Rael Octavius' Sideplots

This area is for Rael Octavius' dealings outside the main plot and threads of the campaign.

All subject posts on this thread may be posted in the comments as typical in-character posting by any character if they are involved in a particular subplot involving Rael Octavius.  Rael Octavius and the DM may update the base subject posts as they see fit with pertinent information about each subplot in which Rael Octavius is involved.

On the right side of this page will be a table of contents of the subject posts to follow.

Hoard

posted Apr 11, 2021, 5:25 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Apr 11, 2021, 5:42 PM ]

Butyltina 24th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The group spends next week making their way back to Realm's Wound to say their farewells before tracing their way back to the hill where they first encountered the dragon.
Perri Elastime: Let's go in and see if its treasure is here.
Fennimore: Are you sure it's the same dragon? We should have a better strategy than me running in pell-mell if we meet another dragon.
Rael Octavius: In where? I don't see a cave here.
Perri Elastime: It looked like the same one to me.
Perri Elastime: Up the path and around.
Fennimore: I haven't met enough dragons to learn how to distinguish between them.
Perri Elastime: Well, they were both white and scary.
The group looks around the hill for a while finding shallow cuts but no caves deep enough for a dragon's lair.
Fennimore: I bet there are a few more big, white, scary dragons that call these mountains home.
Rael Octavius: Hey! A snowdrift conceals a trail over behind the hill.
Perri Elastime: I think that was a little dragon.
Fennimore: Colburn, do you know if there is a dragon's lair around here?
Perri Elastime: Come on. Let's follow it.
Colborn follows, keeping an eye out for more predators.
Perri Elastime: I think you are more adventurous in "The City," Fenn.
Colborn: Its lair could be anywhere.
Rael Octavius starts toward the drift.
Perri Elastime follows Rael.
Fennimore: Fewer things try to eat me in the city. I know the city's dangers and how to avoid the ones I can't handle.
Fennimore follows Perri and Rael.
Rael Octavius: This drift is big.
Colborn: Drifts can be dangerous. We don't want to get lost in it.
Perri Elastime: It is probably the doorstep.
Perri Elastime: Let's hold on to the rope again.
The drift is quite troublesome to cross, and Perri falls into it and disappears.
Fennimore: Perri!
Perri Elastime: Gawk!
Perri barely manages to keep hold of the rope, while Colborn manages to keep Perri from being lost completely.
During the struggle, Fennimore plunges into the drift as Perri emerges, sputtering. Rael gets stuck up to his waist. Colborn nearly loses the rope.
Perri and Rael plunge in as Fennimore climbs back to the surface. Colborn manages to get Fennimore to slide back off the drift where they all started.
Perri Elastime: Frozen troll boogers and dragon turds!
Perri is packed in the snow, but Colborn manages to get Rael free, rolling him back to the beginning.
Perri Elastime: Pack me in ice again; I'll teach you.
Perri suddenly emerges from the drift and slides down the opposite side in the direction they intended to go. Colborn manages to stay on top.
Perri Elastime: That's cold!
Fennimore: Rael, do you have any magical fire pent up to melt this snow?
Rael Octavius: This is not going well.
Perri Elastime looks around.
Rael Octavius: Colborn, get off the drift. I am going to melt it.
Colborn scrambles across the top and slides down the drift, landing next to Perri.
Perri Elastime: Are you okay?
Rael Octavius begins launching continuous bolts of fire at the drift.
Colborn: A little chilled, but alright.
Perri Elastime: Do you see the path?
The fire bolts begin to melt a path through the drift as Rael continues launching them. About half an hour later, there is a clear path.
Perri Elastime: Well, that wasn't fun.
Colborn: I think we can follow this cut into the mountains.
Rael Octavius quickly makes his way through the drift.
Rael Octavius: I may have to do that again to get us back out.
Fennimore follows Rael through the drift.
Perri Elastime: Did you cast firebolt over and over?
Rael Octavius: Yes.
Fennimore: That was a lot of fire. Do you need a rest?
Rael Octavius: No rest. It was just minor magic.
Perri Elastime: Let's follow the cut a while; no more than an hour.
Rael Octavius: Sure.
Fennimore: I suppose an hour is fine. It's hard to turn down the idea of a dragon's hoard.
Perri Elastime: I know just seeing it would be awesome.
Fennimore: But, I don't want to lose sight of our goal of getting the news of the portal back to King Ran.
Rael Octavius: Let us go then.
Colborn leads the way.
Perri Elastime moves into the cut.
Fennimore is close behind Colborn.
The group travels for another half an hour when the cut opens into a valley filled with jagged walls of ice.
Fennimore: Looks like a good place for an ambush. I hope your friend is watching out for us, Perri.
Rael Octavius: It looks like a labyrinth of ice.
Fennimore: I better not freeze my furry toes off.
Perri Elastime: Entrance to a lair, maybe?
Rael Octavius: Shall we try to find our way through it?
Perri Elastime: We still have half of our hour.
Rael Octavius: If we get turned around in there, it may take quite a while to find our way out again.
Fennimore draws his dagger.
Fennimore: I'll bring up the rear and mark our path as we go. Look for X's in the ice.
Perri Elastime: If we light a torch, we can put blackened marks to blaze our trail.
Rael Octavius: Or, at least, melt marks.
Perri Elastime: Should provide some soot in the smoke.
Perri Elastime pulls out a torch and lights it with her tinderbox.
Fennimore sheathes his knife and readies his bow instead.
Perri Elastime swipes the lit torch along the ice to try and make a mark.
The group moves into the labyrinth and finds their way easily through it, both Perri and Fennimore being experts at solving problems like this.
Perri Elastime: That wasn't so bad.
Fennimore: I hope getting out is just as easy.
After navigating the labyrinth, the group finds themselves at the mouth of a large cave.
Perri Elastime puts out the torch.
Perri Elastime: If there is something in there, do we want to announce our presence?
Perri Elastime: We all can see in the dark.
Fennimore: I can't see in the dark. If we don't have light, I'll announce our presence when I trip over my furry toes.
Colborn: I can't.
Perri Elastime: Right.
Rael Octavius: Do you want to scout a bit, Perri?
Perri Elastime: Sure!
Fennimore: Don't get too far ahead without us.
Rael Octavius: I'll follow up to the cave mouth and try and cover you since I can see as well.
Perri Elastime: Fenn, I thought you could see.
Fennimore: I'll hold the torch, so you elvish types can be a little sneakier.
Perri Elastime sees a yeti to the left.
Perri Elastime sneaks back to the group.
Fennimore: After Perri disappears into the inky depths of the cavern, Fennimore gets his lantern ready.
Perri Elastime (whispering): There is a yeti.
Fennimore (whispers): Did it see you?
Perri Elastime (whispering): Off to the left about forty feet in. I don't think so.
Rael Octavius (whispering): We can sneak up behind that column and surprise it.
Fennimore (whispering): If you and Rael sneak in on the right, Colburn and I can advance with the light on the left and get its attention.
Rael Octavius (whispering): Let's give it a try.
Perri Elastime (whispering): We can try.
Fennimore (whispering): We'll give you a minute to get in position, then I'll light my lantern.
Perri Elastime draws Dugluachared.
Rael clatters a chunk of ice across the cave floor while moving up to the column.
A roar reverberates through the cave.
Fennimore lights his lantern, draws his rapier, and moves into the cavern, keeping to the far left wall.
Fennimore looks for a big rock or ledge to his left upon which to set his lantern.
Fennimore sees the yeti at the edge of the bright lantern light.
Perri begins a bladesong, moves to another column, and launches a firebolt at the yeti.
Perri Elastime hides behind the pillar.
The yeti charges towards the light-bearer with a menacing glare and attacks.
Rael Octavius steps out from behind the column and blasts the yeti with beams of fire.
The yeti roars in agony as it collapses, and another roar sounds from the right side of the cave.
Rael Octavius moves away from the other roar.
Fennimore thinks to himself while paralyzed, "Way to go, Rael!".
Colborn moves into the cave and prepares for another yeti to appear.
Fennimore breaks free of the paralysis.
Perri moves around the other yeti and hits it with another bolt of fire.
Rael Octavius turns his attention to the other yeti and blasts it too.
Rael Octavius then moves over to Fennimore.
Colborn charges the yeti in a rage and swings at it with his axe.
The yeti turns on the barbarian, not liking the fire coming from the other two targets.
Fennimore runs forward and stabs the yeti with his rapier.
Perri flanks the beast and skewers it with a flaming Dulguachared.
This yeti also collapses with a roar.
Fennimore looks around to see if there are any more of them.
As the flames die, all becomes quiet.
Fennimore: Ow.
Rael Octavius: Are you alright?
Fennimore: A little frosty.
Rael Octavius: Do you want a spell or go on?
Fennimore: If we have time to rest, I think I can warm up a bit.
Rael Octavius: We should probably have a look around before we try to take a rest.
Rael Octavius: Here.
Fennimore: Thanks, that will last a good while.
Fennimore fetches his lantern.
Perri Elastime: I'll peek down the passage and come back.
Fennimore: I'll check out the left wing.
Perri Elastime: The lantern will draw attention if there is something there.
Colborn: I'll stay near Fennimore and his light.
Fennimore: I think our skirmish got the attention of most anything in the cave.
Rael Octavius: Together then?
Perri Elastime: Together.
The group follows the tunnel to the left, which curves around to the right until they enter another cave just slightly smaller than the first one. There is a pile of treasure in the center of it.
Rael Octavius: Well, there is your dragon's hoard.
Fennimore: That's a lot of silver.
Perri Elastime: Wow, look at that.
Perri Elastime: Do we need a magic platform again?
Fennimore: Do you think the yetis moved in when the dragon didn't come back?
Colborn: Have at it. I can carry it for you back to Bjorg's.
Rael Octavius: Or they were already here as guards.
Perri Elastime reassesses Colborn and decides he's pretty buff.
Perri Elastime: Shall we check out the other passages?
Fennimore: Let's!
Perri Elastime: Treasure always cheers you up!
Two other passages lead off of this cave, and they discover they are all connected.
Perri Elastime: Let's head out and away.
Fennimore: The faster we get out of these mountains, the better.
Perri Elastime: I think I remember the way out.
It takes the group a while to gather all the treasure together and get it packed on Colborn. Within an hour, they are back on the slopes leading down onto the plains, approaching Bjorg's camp.
Perri Elastime looks around to see if anything looks amiss.
Colborn: If you don't mind, I would like to keep the dragon's hide.
Fennimore: I think you've earned it.
Rael Octavius: Absolutely, Colborn.
Perri Elastime: It is yours.
Fennimore: Can you fashion it into dragon scale armor?
Bjorg stands up from his stump as the group approaches the camp.
Colborn: There is probably only enough for a shield. It will take a bigger dragon to fashion a suit of armor.
Bjorg: Welcome back, my friends.
Rael Octavius: Thank you, Chieftain.
Fennimore: May it protect you well.
Bjorg looks at each of you curiously.
Fennimore: Thank you, Chief Bjorg.
Bjorg: Where is Ingimarr?
Fennimore: Ingimarr earned his redemption facing a troll.
Colborn: He died gloriously fighting a troll.
Bjorg nods and smiles.
Perri Elastime: I am so sorry he did not return.
Bjorg: He met an honorable end.
Perri Elastime: He fought heroically.
Bjorg: And, Colborn. You have returned.
Fennimore: Colburn has passed his trials and earned the title of Dragonslayer.
Bjorg raises his eyebrows.
Perri Elastime: He is quite the hero.
Colborn hauls the dragon's hide off of his back and presents it to Bjorg.
Bjorg smiles broadly.
Bjorg: A gift fit for a chieftain, and I accept your honorable gift...and welcome you back into the tribe, Colborn.
Fennimore smiles.
Colborn: An honor I will never forsake.
Perri Elastime smiles.
Rael Octavius smiles.
Rael Octavius: That is excellent.
Bjorg: This calls for a celebration. Let us feast!
Fennimore: We learned much on our travels into the mountains. Colburn and Ingimarr were invaluable guides. Soon, we must return to "The City." Hopefully, what we have learned will help end the valley's drought and stop the glaciers from descending the mountains.
Bjorg: Very good news.
Colborn: Dragon steaks it is.
Perri Elastime: I'm always ready to feast.
Fennimore: A feast!
Bjorg: You can tell your stories to the camp as we feast.
Perri Elastime: Perhaps we can tell you more privately.
Bjorg: Trolls, dragons...probably other battles. You must share them all.
Perri Elastime: Of course, we will share our battles.
Rael Octavius: It could be a good morale boost for the barbarians.
Fennimore: A word of warning. We found a vale in the mountains above Realm's Wound. Colburn knows where. There, the fabric between the planes has been torn. Cold, ice and the creatures of an icy realm are escaping into your mountains. You will be under constant threat until the tear is closed.
Bjorg: A dire warning, but we are now aware. Thank you, brave adventurers.

Nexus

posted Apr 3, 2021, 11:51 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Butyltina 17th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The group spends the next week striking up into the mountains, searching for more supernatural reasons the weather is behaving the way it is. With the bheur hag's passing, the weather has been more reasonable, but the glaciers are still building.
Fennimore: I thought getting rid of the brrr hag would get rid of the brr too.
Perri Elastime: It is still pretty cold up here.
Fennimore: Was it like this in the Winter Court?
Perri Elastime: I was always cold.
Colborn: It is usually cold in the mountains, but the tribes folk are used to it.
Fennimore: I'm not used to the cold.
Perri Elastime: Me neither. I like a warm crackling hearth.
Fennimore: And a steaming bowl of soup.
Perri Elastime: Oh, hot buttered rum is nice.
The group continues into the mountains, not finding anything of significance until they come to an ice-flow that may block their further exploration.
Perri Elastime: Is this the glacier?
Fennimore and Rael think they see movement beyond the ice-flow up ahead.
Colborn raises a hand to have the group halt.
Fennimore (whispering): What do you see?
Perri Elastime sniffs the frigid air.
Colborn: Something is flittering around out there.
Rael Octavius: I see something moving too.
Perri Elastime looks around for fey.
Fennimore peers into the icy fields.
Colborn: Let's move closer. It is hard to tell what it is against the snow.
Perri Elastime (whispers): Where?
Fennimore sneaks up towards the movement.
Perri Elastime moves forward into the shadows of the tree ahead.
Perri slips on some ice and causes ice to cascade towards the ice-flow.
The flittering disappears behind the ice-flow.
Perri starts a bladesong and moves forward.
She then creates three illusionary duplicates of herself.
Fennimore draws his bow and dashes closer, then hides under a small tree.
Fennimore slides to a stop into the tree trunk, scattering ice crystals about.
An ice mephit chitters and flaps about low to the ground before two more ice mephits appear nearby.
The original ice mephit then flies up behind a large boulder.
Rael Octavius dashes up onto a ridge to have a better view of the area.
Colborn moves up to the ice-flow and ducks down, waiting for the creatures to approach.
One of the summoned ice mephits waves his arms, and fog appears, engulfing Colborn, Fennimore, and Perri.
Perri Elastime moves out of the fog to cast a bolt of fire, then moves to another tree and hides.
Perri's firebolt strikes down one of the newly summoned mephits before it has a chance to do anything.
Fennimore moves through the fog, up onto the ice-flow.
Fennimore slides back off the ice flow but keeps his feet.
The ice mephit torched by Perri explodes in a burst of icy shards.
The original ice mephit flies up over the boulder to the fog's edge and exhales a blast of cold, which covers Fennimore.
Rael Octavius: I can't see anything beyond the fog!
Rael Octavius moves down from the cliff and gets ready to dodge mephit breath.
Colborn tries to cross the ice flow but slips and falls prone where he started. He curses and stands up.
The other summoned ice mephit flies towards the cursing and exhales frost, covering Colborn.
Perri launches a firebolt at the original mephit. It falls to the ice-flow and stumbles around.
She ducks back behind the bushes.
The fog cloud dissipates in the breeze.
Fennimore takes steady aim at the closest mephit and hits with an arrow.
Perri Elastime: I think it's going to blow!
The original ice mephit explodes in a blast of icy shards just missing Fennimore.
Rael Octavius moves towards the ice-flow and targets the remaining mephit with a firebolt of his own.
Colborn throws a javelin at the remaining mephit.
The last summoned ice mephit fades out of existence as its summoner has died.
Fennimore: How are you doing, Colburn?
Colborn: I'm fine.
Perri Elastime moves onto the ice-flow, looking for more danger.
Young White Dragon [Draconic]: Now I have you!
Rael Octavius: Dragon!
Rael Octavius provides Perri and Fennimore with an emboldening bond.
Perri Elastime: Um, I hope it's feeling chatty.
Rael Octavius: Drink the rest of your Dwarven ale!
Rael Octavius runs for the cover of a boulder.
Fennimore: He's a biggun, isn't he.
Colborn runs along the ice-flow to where it is rockier and readies for the dragon's attack.
Fennimore: Don't run off, Perri.
Perri Elastime quickly swallows her Dwarven ale and then runs up and ducks behind some rocks.
Fennimore bravely fires an arrow at the dragon and hits.
Young White Dragon [Draconic]: You will regret that, halfling!
Perri Elastime: What is it saying?
Fennimore: I think it said I'm about to be freeze-dried.
Young White Dragon flies up and breathes its icy breath on Fennimore.
Fennimore: Oh, that's cold. That's really, really cold.
Rael Octavius [Draconic]: You will regret attacking us, dragon!
Rael Octavius launches a barge of fiery rays as the dragon.
Rael Octavius runs around the bushes to be out of line with the dragon.
Colborn roars like a great bear and flies into a rage.
Fennimore: This is new.
Colborn launches two javelins at the dragon.
Colborn charges the dragon.
Perri Elastime conjures a shadow blade and charges the dragon.
Dulguachared [Elvish]: Really?
Perri slashes the dragon with her conjured blade.
Fennimore drinks his Dwarven ale before ducking behind a tree to hide for a moment.
Young White Dragon claws twice at Colborn before turning to bite Perri.
Young White Dragon rakes at Colborn viciously, but the barbarian just laughs. Its bite misses Perri.
Rael Octavius moves up and launches another barrage of fiery bolts at the dragon.
Colborn: Big mistake, dragon!
Colborn takes two mighty swings at the dragon with his greataxe.
Perri loses her footing in the icy snow, missing the dragon.
But then she twists and manages to slip it between the dragon's scales.
Fennimore tries to stay hidden behind the tree while he drinks his healing potion, then studies the dragon's combat techniques and shoulders his bow.
Fennimore finds a weakness in which to take advantage.
Young White Dragon [Draconic]: You will never survive my onslaught.
Young White Dragon rakes claws at Colborn again and bites Perri, but it hits one of her illusionary duplicates instead.
Young White Dragon then takes to the air again and moves out of range but not before Colborn strikes it with his greataxe.
Rael Octavius stands up on top of the boulder and launches more fiery blasts at the dragon.
Rael Octavius hops back down off of the boulder.
Colborn runs after the dragon and swings at it again.
Perri races after the dragon and tries to slash at it with her shadowy blade but misses.
Fennimore: As the dragon flees, Fennimore draws his bow again and steps up to shoot.
Fennimore's arrow is caught by a gust of wind and misses.
Fennimore then tries to cross the ice flow.
Young White Dragon goes to charge Fennimore.
Fennimore: Yikes, incoming dragon.
Fennimore: Whew!
Young White Dragon falls under the blows of Colborn and Perri before it gets to Fennimore.
Perri Elastime: You okay, Fenn? You look a bit frosty.
Fennimore: I hear dragons have hoards of treasure. I wonder where this guy kept his?
Rael Octavius: That was close.
Fennimore: Yeah, a little frostbit here.
Fennimore: I healed myself a little while I was hiding under the tree, so I'm doing better than I was.
Rael Octavius takes his time crossing the ice-flow.
Perri Elastime: Colborn, you okay?
Fennimore: Colburn looks like he's in worse shape right now.
Perri Elastime: You had some righteous rage going there.
Colborn: I'm great!
Fennimore: I didn't know you could do that!
Colborn: Newly found confidence.
Perri Elastime looks around for a lair.
Fennimore: Any more bad guys lurking around here?
The group searches the area for a while, looking for the dragon's lair, but it must be somewhere else in the mountains.
Rael Octavius: Let me help you out, Colborn.
Colborn: Thank you, Rael.
Perri Elastime: I don't think this young dragon's been causing the ice to build up.
As the group is resting in this area, what appears to be a whirlpool of swirling snow forms in their midst.
Rael Octavius: What is that?
Bitter, biting cold flows from the center of the forming hole.
Perri Elastime draws Dulguachared.
Fennimore runs to Perri's side.
Dulguachared [Elvish]: We might want to get away from that.
Perri Elastime: I think we should run.
Colborn: I agree.
Fennimore: Run!
Perri Elastime: Down is faster than up.
Colborn: Down is across the ice-flow.
Fennimore: Down is towards it.
As you start to come around the cliff face, you look back and see one of the nearby boulders roll into the hole and vanish. The vortex then closes.
Rael Octavius: Oh! That might explain the mephits.
Fennimore: That was weird.
Perri Elastime: What was that?
Rael Octavius: It is a nexus to the elemental planes.
Fennimore: Well, I'm glad we didn't fall in.
Fennimore: How do we close it?
Rael Octavius: We could have ended up somewhere we would not have been able to return from for quite a while.
Perri Elastime: Hmm, maybe that explains the cold and growing glaciers?
Fennimore: That was my next question.
Rael Octavius: I think it is more a result of the cold, like a massive fire opening portals to the elemental plane of fire. But this is to ice?
Rael Octavius: That could be the border between the planes of air and water.
Rael Octavius: This is useful information for High King Ran in any case.
Fennimore: If the elemental plane of ice is bleeding into our world and causing these glaciers, is that enough to cause the drought in the valley below?
Rael Octavius: Makes sense.
Fennimore: I'd be happy to return to "The City" to share the news with him and warm my toes by the fire in The Stag.
Perri Elastime: I'm rather hungry.
Rael Octavius: I think this is enough for the archmagi in Magus Universitatis to work with.
Perri Elastime: So we should head home?
Fennimore: If the river is still too low for a boat, it's a long walk back to "The City." What do you say, Colburn? Are you ready to follow us?
Rael Octavius: Let's get back to Realm's Wound, for starters.
Perri Elastime: Always one logical step at a time, Rael.
Colborn: "The City" sounds interesting, but I think I will stay on the Barbarian Plains now that I have regained my powers.
Fennimore: Have you reclaimed your honor by defeating a dragon? You must take a trophy!
Perri Elastime: So you'll be going home too.
Colborn holds up a tooth.
Colborn: I already took one.
Fennimore grins.
Rael Octavius: We should update Snorri before we head back to "The City."
Perri Elastime: Maybe I should take one to put in my hair. They are so pearly white and pretty when they are not snapping at me.
Fennimore: Let's each take one.
Rael Octavius: And some blood. We should go fast in case that nexus opens again.
Perri Elastime: Maybe a talon or two.
Fennimore: I wonder how frequently the nexus opens?
The group heads back down to the dragon, and Colborn drags it across the ice-flow and up the incline away from the nexus. He skins the dragon and packs all he can to take back to Bjorg.
Fennimore: Should we stick around to time it?
Rael Octavius: I don't really want to stay around to find out.
Perri Elastime: That could take a long time.
Rael Octavius: Something far more dangerous than mephits may come through.
Fennimore: The longer, the better, but the more we can tell the mages, the better.
Rael Octavius: The fact that we know where it is is enough for me.
Perri Elastime detects magic in the area.
Fennimore: While Perri detects magic, Fenn builds a cairn to mark the location of the nexus.
Perri Elastime sees a strong magical portal of conjuration where the nexus opened.
Perri Elastime: I can see a strong magical portal.
Perri Elastime walks around the portal, studying it.
Perri Elastime makes a sketch, noting location size, shape, color, and orientation for the mages.
Perri Elastime sees the portal flare into physical existence again.
Perri Elastime runs away.
Perri Elastime: It is flaring...
The nexus opens again.
Fennimore: I think that's our sign. It's time to go.
Fennimore: Lead the way, Perri.
A column of icy shards shoots up into the sky.
Perri Elastime heads down the way they came.
Fennimore, Rael, and Colborn keep pace with her.

