Heroes of Estilin

Padric's journal 2
Playing in the dirt and entertaining the troops

Once again, I’m at a place where I can reflect on the past few hours. We had made some impromptu traps for the mass of the hobgoblin camp. At first it appeared that we were at an advantage, but that didn’t last long at all. One of them must have been a caster, because a fog bank settled in as we were using our range attacks. Alvanas said they have slain the slaves, so we should continue our attacks.

I could see the numbers from the camp coming towards us. We would be overwhelmed shortly I was sure. I could make out a mage or sorcerer in the fog, and in no time Beridin and his companion were being attacked by one of the most nimble ‘creatures’ I’ve ever seen. She was human, but didn’t move like anyone I’ve met. She quickly took out Beridin’s companion and was heading for him I was sure. They were using some sonic attack against us that was randomly making a few of us nauseated.

I saw the dancer move in to attack and thought through my complement of spells. Piercing Scream…if she was nimble and a fighter like I thought she might be, that spell would have a chance to break her resolve. It worked. I saw a small amount of blood flow out of her ear as he glaze found me. Luckily? Lorick found her before she got to me. He was able to get a firm hit on her amidst her dancing. I thought her look to me was filled with emotion, but it made no comparison to the look she gave Lorick. My spell complement was dwindling down.

I panicked. I took the spear of Earth elemental summoning and slammed it into the ground before me. I screamed as I watched power leech from the staff into the ground before me. The next thing I saw amazed me. The ground below the feet of our enemies opened up and two earthen hands reached out pulling our enemies into the ground. It took me aback and it did what I had wanted. It brought fear into the eyes of our enemies. Many of them started to retreat to their ships.

I realized that if the nimble dancer reached me I would be singing to the gods, so I said a few short words and bought four images of myself up. As the fourth image came into view, she struck out at Lorick. It happened to quickly. Lorick took one strike, then another, then another, and a final blow. He crumbled to the ground. She looked up from her work and smirked at me as I rushed forwarded to Lorick’s body. She gracefully tossed a vial in my direction stating “Don’t let his attempt go to waste.”

I opened the vial and poured the potion into Lorick’s mouth. I smiled as his eyes flickered and opened. He pushed himself up and shook the remnants of death off his shoulders. The man took no time to digest what had just occurred. He didn’t ask. I didn’t talk.

We discovered they hadn’t killed the slaves, so it was now time to talk about what to do next. Tactics were never something I dwelt on so I left it to the others. We had a number of confused people with us. So, I did what I could to keep their minds off the events that had just occurred and sang to them. I avoided dancing after remembering the image of the female dancer. I’m unclear how I got involved with all of this, but I’m glad that I’ve been able to help.

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Iomadae Teaches
Lorick's log

May the wisdom of Iomadae be seen in these words.

We decided to take care of the hobgoblins, but it wasn’t just hobby gobbies, it was the lions hammer and other green-skin mercenaries. Wiith critter’s help we were able to find their patrol routes and with some crafty spell casting by our bard, Padrick, we took out some of the roving sentries.

Then a beaten dwarf cook pushed through the underbrush. He was frantic and I healed him as I checked his soul. He was concerned with selling of dwarven mines and the displacement of his kindred by an unscrupulous ambassador name Khoragar (?). Apparently Khoragar was only contracted to negotiate the control of a small number of mines to the Lion’s Hammer. He had overstepped his authority, or so said the cook. We told him we would look into it after the Hobgoblins were dealt with. He didn’t want to wait. I informed him that one of our number was at the dwarven city and his name was Bjorn. Tell him of his plight and Bjorn would see it done. As if by divine providence Bjorn arrived with three dwarves in tow. It seemed the elven ambassador from the dwarves was interested in seeing this “hobgoblin camp.” He had his body guards with him.

I sometime ask Iomadae why I have to suffer fools, racists, and assholes. This ambassador was all three. He wanted to storm the camp. Bjorn tried to play into his arrogance, but for some reason it just made the Amb ASS a dor more flippant and angry. The ambassador’s body guards looked like they were out of their element. And as sure as the sun rises another patrol arrives. The FOOL ran into the fray and got his bell rung. I tried to protect him but we managed to take out the patrol despite the suicidal nut-bag.

We stealthed to where we had made traps and blinds at place that over looked the hobgoblin slave camp. The dwarf wanted to attack. We convinced him to return, with the cook, to the dwarven city. We commenced our fight. We had the element of surprise and we managed to take a few out with the black lions and some well placed arrows. Then a fog rolled in covering all the enemies making bows useless. Then my comrades began falling ill with blood leaking from their ears and all they could do was stagger about. What in the world. Then it hit me as a shrill whistle. I tried to shake it off but I could do nothing, I tried to concentrate on something else than the ringing in my ears and the disorientation subsided. I was able to shake off the effect faster than the others. But it was too late the enemy had managed to make it to our trap line. Our pit trap was effective, but the others didn’t even slow them. I noticed a female warrior easily navigate the trap on the far side and she began to attack the elven ranger. He managed to dodge her blows but I could still tell he was under the effects of the whistle sound. I moved to engage as i lobbed a ball of acid to get her attention.

The world fell away for a moment and a huge shadowy mountain rose from the ground. The earthen monster grew several arms and enveloped the hobgoblin batallion and sank away as quickly as it arrived. I glanced at Padrick, he had slammed the spear into the ground and the eerie glow was just fading. I had no time to think about that because the elven ranger needed my help, his faithful hound was dead, and one lion was not even laying a claw on the warrior woman. I attack and landed a solid blow. She looked surprised.

