Titan's Reach

Wealth or Death
Player Opportunity

You’ve seen them before. Fast talking con-men, looking to score quick coin off of someone else’s misery. This guy is no different. “Hey there,” he says, sliding up to you like he grew up with you.

“You look like you’re someone special — going important places, doing important things.” He glances around slyly, then leans in conspiratorially.

“You’re heading inta th’ Reach, aren’t you?” Nodding thoughtfully, he reaches into a pouch upon his belt, drawing forth a roll of parchment. As he holds it out, you can see that the edges are charred and blackened.

“This,” he says in a low whisper as his eyes dart around as if looking for eavesdroppers, “is a map to great treasure.”

He stares intently into your eyes. “I can’t exactly tell how I came by it now, but it ain’t doing me any good. You, though…”

He glances away, towards the foreboding mountains in the distance, then shoves the delicate roll into your hand. “You can have it.”

First person with a ready character (ie, has the achievement “Ready to Rumble”) that claims this story gets the map.

Update: Map claimed by Leo Drakechild

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Day One

Today we leave town with Prince-Friend. His comrades-at-arms are odd. One plays a strange game of toss with himself — keeping three unexploding grenades aloft simultaneously, and seemingly in a circle with no magic. All seem amused at this. A small green cadet marches with us who causes wool-meat mammals to fall down. One such wool-meat mammal charged Prince-Friend’s comrade so I tried to toss. Animal ran away. Good riddance.

We camp for the night. I stay up as strong war-forged needed no rest after such a short march.

Next day we entered a small fort with satisfactorily-built bunkers. Many small, not-well-lit, same-looking female cadets ran into a well over and over again. Build lowered Small Green Man down to scout well. Build pulled Small Green Man back up. Humans sense “funny feelings.” Build not sure what that means. But nothing to kill, nothing to build. So Build keeps red eyes on Prince-Friend.

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Leo's Journal
Getting to know new friends...

Starting off this morning, I left town with the group of friends that I met through Theo. His traveling circus definitely has encountered some strange people. I checked the map one last time before we headed out following the river west toward the village marked on the map given to me by the old man.
After journeying a bit, we came across some wild sheep. The strange little halfling approached them singing, which seemed to startle some, but alerted three rams. The bodyguard machine also started to approach them, which angered them some. After a failed attempt to placate them, the three rams started towards us. The little halfling thankfully put two to sleep, but the third kept coming, so I drew my rapier and nicked the beast. In return, it bruised me good. The machine approached it and grappled it allowing me to pull back and draw my bow. I fired but missed. The rich boy and Theo approached it, the rich boy; still complaining it was only trying to play, batted at it with his spear to no avail. After the machine scuffled a bit more with the ram, it ran off.
We journeyed a bit longer until dusk. We found a small, ideal campsite and made arrangements for the night’s watches. The rich boy was more helpful than I was expecting, as he was able to heal most of my bruises. The night passed uneventfully.
The next morning found us continuing the journey towards the village. As we found it, Theo remarked that he had an unpleasant feeling about the place. As the group entered the town, we saw a strange halfling girl that occupied the groups interest. My interest was the poorly tilled soil and the dilapidated house. Someone has been tilling the soil poorly in an effort to make it look like it is being farmed. Going into the house, Theo and I found it infested with bugs. As he went to check the back room, I went to explore the kitchen. Nothing has lived here, most likely for ages. It sounds as though most of the rest of the group has joined Theo and that there is some commotion…

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sheep and halflings
sheep

Sheep are hooved creatures who stand in the way. Lyrical beasts, they keep their messages to themselves, bleeting away nonsense. If only we could capture the imagination of these gentle giants. Their bleets could be turned into bellows. And these bellows would ring far and wide as the essence of music.

Halflings can capture this music. Those that die, leave behind this essence. This pain. Those with tainted souls must be silenced so that those in shackles can be set free. The song sung by the freed halfling soul will mix with the melody of the bellowing sheep. And the universe shall be at piece once again. Symmetry.

