Monday, August 31, 2009

Letter home to Are'thane

Dearest Jihan,

As you know, I have encountered the great Khrom-Vel and have done so now on a few occasions. My companions and I had the honor of joining him in battle a few days ago in order to clean his lair of an infestation of wyverns. He has told me that he encountered Menulok far to the south of the town where my Guild is based. The dread black beast ensnared Khrom-Vel and imprisoned him, but not well enough because escape was not long coming. Though his luck did not hold, because in his flight he then encountered Goro-Sabaht and he was sorely wounded. My friends and I spent days attempting to return his health to him.

We journeyed north in our attempts to finish work for the Messenger's Mosque. Their priests have come up with a fine piece of magic even to rival those of the elven masters: a means of travel between towns without traveling! The means are a mystery to me, as it seems to entail stepping through a doorway in one town and stepping out of a doorway in another town. However it works, it would certainly be an easy way of transporting troops and supplies where they are sorely needed. I shall ask my friend to see if a copy of these plans may be included in my letter.

I have not been honest with my companions, as I feel the weight of my Guild to wish to place us in the South where most of the trouble lies. But it is to this town, Joven, that my heart wishes to be. Or rather, with a particular person. I am unsure of his family's wishes and the effect of my backround in their eyes. I have had enough problems caused at home and do not wish the very duty I escaped there to haunt me here. But know that this attachment is of my choice and while I am unsure of the return of my regard or the consequences of it, it is well earned and not once regretted wether it be fulfilled or no.

For all of my escape from an undesired fate in the elven lands, it seems here I have attracted more attention here than even I could imagine. It had originally been my intention to simply break the bonds of our society and make a living enough for sustenence, but to an odd twist of fate, I find myself under much scrutiny. The Mercenary's Guild has placed myself and my companions under observation for what we have accomplished during our travels. It seems small in our eyes, but a few well placed battles, friends, and discoveries have advanced us further than we all could expect. A few months ago, I was inducted into the Nighthunter's Guild in Port Town. And now it seems we have drawn the eye of Khrom-Vel, being given the honor of the title of his Champions. I live now under the boon that I am simply a mercenary and not bound to these lands and their laws, but the feeling haunts me that the choice may be soon in coming.

Please send word of yourself and our father to the Guild Hall in Woodland. Though I know I have lost respect in his eyes, please let him know I think of him often. I am not sorry for my choice, only that it has taken me away from you both.

Your loving sister,

Monday, August 24, 2009

In Joven- problems caused by a wizard

To sum up the adventure involving wyverns, we did finally defeat them and ended up with a good deal of treasure including three rings and some potions with the symbol of Apollo on them (healing potions, hopefully). Khrom-Vel was pleased and this is what he said to us:
"Friends, you have done me a great service, and even though I have granted you gifts I remain in your debt. Know that I will be watching your progress, and keeping an eye out for foul dragons and other creatures. Should I see anything, I will find you and tell you. Should you need assistance, you will know where to look. Additionally, I shall grant you this last service." At this point, a shiny dragon tattoo appeared on our wrists, but then faded away.
"This is the Mark of Khrom-Vel. My friends will know it, and I hope that it will serve you in your time of need. I declare you Khrom-Vel's Champions. Bear your title proudly, and I shall see you again." Our guide, The Breeze, was injured and stayed behind in the town at the foot of the mountain.

Nothing exciting happened the rest of the way to Joven, so I'll continue this narrative there. When we arrived we found that the duke (our old friend Dwight) was out of town on a task and would be back in two days. We decided to stay at the Diamond Dog Inn and Tavern and sort through our wyvern earnings to pass the time; while there, we met the newest member of our travelling party, a half-elf druid named Dorrmags. After meeting Dorrmags, a familiar face entered the tavern- Cornwallis the Conjurer, who, if I remember correctly, we last saw in Woodland. He invited us to his show for free, then agreed to help us identify the rings we found recently.

After we ate, Ghost and I headed to the local Mosque to deliver the plans for the Gate. The Mosque had been freshly whitewashed, so it looks like the Messengers are doing well there, too. We met with the High Messenger and I delivered the plans and let him know where the previous three Gates were being worked on (Port Town, Woodland, and the Walled Valley), and he gave us a little bit of information, such as the Gates having to be recharged after each use. We also lent him our recently acquired potions to see if he could identify them; he is going to get back to us about them.