Brrr

posted Mar 28, 2021, 12:52 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Butyltina 10th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

Fennimore, Perri, and Rael are considered honored guests in Realm's Wound for the next week or so when there are several darkdays in a row. They see the villagers repairing the damage that the troll did and bury their dead. Ingimarr has a pyre built for him on the edge of town and is cremated. Rael performs the funeral rites.
Fennimore: Ah, Inginmarr. You fought valiantly. May you have earned your rightful place in your afterlife.
Perri Elastime: May the long night walk bring you peace.
Perri Elastime catches glimpses of the sprites during the darkday but cannot manage to make contact with any of them.
Perri Elastime: Did either of you see any fey during the darkdays?
Rael Octavius: I did not.
Fennimore: I could hardly see my hand in front of my face if it weren't for the village lights.
Perri Elastime: I would catch a glimpse, but they would be gone when I looked right at them.
Wilhelm: There are not very many lights, so we do not attract things from the mountains.
Fennimore: What's in the mountains that might be attracted to your lights?
Perri Elastime: I think they were sprites.
Wilhelm: More trolls...dragons...monsters, in general.
Fennimore shivers.
Wilhelm: The village's palisade just slows things like that down enough for us to get to the mine.
Fennimore: It's hard to keep out the flying beasties, but stronger walls should keep out most things that walk.
Wilhelm: The dragons do not usually bother us. Iron does not interest them that much.
Over the course of another week, the group experiences some unusually wintery weather.
Fennimore: I'm glad I have furry toes, but this stuff is cold.
Perri Elastime: Brr, it's been cold. We need to check out the mountain glaciers.
Rael Octavius: I am glad we have this warm inn to stay in.
Fennimore: So am I, but we can't stay here forever. I agree with Perri. We need to get into the mountains.
The patrons of the inn who make visits claim the weather is worse than it has ever been. Almost supernaturally so.
Wilhelm: I wonder if that hag has moved into the old copper mine up the slopes from here.
Fennimore perks up.
Perri Elastime: What hag?
Fennimore: Copper mine?
Rael Octavius: Hag? The bheur hag you mentioned when we first arrived?
Wilhelm: That would be the one.
Fennimore: Or is she a brrr hag?
Wilhelm laughs.
Wilhelm: Very close.
Wilhelm: The mine is abandoned, emptied over a century ago.
Perri Elastime: It may not be empty any longer.
Fennimore: I think we have a new destination. Maybe a day trip to check out the copper mine.
Perri Elastime: How far is the mine?
Wilhelm: It is just a few miles up the Dwarven Trail.
Perri Elastime: We should check it out.
Rael Octavius: A century-old mine entrance may be hard to find.
Fennimore: Time to go spelunking again.
Wilhelm: It should not be too hard to find. It started as a quarry and then went into the mountain at the bottom. Just look for the big hole.
Wilhelm: It is left off of the trail.
Perri Elastime: Is the hole big enough for a dragon?
Wilhelm: It is, but for some reason, dragons have avoided it.
Fennimore looks surprised.
Perri Elastime: Well, if dragons are scared, we should definitely go check it out.
Fennimore laughs nervously.
Rael Octavius looks uncomfortable.
Fennimore: You're never one to back down from danger.
Perri Elastime: Nope, and I have the scars to prove it.
Perri Elastime: Good thing I have some friends with sense.
Fennimore: Right.
Fennimore looks at Rael.
Rael Octavius: I guess we pack up and head that way while the sun is out.
Fennimore: Which one of us is she talking about?
Rael Octavius: No idea.
Perri Elastime looks at Fenn.
Rael Octavius smirks.
Wilhelm: If you are going out in this weather, you should have some of that Dwarven ale. It will make the cold much more bearable.
Fennimore: That's a great idea.
Fennimore: Maybe take a few flasks of it with us too.
Perri Elastime picks up her pack; checks her rapier.
Wilhelm: Skins will work better.
Perri Elastime: Skins sound good.
Wilhelm fills a tankard for each of the adventurers as well as skins for each of them.
Perri Elastime: Perhaps a baked potato or two for our pockets.
Wilhelm: Save the skins in case you are delayed in returning.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
Rael Octavius drinks his ale.
Fennimore: You have a halfling's hospitality.
Perri Elastime drinks her ale.
Wilhelm: We need to support those who support us.
Fennimore eats and drinks to fill his belly for the cold walk up the mountain.
Perri Elastime: Well, if you're having a second breakfast, so am I.
Rael Octavius collects his things.
Rael Octavius: I guess I will fuel my fire as well.
Perri Elastime makes sure to start with a full belly.
Fennimore cleans his plate and drains his mug.
Rael Octavius gets another helping of breakfast.
Fennimore: I'm ready when you are.
Rael Octavius: Let us go.
Perri Elastime: Rael, you're getting better at this.
Rael Octavius: I am getting a lot of practice.
Perri Elastime: Lead the way.
The group heads out into the weather, which is blustery and snowy, but the cold does not seem to bother them. They leave Realm's Wound by way of the Dwarven Gate and head up the trail into the mountains.
Fennimore looks back at Realm's Wound wistfully, hoping they return before their ale supply runs out.
Colborn joins them as well.
Perri Elastime looks to see if it's blustery enough to hide their tracks in the snow.
Perri Elastime realizes that it would be impossible to track anyone in this weather.
Perri Elastime: Well, I don't think anyone will be able to follow us through this. But, we better stay close. I don't want to get separated from you all.
Fennimore: Yeah, if they can't follow us, we might not be able to follow each other.
Colborn: This is going to be slow going, but that ale will make it much easier.
Fennimore: Should we tie off to a rope, so we don't get separated?
Perri Elastime: Maybe a rope to keep us together?
Rael Octavius: I think if we keep a slow pace and stay in arms reach, we'll be fine.
Perri Elastime: We don't have to tie it, just hold it.
Fennimore: Just remember, my arms are shorter than yours.
Colborn: Holding it should work.
Perri Elastime: Brings out her rope.
The group trudges through the snow while holding the rope and slowly makes their way up the trail.
Perri Elastime keeps watching for fey critters and folk.
Fennimore watches for the brrr hag, giants and dragons and fae and other monsters that might want to eat him.
After a couple of hours, still feeling no ill effect of the weather, the group comes to a path cut into the mountain on the left side of the trail they are following.
Rael Octavius: This looks like the place.
Perri Elastime: Let's stay together and move quietly.
Rael Octavius: Watch your footing, Perri.
Fennimore sneaks up to the rail to peer into the mine pit.
Perri Elastime (whispers): My eyelashes are frozen together.
Fennimore (whispers): Better keep away from the edge.
Fennimore (whispers): Four little mice, all in a row.
Rael Octavius: Damn, it is slippery.
Colborn catches Rael as he starts to slide.
A cackling voice [Auran]: Haha. I have visitors...and dinner.
Dulguachared [Elvish]: Everybody duck!
Rael Octavius: Get down!
Perri Elastime: Duck!
After moving down the incline and starting a bladesong, Perri launches crackling lightning at the hag, and it takes hold, forming an arch between them.
The hag shrieks.
Colborn moves forward and prepares for the worst.
Fennimore dashes down the incline around the quarry. He makes it to his destination but falls prone.
Bheur Hag looks around at all the various visitors, analyzing each of them.
Bheur Hag turns towards the bridge and raises a gray staff above her head. A cylinder of ice chunks rains down on it, destroying it.
Fennimore: She's afraid of us coming to tea.
Rael Octavius launches a barrage of fiery bolts at the hag from the ledge. Most of them fail to strike, redirected by the blustery wind.
Rael Octavius moves further up the ramp behind a rickety railing.
Perri leaps from the ledge and lands on the floor of the quarry safely.
Perri's witch bolt continues to arch to the hag, and she prepares to block its attack.
Colborn moves farther down the ramp and prepares to dodge whatever comes his way.
Fennimore tries to slip under the railing and tumble to the floor of the pit.
Fennimore lands a bit harder than he would have liked.
Fennimore moves up to the hag and stabs her. It does not see the halfling being more concerned about the electricity arching between it and the elf.
Bheur Hag: You little bugger!
Bheur Hag turns and aims her staff at Fennimore.
Perri Elastime: Hey, that no way to talk to my friend.
Bheur Hag casts a spell at Fennimore, but he resists it.
Rael Octavius aims his fiery bolts at the hag again.
Rael Octavius: That is more like it.
Perri keeps the electricity arching onto the hag.
She then moves to flank it.
Colborn launches a spear at the hag.
It misses.
Fennimore stabs the hag again.
Perri Elastime: Doesn't that just twist your whiskers, you old frozen biddy.
Bheur Hag tries to move away from the pair of rogues.
Fennimore hits the hag as it retreats.
Bheur Hag turns back to its attackers and launches a cone of cold at them.
Fennimore: I'm glad for that warmth in my belly!
Colborn drops to the bridge.
Rael Octavius launches more fiery bolts at the hag. It falls, burning like a campfire.
Rael Octavius then starts running towards Colborn.
Perri Elastime checks out the body of the hag.
Rael Octavius runs over to Colborn and heals him.
Fennimore: I wonder if she had a nest in the old mine?
Rael Octavius: How did you survive that, Colborn?
Colborn.: Dwarven ale?
Rael Octavius: That is amazing stuff, then.
Rael Octavius: Are you two okay down there?
Perri Elastime: So far.
Fennimore: Not bad, just a little frosty toes.
Perri Elastime: Colborn, are you okay?
Colborn.: I will be fine. Still mostly warm.
Fennimore: Do you want to come down and check out the mine with us?
Perri Elastime: Well, let's check out the mine. There may be clues.
Rael Octavius: Yes.
Fennimore: Be careful. That last step is a doozy.
The group suddenly realizes the weather has changed as the sun breaks through the clouds.
Perri Elastime: Hey, the sun is coming out.
Rael Octavius: Let us get a rope tied to the railing over here and climb down.
Colborn ties a rope to the base of one of the railing posts.
Colborn and Rael climb down to the floor of the quarry without any problems.
Rael Octavius: I hope going back up goes that well.
Perri Elastime: No worries. You could always jump the bridge gap.
The hag is pretty much a pile of ashes when you get to it. There didn't seem to be anything of value on it.
Fennimore prods at the ashes.
Fennimore: Nothing much here.
Rael Octavius: The mine shaft?
Fennimore: Before we go, let's take a little rest.
Rael Octavius: Not a bad idea. Who knows what is in there.
Perri Elastime: Yeah, it's probably not any warmer inside yet.
Fennimore: Ready to go in the hole?
Perri Elastime: I think we need a torch this time.
Fennimore: I have a lantern.
Colborn.: I can carry it.
Perri Elastime: A lantern works.
Fennimore lights his lantern and hands it to Colburn.
Perri Elastime draws Dulguachared.
Colborn takes the lantern.
Perri Elastime heads into the mine.
The group makes their way into the mineshaft. It goes straight into the mountain for about fifty feet and ends in collapsed rubble.
Perri Elastime: Not very homey.
Fennimore: At least there are no dragons.
In a pile in front of the rubble are thousands of coins, two patinated bronze crowns, an ivory statue of a dwarf, three gold rings set with bloodstones, a tarnished silver necklace with a garnet pendant, and a small box.
Perri Elastime: Shall I detect magic?
Rael Octavius: And no dragon with this hoard?
Fennimore: His eyes glisten in the lantern light as he takes in the sight of the big pile of treasure.
Rael Octavius: Go ahead. Maybe something is magical.
Perri Elastime: It will take about ten minutes.
Fennimore: Take your time. There doesn't seem to be anything else around.
Fennimore finds a rock to sit on while Perri works her ritual.
Perri casts her ritual and scans the treasure. There is a hint of magic under the coins.
Perri Elastime digs through the coins to find what she senses.
Buried under the coins is a flask.
Perri Elastime: This flask is magic.
Perry Elastime sees that the flask radiates transmutation magic. Beads of this cloudy gray oil form on the outside of its container and quickly evaporate.
Perri Elastime: Hmm... Transmutation magic.
Perri Elastime: Turns to smoke like vampires, maybe?
Perri Elastime: Might contain a genie.
Perri Elastime: Who wants to carry this?
Rael Octavius: I can, I guess.
Perri Elastime: Don't stumble and let the genie out.
Perri Elastime hands Rael the flask.
Fennimore: Do you think it will grant a wish for being released?
Rael Octavius takes the flask and puts it in his pack.
Rael Octavius: If it is a genie, it should.
Perri Elastime: If it is not insane and kills us first.
Fennimore: Maybe we could wish for the water to return to the plains.
Rael Octavius: What do we want to do with all of these coins?
Perri Elastime: If you want to take all of it, Fenn, I can make a disk to carry it.
Rael Octavius: Let us sort out the platinum and gold and bury the silver and copper.
Rael Octavius: Or, that will work.
Perri Elastime: I'll have to renew it every hour like before.
Rael Octavius: It will take a few castings as you did with Hjotr's treasure.
Fennimore: Let's take it back at least as far as Realm's Wound. Maybe we can trade it for something easier to carry.
Rael Octavius: They have some gems from their iron mine. Maybe they will sell us the gems?
Perri Elastime starts casting Tenser's floating disk ritual.
Rael Octavius: Um, how are we going to get it up the ramp. The bridge was destroyed.
Perri Elastime: Maybe we can use some of the broken wood to span the gap.
Colborn.: Maybe we can slide the other bridge over that gap and then bring it back?
Fennimore: Now that's thinking.
Rael Octavius: I can try and help with that, but none of us are very strong.
Perri Elastime: Or we bring the treasure as far as we can, then transfer it to the other side by hand. Then, I recast the spell.
Perri Elastime: Let's see if we can move the bridge.
Rael Octavius: I have mage hand.
Rael Octavius: I think moving the bridge may be faster. I can use my sorcery to guide us.
Fennimore: Let's try that first.
Rael Octavius: Perri, you can get the disk up the ramp to the break while Colborn and I retrieve the bridge.
Perri Elastime: I'll start up. If I climb on the disk, it will run into the wall.
Fennimore: I'll help with the bridge too.
Perri Elastime starts up the ramp.
Rael Octavius exits the mineshaft with Colborn and starts to climb the rope.
Fennimore watches Rael climbing the rope.
Rael climbs the rope like a professional, and Colborn follows, struggling a bit.
Fennimore struggles up the rope and barely makes it to the top.
Fennimore: Whew, halflings aren't made for climbing.
Colborn and Rael manage to lift the bridge vertically and get about halfway to the gap before needing to stop and rest.
They start the second leg of the journey, Rael using his sorcery to help Colborn prevent him from dropping the bridge.
Rael Octavius: OK. Bring the disk across to this side, Perri.
Fennimore tries to keep his girth out of the way as he helps guide Colburn and Rael.
Perri Elastime crosses the bridge with the loaded magical disk.
Rael Octavius: Alright, Colborn, back the other way.
Colborn nods.
Colborn and Rael seem to have the hang of moving the bridge back even though they are going uphill now.
Perri Elastime tries to stay out of the way.
Colborn and Rael easily get the bridge back into its original position.
Rael Octavius: Time to get back to Realm's Wound.
Fennimore: I like that idea!
Perri Elastime: Back to the inn.
Fennimore follows Perri up the ramp.
Perri Elastime: I'm hungry.
Fennimore: You weren't even carrying the bridge.
Perri Elastime: No, but did you see the big lightning arc.
With the weather far more pleasant than during the trip up to the mine, the walk back to Realm's Wound goes much faster, both stable for the footing and downhill. Perri only needs to re-cast her ritual once before they arrive back in the village.
Fennimore: That was amazing.
Rael Octavius: Great teamwork.
Wilhelm meets the group outside the inn as they approach.
Wilhelm: Well, I guess you took care of the hag then.
Perri Elastime: That hag is no more.
Rael Octavius: That we did.
Fennimore: No more brrr.
Wilhelm: That is practically a dragon's hoard you have there.
Perri Elastime: It is a lot of coins.
Wilhelm: We have pulled some fine gems out of the mine over the years. Maybe you would trade that coin for a few of them?
Perri Elastime: That would make it easier to carry around.
Fennimore: Perri, you can choose first.
Perri Elastime: The green one, please.
Perry takes the emerald.
Rael Octavius: Go ahead, Fenn.
Fennimore: I'll take the star sapphire.
Rael Octavius: Good. Yellow is more like fire.
Manty (Fennimore): XP and call it a night?
Manty (Fennimore): You look a little yellow around the gills.
Fennimore: You look a little yellow around the gills.
Rael Octavius: Those are scales.
Perri Elastime: He doesn't have gills yet! Wait until we get in Between.
Fennimore: Oh, my bad.