She danced around me. I can’t describe it any other way. I was unconscious and falling by her second hit. All was black . . . I heard a laughter not unlike the mad woman I had tracked from the Night Spawn revel. She materialized and pointed to a rickety, spiraling staircase ascending and descending. Jiminy was there standing on the staircase pointing behind me. . . I turned to see sunlight.

I awoke with Padrick standing over me. I though the warrior woman had hit me in the head as I saw five bards standing over me. Then I realized it was a spell he must have cast in the battle. I heard Bjorn calling down healing, I stood and staggered close enough to be hit by his healing bursts.

I don’t know what happened, but I think that Iomadae was not done with me yet. We searched the area. Loaded money and equipment into carts, healed the slaves. I saw through a spyglass we had found that the ships were still manned. We decided not to draw attention and get the people to safety of the Dwarven City.

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Critters Tale 8
"Critical" assault

OK….
So we was finally ready to start getting’ ugly. We had laid all our traps and found our fall back spots for attackin’ the hobgoblins. Now I had scoped us out a good spot to take out of their patrols one at a time, but we knew that would only get us so far. But when we got to the spot where we was gonna start there was a dagone dwarf layin’ on the ground all beat to hell like. So Lorick heals the rascal and he starts yappin’ ‘bout somethin’, but I can’t understand a damn thing that fool is sayin’. I just want him to shut the hell up so he don’t give us away. Anyway Al says he was saying that some fool named Beauregard or Corigats or something had beat him up and was gonna get em all killed. Anyway the fool calms down just about the time the first patrol shows up. There was three of em and they was just followin’ the path none the wiser, when the first one just falls on his face. The other two get surprised and one of em turns and high tails it back toward the goblin camp. Meanwhile Al leaps out from cover and knife’s the other one and kills em dead right there. we was worried that the other was gonna go call an alarm, but then he just falls on his face too. Turns out that Padric and put those two knuckleheads to sleep. That fellas was comin’ in mighty handy it seemed. So we flat out murder those two sleeping goblins, drag their bodies off the path, strip them of all their gear and then set about cleanin’ the trail for the next victims.
Well it wernt long after that fight when Bjorn shows up and has three more Dwarves with him. Turns out it were some uppity, important dwarf and his two meat shields. Well Bjorn cant get the fool to pipe down hardly and next thing you know the next patrol were comin’ down the trail. Next thing you know that damn uppity fool runs off right between two of the goblins on the trail. Of course he cant fight worth shit and don’t hit either of em. So they both take a swipe at the dwarf and of course they both hit. Because they was actual warriors and not some dadblamed paper pushers. So it seems that Padric puts one of those fellas to sleep too, and Al steps up and knife’s another. Then as the last was turnin’ to skedaddle I planted two arrows in his dirty carcass and he dropped like ten year olds testicles.
However it seemed that the fancy dwarf wernt satisfied with the evidence we had presented and he wanted to see the camp itself. Now I figerd them dwarves wernt the sharpest tools in the barn, but this fella was plumb stoopid. Anyhow, so we move up to our forward location, where he had a few traps set at the top of a small hill, overlooking the hobgoblin camp. However, it seemed after he saw how many folks wer millin’ about in the camp he found some sense and went off back to warn the dwarven council of what was going on. Four extra men mighta been kinda nice….well two anyhow, the one fool was a sissy and the knucklehead what got beat up was a dagone cook. Course the other two looked like they was gonna shit themselves anyhow so was probably best. But they was gone so there wernt no use cryin’ over it now.
So our plan was to send down the two lion statues and attack. That would be the signal for the rest of us to join in. So me and Beridin commands the lions to sneak down and then jump some lions hammer guy on the road nearest to where we was. They pounced on him and tore at him pretty good, but didn’t take him down. Then I fire two arrows and I hear a few other bow strings snap. Ill be damned if we didn’t all shoot them same unfortunate tower guard. We stuck him good and he were dead for he fell over. Now the camp started to wake up and they was all startin’ to mill about. We got off a couple more volleys when a fog rolled up from the shore toward us and covered the camp. We was suspectin’ it were some magic fog like Bjorn did before, but we couldn’t see crap. Well I fire into the fog in the direction of some fella I had shot already. Then someone from the camp shouts, but I don’t understand it and then Al shouts to fire into the fog because all the slaves were dead. I was like what the hell! All this to save dead slaves? That just sucks. But I fire into the fog anyhow and then there comes a couple huge flashes near the slave pits. Well we figger they was all dead but to late to cut and run now.
So we kept attackin’ but then it seemed like somethin’ happened to a few of the guys and they began lookin’ sick. That was bad timin’ cause I could hear goblins coming up the hill. I began to see some shapes in the fog and started firin’ again. I dropped a couple, but then I heard some weird noise and I got real sick. Musta been what happened to the other fellas before.
I was watchin’ all these goblins and lions hammer men coming outta the fog and up to our line, but I couldn’t do a damn thing but be sick. Suddenly there was a commotion off to my right and I think Beridin and his animals were in a fight, but I to sick to know for sure. Then I saw a couple goblins get hit by our traps and fall into the pit we had dug, but there was to many. Next thing I know the ground rumbles and drops out from under me a few inches and huge hands made of dirt leap up from the ground and snatch most of the fools comin’ up the hill. A few goblins take this opportunity to turn tail, but some came around our blinds on the left. Al jumped forward to meet them, but was out numbered. So I sic’ed my lions on one fella and stick two arrows in the other and Al drops the third.
When I got to lookin’ around after that I see Bjorn at the bottom of the hill headin toward some robed figure, but that fool blasted Bjorn and laid him out cold. Then that fella just up and vanished. At that point we all head down the hill to chase off any goblins that might be hangin around and free slaves and whatnot. Padric and myself…well mostly Padric, usin’ his spear, has the earth push all the dead guys back to the top. We was gonna need that gear to arm the slaves afterall.
We get the slaves and gear and load it up into a few carts that were at the camp, along with some coin that Bjorn and Lorick found and made for the dwarves. We were hopin’ they might let us stash the slaves there for a time, but if not maybe they would at least sell us some provisions so we could set up our own camp someplace on the island. Yes we thought about sailin’ off, but Lorick found a sight glass and said the boats still had crew aboard so we nixed that idea. Also found out later that Beridins dog got sliced up by some woman during the fight. He cried like an elf…I mean he is an elf, but still. Anyhow that’s all the talkin’ I feel like doin’ for now…so git.