On the streets, Caleb decided to fight a strongman and actually managed to succeed and win a good deal of coins (I wish I'd been able to see this! A gnome taking on a strongman and winning!). Ghost sold the scalemaille armor to the armorer and gained a little extra money for the party.

Later the party (minus Linora) attended Cornwallis' magic show; there were two of the duke's guards at the pavilion, which seemed a bit odd, and the audience was full of both commoners and nobility, all dressed nicely. During the show something seemed to be not quite right with Cornwallis' magic; it was as if something was affecting his spells because things kept going wrong with each of his tricks and Cornwallis certainly seemed confused about it. The reason for this was soon revealed- Roger, a man Ghost had spoken to before the show, walked up on stage and, with the backup of twelve orcs from the magic show, demanded money and valuables from the audience. Obviously we wanted none of that, so Ghost climbed on stage to let him know that would not be accepted. In response, he pointed his wand at Ghost and threatened her.

He then shot a fireball into the audience, badly injuring and killing many innocent bystanders. I sent my fox to fetch Linora, figuring that we'd need her assistance, and used my Rod of Beguile on Roger and a few surrounding orcs in the hopes of getting him to stop what he was doing; unfortunately, he was able to shrug it off. Luckily Ghost did get in a good hit with her poisoned dagger, causing his ring to turn red and shatter. He then vanished, leaving us to only have to deal with the orcs for now. While the rest of the group fought, I started pouring my water rations (luckily I hadn't left my gear at the Mosque yet) on the poor individuals who were aflame and Ayman tried to use his cloak to put the fire around Caleb out.

SwampFox put one of the orcs in a headlock at Ghost's request, and he asked the orc where Roger went; the orc wouldn't say, and all the orcs vanished. Ayman informed us that the monster summoning spell wore off. At this point Ghost and Dorrmags assisted me in healing the victims, but we were too late to save many, including Caleb. (Ghost made plans to send his body back to Treehome; I don't know what she did exactly, so I'll leave that for her to add.)

After the battle we realized Cornwallis was missing, and after some searching found him and his wine steward hiding, terrified, in a costume trunk. Ghost informed him that Roger had been countering his spells, and Cornwallis said that Roger's ring could have been a talisman of poison resistance. The group looked for fragments of the ring, but I am unsure if anyone found any. Cornwallis then cast a spell to see if he could find where Roger vanished to, but only was able to find out that it was a spell of teleportation and evocation (which the shattered ring triggered), and that Roger could be at least a mile away.

Needless to say, after all this Cornwallis was very upset (and subsequently drunk), but the next day he surprised all of us at dinner by both being extremely humble and not eccentric, and by having figured out what our rings were; none of us expected him to have even thought about our rings after all the excitement the day before! He informed us that the ram's head ring was a "ring of the ram" and that when an activation word was said, it projects a force like a battering ram. He did not know what the activation word was, however, but did say that the ring uses charges and that it was mostly full. The other two rings were rings of "feather falling", but the stone ring was strange and not like one he'd seen before.

That day Ghost had been tracking and asking around about the possible whereabouts of Roger, but only found that he was in town "on business", but that he hadn't been seen all day.

As I am writing this journal, we hear fanfare; the duke must have returned.

~Cyneric Conroy, Order of the Fleet Fox
May 1, 1st day of Gladmoon

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A surplus of dragons and wyverns

We left Montvale in the company of the bard "The Breeze" and headed up the mountain to Khrom-Vel's lair. We learned from The Breeze that the mountain was full of wyverns because Khrom-Vel wasn't able to keep them away; the dragon was badly injured by another dragon (Menulock, the black dragon) and then hurt further by a green dragon (Goro Sabaht, the one that had threatened us previously).

We traveled for hours and when the sun started to rise, we saw wyverns flying overhead; we avoided them then by hiding against the mountain and being lower than them, but when the returned from hunting, we were in their range of sight. Some of the party hide beneath their cloaks, but since that's not an option for me- bright red being extremely obvious, I cast "Tree" on myself, allowing the rest to hide under me (or in my branches, in the case of Dallas). The wyverns didn't notice, and continued past, hissing to each other. Linora, the draconic speaker, was unable to understand them.

