Ahrea Campaign 3: Trial Of The Monster Hunter

Session 1: Setting Forth From the Nederen Wood

The year is AC1261.

Northern Ahrea has all but fallen to the draconic armies that now march upon it during the Uprisings of Vas. The Riders of The North have all but fallen and retreated to their King on Southern Ahrea, and the gains won by the Army Of The Sword’s Path have been lost as the draconians have defeated the mercenary force. The free city of Vels has been lost and only the High Elven capital of Ia’Nellsa remains as a safe haven, with the remaining scattered villages amongst Northern Ahrea falling to the draconians as quickly as they are come across.

During the chaos of the last year, Aras had spent his time living with a Narrer (Wood Elf) named Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair within the Great Forest of Northern Ahrea, completely oblivious to the destruction that had occurred since he had lived with her. Once they had been taken to Ia’Nellsa, however, it became apparent to him that his home town of Rothsal was on the war path. Knowing very well that to return to Rothsal would be certain death, Aras decided to return anyways in hopes of saving those who remained there. Despite believing he had lost Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair to her kin, the elf decided to come with him, though his fears for her safety ate away at him as they began the journey to his old home.

Two days have passed since Aras and Fiva have left the Nederen Wood where they last fought Norman. Grateful to be alive, the two continue heading west towards Rothsal so that Aras may find out what has become of his home.

The travel through the Eastern Tundra is rather harsh upon the two as the bitter cold hinders them, however Aras is determined to make it through and Fiva is determined to follow him where ever he may go. During the night the two come across a harsh snow storm that threatens to freeze them to death on the open tundra, but they find refuge in a little wooded grove.

As they set up camp, they hear the sounds of a great beast, and upon further investigation find that it is a extremely large white dragon that had made these sounds. They watch on from a small hill above the grove as the dragon takes flight from it’s home under the Tundra, causing the landscape around it to warp in odd ways as it passes by. Though Fiva is captivated by the sight, Aras is horrified to now know that the dragons themselves are a real threat to his homeland.

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Session 2: Captors of the Frostfields

Aras and Fiva relax after their encounter with the White Dragon the night before, and the two decide to take a break from their travels in order to spend some quiet time together. Fiva finds herself freezing on the open tundra and is not used to the sheer cold, though Aras attempts to keep her warm by keeping a fire going and wrapping her up in multiple blankets.

After spending a day in order for the weather conditions to improve, Aras and Fiva continue on the highroad west to the captured city of Vels.

Along the path the two come across a imprisoned band of travelers, who are about to be executed by their draconian captors. Unable to leave them to their fate, Aras decides to aid them despite the overwhelming odds, and Fiva joins in the attempt. After pulling an ambush on the draconians, the two become locked in battle with the Dakans and their Dakrahn commander. The two manage to fend off the majority of the draconians, but the Dak’Rahn poses a problem as he nearly knocks out Aras in a single blow.

The fight against the Dak’Rahn goes rather poorly as Aras is nearly killed by the draconian, however he and Fiva manage to win the fight and free the captured civilians after the Dak’Rahn accidentally triggers Aras to enter an enraged state.

After receiving a safe wagon to sleep in for the night, Aras speaks with the leader of the wagon train who informs him of the rough conditions ahead while Fiva rests in a trance. The next morning, the two bid farewell to the people they had saved and continue on their way west.

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Session 3: The Field of The Blades

Aras and Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair continue on through the harsh climate of the Eastern Tundra after having saved the wagon train the day before, being buffeted by razor sharp winds and seemingly never-ending snow during their journey home to Rothsal.

After four more days of travel the two find themselves on the outskirts of Vels, which Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair finds Aras to be rather unnerved to see. During the night she has her own episode during her trance as she relives the loss of her family during the Vanrer (Dark Elf) raid on her village years ago, during which Aras is unable to do anything to help her.

The next day the two start their travel north to avoid going through Vels, which is now overrun with the draconians. On the way the two come across what is known as the Field of The Blades – A memorial to all of those lost in the various battles for Vels over the last few decades. Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair notices her companions’ visible depression as they travel through the field, and even more so when they come across the remains of the camp of his old unit in the Army Of The Sword’s Path.

Aras is devastated to find that his old allies had not survived the last skirmishes of the last battle for Vels, and though she tries to console him, Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair finds it impossible to aid him. They are interrupted by a patrol of the draconians, however, along with three human men identifying themselves as soldiers of the Legion of Vas.

