Chapter Fourty Five – The Training

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ravenloft-632x170.png

Chapter 45 – Training Is Just An Illusion

Our Heroes are training in Daggerford.

Thora undertakes her training over the course of the next two harsh winter months (Leaffall and The Rotting) she was looking forward to the holiday called ‘The Feast of the Moon’ where all manner of Evil beasties are abroad and the children gather Honeyed Nuts. Thora, having now fully recovered from the wounds inflicted upon her in the Crypts of Ravenloft endeavours to learn to wield her new found silver ‘Dragon Mace’ with the same brutish effect that she has her Dwarven Axe during her training. Coupled with the matching ‘Dragon Shield’, she now has the speed to match her power.

PC - Thora Grid El
PC – Thora Grid El

Stepping through the ‘Mirror of Mental Prowess’ She returns to the halls of Runedardath, under Mount Illefarn, for weekly bouts of gruelling weapons training under the critical eye of King Korin Ironaxe. In Daggerford, her guardian, Derval Ironeater, bolsters her training and craftsmanship in the more perfunctory elements of life above ground and in mixed company. Elsewise, our stout hearted Dwarf maiden is again enlisted into the town militia where she helps to guide other young recruits.

Her stock is fast rising within the town and even beyond its walls and she is treated with a courteous awe reserved for others beyond her lowly rank. Perhaps a commission may soon be bestowed upon her?

On her final visit to Runedardath, under Mount Illefarn, for her training, Thora approaches an elderly, well dressed Human Mage. She has seen him previously, standing quietly, observing her as she trained….looking on inscrutably, draped in a Cloak of Purple Velvet. Azgy Greyhawk raises a smile of approval.

Azgy Greyhawk: “You train well maiden.”

He engages her in conversation, a welcome rest from training.

NPC - Azgy Greyhawk
NPC – Azgy Greyhawk

He has been forced to flee from his home in the northern lands, a home where his kinsmen had, as is their wont, been mining deep within the earth. There they had unearthed diamonds.

The dungeon was originally a Dwarven gem-mine, developed by intrepid Dwarves of the Deepdelve Clan. They took to this industry after the Dwarven kingdom of Gharraghaur fell to invasions of Orcs, Trolls, Bugbears, and worse (-3611 DR). The Kingdom stood at the North end of the Dessarin River and stretched from the Spine of the World beyond the Lurkwood, Northwest to the Northern comer of the Savage Frontier, and Southwest to the present site of the city of Neverwinter.

Most of the Deepdelvers were slain and the rest driven out of the mine by a band of medusa who claimed the place for their own. They in tum fell to a massive Troll invasion.

The mine earned its present cheerful name during this period of Troll occupation. A giant two-headed Troll, Glarauuth by name, styled himself the ‘Troll King’ and took up residence in the upper levels of the mining complex. He sent out raiding parties across the North to capture human slaves, who were imprisoned between enforced labour shifts in the old gem-mine.

Because the slaves’ main purpose was to produce babies for Troll dinner tables, the grim place gained the name ‘The Dungeon of Death’.

A small band of Dwarves of the Foehammer Clan attempted to reclaim the mines some ninety years ago, but their plans went awry and they were never heard from again; history does not record their ultimate fate. The place has changed hands many times since then, acquiring bone-chilling legends of crawling evil through the years.

Thora: “Diamonds?”

Item - Diamond
Item – Diamond

Thinks Thora,

Thora: “Though I have rarely seen such gems, I do believe they are a girl’s best friend!?”

The friends meet as often as they are able. The bond between them is woven of a fabric more durable than Elven Chain. They sup ale and watch Frimly regale the Inn with his pranks and witty badinage. They also pass on titbits of information that have filtered back to them. Thora, gruffly recounts her meeting with Greyhawk, wondering what it meant and indeed if it was some new test of her resolve.

Galan: “That is a curious coincidence, Thora.’ Says Galan. One day, during my training with Kelson Darktreader, our conversation turned to my imprisonment by the Trolls. He also told me a tale of Trolls capturing slaves for breeding, but these were not for profit but rather, for food!”

A grim darkness crosses his brow.

Galan: “The foul beast in charge of this hideousness Kelson named as Glarauuth, the self-proclaimed ‘Troll King’. No creature or Elf is safe from his clutches. Darktreader handed me a parchment with a hand written account from a survivor.  It was more awful than you can possibly imagine, dear friends.”

Galan falters, clearly struck hard by his tale.

Galan: “Will the circle of torment and pain never end?”

NPC - Kelson Darktreader
NPC – Kelson Darktreader

Mirafir, half raises his hand to gather his friends attention.

Mirafir: “I too have a tale to share, during my weeks of training I was convinced I was being watched each night as I went back to my lodgings. After several weeks of this feeling of vague paranoia, I finally caught sight of an old, Dwarf, a white cloaked Cleric carrying a gnarly old walking stick.”

Mirafir pauses to draw from his silver goblet.

Mirafir: “The cleric introduced himself as Albert Cuthingham and he told me that my Mother, Kira Roven, had travelled North to find her old team members, ‘The Maelwyn’s Adventuring Party’. They had not reported back to the Wizard Kira. Apparently she had then taken it upon herself to attempt to find the missing adventurers. Cuthingham had heard no news back from Kira Roven for several months now.”