Troll

posted Mar 13, 2021, 10:42 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Mar 28, 2021, 12:57 PM ]

Propyltina 23rd, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The group makes their way towards the river gorge and camps in a hollow in the gorge after a day's travel. Then, they follow the gorge uphill the next day. After a long day's travel, they arrive in a village that seems completely abandoned.
Fennimore: Where is everyone?
Rael Octavius: Odd, that.
Perri Elastime: Is this one of your group's camp spots, Colborn?
Fennimore looks into the first cottage.
Fennimore: Hello? Anybody home?
Ingimarr: This is Realm's Wound. Where is everyone?
They search the area along the river and up to a mine. There is a huge, bloody smear on the rock face next to the mine's entrance. There is a mutilated body lying behind an ore cart nearby.
The body has been shredded by something with large, nasty claws.
Perri Elastime looks at the blood smear.
Perri Elastime guesses the blood smear is from the body, made when it was thrown against the rock face by whatever mauled it.
Perri Elastime: I'd say something big threw the body against the wall.
Rael Octavius: Something nasty was around here. I wonder if they retreated into the mine?
Fennimore: The nasty or the villagers?
Rael Octavius: The villagers.
Rael Octavius: I do not think a monster would bother closing the doors.
Perri Elastime: I wonder if doors could stop it.
Perri Elastime checks the door to the mine, pulling to try and open it.
Rael Octavius: There are a couple of big gouges on the doors.
The doors to the mine are locked tight.
Fennimore: Let's see if I can jimmy the lock.
Fennimore can't get the doors to budge even after unlocking them. They seem to be barred from the inside.
Fennimore: I opened the latch, but the doors seem to be barricaded or barred on the inside.
Fennimore: Should we knock?
Perri Elastime: It is worth trying.
Rael Octavius: Sure. The monster seems to be gone.
Fennimore uses the hilt of his dagger to knock and calls out.
Perri Elastime looks around for a monster.
Fennimore: Hello? Anybody inside the mine? It's safe to come out again.
Fennimore listens at the door for movement inside.
A very muffled voice is barely audible through the doors.
A voice: Save yourselves! Flee!
Fennimore: There's someone inside.
Fennimore (shouting through the door): What attacked you?
A voice: A troll! There is a troll!
Rael Octavius looks for tracks around the vicinity.
Fennimore: A troll? Does anybody see a troll?
Rael Octavius: Tracks.
Rael Octavius: They lead back into the village.
Perri Elastime: We should follow them.
Fennimore (shouting through the door): Stay inside. We'll hunt down the troll.
Perri Elastime draws Dulguachared.
Fennimore: What do you think? House by house search? I don't want to get too spread out.
Rael Octavius: Sounds like a plan.
Perri Elastime: Rael, can you follow the tracks?
Rael Octavius: They wander around but lead to the south for the most part.
Fennimore: I'll take point.
Perri Elastime: I guess we check all of the buildings.
Perri Elastime: Lead the way, Fenn.
Fennimore looks for troll tracks on the path.
Perri Elastime listens.
Fennimore sees crisscrossing tracks of a troll all over the place.
Fennimore tries to open the gate.
Fennimore listens at the door of the cottage he approaches.
Perri Elastime notices that there are no troll tracks within the garden.
Fennimore hears nothing.
Fennimore opens the door.
Perri Elastime: I don't see any troll tracks within the wall here.
Fennimore looks inside for signs of a tussle.
The inside of the cottage looks tidy.
Fennimore: No sign of a troll inside. Let's try the next house.
Fennimore opens the door to a shed.
Fennimore looks inside the shed.
This shed holds crates and sacks.
Fennimore: Nothing here.
Rael Octavius: On to the next house?
Fennimore: Yep, I'm going out the side gate.
Fennimore opens the next gate.
Fennimore: Oh, a garden!
Fennimore looks to see what's growing.
A grumbly voice [Giant]: Elf?
Rael Octavius: That does not sound good.
Fennimore: It sounds like he has a thorn in his paw.
Fennimore: If we pull it out, will he be our friend?
Fennimore looks for somewhere to hide in the garden.
Rael Octavius (pointing south): Um, troll.
Ice Troll [Giant]: ELF!
Rael Octavius: It is a big, white troll.
Fennimore: Where?
Rael Octavius: On the other side of the house you are near.
Ingimarr moves toward the house and readies his battleaxe.
Perri begins a bladesong and moves towards the road along the garden wall and the house, ready for something to come around the corner.
Colborn moves forward, watching the troll as he advances.
Ice Troll moves up to the corner of the house.
Ice Troll [Giant]: There are elves!
Fennimore moves up behind Perri, then dashes across the path of the troll and tries to hide behind a tree.
Rael Octavius moves up launches four fiery rays at the troll.
Rael Octavius then ducks behind a tree.
Ingimarr charges the troll and attacks, hacking the now-burning troll with his battleaxe.
Frigid air from the troll assaults Perri.
Perri scrambles up the vine-covered house and leaps down behind the troll.
Perri forms a blade from the shadows and strikes the troll.
Colborn races forward and strikes at the troll with his battleaxe.
Ice Troll takes a bite out of Ingimarr.
Ice Troll rakes a claw at Colborn, nearly eviscerating him. Colborn falls.
Ice Troll swipes its other claw at Perri, but she blocks the blow.
Fennimore analyzes the situation and then moves around Ingimarr and jabs the troll with his rapier.
Fennimore: Rael, the boys need some healing quickly.
Fennimore: Some fire would be nice, too.
Rael Octavius moves into view of the troll again, and he launches three rays of fire this time, keeping the troll burning.
Ingimarr stikes at the troll again.
Cold overwhelms Ingimarr, who falls frozen to the ground. The aura from the troll also bites into Perri.
Perri thrusts her shadowy blade into the troll again, which finally falls burning to the ground.
Perri Elastime checks Colburn.
Fennimore checks the troll for treasure.
Fennimore: Let's get it away from the house and burn it; make sure it stays dead.
Fennimore finds a sack of gold.
Fennimore sheds the sacks of coins from the troll and tries to drag its corpse onto the path.
The troll begins to melt.
Rael Octavius moves over to Colborn and gives him some healing, see that he is still breathing.
Rael Octavius: Save your potions, Perri.
Perri Elastime: What about Ingimarr?
Rael Octavius moves over to check on Ingimarr.
Rael Octavius: Sorry. Ingimarr is beyond my help.
Fennimore: He fought valiantly. May he have redeemed himself and earned his lasting reward.
Colborn: He died with honor.
Rael Octavius: Both of you, nearly so.
Colborn stands.
Fennimore: We need you to be more careful. We need your guidance as we move into the mountains.
Perri Elastime: Do you think there is more than one troll?
Fennimore looks around.
Fennimore: I hope not. That one nearly got the better of us.
Rael Octavius: It is hard to tell. There are so many tracks.
Perri Elastime: We should check the rest of the buildings.
Fennimore: Or, just make a racket and see if it comes to us?
The group moves around the village, checking builds that all appear to be abandoned.
Fennimore: Colburn, how should we treat Ingimarr's remains?
Colborn: He should be burned on a pyre.
Fennimore: Fitting. He'll never be cold again.
Rael Octavius: It seems the villagers escaped into the mine.
Fennimore: Let's see if we can entice them to come out.
Perri Elastime: Let's go back to the mine and tell them the troll is dead.
Fennimore grabs the troll loot.
Perri Elastime walks to the mine entrance.
Colborn lops the troll's head off with his battleaxe.
Fennimore: Ding dong the troll is dead, the troll is dead.
Colborn: Proof.
Fennimore: If there is anything left of the troll, we should burn it too.
The group arrives back at the mine. The doors are still sealed.
Perri Elastime bangs on the door.
Rael Octavius: It is dead, or we would be fighting it again.
Rael Octavius: Hello, villagers of Realm's Wound! We have vanquished the troll.
Colborn: Yes! I hold its very head. Come and see.
Perri Elastime: It really is a very gruesome sight.
There is a muffled shout from within the mine. After a few moments, you can hear the bar being lifted to allow the doors to be opened.
Fennimore: Who wants to see the grisly trophy!
The doors slowly open, revealing a large group of villagers squinting in the bright sun.
Fennimore: Come out, come out. It's safe to come out.
A large but aged man steps from among the group.
Perri Elastime: Are you all okay?
Wilhelm: Thank you, brave ones. We are in your debt.
Fennimore thinks, "I like to hear that."
Wilhelm: I am Wilhelm, the village elder.
Rael Octavius: Rael Octavius at your service.
Perri Elastime: I am Perri.
Fennimore: I am Fennimore.
Rael Octavius: And this is Colborn, a member of Bjorg's clan to the south.
Fennimore: We are on a mission from High King Ran.
Perri Elastime: We were quite concerned about finding the village empty.
Wilhelm: The High King of "The City," you say?
Fennimore nods.
Rael Octavius: Yes, elder.
Wilhelm: Come, come. This is no place to have a conversation. We shall talk in the tavern.
Perri Elastime smiles.
Fennimore: Oh, you have a tavern? Come on, Colburn, let's get a little taste of civilization.
Wilhelm steps into the light and begins to make his way into the village.
The rest of the villagers begin to exit the mine, surveying as they assess the damage the troll did.
Rael Octavius: Elder, we saw only one victim of the troll before we found it. You are very fortunate.
Perri Elastime: We have a companion that did not survive the fight with the troll. He died bravely and fought with honor.
Fennimore: Colburn tells us it is customary for a funeral pyre. Can you help us arrange the rites?
Wilhelm: Ah, Albrecht. He nearly made it to the mine. We also lost Duretta and Thoman, sadly.
Colborn: My clansman, Ingimarr, will need a funeral pyre.
Wilhelm: Ingimarr? Of Hjotr's raiding party?
Colborn looks down at the ground.
Colborn: Yes.
Fennimore looks between them to see what is going on?
Wilhelm: He met his end fighting for us?
Colborn: He did.
Perri Elastime: Ingimarr was working on reclaiming his honor.
Fennimore: Perhaps you should know that Hjotr is no more.
Wilhelm: And Hjotr? Where is that bastard?
Perri Elastime: He has met his end.
Wilhelm: Good. Some justice, then.
The group arrives at a tavern.
Fennimore: Hjotr was not welcome here?
Wilhelm: Enough of death and retribution.
Wilhelm enters the tavern.
Perri Elastime: Perhaps a bite of food and a swallow or two of ale?
Rael Octavius follows the elder.
Fennimore: Sounds like a great idea.
Perri Elastime enters the tavern.
Fennimore: C'mon, Colburn.
Fennimore enters the tavern.
Colborn follows the others into the tavern.
Wilhelm goes behind the bar and sets enough tankards on it for everyone. He then turns to an untapped keg bound in gold-colored metal straps and taps it.
Wilhelm: This is an occasion for Dwarven Ale.
Fennimore: Looks like some top-shelf ale.
Perri Elastime: I haven't had Dwarven Ale before.
Fennimore: Not too many dwarves in "The City."
Perri Elastime: Nor in Between.
Several other villagers enter the tavern and begin busying themselves with getting it ready to serve the community again.
Wilhelm fills the tankards and sets them back on the bar.
Rael Octavius retrieves a tankard.
Perri Elastime takes a tankard.
Fennimore fetches his tankard and takes a sip, leaving a foam mustache on his upper lip.
Wilhelm: Drink slowly. Dwarven ale is like drinking a feast.
Fennimore: I could drink to that.
Fennimore: The last few weeks have been hard traveling.
Perri Elastime takes a second tankard and hands it to Colborn.
Wilhelm takes a tankard and has a seat at a long table in the middle of the tavern.
Colborn nods and accepts the tankard from Perri.
Fennimore: After you, Miss Perri. Ready to play the Ambassador?
Perri Elastime sips the ale, trying hard not to drink it all down.
Rael Octavius joins the elder at the table.
Perri Elastime: I can but try.
Perri Elastime sits down at the table.
Wilhelm: So you are on a quest for High King Ran?
Fennimore observes the elder closely as he interacts with Perri and Rael.
Rael Octavius: That, we are.
Wilhelm: Does he have you out here looking for that lost artifact from the great battle, then?
Perri Elastime: We are looking for ways to ameliorate the drought plaguing the plains.
Rael Octavius raises his eyebrows.
Fennimore sips his ale.
Perri Elastime: It really is no secret.
Perri Elastime raises her eyebrows.
Rael Octavius: As Perri stated, we are surveying the drought with the barbarians to determine a means of their survival.
Perri Elastime: As the ice is growing down the mountains, we thought to investigate the water seclusion.
Wilhelm: Ah, you would be looking for the bheur hag.
Perri Elastime drinks some ale.
Fennimore: Bheur hag? What is that?
Perri Elastime has heard of bheur hags. They are from the Feywild.
Wilhelm: A hag. And this one is messing with the weather.
Perri Elastime: Those are from the Feywild, I believe.
Wilhelm: The Feywild? That explains the sprites.
Perri Elastime: Sprites? What sprites?
Wilhelm: The sprites that frost everything over when the sun vanishes from the sky.
Perri Elastime: Oh!
Perri Elastime looks at Fennimore.
Fennimore: Um, when's the next dark day expected?
Perri Elastime: I have completely lost track of the calendar.
Wilhelm: No idea. No one knows how to predict Beleshtash's movements.
Perri Elastime: The glaciers seem to be advancing unusually fast.
Wilhelm: It has been over a phase already since it was dark. It could be tomorrow or another week from now.
Fennimore listens to the elder and determines that he is utterly and absolutely truthful.
Wilhelm: Drink up, drink up. Enough chewing the fat for now.
Fennimore drains his tankard.
Perri Elastime finishes her tankard.

