Off the Edge

Letter to Barlo Mutter

Dear Barlo Mutter,

Sit down and take a big puff of your pipe before reading this and don’t you be doubting my words like you did when I told you how I got that dance from young Greta Puffler by charming her with a story about the best uses for bag balm.

Some cyc-o-necr-o-lich-o-clops cast some evil magic on all of Varnold and put all of us in evil-necro-soul-jars. I don’t even remember the bugger getting me, was asleep in my bed shirt. Next thing I know I’m sitting on a shelf like some garden-pixie until an elf finds me and starts asking what happened.

Long story short, the only people of Varnhold still alive are released from these jars in a centaur camp while we are still in our longjohns. May the gods rest their souls, all those in the court above me have had their skulls emptied by old-one-eyed leaving me in charge.

So this magic-pants elf leaves with the centaurs, they kill old-one-eyed-worm-nut, and then come back so this tall-pants who is their king can go role in the hay with a centaur princess. Not sure if I trust lord-mare-rider yet but they did save us so the townsfolk and I pledged the town to their kingdom, Viridi. Being that I’m the highest ranking townsfolk in Varnhold, they offered me a role in their court. Looks like I’ll be busy now traveling to see them while helping the Varnhold folks.

What does this all mean? I might not be around if you try visiting with those cry-baby-good-for-nothings you call children next month. You can still stay in the home but keep those lazy-dirty-kid-feet-children out of my bedroom!

Alright, stay safe and all that.

Otto Mutter IV

P.S. My good pipe is still missing from your last visit. I better be seeing it back.

Cleric's Log: Mind over matter. If you don't mind......
Arodus 4714

We had that Lich Bastard on the ropes we did! On the ropes and then in a pit! Poof! He was gone. I had a deep feeling of dread that he would be back. Darpan was out, paralyzed by the foul creatures touch. We thought we could rally. We thought we could overcome. After taking our time to search the creatures’ lair, gathering what might help us in a near future battle and gathering what seemed to be the souls of the Varnhold citizens in jars, he returned. It looked as if he had taken not a scratch! We battled the evil cretin again, but it seemed that all was against us. Our attacks were not landing as they had previously. The next thing I see is Az struck stone still by the Lich’s touch. I attempted to ruin its pace by throwing a tanglefoot bag at it, but my aim failed me. Vordakai came at me next and struck home. Even my mighty dwarven fortitude seemed no match for his reinvigorated power as I froze in place. Gordon stepped up and fought valiantly, landing several blows on the creature, but was ultimately paralyzed as we were. My eyes frozen on place, I heard Edrahil state in his matter of fact voice “I will return for you”. I hoped he was telling the truth, as we were all now at the mercy of the evil Lich Vordakai. I pray that our trust in Edrahil is not misplaced.

That cruel son of a bitch placed Az and I in a prime place so we could watch him, paralyzed and unable to look away or even close our eyes. He placed Darpan and Brother Gordon in a kneeling position around the bloodied pool, fitted amongst the other victims. Vordakai taunted us in our helpless states, caressing the scalps of our comrades. Slowly, methodically he carved back their scalps to reveal their bare skulls. I can only imagine the pain they were feeling and knew it would only be a short time before we were to be in their places. After he exposed their skulls he placed his claw on Darpan’s and with a sound that resembled the combination of a breaking bone and popping a cork from a bottle, he removed his top skull. In a near frenzy, Vordakai ‘s methodic demeanor crumbled into a state of vulgar abandon as he devoured Darpan’s brain in front of our unmoving eyes. I think he even released the paralysis the moment he removed his brain just to be sure Darpan left an expression reflecting the moment of extraction. After Vordakai finished his mnemonic meal, he seemed to be in a state of stupor and satiation. He retreated to his throne and began pondering in his Cyclopian language. On what I can only assume was the next morning, he turned his, and our, attention to Brother Gordon. Again he made a display out of the extraction and meal for our horrific benefit. I wondered if he would make me or Az watch for his next meal. I thought of all the citizens of Viridi. I thought of Till. I knew I would not have much time left to think at all….

