Word has spread that an attack on Hamley involved a number of beasts ranging from spiders and gnolls to bugbears. Creatures on Thain seem to be growing bolder as of recent events. I scouted the western road and cleared the path of stray bugbear raiding parties. A few more groups of bugbears were cut down within the orchards in front of their gates. Have yet to enter the fort they claim as their own. May require more help or someone quieter to scout further in.
Bodies were gathered and placed into piles on the outside of the territory to send a message. Their arms were branded with the sigil of a blade surrounded by flame so my actions would not be confused with the inhabitants of Hamley. Select bodies were torched and left to burn.
Droplets of blood splatter the parchment of the following report. The words are scratched in haste.
Report on Hamley From Garrik: Kallista Sighting
Evening. Kallista spotted within gates. Seen with minotaur and slender, cowled figure. Message for Cassia. Those willing to supply her will suffer. Attempted apprehension. Recall mostly fire and lightning. Awoke in barracks.
Words thick with ink are underlined at the bottom.
[REDACTED] confronted myself and Laurelanthialii at Fort Bennars about joining the ranks of Blood Guard. She tossed three severed heads of Drow Elves at our feet as testament to her fervour and capabilities.
Initiation has begun. [REDACTED] has passed the first trial. The second and final trial awaits her now.
Report from Garrik Brennan: Increased Bugbear Activity
Bugbear territory further explored with Cassia, Navaar, and Riggs of Steinkreis. Bugbears appear to have entered civil war between those loyal to Kossuth and those that worship the rift. Riftworshippers hold the fort. Portal to plane of [REDACTED] potentially compromised. Those worshiping the flame have built up a fortified camp outside complete with siege weapons. Deforestation of the western Adumbral has begun as a result. Crude map of battle-plans forcibly taken for intel and appropriately distributed. Urge special care when traveling through the woods. Hopeful thinking the current situation will keep them clear of Hamley. Concern over bugbear ability to construct siege weapons remain.
Heart from the [REDACTED] has been placed within special bag for containment. May require skills of a mage for thorough investigation. Note: Do Not Handle without proper precautions.
Three of the Blood and one unaffiliated individual, Torrinn, engaged in further reconnaissance of the bugbear fort and the surrounding environs, including the Recondite Ruins. Unsettling discoveries were made.
I. [REDACTED] has informed us that Kallista and Garagnavagh have incited the discord among the bugbears. If so, it is not impossible to imagine that Kallista and Garagnavagh are the ones to have initially discovered the source of rift-stone, then prompted the bugbears to begin to mine it.
II. Agent of [REDACTED] discovered among rift-touched shades. Is [REDACTED] somehow involved? Laurelanthialii advises we keep a closer eye on the Black Gate.
Report from Cassia Aurelia: Bloody Blades Attack on Steinkreis
[REDACTED] informed myself and Laurelanthialii that the Bloody Blades, accompanied by Kallista D'Mora, breached into Upper Steinkreis to attack the abode of Elissril Trevelyn. While Elissril and others managed to repel the Bloody Blades, Kallista made off with Lucille of Sefton. It is hitherto unknown if the attack was perpetrated for the specific purpose of abducting Lucille of Sefton.
[REDACTED] has sent letters to myself and others of the Blood requesting aid in the protection of [REDACTED] from Kallista.
Laurelanthialii, [REDACTED] and I have scouted the Shadow Plane as well as the Underdark for Kallista's whereabouts. So far we have found no evidence of the witch. We suspect she may have taken refuge in Dragon's Watch, under the Bloodwinged's protection. Further and more thorough scouting is dependent on Lambert.
Report from Cassia Aurelia: Iron Clan Attack on Hamley
Two of the Blood, one allied scout (Lambert Frey) and one unaffiliated female elf, Tharannar, were present in Hamley when a score of goblinoids emerged from holes in the ground and attacked the village. Prior to the attack, myself, Navaar and Lambert had been given permission to investigate the origin of a series of covered up holes throughout the village. We had initially assumed someone had been looking for something buried in the earth, but this theory was debunked when we dug up one of the covered holes. We discovered a series of tunnels beneath the earth, and it was these tunnels that the goblinoids had used to attack Hamley.
The tunnels did not lead back all the way to the Grey Iron Hills (where the creatures lair); rather, there was a portal in the tunnels that connected them to the Grey Iron Clan lair. Our elven companion, well-versed in the Art, suggested that such potent mastery of magick surely must have been beyond the rudimentary arcane skills of a goblin. This suspicion was further consolidated when we pushed through the portal and found on the other side evidence of goblins being able to summon forth powerful extraplanar entities such as elder elementals and white-scale slaadi.
The source of Grey Iron Clan's newfound powers was discovered to have originated from an enchanted throne. Someone, or something, we have reason to surmise, had been using the enchanted throne as a conduit to mass-possess the goblinoids and will them to attack Hamley. We have as of yet uncovered no clues as to the identity of this mysterious orchestrator.
ADDENDUM: The elf, Tharannar, was witnessed calling forth undead to do her bidding. Navaar destroyed the undead. The elf was warned that if she is witnessed animating corpses in the future, she would be put to the sword.
Report from Cassia Aurelia: Bloody Blades Ambush on Long Road Westward
Two of the Blood, Isendir Navaar and undersigned, accompanied by Soterya the Svifrnblin, engaged one Liekki Rugadh in pitched battle west of Hamley. The dragonkin, despite being outnumbered, withstood our attacks with great fortitude. When the battle against the dragonkin was at its climax, we were ambushed from the north by the Bloody Blades, Garagnavagh and Kallista D'Mora. Battered and depleted from spells and prayers, we could only muster feeble resistance. Undersigned temporarily withdrew from the battle to consider ways of extracting Navaar and Soterya from capture, but the Bloody Blades were well-prepared. Colonel Darienne arrived with a contingent of templars to relieve us, but by then it was too late. Navaar had been captured, and undersigned was bleeding out on the battlefield. Undersigned is only alive because of Liekki's intervention. It changes nothing - Liekki Rugadh remains a monster to be killed on sight.
Empyrean scouts have sighted the Bloody Blades and Kallista D'Mora taking Navaar to Dragon's Watch. This will have consequences. Undersigned will attempt to parlay with the Bloodwinged to have the Bloody Blades flushed out of hiding. In case the Bloodwinged does not acquiesce to the request, we shall have to consider ways of breaching into Dragon's Watch. Colonel Darienne conveys that the Empyreans will not be assisting in this as their numbers are too depleted to afford another full-scale siege.
We shall have to reach out to all our allies. The Keepers, the Shadowrunners, and the Celestial Knights Order.
Note to Laurelanthialii: We would stand stronger with the Elves on our side. If you have means of reaching out to Elith Sianicen of Greenvale, Styvn of Feywood, or perhaps the one known as Iskaria Corvimar, do so.
While a more remote location, attention should be paid to the jungles in the wastes. Found evidence of potential [REDACTED] activity. Statue of a [REDACTED] head has been carved into a cliff face. Discovered giant [REDACTED] on top of a plateau. Nearby were remnants of a portal. Suggests periodic visitation. Unknown if merely a place of worship or could turn into something more sinister.
Jungle and caves are guarded by dangerous beasts native to the area. Do not disturb the wildlife without support in arms.