Mysteries of Mystara 002T

Mysteries of Mystara
Session 002

From Talyn's Point of View


Having passed the night in Novaci, unfortunately there was bad news in the morning. The main road had been blocked by a landslide and it would take days, maybe weeks to clear and repair the road. Fortunately there was an old road that while not a straight shot did loop around and reconnect to the main road.

After some discussion the caravan decided to follow the old road. After a few hours' travel an eerie noise was heard that spooked the horses. It was decided that Talyn, Panya, Lucky, Malachai, and Dak would scout ahead and see what was going on. 

After traveling towards the noise we discovered an abandoned, ruined keep. Easily entering the ruins from the "front door", even though there was no door. We quickly made our way over to the tower and entered. In the main chamber of the tower there were some stairs that I attempted to climb, but accidently broke through the rotting boards. Deciding to explore the rest of the tower before attempting the dangerous climb the group went through a door. 

Finding themselves in a kitchen with some metal corroding cobwebs that Malachai eventually cleared we opened a trap door into a basement area. Curiosity compelling us to descend into the darkness. Once down the stone stairs we found ourselves in a corridor and decided to open the first door on the right. After some attempt to see if any traps were left we managed to get the door open into a storeroom. 

Confidently entering the room to search for clues or other hidden things we were attacked by shadow monsters. Our weapons were mostly ineffective, but the torches and perseverance won the day. After a search of the room where some coins were found, we decided to fall back, regroup, and see if we could find any resources to deal with the shadows back in town.

On your way out, as we trooped back through the kitchen I once again saw a glint of something shining. With no hesitation I pulled the shining thing out of the pile of debris and discovered a magical mace. Panaya almost immediately asked to see the mace and we discovered that she had been searching for it for the monastery up the hill from Novaci.

We then moved out into the courtyard through the back door when Malachai approached the Willow in the courtyard and we discovered that it was an undead tree. Which of course promptly attacked Malachai. We immediately sprung into action and after a few exchange of blows the tree was felled, but not before the vile thing whispered foul things about Malachai. I mean really what did the fae do before joining us?

There was then a lively discussion about what to do with the dead body behind the tree, apparently the man was a thief. I just couldn't understand why Panya wanted to bury the guy, I mean what benefit to us was that? Meanwhile Malachai wanted to leave the body to nature. There was a giant vulture that he seemed to be talking to and I think he wanted to leave it to the bird. I wonder if he is going to try and convince the vulture to become his familiar? Anyway a compromise was reached in that we would leave the body for now and then bury the remains when we come back. Note to self bring a shovel. We then made our way back to town and decided to visit the village priest up at the Lord's keep. At the keep we were stopped and questioned by some mercenaries working for the lord of the keep. After explaining our business, I was then let in to see the priest and we had a discussion about the old keep, the old lords, and the probable ghost there. The priest then said he would provide some items to help, and we could pick them up in the morning.

As we exited the keep I realized there was an opportunity before us and inquired if the mercenaries were for hire or knew someone who was. To my surprise this sparked a round of argument among my companions as some of them did not see the wisdom in hiring mercenaries. I pushed ahead anyway and came to an agreed price for 1 day service from the mercenaries. Amazingly Panya agreed to help defray the cost.

In the morning we plan on heading back to the old keep with the newly hired mercenaries and the items that the priest provides. Better equipped, with more swords, and more information. I am confident that we can overcome this challenge.

Written by Don K.

Session Notes

This was an In Character report from our last session (not posted yet, not done putting it together). Talyn is a young and naïve Celestial that has recently escaped from the Cult of Vanya. He was being trained as a holy avenger but chaffed under the strict training and dogma. Now out wandering the world, the young, glowing warrior tries to fit in with a strange and eclectic group of companions, but has no real skill to do so.