Enraged by them disturbing the remains of his allies and knowing that he and Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair will be killed if they were to surrender, Aras engages combat with this warband of Vas. Aras and Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair are victorious, however both are badly wounded as Aras had taken two arrows to his right arm and Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair had taken an arrow to her left shin during the fight.

After hastily dressing their wounds, Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair watches on as Aras properly buries his old allies and replants the flag of the Sword’s Path above their graves. Knowing that the draconians will send reinforcements to find them the two quickly depart, despite being crippled by their wounds.

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Session 4: The Eastern Tundra

Fiva and Aras find a carriage of the Legion on the outskirts of Vels. Desperate to get the supplies that they need to continue their journey, Aras makes an attempt to steal them as Fiva watches on from the trees.

Aras sneaks his way in to find supplies, and is forced to fight his way out with Fiva’s help after a Dakan catches him in the carriage. Barely managing to escape unharmed, Aras and Fiva both realize that the Legion will be sending more troops to find them after brazenly attacking their supply line.

Aras and Fiva steal one of the horses attached to the carriage, and attempt to traverse the Eastern Tundra in an effort to avoid the Legion’s wrath. The weather becomes extremely severe as they travel on, and the two lose their horse after two days.

The two wander in the open tundra extremely disoriented, and find themselves heading back towards the Onlen Wood nearby Vels in order to avoid freezing to death in the tundra.

Though Aras becomes overly exhausted from carrying the crippled Fiva on his back, he realizes that she will die unless they are able to find warm shelter, and forces himself to continue onwards. Despite nearly dying from overexerting himself, the two are able to reach the Onlen Wood safely.

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Session 5: Onlen Wood And the Analen Mountain Pass

The two escape several Legion patrols as they hide in the forest, and hide in a small stone tunnel shelter. Aras has nightmares over his time in the Army of the Swords Path while Fiva watches over him.

The two set off again in the morning. Despite her tracking skills, Fiva and Aras become very disoriented in the large wood. The two are attacked by beastlike dogmen, and are nearly killed. When Aras kills the alpha male of the pack, however, the beasts run off.

Aras and Fiva spend some time recooperating from the last fight the day after, however realize they must finish their trip soon or they will run out of food. The two manage to navigate their way out of the Onlen Wood, and make their way up to the Ana’Len Mountain Pass.

As the two go over the pass, they find the normal route has completely frozen over due to the recent snow and is unable to be crossed. The only way to cross is by attempting to actually climb through the mountains, which is something the two find themselves ill prepared to do. The travel across the Ana’Len Mountain Range is slow, as although Aras is a decent mountaineer, Fiva is not used to the alpine climbing that their route requires.

As the two attempt to cross a particularly treacherous pass, Fiva loses her footing and almost falls to her death. Aras catches her, but then also falls after putting her back on the trail. Fiva finds herself being pulled over the edge as Aras falls over, and loses the grapple bow that he was going to use to save himself. He begs Fiva to cut his rope so she won’t fall as well while she hesitates, but Fiva cuts the rope for the equipment bag. Aras is saved as she pulls him up over the ledge, but the two lose their supplies as they fall. Aras is horrified, as this means they will either die of exposure to the elements or of starvation and thirst without them.

After waiting and seeing that the supplies have fallen to a reachable ledge, Aras repels down in an attempt to retrieve the goods. He finds that there is a cave attached to the ledge, and finds himself face to face with a troll. With Fiva’s help, he is able to fend off the beast and retrieve their supplies.

After managing to clear the pass, the two camp out on the top of Mount Ana’Len. Aras hallucinates seeing Inel speaking to him on the mountaintop, and Fiva becomes concerned with his mental health.

After figuring their path the next day, the two descend down the mountain in order to return to Aras’ home of Rothsal.

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Session 6: Rothsal and the Great Forest

After another five or so days of travel along the mountainside, Aras and Fiva make it to his hometown of Rothsal.

Aras and Fiva attempt to enter Rothsal, but the guards bar up the gates and do not permit them entry. Odver heads out to speak to Aras, and it turns out that he is now in charge of the town guard. Odver explains to Aras that he is no longer welcome to his home as he is blamed for the deaths of Ellever, Hilde, and the others, along with the increasing number of draconian attacks the town has suffered. Odver banishes Aras and Fiva both from the town grounds, and almost has his guards attack the two as Aras hesitates to leave.