Just as Vordakai had completed consuming Brother Gordon’s brain, a great commotion occurred outside of the main throne room door. I recognized a magical incantation to banish outsiders to their home plane. Then the doors burst forth and it was none other than the Noman Centaur Tribe with Edrahil in tow! They battled Vordakai to his ultimate death and rescued us from our imminent mental extraction. We were ultimately brought back to the Nomen encampment and cured of our paralysis. We mourned our fallen comrades and our inability to intervene in their horrific deaths. Az and I had survived, and it was due to the sacrifices made by two strangers from a fishing village. We owe them a debt that cannot be repaid. Their remains will be interred as we feel they would have desired. We will ensure that their village has a place of distinction within the kingdom. They will be honored and remembered.

Edrahil proved to us this day that his trustworthiness is genuine, his intent true. Az and I will nominate him to the position of Magistrate within the council. It is the very least we can reward the Elf Mage that risked all to keep his word. For now, Viridi stands safe from a great evil and ready to annex the stalwart people of Varnhold and cover them in her productive and protective wing. We have lost much, but gained even more. We will continue to forge northward to chart the unknown areas between Varnhold and Viridi to secure her borders. After that is done, I believe I need to have a talk with a certain dwarven blacksmith.

Darpan's Last Thoughts Pt 2
I smell like I sound

Darpan was lucky, in a way, as he was chosen first he’d need not watch his companions fall victim to the Lich. This occurred to him as he heard the abomination shuffle up behind him. As its claws pierced the skull they deftly curved to the underside of plate. A seam welded by decades of growth yielded at the precision of the effort. Darpan felt the return of his faculties as quickly as he felt the shudder of death pass over his body. A body that he now looked down upon. There was the hole in his head. And there was the wide eyed companions looking upon his body. A body that lay three feet below his swooning perspective.

His eyes rolled back and a flood of memories flowed over him. His youth wasted, his arduous training, the loss of his teacher, the travels in the First world. But “Wait” said a booming voice in his head. Or well may be it boomed in his soul? Where ever he was the voice sounded throughout him. “Wait, this one has two lives within it. I’ve not seen this before” the voice reverberated.

A second set of “memories” flowed across Darpan’s mind. So rapid it was as if he was watching some witches caldron display out a future he’d never have yet had paid 8 copper to see. Birth, playing, sitting in rows with others as the witch spoke, a trip in a carriage far away to meet friends. But then the end jerked into his vision. It was that smooth white ceiling from a prior dream, and to the right hung sagging glass jars of fluids on a steel curling wizard’s staff. To bottoms of the jars were connected flexible glass tubes ending in painful darts attached to his wrist. All this from an earlier dream, he attempted to sit up but swooned and listed off the narrow bed. The great belt at his waist brought the bed down upon him.

His cheek now pressed against the smooth cold floor, he could make out the alarmed voices of men. A hunger struck him. Eat or die dominated his thoughts and with shaking arms he raised himself up. Then as one of the men had pushed his head through the window it was this hunger that drove Darpan to bring his teeth upon the man’s neck. And then Darpan was no more.

Darpan's last Thoughts Pt1
I'm lost and I'm found

It was with unblinking eyes that the horror befell Darpan. He had been struck with paralysis early in the battle when he closed upon the massive fetid Cyclops. Its ruby eye glowed with an evil that pierced Darpan’s soul and he had to wait helpless.

At first his comrades routed the undead atrocity called Vordakai. A Cyclops wizard so devoted to evil that his soul lay trapped in his rotting body. A body the fled at first only to return with renewed vigor. From the false god’s thrown he had to watch as it returned and claimed his friends one by one. The Elf had escaped. Or so Darpan assumed as Vordaki cleared the pool of the headless corpses to replace them with him and his allies. No expressions could be read upon their faces but he assumed, nay knew that their resolve to face their destiny would be as strong as his. He’d not quiver even if he could.

Vordakai sat in his throne and spoke to them in a booming and dusty voice. What he spoke of Darpan could not tell but his tale was long. Was that the word Styx he heard or was that just the memory of the Chapel of the Horsemen that brings it to mind?

Hours passed until he roused from his throne and went to his study. Vordakai returned with a massive tome and pen. He studied the group knelt around the pool. Baron Azarillius, Councilor Faldal, Father Gordon. The Baron and Councilor he held in high esteem and welcomed the opportunity to travel with them as a reward for returning Treasurer Svetlana Ogleton. But it was Father Gordon to whom he held the most respect.

