The Northern Menace: Letters from Trilith

Welcome to the Northern Menace: Letters from Trilith! Join us in following an adventuring party through the eyes of their Wizard, Trilith, as they investigate strange lights on a nearby island. Click here to read the backstories of the party!

Dear Dad,

I have an assignment! The Greybeards are sending me on the mission to investigate strange lights on the island of Jlnoir. I’m excited but leery. The necromantic history of the place would give anyone pause. I can’t believe it’s been two decades since the fort there was overrun by Sir Malasteon his half-dead army. It seems like yesterday.

I know the Greybeards blame the nobles for debating and arguing while attacks started happening up and down the coast, decimating fishing villages and farms. Like they don’t like to argue at all… Anyway, we may have won, but it cost us dearly. I hope whatever is happening on the island now is unrelated.

I met my companions for the trip out to the island. Geldion, a cleric of Pelor, and Robi, a paladin of Heironeous, look like sturdy lads. A trifle young, and very straight-laced and holy perhaps, but at least they look like solid fighters. Time will tell. Robi seems eager for the chance to explore the place where his father met his death in battle. Antinua and I have spent a little time together and I’m impressed by her stories. And I know she’s your friend, Dad, so that’s good enough for me.

I have no doubt why I’m on this journey. I’ve been a thorn in the side of the Greybeards at the tower since I arrived. Not that I try to be, Boccob knows. I’m just not their “type.” Not bookish enough, not sedate enough, not boring enough. And I suspect my wildness turns them on a little and they hate that. Not to mention that they are convinced I’m crazy because I don’t wish to spend my life behind stone walls. Anyway, I’m eager to get away from the buildings and into the woods for a while.

I was so glad I skipped breakfast! The boat ride was cold, wet and uncomfortable, but at least I had nothing to lose over the side like Robbi did. The captain said his orders were to drop us off and wait for us ‘til nightfall. We were to investigate what’s taken up residence in the keep to the north. Looks like we’re in for a hike. Hazzah!

Despite the cold drizzle, or perhaps because of it, the countryside was lovely. Ah, the smell of fresh wet pine. But our walk was marred when we spotted Kobolds to the south of us.

The little blighters carried slings and cracked Robi a good one with a rock. Robi though sent a javelin flying and skewered one of the vermin in the chest. Well done Robi! Geldion cast some sort of shield on Robi and Antinua tried to put an arrow in one of the kobolds but slipped in the mud. I missed with a sling bullet but didn’t want to waste any spells on these measly little guys. I found a spot behind a tree and let the big boys play.

Robi winged another one with his second javelin. I missed with my sling and then got cracked in the head with a rock. I was getting ready to blast the thing that hit me with a magic missile when the kobolds start yelling about bones. Given the history of this place, I guessed they meant skeletons were on the way. Oh crap!

By Boccob Balls the things were creepy! Bones should not be walking! The Kobolds were terrified, and I could see why. Two skeletons used their scimitars to rend a kobold into three pieces. Good riddance, but holy shit! The other kobolds tried to run, but the ones that were injured could not get away in time.

One skeleton chased after an injured kobold, but three of them came at us. I stayed in the back, but moved up close enough to try a spell on them. Two closed on Antinua and one on Robi. I didn’t like our chances until Geldion pulled out his holy symbol and spouted some prayer to Pelor. Wow did Pelor answer! Three of the skeletons turned to dust right before our eyes! Amazing! Even Geldion seemed shocked by his success. I need to ask these guys just how many adventures they’ve been on in the past, or, maybe I don’t want to know. I’d hate to think I was out here with noobes. 

Still, we had one more skeleton to deal with. It was busy cutting a kobold to ribbons. Antinua shot it with an arrow breaking a couple of ribs. I hit it with my Disrupt Undead spell but did less damage than I had hoped. It seemed a poor showing after Geldion’s turn. I’ll do better next time. Robi finished it off with his sword.

We couldn’t really tell how old these bones were. I shudder to think that someone was raising the bones of the fighters who lost their lives, like Robi’s father, fighting against the previous undead scourge. How ironic to become the thing that you fought so hard against. I took a look at the skeleton’s gear. It’s old, but maintained. Odd. Who would be cleaning and repairing gear for undead? Why bother when you can just raise more undead? I would have liked to investigate where they came from, which seemed to be to the west, but our objective was north. We moved on.

The walk was refreshing, though the lump on my forehead stung and throbbed a bit. As we passed a small pond, I sensed more than saw something large moving toward us on the far side. Damn the fog and rain. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I warned the others. At the same time, Antinua, with her eagle eyes, got a glimpse of what we thought was the keep to the north. Well, we knew where to go if we survived whatever new danger was heading for us.

More soon,




Join us next week for the second installment of this series, and get your own copy of the Dungeon Chronicle here!

On Medium? Read our Northern Menace RPG Adventure: Letters from Trilith and follow us there!