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Alvanas Byanim Log 8
Hobgoblins, Orcs, and Ninja Chicks...Wait, What!? (Game 8)

The traps are readied. The fall back point is placed. Critter has found the furthest point in the woods that the hobgoblin patrols cover from the slaver camp. And it seems that the Lions Hammer do not patrol, just the hobgoblins themselves.

There is a patrol venturing up the trail when a dwarf stumbles into us speaking about something that did not matter now, if he was too loud our position would be sacrificed. Fortunately he passed out and the hobgoblins were not alerted, yet. As the small patrol of three came to the point in the trail where we could easily ambush them, Padric cast his spell, putting the first hobgoblin to sleep quickly.

I rushed the second hobgoblin in the patrol and slipped my magical dagger into its flesh. The weapon slipped into his flesh, but not very deep due to the armor that was worn. The look on the hobgoblin’s face was unlike anything I had seen before. Initially, he was offering me a smirk, believing that he had me in the perfect spot. Then I watched the agony fill his cheeks and he eyes begin to water as he was thrashed by pain. The agony gave way to a sad blankness in his eyes as his body slumped down after drawing its last breath. I let the hobgoblin fall to the ground; the dagger in my hand seemed warm as it had found one that it was meant to slay.

The third hobgoblin attempted to flee, but was overcome by Padric’s sleep spell. We finished off the two hobgoblins and cleaned up the trail. Three down and many more to go.

Now for the dwarf. Lorick healed him, as he looked heavily injured. When he was conscious again, he began to speak quickly and loudly in his native tongue. I attempted to translate what he was saying to the rest of the party, but dwarven is not a language that I normally use so it was a little rough. But he said something like—“Kkorigard has gone mad you have to save them. He is going to get us all killed. He caught me and he beat me. I pretended to be dead, he stuffed me down a shaft.”

After a brief conversation, we inferred that Kkorigard is the dwarf leader and he is selling the dwarven mines to the humans. We told him to return home and seek out Bjorn, who is in the mines at this very moment. As we finished and realizing it was time to quiet down and check on a potential patrol, Bjorn approached with three more dwarves.

The three dwarves that Bjorn brought with him were some kind of ambassador and his personal guards. They seemed to arrive to see if the stories of the hobgoblins was true. Their timing was close to when the next patrol was due to arrive.

Unfortunately, the ego of the dwarven ambassador outweighed the understanding of tactics and he rushed the hobgoblins, putting himself in danger. We were able to save the dwarf—Padric put one to sleep quickly, Critter placed two arrows into another, and I let my dagger feed on the other one. That brief battle was not enough to prove to the dwarf that that there is an issue.

This patrol was more prepared than the prior. We moved forward to our second location that we had prepared, the location prepared with a pit trap, spring traps, and blinds. From here we could see the hobgoblin camp. We could see a few Lions Hammer soldiers and a handful of goblinoids. Once the dwarf ambassador saw this area, Bjorn convinced him to return to the mines and warn the dwarven council.

Once the dwarves had left, we initiated combat—finally the hobgoblins would be punished for trying to sell us into slavery!

The rangers sent in the mystical lions and four of us prepared to drop the guard on one of the towers. As the lions attacked one of the Lions Hammer soldiers, the four of us let our arrows fly. The guard in the tower was dropped quickly with perfectly placed arrows. Blood was drawn and the enemy was rushing about.

It had been a long time since I had used a bow, probably since my childhood when I was hunting with my father. I nocked an arrow and waited until the next target was chosen by one of our more skilled archers. When I saw the next Lions Hammer soldier get hit by an arrow, I released mine. All seemed well but when I released the arrow my elbow was hit by a stabbing pain and my arrow went astray. I looked around quickly but no one was near. I readied another arrow even though my elbow hurt to pull the bow string.

I let the next arrow fly and my elbow completely gave out this time. The arrow went to the ground and I knew I would not be able to attack in this manner for a while. I crouched behind the tree near the spring trap so I could switch weapons and see where the enemy was. As I watched the battlefield, I could hear a horn bellow as a fog rolled in to cover the enemy.

The enemy had already called to us to stop the attack or the slaves would die. As the fog rolled in, I heard an orc call out in his native tongue, “Kill the slaves!” There was nothing I could do, at it appeared that I was the only one who knew what was said. I called out to everyone, “Fire into the fog, the slaves are already dead,” as bright lights and smoke rose from where the slaving pits were. Hopefully it was a ploy to get us to stop our assault.

