The Lastlight Chronicles

The Road to Vandalin

The group decide that they’re best placed to go to Vandalin. It’s two days’ south from their current location, and that’s where Gwendalyn and Gundren had been headed.

As they recuperate along the way, Gwendalyn explains more about what she and her brother were doing in the area. Some months ago, Gundren had been bequeathed a map by his uncle, Burgen. The map was old and torn, yet nearly complete in its description of a long-lost mine buried in the mountains of Sunder. This mine had been founded and run by the Hearthhold dwarves and a clan of gnomes nearly 800 years ago and was said to contain a vault filled with powerful magical treasures. But, the mine was overrun in the Great War many hundreds of years ago, and its location and contents are now unknown. Gwendalyn’s uncle, Burgen, believed that he was being pursued by dark forces for this map, hence why he gave it to Gundren in secret for safekeeping. Burgen was never specific about the dark forces in question, but he did refer to the ‘Black Veil’ on one occasion.

Gwendalyn readily admits that she and her brother were excited to have the map, and may have been too bold in talking about it. Her brother belonged to an organisation called the Forge, a semi-secret alliance of adventurers that scour the lands for ancient artefacts that they can use against oncoming threats. As can be imagined, a map to a hidden vault of long-buried treasure seemed too good to be true. Gundren and Gwendalyn had travelled to Foolshelm and brokered a meeting with two brothers – Futhir and Thrannir – who were descendants of the gnomes that had established the mine, and may be able to fill in some gaps. In Foolshelm, Gundren also met with a former Forge agent named Elliyas, who had retired in Vandalin a few months beforehand and could organise a secure meeting place for them there. That meeting was due to fall on the day the adventurers discovered Gwendalyn in the cave.

So, what’s happened to Gundren and his map? Why was Burgen killed – was it the map, or something else? Who was Aadara, and where had she come from? What’s this business about the Raven King, and why did the bugbear talk about “Lantern’s Flame” at Burgen’s Farm? Who was paying the bugbear to kill, capture and raid the lands of Sunder, and why was so much of the coin from The Heathlands? Where’s the mine, and what mysteries does it contain? Where are Futhir and Thrannir? What does Elliyas know? 

The answers to some of these questions will be found, it seems, in Vandalin…

Session 2: The bugbear's den
A hard-won victory

Six days out from Lastlight, the adventurers were hot on the trail of the bugbear and goblins that have been wreaking havoc across the farms and trade routes of Sunder. Following clues from raided merchant caravans travelling on the road between Lastlight and the southern towns of Vandalin and Foolshelm, the adventurers push on, deeper into the wilderness. On an isolated track, little more than a goat-path, they find the mutilated bodies of two ponies – their riders missing, and possessions gone.


The trail leads them to an isolated valley well off the main road. A town used to be here, centuries ago – now it’s buried under landslides, moss and mighty trees, with little more than a seemingly-abandoned church to mark where it once stood. Having noticed some lights in the valley in the early morning, they search the forest and discover a young girl named Aadara. She is small and human-like, but not of a race that anyone has encountered before. She tells stories of the Raven King – a terrifying foe who is conquering the lands far to the south – and provides some limited assistance in identifying where the bugbear and goblins keep their lair. Her wariness around Taerus indicates that the Raven King may be an elf. Scouting the area, Erol notices dust rising from the north – perhaps riders, a short distance away. Otherwise, the area appears deserted.


Entering the cave where the monstrous raiders lurk, the adventurers quickly dispatch sentries and delve into the darkness. A guard positioned ahead escapes and sets off a trap that injures two of the party, but the group scrabble their way up a steep side-tunnel. There, they find a dwarf held captive by a band of goblins. Rastus uses his Burning Hands to obliterate the band. A mixture of intimidation and negotiation is used against the surviving goblin, failing which a flurry of arrows does the trick. Taerus rescues and revives the dwarf, and discovers her name to be Gwendalyn Hearthhold. She is niece to Burgen Hearthhold, the farmer/potion master killed by the bugbear a month ago. Gwendalyn was captured along with her brother, Gundren Hearthhold; she says something in passing of a map that Gundren held, but little more is mentioned at this time.