Orb

posted Feb 26, 2021, 2:21 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Feb 26, 2021, 9:05 PM ]

Propyltina 19th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

Colborn and Ingimarr set about to skin the lions providing the group with two lion pelts. After a brief rest to collect their wits, they continue for the rest of the day. They set up camp and rest without interruption but for a single distant roar that echoes in the towering mountains.
Fennimore: That sounds scary.
Perri Elastime: Sounds pretty big.
Rael Octavius: It is hard to tell where it is coming from except that it is up in the mountains somewhere.
Perri Elastime: Luckily, we are going up there later. Maybe it will be gone by then.
Ingimarr: It is pretty common to hear roars like that this close to the steep slopes.
Fennimore: Do you ever see what is making the roars?
Ingimarr: I have not.
Colborn: Neither have I.
Rael Octavius: Sounds draconic to me.
Perri Elastime: I think we have a different mission to complete first.
Fennimore: Yes, let's focus on retrieving the orb.
Fennimore: I'd rather not tangle with a dragon if I don't have to.
Perri Elastime: We can dance with the dragon later.
The group travels half the day, occasionally hearing distant roars. After taking a break, they continue along the path. It is not long before they see what appears to be a sparkling white wing flash above a hill that they are approaching.
Perri Elastime: Did you see that?
Fennimore: The white wing?
Perri Elastime: Yeah, it sparkles.
Rael Octavius: That definitely looked draconic.
Fennimore: Well, do we want to talk to the dragon or run and hide?
Fennimore: I'm all for hiding.
Perri Elastime: I'm all for investigating.
Ingimarr: We should see if we can avoid it, but that will require knowing where it is.
Perri Elastime: Well, which way to the orb?
Colborn: We should be able to use this hill to get high enough to tell.
Perri Elastime: Okay, we head up, but stealthily.
Ingimarr: There is a trail that leads east on the other side of this hill. We may be able to use the ridges to sneak by.
Perri Elastime: I thought we wanted to go up to get the lay of the land.
Colborn: We can try to stay north of the hill and hope the dragon does not fly over and spot us.
Ingimarr: I will leave it up to you if you want to go up and take a look or try and avoid it.
Fennimore: Try not to get eaten, and stick close to the cliff walls.
Fennimore: Probably a good idea to space ourselves out a bit too.
Ingimarr stumbles on a rock and falls to the ground.
Colborn is not any quieter than Ingimarr but stays on his feet.
Fennimore goes to help Inginmarr back to his feet.
Ingimarr stands up and looks embarrassed.
Fennimore: Shh, step where I step.
As the group rounds the bend going up the hill, they make quite a bit of noise slipping on the scree and the snow.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Have you seen any more wings?
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: No, have you?
There is a distant low growl from the southeast.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: But there is a growl.
Fennimore looks for cover.
Perri Elastime looks for shadows along the cliff face.
Ingimarr crouches down behind the rise.
Ingimarr: There is a dragon upon the rise across the valley southeast of the hill.
Fennimore looks for the dragon.
Perri Elastime looks to the southeast.
The growl rises.
Ingimarr backs away from rise.
Ingimarr: I think if we head back down the hill to that slope to the north, we will be able to avoid the dragon.
Ingimarr points down the hill straight north.
Perri Elastime looks north.
Perri Elastime looks like a cliff to me.
Fennimore: That looks mighty steep down there.
Ingimarr approaches a narrow crevasse.
Perri Elastime: Hard to be quiet, slipping and sliding.
Ingimarr: We can slip through here and get down below the hill.
Ingimarr slides into the cravasse.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: I hope he isn't leading us into an ambush.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Me too.
Ingimarr picks his way carefully down the rocky slope.
Perri Elastime follows as carefully as she can.
Fennimore tries not to stub his furry toes on the sharp rocks.
Perri Elastime watches for signs of the dragon, too.
You hear the hard beating of wings.
Fennimore (whispering): Uh, oh.
Ingimarr crouches behind a slab of stone and quickly glances over it.
Ingimarr: I do not see it anymore. It is not on the ridge.
Fennimore -> Rael Octavius: If you and Colburn get ahead of me, I'll cover our rear.
Colborn: We should get on the trail and go. The high ridge there should cover our movement.
Rael Octavius -> Fennimore: It seems like that is what Colborn is doing. I will move ahead.
Perri Elastime: Let's skirt around the hill.
Fennimore (whispering to Colburn): Go ahead. I'll cover our escape.
Ingimarr dashes across the trail to the shadow of the ridge.
Colborn: Let us go.
Fennimore: I'm right behind you.
Colborn stops and looks before dashing across.
Fennimore looks for the dragon.
There is an enormous roar and the hard beating of wings.
Fennimore motions to the others to keep going.
Fennimore sees the dragon rise into the air facing south.
Fennimore: There he is above the hill to the south.
Ingimarr: Stay close to the cliff.
After a stressful few minutes, the dragon seems to have flown behind the hill somewhere, and you are on the trail heading east.
Fennimore: Whew.
Fennimore: That was close.
Rael Octavius: Too close.
Perri Elastime: He sounded enormous. We would have hardly been second breakfast.
Rael Octavius: I hear white dragons are more bestial than other chromatic dragons. Negotiating was probably not an option.
Fennimore: Now you tell us.
Rael Octavius: I figured talking was probably not a good idea while we were that close.
Perri Elastime: Let's keep going.
Rael Octavius nods.
Fennimore: We have an orb to find.
Ingimarr leads the way.
The group travels the rest of the day, spooked by the dragon's distant roars they narrowly avoided.
Perri Elastime looks for a good sheltered space to camp.
Ingimarr: This is the slope that Hjotr came up when he fled. Somewhere down there is the orb.
Fennimore looks down the slope.
Ingimarr: There is a deep overhang nearby that we camped at last time. It has a good view of the area and is easy to defend.
Perri Elastime: Sounds perfect.
Ingimarr leads the group to this overhang, which has a circle of stones in its center, a firepit. It has low walls across the opening and is dry.
Perri Elastime: Fennimore, are you cooking tonight?
Rael Octavius: This should be good for a rest.
Fennimore: I'd love to cook.
Perri Elastime: All I have is rations.
Colborn: We could do some hunting.
Fennimore: I'll get the fire going and a pot boiling.
Fennimore: You'll get a proper halfling meal with some fresh meat.
Perri Elastime: I will collect some firewood.
Ingimarr: You can set up camp while we do so. There is wood around on top of the overhang that can be used for a fire.
Fennimore looks for wild herbs to season a stew.
Fennimore finds several familiar herbs while gathering firewood.
Perri Elastime collects firewood.
Fennimore: Now to get the fire going and wait for our hunters.
Perri Elastime sets up bedrolls.
Rael Octavius lights the fire with his magic once there is enough wood gathered.
Fennimore feeds the fire just enough to keep it from smoldering.
After an hour, the warriors return with a six-point buck.
Fennimore: Nice.
Perri Elastime gets extra wood in case it gets cold. It was snowing earlier.
Colborn: This should be tender. It is fairly young.
Fennimore: Let's get it skinned and butchered.
Colborn dresses and skins the deer.
Rael Octavius sits up on the wall ringing the overhang and looks out onto the plains.
Fennimore takes a front shoulder and carves out strips of meat to cube, then tosses them in the pot with the herbs to boil.
Rael Octavius: That looks like an interesting pattern of growth down there on the plains.
Rael Octavius points just west of due north.
Fennimore: We'll let that simmer for a bit.
Perri Elastime goes up by Rael to see what he is talking about.
Fennimore is too immersed in his cooking to worry about growth patterns.
Perri Elastime looks out over the plains.
Out on the plains, not far from where to foothills begin to rise looks to be an area with younger growth than the surrounding area.
Rael Octavius: It seems circular. That is odd.
Perri Elastime: Hmm. Something definitely to investigate.
Fennimore takes the dried fruit from a ration to thicken the sauce.
Ingimarr takes a look over Rael's shoulder.
Ingimarr: That is interesting. I had not looked down there the last time I was here. It was also dark.
Fennimore: As the stew simmers, Colburn and Fenn break down the carcass's remainder into strips and slabs for smoking and roasting.
Perri Elastime: We should move the leavings away from the camp.
Colborn: I will take care of it when we are all done.
Fennimore: We should get enough out of this to last the five of us at least a few days, especially if we can find some taters or carrots to stretch it.
Fennimore: Too bad we're out here. We could use the entrails to make sausage. Then there wouldn't be much left but the bones.
Ingimarr: If we are going down to investigate that area, we should find turnips down there.
Perri Elastime: Smells good, Fenn.
Fennimore: Oh, turnips will be great.
Fennimore tastes the stew and sprinkles in a little salt.
Colborn: The bones do not usually go to waste, but I do not have all the tools to take advantage of them right now.
Fennimore keeps stoking the fire low to dry the stips of venison into jerky.
Perri Elastime: I'll take the first watch.
When the meat in the stew is nice and tender, Fennimore declares it ready.
Fennimore: Come and get it.
Rael Octavius: I am famished. This traveling in the wilderness builds an appetite.
Fennimore: We'll have you eating like Perri in no time.
Perri Elastime: Doing just about anything builds an appetite for me.
Rael Octavius: I have to stoke my fires somehow.
Perri Elastime gets a serving or two of stew.
Fennimore: Ingimarr and Colburn, you earned your dinner; don't be shy.
Colborn and Ingimarr dig in.
Fennimore serves himself after the others have gotten theirs.
Perri Elastime: I may be small, but my appetite is mighty.
Fennimore: If you like it, come back to "The City" with us, and I'll introduce you to Ma. She's a better cook than I am.
Ingimarr: It is a very long way from here, and there is a mighty river between here and there. Well, it used to be a mighty river anyway.
Perri Elastime: Did you make enough for breakfast?
Fennimore: The jerky and roasts will be ready by morning.
Perri Elastime: Bummer.
Perri Elastime crumbles hardtack from a ration to make sure she gets every drop.
Fennimore: Bummer?
Perri Elastime: I like stew from overnight. You hardly have to chew.
Fennimore: Well, eat your fill tonight, and we'll see what's left for the morning. Stew doesn't travel well, and I didn't want it to go to waste.
Fennimore: I'd rather it went to my waist.
Perri Elastime: I would not let it go to waste.
Rael Octavius laughs.
Perri Elastime has another bowl of stew.
The stew eventually disappears, and everyone settles down for a rest, taking watches in turn.
Fennimore (to Ingimarr and Colburn): You know, if your tribesmen could protect them from the wild beasts, I am sure there are a few halfling families who would homestead some of this empty land for farms, ranches, and taverns. Then, you could eat like this every day.
On her watch, Perri watches for predators.
Ingimarr: This is a wide land out here. Farming is not something we do, and the drought would make that very difficult in any case.
Fennimore nods.
Fennimore: Hopefully, we can solve the drought.
Ingimarr: Hopefully. Do you think this orb you seek might help?
Perri Elastime: I don't know, but something is causing new growth down there.

Propyltina 20th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The group rests without interruption, the sun still blazing in the sky.
Rael Octavius: Shall we keep the camp set up here and head down to that mysterious woods?
Perri Elastime: Sounds good to me.
Colborn: Do we want to leave anyone here to watch the camp, or should we all head down?
Fennimore: Well, that looks like quite a hike, but if we're carrying less, it might make it easier to get there.
Perri Elastime: We should be able to make it there and back.
Fennimore: You know the area better than us, Colburn. Any nasty beasts about that will disturb the campsite? Giants maybe?
Colborn: There is always a possibility, and that dragon could still be out there.
Ingimarr: Maybe we should stay together.
Perri Elastime: That is what I was going to say.
Fennimore: I like sticking together too.
Rael Octavius: Very well. Let us get what we need for the day and go.
Fennimore: Do what you can to obscure the campsite, make sure the fire is out cold, and we'll get ready to go.
Ingimarr nods and gets to work on the campsite.
Colborn packs for Ingimarr and himself.
Perri Elastime: I'm ready.
Rael Octavius stashes the extra pack behind some rocks in the back of the overhang.
Rael Octavius: I am ready.
Perri Elastime: Fenn, do you have your legs stretched out?
Fennimore: I'm as ready as I'm gonna be.
Fennimore shoulders his pack.
Fennimore: I just hope nothing disturbs the food cache.
The warriors finish up with the camp and join the group.
Perri Elastime: Better take some jerky to eat on the way.
Fennimore: Maybe a couple of apples too.
Perri Elastime: Perri grabs some snacks.
Perri Elastime: Let's go.
Fennimore looks wistfully at the campsite, hoping it isn't the last they see of it and follows his friends down onto the plains.
The group trudges down out of the hills onto the plains and approaches the odd little forest that has sprung up.
Perri Elastime looks for evidence of fey creatures.
Colborn: This is really very odd. It seems to be the only place thriving around here.
Ingimarr: There are no animals, though.
Perri Elastime: Maybe the dragon waters it.
Rael Octavius: Sheds its ice?
Fennimore: I hope that's what she meant.
Perri Elastime chuckles.
Colborn: Let us see what is in the middle of these woods.
Perri Elastime heads into the woods.
The group enters the woods and makes their way a couple of hundred feet into them when it looks like it opens into a barren area at the center.
Ingimarr: It looks like there is a crater in the middle of the woods.
Perri Elastime: A big ball of ice that melted?
Ingimarr: Do you hear that?
Perri Elastime: Nope.
Colborn: Sounds like a frustrated digger.
Fennimore (whispers): What did you hear.
Perri Elastime: What do you mean by a digger?
Ingimarr: Someone is in the crater.
Perri Elastime listens
Fennimore: Let me sneak up to the edge and look in.
Perri Elastime nods.
Now that the warriors have pointed it out, the others hear the sounds of a cursing voice punctuated by strikes on something.
Perri Elastime Perri sneaks to the left, remaining in the trees as Rael and the warriors move to the edge of the clearing. Fennimore sneaks up to the edge of the crater and peers in.
Fennimore sees a faint, ghostly figure in the center of the crater jabbing a longsword two-handed into the ground at its feet.
Rael Octavius: See anything?
Fennimore realizes that the ghost has not noticed him.
Fennimore sneaks back to Rael.
Fennimore (whispering): It looks like a ghost in the crater stabbing the ground with a longsword.
Rael Octavius: A ghost?
Fennimore (whispering): It doesn't seem to know we're here...yet.
Rael Octavius: This is good.
Fennimore (whispering): How do you fight a ghost?
Rael Octavius: The way you fight most monsters, though prayers help a lot.
Rael Octavius: I can give you and Perri a bond to help out.
Rael Octavius: Let us back into the woods a bit and prepare to deal with this ghost.
Fennimore motions to Ingimarr and Colburn to retreat. They back into the safety of the forest.
Rael Octavius (praying): May you find support in each other's presence.
Perri Elastime produces a shadowy blade out of nothingness.
Fennimore remembers that the walls of the crater are initially steep but curve in quickly.
Fennimore (whispering): What's the plan. The walls start steep but level off quickly.
Perri Elastime moves up to the edge of the crater defensively while beginning a bladesong.
The ghost vanishes from Perri's sight.
Rael Octavius moves up towards the edge of the crater and looks down into it.
Rael Octavius (whispering): Where did it go?
Perri Elastime (whispering): It winked out.
Rael Octavius readies to turn it if it appears nearby.
Fennimore through the treeline and remains hidden.
The warriors move up and go into defensive postures.
Perri Elastime leaps into the crater and moves to its center. She looks at the area the ghost was stabbing at and not surprisingly sees no marks on the ground there.
The ghost reappears a few feet from Rael.
Rael Octavius backs away from the elven ghost and launches a guiding bolt at it. The attack misses.
Fennimore moves to the edge of the crater to be closer to Perri, takes a shot at the ghost with his bow, and then leaps into the crater, as well.
Perri Elastime: Nice leap.
Ingimarr moves up to the ghost and slashes his battleaxe through the apparition with little effect.
Colborn moves to flank the ghost and also swings his battleaxe through it, similarly having little effect.
Perri Elastime: Where is it?
Fennimore: Thanks. It came back up there.
Fennimore points in the direction of the ghost.
Perri Elastime runs back towards the crater's edge, trying to scale it, but cannot make the jump. She decides to crouch there and hide there instead, producing multiple magical copies of herself for extra defense.
The ghost, flanked by the warriors, turns and tries to possess Colborn. The warrior resists.
Rael Octavius aims another radiant bolt at the ghost. This time it finds its mark and illuminates the ghost.
Fennimore: Perri, give me a boost up the wall.
Fennimore dashes up out of the crater leaping off of Perri's back, and charges the ghost. He thrusts his magical rapier into the spectral elf, and it dissipates into ethereal wisps.
Fennimore: Gotcha!
Fennimore: Let's see what it was digging for.
Perri Elastime returns to the middle of the crater and digs around, finding a crystal sphere with mithral filigree leaves.
Fennimore: Try to detect magic.
Rael Octavius: I think you found the orb.
Rael Octavius: Did that little thing make this huge crater?
Perri Elastime: This isn't how I imagined a dragon orb to look.
Rael Octavius: Not a dragon orb.
Rael Octavius: An elven orb.
Fennimore: Can the orb heal the drought?
Rael Octavius: I have no idea, but it may help us stay alive while figuring it out.
Perri Elastime: I don't know, but it does seem to have helped with the growth around here.
Fennimore: That would be nice.
Rael Octavius: It may be its former wielder's influence.
Perri Elastime: Maybe it could pull up a spring.
Rael Octavius: Let us take it back to the camp, and you can determine what it is capable of.
Fennimore: I wonder if Hjotr ran from that ghost or if there is something even worse around here?
Perri Elastime can tell this is powerfully magical without finishing casting the spell.
Fennimore ties a rope around the boulder and throws the loose end into the crater to help Perri out.
Perri Elastime: This orb is very powerfully magical.
Perri Elastime climbs out with the aid of the rope.
Ingimarr: He was definitely frightened. He also seemed much older too.
Perri Elastime: Let's head back to camp.
Fennimore: Let's get back to camp. This place gives me the creeps.
Fennimore repacks his rope.
Rael Octavius: Yes. It is spooky.
Perri Elastime eats some jerky and an apple.
The group spends the rest of the day climbing back up into the hills and pondering the wonders of the orb. Before long, Perri is dumbfounded by its powers. It is, in fact, The Orb of Good, one of the artifacts from the battle that caused the last cataclysm.

