Sing a Song of Blackbirds

Amidst the Enemy
Mist 16th

At the Osprey camp, Elvarithon and Bijou hailed the guard and were admitted into the camp itself. Once inside, they were called in to meet with Captain Blacklake, who debriefed Elvarithon and began questioning Bijou. Vellienshana Blackbriar was also there and accused Bijou of treachery, though no one seemed to take her very seriously.

Meanwhile, Keventhrios was sneaking closer to the camp, and botched an attempt to silently kill one of the guards on watch. Olivia and Faunra rushed to his aid, but not before the alarm had been sounded…

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Black-Winged Omens
Mist 16th

Still hot on the trail of Bijou and Elvarithon, the party was suddenly swept up in a storm from the coast. Although the rain made tracking Elvarithon and Bijou more difficult, Faunra was still able to easily follow the footprints the elven sailor left in the soft, wet soil of the plains.

Meanwhile, Bijou persuaded Elvarithon to press on despite the storm. The soggy pair conversed as they trecked further south. During their conversation Bijou, to discovered that Elvarithon was trying to meet up with a larger Osprey force; However, he could not find the rallying point on his own, and so had to wait for a shadowy messenger bird to point the way to the Osprey camp.

The messenger revealed that Bijou and Elvarithon had, in fact, passed the camp. The were forced to double back, but ventured too close to the pursuing party. The rain and darkness concealed them from the wary eyes of all but Faunra, who saw them during a flash of lightning. Faunra pointed them out to Olivia and Keventhrios. Keventhrios began sneaking towards them just as they sighted the Osprey camp.

Elvarithon didn’t notice Keventhrios, but Bijou did, but dared not call Elvarithon’s attention to her compatriot, so they kept approaching the enemy camp…

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Stones, Roads and Water
Mist 15th to Mist 16th

The party met with the Black Cardinal in Kevin Waters’ study to plan their journey to Ravenspire. The Black Cardinal told the party that he would be following the The High Road and stopping at the villages along the way to continue recruiting people for the cause. He suggested that they follow the road that runs along the Boulder Coast, as a seafaring mercenary company known as the Ospreys had been conducting night-time raids all throughout the area. The Black Cardinal wanted the party to run off any attackers that they saw trying to land on the shore. The party agreed this was a sound idea and decided to begin the journey that night, so that they had a better chance of intercepting Osprey soldiers.

Before the party left, Kevin gave them a small waterproofed satchel filled with letters and asked them to deliver it to the Ebonwood Archives in Ravenspire.

The party’s journey to Ravenspire was interruped when they spotted an Osprey Longship off the shore in the middle of the night. They set up an ambush for one of the landing parties, lighting the ship on fire and killing all but one of the Osprey soldiers. The spectacle of the ambush scared off the other landing parties, and the landing barques returned to the longship without making shore.

The one surviving Osprey, an elf by the name of Elvarithon Goldlief, was taken prisoner by the party. In order to extract information about the elf’s employers, the party concocted an elaborate scheme by which Bijou would get Elvarithon’s trust. It culminated in a false escape an hour out from the next town. Bijou cut Elvarithon free and they fled south together. The party trailed them easily, hanging back so that Bijou and Elvarithon could speak, though now a storm is brewing, and it’s possible that they will lose the trail forever.

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Memories of Silver
Mist 14th to Mist 15th

The party, having obtained a map of Willowmaid Marsh, went to Merna’s to restock on supplies. While Faunra attempted to learn more about the surrounding area, Keventhrios and Zythix went back to the Sap Tap Tavern, where they played craps with an elven merchant. While they were playing, they were joined by Bijou the Bard, a kindred spirit with Keventhrios. Bijou was impressed by Keventhrios’s skill at “gambling,” and so offered to join the party in their adventures. Faunra was initially hostile to the arrangement, but grudgingly agreed to allow the gnome to tag along.

The party then journeyed south to the home of Emily Woodcroft. Upon their arrival they met Emily and her friend, Greznik Masondaughter. The party learned that some powerful and unknown force was corrupting the forest, and that the Willow Queen was the center of the disturbance. Emily told the party that the willowmaid trees were, in fact, a single living creature that grew new trees through a complicated root system, and that the Willow Queen was the heart of that system. She also warned them of the many dangers that the corrupted marsh presented, and told them that she would take shelter at the lighthouse while the party “riled up” the Willow Queen.

