
“It is not held here. You have to go over to the Rangers Lament.”
" SO it is not here?" asked the gnome.
“NO” replied the guard.
“Okay….” replied X as he got up and headed off to the Rangers Lament.
“This will help us stay concealed from those who might notice.” exclaimed Dag, as he waved his hands as the Fog from the waterfront made its way further inland concealing the rear of the Temple.
Upon getting to the back wall of the Temple, Dag, with his fingers outlines the form of a door large enough for the elf to squeeze through. Grabbing the edges of the outline, the dwarfs hands just melted part way through the solid stone, giving him a good hold of the slab of stone as he slowly slide it free from the rest of the wall.
As the ranger entered into the structure Dag slid the slab back into its place leaving it partly opened so that the elf could return this way. After about an hour of scoping out the innards of the temple Keth returns to the stone door he entered in. Meeting back up with the dwarf, he explains that there are still several clergy members inside. Upon hearing this they decide to go to the inn were X was supposed to be at only to find that the doors and windows bared. Were upon they stayed in the shadows of the porch waiting and listening to the sounds from inside, waiting.
As X sits there talking and merry making with the others that came to be recruited and the priests. After several minutes later X sees on of the recruits pass out drunk face first into his plate. As X watched, two priests came and took the man into the back room. Upon seeing this X decided to make a quick decision and fake them out and act like he passed out as well. Once he fell face first onto the table two more priests came and carried him into the back room.
Then as X keeps his eyes closed he starts to feel that he is going in a down ward motion and then down a tight cave.
In a small room the priest places the gnome on a small bed and begins to search the gnome for any weapons and other paraphernalia. As the priest goes to start searching the gnome, Xugar jumps up off the table and makes a beeline for the door on the far end of the room. As X reaches the door he turns around, pulling out his wand, and pointing it at the priest. As a magical aura goes from the wand to the priest, the target priest begins to grow larger, but still continues with the pursuit and follow X through the narrow hall leading deeper in to the enemies encampment. As the giant priest tries to squeeze through the door way, X points is wand again, this time the priest begins to turn to stone baring any entry or exit through the passage.
Continuing on X finds him self running down the corridors until the ground underneath him suddenly disappears from underneath you feet.
Falling down a shoot winding stair case that was trapped, turning into a slide as Xugar slid down into a deep pit. As he regained his composure, dusting himself off, he notices two fairly large statues sitting in the midst of the pit. Each one having a strange circular hole at the base. As the gnome examines the room he realizes that there is no way of getting out of this pit.
“Well, I wonder were those holes lead to?” Xugar muttered to himself. As he neared the hole and peered inside he heard a hissing noise and jumped back away from the hole as a giant snake lunged at the gnome.
Taken back by surprise, purely on reaction the gnome pulled out his strange wand and pointed it at the snake, only so feel him self shrink even smaller. As the once diminutive gnome grew even smaller. Once he had shrunk again Xugar, was able to slip into the hole of the other statue. As the miniscule gnome traversed the tunnel that he just went into, as he passed fork in the tunnel he decided to run straight, moving right into a dead end, were he came to a halt as he just stood there staring at three large sized eggs.
Xugar came about face as he heard the slithering and hissing of the snake as it fallowed him. As the snake came into view X pointed his rod towards the snake again, and in doing so the tunnel floor in front of him started sprouting grass as it grew thick. As the snake slithered through the grass, X quickly casts entangle restricting the snakes movements to next to nothing. Seeing that the snake has become immobile X then decides to summon an attack dog to aid in the fight against the snake. As the battle ensued X silently slipped underneath the dogs large frame as it was taking up most of the room in the tunnel, and snuck through the tall grass and out the other hole that was no longer blocked. As X emerged from the hole back into the pit that he originally fell into he saw the tail of the snake partly sticking out of the opposite hole, as he looked at it the tail went still as he heard an angry growl being emitted from the hole.
“Well time to get out of here.” He said as he moved to the wall. Xugar easily found hand and foot holdings that he could utilize at his miniscule stature. After quite some time he found himself back into the hall way moving back to the intersection that he passes coming in. Once at the intersection Xugar turned to his right and ran into the large rug that spanned the floor. As he moved through the rug it seemed like walking in very tall weeds that stood taller then him.
As the sounds from inside the tavern died down Dag Malek and Keth’ronae began to grow impatient and curiously interested ans with the quieting of the noise inside, not a soul had exited out the bar through the front door that they now were staking out. With that Keth went to the door to get a better listen and tried the door, yet the once locked door was now unlocked, With a puzzled look on his face he glances back at Dag as he opens the door they both proceed into the empty bar. “This is very strange.” muttered Keth in a silent whisper. As they searched the building they came to a back store room, after a thorough search of the small store room Dag slid a large create to the side revealing a trap door. As he flung the door open he revealed a dark pit that only had a single ladder descending into the darkness. Climbing into the the darkness the two followed the ladder down into the darkness to were it finally brought them in a halt onto a dimly light cave floor. As the two followed the shrouded tunnel they came into a small room with a table on the right hand wall. On the far side of the room in what looks to be a hall way leading further on, stood a large stone humanoid statue, stuck in the entry way blocking any passage.
“Well X must have been here” Said the elf as he pointed towards the giant statue. “Can you do something about this Dag.”
“No problem, We’ll have this reduced to dust in no time.” Exclaimed the dwarf as he raised his hammer bringing it thundering down into the statue as he bashed it into the ground.
As the two traveled through the tunnel climbing through the broken pieces of stone, they came upon a large cell to their left, laying against the wall was a human passed out.
