Dates: 30 December 2023.

Levels: 1 – 4

Risk: ~6


  • Rory. Level 2 Human Paladin (Tam)
  • Cherek. Level 4 Dwarf Fighter (Cherek)
  • Xavier. Level 3 Elf Druid (Calmseeker)
  • Fargrim Hammerfall. Level 2 Dwarf Wizard (Mal)

Leader: Cherek
Scout: Xavier
Trailblazer: Cherek
Chronicler: Xavier
Cartographer: Xavier

On a cold winter’s morning, I was study my star map at the Bitter Dwarf Inn in Ruined Oak and having a drink of wine when one of town residents approached and asked for help.

Apparently, town children had been taken four days ago. Vanished in middle of night but did leave tracks in snow. Found tracks of humanoid footprints and wheels of cart. Could have lich involvement due to lich rumours to the lands southwest of Ruined Oak. Around half a dozen to dozen children were missing. The exact numbers were not clear, which made me worry a few children could be missed, but Fargrim said things would be alright.

A young girl entered tavern and revealed she was one of the children who were taken and had escaped by running away in the middle of the night. She mentioned a mountain cave where she had escaped from and the rest of the children were taken. She said around 10 children were with her who were taken as well. Chained to cave in mountain somewhere to west (crossed bridge). She mentioned small scaly creatures tied her up in the night and took her away. She said the cave entrance had a rock with a carving shaped similar to a smiling face, so we decided to keep a lookout for that.

Girl’s parents took her back urgently, so no further questions could be asked. Decided to head west towards mountains to look for cavern entrance .

Day 1:

Headed west on the road. Uneventful journey going to outpost. Arrived at outpost. Cherek paid for stay at outpost for Rory and Fargrim. Saw tracks in the snow that matched young girl’s description. Cherek mentioned they were kobold tracks and learned from outpost guards that the guards fought one single kobold sorcerer recently to the south of the outpost. Kobold sorcerer could use fire, but guards managed to defeat it. Kobold was alone and not in a pack as kobolds often are.

Night at the outpost was uneventful.

Day 2:

In the morning, inspected corpse of kobold sorcerer that outpost guards had fought. Kobold sorcerer body had a funny looking red hat with a white ball at the end. Rory took the dead kobold’s hat that looked… festive. There was not much loot besides a few coins.

Followed tracks in snow to the southwest mountains. Encountered 4 animated snowmen that attacked. They had what looked like humans stuck inside them, which made Rory hesitate attacking.

When they were defeated, the snow melted away to reveal unconscious humanoid villagers. Unfortunately, in my haste to defend myself, I accidentally burned one to death… I prayed a prayer of penitence and mourning over the corpse to Selune, goddess of the moon. I apologised to the party as well.

The villagers were dazed and did not have memories of how they got there exactly. Cherek tied them up and gave them food. After discussion, we decided to untie them and gave them directions to the nearest outpost.

The dead body looked like a male human and had a teddby bear on it, which exacerbated my guilt. Cherek’s comments did not help with that matter… I gave another prayer to Selune to properly mourn it and accept my regrets. Cherek gave me the teddy bear, so I took it. After burying the body of the human with snow, we moved on.

A few hours later, we followed the tracks and came upon the cave with a rock formation with a smiling expression as previously mentioned. Entering the cave, saw more kobolds and the imprisoned children that were chained down and forced to make toys.

We managed to ambush the kobolds somehow and engaged in combat. Still feeling guilty, I exerted my efforts to fighting the kobolds with fervor using Moonbeam. They went down easily.

Rory cut the chains freed the children using a handaxe. The children were not sure if there were more children. They were afraid of a “lich” living deeper in the cave. Cherek kept bringing up the child in the snowman I killed, which started to irk me. I decided to figure out how to handle Cherek later once the children were saved. He also kept talking about taking down children, which was concerning as it was hard to tell if he was jesting or not…

Fargrim discerned magic coming from lights hanging over a cavern door. He thought it was a trap, for he detected abjuration magic and evocation magic from the lights, so we tried solving the trap.

“A string of bright lights hangs next to the door. You must get inside and settle the score. No handle or knob can be seen at all. There must be something about those lights on the wall. “Remove the wrong bulb,” a young child yells. “That’s how you get in, and it’s where the lich dwells.”

Description of magical lights

After much thought and discussions, Cherek managed to notice that the second to last blue light bulb was the wrong one, so he removed that one. I begrudgingly had to give respect to Cherek for solving the trap and allowing the door to get opened safely.

Stepping through the door, we entered a dark room with a figure standing in the room. The figure turned to reveal an undead that actually looked like a lich! Combat ensued with the lich as well as a giant pine tree in the room that slammed into Cherek. I used my bonfire to burn it. The flames were a requiem for the lost soul that was trapped in the snowman that I killed with those same flames… The lich shot out rays of fire at Rory and Cherek.

The pine tree slammed into Cherek and could speak! That astonished, for it had been many years since I had seen an awakened tree, but I focused on Cherek and Rory as they were knocked unconscious by magic missiles and rays of fire. I hesitated slightly with Cherek, but I decided to heal Cherek and later Rory.

I shot a Guiding Bolt at the lich, ripping its robes and revealing that the “lich” turned out to be 3 kobolds standing on top of each other. While I was glad it was not an actual lich, for aggravating me, especially when I was in a bad mood from the memory of the accidental death of the man inside the snowman.

Rory had bad luck as none of Rory’s attacks hit. Rory also ended up triggering a minor trap that shot a crossbow bolt… Rory went outside for a change of pace while Fargrim opened up a chest the “lich” was guarding. The chest had gems inside. Rory carried them.

A 5 year-old girl with golden hair and smooth skin walked up to me. She said her name was Katrina Fenwick. She noticed the teddy bear I had from the snowman. She mentioned how the teddy bear was hers and that I had killed her father. I apologised to her and asked that I hoped she may one day forgive me. She cried, and I turned to the others for help. Fargrim cast a spell on the girl, which was not what I intended! I did not realise the others were worse with children than even I was. Still, it solved the issue one way… We decided to stay at the cave for the night. I gave goodberries to the other children for dinner.

Day 3:

We headed back to town with the children. I wild shaped into a draft horse and carried Katrina with me as I felt guilty for my misdeed of murdering her father. The journey back was peaceful.

Day 4:

We returned to the town of Ruined Oak without much issue. The parents gave us a gift of a snow globe. I told Katrina this:

“I am sorry for the murder of your father, Katrina. Though I cannot make amends for that deed, I will say I have prayed for his soul to Selune, which will give him some help in his journey in the afterlife. For now, I will leave you to mourn.”

My speech to Katrina

In hindsight, saying so much to a child after the death of a parent may have been excessive, I decided it was better than not speaking at all and better than enchanting her again. I decided to keep my distance from Cherek for now, for while I do not hold great love for children, I do not seek to hurt them as much as Cherek brought up. I returned to the tavern with the snow globe in hand, lost in these thoughts, seeking distraction through studying my star map with a glass of wine in hand once more.

Ruined Oak Snow Globe
The palm sized glass snow globe contains a small model of the town of Ruined Oak. The snow globe is full of water and fake snow. If you listen carefully, you can hear Christmas carols being sung from the town inside.