Cast of Characters:

Dak, a Makai islander fluid mage - played by Ben L
Malachai, Faetouched, Wilderness Defender - played by JeCorey H
Panya Masika, a bronze skinned Nithian monke stranded out of time - played by Carol C 
Talyn Dilectus Vanyilam, teenage Celestial warrior on the run - played by Don K
Panya Masika, a bronze skinned Nithian monke stranded out of time - played by Carol C
Vlajic Savago, the Lucky Savage, a Traladaran bard - played by Dan E

and GMJasonGURPS as the DM


Mysteries of Mystara 002

Mysteries of Mystara
Session 002

The Keep of the Mourning Lady


Tsorvano’s caravan, with a small band of new adventurers acting as guards, arrived in Novaci late in the evening. After getting the caravan settled for the night, the five newly acquainted strangers all went their separate ways.

Malachai spent the evening roaming the lands around the small mountain village. He came across a curious owl that seemed to take an interest in him. The owl, which he named Pearl, seemed quite smart and almost seemed to understand when Malachai spoke to him. The Half-Faun was happy to see the owl following him around on his meanderings. He also came across a small shrine to Zirchev, one of the Traladaran Patrons known as the Huntsman and protector of the wild lands and its creatures. It was about a half mile from the village, in a very secluded grove of aspens, but seemed well tended, though he could not find whoever it was that did so.

Panya spent the evening up at St. Yuric’s monastery on the heights above Novaci. She was welcomed warmly and allowed to stay. The Abbot was not upset that she had yet to find the missing mace and told her that if she did, they would appreciate its return, but if she did not, they still appreciated her looking for it. 

Lucky decided to take the evening off from entertaining and just check out the quaint village. He wandered around and spoke to several people, learning a bit about the place, namely that it was a mining and timber village and that the Lord, Old Ivan Stelenov, was over 100 years old without an heir and hated most things. The Grey Company, a locally renown mercenary company was also employed by the Lord to supplement the Duke’s Men that patrolled from Castellan Keep to the north.

Talyn spent the evening in quiet contemplation going over all the new things he had learned about the local Traladaran religion, specifically about Halav, Petra, and Zirchev. He already knew much about the Church of Karameikos, as that was not much different from the Church of Thyatis, which revered many of the same Patron Immortals, including Vanya, whom he was very familiar with.

Dak, the mage from the southern islands, was still nursing a hangover from the night before in Bergoi, and went to bed early.

By noon the next day, the caravan was ready to set out on the final leg of its journey to Castellan Keep. Panya had rejoined the group from the monastery, and everything was good to go when the caravan was approached by a well dressed and important looking Hin. He introduced himself as Gren Ilenovich, the town’s constable and justice of the peace. He informs Tsorvano, who in turn informs everyone else, that the road to Castellan Keep is currently impassable due to a serious landslide and washout. He estimates it is going to take weeks of work to repair the road and at least several days to blaze a detour around the area. 

He tells of “The Old Road” which heads north west out of Novaci and loops around some nearby rises before rejoining the road to the Keep in the north. He says that it will add several hours to the trip, but should still get the caravan to its destination, albeit a bit later than expected. Happy to have an alternative route, Tsorvano confers with his security detail and everyone agrees that is a good option. 
The "Old Road"

The “Old Road” is definitely not as well maintained as the Keep Road but the caravan is able to make its way along it just fine, if not a bit slower than their usual pace. Ahead, in the distance, the outline of a ruined structure is spotted from time to time. Lucky learns from one of the locals that had joined the caravan that the structure is an old, ruined keep that is rumored to belong to the original rulers of the area, long before Old Lord Stelenov’s family came to power. After a few hours of climbing the “Old Road,” a strange, low keening can be heard. The caravan continues a bit farther and the sound turns into a sad, dirge-like wail. The caravan comes to a halt as the animals, drivers, and some newly added followers become frightened. The wail sinks into Panya’s bones, giving her a shiver as well. Most all of those that were following the caravan, a group traveling from Novaci to the Keep, decide they are going to walk back to town instead of continuing onward. 