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Journal of Nomead Reyals
Titan's Reach, mysterious town, Glory to Cethare

I met some companions outside of North Pass. One of them had a map to a town to the north west. I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity spread the word of Cethare. The travel there was pretty uneventful. we had a run in with the some sheep. I’m not sure why but Leo, the one with the map, attacked the innocent creatures, while Little Lucius tried to gain their attention through song, Horrible Song (I must remember to show him some verses from Cethare).
Three of them seemed to be standing between us and the rest of the herd. As Leo advanced, two seemed to doze off, as the third seemed bothered by Leo. Leo stabbed at the sheep and the sheep rammed him with it’s horns. Build ran to his aid and grabbed the sheep and kept it from hurting Leo further. Theodore and I ran to aid Leo as Leo pulled back safely away from the sheep. Theo Struck the animal causing it great pain. I flew in triumphantly with my long spear and slammed it on the ground, scarring the sheep away. Thank Cethare I was able to stop the fighting without further injury to the creature or to Leo. We moved on found a good place to camp. I aided Leo with his injuries and went to rest.

The Next day we set off to the town on Leo’s map. It was a small town, what wonders I could have shown them of with the Words of Cethare. Upon closer inspection it seemed to have been abandoned. we noticed a spirit seemingly trapped in the last moments of it’s life looking over the shoulder down the main road and then jumping into the towns well. Build helped lower Lucius down into the well to get a better look. Unfortunately the day was getting late and not even with Cethare’s Light could help Lucius see anything in the water(I surely believe he is blind as how could Cethare’s Light not help him see in the darkness). We joined Theo and Leo at one of the Houses and found what looked to be a double sized bed for halflings. On it were to somewhat well preserved halfling bodies. We were not able to determine a cause of death as the bodies seemed uninjured. I attempted to cast virtue and see if i could possible put some life into the body of one of them but it as resisted violently. as this happened it opened it’s Eyes. Cethare Save us…

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Theodorus' First Letter to His Troupe
Adventuring, Trip One, At Ghost Village Seeking Treasure and Fame

Dear Troupe:

I can’t believe how long it has taken for my adventuring to begin. It seemed like months since we parted ways. I have made some friends here at North Pass. Some of them our odder than others. You all remember the cleric of some diety and claiming to be noble and his mechanical friend named Build. He has stuck around town as well. I can’t decide if he is trying to convert everyone to his religion, is asking for donations, or is trying to get a church built. There is a delusional halfing all dressed in green, that claims he has a pot of gold or something that we need to help him recover, named Lucius. You remember Leo, that elven ranger that with a name that sounds like he is part dragon, stayed behind as well when you left, he got some map from a whack job and we decided to go check it out. We left and followed the river. I’m not sure how I will survive listening to Lucius talk about his pot of gold or that Nomead about his diety of choice and treasure. I’m not sure which is worse. I should have taken Olga’s wax ear covers so I could tune them out better. You know the ones she secretly uses to avoid her husband Ruben’s snoring. Oh sorry, Olga, but honestly everyone knows and you shouldn’t be ashamed. How is his health by the way? I hope he is still taking the elixer I made him.

Note to self on scratch paper: Work on removing the sour taste in silence potions so they can be mixed in with waterskins or wine in the future.

We came across a flock of wild sheep. That isn’t all that strange in the plain lands around North Pass, but you would never believe me when I tell you what happened next. The delusional halfing decided to sing for them which got their attention and annoyed three rams. Leo, the nature friendly ranger tried to calm them down while I started juggling and trying to distract the group away from interacting with the flock so we could go about our business. That utterly failed, not because my performance was flawed, but because of Build. Build stormed down into the flock scaring them and making the rams all defensive.

Though he is annoying I have to admit the halfing was quick on his feet and decent with magics. He tried to put them all to sleep and almost pulled it off. One remained awake and annoyed. Already close at hand the ranger attack it, but it struck back. I think Leo took more than he gave that time around. The metal and wooden monstrosity that seems to have taken a liking to Nomead the annoying Cleric of Cétharé ran over and literally grabbed the ram by the horns and fought to move it, but it broke the hold, but couldn’t get through the metallic hide. Really how do they make those things? Personally I stood back in complete disbelief that 1) the halfing had tried to perform for sheep, 2) a nature lover like the ranger couldn’t keep them from attacking, 3) that Build could talk. Coming to my senses I made my way forward and seeing that we wouldn’t be leaving the rams alone I smacked it with the long spear you all bought me. Between Nomead, myself, Build, and Leo we scared it pretty good and it ran off. I really hope this isn’t what adventuring is all about. It is my turn for our night watch. I’ll write more later…

So after our adventures with rams and sheep we kept on moving for several hours. Leo and I found a nice place on the edge of a elevated section of forest to camp at. I miss our camp sites something horrible. There was no stories, no music, no bonfires, and no tents. About half way through my watch I saw the sheep flock off in the distance. I’m assuming it was the same one of course. They do all look alike you know unless your their shepherd. All and all it was a pretty quiet night. We moved on the next morning.

