Borderlands Campaign, Part II: On the Trail of the Paladin
The 4 companions pushed through the wilderness, fighting off dangerous wolf packs and crocodiles as they went. Guided by Darious’ keen elven senses and nature-lore, they found their way to one small settlement after another, each more besieged than the last. At these tiny villages, they picked up rumors of the paladin Jaryn and his troupe to guide them further. But as they went along, the tales grew more desperate. Though the paladin started out vanquishing the cultist raiders and pursuing their hobgoblin chieftain, Larkazh, he eventually became wild and possibly mad. Meanwhile, stories of cultist raids evolved from haphazard forays to organized military operations. Increasingly burned out or destroyed villages backed up those tales.
Along the journey, our adventurers came upon a glen with signs of a month-old battle and 3 cairns marked by symbols of Pelor. Combined with the rumors they’d heard, it was evident that only Jaryn and his tiefling companion, Dajani, survived. Darious, Alethea, Lorun, and Kaegon knew they must make it to the Black March, which would lead them through the mountains to the temple of the Pillars of Night, where the cultists of Bane made their headquarters.
Following what directions they could find from woodsmen and refugees, the companions came upon the village of Erstlin, which unlike most others in the region, hadn’t been razed by goblins. Though the village headman tried to placate them and urge them away, our heroes soon discovered (after a harrowing fight) that Erstlin was used as a staging point to supply the goblin cultists, who had terrorized the villagers into cooperation.
With the information they gleaned after the fight, the adventurers were able to make their way to the hidden trail known as the Black March. But as they set up camp for the night by an old ruin, a bedraggled, unkempt man matching Jaryn’s description staggered up to them, seeking help. When they gathered around to assist him, he tried to sneak attack. 3 more identical “Jaryns” emerged from the woods to attack the group. During the melee, these strange attackers would change form, imitating different members of the party and causing great confusion. Three were defeated, but one escaped, but the whole quest had become a bit more mysterious.