Some fine bowmanship by the rangers eliminate more threats – the returning sentry is dispatched, as are others who come to investigate the noises. The final battle is held in a dark cavern that acts as the bugbear’s lair and treasure chamber. The bugbear’s wolf attacks and nearly kills Gwendalyn. Sensing weakness, the bugbear emerges from the shadows and, swinging its massive spiked club, nearly kills Carnacki. The tiefling holds it off while Taerus circles around and backstabs the foul creature. Enraged, the bugbear knocks the elf to the ground before circling back on the other foes. As Rastus dispatches the last of the goblins with his quarterstaff and prepares to charge into the fray, Erol and Carnacki launch themselves at the bugbear and dispatch their massive foe.


After reviving wounded comrades with some homebrew healing potions, the adventurers search the den and discover a large stack of coins – many of them, Heathlander copper. These coins come from a lawless neighbouring kingdom to the lands of Sunder. There are no further clues of how the goblins and bugbear came to have them, however. Beyond the coins, they find a small statue and several crates marked with the sigil of the Goodbrace Trading Company, which operates in Sunder. There is no trace of Gwendalyn’s brother, Gundren or this mysterious map.

Downtime: the first weeks of Autumn
Carnacki picks fights | Taerus recovers

In the weeks between adventures…. 

A few days of gainful employment guarding caravans earns Carnacki a measly 15 gold, so he sets his sights on bigger meal tickets.  
Turning to a life of crime, Carnacki plunders a poorly guarded caravan owned by a prosperous local dwarven merchant named Gerth Camble. He gets 100 gold for his troubles but then finds that Gerth has strong ties to local crime boss from downhill Lastlight, Duncan 'the Boar' Boarshelm. Carnacki decides not to push his luck there, so looks elsewhere to get his kicks. 
Two weeks of pitfighting sees Carnacki win 150 gold and the enmity of a local elven fighter named Kenric. He performs well enough to be approached by a noble of Lastlight named Draeg Walshlin, who is looking at building a 'stable' of fighters. The Tiefling is non-committal, as he wishes to know more about Walshlin first.

Taerus, meanwhile, is recovering from his nearly fatal wounds. He spends a fortnight healing up in the Unicorn and Serpent. Captain Gillam has given him 20 gold for his troubles, some of which he puts toward his accommodation. When he heals up he moves to The Cauldron in downhill, which is a little cheaper. There, he is approached by Naraelin, a highly strung wood elf herbalist who's seen an opening in the lucrative apothecary business. Taerus spends the next fortnight moving Naraelin's delicate wares from workshops in Lastlight to Ombrey, from where they're sent onto Altamar. Naraelin does this in secret as he doesn't want to attract the attention of the standover men that control large portions of Lastlight's trade – he has previously been shaken down by an elven mercenary named Kenric, who Taerus thinks works for 'The Boar'. Thankfully, Taerus doesn't encounter any issues and earns 30 gold for his troubles, no strings attached.

Session 1: A ranger's request
Bloodshed at Burgen's Farm

The last day of summer traditionally begins the three days of celebration called the Feast of Nisk. In the town of Lastlight, largest of the mountain-villages of Sunder, the day coincides with the Lighting of the Beacon, marking 300 years since the ending of the centuries-long war against the evils that once dwelled in the mountains. All of Lastlight’s 2,000-odd residents have come out for the festival, along with many of the farmers and miners from nearby homesteads and hamlets. The key activities are conducted by Lady Threnody Rook, who has been Lastlight’s appointed leader for many years.
With many of the local rangers occupied by the festivities, Gillam Sucain, grizzled Halfling ranger captain and right-hand man of Lady Rook, charges a junior ranger and his drinking companion – Carnacki the tiefling and Taerus the elf – with investigating a potentially suspicious fire at a farm some miles from town.
Carnacki and Taerus travel through the night, across the valley that lies west of Lastlight and up a nearby mountain peak. This mountain, like many in the region of Sunder, is marked by the wars that were fought here, with parts of the mountainside looking as if it’s been cleanly sliced by a massive blade. The mighty cliffs and gullies formed by this effect are known as the Shear.
Carnacki and Taerus’ destination is a small farm close to the edge of a Sheared cliff, run by a dwarf named Burgen Hearthhold. The farm appears abandoned and beyond an upturned wagon, the duo find no sign of Burgen himself. Carnacki and Taerus find and slay a number of goblins, before having a standoff in the ruins of an old tower with a fearsome, ape-like goblinoid creature called a bugbear. To save his companion from certain death, Carnacki bribes the foe to retreat. The bugbear mentions two phrases that are unknown to the duo – ‘raven king’ and ‘lantern’s flame’ – before departing.


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