Note to self on scratch paper: TO DO: Whip up some perfumes and colognes for future escapades to remove foul odors. Secondary idea: Develop a stink bomb using skunk stench. Potentially good idea, but could be messy and dangerous on a date night

Later in the day we came across the village on the map. It was filled with an eerie silence that made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Looking around it was very strange. The buildings are all in pretty bad disrepair. I noticed that the farmers fields looked a little odd and everything around us looked like it hadn’t been used for a long, long time. Not much to write about so far you might be thinking, but that is when everything gets really weird.

The first odd thing was a ghostly halfing girl crying and jumping into a well and vanishing almost by clockwork. The next thing was in a house. The amount of bugs and decay in this home would have had little Sue screaming and walking on air right back out. I mean it looked like the place had been abandoned for a century. Which is weird because it looked like the outside had been repaired and the field had been recently tilled. I know your thinking, there is a ghost girl isn’t that weird enough? The answer is no. It got weirder still. Searching the house and scattering bugs I found the bedroom which had two halfing bodies long dead and all dried and wrinkle. They seemed odd for century old corpses. I mean they should have been dust by now. The cleric concentrated and waved his hands around a bit and touched one of the two bodies. Why on earth would you touch a dead body? He jumped back as if he got shocked and then the freaking eyes opened. I’ll write again soon. This has me way to freaked out to say more now.

Affectionately,
Your adventuring juggler,
Theo

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Theodorus' Second Letter

Greetings Troupe:

I hope my last letter hasn’t driven you all mad with wonder or caused any of the youth to want to head out on adventures of their own. It can be such a frightening experience on occasion. I let you all know that I am doing well and the skills you all taught me are surprisingly well suited for adventuring as well as entertaining. Some of them have even helped me against a horde of Zomblings™. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start where I left off last time.

As you may recall from the last letter the cleric traveling with me named Nomead touched a long dead Halfling in a bed and its eyes opened. It let out either the loudest longest moan or yawn I have ever heard. I’m not sure which it was. It then got up and made a “run for it”. We all stayed out of its way. The others for survival I really just wanted to see what it would do next. A second later the other long dead female halfling also opened her eyes. She made the same sound and went out the back of their home. I think if I was long dead I would try to get a drink of water first thing, but they just shuffled off. They moved faster than any zombie story I have ever heard. Heck, they moved faster than many living Halflings I have seen. Even stranger is the fact that these Zomblings™ seemed to have some aspects of their former lives. I mean they carried tools and used them. I stealthily followed the one Nomead had touched and it like any scared humanoid seemed to run for help and banged on a door of a house where I suspect someone important once lived. Once it thought I wasn’t following it anymore it went home. Really really weird.

Leo got banged up pretty good by one of the Zomblings™ with a hoe gardening tool. I wish I could have seen it. It sounded really funny hearing about it after the fact. While all this was happening Greenie and Build had been argue about the girl ghost that kept jumping into the well. I mean they didn’t even notice that all of this was going on. Nomead and I talked after the fact and he swore up and down that he only fed a little bit of his dieties power into the halfling. I’m still not admitting that such power actually exists but whatever happened it seemed to wake up the whole village. I’ll keep looking for a more scientific explanation. Luckily the others moved out of town and I stayed hidden and all these creatures went back to their homes.

I finished checking out the village while the others healed and we all regrouped. Bunch of frightened cowards if you ask me. I’m not sure they really have the sense of adventure that I do. It turns out this little nearly rubbish village is probably over 300 years old. Leo mentioned something about some kind of Halfling ale that was really popular centuries ago and that it might have been made here. I thought ale was really a Dwarven thing, but who knows. They obviously didn’t keep making it because I had never heard of it. Maybe the Dwarves ran them out of business with the good stuff.

There was talk of leaving the village, but I talked them all out of it. Good thing too since we finally figured out what the “Treasure is in room C” meant on the map we got. Sadly, it wasn’t as easy and quick as the crazy guy said, but I guess that should be expected. We found a secret tunnel inside what looked like a large treasure chest. I dispatch the trap on the chest with ease just like brother Marcus taught me. It took some convincing but we all went down the ladder into darkness.

