The Deck of Many Things, book 2 p. 5
Wjizzo’s ancient ivory card named “Ruin” comes from a larger deck. There’s certainly a strange power in the card, and the magic of the Deck is surely greater than the magic of the individual cards.
Scout the Abbey, book 2 p. 8
Lord Padraig of Winterhaven said: “I suspect that the orc raiders preying upon the King’s Road lair in the ruins of Gardmore Abbey. To start with, find out whether they are on that site and if they are, give me as complete a picture of their lair and defences as you can.”
Tower of the Archmage, book 2 p. 5
Valthrun told you there is a tower in the village below the abbey, which believes to be the location of The Winterbole Codex, a tome bound in white dragon scales, which he would much like to get to read.
Priest of the Eye, book 2 p. 6
Quoth Grundelmar in Fallcrest to Fosden: “Years ago, adventurers destroyed a cult of the Elder Elemental Eye but the leader, Vadin Cartwight, escaped. Well, the Sun Lord has spoken in my dreams to let me know that Cartwright is still a danger. He is dabbling with forces beyond mortal understanding that could be disastrous, and must be sought among the dead in old Gardmore Abbey.”
Establish a Claim, book 2 p. 13
Sir Berrian Velfarren said: “My ancestors had a hand in the the establishment of this grove, and your Lord Padraig will recognise our rightful claim here if the proof of it can be demonstrated.”
‘Icon Relationship’ Benefits pending
Cram, Hero of the Spirits: A benefit with strings attached
Wjizzo, ___________________ : A clear benefit
Fosden, Favoured of Pelor: A clear benefit
Eric Bloodhammer, ____________ : Still to roll
Tragedy upon the Dragon’s Roost hilltop
Harrowed by the destructive sorcery of Wjizzo’s acid arrow, the monstrous Carrion Crawler responded with an outraged attack upon the first person in its path. Cram ducked and twisted and his used his fullblade to beat aside the mouth-tentacles that darted at him, but one glancing contact sent fire through his nerves.
Fosden demonstrated a cool aim with his crossbow, shooting assuredly past Cram to strike the monster squarely on its chitinous head. “Varris, strike with the power of Pelor!” he exhorted.
Varris the Scarred set his sights on the thing, and sprang up to alight momentarily atop the pile of rubble and then launch himself with a shower of masonry in his wake clear past the Carrion Crawler, striking it a glancing blow as he passed.
The enraged beast half-turned to follow the wood-elf’s baffling move, and Cram struck out, hacking diagonally down through its head. Instantly dead, the creature’s long body thrashed and twisted, but its tentacles hung lifeless and it was no longer any threat.
But before the dread thing had ceased to move, a second one barreled out from round a corner behind Varris and closed half a dozen tentacles around his head and face. The elf screamed out as the venom of that contact seemed to set his body afire.
As the odds rose with this second arrival and Varris’ sudden plight, Wjizzo sought to redouble his efforts and spent a moment to summon even more power than he had put into his first spell. When he had mustered all that he could sustain he unleashed it again. “Milf’s Acid Arrow!” he shrilled, launching a doubly intense bolt of sorcerous acid from his wand.
But, tragedy of tragedies, even as the Arrow arced out and over, the monster drew back and Varris half fell a staggering step backward, right into the Arrow’s path! The magic of Wjizzo, bearer of the card of Ruin, struck the hapless Varris squarely in the head, neck and breast, the eldritch acid searing through his elven leathers and killing him instantly. The links of the chain about his throat sizzled apart and the great glowing pearl, the Orb of Light, fell to the ground. The raven’s head image upon it, token of the bond between the Raven Queen and her living servant, faded and was gone.
With all in a stunned silence save the Carrion Crawler that clicked and hissed at being deprived of its prey, Fosden had the greatest presence of mind. “Fly forth, o righteous spirits!” The living sunbeams that spiralled out from his symbol of Pelor put a protective shimmer of gold about Cram before searing forth and ravaging the clicking beast.
And the very ground shuddered beneath their feet. But the cause proved to be something of great strength beneath the floor. In the darkness, something upheaved the ground, making straight for the adventurers. Faster than they could evade it, the thing passed under Cram, tilting the paving stones every which way, making it a marvel that he kept his feet (especially with his legs not working properly as something from the first crawler was still washing through him).