We finally made it to the entrance of the lair, which was caved in; we went past to a cleft in the wall, and The Breeze found a hidden door. In the lair, all of Khrom-Vel's human sized furniture and things were covered in dust and cobwebs; obviously the dragon hadn't been able to shift to human form in a while. We found said dragon in his vault, laying on coins and with a huge wound on his belly. We gave him Goodberries and healing potions (all but one- I'm keeping one in case of emergency and wyvern battles) while Ghost bandaged him up, and his wound started to shrink. After he fell asleep, we all set about to clean and cook. SwampFox, Linora, and Caleb went hunting, Ayman cooked some soup, and I (and the hunters when the returned) cleaned up the lair.

When Khrom-Vel awoke, he thanked us and told us the story of how he had gotten injured. He had gone south to Woodland and met with the guildmaster (that had been with me and some members of the party), and learned about the goblin king allying with Menulock. He went in disguise with some mercenaries to the mines to the south, where they were led by Homer the halfling. They discovered the lair of the goblin king, but he was guarded by the black dragon who had been hiding in the shadows. Khrom-Vel transformed back to attack, but was beaten (all the mercenaries, with the exception of Homer who was small enough to escape, we killed) and thrown into the dungeon. Using all of his strength, Khrom-Vel subdued the guard and managed to escape.

While flying north, Khrom-Vel was attacked from below by Goro Sabaht, who wanted revenge; Khrom-Vel's cavern was once his, and he had killed his mate 300 years ago. Khrom-Vel used his icy breath to hold the other dragon off long enough to get home, but the green has been flying around the mountain, knowing that Khrom-Vel was injured. The Breeze had been hiding in Khrom-Vel's lair; the dragon got rid of his pursuers, and the man had been looking after him.

Ayman asked Khrom-Vel about the small (likely green) dragon that had been seen around, and Khrom-Vel told us that Menulock may have bred and it probably wasn't Goro Sabaht's. We also learned that our previous information had been incorrect, and that Menulock is actually a female dragon.

In return for helping him out, Khrom-Vel offered the party four sets of green dragon scale armor (Linora, Shocko, Ghost, and Caleb claimed these). He informed us that they belonged to the adventurers that had helped slay Goro Sabaht's mate (having come from her scales), and would definitely anger the green dragon.

~Cyneric Conroy, Order of the Fleet Fox
April 2, 5th day of Darkmoon

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Correcting My Own Misinformation...

During the game I had some trouble keeping my facts straight during Dorian's tale of the quest. I made a couple of changes to Cyneric's post below; it's mostly changing "Mirthar" to "Darthar" and "Crazy Ivan" to "Crazy Flip".

These things happen. You get used to them and move on.

Dorian's Adventure

I see that Ghost has already recounted the latest of our adventures, so I'll fill in the missing part of Dorian's story.

After his title and status were stripped, Dorian left Joven and headed north in an attempt to discover his quest. He chartered a ship north to Gauss and arrived at the Temple of Gale; there they needed his help because of a rift that had opened in the frozen North. He hired some men in the city of Gauss and headed to the Mountains of Darthar; there he found a dwarven guide and headed north through the mountains. At the northern end of the Darthar territory, he and his men purchased yaks from a trader called Crazy Flip. They rode north from there, encountering polar bears, frozen trolls, and wurms that lived in the ice; eventually they found the cavern and discovered the rift, which was slowly drawing things in like a vacuum.

Dorian was unable to seal the rift, but had heard of someone who might be able to help. He took his party and headed further still to the north to find Ceneg the Arctic Mage. They discovered his castle in the ice, and were allowed entrance, but Ceneg would not offer his assistance until Dorian proved himself in a trial. After completing the trial (and losing his false leg in the process), Ceneg fashioned him a new one out of ice and agreed to assist the group. With his magic, they were able to seal the rift.

They parted ways and Dorian and his companions returned to the south. When they returned to the Mountains of Darthar, they encountered a man of the East, with a golden hand, riding a massive black horse. He would not permit them to pass, so Dorian challenged and defeated him. The man revealed that his masters tricked one of the priests of Gale into donning a suit of armor, a powerful artifact called the armor of chaos. It corrupted him, and they were able to use his powers to open the rift which led to the elemental plane of air. Their plans were thwarted once the rift was closed by Dorian and his companions. Having closed the rift and defeated this minion, Dorian's curse was lifted and his status as a paladin was returned to him, and he returned home.