I will admit I have seen two things that clerics seem to be good at. 1)using healing wands and 2) casting light spells. We used these often to see in the dark. Build joined us for this part of our adventure. That contraption is so lucky because it can see in the dark. Sadly it isn’t remotely quiet. Hopefully we can build in some soft foot covers for it in the future. I really have no idea what became of Greenie the halfling. Maybe seeing Zomblings™ freaked him out. I bet he is take care of our campsite which I suspect is a great distance outside of the village.

Scratched note to self: Add darkvision potion to things to work on in spare time. An area effect silence bomb would also be a nice touch if its effects could move with the target struck. Oh and I’ll have to work on a light source that you can break and shake to provide light. I could probably market that to other adventurers. I’m sure it will have many other uses I haven’t even thought of yet.

The hole led to a man made tunnel that quickly opened up into a more natural cavern. I moved ahead of everyone and scoped out the place. I didn’t find anything interesting and it dead ended so we walked through a little underground pool/river and found more solid ground to continue walking on. We passed a few side ways, but as Lucky Nick always told us, "ye travel in one direction until ye find an end and ye will always find ye way home. So since I was leading us I did just that. We followed along until we came to a dead end and then we stumbled across some dead.

First there was this head without a body. Literally it was this head that was floating in mid area. Weird. yes. Freaky. Yes. Scary. Yes. I admit I was freaked out a little so I called back for Nomead to come have a look. Clerics are supposed to be good with undead things right? He didn’t seem to have any suggestions on the matter either.

My level of freaked out jumped to a whole new level when this skeleton head floated towards us and its mouth opened far bigger than it should have been able to and it screamed. I’ve never heard anything like it. It was even louder and more horrific than Auntie Mel singing. Oh uh Sorry Mel. I’ll hit myself on the back of the head for you. My knees where shaking, but I don’t think the others noticed. I was pretty slick about that. Must be all those times we performed before large crowds.

So the head screamed and then two full bodied skeletons came walking out of the darkness and came at us. I think my quick thinking and Nomead’s quick work with his long spear saved us from lots of trouble. I dropped a bomb behind and between the skeletons. The explosion took the floating head and one of the skeletons down instantly. The other kept looking at me with those empty eye sockets menacingly and was about to swing its completely rusted and damaged scimitar at me, but with two quick blows Nomead dispatched it with ease.

We continued forward Leo and Build being almost none the wiser until they saw the shattered bubbling bones on the ground. Yes, it was all over that fast. Pausing to make sure everyone was okay and no more surprises where near it took us a second to notice more light other than our own coming from the distance. Another floating skull was ahead of our path along with what looked like flickering torch light shining upon some kind of man made structure. This new floating skull was actually on fire. Yes you read that right a flaming floating skull. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. Even thinking about it now makes me weak in the knees. I’m running low on ink and parchment. I will write you again soon. Sorry for another cliffhanger.

Affectionately,
Your adventuring juggler,
Theo

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Journal of Nomead Reyals
"zomblings" "Glory to Cethare"

As the two halfling Zombies (zomblings™ Theodore) wake, I realize that they are unlike any zombies I have read about. They seem to have a glint of Consciousness in their eyes as if they were normal hafling folk that awoke and saw leo, Theodore, and myself as intruders in their home. Slowly the zomblings rose and slowly scattered out of the home through separate doors all the while letting out a sound that resembled a slow Yawn or more likely slow Screams of horror.

Cetharé be praised as her power has given consciousness back to these zombies and maybe now it will allow me to help them to move on to the afterlife.

Leo chases the male out the front door and I follow Leo as he chases the female out the back door. I call out to her and tell her I can help her free her soul. As we give chase more zomblings exit the dilapidated houses, wielding hoes and shovels. A shovel wielding zombling came up to me and hit me very hard. I did not wish to hurt them so I withdraw and head back towards the front of town. I see Leo being cut down by the zombling’s hoe. I cast light on my long spear and call out to the zomblings trying to draw their attention away from Leo. The two zombies turn towards me and begin shambling to me. I plant my long spear into the ground and Cast Burning Hands at the two to halt their advance and yell out that I wish them no harm, but I will defend myself. I successfully intimidate them and the zomblings withdrawal back into the houses.

