Heroes of Estilin

Critters Tale
catching up

Ok who’s ready for the next bit?
Alright, alright settle down. So after we fought off that pack of dogs we decided to go to our right and try to skirt the swamp. See no one wanted to try and swim that bit of water on account that it might be creepin’ with crocs. Well at some point we come across what seems a man slowly stumblin’ along toward us, but we soon discover it were a dead fella. We was like holy moley! One of the churchier fellas went up and did somethin’ and that dead guy fell over dead all over again. however, the dead guy had some weapons and armor so we began outfittin’ ourselves. As we walk on we start seein more of the walkin’ dead and a small house in a clearing.
Suddenly we hear a woman scream from inside the house and hurry up and decide that the three holy fellas, Bjorn, Lorick and Sir Akerion should go in and rescue the damsel. Meanwhile, Me, Alvanas and Jiminy stays outside whackin’ the dead and stackin’ em up. So it seems like those fellas were in the house a long time and we was like, it aint that big a place. So Jiminy decides to go in to see whats goin’ on. Me and Al continued to beat down the never ending flow of dead guys and check out the area around the house. At the back of the house we found a cellar door, so Al opened it up and suddenly a dagone elf came rushin’ up outta there. Scared the living shit out of us! Said his name was Beradin or some such and that he had been locked in there for a dadblamed year. A freakin’ year! Can you believe it? anyhow, against better judgment, which you will find is Al’s way of doin’ things, he goes down into that very same cellar. Course he comes right back up and says the place is empty.
Just about then we see Jiminy come back outta the house and he was carryin’ somethin’. He tells us that the house is cursed and that the other fellas are trapped in there. Says the only way out was to eat a spoonful of ashes from some dead fellas vase. Hell yeah that’s the same look we had. Then the elf says there is a door in the cellar that leads to the house, so that crazy fool Jiminy goes in there to see if he can let the other fellas out that way. Ill be dammed if that cellar door didn’t close shut right behind him. So we cant get the door open, but a couple minutes later it pops open and he comes out. Tells us he had to eat a couple more spoon fulls of that mans ashes.Yikes!
After that Jiminy goes back in the front door and soon after all four of them come out and we light the dang house a fire. We can see the cursed fool inside runnin’ ‘round like a chicken with its head cut off, waving his arms all ‘round and screamin’ like a girl. Course he was on fire.
When it was all over we all had some better clothes, armor and weapons than we had before and a new elf pal. Now Beradin tells us there is a large city on the island and it is near the elven city. He tells us that his kin prolly wont welcome us, and it turned out to be true when we got there. So we just head off toward what he named the city of Estilin. Once we get in there the holy trinity start inquirin’ about their church and so we head over there. But on the way we see a group of hobgoblins leadin’ a bunch of folks chained up and that when we learn that slavin’ is legal like in this city. We almost get into a tangle with those hobgoblins but we manage to calm Lorick and Bjorn down enough to move on.
So when we get to that town we start searchin’ for the church of Iomidae since a couple of the fellas was of that faith. So we find the church, but its empty and after some investigation we learn that the new government has run em off. Well we spend a couple weeks trying to get the curch up and runnin’ again, which included several nights with Bjorn in the taverns buyin’ rounds and rallyin’ the patrons to the cause. Anyhow that turned out to work and before ya know it we had a full house.
Somewhere mixed into all of that Lorick ends up buying some kids who were gonna be auctioned as slaves. Now see how good you little bastards have it? Well anyhow, there is another fellas there tryin to do the same and I had to talk him out of lynchin’ Lorick. So we end up makin a deal with this fella Norman to keep any kids we rescue at his farm and at times some can be at the church learnin trades and whatnot. Also we strated tryin to get in good with the thieves guild so they might be able to smuggle people out or deliver messages for us. During all of that we decide that maybe disruptin’ the hobgoblins might be our best bet to cripple the slave trade.
So we get our gear and supplies and head out back toward the hobgoblins we tangled with back in the beginning. Well we never got far before we see a dagone rock wall all the way from the beach and off into the jungle. We was like this damn thing weren’t here before as far as we remembered. While we was ponderin’ we hear a large something coming from the jungle so some of us goes and hides there. Then three cyclops’ come outta the jungle haulin rocks for the wall. When they get to the three holy fellas Lorick asks em what the heck their doin’, the clops ask if they was their tokens. Well we had no dadblamed idea what they was talkin about, but after a short bit a banter we decide tokens must be people and the Cyclops was eatin em. Now I cant remember how it turned to blows, but next thing you know one of them clops snatched Bjorn up outta his boots. Then that Bjorn grows to be bigger than the damn clops! Course a fight ensues and we wasn’t doin to bad, but then Sir Akerion takes a nasty shot and gets dropped like a rock. Lorick heals him up and I start firin’ arrows from the jungle. Well the fight goes our way luckily and we kill all three clops’. Course there was a bit a controversy over at least one of the killings, but Ill not mention that bit. So we try to hid them big ole bodies and decide to head to see how clops’ there might be and what we might be up against since they was wearin’ lions hammer sigils.
Well we go till dusk and then set camp. The next mornin’ we head out again and a few hours in we come across three more dagone clops’. Well somehow they hear us and of course another fight breaks out. This time we are not doing as well as the first time. Yer ole gramps gets knocked for a loop, but survives. Anyhow, we were getting’ beat bad until one of the holy three casts some sort of spell that creates a fog. Someone yells run and so I ran! Well we all meet back at the city except Bjorn. We was gonna go look for him, but Alvanas says he had a dream that Bjorn would return in a few days bruise but alive, so we wait. Ill be damned if Al wasn’t right. Few days later that dagone Bjorn walks into the church.
Course you know our luck of easy times had gone on long enough because Lorick and Bjorn interview a fella about preachin’ at the church, while me and Alvanas went out to pick up more equipment for us. Well when we get back some crazy fool is standing outside hollerin about dragon eggs and such and makin a dagone spectacle of hisself. Well he tells Bjorn he aint gonna see tomorrow. True to his word that knucklehead comes back that evening with two big black lions. The fool, Calvin he called himself, was callin Bjorn out when some city guard came along. Well Calvin sics them lions on the guards and one of em gets mauled straight off. So Lorick and Bjorn step in and try talkin the fool down, but I fire a couple arrows at him anyhow. Then Bjorn gets big again and begins wrestlin’ with the guy. As they are goin back and forth, Alvanas sneaks up behind the fella and knocks his sword loose from his hand and drags it off. Hahaha! He couldn’t even lift the damn thing. He had to drag it off. So we get the lions down, which turns out to be some sort of magic items, and the guards shackle Calvin after strippin him of his gear. They haul that dirty dog off to the big house, but in the meantime I make a deal with one of the guards to “lose” Calvins stuff. Turns out that was a smart move too.
Alright now I don’t want to spoil the next part so off with ya!

