With the summer season came a lot of requests on the party. The most prominent included Jemanda Orlashen of Oppara’s Kitaredian Academy is looking for Professor Ervil Pendrad who was heading towards Varnhold, Edrist Hanvaki wanted his brother found, and Tamerack Elenark who was seeking Iobarian artifacts. The party started to explore north and east along the South Rostland Road towards these aims. They found Fort Serenko abandoned. While they were in Nivakta’s Crossing a messenger from Rostland intercepted them. The Sword Lords asking that they investigate the settlement of Varnhold. They had lost contact with it and wished to know what had happened. They continued on and found the body of Tomin Hanvaki and collected his broach to return to his brother.
The party arrived in Varnhold to find it abbandoned. As they explored, Arlon was attacked by a feral hog the size of a dire boar and killed it. Crossing the Kiravoy River that ran through town they were attacked by a Chuul and dispatched it. They found ominous signs in the form of centaur hides being tanned on a fence and the word NOMEN carved into a door. In the inn they found strange things such as a dead sprigan and Professor Pendrad’s notes. At the temple of Erastil they found a stash of scrolls that Arlon took custody of. They found a hungry cat and Arlon used magic to speak with it, but learned little. However, the cat indicated that centaurs had not taken the townspeople. They also found a folding boat and took it. Eventaully they came upon a group of sprigans and killed them. Among the treasures was a magnificent bow that Sir Eluwak claimed.
With nothing more to find, the party headed back towards Austvedania. Passing through the mountains they found a roc’s nest. They took two eggs, one for the omelet competition in Olegton and the other to raise. They set about improving on their kingdom. A reserve was formed where Tiressia and Falchos live. They also built an aviary to see to the raising of their new roc. They sent word of their findings to Restov. Restov then asked the party to make peace with the Nomen Centaurs.
The party trekked back to the Nomen Hights. It was a rough journey. They were beset by spiders and nearly killed by a bullete. However, they finally encountered the Nomen centaurs. They were escorted back to the centaur camp and were able to earn their trust by presenting them with Skybolt, the bow that Sir Eluwak had claimed. He was not pleased to part with the prized weapon, but returned it to its rightful owners. They were presented to the tribe’s leader, Aecora Silverfire. Arlon was somewhat put off by the matriarchal nature of the centaurs, but could understand their reasons, as peculiar as it all seemed to him. They discussed the disappearance of Varnhold and what could have happened. They mentioned clues they had found, including the name ’’Vordakai." Aecora told the Valley of the Dead and how she believed it was the tomb of an ancient warlord called Vordakai. She also told them, in some distress, that her daughter Xumanthe had gone to investigate the tomb. The party promised to search for her as they left to investigate.
The journey proved quite eventful. A bull mastodon attacked them and ended up providing them with dinner. As they neared the valley, Arlon spotted a strange bird following them. He wildshaped into an eagle to chase after it. He captured the raven, only to have it violently die from an unknown source. Edmund believed it was a spellcaster’s familiar that had been spying on them. As they entered the valley they were attacked by a cyclopse zombie that they destroyed. Far more fearsome was a souleater that attacked them, though it was no match. The final opstical was crossing a river to an island. They made use of the folding boat they had found. A pair of wyrverns attacked, and after defeating them Arlon harvested their venom.
Making their way inside of a cave on the island they found ancient cyclopse gold and a jade bracelet like that mentioned in Pendrod’s notes. They were confronted by yet more cyclopse zombies. A fight with an elmasmosaurus started to make them wish they had prepared waterbreathing spells. When they next were trapped in a flooding trap room fighting cyclopse zombies that was reinforced. They made it to a safe hallway to camp out and rest. The next day Arlon prepared a few spells to help if they ran into more water.
The refreshed party continued to explore. They found a door that would require a blood sacrifice to open, but passed on it for the time being. An encounter with a pair of soul eaters was nearly the end of Sir Eluwak. They took rubbings of a cyclopse fresco. They came to a room they could not open for the time being and so they returned to the one that would require a blood sacrifice. Eluwak was willing to provide for that. Beyond that they found a piscodaemon waiting. They told him they were sent by Vordakai and he let them past. They found Xumanthe in the next room, beaten and parlized. They gave her a ring of freedom of movement to free her for the time being. After she told them of her capture they confronted the daemon. It was a tough fight because they did not have blessed blades to aid in slaying him.
They continued on to find the source of all the evil they had faced. An undead wizard left them hagard and they were forced to rest after destroying him. They found the bodies of the leadership of Varnhold with their brains torn out. A spectre troubled them shortly before they put it to rest. They left Xumanthe in the feasthall as they moved deeper. They faced down a greater water elemental that guarded the way to their target. Entering a dark throne room they found the anchient cyclopse litch Vordakai. He was tough foe to face, arogant in his power. However, the party was more powerful and destroyed the foul creature. Among his treasures they found soul jars containing the inhabitants of Varnhold, including Professor Pendrag.
They escorted Xumanthe back to her tribe. Aecora was so happy that to see her daughter and happy to hear that the blight had been destroyed that she made the party members of the tribe. As part of the celebration she presented Skybolt to Sir Eluwak to keep. Arlon was able to make peace between the centaurs and humans. The party freed the people of Varnhold after returning them to their town. The people swore to join Austvedania once roads could be built to connect them to the rest of the nation.
The party continued to explore the area around Varnhold before returning. They swung up to Restov to sell some treasure and makes some purchases then started exploring south. They found an ancient mummy in a mud pit that turned out to valuable because of nutrients in the soil. They spent some time fishing for eels that Edmund teleported back to Olegton where a cookoff was being held. They found a cave with iron veins that would be good wealth when they expanded to it. A giant flytrap on a small island was nearly Arlon‘s undoing. They helped a phase spider, zamas to remove xill from her territory. They talked to the Nomen’s about where to find manticores and were pointed to their burial mounds where a trio stalked. They slew the beasts and took their spines for quils.
The party finally returned to Beornholm to focus on growing their nation. They started to slowly expand towards Varnhold. One of Arlon‘s first points of business was to knight Sir Eluwak. He also introduce the party to his new bodyguard, Yevan and some other new members of his entourage. Arlon was saddened to learn that the roc egg they had found was not fertilized and would not hatch. After some prodding, Sir Eluwak finally asked Lily to marry him and they planned a spring wedding. Arlon visited the hermit boggard Garuum with an offer of friendship and to let him know that they would be expanding towards his territory. Garum was less interested in joining Austvedani than returning home, but could not do that. He did offer a reward for the chief of the boggard tribes head though. A spy was found, put on trial, and executed. Adding Varnhold greatly increased Austvedai’s size. As they worked to adjust to the newly added land, Arlon went to Candlemere and consecrated the ground with a hallow spell to negate the curse around it. With the curse suppressed, they could begin building a new city there.