When he had come to the village Fen on the shores of Lake Candlemere he was filled with a hate and vengeance for the man that struck down his teacher. A man that wore a hideous stag skull crown and called himself the Staglord. But it was Brother Gordon that informed him that the target of his hatred had been eliminated by the leaders of a new nation. Seeing his heart laid in confusion over this it was Father Gordon that lead him back to purpose and it was Father Gordon Darpan followed into the service of the Viridi Guard when they came through on the mission to rescue Svetlana.

It was also Brother Gordon that he travelled with through the saturated reality of the First World. The realization of Father Gordon’s fate weighed him more so than his own.

Edrahil Telran: Personal Journal Entry 878

Personal Journal of Edrahil Telran, Journeyman Wizard of the Araluen Academy of High Magic

Entry number 878
After working through an arcane theorem, I have some time again for mundane writings…

The Piscodaemon proved itself a most formidable foe. Without my magicks to tip the odds in our favor, my would-be rescuers were defeated. The demon returned Xamanthe and me to our shackles and then left to whatever vile resting perch it inhabits. Not to be dismayed, the dwarf and humans returned to our chamber to discuss their failure. I apologized profusely for not being my fully capable self because of this fiendish paralysis. It was near this moment that one intrepid adventurer reached into a pack to reveal that they had been carrying a scroll of the Break Enchantment spell, precisely what was needed! I decided against chastising them for this dreadful oversight. Although it was more than warranted when it was revealed to me that they had been carrying a slain comrade right next to a Raise Dead scroll! One certainly cannot chose one’s heroes.

My paralysis was broken with the magic of the scroll and the fallen comrade, a human ranger, or “Baron” as he was called, was returned to life. Hypothesizing that the demon’s orders, usually being most necessarily specific, were to prevent prisoners from traveling down the hallway, I advised the party to traverse the hall without Xamanthe and me. I then drew upon my most skilled conjuration magicks to teleport the centaur and myself into the room down past the hall.

We gathered ourselves in the room and were relieved to not have to continue a demon battle we were destined to lose again. I concentrated upon Mikulas but could not feel him close by. I did not feel worry at this moment, only frustration with his failure to properly alert me to intruders upon our camp. The dwarf was capable of casting location magicks. I thoroughly described my spellbook and it was detected to the northeast but at an elevated position.

The party did not share my urgency to find my spellbook (and other belongings). But we did proceed into one more unexplored room. We were faced with three soul eaters. Luckily they were summoned extraplanar creatures. A simple communal protection from evil spell from one of the clerics allowed us to bypass the creatures without incident. Even so, my new companions, hampered now by their weakened baron, desired to return to their home. They promised to return for my items after they were better prepared. I was unable to sense Mikulas close by during our exit. I postulated that he was no longer within one mile of me. We must have emerged from the mountain on the side opposite of my camp.

Regretfully, we are traveling north without my familiar. I hope this separation does not last as long as the last one.

End of Entry

Edrahil Telran: Personal Journal Entry 873

Personal Journal of Edrahil Telran, Journeyman Wizard of the Araluen Academy of High Magic

Entry number 873
After an admittedly amateurish amount of study lasting only 407 days, I decided to journey from the city-state of Mivon in search of the lair of the silver dragon Amvaren. There have been no reliable sightings of her for over 25 years. She has either perished or become bored with her surroundings and decided to move on. I would find this lair on my own to locate, collect and study her treasure. At the very least, I could recover some lost dragon scales.

Mikulas and I traveled without haste, taking great care to avoid bandits or burdensome creatures. We camped near our final destination for an evening in the Tors of Levenies. Through some extreme stealth or advanced magic, Mikulas failed to guard our campsite. I was taken in my sleep.

I was tormented by nightmares of a glowing red eye speaking to me of the ills he’d planned for my brain. I awoke within a dark cave, shackled to the wall, with my body paralyzed by some unholy magicks. Mikulas, my spellbook and other gear, were nowhere to be seen. All I did see was a fellow prisoner, a centaur woman by the name of Xamanthe.

Unable to teleport or move, I did what I could to speak with Xamanthe to discover anything I could about our surroundings or our captors. Luckily, perhaps, some moderately skilled adventures happened upon my prison chamber. They seemed more interested in rescuing the centaur than me for some reason. But they did manage to free us both from my shackles. Unfortunately, my paralysis did not subside. And they had no methods for which to remove my predicament. Or so we thought… more on this later. The party consisted of two clerics (a dwarf and a human) and a human monk it seemed.