The road appears to head up and pass by the old, ruined keep, and that also appears to be the source of the wailing. It is decided to go check out the keep and attempt to put a stop to the frightening sound. Tsorvano says it is best that he and the rest of the caravan wait on the road. After a bit more climbing, the group makes it to the keep, a crumbling and considerably overgrown thing that once may have been a nice little structure. The wailing sound is much louder now and clearly coming from the keep.

The tower itself, about 100 feet across, looks to have been at least 3 storeys tall, though its upper reaches are all crumbling and no sign of a roof can be seen. The rest of the compound appears to be made of several smaller out-buildings surrounded by a wall, also crumbling with many openings. 
The Tower

After a cursory bit of scouting around the outside of the structure, the group enters through a wide opening in the eastern wall, between two of the other structures. It appears that this may have once been the main gate entry to the small keep. Slowly and carefully the group begins to enter the overgrown and debris-filled courtyard, but Malachai stops the group when he hears a sound from the building to his right. Calling on his nature magic, he attempts to sense life beyond the crumbling stone wall. His spell tells him there are no living things in that area. “Undead,” he warns his companions.

Talyn continues on, across the courtyard to what appears to be the main entrance to the tower. The wooden door appears to be stuck, but with some effort, it is forced open. Entering the aged structure reveals a room with a stone spiral staircase circling the central pillar of the chamber. Talyn immediately goes for the stairs and finds that the floorboards at the base are rotted out. His feet crash through the weakened boards but he is able to fling himself to the side and avoids falling into the darkness below. 

Malachai moves around the outside edge of the room and spies a door leading further into the tower. He opens the door to find a kitchen area full of strange, brown spiderwebs. The webs appear to rust metal objects. Another door leads out of the kitchen and it is discovered that it opens back out onto the courtyard. A trapdoor can be seen further over in the floor of the kitchen.

Using an old broom and some scrounged sticks, the cobwebs are safely removed and the trapdoor is lifted, revealing a narrow and steep stone stairway leading into the earth. The group follows the bold and glowing Talyn down the steps, though Dak lights a torch to give a little more illumination. 

At the bottom of the steps, the group finds itself in a small cramped area with a dirt floor and cobbled stone walls. Three locked doors lead from this area, to the right, the left and straight ahead. Talyn chooses the door on the right. After some effort, the door is forced open and the party enters what appears to be an ancient storeroom. As the shadows from Talyn and the torch play along the walls, two shadows coalesce and attack the group. 
Deadly Shadows

A desperate battle rages but in the end, the shadows are vanquished by steel, spell, and flame. A quick search of the room reveals a moldy bag of coins stuffed behind a loose cobblestone at the base of the wall. Counting themselves lucky to have survived the battle with the incorporeal undead, the group decides to head back to the caravan to relay what they’ve found and regroup, possibly returning to Novaci to seek out some advice or more appropriate weapons for dealing with this type of threat.

As everyone comes up through the trapdoor back into the kitchen, Talyn notices something shiny in the far corner of the room poking out from under some cloth wrapping. He retrieves the item, which appears to be a finely wrought, golden mace. Immediately, Panya seems interested in the mace, calling it the Mace of St. Yuric. She says she has been seeking its location for some days after a thief stole it from the Monastery. Lucky nods, knowing full well the stories of St. Yuric, a Traladraran hero of old that is known for fighting off the Frost Giants and protecting his people. Panya claims the mace and carries it out of the tower with her, intent on returning it to its rightful place.
St. Yuric's Mace

The group heads out the near kitchen door and makes their way back across the courtyard, past a tall and wispy willow tree. Malachai detours when he sees a body lying against the base of the wall just past the tree. As he approaches, he starts to hear dark whispers implicating Talyn in dark conspiracies. Just then, one of the long, sinuous branches of the tree lashes out and strikes at him. As it attacks, everyone sees that the willow tree is just an illusion and a smaller, darker tree composed of bones of the fallen is what is truly attacking, an undead tree monstrosity.

