i fucking hate writing ...
Staff member
Karen - Fighter - Level 1
Harley - Halfling - Level 1
Malark Whistler - MagicUser - Level 1

Kryshal! Shining jewel of the west! Last beacon of civilization before the borderlands! A bustling, dusty corrupt metropolis. Inside the slum quarter, inside The Hurling Heifer, a farmer sits at a table with a another. Dirty rags on his feet, muddy clothes, hands stained red from beets, smelling of turnips with a ragged tooth mouth. Over the din of the crowd, the drunken calls for booze, the shouting, one word: 'gold!' Three sets of ears prick up immediately. Instantly homing in on the farmers. Instantly recognizing, without a glance, the other two. Never met before but obviously companions: Hobos4Lif.

They approach the farmer and, perhaps a bit too loudly, speak with him. The kings tax man, ambushed outside of Frank the beet farmers farm. A wagon of gold gone. Down, in the Bleakmarsh, where no one comes back from after dark. They negotiate a price beyond measure, 1gp, for the farmer to take them there. As they leave the Heifer the bartender uncovers a chalkboard and begins to write "Odds" on it ...

Out the great southern gates and down the Kings Road they tell the guards they are day laborers on Franks beet farm. Passing the beet farm they see blood and signs of a struggle. Further in, two hours in to the Bleakmarsh they see a sinkhole a quarter mile off the road. Firmer then the other sinkholes in the area, they see wagon tracks leading to it ... and one footprint, not covered by the wagon tracks. One giant foot, with three clawed toes. A waft of mist blows up out of the cave, cold, defying the laws of physics. Down the sinkhole they go, down the spiral ramp that leads in to it, avoiding the moss and dripping water form the marsh.

At the bottom, a large cave. The stone floor cleared of rubble, it pushed up against the wall. Not as dusty or dirty as it should be. Their torch shows exits from the large cave to the east, north, and northwest ... but they can't see the western edge of the cave ... but hold their breath as another blast of cold mist comes from that direction. They hear rustling in dry leaves to the northwest and Harley sneaks up to check it out. At the edge of the light he sees a pair of glowing white eyes, down low to the ground. And then another. And then another. And another. Retreating back, a plan is formed. The NW tunnel is ruled out because of the eyes. The N tunnel is also out because it's too close to the NW tunnel. The W is ruled out because of the mist coming from it. They head east, Karen leading the way. Again, the floors are cleared of the fallen ceiling rubble, the paths too well used to show much dust. In a large chamber they find a skeleton on the floor in a corner dressed in strange clothes with a metallic sheen. A dead elf. They break its fingers to free the large ruby clutched in its outstretched hand. There might be, they decide, more than gold down in this ole ...

Exploring south they find a single human footprint in the dust off the main cleared path, heading their direction. There's salt in the air now, not stale cave air. They find a cavern littered with refuse. Crab shells and legs, large and small, carapaces, splintered bone spears. And a few broken stone spears and a shattered stone axe. But nothing else. Nearby there's a passage leading down, in to darkness, to the east, with the smell of salt on the air heavy ... they avoid it, not going deeper in. To the south of the refuse chamber, in the darkness they hear screeching and howling. The avoid it.

Moving west they come to a wide passage leading south, going down even more steeply, with the smell of bird guano coming from it, and a large watery white mess on the floor. Malark is looking for spell components, and guano is a big one ... but they avoid going deeper. Heading further in to the darkness of the west they see something on the floor in a T passage ... going further they find a pile of rags, children's clothes, shredded, full of blood. Not a good sign. Passages to the south wind around to the west. Passages to the west wind back to them. They hear more screeching and grunting from the west and northwest as they wind through the dark cavernous maze. And see another pile of clothes. Again, children's rags, in blood. Harley, who has snuck ahead to examine them, sees something crawling toward him from the NW, out of the darkness. Backing up back to his friends ... he sees a large brutish reptilian like humanoid with neck feathers dragging itself toward him ... and the light ... coming from where the sounds of battle are coming from. It looks up ... and then the head drops, moving no more. Karen comes up and stabs it in the head, just to be sure. A quick loot reveals a leather thong on its neck attached to a crude gold medallion with an X in a circle design hammered in to it. A leather bag has rotting human hands in it ... gnawed up. But they are large, rough hands, of men who have had a rough life.

Retreating from the sounds of battle, they see some flickering light to the north. Following it, still past the sounds of battle to the west, they see a wide side corridor to the east, with flickering firelight in the distance. Harley sneaks up again, and peering around a corner he sees ... a flickering bonfire with a giant cauldron sitting on it, something bubbling in it. The walls are covered with small little niches, the size of a cup, and a narrow passage to the rear of the chamber. On the other side of the cauldron is huge pale white hulking brute. Eight or nine feet tall, open pus sores and burst of rough black hair growing from them, two large tusks coming up from its lower jaw. A plan if formed. Oil is readied, to use the cauldron fire. Malark steps out and yells "Good night sweet child!" ... and the brute falls over, slumbering. Harley races in to search the niches, as does Malark, as Karen rushes in to chop its head off! Blood spurts out of the neck comically as Karen expertly chops off the head, the creatures eyes opening once, looking sadly at Karen as it mouths the words "Gulag?"

The niches are full of gold coins! And the cauldron full of human and reptile arms and legs and fingers and eyes and ears! They loot a large number of gold coins, a bronze necklace, and a small bottle of white fluid with snotty yellow rivluts in it. It smells like pine. And then ceder. And then cotton. And then mutton. And then ... every changing.

They left town at 1pm. They hit the sinkhole at 3pm. They've been inside for a couple of hours ... they need to leave soon to get back to town before dark ... because no one comes back from the Bleakmarsh after dark. They quickly make their way back to the sinkhole entrance/exit, the sounds of battle to the west no longer being heard. Up and out, they pass back by Franks farm. He's sitting int he muck next to the road, holding a bloody rag to his head. "Hey! Hey you!" he calls out ... they ignore him. On the way back through the gates of Kryshal they toss a couple of gold coins to the guards "The beet harvest was good!" One guard immediately quits, telling off his super Karl. The group makes its way to the Singing Swan, an inn in he better part of town, staying up all night guarding backpacks full of coin, before hitting the mining guildhall in the morning to leverage Karens contacts ... her dead husband was a miner and the guildhall will hold the gold in bond for her. Malark finds the wizards guild and joins, mostly for the monthly dinners and networking. They plan their next assault ...

1000 gold coins
300 gp ruby
50gp gold medallion
30 gp bronze mecklance
1 potion

Killed: 1 Gulag


8, 8, I forget what is for
Nice vibe. Thanks for sharing it.

Salty air and crab shells? Could Old Bay be making an appearance to the south?
Don't recognize any of the others.
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