I moved over to Critter’s side to refill his quiver with the arrows that I no longer needed when I heard a faint chime echoing across the land. Moments later I was filled with nausea and found myself unable to do anything else but focus on the sudden sickness. The enemy broke through the fog line, and their numbers had grown! It seems that someone knew we would be coming.

By the time that I was no longer ill, the enemy had breached our line. One side was breached by a female, possibly human who was very nimble and agile. If only we had met under different circumstances. The other side was breached by a few hobgoblins. The female was surrounded by the animals and a couple of party members, while the hobgoblins were closing in on Bjorn and Critter, both of which still seemed to be sick. I headed to the hobgoblins as that would be where I was most needed.

At that moment something happened that I did not understand. I rushed over and slayed a hobgoblin and suddenly the ground seemed to sink. At that moment, huge hands rushed out of the ground and pulled numerous people on the battlefield into the dirt itself. It was brief, dirt and dust floating in the air afterwards, and the battle completely changed.

Critter came my aid as he and I finished off a few hobgoblins and one of those Lions Hammer soldiers. When we finished, the nimble female was leaving the battle, not running but casually walking, while Lorick lay on the ground and appeared unconscious. Bjorn was rushing forward toward a cloaked figure, who unleashed a few spells and then Bjorn was lay unconscious. And the cloaked figure vanished! Hoping that Padric could aid Lorick, I rushed to Bjorn.

I attempted to read the scroll that Lorick had given me, but it might have been upside down for all it did was vanish from my hands in a small cloud of smoke and nothing seemed to happen. I will need him to show me what I did wrong. Good think Padric came to his aid also and was able to heal him.

The slaves were still alive. At least the orc was hoping we were just weak. The camp was cleared, with many hobgoblins running from it. We quickly went to the Commanders cabin.

After negotiating a trap—by kicking the door in—Bjorn and I get into the cabin. Inside Bjorn collected some manifests and other paperwork, proof that the Lions Hammer were against the dwarves I believe. I found a couple of spyglasses in the cabin and stepped outside to look at the ships. Lorick looked over at the five ships, at least two of them had a full crew aboard. More slaves and more hobgoblins.

At this point, I heard Bjorn calling for help in the cabin. He had been loading the treasure that we had found on to a wagon. I went into the cabin to see him and Lorick fighting a treasure chest! The chest had huge teeth and tentacles reaching from its mouth…or lid…or whatever you would call it. When it stopped fighting and let them go, we left; leaving that living treasure chest in the cabin. Unsure if it was truly defeated or not, it would be a nasty surprise for the next hobgoblin tenant.

We packed up our stuff. We had a wagon loaded with weapons, armor, and coin from the hobgoblin camp. We had 100 freed slaves to find a home. Next stop, the dwarven mines. Perhaps we can pay them for some space to house the people. Perhaps we can get supplies and artisans from the mines to help us begin building a small town. Either way, we need to get the former slaves away from the hobgoblins before some of them return.

And what of the nimble female and the mage that vanished? Perhaps they were members of the Lions Hammer. If so, we cannot return to Estilin announced. I am sure we have not seen the last of those two though. I have a feeling that they will find us.

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The Will of Iomadae
Lorick's Log

I pray wisdom of Iomadae will be garnered from the words that I pen.

My comrades and I were detained for questioning. I felt that the questioning for myself was easy enough. An elf, I forgot his name, wanted me to write the account of the encounter of with Calvin the Mad. I was truthful in the account. I asked the elf if he would be interested in giving to the fund for funerary services of the valiant and brave guards. He thought I was asking for money for myself, so he said no. I was free to go but was not at all familiar with labyrinth that was the holding center. The elf couldn’t have been bothered, so I was left to my own devices to find a way out. Fortunately, I was able to locate Al and a rather Inquisitive bard. The bard was arrested with us for some reason. Both of them were left unattended. I knocked their locks and we continued looking for our other comrades. The bard asked if I knew a particular halfling and he described Janus, I prayed please Iomadae please let me run into him, it seems Janus was trying to recruit poor souls into servitude here in this Jail.

We couldn’t find Critter and the elf ranger. He had come with news from his elf-kin and was also arrested. I was beginning to think maybe this was more than just a simple inquiry. We did however find the tortured corpse of JIminy. He had been tied down and looked as if alchemical acid had been pored into his ear. We had no time for a proper investigation. I had no weapons or armor since I thought those items would have been provocative in the interrogation. The bard had a longsword peace bound and I asked him for it. He gave me the sword and I, Iomadae forgive me, cut Jiminy’s head from his tortured body. Cleaning the blade I handed it back to the stunned Bard. I wrapped Jiminy’s head in a cloak and we left hoping that the others were not going to meet the same fate as our half-elf friend.

We met up at the Tavern where critter was staying and we happened into both him and the elf ranger. I showed the bag to Critter. We learned that Critter had been cursed with a ring of “knowing where you are and what are you up to.” I moved away from him when I learned of the ring. I was waiting for the party to decide what to do as I was thinking about who could cast speak with dead, when lo, Janus sauntered into the Tavern. I went to speak with him. He was cordial offering to buy me lunch. I told him that Jiminy was dead. He acted seemingly unphased. I asked what he knew about it. And that little bastard, may he roast in the fires of Asmodius after blistering in the radiance of Iomadae, casually said that Jiminy was alive when he poured acid in his ear. I attacked with the only weapon I had, the head in a bag. It was unbalanced and I missed him by several hands. My comrades joined in. Janus plunged a dagger in my chest and knocked the wind out of me. Iomadae started healing me as I came to. The Bard healed me completely while my comrades were having a hard time dealing with the little bastard. When a couple of solid blows were landed on Janus, he commented, “We don’t have to do this.” I responded before another syllable fell from his maniacal lips. “Yes, we do.”