Pouncers

posted Feb 13, 2021, 8:33 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Feb 13, 2021, 5:50 PM ]

Propyltina 18th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The trio takes their leave after their meal with Bjorg and is shown to a tent they may use while searching the area.
Rael Octavius: It has been an honor, Chieftain Bjorg.
Bjorg: You are welcome. A tent has been prepared for you.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
Fennimore: Thank you, Chieftain Bjorg.
Fennimore: We have plans to make.
Bjorg: Very well. Plan and rest well.
Rael Octavius enters their tent.
Perri Elastime enters the tent.
Fennimore enters the tent.
Colborn and Ingimarr station themselves outside the tent as guards.
Fennimore: Do either of you have a way for us to converse without being overheard?
Rael Octavius (keeping his voice low): How do we want to approach this?
Perri Elastime: So what should we investigate first, orb or glaciers?
Rael Octavius: I am inclined to see if we can find this orb. It may benefit us during the rest of our journey, and I am sure the High King would like to see it.
Fennimore (whispering): I agree. Ingimarr seems to know something about the orb.
Rael Octavius: He can get us into the vicinity of it, hopefully.
Perri Elastime: So, what else do we need to plan?
Fennimore: What to do with our two friends outside?
Fennimore: They seem dead set on dying to redeem their honor.
Perri Elastime chuckles.
Rael Octavius: I hope they will be helpful and not just a menace.
Perri Elastime: They won't be much help if they don't sleep.
Fennimore: I'd rather not have their meaningless deaths on my hands.
Rael Octavius: They brought this upon themselves.
Rael Octavius: We can include them and let them rest as well.
Rael Octavius: They know their lands better than we.
Perri Elastime: I agree. They know much more of the hazards we are likely to encounter.
Fennimore: Far better than this city dweller.
Rael Octavius: Shall I call them in?
Perri Elastime goes to the tentflap.
Perri Elastime: Colburn, Ingimarr, come in.
Colborn and Ingimarr nod and enter the tent.
Colborn: What do you wish, my masters.
Perri Elastime: Have you eaten?
Ingimarr: We have.
Rael Octavius: Join us. We need your knowledge of these lands.
Ingimarr: We will be glad to guide you wherever you need to go.
Perri Elastime: What hazards are we likely to encounter?
Ingimarr: Predatory beasts, possibly a dragon. The weather, especially if it becomes dark, will be hazardous.
Fennimore: We plan to seek out the orb from which Hjotr fled.
Rael Octavius: Ohmsevester?
Colborn: The blue dragon of which you speak stays out on the plains.
Ingimarr: The dragons more suited to the ice are white.
Fennimore: Despite these fearsome hazards, you are willing to guide us on our quest? To join in our travails? To try to keep us safe as we shall try to protect you?
They look at each other, a bit surprised at the last sentence.
Perri Elastime: You should probably know that we are trouble magnets.
Colborn: We are yours to command. We will do our utmost to be of assistance to you and help you survive in the wilds.
Fennimore: Including survive? You are no good to us if you go rushing headlong into a bear's embrace or a dragon's icy maw.
Fennimore: That is no way to achieve the redemption you seek.
Ingimarr: We will fight if necessary, but we will not look to die needlessly.
Colborn nods.
Perri Elastime: Fenn, they will not need to seek death. Danger follows us. If there were an ogre with a stubbed toe, it would run into us and ask for our help or try to kill us. It is hard to tell.
Rael Octavius raises an eyebrow and smirks.
Fennimore: Just checking.
Fennimore: As I said, I don't want their blood on my hands.
Perri Elastime looks around, checking to see if there five pallets in the tent?
Rael Octavius: You need not guard us while we rest. Take rest, yourselves, so that we may start fresh tomorrow.
GM: There are three pallets, but room for several more. They have bedrolls.
Perri Elastime: You may join us here.
They bow.
Ingimarr: Thank you.
Fennimore: Do you have families to say goodbye to?
Colborn: I do not. They have been lost to the events of the cataclysm.
Ingimarr: My mother lives in the camp, but I cannot visit her until my debt is paid to you.
Fennimore sighs.
Perri Elastime: I'm sorry your family has met misfortune.
Fennimore: There is too much of that going around these days
Fennimore: Let's get some rest. Up at dawn to break our fast.
Fennimore: Then set a path for the orb.
Fennimore: Yes?
Ingimarr: As you wish.
Fennimore looks to Perri and Rael for agreement.
Rael Octavius: This sounds like a plan to me.
Perri Elastime: Ingimarr, do you normally provide for your mother?
Ingimarr: Unfortunately, one of my regrets for following Hjotr.
Ingimarr: The tribe provides for her.
Perri Elastime: Okay. Be ready for morning.
The two tribal warriors lay out their bedrolls.
The flaps on the tent are closed, and the tent darkened. The trio rests uninterrupted until movement stirs in the camp hours later.
Fennimore yawns.
Fennimore: These pallets are surprisingly comfortable.
Perri Elastime: I'm hungry.
Colborn: I will get us food.
Fennimore stretches and moves to pull back the flap of the tent to see outside.
Perri Elastime: Thank you, Colburn.
Ingimarr: Do you have furs? The trek along the mountains may get cold.
Perri Elastime checks supplies to see that we have what they will need if it becomes dark during their journey.
Fennimore: I can't wait until we get back to "The City," and we can have Mindartis serve us a great big meal without feeling like we are imposing to the locals.
Rael Octavius: My extra pack has clothing for cold weather for the three of us.
Colborn returns with an arm full of wooden bowls.
Perri Elastime turns to Ingimarr.
Colborn: Venison stew?
Fennimore: Smells delicious.
Perri Elastime: Do you or Colborn have a tent?
Ingimarr: I carry one.
Perri Elastime: Ours is a squeeze for three.
Fennimore: It's a good thing I'm small.
Perri Elastime: Good. Ours won't fit five.
Fennimore takes a bowl from Colburn and starts slurping the broth.
Colborn hands out the other bowls.
Perri Elastime: Thank you. That smells delicious.
Rael Octavius takes a bowl and breaks his fast.
Rael Octavius: Thank you, Colborn.
Colborn nods.
Fennimore: Ingimarr, how far away is this orb?
Ingimarr: The journey to the area where Hjotr claims to have found this orb is about two days. We will gather provisions.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: They will need weapons if they are to protect us.
Fennimore: Sounds like a good idea, Ingimarr.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: They've probably already recovered some.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: We should make sure.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: What do we trust them to carry?
GM: They have spears propped outside the tent.
Rael Octavius -> Fennimore: I think we can trust them.
Fennimore (whispering): They seem trustworthy, but I'm still uneasy about their allegiance to Hjotr.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: I think we have to decide if we trust them or not.
Rael Octavius (whispering): They have repented from that. I trust them.
Perri Elastime -> Rael Octavius: What do you think about arming our new companions?
Rael Octavius -> Perri Elastime: Let them wield what they will be most effective with.
Fennimore: Okay then. They seem to like their spears.
Perri Elastime: Colborn, Ingimarr, what weapons are you most comfortable with using?
Ingimarr: Spears are the most flexible for us.
Perri Elastime: Spears are good. Any others?
Colborn: None our honor will allow us to wield.
Fennimore frowns.
Perri Elastime: How is wielding a weapon dishonorable?
Ingimarr: We are not entitled to wield more powerful weapons.
Perri Elastime frowns.
Fennimore: What if we command you to take up arms? Would you?
Dulguachared: I would find them better weapons. They are under your purview.
Colborn and Ingimarr look at each other.
Ingimarr: If you give us leave the wield other weapons, we will.
Fennimore looks to Perri and Rael for confirmation.
Rael Octavius nods.
Perri Elastime nods.
Fennimore: Find the best weapons you know how to use. If we need to purchase them for you, we will negotiate with the owners.
Ingimarr: You will need to request weapons from Bjorg. We will take battleaxes if you can acquire them.
Rael Octavius: I can take care of this.
Rael Octavius strides out of the tent.
Perri Elastime: Do you also use a shield?
Ingimarr: We do not use shields. We wield our weapons with both hands.
Perri Elastime: Okay.
Perri Elastime packs up her things.
Rael Octavius approaches Bjorg, who is sitting on the stump in front of his tent.
Rael Octavius: A request, honorable chieftain.
Bjorg: Ah, ambassador, what is it that you request?
Fennimore steps out of the tent to watch Rael negotiate with the chieftain.
Perri Elastime collects the bowls from breakfast and brings them outside.
Rael Octavius: I wish to improve the armament of our retainers. They will need battleaxes if they are to ensure we are successful in recovering the Orb of Good.
Bjorg narrows his eyes slightly.
Bjorg: Battleaxes? Those would be more effective than spears.
Rael Octavius: Yes. We would see them fight valiantly if they are to meet their end in glorious battle.
Bjorg smiles.
Bjorg: So be it. Arm them with battleaxes.
Perri Elastime hands the bowls to Colborn.
Colborn takes the bowls.
Bjorg motions to a weapons rack beside the tent.
Rael Octavius: Thank you, Honorable Chieftain Bjorg.
Rael Octavius retrieves two battleaxes from the weapons rack.
Fennimore grins.
Fennimore: I like the way he negotiates.
Perri Elastime: I didn't know he could carry two battle axes. He's been sandbagging.
Rael hefts the weapons with surprising ease and returns to the tent.
Fennimore: You're right
Rael Octavius hands a battleaxe to each of the warriors with a grunt.
Rael Octavius (muttering): Damn, those are heavy.
Perri Elastime: Wield them with honor.
Perri Elastime smirks.
Rael Octavius (muttering): I think I strained something.
Fennimore: Any more tongue wagging and dilly-dallying? These furry toes are itching to starting on our adventure.
Perri Elastime: Let's go.
Colborn brings to bowls to the food tent and returns ready to go.
Rael Octavius swings his pack onto his back a bit gingerly and grabs his staff.
Ingimarr: This way, to the northeast.
Perri Elastime: I'm going to let you carry the heavy stuff from now on, Rael.
Fennimore grabs his own pack and follows Ingimarr.
Rael Octavius groans.
Fennimore smirks at Perri's quip.
Perri Elastime shoulders her pack and follows Fennimore.
Rael Octavius: Off we go.
Fennimore: Don't start singing, Rael, or we'll accuse you of being a bard and a warrior in addition to your wizardly talents.
Ingimarr leads the group along the ridges separating the foothills and the steep mountain's rise.
Rael Octavius: I could chant? I know several prayers in Celestial.
Rael Octavius smirks.
Fennimore: Will they make the walking any easier? If not, you can keep them to yourself.
Rael Octavius laughs.
Rael Octavius: No chanting.
Perri Elastime: If we run into trouble, I will let my blade sing.
The group travels for several hours, taking a break for a meal and then continuing.
Colborn puts a hand up to have the group halt.
Dulguachared: We have company.
Perri Elastime senses trouble.
Fennimore looks for someplace to hide.
Perri Elastime draws Dulguachared.
Two lions growl from opposite directions.
Perri Elastime surrounds herself with illusory duplicates while beginning a bladesong and moving towards the nearest lion.
Fennimore: My, what big teeth you have.
Colborn follows Perri and assumes a defensive stance.
The other lion bounds at Ingimarr and swipes at him but misses.
The lion that Perri is approaching pounces but nearly loses its footing instead of landing on the elf.
Fennimore charges the lion engaged with Ingimarr, rapier drawn but stumbles just as he strikes and misses the beast.
Rael Octavius slides to the right to get a clear view of the lion engaged with Fennimore and Ingimarr and produces a bolt of brilliant energy that strikes the lion, damaging it and causing it to glow. The lion yowls in pain.
Ingimarr swings his battleaxe at the lion and strikes it.
Perri Elastime causes green flames to engulf Dulguachared, which she plunges into the lion. She then maneuvers around the lion to allow Colborn to flank it when he engages it.
Colborn takes advantage of Perri's maneuver, rushing up and striking the lion with his battleaxe.
The other lion turns to bite Fennimore, but the halfling is too wily and misses.
The flanked lion turns on Colborn, perceiving the battleaxe to be a more significant threat, and bites him. Colborn is gravely wounded but remains standing.
Fennimore moves to flank the lion with which he and Ingimarr are engaged and thrusts his rapier into the lion's hindquarters, eviscerating it. This lion falls.
Rael Octavius, seeing Colborn faltering, rushes toward the wounded warrior and casts a shield about him.
Ingimarr dashes over to the remaining lion.
Perri Elastime causes Dulguachared to burst into flames again and thrusts the blade into the lion's throat. The lion falls dead.
Fennimore looks around for more lions.
Colborn looks around defensively.
Fennimore remains where he stands, ready for more attacks.
Rael Octavius approaches Colborn and lays a hand on his shoulder. Colborn's bite wound closes.
Fennimore searches the lions.
Fennimore: This meat looks tough and stringy. I hate to see it go to waste.
Colborn and Ingimarr set about to skin the lions providing the group with two lion pelts. After a brief rest to collect their wits, they continue for the rest of the day. They set up camp and rest without interruption but for a single distant roar that echoes in the towering mountains.

Helots

posted Feb 6, 2021, 10:35 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Propyltina 17th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The trio follows Liufr and Sabine back to their camp for a rest. However, Hjotr is found with his throat slit when checked on during the rest. A bloody piece of sharpened flint lies next to him. The other two captives are well enough to travel once they are awakened.
Rael Octavius looks around.
Rael Octavius: Did he kill himself?
Liufr: Unlikely.
Liufr looks at Sabine.
Fennimore: He was hogtied pretty securely.
Fennimore: If he could get free enough to kill himself, he could have gotten free to attack us.
Sabine just shrugs her shoulders.
Sabine: He got what he deserved if you ask me.
Fennimore looks for clues to who killed Hjotr.
Rael Octavius is pretty certain Sabine did it.
Perri Elastime looks around for who killed Hjotr.
Fennimore finds blood in one of the abandoned tents, smeared on some furs as though someone wiped it from their hands.
Rael Octavius glares at Sabine.
Fennimore: It looks as though someone wiped the blood from their hands over here.
Perri Elastime goes to see what Fenn has found.
Fennimore: Look at the furs in this tent.
Rael Octavius searches the ground throughout the camp, circling around and away from the tent where the blood was found.
Perri Elastime looks at the furs.
Perri Elastime: Sabine, did you kill Hotjr?
Sabine remains stonefaced.
Rael Octavius finds several tracks, but none of them track to anybody unbound in the camp.
Rael Octavius: I have found some tracks that do not match any of ours.
Perri Elastime: Do you think someone came into camp and killed him?
Fennimore: Sabine, are there others out there, your tribe or your enemies? If they snuck in and killed Hjotr, they may come for someone else next.
Rael Octavius: Only one of us has been on watch at a time. We could have missed them.
Perri Elastime looks around for magic traces.
Perri Elastime sees that the only magic is what is in the chest and carried by the trio.
Fennimore: While Perri performs her ritual, Fenn helps Rael search for tracks at the camp's edge.
Perri Elastime: I don't see any magical traces around.
Sabine: Hjotr has many enemies. There are many of us out on the plains.
Rael Octavius: All of these tracks could be from Hjotr's followers. It is hard to tell how old any of them are.
Liufr: We should probably get packed up and head to the chieftain's camp.
Fennimore: I agree with Liufr.
Perri Elastime: Well, I don't feel very safe sticking around here.
Sabine: And leave Hjotr's body for the vultures, seriously.
Fennimore sadly shakes his head at Sabine.
Perri Elastime: Does he not have a family that will want the body?
Rael Octavius: You do not seem to be one of his followers.
Sabine: His family would like nothing more than to hear that he is dead.
Fennimore: We should at least give him a proper burial.
Sabine: Let Colborn and Ingimarr dig then. They are loyal to Hjotr.
Perri Elastime: I would hate for him to become some sort of undead to terrorize folk again.
Rael Octavius observes the other barbarians.
Fennimore: Colborn and Ingimarr, if I free your hands, will you bury Hjotr, so we can all return to your chieftain?
Colborn nods.
Ingimarr nods.
Fennimore unties the captive barbarians.
Sabine: We should not leave these tents for others to take. There are harnesses to draw this gear with the horses.
Perri Elastime: Don't try any funny stuff.
Fennimore: Can you and Liufr break camp?
Liufr: Sure.
Sabine nods.
Fennimore: If Colborn and Ingimarr can travel on foot with the rest of us, we use all three horses to carry the gear.
Colborn and Ingimarr find spades and begin to dig.
Perri Elastime watches for trouble.
Liufr and Sabine break camp and get the horses loaded.
It takes another hour, but Hjotr is buried, and the camp is packed up and ready to move.
Liufr: There is not a good way to place the chest on the horses.
Rael Octavius: We are not ones to be lugging around a chest either.
Perri Elastime: I can make a platform for the chest.
Fennimore: I don't want to leave it behind. It's far more valuable than your tents.
Perri Elastime casts floating disk.
Sabine: Maybe for you if the chest is empty. Coins are not worth anything out here.
Perri Elastime: Help me place it on the platform.
The barbarians look uncomfortable as the magical disk forms.
Fennimore: If you get it to the city, the contents of that chest could buy you tents, weapons, and food for months.
Perri Elastime: We will have to take a break every so often for me to remake the disk.
Sabine: It will be a long day if you have to do that too often.
Perri Elastime: Yes, it will, but I'm pretty tough and can handle it. Can you?
Fennimore smirks.
Sabine smiles.
Perri Elastime: Well, spells are a wasting. Let's go.
The journey takes most of a day, and they are now very near to mountains, having trekked far into the foothills of The Dragon's Tail.
Perri Elastime: So when is elevenses.
Liufr: We probably do not want to enter the camp with that magic. Have Colborn and Ingimarr carry it the rest of the way.
Perri Elastime: Okay.
The vegetation seems to be doing better here as the air seems saturated with humidity. However, the glacial threat that Sabine mentioned is apparent as there are long tails of ice and snow encroaching into the immediate vicinity of the mountains.
Perri Elastime: We should investigate the ice.
Fennimore: Do you ever get giants coming down out of the mountains?
Rael Octavius: Let us meet the chieftain first.
Perri Elastime: Yes, first thing first.
Liufr: There have been a few giants.
Liufr leads the group into a stand of tents on the hillside.
The chieftain sits on a tree stump in front of a large tent, sharpening a greatsword as other barbarians work among other tents preparing food, crafting equipment, and curing hides.
Liufr defers to Sabine even though he is the group's guide.
Bjorg: Ah, Sabine, my sister. Where is our treacherous brother?
Fennimore gapes.
Sabine: Hjotr is dead. These adventurers had defeated him and his followers and chose to take him captive to return him to you for justice. He met an appropriate fate elsewhere so as not to pollute our camp.
Perri Elastime raises her eyebrows.
Sabine (turning to the trio): My apologies for shooting during the ambush. I had to make Hjotr believe I was with him.
Fennimore: Hjotr was your brother?
Sabine frowns.
Sabine: Unfortunately.
Bjorg: My tribe and I are in your debt, adventures. Anything you need that we can provide is yours.
Perri Elastime: Sometimes you can't pick family.
Bjorg (gesturing to the two remaining captives): And these? Justice was not meted out upon them?
Sabine: The elves and the halfling insisted on leveraging their strength to carry Hjotr's hoard back here and have them face your wrath.
Bjorg: Then they forfeit their freedom to our guests' continued servitude.
Colborn and Ingimarr bow their heads.
Sabine sneers at the captives.
Perri Elastime (whispering): What does that mean?
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: I think he is offering them to us as slaves.
Bjorg: Well. Introductions then. I am Bjorg, chieftain of the Wyrmrearers.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: I don't want a slave.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Me either.
Rael Octavius (whispering): Slaves?
Perri Elastime -> Rael Octavius: I hope not.
Perri Elastime: I am Perri Elastime.
Rael Octavius: I am Rael Octavius, acting ambassador of Random to the Barbarian Plains. My companions are High King Ran's Bladesinger and our...um...scout.
Fennimore (to Bjorg): I am Fennimore, but my friends call me Fenn.
Bjorg: An ambassador? Like Snorri Geir?
Rael Octavius: Yes, you know Ambassador Geir?
Bjorg: We have met...on the battlefield long ago.
Fennimore: You both live to tell the tale.
Rael Octavius: As allies?
Bjorg: Not initially, but a giant interfered, and we joined forces.
Fennimore: Sounds intriguing.
Perri Elastime: We are here to investigate the changing climate of the plains.
Bjorg: Oh. It has been a slower demise up here in the hills than down on the plains.
Fennimore: We want to travel higher into the mountains to see what is trapping the rain and snow on the mountain peaks. Perhaps another giant is toying with the weather.
Perri Elastime: But the snow and ice appear to build in the nearby mountains.
Bjorg: The cause of the dangerous winter is likely Fruustuan.
Perri Elastime: Or ice imps or any number of other things.
Fennimore: Fruustuan?
Fennimore: What's a Fruustuan?
Rael Octavius: That is a draconic name.
Bjorg: Yes. An ancient white wyrm.
Bjorg: Her spawn are beginning to plague us even here in the hills.
Perri Elastime: Little dragons?
Bjorg: Bigger than horses, but smaller than mammoths.
Fennimore: Sounds more than big enough to freeze the toes of a halfling.
Bjorg: Come and take supper with me, and we can discuss more of your mission.
Perri Elastime: Oh, good. I am famished.
Fennimore: I am honored by your hospitality.
Sabine: I will see to stowing these tents and then I will join you.
Sabine (to the trio): If I may borrow your servants, please?
Perri Elastime: Yes, of course.
Fennimore nods uncomfortably.
Rael Octavius: Have them serve however needed.
Rael Octavius frowns and looks at Perri and Fennimore.
Sabine nods and motions for Colborn and Ingimarr to follow her.
Bjorg: Come, come. We have plenty up here in the hills. Join me in my tent.
Bjorg enters the big tent.
Fennimore follows Bjorg into his tent.
Rael Octavius enters the tent behind Fennimore.
Perri Elastime follows Fenn and Rael.
Fennimore looks around.
The tent is round and about twenty feet across, with a fire pit in the middle vented through a hole in the top. The walls are lined with furs, weapons, and trophies of both battles and the hunt. Pallets occupy the south side of the tent away from the entrance, and a large table occupies the north between the entrance and the firepit.
Perri Elastime looks around.
At one end of the table rests a makeshift throne of sorts and the long sides of the table have log benches. The foot of the table has a barrel resting on a stand.
Bjorg takes his seat on the throne.
Fennimore climbs onto a bench.
Bjorg (arms spread): Take a seat; rest.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
Rael Octavius rounds the table and sits on the bench with his back to the fire.
Perri Elastime sits next to Fenn.
Perri Elastime: Where is your family?
Bjorg (sadly): Sabine and I are the only ones left.
Perri Elastime: Hjotr was your son?
Bjorg: Brother. We are all siblings.
Fennimore: But, there were others? Siblings, a wife, children?
Perri Elastime: We tried to talk to him, but he would not listen.
Bjorg: All the others have been lost due to the cataclysm and its results, directly or indirectly.
Fennimore: I am sorry for your losses and that Hjotr has added to that sorrow.
Bjorg: Thank you.
Perri Elastime: I thought there would be many children among the people here.
Perri Elastime: I am sorry. A peoples future is its children.
Bjorg: It is challenging for children to survive. There are a few, but they are safeguarded, so you did not see them when you arrived.
Fennimore: You are wise to keep them safe, but we mean you no harm.
Bjorg: I understand, but others like my brother would see you three and attack regardless.
Perri Elastime: What danger do we pose?
Bjorg: Many blame the elves for our current plight, but I knew Theirastra, Enialis, and Beleshtash.
Fennimore: We are here at Ambassador Geir's behest to investigate the source of the drought and what can be done to aid you and the other tribes.
Fennimore: Liufr mentioned their names. What can you tell us of them?
Bjorg: They are the elves that fought the battle that precipitated the cataclysm. Theirastra and Enialis were lovers, but Enialis was obsessed with destroying the ancient elven king Ksirb Emitae, and it corrupted him. Theirastra tried to save him, but he was truly lost. She enlisted Beleshtash to ensure that they all were removed from the world. It did not go so well.
Fennimore: Do you think the cataclysm and the dragons are related to each other?
Rael Octavius: They were supposed to pass on?
Bjorg: Dragons are opportunists.
Bjorg: All of their regalia were supposed to destroy themselves and the three elves in the process. However, it is believed that one piece was thrown from the battle and lost. This caused their magic to shatter.
Fennimore ponders this news for a moment.
Fennimore: If this lost piece of regalia were found and destroyed, might it break the drought?
Perri Elastime: So there is some powerful magic somewhere.
Bjorg: Hjotr claimed he had found where this artifact had fallen.
Perri Elastime: But we cannot ask him now.
Fennimore: And now he lies dead and buried in the plains below your foothills. I don't suppose anyone could coax the secret from his corpse.
Perri Elastime: But we cannot ask him now.
Bjorg: I sent Sabine to recover this information.
Perri Elastime: Perhaps she learned something before we found her.
Bjorg: His surviving followers may know its location. One reason they were not immediately killed.
Sabine enters the tent.
Perri Elastime: Sabine said he had many followers.
Sabine: I was unable to convince him to tell me.
Fennimore: Sabine, we were just thinking of you.
Sabine: Ingimarr is one of his oldest followers. He may have been with him when the discovery was made.
Fennimore: Perhaps you can fetch him for us to ask him.
Sabine whistles.
Ingimarr and Colborn enter the tent.
Fennimore frowns.
Bjorg looks at the two barbarians scornfully.
Bjorg (to those at the table): Their only means of redemption is to die in glorious battle in defense of their masters. They know this.
The two brighten ever so slightly.
Sabine smiles.
Perri Elastime looks concerned.
Fennimore: Let there be no battle of blades here tonight. Let us speak first.
Fennimore (looking at Ingimarr and Colborn): Sabine tells us you knew her brother well.
Perri Elastime -> Rael Octavius: He is good at this.
Ingimarr: Yes, my master.
Rael Octavius looks a bit taken aback.
Perri Elastime watches Ingimarr and Colborn.
Fennimore: Are you aware he sought an elvish treasure, greater than the chest of gold and jewels we brought for your chieftain?
Ingimarr: I am, my master.
Fennimore: Your chieftain has offered you a path to redemption. Would you take it freely?
Ingimarr and Colborn (in unison): With all my heart, my master.
Fennimore: The path to what Hjotr sought is likely to be dangerous, and if you can lead us on, it offers you that redemption.
Perri Elastime: Do you know why Hjotr sought this treasure?
Ingimarr: I know this area, but not the exact location. Hjotr fled from the area to the northeast of here after seeing a shining golden orb.
Rael Octavius: I did mention that High King Ran witnessed this battle.
Rael Octavius: All of the combatants wielded regalia. A crown, a scepter, and an orb of immense power.
Fennimore: Ingimarr, could you get us near to where Hjotr saw the orb?
Ingimarr: I can, my master.
Rael Octavius: If it is a golden orb, that would most likely be the Orb of Good.
Ingimarr: It is west of Realm's Wound, somewhere south of the tributary that drains into the great river.
Perri Elastime: Does Hjotr have other followers that will continue his goals?
Ingimarr: Colborn and I are all that are left. We took heavy losses trying to gain the treasure you recovered.
Perri Elastime: He didn't need to fight us.
Colborn: He was lost.
Fennimore: Chieftain Bjorg, I think we have learned something of import here. I would like to discuss our plans with my friends tonight. Before that, we will toast your hospitality and the redemption of Colborn and Ingimarr.
Bjorg: Very good!
Rael Octavius: You may wait outside, Ingimarr and Colborn.
Ingimarr and Colborn bow and exit the tent.
Perri Elastime: Well, that was enlightening.