~Cyneric Conroy, Order of the Fleet Fox
March 30, 2nd day of Darkmoon

Addendum: I just noticed that Ghost forgot one thing; it isn't all that important, but since I enjoyed it I'll add it to this entry. I cast "Summon Insects" on the inn in Montvale in retaliation for how the innkeeper treated SwampFox. The patrons left the building running and cursing, so I'm assuming that it worked well. Being mischievous is fun, especially when there's a good reason!

Dragons and bears and bards, oh my!

Finally the party got underway and on the trail again once Linora stopped fooling around by trying to deface the forest.

As Ghost was scouting on ahead, she was almost bowled over by a wood elf running flat out like the devil was after her. Not a devil, but close. The great Goro-Sabaht, massive green dragon, had been surprised by Fiaro's hunting and was chasing her. Ghost saw the dragon, grabbed the elf, and dove for cover. Ayman and Cyneric made the rest of the party silent and invisible, whilst Goro-Sabaht taunted all of them, leaving them with the disturbing thought that he had better things to do than catch himself some crispy elf for lunch.

Since he had overflown the party twice on the way into Woodland and this was now the third encounter with him, they corrected their course towards Montvale, near where Shining Scale, the silver dragon, lived. It was the general opinion of the group that Shining Scale would like to know that a green dragon was in his territory and all were hoping to ask his help in defending the area. Ghost had been eager to meet with the party coming down from Joven and was looking forward to speaking with Dorian, but since they were correcting their course to head for Montvale, it was less likely that they would run into the Joven heir and his soldiers.

While scouting, Ghost and Dallas went ahead to check out campfire light through the trees. As luck would have it, Dorian had taken a detour through Montvale and met the group on the trail anyway. Ghost stepped from her hiding place and went forward to shake hands with Dwight's brother. He had brought about thirty men with him and they too had seen the green dragon.

The word that Dorian had redeemed himself was true, he had adventured in the north (Cyneric's journal should have more information) and gained back his Paladin status. He was calm and confident, and Fiaro took a liking to him, though she seemed even more interested at the mention of Dorian's wealthy and well placed brother, the Duke. Ghost, for a rare event, wisely kept her tongue still and let the comment pass. Wood elves of the Eastern Frontier, after all, are a bit more impetuous than the more cultured elves of the great western city of Are'thane.

Word of Dwight was that he was busy with his obligations, which Dorian could rightly claim to know full well the depth of responsibility, though he no longer carried the burden, and happy to be rid of it. Darik's condition had not improved, much to Ghost's disappointment. She asked whether the priests trying to aid him had considered allowing him to retake the Paladin trials, Ghost suggesting that perhaps Hammehauk would take pity on Her follower and show him a way to correct his wrong as She had done with Dorian. Dorian encouraged Ghost to pose the idea to Dwight, because it had not been brought up as a possibility. The rest of the night passed with most of the party catching up on sleep lost over Linora's last few nights of adventure, with Ghost and Shocko (Linora's henchman) sharing guard duty with Dorian's men.

Morning brought both groups heading off in opposite directions, but not without Ghost parting with a very valuable treasure. Most of her companions had dismissed the small innocent looking ring that Ghost had claimed as part of her treasure from their discoveries in the stronghold of Thoro Bel Telos, but she hoped it would do something even the great elven mages could not. Ghost quietly explained to Dorian the properties of the Ring of Regeneration, and how it was possible that it might regrow the leg he lost. She did not wish the qualities of the ring made common knowledge, not even to the rest of her party or his, but hoped it would help him. Though she did warn him it might not work. All she asked was that he leave it with Armand at the Mosque in Woodland if he could not give it to her himself. He thanked her profusely and said that if it did work, that he would owe her a debt of gratitude. Ghost, embarrassed of course, politely tried to dismiss it as only a small gesture on her part and not worth such fuss.

Dorian and his men left, Ghost never airing her concerns to him for what awaited her when she next met his youngest brother. That it had been over six months since she had last seen Dwight and she had no other inkling of his feelings for her except a single kiss. Six months was a blink to an elf, but sometimes seeming an eternity to a human. Had his feelings changed? Affairs of state could consume him, his affection gone elsewhere, or worse: the fate that awaited her back home should she ever return - a contracted engagement or arranged marriage.