When he fell unconscious from the beating, I dissolved his little body with magical acid. Justice is irony. The bard cleaned up the mess. I didn’t notice but the bard had managed to put the non-coms to sleep and Al had locked the door and retired upstairs. The barkeep came up first. He wanted to know where the halfling was. I said he left. He said he left a tab of 75 gold, I paid it. A small price to send Janus to the light. I thank Iomadae for the opportunity of ridding this world of someone so heinous. I buried Jiminy’s head in the graveyard of Desna. I begged his forgiveness for taking his head and prayed that he would rest in the warmth of Iomadae.

While we traveled I quietly thought of all that has transpired, when we strayed from the path we encountered strange and difficult lessons. When we returned to the path rewards were given. My reward was meeting and delivering justice to that horrible halfling. The price was the death of a comrade. I will see Jiminy again, but in due time, in due time.

We soon arrived at the Elven city. Since we were affiliated with a church they recognized as “friendly” the allowed us passage and trade for any refugees that we may encounter or save. Al, Critter and the elven ranger went to scout the Hobgoblin camp while we Bjorn, the bard and I went to the Dwarves. We left Bjorn their to sample their many brews and to build a report. The Bard and I joined the scouts and began to make plans to assault the hobgoblin camp. May they burn with Janus!

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Behind Bars

Padric sighed as he looked out between his cell bars. So this was to be the start of his wonderful career? He left his home and family just to be behind bars, and for no apparent reason other than his current company.

His memory of how he actually got even to this city was hazy. He remembered performing for a private group in one of the rooms of a locale tavern. It was something he had gotten used to doing since he left his home. After his song, the guests offered him a seat with a tanker of mead and a fine piece of mutton. He didn’t even consider that something was wrong when he started to drift off at the table. The guests were more than accommodating. They told him he would be fine and would earn his keep well over the next few days. That was nice of them to say, and he closed his eyes.

Bars? Really? Bars..and not the drinking kinds. He woke to find that he was in a cage on a cart being transferred from a harbor into the forest. His wrists were shackled around the bars of his individual cell as was one of his ankles. As his vision cleared, he noticed more of his surrounding. There were hobgoblins on either side of the small cart holding his cell. His backpack and weapons were tied together in the cart just behind the driver. Luckily they hadn’t gagged him, but what good would being able to sing when he couldn’t get himself out of the cage. The hobgoblins were talking and laughing as he closed his eyes again.

He opened his eyes again, praying his previous vision was just that a vision. Now he could hear two voices both speaking common, and no bars this time. He found he was sleeping on a stage with a small stool as a pillow. The two men were talking to him it would seem.

“Hey, do you think that’s the most comfortable place to sleep?”

“Gramplhum.” Was his reply as he took his hand and wiped the drool from his mouth. He blinked a few times hoping to clear some of the haze from his vision, and saw he was being address by a human and elven males.

He drew himself up to his feet holding on the stool beside him to ensure he didn’t fall. “My name is Padric MacCartaigh. I’m a bard of some note. Of course I’m an embarrassment right now it would seem.”

The human offered up his hand to Padric. “Bjorn, would be my name. Unless you happen to find comfort in the floor, you are more than welcome to accompany us to the church of Iomedae. We can probably find you a better place to stay.”

Padric put on his best smile and straightened up his leather vest. “I would appreciate that. The barkeep told me I could rest here.” He wasn’t really sure where those words had come from since his memory was still very hazy.

The three of them walked out the tavern and just a short ways to the church of Iomedae. They had no sooner walked in the doors of the church then to find themselves followed by the town guard. The guard had come to question the party that was presently staying at the church and insisted that Padric and the other accompany them for questioning.

So here he was looking up from his stool at bars again. He held a brief sigh and began to sing.

“The Voyage”

“I am a sailor, you’re my first mate
We signed on together, we coupled our fate
Hauled up our anchor, determined not to fail
For the hearts treasure, together we set sail

With no maps to guide us we steered our own course
Rode out the storms when the winds were gale force
Sat out the doldrums in patience and hope
Working together we learned how to cope
Life is an ocean and love is a boat
In troubled water that keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage, there was just me and you
Now gathered round us, we have our own crew

Together we’re in this relationship
We built it with care to last the whole trip
Our true destination’s not marked on any charts
We’re navigating to the shores of the heart”

What have I gotten myself into?