The centaur agreed to carry my limp body upon her back and we started our way out. Our escape was suddenly blocked by a demon. The ride upon the back of the centaur was overly jostling, such that I was unable to immediately identify the creature as a piscodaemon!

End of Entry

Letter to Ma Mutter: 11 Rova 4714

17 Sarenith 4713

Dear Ma Mutter,

Like I said I would, I am writing to let you know I arrived in Vernhold without any issues. Now incase you don’t remember (since you don’t remember nothing) this is your son Otto. In this letter are some things I’ve told you twenty times but I know if I don’t write them down you’re gonna forget so make sure you keep this in your nightstand and read it every morning.

If Walter Berrybottom says anything about what I owe him tell him to go take a hike. I traveled with the Old World Trading Company for seventeen years to repay burning down his shop. I even got a signed note from Mrs. Berrybottom saying that the debt has been repaid so he can go stuff it.

If Bilby Marman says anything about letting that half-elf get away with Mrs. Gatelands pies tell him I’m still on his trail and I won’t be back until I get the lousy worm-nut. He said he had family near this middle-of-nowhere-Vernhold place so I’ll be waiting here for him until he returns. I didn’t spend eight years waiting to be a deputy-sheriff just to let the main suspect of my first case gets away. And no one gets away with Mrs. Gatelands’ pies!

Now remember that the good-for-nothing cousin Barlo is going to be stopping by twice a week to take care of your vegetables while I’m gone. Don’t let him into my room! He already stole my fiancé; he doesn’t need to take anything else.

I’ll be sending you letters as I have time to write them. They say half-elves live a long time so I might be here awhile waiting for that worm-nut.

Alright, stay safe and all that.

Otto Mutter IV

P.S. – Don’t forget to take your spoon of oil twice a day like the healers told you. You might be 95 but you’re not going be feeling good if you don’t do what they tell you.

Second Chance: The Ultimate Mulligan: Arodus 4714

It seemed like a thousand years had passed and yet it happened all in the blink of an eye…That doesn’t make any sense, I know. But how many people can actually die and still ponder the experience as that of a living person.

I am still rattled and in shock. I am even more amazed we are pressing onward; Faldal insists we cannot return from whence we came, and I trust him with my life so I am agreeing to press on…I suppose we are low on options at this point. After all, I did die in the room below us right now. Perhaps I am still not back in my right mind to wish to return to it after all.

My vision is still slightly blurred and my ears are ringing…I can still hear the clash of what sounded like every shield from our very own Till’s forge being dropped from the tower of the Staghold. And while I know it’s only my mind, my lungs still sting from the foul alchemical fumes I experienced while no longer of this Earth. I know it sounds mad, but all I can clearly recall is having my hands clenched tightly around a black ship’s wheel…seated upon a pleated leather couch…in my view, I could make out this large sheet of glass webbed with cracks…I would have to believe the cracks were caused by the impact of my skull given the blood trickling down from my forehead. In the distance, beyond the cracks, steam obscured the other metal carriages I impacted…The final image I saw before awakening, was on the floor to my right, a bright red treasure chest spilling half a dozen steel dirks of all sorts of sizes with colored glass handles…

And then, before I knew what hit me, I was staring at my brother and best friend, Faldal. He has saved my life many times in the past, but this was the first time I can say it and mean it quite literally indeed! Once again, this is why in spite of my hesitations to press on, I will do so, knowing that I can trust my Dwarven companion who I have come to trust more than a brother.

Once I was on board with the plan, I helped devised a scheme to allow us to escape the clutches of a demon trap set no doubt by the vile Cyclops warlord Vordakai who we now are likely to come across. We used the teleportation powers of our new Wizard accomplice to get the prisoners out without having to cross paths with said Demon.

I had to laugh, during our strategy where we devised the plan, I was made privy to the fact that our party tried to fight this Demon for quite some time before admitting defeat and realizing they couldn’t best it. My brother Faldal is about as stubborn a warrior as you will ever find…he never wants to admit defeat; but I suppose that is what makes him such a great warrior.