Had Cyneric not insisted the trail north, Ghost would still be trying to choose between her Guild's need for her to combat goblins in the south and her feelings calling her north to Joven. But as Armand had unhelpfully Divined, "True trouble lies in the south, real responsibility awaits in the north..." The trail to Joven was stretching ahead; Ghost's steps both eager and hesitant.

In Montvale, SwampFox, Cyneric's orc henchman, was flatly turned out by the tavern owner. Ghost stalked out and was soon followed by an irate Cyneric, who spent a few minutes somewhat speechless in astonished indignation. Ghost pledged vehemently to spread the word through Joven and Woodland that a member of the Mercenaries' Guild was turned away in Montvale. Words like that will most certainly affect his custom for the next few months as Guild members begin avoiding the town.

But duty called, and purposes needed to be fulfilled.

Ghost stopped a nearby busker, a piper, and questioned him about the old man Calvin, the mountain hermit. With a little...then a little more sliver to loosen his tongue, he claimed that he had seen him about a week previous, but that he was not doing well. When Ghost expressed a need to get to him, the piper offered to get the group past the guards and through the gate and onto the path up the mountain. With Ayman looking for answers with Ghost's coin, Ghost liberated Ayman's purse and paid the piper his final few silvers with the wizard's coins. Meet him at eleven of the clock, the piper claimed, and he would get them past. All agreed, setting up camp by the treeline outside of town.

Ghost asked Dallas to do some reconnaissance and seek information about Shining Scale, revealing Calvin's true nature to her, and asked that she use her form changing hat to see if she could do so quietly and without too much notice. Dallas reported that attitudes in the town were becoming seriously anti-dragon, regardless of color.

With Luigi and Fiaro guarding camp, their new piper friend, The Breeze (which Ghost now suspects is a Bard) used his music to scare off the guards on the mountain gate. Dallas quickly dispatched the lock and at the insistence of Ghost, damaging it enough to need serious repair.

To be continued...(at the next adventure)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Setting off from Woodland on the way to Joven

While waiting on messengers (small "m") to arrive in Woodland from Joven, we came across Fred at the guild hall. For some reason he was lacking in the wits department (nothing new in his case) and was terrified of vampires. There aren't many Undead in Woodland (ie: none), but for some reason he was wearing garlic and holding four leaf clovers. He then proceeded to eat the clovers, but I managed to "charm" him into thinking he was no longer afraid. Strange man.

After breakfast, three men on horses wearing armor and the crest of Joven arrived and we followed them to the guild hall. There we found out that the duke's brother (Dorian) and twenty five men would be here in three days to help fight to the south. Unsure of whether we should go south and help, or go north to Joven, Ghost and I went to see the head of my order, Armand, in the hope that he could tell us which direction we should go. After casting a divination spell and going into a trance, he told us "Real responsibility is to the north, but true trouble is to the south". With that message I knew I had to go north, and fortunately Ghost agreed. (Traveling on my own is not something I'd want to try, at least not before the Gates are all working.) Speaking of the Gates, I learned that it would take about two and a half weeks to build one.

The next morning we set out for Joven, accompanied by an elven fighter, Luigi, who Ghost had met in town, and Linora's new henchman Shocko. Linora caused a lot of problems that night, to say the least. First, she decided to carve on a tree, who just so happened to be a Treant who took offense to being carved; it attacked her and we had to move camp. Then, once we were settled again and Linora was back on watch, she got hit by a thrown rock. After following the creature who threw the rock, she found a camp of goblins and hobgoblins. Back at camp, she woke us up (or, more accurately, she woke up Shocko whose loud ravings woke up the rest of camp). Ghost set off to hunt said monsters, while most of the rest of the group set off soon afterwards. The monsters split up into two groups, Ghost killing the first group, and the second attacked our camp where Luigi, SwampFox, and I were not yet prepared. Fortunately, Luigi killed a few of them so I was able to recover from an interrupted spell and beat a goblin with my quarterstaff. The rest of the party (sans Ghost) then made it back to camp and killed the rest of the monsters.

Monsters vanquished, we went back to bed. Here's to hoping Linora does not bring any more bad luck!

~Cyneric Conroy, Order of the Fleet Fox
March 24, 3rd day of Bleakmoon