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Critter's Tale
Critter of the nine fingers and the ring of doom

Ok Sit, sit. You…you Ya little bastard get yer finger outta yer nose! Now be quiet so’s I can git to the next part.
Well Calvin had been arrested and we had acquired his belongin’s and then we went back into the church to get some shut eye. Well bright and early like the lions hammer guard comes a knocking and says we all gotta go with em for questionin’. Well we agreed, but not until after we had Al stash our junk real good. So the other fellas got led to the barracks or someplace, while I had to go see the Governess, since I had been her acquaintance before. But that aint nothing you little turds need to be worryin’ about till yer older, so don’t be askin’. So anyhow, I met with the Governess and shes all friendly like, but before I know what happened, she slipped a dagone ring on my finger and it bit down into my finger like it was alive. Hurt like a mother too, but I seem to recall she was awesome even tho I was thinking she was a dadblamed bitch for doin’ that. Anyway she jus’ lets me go after that and says she knows I didnt have anything to do the whole mess from last night and that the ring is just so she will know where I am if she were to git any free time. Well lemme twell you that was a bunch of hogwash.
Well then I head back toward the church and the guards are still there, throwin’ everything out into the road and makin’ a general mess outta things. I found Beridin the elf, who had just come back that morning and got caught up in the hoopla. He told me that a couple of them guards tried to beat him up and possibly kill him, but after dogin’ their attacks for a couple minutes they just let him go. Weird huh? So we went into the crab shack inn right across from the church since it was Bjorns favorite place to drink. Not even sure how it got that name since they didn’t even serve seafood. Anyhow it wernt long fore some of the other fellas came in. It was Al, Lorick and some fellas named Padrick that they had met that morning and also got mixed up in the trouble. Well they was meanderin’ and guess what? Na nevermind don’t bother, since I know who yer daddy’s are, you bunch of little stumps never will. It were that little knucklehead Janis. Prolly what my face looked like too. Anyhow Janis goes over to the bar and the other fellas join me and Beridin. We discuss our mornings and how bad it was going and then dagone Lorick was like, BOOM! Oh by the way Jiminy is dead. He was a good kid. Dumber than a pickaxe, but good people. So needless to say we was madder than wet hornets. That’s when Lorick just stood up and went over to sit at the bar with Janis. They was chattin’ away and then that Janis says oh yeah I poured acid in Jiminy’s ear. Course Lorick had never mentioned that part before and then smoke nearly come outta his ears. Well he swings that bag with Jiminys head in at Janis, but misses. Then Janis stabs Lorick right in the gut and Lorick falls backwards. So then Beridin takes a swipe at Janis and misses. So you can see we aint the best brawlers, but yer old gramps gets up and puts a lick on that little rascal, but the dirty dog yanks his blade outta Lorick and slashes me with it.
Well next thing ya know that dagone Padrick starts singin’ a dadblamed love song or somethin’. Now I am gonna tell ya its hard to fight with all that singin going on, but Beridin pulls out his own blade and when Janis gets up to leave he buried that thing to the hilt in Janis’ ankle and nearly cuts his whole damn foot off. Was a good thing I hadn’t eaten much that morning. So Janis is down for the count and I realize that everyone else in the place is sleepin’ . I mean the music was soothin’, but to sleep thru a fight? Anyway Lorick does some magic and then Janis’ body just dissolved. It was pretty damn nasty and past time to be getting’ outta that place. Course we couldn’t go anywhere when the lions hammer might be able to find me, so I had to have Bjorn hack off my damn finger to be rid of that ring. No it wernt ate off by no damn seamonster. I made that up to give you rugrats nightmares. Now be quiet.
We all separated for a bit until activity at the church calmed and then Al snuck back in and got all our junk he had hidden. Then we got our gear together and skeedaddled outta town, minus Jiminy and Sir Akerion, since he never came back outta the jail. So our first stop was the elves, who actually greeted us and let us in their town. We told em our plan of savin slaves and they agreed to trade with any slaves that we could get to set up our own town. So then we headed to the dwarves and had Bjorn go down and set up relations with them, while the rest of us went to scout the Hobgoblin camp. Well it were twice as big and they had five ships now, plus they had some lions hammer guards and some orc mercenaries. It wernt looking to good for us, but we was pretty sure we could pick em off one at a time.
Alright go on now until I feel like lookin’ at yer dirty mugs again.

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Alvanas Byanim Log 7
A Separation of Church and Us -- At Least for a While (Game 7)

Well the guard did as it promised—they investigated the occurrences of the night before, and they began that investigation extremely early in the morning. Unfortunately for the elf ranger who has been away for a few weeks, he got drug into this mess with another red haired fellow. Going to church first thing in the morning was bad for them.

The guard escorted us to the barracks and cells where we got all split up. I got placed in this little room with one door, no windows, poor lighting, and a large smelly half-orc guard. He begins to “intimidate” me and attempts to get me to confess to working for the man that attacked Bjorn and killing the guards or for stealing evidence. Either way, he told me I would be killed. Seemed like a lose lose situation for me.

The half-orc seemed to be getting angry, so I started to ask him questions and turn the attention somewhat away from me. Well he either got irritated or confused, so he went to lunch—leaving me all alone in the cell/room.

I gave it a little time, then popped the lock on the door. Opening the door revealed another door. That lock was a bit harder to pop; while I attempted I could hear a conversation between the elf ranger and a familiar voice. Not sure if that other voice was a guard or not, I did not draw attention to myself and slipped into the shadows.

Hiding in the shadows, I left the interior door open, that way when the half-orc returned he would no something was amiss and I could either get out behind him or jump him—depending on how careful he was. Before the junior interrogator returned though, Lorick walked by following an elf. I caught his attention—startled him a bit in the process. He helped me by unlocking door number two with the pointing of a finger! Amazing and something that I might have him put in a scroll for me for situations like this.

Anyway, Lorick and I were out of the cell with no clue where the exit was. Following the sound of some singing, Lorick and I came across the fellow, Padric was his name, that showed up this morning at such an unfortunate time. Lorick opened his door and we began heading for the exit. In passing he mentioned a halfling who offered him help for servitude, but there was no way that it was Janis. He had sailed away and out of our mess.