Aras and Fiva rest up some distance away from Rothsal, and Aras is extremely depressed over the fact he can no longer return home. Fiva informs him that she can no longer go home as well, and wishes that they could finally go to Southern Ahrea as she had wanted to months before. With nowhere to return to, Aras finally agrees to live up to the promise he made her and the two set off for the Divide of the Lands to the south.

The two enter the Great Forest, and Fiva becomes a little homesick, but is grateful to be heading to safer territory.

Norman makes his reappearance as he tracks the two through the forest, rather upset that Fiva had shot him multiple times and had left him for dead. Wanting Aras dead for his bounty and wanting Fiva as a personal prize, Norman continues to follow behind – waiting for a proper opportunity to present itself.

As they continue on through the forest, Aras and Fiva are surrounded by a band of six dryads. Fiva throws herself forward as a sacrifice on Aras’ behalf, though the dryads retreat once she has done so. Aras is upset with her, but he is content with the fact she wasn’t taken by them.

The two continue down further south, avoiding the highroad as they do so – though they completely miss the fact that Norman is trailing them.

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Session 7: Durodes and King Windsor the 2nd's Grounds

Aras and Fiva enter the town of Durodes, a small town on the highroad to the Divide. As he attempts to buy goods, Aras is ambushed and beaten up by a band of men who are not willing to allow him to bring a wood elf into town. He is nearly dragged to death by a horse until Fiva cuts him free.

Fiva engages with the five men that nearly killed Aras, and threatens them. They doubt her, and find her threats to be silly. However, they find themselves outmatched as she draws her bow, and she kills all five of the men over their treatment of her friend. A young woman with red hair and a large floppy hat witnesses the murders, and seems to approve of Fiva’s actions.

Fiva returns to tend to Aras, but the town’s guard has been summoned to arrest Fiva for murder. The two escape further into the Great Forest, and do not stop overnight due to the circumstances.

The two have now run completely out of supplies by the next day, and Fiva resorts to hunting a deer to ensure her and Aras have enough food. She shoots one, but as the two track it, they find that another arrow is sticking from the deer.

The two meet a half-elf named Ryhar, another ranger who had managed to shoot the deer at nearly the same time as Fiva did. Though he is wary to give up his kill or allow strangers into his company, Ryhar allows the two to stay at his campsite overnight. Though Ryhar is not fond of Aras at all, he takes a quick liking to Fiva. Figuring this out and fearing that he may attempt something during the night, Aras stays up all night in order to allow Fiva to sleep in peace.

In the morning, Fiva and Aras hear the sounds of a fight and go out to investigate, and find Ryhar wrestling with a young bear. He attempts this in order to impress the wood elf, though Aras is not amused by these attempts to charm Fiva. Upon later informing Ryhar of their desire to go to South Ahrea, the half-elf states he was heading to a elf village in that direction and would be glad to guide them.

The trio travel for two days in the Great Forest. As they approach the village, however, they are stopped by a band of Northern Riders. They inform the party that they are within King Windsor the 2nd’s private hunting grounds, and prepare to arrest them for trespassing. However, they soon realize Aras and Fiva are wanted for the deaths of slavers and the villagers in Durodes, and attempt to apprehend the two for those crimes. A Legion of Vas band runs into this exchange, however, and begin attacking the Northern Riders.

Aras, Fiva, and Ryhar escape into the woods, though Ryhar nearly strangles Aras upon questioning him about the allegations of murder. Ryhar lightens up slightly upon noticing Fiva was training an arrow on the back of his head the entire time, and Aras explains that he kills slavers that capture elves. Upon the explanations for the slavers and the incident in Durodes, Ryhar lightens up as realizes the two are allies for the common good.

Realizing they are doomed if they stay where they are, Ryhar presses the two to follow him to the wood elven village – where they would be safe for at least several days.

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Session 8: The Wood Elven Village of Ilena

Aras, Fiva, and Ryhar make their way to the Wood Elven Village of Ilena. While they settle in for the night, Aras and Fiva are introduced to Yunea, Ryhar’s traveling companion.

Ryhar delivers food and supplies to the village, one of the many stops he makes on his travels. Aras finds out Ryhar somewhat illegally hunts for food in the Great Forest and provides it to the elven villages.

