The Twisted Tavern is a relatively low-key bar in Traventon, and it is here our story begins. Three complete strangers have received an invitation from a man named Fenrir Delistaire, requesting their presence at the aforementioned tavern, on the recently populated island of Gael. None know why they were invited, or even that there will be others, but they are given instructions to ask for him when they arrive.
The first to arrive, a stout dwarf who carries a strange staff, draws a respectable number of looks, and orders some food before asking after Fenrir. He is told that he will be escorted to a back room when it pleases him.
Next to show is a tall elf bearing three swords. He draws plenty of looks, for not only is he an elf, but his skin is far darker than that of any elf these folk have seen before. The elf also takes a seat and orders some food, noticing the dwarf. He too is told he will be escorted to a back room when it pleases him.
Rune asks to be led away first, and the elf joins him shortly afterward. After some brief and quite unfriendly exchanges, the two introduce themselves, the dwarf as Rune, the elf as Hank Smith.
Next to join them in the room is a smart looking halfling with a small cannon strapped to his back and his opposite, a large, muscular man touting a maul. The two make an odd pair but seem to be familiar with each other already. More introductions are made, however tactlessly. Meet Erskine, a halfling engineer, and Balfor, a human who works for Fenrir.
Finally Fenrir arrives, and average height human male, with graying hair who looks to be in his late 40’s. A cane bears some of his weight and he walks with a slight limp. He is dressed for travel but his clothes are of a fine make, and his wealth is apparent.
He introduces himself and tells the group why he has hired them all.
He believes he has found the treasure of Traven the Terrible, a pirate who was said to roam the waters and make port at Gael before it was populated by the Norgan people. He has, through a fair bit of research, attempted to trace the pirate’s path in hopes of locating an item of historical significance, believed to be stolen by Traven in his days of conquest.
120 years ago, he tells them, a Karuvian ship bounded for it’s home port was sunk off the coast of Tafur by a pirate ship. On board, among typical trading goods, was a small jasper statue of the goddess Eldoth. The statue was a gift to the Queen, and was a sign of peace between Tafur and Karuva, who had been at war for the 10 years prior, and many times before that. The statue was present at the signing of the treaty.
It is sometimes said, and believed by many in Karuva, that Tafur sunk the ship and blamed it on pirates. But the statue was never seen again.
He then reveals to them an entry of a journal, supposedly written by someone who was on Traven’s ship. The entry describes a journey to a place on Gael, upriver, deep in the forest, where Traven brought the writer and other men. Fenrir believes this to be the location of Traven’s treasure, and is asking those assembled to retrieve the statue for him. The rest of the treasure they are free to do with as they please. Fenrir is sending Balfor along as reassurance that he gets the statue, if it is indeed present.
He ends with a brief warning that if they do not come back with the statue or at all, he will find them as he did the first time.
The party sets out the next morning. The elf secures them a small boat through mysterious means, and they head upriver, following the instructions set forth by the journal. The halfling proves to have an excellent memory, as they struggle to remember what was said in the journal. He recalls it almost perfectly, and as dusk approaches they pull ashore and head up an old, old trail. On the trail they are attacked by large mosquito like creatures called stirges.
This leads them to a ring of nine cave entrances. Using the information from the journal they search the proper one (after some minor squabbling), and find a trapdoor hidden beneath the sand.
The trapdoor leads down into a dungeon crawling with spiders. Small spiders, large spiders, and one VERY large spider are dispatched with effort on the part of the party, but they manage to survive and push onward.
They discover the remains of an old traveler, long dead, who is sporting a piece of parchment, protected in it’s case, that they are able to discern is a map of sorts, but they are unable to decipher how to read it, so they stow it away and continue onward, taking the rightmost of two paths.
This brings them into a room with a treasure chest that proves empty upon inspection. But not all is lost, as the group also discovers a secret door at the back of the room. Down the hallway is a small cavern with what seems to be gold lying in a heap on the floor. Standing among the gold is a strange creature, a large, rust colored insect.
It turns out to be a rust monster and corrodes some of their equipment before succumbing to their attempts to kill it.
They pile the treasure into the chest, with the exception of a small jade statue of Eldoth that Balfor pockets to take back to his boss, and leave without looking back.
The group makes camp in the cave that night, to tend to their wounds and prepare themselves for the return trip. In the morning they return to the shore and await the arrival of the boat owner, who they had told to return the next day at the same time.
On their way back to the river the Barbarian falls prey to a pit trap whose sides are covered with razorvine. Some Kenku, small humanoid birds that can mimic any sound they hear, attack the party. Two are killed and the third is spared through the mercy of the dwarf, who gives the Kenku 3 gold coins and chases it off.
The rest of the day passes almost without incidence, except for a scuffle with a large (LARGE) snake that emerges from the forest with hopes of getting a fulfilling meal. The group proves more than it’s match, however, and kill it.
The boat returns for them right on time, and they ready themselves for the long boat ride to Traventon.
And this wraps up the first two sessions! The journey will continue…