It was also good to see Brother Gordon near, who always seems to be the voice of reason…he was quick to get on board with the plan. And of course Darpan, who acted in a key part of our plan, scouting out the exit strategy and giving us the high sign when it was safe to teleport.

I suppose the best news we have, other than me no longer being dead, is that we found the missing Centaur. This was very important to us as hopefully this will allow us to be diplomatic with the centaur clan moving forward. Perhaps they can see we are good men…men of reason…and we can surely benefit from a mutually beneficial alliance of respect. But, as always, I am getting ahead of myself…as I sit here staring this door in the face, I have to smile at the irony of me calling Faldal stubborn… I don’t know many men who if they were given a 2nd chance at life would ever agree to storm back into the field of battle so soon, if ever again…but after all, I don’t think many men get hat second chance. (Shoulder blocks the door open at that exact moment)

Clerics Log: A Baron Destiny

The darkness in the cavern should have given us omen for what was to come. The Cavern led toward multiple alcoves, decorated in mythic art. Strange lettering and runes foretold of things we would never understand. The first of our trials were the Dread Zombie Cyclops that ripped through the western wall of the primary room. Darpan and I went after the one to the West, with Bob-cat at the lead. Azerillius gave ranged support to the effort. Bob-Cats’ attack was vicious, but unable to best the undead as it laid him low using its unnatural strength. Darpan quickly tumbled through the creature’s range of attack to deliver a solid first blow. I hammered away with little effect, while Az pierced its hide with a volley of fiery arrows. Suddenly from the East burst another Dread Zombie through the wall! Az dropped his Longbow and drew his mighty Greatsword to assail the foul creature. Brother Gordon Came up and broadcast the holy power of Erastil, damaging the necrotic being of the zombies. Again Darpan and I weathered blows upon our adversary. We were distracted by a howl of victory and the thud of defeat as Azerillius Cut his foe in twain with a might blow of his Greatsword. With that one down, we made short work of its counterpart.

We continued on, searching the alcoves, knowing in our being there must be more. The hidden passage was found and we came upon a great natural cavern, with a large dark pool at its center. I went to the edge to see what could be seen when I saw the pool go from placid to churning waves. A great wave of water and a Gargantuan water beast with the neck of a serpent lashed out at me, tearing at me with its toothed maw. The battle went poorly, as it continued to weather our attacks while biting at each and every one of us, spilling our blood and damaging our spirits. Brother Gordon kept us up with Erastil’s healing power wielded in his faith and hands. After a small tactical regroup, we went at the beast again, this time forcing it to flee. It outran us all, and I barely kept up with it using the divine gift of flight from Ng. It slipped across the pool and down a tunnel to the waiting underground refuge of the river. It would not return while we were still there. We regrouped and licked our wounds with healing magic. I went through and explored some submerged stair that I noticed during the battle. I found another area that was dry 60 feet in. There were Ancient carvings on the walls of days long past. It depicted Cyclops performing various feats of living, and battling against what looked to be centaurs. I went back and reported what I had found to the rest of the group. The animals would have to stay behind as they would not appreciate the holding of breath and underwater travel.

We pressed on to a pair of bronze doors. We opened them to find a large room with many statues depicting Cyclops with various armaments. The weapons and armor were real, but of no concern to us. We originally found no doors, but upon searching more carefully, we found one that lay secreted away in the south of the room. As we opened the door, a hallway of winding stair revealed itself, as did an unnerving “click”. Suddenly a set of portcullis slammed down in our path and another across the way we had entered. Water then began to decant over each of the statues, with the room slowly filling. We then witnessed a giant eel plop down from a hidden alcove in the ceiling, and two Cyclops Dread Zombies burst through the walls north of us. When it rains, it pours! I immediately called out to the rest of the party that we were getting out of here and to convene upon my position at once. Az was clear across the room at this point. I began to cast a spell to worm a passage through the rock to aid in our getaway as Brother Gordon, whom had enlarged Darpan for our earlier battles, dispelled his magic to allow Darpan to fit through the escape pass. First Gordon, then Darpan passed through the new escape tunnel to the other side of the portcullis and I looked toward Azerillius. He made an attempt to move toward our escape path but became waylaid by one of the water deluges, knocking him to the water covered floor. The Moray Eel was fortunately engaging one of the Dread Zombies, keeping it at bay but the other advanced toward Az! As it loomed over his prone body I moved toward Az in order to help him escape the ambush. Being prone lay him at the mercy of the beast, and we both knew it. Just as I came to his side, the Dread Zombie rallied a blow upon my friend that will not soon leave my mind. The Creatures weapon pierced through all of Azerillius’s protections and found his heart. My friend and Baron had been felled before me as I stood helpless to prevent it. I grabbed his body and began casting an escape magic with no regard for my own safety. Ng must have been looking out for me as the beast attempted to lay me low but missed! I arrived on the other side of the portcullis next to Gordon and Darpan with the lifeless body of our liege. Our hearts we filled with dread and anger as we knew our only course was to continue up the winding stair and hope that the Dread Zombies lose interest in our pursuit. Brother Gordon summoned a crocodile to distract the zombies as we fled. We flew up the stairs, carrying my friends’ body across my back as we rose into the unknown. Two more Bronze doors appeared before us with an unknown fate behind them.