The three of us find Faithbringer Varathus who knew where the door was to reach freedom. Varathus explained that he wanted no part of the mess anymore, which I could understand. We made sure to get him out of here first before parting ways; though we mentioned that he could perhaps find sanctuary with Norman. Before we made it to the door and freedom we had to make one more discovery.

The corpse of Jiminy, or 5 Years to his friends. It looks like he had been beaten and his ear was nothing but a crater. How did I not hear him screaming when my room was only a few doors away?

We needed to get out by this time. Lunch was almost over and the half-orc would be back soon. Lorick hastily lopped off the head of Jiminy with a sword that the new fellow was placed in his cell with. The guards were not thorough when they checked for weapons and did the Mugsketch. We took the head and reached freedom; interesting that even though we walked past guards, they did not try and stop us. We heading for the inn and tavern across from the church, hoping that others made it.

Most of us made it out, with the exception of 5 Years and Sir. Unfortunately a halfling followed us into the tavern as well. The halfling Janis. Well normally Lorick is pretty level headed, but when he asked Janis about 5 Years, and Janis admitted that he poured acid into the ear of our friend, Lorick showed why he is a skilled Inquisitor.

The remains of Janis became nothing but an acid burned stain on the floor of the tavern. Fortunately our new companion Padric, a performer of sorts, put the potential audience to sleep before the show.

I think we learned why the guards let us go. Besides the possibility of enough information gathered from 5 Years or perhaps even Sir, Critter was gifted with a token from the governess. The token, a ring that seemed to be bonded to Critter’s finger and possessed an aura of divination. The others believed it was most likely a device to allow for scrying.

We did finally make it back into the church, and the guards did not find any of our important equipment that I had stashed—even the Spear of Summoning and Controlling that I “hid” in the hands of a statue.

A few important decisions had to be made now. Do we continue with the church building? Do we head out and deal with the hobgoblins? Does Critter get to keep his finger? With some discussion and varying opinions, we decided on no, yes, and no.

We left a note behind to get to Sir, “Meet us where it all began,” if he ever escapes from captivity, though I fear he became the individual that the Lions Hammer blamed for the church and mess. Then we left the city, followed the coast, and headed out to the hobgolbins with the last spot on our journey. The elves and dwarves would be contacted first.

The elves proved to provide some information, but would not help otherwise. Bjorn decided to stay with the dwarves after we made contact with them. The rest of us made it to the hobgoblin camp.

It has been 3 months or so since Critter and I helped to rescue Lorick, Sir, Bjorn, and 40 or so other potential slaves from the pit. Since then, the pits have tripled—two with slaves in them and 1 with bodies—and the camp seemed to double in size with new towers and Lions Hammer soldiers present.

Challenging but we can handle it. Cannot be as difficult as those cyclops.

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I will heed Iomedae
Lorick's Log

I should maintained the path that was laid before me, but was led astray and nearly forsakened by the goddess. May these words lead all who read them to the wisdom of Iomedae

Instead of trying to stop the Hobgoblin menace we decided to find out where this cyclops wall went. We found out other cyclops were breaking up rocks and others were bringing in more all about a day away. Critter tried to sneak by to see if he could see a quarry or village. The sun, though shining, didn’t shine on us. Critter was discovered and a battle ensued. Due to a bold move by Bjorn, we escaped through an obscuring mist. Jimminy summoned an elemental with his magic spear (and helmet) and I managed to deal the killing blow to one of the many cyclops. I thank the divine grace of Iomedae.

Iomedae’s lessons did not end there. We regrouped but was down a party member. Bjorn had gotten separated from us in the fight and we came to the consensus that we should return back to the dank evil of Estilin. Though critter and I searched the forests near the city walls daily, Bjorn couldn’t be found. Al had a dream that a more than normally disheveled Bjorn would return in a week. Critter and I doubted that. Again Iomadae showed me how wrong and closed minded I was. Bjorn returned in a week. Still, this was not the last lesson Iomadae had for me.

When Bjorn was more presentable, we were approached by Faithseeker Varitus. He had found a “face” for the church. The man’s name was Calvin? Was this a debacle? Yes. Not only did the candidate not have faith in a higher power other than himself, not only did he confess to a murder of at least one person, he was bat-shit crazy. Calvin raved about dragon eggs and how he slew dragons and their insurgent followers to protect this fair and wonderful city. Then somehow this loon got it in his head that we were bringing him to the church to divulge all our knowledge of dragons, eggs, and where they were hiding. Which took all of a few breaths since we knew nothing. Apparently, when Varitus contacted him he said “deacon”, but our lunatic, apparently deaf, heard “come to our church and we will divulge the most evil diabolical plot of the dragons that threaten this great and noble city and give you gold for this righteous cause that you and only you can possibly complete alone with no help.” So, Varitus, thinking that he got him an evangelist was none the wiser. Let me say once I thought I saw a dragon flying far away in the sky, it could have been a cloud. I saw drakes in the menagerie of the Night Spawn Revel but never a real dragon. I’ve heard stories but nothing I personally witnessed.

Well BJorn, being Bjorn took a “fight fire with fire” approach or should I say a “nutbag with a hammer” approach, which just made Calvin agitated. Calvin claimed that we were the one’s harboring dragon eggs. I was wondering if dragon eggs were some code or something; thinking we were missing something and that it was an honest mistake. Nope. Calvin then threatened Bjorn’s life and promised to do something really nasty. I decided to check his soul. It was full of chaos and had no direction but the whims as vivid and unstable as his hair color. He glowed with magic as bright as his eyes when he was agitated.