Cetharé be Praised, I am able to heal Leo and myself. We find Theo and share the information on The Temple to the Goddess Maren and Leo relates the Symbol of the half burned candle as an old brewery (Half Candle Brewery) from years past which was quite popular. Most of the buildings are too damaged by age, so we decide to check out the inn/temple of Maren. The Temple is in very good shape. I find an empty metal box with the markings of the Goddess Maren with A Symbol of the Dasmet Empire above it. It was not the Holy symbol Symbol of Dasmet that I knew but the differences elude me for now.
There are doorways off the main room mark by letters a,b,c … with the doorway to C being the only one with a door. We find a chest in the room which seems out of place with the rest of the town. It looks as if the dirt has been swept up against the Chest. We dig out part of the dirt and sees that it continues deeper into the ground. Theodore suggests it may be a stairway down to a secret passage. I check to see if the chest is magical and I do not sense anything. Before Theodore attempts to open the chest, Leo and I wait outside the door. I hold my long spear into the room to give him light.
After a few moments Theodore pops the lock and sets off a Bell that rings for 6 seconds. Leo goes to the front door to see if it stirred the zomblings in the town. Theodore opens the Chest setting off the ringing again. It reveals a hole going straight down. We decide to check out the hole.
I notice the chest had very thick walls and hid the magic within that presumably set off the ringing. I cast light on Theodore’s Dagger and we climb down the hole. Theodore cautiously follows the tunnel we come down to and we slowly make our way forward.
We search the cave the passage comes out to, before crossing a pool of flowing water. Leo slips under the current as does Build when it went in to help him. They are able to recover and we move on down some tunnels until we come to a more open area with a severed human head chattering at us. As we approach the skull advances on us and screams. This frightens Theodore and Build. Two Skeletons come running from the other side of the room, but Theodore is able to throw something behind them that takes the skull and one of the skeletons out. Cetharé be Praised, I heroically takes out the other skeleton with a single strike of my Long Spear. We falls back into formation and sees a light source ahead of us to the north. It appears to be another skull in front of a wall of Stone. This skull appears to be a flaming.
Cetharé be praised as her power has brought consciousness to the zomblings of the town above and she will give me the power to save my traveling companions from the dangers of this underground layer.

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Undead farmers and...

I suspect our cleric is not on the side of the righteous. When he laid hands on the corpse, it awoke as an undead thing. I thought at first that he conjured it, but after the second ‘awoke’ I rushed out doors to see what might be transpiring. It seems the village is full of the undead. I suddenly suspect that this map I was given is going to be more trouble than an angry ram and a bothersome wanna be leprechaun. I engaged one of the undead to my peril. After being critically injured, I faked death in order to allow me to consume my healing potion; not something I wished to do this soon after leaving the city. A replacement vial is going to be expensive when we get back. Thankfully, these are not very bright undead, stronger than I expected, but not bright. The failure of the cleric to cast turn makes me wonder about this goddess of his and what role she plays in this world.

We regrouped in what I suspect might be a tavern or maybe an inn, albeit halfling sized. It seemed as though it might double as some kind of holy place for the village. Might be why the undead were avoiding it. Looking at the map, we found this was the spot we were looking for. We found a large chest in a side room that turned out to be buried into the floor. When we got it open, it turned out to be a ladder descending into darkness. Heading down into darkness, we found a set of caverns.

After checking out a little ways into the caverns, we found that our path ahead lay across an underground stream. The stream turned out to be more than the trickle I first thought. The middle of the stream turned out to have a strong current and was deep enough that, when I lost my footing, I found myself head under the water. I quickly swam to a position that allowed me to surface and catch my breath. It seemed that Build was headed back for me while my companions made they way to safety, no doubt to secure footing and throw me a rope. I think this turned out better for everyone except that machine man, who ended head under like me. After a few minutes, we all made it to safety. Continuing on, we saw some light ahead. There was some small commotion between the cleric and Theo. When we got closer, they had apparently dispatched some skeletons. Continuing forward, we found a structure of some sort that we plan on investigating tomorrow. I wonder if the little halfling is following us safely. Moreover, I am beginning to suspect all these undead aren’t protecting this place, but serving as a warning to idiots like ourselves to stupid to heed the signs. I suspect the old man who gave me this map to be part of a cult that plans a nefarious end to us. And if that time comes, what side will our cleric friend take in all this…

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