Aras and Fiva spend the night well cared for by the villagers of Ilena, due to their status in Ia’Nellsa. Fiva is informed she is now known as the “Knight Of The Free Winds” due to her having abandoned her post in the capital. Rather pleased to have the past behind them, Fiva takes Aras to the top of the tallest tree in the village, and spends the night stargazing with him – though Aras as always is afraid of heights.

In the morning, Aras awakes to the sounds of a fight outside and investigates – find that a band of Northern Riders are harassing and hurting the locals of Ilena, as their village is within the private hunting grounds of King Windsor the 2nd.

One knight is about to run down an innocent elven woman and her child until Aras intervenes, shooting the man dead with his crossbow. Aras is confronted by the other three knights that were harassing the citizens, but with Fiva’s help they are able to fight and defeat the knights.

With the Northern Riders dead within their town, the elves of Ilena are horrified and fear for their lives in the event the King sends men to avenge the fallen troops. Ryhar calms the people about their fears and informs them to cross the divide for safer villages there, and the village prepares to evacuate.

Ryhar informs Aras and Fiva that though they meant well, they will be wanted criminals for the rest of their lives for killing knights. The two have no other options in Northern Ahrea, however, and so go with Ryhar and Yunea as they prepare to cross the Divide of the Lands to South Ahrea.

As the party descends to the Divide, they yet again come under attack by Norman and a band of Legion troopers. Aras and Fiva are now very much surprised to see Norman alive – and even more so surprised to see he is now working with their newest enemies in the field.

The party fends Norman off, but he informs them that the Legion wants Aras and Fiva dead due to their killing of the bands near Vels.

Aras almost leaves the party in order to make a distraction to allow Fiva to escape to Southern Ahrea safely, but she does not permit him to do so.

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Session 9: The Divide Of The Lands

The party makes it to the northern border of the Divide of the Lands. Ryhar insists that the party hires guides, and locates the two he would like to hire for the crossing.

The guides lead the party down into the bottom of the north side of the Divide. The party are witness to a large green dragon flying about in the sky, to which the guides are horrified as dragons have not been in the Divide since the 1st War of the Reign nearly 40 years ago. At the bottom of the Divide, the guides prepare a boat to make the crossing to the southern side.

Fiva is nearly swallowed whole by an Aberath (cavern catfish) while she dangles her legs of the side of the boat, and is scolded for doing so. A hydra eats the aberath in front of the party, however, and begins attacking their boat. As the party defends themselves, the senior guide is caught by one of the hydra’s heads and is eaten alive before them.

Unnerved by the circumstances, the junior guide named Morr crashes the boat into a cavern that they use to escape to Southern Ahrea without going up the rest of the divide, and the party retreats into the cavern.

As it becomes apparent that the party is wandering through some kind of old dwarven mine, Morr realizes that he has led the party into the wrong tunnel, and that he has no idea where they are going. They continue on, however, and come under attack by gels that were disturbed by their presence.

The party defeats the gels, though the fight attracts the attention of several Giant Rhagodessas and Nocsune (“Blood Worm”, large carnivorous caterpillar-esque creatures). The party fights their way through in order to protect Ryhar and Yunea’s horses and wagon, though Morr is caught by a Rhagodessa and dragged to his apparent death.

The party, now without a guide, ventures deeper into the mine to avoid any more hostile creatures. As they pass through a water-filled clearing, however, they come across an Ataga (giant leech/squid-like creature) that nearly catches one of the horses. Aras frees the horse, but is caught by the Ataga and nearly eaten before Fiva frees him.

The party continues into the mine, and are stopped by a magic wielding Dwarf that forces their halt with a spell. He introduces himself as Ansos, and upon realizing that the party does not intend to harm him lets them free. He is rather surprised to hear that Arvic’s son Aras is in their company, and seems to be rather agreeable once this has been established. Upon hearing the story of their travel through the divide, Ansos allows the party to stay the night in his home – an old fortress built underground.

Aras and Fiva find her favorite fairytale in the bedroom they share in Ansos’ home: “Tale of the Crystal Maiden”, which she recited many times before in SONG 2 and recites to him again as they cuddle and rest. (Which for them, a little bed like this would be the greatest thing in the world considering all of the places they have been resting over the last few months.)

Ansos wakes the two in the morning, commenting on their poor manners for sharing the same bed – especially so as they are not married, to which the two are horribly embarrassed by.

Ryhar strikes it off well with Ansos, and finds out the lay of the land to return to the surface in Southern Ahrea. Aras listens in as well, and Ansos provides the two a map of the tunnel systems within the Divide. The party leaves Ansos’ home, though he informs them to say hello to his daughter Aya, a dwarf named Gorg, and Adgar the wizard for him.