Ambush

posted Jan 30, 2021, 12:20 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Propyltina 16th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The trio has been wandering the Barbarian Plains for about a week, guided by several different scouts, some from other tribes. They have been making observations of the droughts spread and effects and listening to the stories of the tribes they have encountered along the way.
Rael Octavius: This place is getting desolate.
Fennimore: I think I liked "The City" better.
Perri Elastime: It is not pretty.
Liufr: It is growing worse by the year.
The common thread of all the stories and observations is that the land has been drying out over the last decade since the great battle that transpired to the east concluded with the simultaneous destruction of three powerful elves that fought against each other, disrupting day and night as a result.
Perri Elastime: Did it start in an area and spread?
Liufr: Not really. It has been widespread and constant.
Fennimore: Where is all the water going?
Liufr (points to the mountains): Up there. The glaciers have been growing ever since, as well.
Fennimore: Hotter and drier down here. But, if the glaciers are growing, it must be colder and snowier up in the mountains.
Perri Elastime: So, it is falling on the glaciers as snow?
Liufr: Yes.
Fennimore: Maybe we need to hire an efreet to melt the glaciers and send runoff down into the valley.
Perri Elastime: I wonder if we could melt some of the glaciers so their melt could nourish the plains.
Perri Elastime: Should we go up to the glaciers?
Fennimore: Oh, do you think there's a frost giant up there that is hoarding the ice?
Perri Elastime: I don't know. I haven't been to a glacier before.
The trio notices the clouds over the mountains are heavy and streaming precipitation most of the time.
Perri Elastime: Maybe something is attracting the water.
Liufr: The winds on the plains carry into the mountains when the sun is shining.
Perri Elastime: Perhaps the Winter Queen?
Liufr: Winter Queen?
Fennimore: If she has established a foothold here, it would be bad news for everyone.
Perri Elastime: The Fae Queen.
Liufr: Oh, the elven queen from the battle was the force of good. She was called Theirastra, I believe.
Perri Elastime: She likes to make everything over into snow and ice.
Fennimore: I think you're right. We need to get into the mountains to see why all the water is staying up there.
Fennimore: If it's the Winter Queen, she is more powerful than the three of us can deal with, and we need to get that news back to King Ran.
Perri Elastime: Snorri mentioned that there had been a Fae presence around. Have you noticed this?
Liufr: I would blame the bad weather and drought on the elven king from the battle, Enialis.
Liufr: He is the one that cursed The Hierophant with undeath.
Perri Elastime: The near-constant sun is sure to upset weather patterns.
Fennimore: Four stars means it's always been sunny around these parts.
Liufr: The Hierophant was the third elf in the battle. His name is Beleshtash.
Perri Elastime: What were they battling about?
Rael Octavius: I have heard that name before.
Liufr: Beleshtash?
Rael Octavius: Yes.
Fennimore: Theirastra, Enialis, and Beleshtash? They are all new to me.
Rael Octavius: He has been mentioned in conversations with High King Ran.
Perri Elastime: The Hierophant is part of a druid order, right?
Rael Octavius: It is common knowledge in court that the High King witnessed this battle to which you refer.
Fennimore: Did he partake in the battle?
Liufr: Oh, Chieftain Ran. Yes, he was almost killed when he approached Enialis.
Perri Elastime: I guess it wasn't like sharing a skin of wine.
Fennimore: And probably not like your sparring sessions with the King.
Liufr: The battle was a confrontation of Enialis' evil. These three elven lords wielded powerful artifacts that caused the cataclysm when they were each destroyed.
Perri Elastime: No. I have never gotten close to killing him.
Perri Elastime: It sounds to me that we should investigate the site of the battle and the glaciers.
Liufr: The battle raged far to the east between the tip of the Dragon's Tail and the inland sea.
Perri Elastime: I think we should at least scout the glaciers for Fae presence.
Rael Octavius -> Perri Elastime and Fennimore: Our guide is starting to seem distracted.
Perri Elastime looks around.
Liufr begins to wander.
Fennimore looks to see what has caught the guide's attention.
Fennimore sees gazelle moving in their direction.
Perri Elastime looks for Fae.
Fennimore: Perri, look over there. Beasts of the plains are running towards us.
The trio is approaching another nearly dry stream bed with a few nearby fading trees.
Perri Elastime: That's different.
Fennimore: Maybe they are thirsty and are seeking out the stream.
Perri Elastime: Maybe.
Fennimore: Guide, if we kill one, can you dress the carcass? It would provide food for days.
Liufr: Something for dinner tonight. I will bring one of them down. You should take a look at that stream.
Perri Elastime: He doesn't want our help hunting.
Perri Elastime heads toward the dry stream bed.
Fennimore joins Perri.
Liufr starts to trot off towards the gazelle.
Perri Elastime: Coming, Rael?
Rael Octavius: Right behind you.
Rael Octavius: That was a strange bird call. Did you hear that?
Perri Elastime: I didn't hear anything.
Rael Octavius pulls out his staff.
Perri Elastime looks around. This seems to be a good place for an ambush.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Something is going on.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Did you see something?
Dulgulachared -> Perri Elastime [Elvish]: I feel surrounded.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: No, but my rapier senses something.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Better listen to it.
Perri draws her magical weapon, starting a bladesong, and readies for trouble.
Perri Elastime -> Rael Octavius: Something is going down.
An arrow flies from the tree to the west and narrowly misses Perri.
Rael Octavius emboldens his friends and gurgles with a spell in his throat.
Another arrow comes from the tree to the east and would have struck Rael if not for his magical shield raised at the last moment.
Fennimore: Look out! There are a whole bunch of warriors in the stream bed!
Tribal warriors begin to charge out from the stream bed.
Perri Elastime: Hey, I don't want to hurt you. We are here to try and help you!
Perri Elastime moves away, avoiding the attack of the closest warrior, and adjusts her stance to defend against the onrushing warriors.
Another arrow sails past Perri.
One barbarian launches a javelin at Rael as they approach, which passes between his head and outstretched staff.
Fennimore: These guys don't seem to want to talk.
Perri Elastime: I noticed.
Rael Octavius breaths fire upon two of the warriors.
Rael Octavius blasts the same two warriors with a second gout of flame, dropping their flaming corpses to the ground, and then runs away.
The remaining warrior stabs Rael as he retreats.
Hjotr rushes forward and swings his greataxe at Perri but misses.
Another arrow almost finds Rael again, but he blocks it with his magic.
Fennimore moves to flank the barbarian and slays them with one thrust before moving up to Perri and hiding behind her.
Perri produces a shadowy blade and strikes the big barbarian next to her. She then maneuvers around this barbarian to set up a flank for her next attack.
Rael is hit, and his breath weapon fails.
Another arrow nearly strikes Perri, but she blocks it with her magic.
Another barbarian attacks Rael with a greataxe, cutting him with a glancing blow.
Rael Octavius recovers his breath weapon and breathes fire on the barbarian who just struck him and then quickens a firebolt and burns the barbarian some more.
Hjotr aims his greataxe at Perri, but she miraculously dodges the blow and the follow-up swing as well.
Another warrior jabs a spear at Rael but misses.
Fennimore: Dodge those axes!
A warrior thrust their spear at Perri and misses.
Another arrow from the east tree strikes Rael and breaks his concentration on his breath weapon again.
Fennimore slides over to flank the barbarian harassing Rael and slays them with a thrust of his rapier. He then slides behind Rael and hides.
Three of the tribal warriors stab at Perri with their spears, only one manages to injure the bladesinger with a lucky thrust.
Perri Elastime, now surrounded by barbarians, conjures spectral blades that whirl around her, striking at her opponents. Two of the warriors fall while others sustain wounds.
A warrior threatening Rael misses with a thrust of their spear.
Two more arrows fly from the west tree at Perri, but her shielding spell blocks both.
Rael Octavius heals himself with Lehnbor's divine gift and then quickens another firebolt that strikes one of the warriors threatening him.
Hjotr ineffectively swings his greataxe at the elusive elf.
The warrior just set aflame by Rael's firebolt thrusts at him with their spear, but the sorcerer blocks the strike with his magic.
A warrior threatening Perri misses a thrust with their spear.
Two arrows fly from the east tree, both striking Rael despite his magical spell's protections.
Fennimore slides around to flank the uninjured warrior harassing Rael and guts them with a single thrust. He then slides back behind Rael again and hides.
Another warrior misses Perri with a spear thrust.
Perri Elastime conjures her spectral blades again, striking down one of the three remaining barbarians and heavily wounding the others.
The scout in the west tree fires two more arrows at Perri, but they miss their mark.
Rael Octavius turns toward the east tree where another scout has exposed themselves and launches a firebolt at them. It smashes into the archer, and they fall dead from the tree. He then erects a divine defense about himself.
Hjotr continues to try and slash Perri with his greataxe but fails.
The last warrior threatening Rael attempts another thrust but misses.
The tribal warrior still standing against Perri misses with a spear thrust, as well.
Fennimore sneaks up behind Hjotr and knocks the barbarian leader out with a well-placed, debilitating thrust.
One of the two remaining warriors and the last scout relent, seeing their leader fall.
Perri Elastime knocks out the warrior next to her before he has a chance to run.
The remaining scout puts away her bow and climbs out of the west tree.
Rael Octavius whacks the remaining aggressive warrior over the head with his new staff, knocking them unconscious.
Fennimore ties up Hjotr.
Perri Elastime ties up warrior Rael just knocked out.
The scout approaches with hands in the air.
Sabine: I surrender.
Fennimore: Very wise of you.
Rael Octavius ties up the last warrior.
Fennimore: Lay down your weapons and step away from them, and no harm will come to you.
Sabine: Are they dead?
Rael Octavius: Most of them are.
Perri Elastime: These three still live.
Fennimore: Let's keep it that way.
Sabine: You should just kill Hjotr. He will not live anyway once the chieftain hears what he did.
Perri Elastime: You attacked us. Why?
Sabine: Hjotr was protecting the treasure he found.
Fennimore searches Hjotr for weapons and sharps.
Perri Elastime: Treasure? We don't want your treasure. We are here to help the people of the plains.
Fennimore glares at Perri.
Fennimore (sarcastically): Yes, help. We're here to help.
Dulgulachared [Elvish]: What?
Rael Octavius [Elvish]: Quite, Dulguachared.
Fennimore: Where is your chieftain's camp?
Perri Elastime (bewildered): What is wrong with you?
Sabine: Towards the mountains.
Fennimore: We are headed into the mountains ourselves. We would like to meet your chieftain.
Sabine: This can be arranged, but you do not want to go into the mountains.
Perri Elastime: You want to check the binding I did, Fenn?
Rael Octavius: What is wrong with entering the mountains?
Fennimore: Aye, I'll be sure your knots are good and tight.
Sabine: There have been avalanches and prowling dragons.
Perri Elastime checks the prisoner Rael tied up.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: If someone tells you they have treasure, you don't go leaving it laying around.
Fennimore looks to Rael.
Rael Octavius: More dragons?
Perri Elastime: To solve the plight of the plain people, we must investigate all areas.
Sabine: What are you going to do with these others? The dead should be buried.
Fennimore goes to the other two warriors and searches them for weapons and disarms them, piling their weapons, along with Hjotr's a distance away.
Sabine: Leave Hjotr for the hyenas.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: I won't steal from those that are struggling to survive.
Perri Elastime: The chieftain should deal with his treachery.
Sabine: Chieftain Bjorg would say leave him to the hyenas.
Fennimore (to Sabine): We will help you bring your wounded and your treasure back to your chieftain.
Sabine shrugs.
Fennimore: Hjotr's punishment should be meted out by his own people, not visitors like us.
Sabine: It is in that big tree over there by the stream.
Perri Elastime: I'll look.
Perri Elastime runs to the tree.
Sabine: The people of the plains are warriors. You are impressive warriors. You should finish off the defeated.
Fennimore: That is not our way. We only killed out of the necessity to defend ourselves.
Perri Elastime looks in the tree.
Sabine: There is no place for treachery, and they deserve no mercy or have us waste food on them.
Perri Elastime finds an old iron-bound chest stashed in the hollowed-out tree.
Fennimore: We came to the plains seeking knowledge and to share what knowledge we have with you.
Perri Elastime: Hey, there is a chest over here.
Sabine nods.
Perri Elastime tries to drag it out.
Fennimore: Breaking bread with another is the greatest act of kindness we halflings bestow on those we meet along our travels.
Sabine: Hjotr knows what he did. He will fight if he wakes up. He is powerful.
Perri manages to drag the chest out of the tree.
Fennimore: If he continues to fight, he may die. He cannot defeat the three of us together.
Fennimore: We have a guide, another of your brothers hunting among the gazelle. We will share that feast with you tonight, and then we will all go to see your chieftain.
Perri Elastime sees that the chest is elvish.
Perri Elastime looks for writing on it but finds none.
Sabine: Very well.
Perri Elastime opens the chest.
Perri Elastime: Wow, this is a treasure indeed.
Sabine whistles.
Sabine: We have horses nearby.
Fennimore looks at Sabine.
A minute after Sabine whistles, three horses approach.
Perri Elastime: I, for one, do not want to stay close to this field of carnage.
Sabine: This is Hjotr and his seconds' horses.
Fennimore: Let's load up the treasure and the wounded and find our guide.
Sabine: We can go to our camp away from here once the dead are buried.
Perri Elastime: Better start digging then.
By the time the dead are buried, and you have had a rest, your guide returns with a gazelle draped over his shoulders.
Fennimore: You missed the excitement.
Liufr: What happened?
Perri Elastime: It was ugly.
Liufr: Sabine?
Sabine: Hjotr happened.
Fennimore: I don't suppose you knew these guys were lying in wait for us when you told us to check out the creek. So you know her?
Liufr: Oh.
Fennimore is suspicious that Llufr was in on the ambush.
Liufr: No. I had no reason to think Hjotr would be this far from the mountains.
Perri Elastime: I tried to talk with them. I told them I did not want to kill them.
Fennimore: Sabine tells us she has a camp nearby. Let's leave this bloody field behind and take our rest in her camp.
Sabine: Why not, Liufr? The danger near the mountains is driving us all away from there.
Liufr: He is the last one I thought would give up.
Perri Elastime watches the exchange between the two Plains People.
Sabine: Follow me. The camp is south, just over that rise.
Fennimore: Hjotr didn't surrender willingly, and nine of your kin paid the ultimate price.
Fennimore looks south.
Perri Elastime: A terrible waste of lives.
Liufr: There will be more for the rest now.
Perri Elastime: Which horse is Hjotr's?
Sabine: The one with the battered shield.
Perri Elastime: I'm pretty sure we should not put him over his own horse.
The trio sling the unconscious over the horses, straps the treasure to Hjotr's horse, and heads south towards the camp.
Fennimore searches the horses for weapons, finding none.