The tree presses its attack, both physical and mental as it tries to pit the companions against each other through its dark whispers. Panya rushes in and attempts to climb the tree, though she is stopped and mentally stunned in the process. Eventually, the dead tree is felled and is a threat no more. The body beyond is pulled a safe distance away and examined. He has only been dead for a few days at most and clearly was bludgeoned to death by the tree. It appears to be the body of a rogue or adventurer based on his attire and gear. Panya believes that he must be the one that stole the mace from the Monastery. Talyn searches the rest of the area for more treasure but finds only broken bones.

At that point the group begins debating what to do with the body, Panya wants to bury it, Malachai believes it should be left to become one with the earth again. The rest of the group divides themselves with wanting to bury the man and wanting to move on and leave him there. The discussion is interrupted by a flapping and hissing sound from above. Looking up, a huge vulture-like bird can be seen perched on the highest levels of the tower.

Malachai uses his nature magic to speak to the bird. The bird, he finds out, wants to eat the body and has been watching it for a couple of days. He thanks Malachai for having it moved out into the open. It flaps down and lands nearby on the top of one of the out-buildings, continuing to hiss as the others still debate the corpse's fate. Talyn worries that burying it here will cause it to rise as an undead creature that will need to be dealt with later. 

The vulture also divulges information that the Keep is haunted by the “Mourning Lady” and she lives on the 2nd floor of the tower. For this information, Malachai promises the vulture he can have the body and works his hardest to convince Panya and Lucky of such a course of action. Finally he prevails by promising to bury the thief’s bones after the vulture has picked him over. Having settled that argument, the group heads back to the caravan waiting on the “Old Road.”

Tsorvano is happy to turn the caravan around and head back to Novaci, not willing to risk his people and shipment trying to pass a haunted keep. He supports the plan for the group to return the next day, prepared to deal with the “Mourning Lady.”

Once back in Novaci, some of the group head to Old Lord Ivan’s tower to seek out Father Berabellus, the local Traladaran clergyman. After dealing with some Gray Company mercenaries guarding the Lord’s tower, Talyn and Malachai are admitted inside, sans weapons. They speak to the priest and learn much of the history of the abandoned tower. He thanks them for looking into the unquiet dead there and pledges to find some tools to help in their quest if they return in the morning. 
Father Berabellus

Outside, Panya and Lucky converse with some of the mercenaries, which all seem to be a pleasant sort. They appreciate Lucky’s playing and when Talyn and Malachai come out, Talyn attempts to enlist some of their number as extra muscle for taking on the “Mourning Lady” the following day. Another debate quickly flares up among the companions regarding the hiring, and more importantly, paying the mercenaries. Finally, Lucky agrees to broker a deal but Talyn is left footing the bill for it, though Panya agrees to help him defray the cost. 

The question of returning the holy mace comes up, but it is decided to hold on to the mace for the time being as it would be a good tool to use in fighting whatever unholy creatures may inhabit the rest of the tower and its environs. So the group makes a plan, with mercenaries Cass and Lev in tow, to meet again with Father Berabellus first thing, then head back to the haunted keep to deal with whatever undead threats still lie there. With that, everyone turns in for the evening. 

Session Pics

Talyn finds some weakened floorboards

Shadows Attack

A Dark and Deadly Tree

The Tower Grounds

Session Notes

2nd session of our brand new campaign. Still playing remotely, but hopefully soon we'll make it back to the table! This session went smoothly, shared lots of images, used lots of helpful macros on Roll20. I believe all had a good time. We were short one player, sadly, hopefully we'll have the full crew back for session 3!

Cast of Characters:

Malachai, Faetouched, Wilderness Defender - played by JeCorey H
Talyn Dilectus Vanyilam, teenage Celestial warrior on the run - played by Don K
Dak, a Makai islander fluid mage - played by Ben L
Panya Masika, a bronze skinned Nithian monke stranded out of time - played by Carol C
Vlajic Savago, the Lucky Savage, a Traladaran bard - played by Dan E

and GMJasonGURPS as the DM