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Session 10: The Adelven Wastes and Yaegstad

The party continues their way through the Divide tunnel system, making their way though using the map Ansos gave them. Morr finds the party as they travel through the tunnels, having escaped the monsters the party had ran into earlier. He takes responsibility for getting the party lost, but they do not mind and allow him to guide them out of the tunnels. With his assistance the party finds the exit out to the Revnal Wastes on the southern border of the Divide, having made their way to Southern Ahrea.

Though the others press the importance of continuing on, Aras and Fiva Ni Oele Os Mair are content to watch the sun setting upon Southern Ahrea for the first time in their lives as they stand on the southern border. Fiva in particular is rather happy despite the dusty landscape she finds herself in, content that the Monster Hunter had finally lived up to his promise to take her to the southern lands.

Morr is able to find the party a nearby trading post on the southern border in order for Ryhar to purchase more horses. Aras also inquires about purchasing a horse, though he is somewhat amazed and annoyed to find that his old horse Brie is the only one for sale after Ryhar buys the others. Aras buys Brie again, though Fiva forces him to ride as a passenger on his own horse as she wants to hold the reins. The party parts ways with Morr after their stop at the trading post, who is now preparing himself to return back to Northern Ahrea. Aras wishes him luck, being concerned that the guide might not be so lucky on his return trip to the north.

With the past of their homeland behind them, Aras and Fiva are content to go anywhere that their new companions wish to lead them. Ryhar mentions the nearby town of Yaegstad as a good place to stay for a while, and the two agree to follow. Though the arid climate and duststorms of the Adelven Wastes provide the Monster Hunter and the Light of Step challenges they have yet to encounter, the two feel confident they will make it to the safety of a new life as they travel after Ryhar. Fiva is very excited, hoping that Aras will finally be able to stop fighting and live a normal life with her.

The party rides out of the Adelven Wastes into the open grasslands of Southern Ahrea after about two days of travel, and Fiva is overcome by the beauty of the landscape. Shes runs out into the fields barefoot as she experiences the lushness of the grasslands for the first time, and drags Aras with her as the others watch on.

The two end their first night in the grasslands stargazing again upon Fiva’s insistence, while Ryhar and Yunea set up their own camp. Though Ryhar has attempted to flirt with Fiva before, he is under the impression that Aras and Fiva are smitten with each other. Yunea finds the wood elf to be rather silly, but is happy to have helped the Light of Step to obtain her wish.

The party continues onwards to Yaegstad the next day, but are horrified to find the town ablaze as they approach. Concerned for the civilians of the town, Aras rushes to the cause of the fire as the party enters the burning town. As he wanders the highroad, he finds a young cleric behind held down and about to be executed by several Dakans. Aras prevents the execution, shooting them with his crossbow and being aided by Fiva and Ryhar’s firepower.

Aras helps the cleric to her feet and helps the others fight off a number of the draconians off and away from Yaegstad. The cleric introduces herself as Selea, being a member of the Order of Ayer that went to the town to aid the citizens though the rest of the Order continued on their path to the south. She informs the party that a number of the citizens were dragged off by the draconians to be used as sacrifices, but she is unable to do anything about it.

Aras, Fiva, and Ryhar volunteer their help to go and find the citizens, and Yunea decides to help Selea help the injured and defend the town in the event the draconians come back. Fiva feels sick to her stomach after realizing the gravity of her situation, now knowing that the draconians had come to Southern Ahrea – and that perhaps she would not have the life she wanted so soon. Regardless, she dons her armor and Vyraelys once again, not wanting her friend to go on such a dangerous quest alone.

As Aras, Fiva, and Ryhar run out to find the missing citizens, Yunea is able to tell that Selea is instantly smitten with Aras’ demeanor. Yunea is greatly concerned with the state of Yaegstad, as she wonders why the Order of Ayer and the King’s Riders would allow a town of the South to fall into enemy hands.

Once the party has done all they can to assist her, Selea informs the party that the Order of Ayer should arrive to assist the people of Yaegstad and pick her up, and the party elects to rest in Yaegstad for the night.

Selea talks about her past with Aras over the night. She mentions her time in Alenosa, and growing up as a daughter of the headmaster of the Order. Aras gives her a summary of his past, as well, though he leaves choice details out of it.

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