Mirafir pauses again and gathers his thoughts.

Mirafir: “This Cleric seemed earnest and honest enough….and had clearly taken the time to find me. It seems that some mystical force is drawing us Northwards!”

NPC - Albert Cuthingham
NPC – Albert Cuthingham

A knowing look passes between the fellowship, and they fall into silent contemplation.

Several days later and now finished with their training Frimly, Galan and Mirafir are summoned by the Duke’s knights and taken to the Daggerford’s Castle Keep. They had just finished the graveyard shift patrol and were all heading to a well-earned rest. It appears there is a test to be undertaken by Galan; as had been given to the Thief and Wizard. Who have also been told that they are to join the Ranger on his mission?


Our Elven bowman is not impressed by this intrusion into his austere training regimen. But reluctantly agrees to attend. In the great hall a Mage, Gwydion pen Dafwyd, steps forward and summons forth a shimmering image of a fine and noble Hart.

Kelson Darktreader: “You must return with that beast!”

Says Kelson Darktreader, the Half-Elven mentor of Galan.

NPC - Kelson Darktreader
NPC – Kelson Darktreader

The trio are invited to gaze at the scene through Mirafir’s ‘Mirror of Mental Prowess’; the scene is of ancient woodland. They step through the portal without hesitation.

It is the hour before dawn….heavy dew swathes the ground and a chill mist hangs in the air.

Soon they approach two elm trees and as Galan takes a step forward he feels the ground slip away from beneath him, in an instant he calls upon his boots and leaps backwards to safety.

The others, however, can see nothing out of the ordinary. So Mirafir successfully casts ‘Detect Magic’ on the immediate area.  revealing a huge area emanating with a Magical Aura. They skirt around this vast illusion, and before long deer tracks are found by the banks of a gently flowing stream. Before long they spot not one but three harts, stood together, sniffing at the air.

Stalking quietly and purposely, they approach from both sides of the stream, making sure to keep down wind. But as Mirafir raises his arm to gesticulate for a ‘Web’ spell, the harts become spooked and take immediate flight bounding off in separate directions.

As Galan gives to make chase, Frimly calls for him to stop.

Frimly: “Maybe we should take our time and not just rush off in random directions!! How about we look for tracks in case this was yet another illusion?”

And so it proves. On closer inspection there are only one set of tracks, leading off to the south east. An ironic echoing clap echoes around them.

They follow in pursuit and after perhaps a mile or so Galan again spies the stag, which has taken refuge in deep shrubbery, it is panting heavily. Galan approaches calmly, trying to gain the beast’s trust. As the beast stands to meet him, a noise startles it. Then from behind the stag a huge Worg leaps upon its back, inflicting a savage wound. The Worg is noticeably and unusually, well-kept and replete with finely crafted tack and saddle.

Two Elven Arrows are buried in the rump of the beast.

Monster - Worg
Monster – Worg

Mirafir casts ‘Polymorph’ to guinea pig (!!) upon the Worg…but somehow it saves against this Magic.

As the hart is staggered to the ground a different form is revealed as the form of a Druid appears!

Galan begins to move forward, when he is brought short by a cry from Frimly.

Frimly: “There are more coming!”

Within a seeming instant perhaps eight Goblins Riders mounted on Worgs emerge from the undergrowth. They cackle and growl in their vile tongue…seeming to revel in the chaos that has ensued.

From behind Galan an Elf Warrior appears and attempts to attack the Worg but misses with his sword strike.

When Galan steps forward he does strike the Worg, his blow is hard and true and the creature drops.

Curiously the Elf turns on Galan and berates him for what we cannot fathom…perhaps to hide his embarrassment!?

The Elf, in his misplaced ire, summons forth Pixies who hover around Galan threatening him with small bows which apparently pack a big punch.

The Elf leaves with the badly wounded Druid who is rather more gracious.

Monster - Goblin Rider
Monster – Goblin Rider

As Galan decides how to engage the Worgs and their Goblin jockeys, who have been entrapped in a giant ‘Web’ cast by Mirafir. Frimly emerges from within the ‘Web’, directly behind a Goblin who is surprised with a blow of such savagery that it cuts the Goblin in two. Unhindered by the web, Frimly cuts and guts all four of the Goblins and Worgs within.

Deciding to follow the tracks of the few who escaped, they tarry briefly to look at the large Worg – which has been very well groomed. Perhaps the mount of a Goblin Noble or Wizard? But who had shot arrows at it?

A small party of mounted Goblins pass by, but they are ignored and the trio look for bigger game and tougher foes, deeper within the forest.

Following a trail of spoor for nearly an hour, the tracks approach a heavily thicketed and seemingly unpassable spot, and then stop.

It appears another large ‘Illusion’ has been cast on this area. After scouting the perimeter the trio carefully pick their way through the spiky thicket. Once through, Mirafir who is ‘Flying’ and ‘Invisible’ sees the remnants of a very large camp that is now only settled by a few tents.

The camp area is denuded of trees and there are many bald patches were tents were once pitched.

The few remaining members of the army that inhabited this clearing have a Troll in their midst.

Monster - Goblins
Monster – Goblins

Nearby is a tent, guarded by two Goblins. Who lies within? Mirafir has nothing else on his mind but firewall!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ravenloft-632x170.png

The Forgotten Realms Wiki