Scrape

posted Jan 23, 2021, 9:09 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Propyltina 7th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The Empreczar sails down The Great Northern River, which flows into The Almebezbik River. About a day after leaving "The City," the ship glides into the great river.
Fennimore: Where is Rael?
Fennimore (worried): Did he fall overboard?
Perri Elastime: I hope not.
Perri Elastime: Maybe he is with his mother.
Fennimore: Let's check his cabin.
Fennimore: Oh, Rael? Time to rise and shine, you sleepy head.
Perri Elastime: Sounds like a plan.
Fennimore knocks on Rael's cabin door.
Rael Octavius: Come on in.
Perri Elastime: I hope he is not busy.
Fennimore: We found him.
Fennimore opens the door and enters.
Perri Elastime walks into Rael's cabin.
Rael Octavius: I am just finishing up daily prayers.
Perri Elastime: You pray daily? I only pray when I think I am going to die.
Rael Octavius: Being a cleric of Lehnbor, it is important to pray regularly.
Perri Elastime: I appreciate your sacrifice.
Fennimore: Just don't miss breakfast for your prayers. I like to pray over my meal.
Rael Octavius smiles.
Fennimore: Though, I have to say this ship thing has put me off my regular meal schedule.
Perri Elastime: So Breakfast?
Rael Octavius: Enough stuffy isolation. Let us get some food and see what there is to see from the deck.
Perri Elastime: I think you need to tighten your belt, Fenn.
Fennimore: I'll make up for it when I have solid ground beneath my furry toes again.
Rael Octavius climbs the stairs onto the deck.
Perri Elastime heads up towards the deck.
Perri Elastime: The view from the crow's nest is awesome.
Fennimore hauls himself up the steep stairs to the main deck.
Even in the darkness, you can see the snow-covered mountain range known as The Dragon's Tail in the distance, its peaks gleaming by the light of the five luminescent moons that float in the sky above.
Captain Elador waves from the wheel as you approach the mess.
Captain Elador: Good day.
Perri Elastime: Morning, Captain.
Fennimore: Good Morning!
Perri Elastime: Anything of interest?
Rael Octavius: Good day, Captain.
Captain Elador: Just the usual...at least the recent usual.
Captain Elador has begun expressing concern that the rivers are getting shallower with every voyage, and he is not sure how much longer the big ships will be able to navigate the rivers.
Captain Elador: Still smooth sailing at this point.
Rael Octavius notices the banks of the river where the high watermark is. It, unfortunately, is at eye level from the main deck.
Rael Octavius: Is that really the high watermark? It is above this deck.
Captain Elador: Unfortunately.
Perri Elastime: Glad to hear it. How are the injured sailors?
Captain Elador: They'll be recovering for a couple of days. Probably ready for the return trip.
Fennimore looks up to the high water mark and shivers.
Fennimore: Personally, I'm glad the water isn't that deep right now. We'd be swept away.
Perri Elastime: Wow, the water level has really fallen.
Captain Elador: It has been going down since the cataclysm over a decade ago. This part of the river used to flood a mile from the banks.
Perri Elastime: I should teach you to swim, Fenn. You'd like it.
Fennimore: Eh, if it's too deep to wade in, it's too deep.
Perri Elastime: A mile? Now it looks difficult to get up the banks.
Captain Elador: I haven't seen it at that mark in years now. I doubt it is coming back.
Rael Octavius: How much farther down this river before we meet Ambassador Geir?
Captain Elador: Two more days. However, we will be docking at a village today to let your mother off for her mission.
Dae'Kliesys ascends the stairs, stretching her wings as they clear the deck.
Dae'Kliesys: Good day.
Perri Elastime: Morning, Ambassador.
Fennimore: Good Morning, M'Lady.
Dae'Kliesys looks out at the mountains in the distance.
Dae'Kliesys: I do love The Dragon's Tail.
Perri Elastime: Really? Why?
Captain Elador: Good day, Madam Ambassador.
Dae'Kliesys: They are impressive and ancient.
Perri Elastime: They are beautiful.
Fennimore: Are there dragons there?
Dae'Kliesys: Several. White, red, and silver, primarily.
Dae'Kliesys points at a towering peak to the east southeast.
Dae'Kliesys: That peak is the home of an ancient silver dragon. Those clouds obscuring the top is actually a fortress.
Perri Elastime: A fortress made of clouds?
Dae'Kliesys nods.
Fennimore sucks in his breath.
Fennimore: Oh.
Perri Elastime: Maybe there are giants there too.
Perri Elastime grins.
Dae'Kliesys points to the south-southwest.
Dae'Kliesys: Those peaks are where The Rearing Realm lies.
Rael Octavius: That is where your journey is taking you, mother?
Perri Elastime raises her eyebrows.
Fennimore: You're going to visit the dwarves?
Dae'Kliesys: It is. I am going to see the Dwarven King Albarz in Matinia's Delve.
Perri Elastime: Oh, sounds like there are wonders to behold there.
Dae'Kliesys: It is one of the oldest cities in the world.
Rael Octavius: Shall we break our fast?
Fennimore: I thought you would never ask. All this talk of dragons, giants, and dwarves makes me hungry.
Perri Elastime: I will eat. I will always eat.
Dae'Kliesys: Me too.
Fennimore: What about the plains where Ambassador Geir's tribe roams. What manner of men and beasts are we likely to find?
The trio has breakfast with Dae'Kliesys as the darkday slowly passes.
Dae'Kliesys: There are the barbarians that roam the plains as well as many kinds of beasts.
Dae'Kliesys: There are mammoths and big cats. Lots of different types of herd animals.
Fennimore's eyes grow big.
Perri Elastime drinks some tea.
Dae'Kliesys: The most interesting is the giraffe.
Rael Octavius: Those are the ones with long necks and legs?
Dae'Kliesys: Yes. Some are nearly twenty feet tall.
Perri Elastime nibbles some bread.
Fennimore: Now you're just pulling this halfling's leg. That's nearly seven times my size.
Dae'Kliesys: You will see.
Perri Elastime: I hope so.
Fennimore: How do they stand up without falling over?
Dae'Kliesys: They manage.
Fennimore thinks the Ambassador is joshing him and sulks a little.
Captain Elador enters the mess.
Perri Elastime: I'll be happy to get off the boat. My tummy is still not right.
Fennimore picks at his breakfast.
Fennimore: You can say that again.
Captain Elador: Madam Ambassador, I have some news that may cause a change in your plans.
Dae'Kliesys: Yes, Captain, what is it?
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: We are beseiged by "giraffes."
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: By giraffes?
Captain Elador: The ferry from Realm's Wound has stopped operating. There isn't enough flow in the river there any longer.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: The Captain is trying to hide it with this tale of low water.
Perri Elastime snorts.
Dae'Kliesys: This is unfortunate. I guess I will need to fly to the Dwarven Gate then. There will be no need to stop at Fallbottom.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: But they are really just damming up the river when they fall.
Captain Elador: Correct. You may depart from either castle at your convenience, Madam Ambassador.
Dae'Kliesys nods.
Dae'Kliesys: Thank you, Captain.
Perri Elastime: Does this make your trip more dangerous, Ambassador?
Perri Elastime nudges Fennimore with her elbow.
Dae'Kliesys: Well, there is no hurry. Will stay aboard until you reach Ambassador Geir's camp.
Captain Elador: As you wish.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: We will know if they do that because they will have brown mud splotches on them when we see them.
Captain Elador departs the mess.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Don't doubt me. It is no taller a tale than a beast taller than a giant.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: I don't ever doubt you.
Rael Octavius: Oh, good.
Fennimore: We are pleased you will join us for the rest of our sail. You know these lands well.
Dae'Kliesys smiles at Rael.
Perri Elastime sips some more tea.
Dae'Kliesys: When we are back on deck, you should look west at the mountains in that direction. That area is the Hinterlands.
Perri Elastime: I wish it weren't a darkday.
Perri Elastime: Maybe we will see something interesting.
Dae'Kliesys: The Hooded Mountain is almost terrifying in the darkness, looking like a great hooded figure rising out of the land.
Perri Elastime shivers a bit.
Perri Elastime: Is that in the Hinterlands.
Dae'Kliesys: Yes.
Dae'Kliesys: From the right angle, the mountain beyond it, Knife Mountain, gives the impression of the figure about to strike.
Perri Elastime: Maybe it is a Sleeping Titan.
Dae'Kliesys: Possibly.
Dae'Kliesys smirks.
Perri Elastime hair prickles.
Perri Elastime: I bet you are good at campfire ghost stories.
Dae'Kliesys grins a toothy grin.

Propyltina 10th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The ship sails for two more days before it begins to approach the barbarian encampment.
By the time The Empreczar arrives at the southern banks of the great river where Snorri Geir and a band of barbarians are camped, it is regularly scraping the bottom of the river. The drought's effects are clearly distinguishable.
Captain Elador approaches the trio after their rest on the third day.
Perri Elastime: Hello, Captain.
Captain Elador: It will be a near impossibility for this ship to return here when you are ready.
Perri Elastime: Should we make another meeting point?
Captain Elador: In fact, we may end up stranded if we are not quick to turn around and head back to "The City."
Fennimore: Or perhaps we should just walk home.
Perri Elastime: Maybe the goblin horde will have dispersed by then.
Captain Elador: I would suggest making your way back to Fallbottom and seek passage back from there. It is about a day and a half on foot.
Perri Elastime: That seems reasonable.
Captain Elador: I suggest you get your things together and prepare to disembark. Ambassador Geir is awaiting your arrival.
Fennimore is happy to gather his things and leave the ship behind.
Perri Elastime: I travel light and keep my things with me.
Fennimore: I just need to grab my pack from my cabin.
Perri Elastime: Do you need help with anything, Rael?
Rael Octavius: I have a second pack, but I plan on leaving it in the camp and get things from it when we need them.
Fennimore slides down the banisters of the stairs like he has seen some of the sailors do.
Fennimore throws his pack over his shoulder and clambers back up the stairs to the main deck.
Rael Octavius retrieves his packs from his quarters and returns to the deck.
By the time the trio has gathered their things, the ship is at the southern bank, and the gangplank is deployed.
Perri Elastime: Thank you, Captain.
Dae'Kliesys glides off the forecastle onto the land beyond.
Fennimore: Thank you, Captain. Safe travels back home.
Rael Octavius makes his way onto the gangplank.
Fennimore: Stay away from them, their goblins.
Rael Octavius: Thank you, Captain Elador.
Captain Elador: Will do. Good luck to you, as well.
Fennimore balances carefully down the gangplank.
Perri Elastime walks down the gangplank.
Snorri Geir and a group of barbarians wait at the end of the gangplank, prepared to help each of you off.
Fennimore: As soon as he's ashore, he sinks his toes into the first tuft of grass he sees and sighs deeply.
Perri Elastime: Snorri, good to see you!
Fennimore finds that the grass is scratchy and dry, almost withered.
Snorri Geir: Lady Elastime! Welcome to my home.
Fennimore plucks a few blades of grass to look at it more closely.
Snorri Geir: Rael and Fennimore! Welcome.
Perri Elastime: Thank you kindly.
Fennimore: Good to see you again.
Snorri Geir: Madam Ambassador, a pleasant surprise that you have arrived as well.
Dae'Kliesys bows to Ambassador Geir.
Dae'Kliesys: A pleasure, Ambassador.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Why are my legs all rubbery and the ground shifty.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Oh, I know how you feel. There's something wrong here. Look at this grass.
Perri Elastime, puzzled, looks at the grass.
The Empreczar begins to make its way back into the river when a great creaking erupts from its hull.
Perri Elastime turns to look.
Fennimore turns to the sound.
Snorri Geir: I was afraid that might happen.
Snorri Geir: Men! Gather the beasts and the ropes!
Fennimore: That doesn't sound good. Even to a landlubber like me. Was it a sea monster?
Perri Elastime: Oh dear. Are they mired?
Snorri Geir: They have run aground on the sandbar that has been building.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: It's the giraffes.
Snorri Geir looks sideways at Fennimore.
Snorri Geir: We prepared for this possibility.
Perri Elastime looks at Snorri.
Several barbarians dive into the river and begin to swim across, dragging heavy ropes with them as they go.
Fennimore looks aghast as the men dive into the river, afraid they will drown.
Perri Elastime looks around for danger.
Other barbarians can be heard hooting and howling. Shortly, the ground begins to shake as several mammoths approach.
Perri Elastime: Look at those creatures. Amazing!
Fennimore: I'm glad I'm nimble. Those beasts could squash me like an ant without even noticing.
Perri Elastime: Let's get out of the way.
Fennimore: Good idea.
The swimming barbarians begin to climb up the boat's sides and hand their ropes to waiting crew members.
Perri Elastime moves off to the side out of the way.
Rael Octavius moves out of the way with Perri and Fennimore.
Dae'Kliesys flies into the air above the ship and hovers there.
Fennimore looks for a hilltop to watch the commotion as he joins Perri.
Half a dozen mammoths are fitted with the other ends of the heavy ropes and begin to head back upriver along its banks.
The ropes become taut, and the ship begins to rotate in the water to point upstream, the hull still groaning as it does.
Perri Elastime: Since trouble comes in threes, Perri looks for more trouble.
Dae'Kliesys (shouting from above): They will need to pull for about fifty feet to get the hull clear of the sandbar.
Barbarian coax and prod the great beasts to pull with all their might. After twenty minutes of struggle, the ship breaks free of the sandbar.
Fennimore counts off the steps of the mammoths as they strain to pull the ship forward.
Perri Elastime: Woohoo!
Snorri Geir (shouting to Captain Elador): Good luck, Captain! This may be the last time we see you this far down the river!
Perri Elastime waves, dancing her feet.
Captain Elador shouts back something that you cannot quite make out, waving.
Fennimore: I hope they don't run into more trouble. Without you or us to rescue them, they will be hard-pressed.
Perri Elastime: I know.
Snorri Geir: Hopefully, they will make it back to at least Fallbottom. I hear the river is still navigable to the east.
Perri Elastime: I hope they will be fine.
Dae'Kliesys shadows the ship from above, helping the captain guide the ship through the obstacle the river has now become.
Fennimore: Which raises the question, where is the water going? We had enough water to carry us downstream. Why did it get so shallow?
Rael Octavius: I hope Ohmsevester does not make an appearance while my mother is so exposed.
Perri Elastime: You had to bring him into it.
Perri Elastime looks around for a dragon.
Snorri Geir: The dryness here is evaporating the river at an alarming rate. The lower the river gets now, the faster it loses depth.
Perri Elastime picks some grass to examine.
Perri Elastime: It sure is dry about.
Snorri Geir: This is the drought I brought to High King Ran's attention. I am to help you survey this area to see if there can be anything done about this.
Perri Elastime: Snorri, care to give us a tour of your home?
It appears that these plains between the mountains are drier than around "The City," and there is a constant wind blowing from northeast to southwest.
Fennimore looks around for any comfortable halfling holes.
The camp set up here near the banks of the river consists of one large hide tent and a score or more of yurts.
Fennimore: Hmmph, not a hole in sight.
Snorri Geir: You must all be exhausted and a bit wobbly-legged after your voyage. Let me show you to your tent.
Snorri Geir leads you to the yurt nearest the large tent.
Perri Elastime: Wobble-legged is right.
Fennimore: Thank you, Snorri. I'm happy to be off the ship, but why does the ground here sway so much?
Snorri Geir: Your body is still reacting as if it is on the ship. Give it a couple of hours, probably less, and you will have your land-legs back.
Fennimore slaps his legs.
Fennimore: I hope they never leave me again.
Perri Elastime chuckles wryly.
Perri Elastime: Maybe our land appetite will come back too.
Rael Octavius: I am already hungry.
Fennimore: Aye, that can't happen soon enough.
Perri Elastime checks out the yurt.
Fennimore starts mentally counting off the meals he missed aboard the ship.
Perri Elastime: The accommodations look perfect.
Snorri Geir: Our meal is almost ready. Unpack and relax a bit, and someone will be by with food soon.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
Fennimore: I don't know how those sailors do it. As hard as they worked on sailing that ship, they should have been eating twice as much. No second breakfasts, elevensies, brunches, nor suppers.
Perri Elastime: I know, right?
Perri Elastime falls into a bed, wishing the ground would stop heaving.
Rael Octavius: You two eat enormous amounts of food. The barbarians will be astounded.
Fennimore: I hope I can live up to your expectations.
Dinner arrives, delivered by three barbarian youths.
Perri Elastime: Well, I am usually always hungry. Aboard ship, not so much, but supplies are scarce here.
Perri Elastime smiles at the youths.
Fennimore: You're right, Perri. We are here to help these folk, not eat them out of yurt and tent.
Fennimore grins.
The food smells so good that the three of you forget all about ship stomach and are ravenous.
Perri Elastime: That smells delicious.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
Fennimore: Twice as delicious because it didn't try to roll away as I stabbed it!
The youths bow and set the large bowls in the middle of the yurt.
Rael Octavius: This is a lot of food. Ambassador Geir was paying attention at The Stag.
Perri Elastime: I think the ground has settled.
Just over an hour after The Empreczar escaped the sandbar, mirthful shouts can be heard in the camp.
Rael Octavius exits the yurt to have a look.
Fennimore: What's happening, Rael?
Rael Octavius: Mother is returning. Take a look.
Perri Elastime goes out to look.
Fennimore goes outside too.
Fennimore: Why is she back so soon?
Flying high above the camp is Dae'Kliesys escorted by two condors. They spiral down until the condors swoop just over the large tent and fly off towards the mountains to the south.
Dae'Kliesys glides into the center of the camp, landing in front of the large tent.
Perri Elastime: She knows how to make an entrance.
Dae'Kliesys: That was fun.
Perri Elastime: Hello again.
Dae'Kliesys: Hello. Did I miss dinner?
Fennimore: You just missed dinner
Dae'Kliesys pouts.
Perri Elastime: I think there is still some left.
Snorri Geir: There is plenty.
Fennimore: Did the Empreczar find deeper water?
Dae'Kliesys: It did. It is safely sailing back upriver.
Perri Elastime: Good. I want them to have a safe journey.
Perri Elastime: I thought you were off to the mountains.
Dae'Kliesys: Tomorrow is soon enough. I am ahead of schedule, so there is no hurry.
Perri Elastime: Great.