With our Baron dead, our bodies beaten, and the only escape through a pair of ominous ancient bronze doors, this was not the way it was supposed to be. We had been victorious so many times before, there was great difficulty in handling this kind of loss. I swear on my soul Azerillius will take breath again. We will need to overcome whatever is behind these doors to do it, but I swear it will happen. Dwarves live a long time, and this grudge will find its terminus.

Clerics Log: Roc, Paper, Scissors .

With time ticking against our favor, Azerillius and I discussed the need to hold council for Viridi. After a discussion with our expedition members, we decided to head back to Varnhold (newly acquired by Viridi) in order to conduct Viridi business. After our courtly duties were fulfilled, we headed back to the forbidden lands to continue our investigation. As it happened, Proculous was compelled to return to the Sword Lords to report on his findings. We bade him well and wished him safe travels. At a halfway point in our return, I felt the hairs of my beard prickle up. Turning my attention to the sky, I saw the form of a Gargantuan bird diving towards the party with it’s giant talons poised for attack! I quickly alerted the group and laid down an obscuring mist to aid in our defense. The beast was agile, and as quickly as I brought the mist about, it grabbed Azerillius and attempted to abscond with him in it’s grasp! Brother Gordon was acted fast for a man of his years. Spurring on his horse, he made his way under the winged beast and called upon the power of Erastil. “Drop him!” he commanded, and the great raptor did as it was told! Az dropped unto Gorden’s Horse, rolling with the fall. We made many attempts to engage the beast, with Gorden’s Crossbow and At’s Longbow, but it seemed to do little to the monstrous bird. At this point I decided on a rash action. I pushed my horse away from the party in order to use myself as bait. I readied for the beast to clutch me, and as it did, I bestowed a special “blessing” from Ng. I immediately used my divine gifts to teleport out of the birds grappling talons. Once I was again on firm ground, I watched as the “blessing” took its effect and the beast tumbled out of the sky impacting the ground with a thunderous impact. With the aid of Brother Gordon, we attempted to reason with the great bird. we parlayed for it to bring us one of its eggs in return for releasing it from Ng’s “Blessing”. The animal nature of the beast took hold and it began to fight us with all of its physical acumen. Darpan was hit hard over and over again as he attempted to best the creature. Brother Gordon made every attempt to maintain Darpan’s health, but the beasts attacks were unrelenting. He later described a dream like state he experienced after he had been rent in a particularly violent manner. He explained how he saw himself on a strange metallic floor, a vessel of yellow fluid next to his prone body. There were organic conduits protruding from his body, siphoning a fluid from him as he laid helpless. The vision, disturbing as it was, was temporary, and he was able to remove himself from the danger and to the safety of the mist. Darpan’s efforts had not been in vain, as Az and I continued to pummel the creature with our now desperate attacks. It was with great relief that the great raptor released its grip of the mortal coil. We spent much blood and effort upon this unwarranted attack. There was a small sadness within me to see such a great creature have to be put down. We made every attempt to allow a different outcome. In the end, we prevailed. I know not what our travels hold, and I also had a vision imparted upon me during the melee. I do not understand where these visions originate, but I cannot help but feel they are somehow related to the strange lands in which we travel. Onward to the forbidden Isle, and to more discoveries than mystery.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.