The line passed like an enormous mole’s run under the threshold of the ruin and a great armoured monster erupted in a shower of earth right under Fosden and Wjizzo, spilling them both onto their backs.
“A landshark!” cried Fosden.
Wjizzo frowned, and then brightened. “Oh, a bulette,” he said.
Cram drove himself to a violent frenzy of urgency, laying into the sun-smitten Carrion Crawler, driving it back half-battered, its half-hearted tentacle-lashing reply seeming warded off by the golden glow, and failing even to touch him.
Wjizzo half rose and levelled his wand to shoot forth a spray of light in disturbingly clashing colours, and the monster gave a strangled cry, subsiding backwards and seeking to hide its alien eyes from the insult.
“Mighty Pelor, shield this virtuous foe of your enemies,” called Fosden, as he sprang to his feet and backed away from the great tunnelling beast, reinvigorating Cram even as the golden sun-glow upon him faded. And holding his medallion in both hands he caused it to strike a lancing beam against his own attacker, though it seemed to have little effect. For all that, though the monster bore down upon him, he managed to evade the massive scaled snout.
Cram, his legs still betraying him, was unable to get away from the second crawler, and just battled furiosly on against it.
To his surprise Wjizzo came up behind him with a cry of “It’s nearly done. I’ll take it!”, drew his elven longsword and stepped up. But the High Elves’ fabled skill with that weapon was not in Wjizzo this day, and it was all he could do to keep control of his weapon and avoid striking Cram or falling on the blade himself.
“Take that, you f—!” yelled Fosden, scoring his spearpoint along the flank of the landshark’s muzzle. The brute snapped back at him, but again Fosden was able to keep away from those jaws.
The rage was upon Cram, and whatever he might have felt about Wjizzo’s competence right now, he sought to pull away and turn his sword against the greater beast. Giving a little of himself to his dark armour, he felt its power wax about him… But the carrion crawler was not to be denied and whipped a tentacle against his side. Cram laughed callously as he barely felt a thing, then groaned as venom locked up his stride, and finally voiced a foul curse as he span back around and swung his fullblade into the persistent monster, chopping it into two lifeless halves.
Wjizzo lost no time in twisting about and shooting his cone of disconcertingly shifting colours at the head of the bulette. The monster bellowed in frustration, and Fosden’s spear struck well for the second time, and then a third, as the thing abandoned its attack upon him to haul itself about and avenge itself upon the wizard.
Striking masonry aside, it plunged in upon Wjizzo and with open jaws so wide that a Shield spell could not avail him. Even diving back from the closing maw with graceful elvish speed, Wjizzo was gashed across his hind parts by a row of wicked fangs.
But though Cram, suffering from crawler poison, could not have closed the distance the land shark’s own rampage had brought it within reach of his fullblade. The Thumper barbarian struck with the full weight of his rage, heedless of the armour plating his target, and striking clean through it!
Wjizzo, still anguished by Varris’ death and flabbergasted at his further ineptitude with the sword, had much to prove and tried harder… And lost his grip on his sword, sending it sailing over the head of the bulette looming over him.
“No!” he shrieked, and all but covering his face in shame, stepped out of this grim world and into its Feywild counterpart. Verdant turf gave spring to his step and bright blue butterflies the size of dinnerplates fluttered aside as he ran forwards— and crashed back into the grim world just past Varris’ mortal remains. The Orb of Light lay there glowing but ravenless, and Varris’ steel mask had fallen aside. The facial burns that Varris had sustained yet never allowed to be seen even by his closest allies was a horror to behold; the epithet “Varris the Scarred” fell far short of honouring the torment that he must have endured in life. With a flicker of his Mage-hand, Wjizzo set the mask back in place and folded Varris’ cloak and hood about his remains.
Then a big armoured man with a great red beard stepped around the corner of the ruin, nothing about him suggesting any connection with the orcs in the camp below.
“Whatever is all the— Daisy! I told you! Back! Stand back you people, she’s only a baby—” And he administered a blow of his enormous hammer to the snout of the land shark like it was a rolled up parchment. The beast’s head was struck flat onto the ground, and its whole body slumped inert.
“Sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen!” he bellowed. “The pet’s a bit feisty. Stand aside, stand aside… I say, do any of you know the kiss of life? She was only halfway through training. Still didn’t like to be mounted… But where are my manners? Eric Bloodhammer’s the name.”