He returned that night as promised with 2 large black lions. He called out Bjorn. Bjorn being Bjorn now tried to diffuse the problem with playing into Calvin’s delusions. Surrendering under the strength and might of the powerful Calvin. I heard this as I put on my armor. When I made it to the vestibule Calvin was threatening an innocent. Bjorn and I had to come out to save the innocent. Calvin released her and had nothing but contempt for Bjorn, now giant size. The town guard arrived. One lion slaughtered a guard in a ferocious pounce and quickly mauled the stump where the guard’s head had been. The lion must have eaten too quickly and became ill. It vomited up the chewed head of the guard. The lion fell clinking to the ground as a small figurine. As of now we witnessed Calvin kill a guard in cold blood. He denied having any involvement to the death of the guard, of course. Apparently, Calvin became unsatisfied with killing guards (and dragons) that he turned to property damage. With a swing of his magic sword he severed a lamp post in twain. Demanding that he would end this only when we show him the dragon eggs. Bjorn just wrestled him until he capitulated, but only after Al had disarmed him. Perhaps we need a more faithful approach to this “face” instead of someone who could “entertain” the masses.

When the guard commander took Calvin into custody, I suggested that Calvin may be a spell caster and that he should have his thumbs tied. After restraint the guard commander cut off Calvin’s thumb. I was appalled. Bjorn began a debate over racial issues and I let slip that the cyclops killing was justified based on the situation. The guard commander overheard the comment and made allusions of “talking” to us about cyclops deaths along with statements of the encounter with Crazy Calvin. I tell you a good deed doesn’t go unpunished but, a little light shined on us.

Critter paid a guard to “lose” Calvin’s stuff and we got some nice things. Calvin will want them back, I’m sure. I can tell you that I’m hoping the looney, deaf, one-thumbed, cop-killing, dragon slaying, whimsical, bat-shit crazy, nut-bag spell caster who defaces public property will not make it back to the prison. Bjorn suggested to the guard captain about holding the memorial service here in the church for the guards that were killed in the battle. He managed to plug the church’s “help the orphans and widows of the Hobgoblin menace.” Iomedae as much as I disagree with Bjorn he has wisdom that I wished I possessed.

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Alvanas Byanim Log 6
The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Are to Make Fall (Game 6)

Here we stand. Three dead cyclops with Lions Hammer symbols and chances are the members of the new church will become the blame; though we are but that they do not need to know. So we must find something to do with these bodies. I suggest that we use their nets and some of the rocks to sink them to the bottom of the bay. Lorick brings up the point that if the rocks or net break free under water and the clops float up, we will have some issues. He recommends we frame them into looking like the clops killed each other. With a little work and some time, we managed to make it look just like that.

Then we head along to the wall, so see just how many more of these big guys there are. After a little more than a days walk, we come across a few cyclops breaking rocks down for the wall. Critter heads closer to see how many there are. He was doing well before he stepped on a twig or something and brought the attention of three of those cyclops. Well here we are again, another skirmish, but Sir had gone back to the church so we were down one.

This fight did not fair well. Critter and I got hurt pretty bad. Good thing that Bjorn and Lorick had ideas to get us out of there. Bjorn made a large cloud of misty fog appear which let us run. Unfortunately we ran in all different directions! Lorick, Critter, Jiminy, and I managed to meet up shortly after we escaped, but Bjorn was no where to be found.

The four of us camped that night and headed back to the city gate the next day. We were hoping to find Bjorn waiting for us, but that did not happen. We heading to the church, with the plan to head out the next day to find him. That night though, I had a dream that Bjorn returned to the church in a few days bruised and tired. Interesting that such a dream came to me, rather than one of the more spiritual ones. Either way, everyone was skeptical of the dream; but Bjorn did return to the temple in seven days.

Once he was back, Lorick, Bjorn, and Faithbringer Varatus were finding someone to be the face of the church. Sir decided to remain at the church for a bit while we continued attempting to disperse the hobgoblin menace, which we still have not truly begun. While they did that, Critter and I went out to gather supplies. When we returned, a red haired individual was screaming at the church from the streets. I paid little mind as in my experience some people get very into their worship.

That night, we are awoken to the sounds of voices. That very vivid worshiper was back outside, this time blonde or black haired, it is hard to remember as it kept changing, with two big black lions. He was calling for Bjorn to come out and give him the dragon eggs. Well this drew the attention of the city guard.

I had ducked out the backdoor and went to the side of the building. It was not long before I heard the roar of the lions, the twang of bowstring, and the opening of the door. I crept out of the ally, and decided the best thing I could do was get the very large weapon away from the crazy worshiper. Bjorn, enlarged again, spent much of the time holding the man in place. I successfully took the sword away from him and I think Critter took care of the lions, though they managed to mangle a guard or two.

The worshiper was taken away by the city guard after he gave up. Somehow Critter managed to get the guy’s equipment. I suppose that he was not going to be needing it for a bit.

After all of that was over, the guard told Lorick and Bjorn that they could not leave the city due to an investigation. So our journey is again delayed, supposedly for just a day. That did give me some time to master some new skills though, finally learning how to dispatch an enemy from behind. It is a good thing that I have kept in some contact with the thieves in town to help teach me a few things.

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