An excerpt from the journals of Sir Gareth Arr, paladin of Pikahl,
knight and head of King Arion's personal guard:
Misfortune again; the gods do not make this trial of ours easy.
temple we came upon deep in the swamp proved to be carved with all
manner of snake-like symbols, from a god of whom I have no
After skillfully bridging the great trench encircling the temple,
decided to stay the night and rest, after having searched the
Disaster struck that night. Some manner of slimy creature emerged
cracks within the stone floor and simply... absorbed companions
alike. I remained behind and attempted to save as many of my
possible, but the losses were grave. Only Cole, Wulfgar,
Malissin, and I survived. We spent the remainder of the night
The next day, we travelled to the lizardman village, where we
discovered the idol, obviously in a place of religious respect,
their totem-like altar. It struck me oddly that "theives" so at
the swamp would leave very obvious tracks and openly display an
they would have to know would bring down the human forces upon
unless they did not do it. While the group observed the village,
prayer for guidance was granted with an azure beam leading us deep
the swamp, away from the villagers. After travel that seemed
fast (I suspect godly assistance again), we arrived at a
clearing, at the far end of which hulked a monstrous,
hydra. Cole cast a spell to hide Barbaxle and myself; the two of
swam underwater up to the hydra while the archers used flaming
distract and weaken the aberration. The strategy at close was for
lop off necks, moving inwards, while Barbaxle seared the stumps.
was working fine until Cole remembered a magical item he
magical stick of some sort, and used it to bid the creature away.
Unfortunately, the mage neglected to consider the fact that
I were virtually beneath its feet...during its abrupt departure,
became a situation in truth for me as the massive thing crushed me
the murk, twisting armour and nearly killing me, but for Pikahl's
Not willing to leave the creature free to roam the swamps, we
down to its lair and eventually slew the monster.
A number of treasures and coin were discovered and divided,
much remains still... a definite quest for training a future group
knights. The extreme heat and moisture will also teach them the
importance of knowing salves and healing herbs, not to mention
up their endurance for the battlefield. For my choice, I
beautiful cherrywood bow, quite similar to father's. Considering
reputation as an archer, I believed it to be a fair, if
choice. Ah.. but I digress, for we found another surprise within
hydra's lair, an elven male by name of Jahl. Claiming to be a
he explained that he had been captured by strange shape-changing
creatures and left as a treat for the hydra, apparently a common
situation. This would explain the absence of bodies from these
shape-changers' actions. As we know it, they appear to be able to
shapechange into human, lizardfolk, and a strange man-tiger form.
have heard rumour of such creatures, Rashaka, or Rakasha, or
Again were we visited by godly vision, praised by the gods,
and given simple silver rings of obviously magical creation. A
shown to us, heading back in the direction we had just travelled,
were told to follow it.
Along our trek back, we heard noise within the foliage, and
investigating, discovered a party of four from King Arion,
our status: Gaerik, Alista, Sammual, and Erin, a fellow paladin of
Pikahl. Shortly thereafter, we encountered the glowing lights
been following. Two glowing orbs of energy, apparently sentient.
Despite our peaceful greetings, they attacked, injuring several of
party before we destroyed one of them. The second immediately
mercy and offered us information on the shapeshifters for its
which we agreed. When I attempted to heal a mortally-wounded
the shock of the misfire (or was it the creature in spite?)
off my feet and back several more. We left the remaining creature
The endpoint of the godpath proved to be the lizardfolk village
again, so a number of the group volunteered to proceed in with me
the rest remained as reinforcements should trouble occur.
After speaking with many of the very peaceful and polite
using Malissin as translator - we were directed by the chief to
with the shaman of the group, which we did, noticing a very
ring upon his finger. Although the shaman did not believe our
was willing to meet us half-way. He offered us a chance to prove
story, by bringing in one of these Shifters. To that end, he
a powerful, reliable, and safe scrying magic he could cast... for
price. Barbaxle sacrificed a ring found at the hydra's cave, and
new bow, still unfired - what irony. The result: "Beware the
form of friend; north of the temple [various directions leading
the one in which we had slept], look for the sign of the wolf." I
convinced the chief of the village to send 5 observers/warriors;
additional strength did not hurt, and it would serve the truth
the lizardkin had members of their own confirming our story.
Many hours of travelling later, we arrived at the given
Surprisingly, Jason (our companion killed in the first town we
encountered) and a lizardman stepped out into a clearing before
heard a female voice cry out, then realized that the two before us
casting; Barbaxle and myself found ourselves magically held - side
the Rakasha seem to be able to cast normally, despite the wildness
most magic. One of the two creatures mascarading as friends was
reverting to the man-tiger form I suspect is their natural one,
other turned invisible and fled. A third one was captured in the
clearing. There we discovered Arilyn, a young female elven
the next victim to be of the catvillains' hunger. We invited her
join our group, as we had Jahl.
Our company decided, I am again proud to say, to track down the
shifter and slay it lest it harm others. During our search, we
encountered a trio of lizardmen from a lost tribe faction. The
village leader apparently disappeared into the swamp some time ago
a number of followers on premise of going to pray to their god...
never returned. The lizardfolk within our group spoke with them
found that the last Rakasha had been seen to the north; we
directions to the site, but the lost ones chose not to remain with
The Rakasha cave proved relatively easy to find with the
aid. In the process of entering, we braved magical darkness,
even a freezingly powerful ice blast. Nevertheless, we pierced
inner sanctum and slew the runaway. More coin was found (another
quest?), though the lizardfolk declined any of it when we
location to them.
Our return to the village was successful and the observers'
supported our captive's confession. He claimed that he was one of
banished to the swamp from their homeland. They had been planning
forced return, but required that the humans and lizardfolk were
exterminated. What better way than to steal from one, blaim the
and watch the two communities destroy each other. The statuette
Krahs proved to be the perfect subject. Distracting everyone with
speech, the creature drew a secreted dagger and slew himself. Our
debated seeking the fourth Rakasha, but another vision from Pikahl
struck me: if the idol was not returned soon, the humans would
into the swamp and annihilate the lizardfolk. We received the
statuette, were assured that the lizardfolk would defeat the final
man-cat, and were guided back out of the swamp to Port Capri. The
king's second party was dispatched back to Dragonmeyr with a copy
journal and Cole's map to report on our travels and check on the
groups. We bid them good speed and safe travels.
Faith has enabled out success, but with cost as in most things.
gods' attention is back on the world, and such is good for all
May Pikahl watch over all and shelter all. Long life, my King.
Sir Gareth Arr, servant of Pikahl