- Sjolander Bigbody
- The Stepping Scald
- The Vagabond
- The Ringmaster
- The Enchantress
- Slick Richard
Setting the StageEdit
The heavyset mul, Sjolander Bigbody, ran a jail on Thunderhead mountain, using his simple view of the world and his magical abilities to shape stone he ran a peaceful and well respected prison.
The infamous halfling thief, Nill was on top of the world until she was caught and sent to Sjolanders prison.
Cedar is an outcast razorclaw shifter who has a mighty, proud, avian primal spirit bound to his soul. Though his own soul is that of a rat.
Swannalilly lived a peaceful life on an island on a lake, studying her magic and learning about nature until the pelorians intervened.
Sjolander, Nill, Cedar, Swannalilly, a human and another prisoner of sjolander's wake up chained to the walls in a dank dungeon cell. None of them remember how they got there. Sjolander manages to stall the guards by pretending he is a guard named "Charles" while the others used various powers and skills to break free from their cell, leaving the human and unnnamed dwarf behind. The four heroes recovered their gear and then the swans around Swannalilly's neck offered a way out. Using a magic key the heroes open a door to a far away place and step outside into freedom.
They recognize that they are near a ghost town called The Step. They rest there for the night, and in the morning they are awakened by a skald loudly singing a song about the regions geography. As he draws nearer ghost children spring to life about the town and follow the skald. He offers to tell Sjolander a story, and Sjolander offers the same.
Bigbody recalls the "Tune of Legout and his good pal Grommy". The Scald is impressed and sings "The Tragedy of Schuloiger". Bigbody, becomes uncomfortable and decides that he should leave, and the skald offers to give anything to Bigbody as a way to make him stay. When Bigbody declines the skald yells out to the rest of the ghost town and then makes his offer to Swannalilly. She is enticed but she too declines. Then he offers anything to Nill, she asks for a map that can show all of th worlds treasure. The skald asks what she would do for this mask, and when she goes so far as to say she would kill for it, he leaves town laughing, and explains that he has no power to give anyone anything. He then tells the ghost children to learn form this lesson.
The heroes leave The Step and wander down south towards Sashelas Lake, the home of Swannalilly. After a full days travel through the thick woods they make camp high in the treetops but during the night the bitter cold chills Cedar and Nill to the bone. The next day they continue travel and make it to Lake Sashelas. Once there Swannalilly sees that her home on the island has been burnt down and Cedar notices Pelorian Templars on the far side of the lake. Bigbody goes to talk to the knights while the other three hide. The Pelorians trust him for a time, but due to cedar's primal spirit companion they quickly realize that Bigbody was involved in the jailbreak two nights ago. They charge after bigbody but then fall unconscious behind him. A vistani human male named Slick Richard shows himself and warns bigbody that the pelorians will wake up any moment now, he leads bidbody to a cliff where two more vistani and three horses wait. After boarding the horses they scamper to where Swannalilly and Nill hide and pick them up.
They ride for four hours and Cedar feels the strength of the Primal Spirits ebb, the they come across a vistani campgrounds. Here they be merry until the vistani leader, a tiefling woman named "Grandmother" invites Swannalilly to speak with her. There Grandmother explains who the Horsemen are, and offers the heroes a deal. The heroes may live with the vistani until the Pelorians are no longer looking for them, but during that time they will have to run simple 'errands' for the vistani. The heroes agree.
The heroes reside in the vistani camp for two weeks, then one afternoon Swanna-lilly and company are called to visit with Grandmother. She gives them a note which they are told they can not read, and they are tasked with delivering it to a woman who lives about twenty hours away.
The next day they set out in the morning and after arguing over who was going to be the one to carry the letter, the note is passed to the embraced swans upon Swanna-lillys neck. The group heads out lead by Swanna-lilly. While traveling they feel the everse effects of the cold and eventually rest for the night. The next day they travel some more and eventually Cedar feels the presence of shadow and fey energies.
He scouts up ahead and sees some wolves eating a young owlbear carcass. He then notices roots draining the blood from the carcass. He recognizes these roots as belonging to Twig Blights and decides to send the group in the other direction. They try to go a different root, but Bigbody steps on a twig and alerts the wolves of their presence. The heroes battle the wolves until the twig blights can drain no more blood from the body of the owlbear, and thats when the twig blights start attacking the characters. Nill does considerable damage, sniping with her shorbow, while cedar directs Nill, uses spiritual energies to heal his 'allies' and hides, Swanna-lilly flies into a tree and throws acorns until its necessary to unleash a tidalwave upon the wolves and Bigbody sends chunks of earth flying and almost swallows Nill in a fissure, which he manages to stop. Eventually the heroes succeed and continue on their way, after Bigbody burries one of the Twig Blights he "killed".
The heroes reach a valley and once they climb down they see that there is a hut who's entryway is lined with scarecrows. Swanna-lilly determines that this is their destination and that the scarecrows are a rudimentary alarm system used by whoever lives in the hut. Most likely a witch. Swanna-lilly atempts to make her presence known using magic which causes a giant creature made out of muck and filth to sit up from behind the huts fence. He charges forward his one larhe eye set on the heroes and yells "MOMMA!".