Labyrinth of Fours
|Status||Explored December 833 TA|
|Campaign||The Third Age of Man (late)|
The first rays of sunlight streaked through the narrow slit of a window and fell on the sleeping form of the young man. His head still filled with the fluffy cobwebs of sleep, Ernie rolls over and pulls the heavy covers over his head. "A few more moments of sleep," he thinks. It had been almost a month since the harrowing adventure in the Valley of Mists. He was back in the safety of the still-unfinished Dragonsford Castle. Yet Ernie did not feel safe. While the battlements were almost completed, the young lord knew that they would pose little threat to the magical attacks that would soon be coming. Something was needed, something powerful, to protect his people. Suddenly, the thoughts of sleep were gone. Hurredly, he rose, dressed, and left his chamber to greet the day.
It was a cold morning in the last days of 832 TA. Snow had covered the ground for weeks, hampering the construction of the castle. Ernie sat quietly at the end of a long oaken table eating some hot stew from the kitchen. From the far end of the room, a messenger entered. Warmly wrapped and puffing, the man approached Ernie and handed him a sealed parchment. Ernie recognized the emblem of King Gregory the Even-Handed, Ruler of the Empire of Teufeldorf. Ernie motioned for provisions to be served to the messenger.
While the messenger ate, Ernie read the scroll from King Gregory. The parchment spoke of the war with Baradar, the bravery of the troops, and the need for the completion of Dragonsford Castle. In an official decree, Rackhir the Gold had been named Duke of the Western Reaches and First Lord of the Armies of Teufeldorf. Also, Ernest Goodfellow had been named Duke of the Eastern Reaches and First Lord of Dragonsford. King Gregory apologized for not personally visiting Dragonsford with the news, but with the war.... In addition, the king had also sent a troop of miners and sappers to help with the construction of the castle. Ernie sighed as he realized that the castle would cost another 30,000 gold pieces before the task would be finished. There was much to do...
Sunlight filtered down through the massive oaks of Haggelthorn Forest. A scant hundred yards into the woods, and Falstaff felt miles away from the pressures of human contact. Somewhere behind the druid a twig cracked, a sure sign that his secret contact was approaching. Again the druid was lost in thought, so much so that he was startled by his companion's voice. "I bring to you some interesting news," the man began. For a small bag of gold, the man relates some scant information about the Crystal Heart of Masking, a legendary gem which allows the possessor to cast powerful sleeping spells. "The only way into the Pit is through the northern entrance to the valley. It is guarded by a village of ettins. The key to the entrance is a riddle, 'A push, a pull, a slide, a knock.' From there, you must follow the Sign of the Four." Falstaff pondered the news carefully. The valley, he now knew, lay a score of leagues to the north along the rocky coast of the Inner Sea. There was much to do....
The sturdy dwarf wiped the blood from his sword. "By my father's beard, that was a good time." Around the squatting figure were sprawled a number of urvile bodies. Each hideous form marked with the vulture badge of the Shadowland Empire. "At least these creatures won't be reporting back to Baradar," the dwarf mumbled. "A few more days, and we will be dining on ettin soupe." There was much to do....
"I still think this is a mistake," Hylax grumbled under his breath. Richard Whitesword, a broad smile on his weathered face, put the 625 gold pieces safely onto his horse. The nag shifted her weight as the additional cargo was secured. "Those eight amulets will protect each of you from the somnabulistic powers of the Heart. Honest." Hylax looked at the diamond shaped pendant and slipped it around his neck. He and Falstaff would test the amulets while their companions walked unaided. There was much to do....
The party entered the valley from the south. There they saw the village of ettins and the northern gate. At last, their goal was in sight.
Adventures in the Labyrinth of Fours
Hurriedly scrawled notes have been discovered about this adventure and are presented unedited below.