The party then travelled east to the Willow Queen, only to discover that the tree had been surrounded by an enormous thicket of thorns. They fought their way past a swarm of thornlings and discovered that the green-eyed menaces had been grown by the thicket, and nurtured upon the blood of one of the dead workers. They also found a marble bowl filled with golden coins given as an offering to the Willow Queen. Moving on, they skillfully destroyed a corrupted constrictor snake. and finally came to confront the Willow Queen herself. The Willow Queen spoke to them through the corrupted undead bodies of the other missing townsfolk. The Willow Queen blamed the town of Willowmaid for the pain of its corruption, viewing the people of the town as cruel slavers and wicked murderers. While Faunra tried to reason with the tree, Bijou and Keventhrios snuck behind the tree to discover a stone alter, choked and obscurred with corrupted vines. After carefully clearing off the vines, Keventhrios discovered that the alter was a place of worship, built by an ancient civilization to venerate the Willow Queen. He magically relayed the prayer written upon the altar to Bijou, who sang it to the Willow Queen in its original draconic. The prayer reminded the Willow Queen of ancient memories. It remembered the respect and worship that it had received from the people of the land, and in recalling the beautiful memories of the marsh and people that she loved was able to cast off the curse that had been inflicting it. It laid the corrupted dead to rest, offered its treasures to the party, and cast out the mysterious, foul influence that had been plaguing the marsh.

The party met Emily and Greznik back at the lighthouse, where they briefly discussed the events at the thicket of thorns. Emily, hesitant to believe that the problem had been solved so neatly, agreed to accompany the party when they returned to the Willow Queen in the morning. Greznik returned the party to Willowmaid by way of her dinghy just as the sun was beginning to set.

In the morning, the party escorted Hailey and Emily back to the Willow Queen to prove the truth of their account. Satisified, Hailey gave them their pay as well as the thanks of Willowmaid. After returning to Willowmaid, the party was once again approached by the Black Cardinal. The Cardinal, impressed with how the party handled the situation in Willowmaid, offered them a job as special agents for the Ravens. He also explained that he could not give the party any information as to who was threatening Ravenspire because he had been placed under a powerful geas. In order to learn more about the war effort, the party would have to go to Ravenspire and speak to the Ravens directly. To this end, the party has spent the better part of the day getting ready for the journey, and are about to set off…

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Uneasy in Willowmaid
Mist 14th

Faunra, Keventhrios, Olivia and Zythix were contacted by Hailey Waters and asked to meet her at the Sap Tap Tavern in the town of Willowmaid. Before they could meet with Hailey, however, the party was approached by a black cardinal and asked to join the Ravenspire militia on behalf of the enigmatic Ravens. Disappointed by the low pay, the party turned down the Cardinal’s offer and instead met with Hailey to discuss a different line of work.

Hailey informed the party that over the span of a few weeks four people had disappeared in the southern part of town. While three of these were simple laborers, the fourth was Hale Miller, the son of a prominent member of the community. She hired the party to investigate the cause of the disappearances and promised them one hundred gold coins each if they could bring an end to the problems plaguing the town. The party graciously accepted, and Keventhrios immediately began by questioning the tavern’s proprietor, who happened to be Hale’s older brother, Gregory Miller.

While Keventhrios was speaking with Gregory, the black cardinal from earlier confronted Faunra, Olivia and Zythix at their table. He claimed that he knew what was causing the disappearances and said that it was because “the forest is angry.” He insisted that he could say no more on the subject, but added that should the party manage to bring an end to the threat to Willowmaid, he would see to it that they were recruited into the militia as special operatives.

Once both conversations drew to a close, the party went to the town hall to speak with Eliza’s son, Kevin, but first they stopped by the mayor’s office and convinced him to give them each a one-hundred-gold-coin voucher for Merna’s Shop of Wonders. They found Kevin in his personaly library, and he told them that if they gave him an hour he could draw them a map of the Willowmaid Marsh. He also asked Faunra to take a look at a book he had in his possession which was written in Druidic. Although Faunra could read the book to some extent, she could not discern it’s function. Kevin offered to give Merna the book if the party could find a few other books to offer in trade for the volume.

The party then went to Merna’s Shop of Wonders, where they met Merna Brimblebrisket, who sold them various supplies for the journey and offered a little more information on the area surrounding Willowmaid. Once the party was done shopping, they went down to the orchards to speak to Jeff Montgomery — The employer of three of the missing townspeople. On their way their, the party noticed that the orchards were unaccountably deserted and ran afoul of an assassin vine. They informed Mr. Montgomery of the incident and he shared with them rumors about green eyes in the mist across the river. He also told them that he had witnessed a green-eyed creature walking towards the deeper parts of the marsh.

The party then went into the marsh itself and explored a ruined tower. Kevin had suggested that they explore the tower in search of books. While searching a desk, Faunra was plagued by the whispers of an unseen antagonist. The whisperer turned out to be an ash wraith, which they were forced to subdue before they could explore the tower further. Once the wraith was defeated, the party was able to find two small books that had survived the fire that had consumed the tower. They also found a heavy lockbox containing unstamped gold coins and a slim glass vial of some viscous orange potion. Once their search of the tower was complete they returned to the Town Hall, traded the novels for the druidic tome, and retrieved the freshly-inked map of Willowmaid Marsh.

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