After a few attempts to wake him through the bars the two decided to just bash in the cell door. “Wake up fool” yelled keth as he smacked the human across the face." You better get you stinking ass out of here if you want to live" yelled the elf as the Human jerked himself awake.
Jumping to his feet, “My thinks good sirs.” as he ran out of the cell and down the tunnel to his freedom.
Continuing on the elf tracked the gnomes path down the hall passed and intersection and further on to were the two came to a halt at the top of an inclined section of the hall. Lowering himself down the incline on a long piece of rope that Dag help firmly, Keth descended into the pit seeing the signs of a struggle and the tail of what looked to be a dead snake, he called out, “Hey, X, you down here?” after several minutes of no answer he climbed his way back up the rope.
“Well looks like he was down there, there are definite signs of a battle and a dead snake sown there, but no signs of the gnome.” stated Keth as he coiled his rope back up. “And it looks like there are not further track from him either.”
“I think I might have an Ideal” as the dwarf stared muttering an incantation waving his arms and hands, “AH, yes this should do it…..It would seem that he is down this hallway down here.”
As the dwarf and elf walk down the carpeted hallway, they suddenly stop in the midst of the hall way. On the far end of the hall rests a large iron mask hanging on the wall, staring at them as they approach. Standing there on the carpet staring forward they notice that suddenly leaves start growing out of the mask.
“Alright X I know your here some where, come out now.” replied the dwarf. Then suddenly dag felt a small tug on his trousers as something seemed like it was crawling up his leg. “What the hell…” he yelled as he looked down seeing an extremely tiny gnome crawl up his leg. “How in the hell did you get so small… wait I don’t even want to know.. Lets just get the hell out of this place.”
Being reunited with his companions the three back tracked their steps and exited the complex and bar. “Alright lets go talk to Reginar, this something that he would be interested in.” explained the dwarf.
The next night the party was able to get in contact with Reginar Lacklan, were upon they went into detail of the things they seen in the Temple and how they are participating in an illegal means of recruitment.
“Good work. I will meet you at the bar shortly, I will have to go make some arrangements and then you will present this evidence to me personally when we go and investigate this matter.” replied the pathfinder as he took one last swig of his ale and walked away from the table and out of the Feast Hall.
Later that evening the group assembled in front of the Rangers lament and waited for Reginar. After several minutes the pathfinder came walking up the road with a contingent of several armed soldiers. “Well met.” he acknowledged the party, “Well shall we?” he asked as he started moving towards the door.
As Reginar flung the door open to the bar the whole inside came to a deathly silence as the pathfinder stood there at the door as his soldiers flooded into the bar. “Alright every one out now.” he yelled, Quickly glancing at the Bartender “You stay were your at and do not move.” As the bar emptied he began to interrogate the bar tender, while his soldiers searched the establishment.
After several hours of finding nothing the pathfinder turns to the party, “Well were is it?” he asked.
“It was in the store room,” said the elf.
“I know it was here” replied the dwarf, as they looked into a store room that was packed full of food stuffs, various vintages of wines and ale’s.
Not seeing what they were looking for, and was positive that was in this room, the dwarf started smashing boxes and looking behind them.“they must have cast a spell to conceal it” roared the dwarf.
“I am not detecting any magic in this room”, replied the sorcerer.
As the dwarf roared in frustration he ended up kicking a large create, which ended up sliding to the side revealing a small portion of a trap door in the floor. “There it is.” hollered Dag in a mixed since of excitement and relief.
Upon finding the door the party accompanied the Pathfinder and several of his soldiers into the trap door and down into the basement of the Temple. Upon finding this Reginar returned to the surface and back into the bar. He motioned to a couple of his men, “This bar is officially shut down until further notice. You got that?”
“Yes sir.” the replied as two of them took the bar keeper into custody as the others proceeded to securely lock all entry ways into the building.
“You two will stand guard this building and do not let anyone near this place.” as he motioned to them to stand at the door, as he was walking back into the city night.
Later that evening Reginar and even more soldiers descended upon the Temple itself, and shutting down the whole Temple complex, while some of the cultists were able to escape into the city and country side the majority of the people within the temple were thrown into the dark damp city jails.
Upon searching the Temple along side Reginar and his soldiers the contents of the temple that were discovered were enough arms to supply a small army.
While searching Reginar approached the party once again. “Well we have found more then enough here to put an end to this cult and its illegal activities with in the city. My thinks goes out to you upstanding citizens.” replied the pathfinder, “One thing still troubles me, there is documentation explaining that the High priestess of this temple was not among those that were arrested and in fact has a sizable group that she set out with. The letters stat that she is on her way to the Isle of Terror, and that she has assembled the tree parts of a key to a city that supposedly holds great wealth.” Reginar continued to explain, “Her plans are to retrieve this wealth and turn it over to the nation of Razmir to help fund the Razmirian religion. This is one thing that we can not allow to come past. So I implore you all to once again venture forth. Go to the City of ”/campaign/setting-roots-in-a-new-land/wikis/Xin-Grafer/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Xin-Grafer and stop her from gaining possession to this source of wealth, seal off the city to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands and return the key to me. Once the Key has been retried we can return it to its rightful resting place in the Crypt of the Ever-flame, so that the ghosts of the former bearers of the pieces of the key can be put back to rest and stop tormenting the citizens of the town of Kassen.
After much debate on this matter the party finally decided to help out the pathfinder once again and to track down the remaining cultists and stop them from obtaining the riches that lie in the City of Xin-Grafer.