Voyage

posted Jan 17, 2021, 8:36 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Propyltina 6th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The trio has been preparing for the trip to the southern plains over the course of the last week with some coordination between themselves and Dae'Kliesys.
They are to embark on a ship at Long Barge Shipping.
Fennimore shivers at the thought of boarding a ship.
Perri Elastime: Don't worry. You will float.
Rael Octavius: Sailing is easy, and the fastest way to get there.
Fennimore: Maybe it's faster, but nothing like having solid ground under your furry feet.
Perri Elastime: I'm fine with it.
Rael Octavius: This ship is bigger than a house. It will be like standing on the ground, Fenn.
Fennimore is still uncertain of the concept.
Fennimore: If you say so.
Perri Elastime: You can swim, right?
Fennimore: But the first time we lose a man overboard, don't forget, I told you so.
Fennimore: I don't go much deeper than dipping my toes in a pond.
Fennimore: Swimming is for fishes, not halflings.
Dae'Kliesys: We have been sailing these waterways for hundreds of years. You are worrying needlessly, Fennimore.
Fennimore: Yes, your Ladyship, but that's what halflings do.
Perri Elastime: I thought they made food and ate it.
Perri Elastime: The fish around here don't eat people do they?
Fennimore: Garden, cook, eat, and worry. These are the things we tend to do best. Those of us who chose to a more adventurous lot are rare and often outcasts from the rest of the community.
Rael Octavius: Halfling outcasts? Now you are exaggerating.
Perri Elastime: I think being a swashbuckler would be fun.
The group takes a carriage from the castle to the shipping company, chatting as they go.
Fennimore: Mum accepts my way of life. Not all halflings are so accomodating. Most of them think we should all be homebodies, tending to our gardens, and having a proper home-cooked meal every night.
Perri Elastime: I imagine you cause your mum all kinds of worry then.
Fennimore: Dontcha know it. She worries every day.
Perri Elastime: She does have pretty flowers.
Fennimore: Thanks. She enjoys the flower cart.
As the carriage approaches the shipping company, the group can see the ship's masts rising from the river below. The crow's nest is right at street level.
Perri Elastime (pointing): Woah! Check that out.
The carriage halts at the stairs that lead down to the docks as several sailors haul the luggage from the carriage onto the ship.
Fennimore eyes the ship uncomfortably.
A uniformed man in a bi-corn captain's hat awaits the group at the top of these stairs. The captain is an older, grizzled man that has experienced a lot of weather in his time.
Captain Elador: Greetings, Ambassador, and friends.
Perri Elastime smiles at the man.
Dae'Kliesys: Salutations, Captain.
Captain Elador: Ah, Rael. How are you? Making another trip down the river, I see.
Rael Octavius: I am fine, Captain Elador. It will be further than South Town this time.
Fennimore (whispering to Rael): You're right. That thing is bigger than a house. Are you sure it floats?
Captain Elador: As I have heard. All the way down to the Barbarian Plains, eh?
Perri Elastime puts a hand on Fennimore's shoulder.
Captain Elador turns and winks at the halfling.
Captain Elador: Of course it floats, my son. You have nothing to worry about.
Fennimore: Hmmph.
Perri Elastime: I have never been on a ship before.
Perri Elastime: Hey, can I go in that little basket?
Rael Octavius (pointing): See the rails on it, Fenn. You would be hard-pressed to climb over them, much less fall over them.
Fennimore: Good.
Captain Elador: The crow's nest? Certainly. Once we are underway.
Perri Elastime (to herself): The crow's nest.
Fennimore (to Perri): Leave the nesting to the crows.
Captain Elador: Follow me. We will push off as soon as you are settled. Morre, my first mate, will get you all situated while I get the crew going.
Perri Elastime (shocked): And let them have all the fun?
Captain Elador leads the group down the stairs to the docks and across the gangplank onto "The Empreczar."
Another uniformed gentleman, considerably younger, is waiting on the deck.
Fennimore hesitates before following the others. He holds the rails of the gangplank cautiously as he tiptoes to the ship.
Captain Elador: Welcome aboard The Empreczar. This is the flagship of Long Barge Shipping.
Perri Elastime: Thank you, Captain.
Captain Elador: This is my first mate. Call him Morre. He will see that you get to your births.
Fennimore looks around.
First Mate Morre salutes and steps forward.
Perri Elastime looks around like a tourist.
The ship is swarming with sailors preparing for the ship's departure.
First Mate Morre: Follow me, my friends. I will show you to your quarters.
Dae'Kliesys: Thank you, Morre.
Fennimore: Hmmph.
Perri Elastime: Mr. Morre, sir, where is the mess hall?
First Mate Morre points to the starboard side of the aftcastle.
First Mate Morre: Through that door, ma'am. We will be opening it once we set sail.
Perri Elastime: Thank you. I'm Perri.
First Mate Morre: Follow me down a deck. Your quarters are in the aft.
First Mate Morre: Please to meet you, Lady Elastime.
First Mate Morre: And Master Fennimore.
Fennimore bows.
Rael Octavius: This way?
Fennimore (to Perri): Your reputation precedes you.
First Mate Morre: Correct, Master Octavius.
Perri Elastime follows Rael.
Perri Elastime: Hmmph.
First Mate Morre has the group make their way down the steep, narrow steps into the ship and leads them to the ship's aft.
Fennimore: They don't design these ships for halflings.
Fennimore grips the stair rails at head height as he hops down the steep stairs one by one.
Rael Octavius: You won't have to duck through doorways.
Fennimore: There's that.
Perri Elastime: I like the fresh air better.
First Mate Morre: These three cabins are yours.
First Mate Morre points at two port side doors and one starboard door.
Perri Elastime: And the necessary, where is that?
First Mate Morre: The other one is the privy.
Fennimore looks to see if Dae'Kliesys followed them below decks.
Fennimore sees that Dae'Kliesys is still standing at the stairs.
First Mate Morre: The Ambassador has the forward cabin.
First Mate Morre: Once you have unpacked and settled, feel free the go back up on deck.
Fennimore: Ah, then no bunking up. Good. I've heard sailors are sometimes stacked three high or more. I didn't want to have to wrestle Rael for the bottom bunk.
Perri Elastime: I'd have given you a boost if you needed one.
Fennimore smiles at Perri.
First Mate Morre: The sailors' bunks are in the forecastle.
Perri Elastime: Umm, I don't know ship terminology yet.
First Mate Morre: That is the front of the shop that rises above the main deck.
Fennimore: Can't say I know much about ships either.
Perri Elastime: Got it!
Fennimore: Will you have time for a look around after getting settled?
Perri Elastime peers into a cabin.
First Mate Morre: Ask any of the crew when you have questions as long as they aren't holding a rope at the time. I wouldn't want them to be distracted when they're working.
Perri Elastime: A look about sounds good to me.
A high-pitched whistle sounds, and orders begin to be shouted about the deck above, repeated among the sailors as they acknowledge them.
First Mate Morre: I will leave you to it. I need to get up on deck.
Fennimore: Thank you.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
First Mate Morre nods and turns to head back to the stairs.
Fennimore peeks into another cabin.
First Mate Morre: You are most welcome.
Fennimore: Rael, you seem to know the ship best. Any preference for a cabin?
First Mate Morre briefly stops to open the cabin door for Dae'Kliesys before climbing the stairs back up to the main deck.
Fennimore: Are any of them made up for halflings?
Perri Elastime: Do any have a window?
Rael Octavius: I have no preference. You will probably be most comfortable in the starboard aft cabin. The bed is more amidships.
Rael Octavius: They all have portholes if you can call them windows.
Fennimore looks in the cabin that Rael points out.
Fennimore: Well, at least it's round
Perri Elastime: Just like home?
Fennimore: And high enough up that I'm not likely to fall out.
Perri Elastime: I'm not sure you will fit through the porthole.
Fennimore looks again.
Fennimore: You're probably right about that.
Perri Elastime: I'm sure we would have to grease you to get through.
The ship begins to move slowly, easing into the current of the river.
Fennimore grabs hold of whatever he can as the ship begins to move.
Fennimore: Whoa!
Perri Elastime: I think we are underway.
Fennimore (sarcastically): Great.
Rael Octavius: Once you get your legs, you won't notice the motion.
Fennimore: I have legs.
Fennimore: It's my stomach. I think I left back at the docks.
Perri Elastime looks into a cabin across the way.
Fennimore looks into the privy.
Fennimore: Perri, if your stomach feels like mine, this might be the necessity you were looking for.
Perri Elastime: It's a little jittery. I felt better up top.
Rael Octavius enters the portside cabin.
Fennimore: We were still tied to the docks up top.
Perri Elastime: Do you have any stuff to unpack?
Fennimore: A little, I try to travel light.
Rael Octavius: Not much. My luggage is here, but I hardly access it.
Perri Elastime: I try to keep it light too. I want to be able to run at a moment's notice.
Fennimore (to Rael): You planning to bring luggage into the barbarian plains?
Perri Elastime: I just brought my pack.
Perri Elastime: I didn't think I'd need anything fancy on the plains.
Fennimore: Snorri didn't seem to be the kind of guy who puts on airs.
Rael Octavius: Just some extra clothing and food, just in case. I am going to head up on deck.
Perri Elastime: I think I'll just carry my stuff.
Perri Elastime: I'll come with you, Rael.
Rael Octavius closes his cabin door and heads for the stairs.
Fennimore leaves his pack in his cabin and follows Rael and Perri.
As the trio climbs back up to the main deck, they can see that the ship is sailing through a gorge and is just about to pass under a bridge.
Perri Elastime looks to see if the sailors have weapons.
Fennimore studies the steep stairs for a moment before heaving his bulk up, one stair at a time, using the handrails for leverage and balance.
Fennimore watches the bridge go by, looking to see if anyone is crossing over the bridge above them.
Over the next couple of hours, the ship navigates the gorge and a couple of turns in the river before it feels like the river rises to the land's level and open plains to the west and east. Lightday also transitions to darkday.
Perri Elastime looks to see if she can see anyone in the crow's nest.
Perri sees that there is someone up in the crow's nest.
Perri Elastime (whispers): Did you notice it is hard to breathe under the deck?
Rael Octavius: It is a bit stuffy below decks.
Fennimore: The gorge wasn't much better. I didn't like the way the walls were sliding past.
First Mate Morre approaches the trio.
First Mate Morre: How is everything?
Perri Elastime looks to see how to get up to the crow's nest.
Perri Elastime: Better up here.
First Mate Morre: You wish to go up into the crow's nest?
Fennimore: I might never eat again.
First Mate Morre smiles.
Perri Elastime: Oh, yes!
First Mate Morre: You will get used to it.
Fennimore: That's what Rael keeps telling me.
Perri Elastime: I'll never get used to not eating.
First Mate Morre: Just climb the rigging of the mainmast until you get up there.
Perri Elastime: I can climb the ropes?
First Mate Morre: That is what they are there for.
Fennimore: Great, first, she wants to be a raven. Now, she wants to play like a squirrel.
Rael Octavius: I'm going up on the forecastle so I can see where we are going.
Perri Elastime: Don't you want to see from way up there?
Fennimore: No.
Perri Elastime: Rael?
Rael Octavius: The forecastle is high enough for me.
Perri Elastime: I'm going up!
Perri climbs up the rigging until she is up near the top of the mainmast. The sailor in the crow's nest helps her in.
Perri Elastime: Thanks.
The sailor smiles.
Fennimore: Why do they call it a forecastle? It doesn't look anything like "The Castle."
Perri Elastime: What do you do up here?
The sailor: We just keep watch.
The sailor: You never know what might be on the banks or if another ship might be in the way.
Perri Elastime: Do pirates attack?
The sailor: Pirates? I've heard of pirates on the great river, but not this one. However, there have been attacks from the banks by bandits and monsters from time to time.
Perri Elastime: Oh. This is like an itty, bitty treehouse. I like it up here.
The sailor smiles again.
Perri Elastime looks over the ship, trying to discern its defenses.
The sailor: If you look way out to the west, you can see the horde.
Perri Elastime looks west.
Perri can see fires way out in the distance.
Perri Elastime: What do you do if you see something dangerous?
The sailor: Make a racket and let the captain know that there is something to be concerned about.
Perri Elastime: You just yell, and they hear you?
The sailor: I'm pretty loud when I need to be.
Perri Elastime: I'm pretty sure my halfling friend is worrying, so I should go back down, but I'll be back.
The sailor: Sure. You are welcome at any time.
Perri Elastime: Thanks. So far, this is the best place on the ship.
The sailor: I agree.
Perri Elastime scampers down the rigging.
No sooner than Perri finds Rael at the front of the ship, the lookout in the crow's nest lets out a shout.
Perri Elastime looks for monsters.
The sailor: EYES STARBOARD!
Fennimore: Which way is starboard?
First Mate Morre: Right.
Perri Elastime: Umm.
Fennimore: Right, right.
Fennimore trots to the righthand rail and tries to see over it.
An arrow flies over Fennimore's head.
A hobgoblin appears on the deck.
Another arrow sails over Fennimore's head.
Fennimore: Where'd he come from?
Rael Octavius runs down to be next to Fennimore.
Rael Octavius launches a fiery ray at each of three different goblins, but they all miss.
Perri Elastime moves towards the invading hobgoblin, beginning a bladesong. She points at the hobgoblin to have her next rapier thrust strike true upon it.
An arrow sails past Perri.
Dae'Kliesys flies up over the banks into the darkness.
First Mate Morre moves aft, shouting orders to prepare the mangonel to fire.
An arrow hits Fennimore.
Fennimore: Tis but a scratch.
Sailors jump into action, manning the mangonel amidships and the ballista on the forecastle. Others climb into the rigging.
Another arrow flies past Perri.
Captain Elador shouts orders and begins to bring the ship to a stop.
The hobgoblin dodges Fennimore's attack.
Hail drops down on the deck, pummeling everyone in its reach.
Several sailors, the first mate, and the bosun fall to the deck.
An arrow flies past Rael.
Another arrow sails into the rigging above Fennimore.
Hobgoblin Iron Shadow hits Fennimore with a flurry of blows, nearly knocking the halfling out.
Fennimore: Aaaagh!
Fennimore: Rael, we need help down here!
Another arrow sails over Fennimore.
Rael Octavius runs up to Fennimore and heals him.
Fennimore: Oh, thanks, Rael.
Rael Octavius: Keep going.
Fennimore: Get Perri next.
Perri hits the hobgoblin solidly, also transferring some of the cold absorbed from the hail storm.
An arrow misses Rael.
Dae'Kliesys forms an incendiary cloud around the forces on the banks of the river.
Sailors scramble about the deck.
Captain Elador roars more orders as the ship slows.
Fennimore skewers the hobgoblin.
The hobgoblin falls to the deck.
Perri Elastime: Yes! That's the way!
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Thanks.
Hobgoblin Devastator retreats from the cloud of burning embers and looses a lightning bolt at the half-dragon.
Rael Octavius steps over and heals Perri.
Perri Elastime: Thanks.
Perri Elastime: Much better.
The final hobgoblin falls after Perri's missiles of arcane force strike it.
Fennimore stands up.
Fennimore: Nicely done.
Perri Elastime: Well, that wasn't fun.
Fennimore: Rather painful.
Dae'Kliesys flies back to the aftcastle of the ship.
Perri Elastime: You still look a bit roughed up.
Fennimore: Probably wouldn't have made it through without the Octavius'.
Rael Octavius rushes over to the fallen crew and starts stabilizing them.
Fennimore: Let Rael help the crew first. These scratches will heal.
Fennimore: Some of them may not.
Perri Elastime: Good idea.
Dae'Kliesys: Is everyone alright?
Perri Elastime: Some of the crew are in a bad way.
Dae'Kliesys pulls out a healer's kit and begins tending to the fallen sailors.
Fennimore: I'm surprised a ship this large, traveling into dangerous territory, doesn't carry a medic.
Other sailors begin to emerge from below decks to assist the wounded, as well.
Captain Elador: Usually, only the warships have surgeons.
Perri Elastime: I guess the horde has made it more dangerous to travel.
Rael Octavius: Definitely.
Fennimore: Next time we get ambushed, may I suggest you keep the ship underway so that we can get some distance between our attackers and us?
Captain Elador: We will adjust our course down the river to stay closer to the eastern bank from now on.
Fennimore: Are you sure the horde doesn't have patrols on that side as well?
Fennimore: Or other nasties driven across the river by the goblins?
Rael Octavius: That side of the river has draconic protection and friendly barbarians.
Dae'Kliesys: That's correct, Rael.
Fennimore: Swell.
Captain Elador: We will just need to be careful of approaching ships because we will be in their way.
Perri Elastime: You'll have to keep a sharp eye watching in the crow's nest.
Captain Elador: Double the beacons on the forecastle!
The sailor: Aye, aye, Captain!
Fennimore (grumbles): Great, light us up like a holy cathedral. No way the horde will see us coming.
Perri Elastime: Do you feel like a target?
Captain Elador: We are approaching South Town. Reports are that the horde is not south of there.
Perri Elastime: Just think we could be trying to sneak past them overland.
Fennimore: Rather, and I don't like feeling trapped on this floating bullseye.
Fennimore: At least then I could sneak decently.
The ship sails on, passing South Town on its way south.
Dae'Kliesys: However sneaky you might be, Fennimore, you would not last a day on foot on those plains right now, not to mention having to cross the great river when you got to it.
Perri Elastime: You did say swimming was not your thing.
Fennimore: Certainly isn't. I hope it doesn't come to that.

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