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Finding the path
Lorick's log

Its been a few days since I wrote. I pray the light can be found in these words.

We attempted to contact the thieves guild. I dressed myself as a mark and hoped to encounter a possible street urchin or the like. To my surprise a woman bumped roughly against me. She tried for my money and I managed to retain my purse. She ran. Al gave chase and tackled her to the ground. I noticed a couple of men watching near the entrance to a nearby alley. If they noticed I saw them I have no idea, but they disappeared. Al seemed to need help with the young thief and I helped him bring her to the same alley. I didn’t want to hurt anyone as it may have made our task more complex. When we entered the alley, before I could speak she ripped Al’s hand with what looked like fish hooks. She vaulted nimbly over some crates that looked to slow down people who weren’t as nimble. Which worked. Poor Al missed the crate slipped and face planted on some caltrops. I should have been paying attention because I didn’t make the jump either. I landed on Al and then with a shattering of glass we were on fire. I think I heard Critter chuckle to himself as he mumble how this would make a good story, as he knocked an arrow in the direction of the assailant. I created water to dose the flames. Things were quickly spinning out of control. I announced that we were seeking a business arrangement with the guild. I offered sanctuary and healing to the thieves if they were to aid in a number of tasks that would hopefully free the city from tyranny. They were leery and said they would be in touch. I left 3 gold, all that was in my purse, under some trash in the alley, assuming we were still being watched.

The mass went well. No one was arrested and no fights broke out. I know not if the Governor was making a statement with her black hooded hangers-on. The guard peace bound their weapons. Bjorn through a party afterward. He’s doing well as a true priest. He really knows his way around the hum-drums of the church.

We went to Norman’s farm. The children seem to be healthy and we discussed housing children in the church if they wish to apprentice with towns craftsmen or the church. What bothered me was the comment of one of Norman’s guards. He said, “No matter what, you (us) have no authority there.” I didn’t say anything but I remember what Father Bishop said to me under the same circumstances. “When does the sun not have authority on the world even darkness has light and that light is Iomedae.”

We met with a former Priest of Iomedae. Faithbringer Vartitus who would handle the day to day business of the church including finding some one to be the “Face” of the church when Bjorn and Sir ??? are not around. If I’m going to mediate between the Overt and Covert portions of the church I need not be in the spot light except for the occasional sermon. I feel that some of the actions of Inquisitors need to be kept from my fellow priests.

We decided to attack the slave trade as well as seek allies with the dwarves. I for one was glad. I can’t sit by without doing something. Less than a day away we discovered a newly constructed wall. It was three feet high and ran from the beach to somewhere in the jungle. It was being constructed by three vile cyclops. They were commissioned to build this wall. Strategically, the wall seems to serve no purpose. The vile cyclops were paid in food they called tokens. A token is a slave. We fought them. We prevailed. Bjorn killed one in combat and knocked one unconscious. I killed the unconscious cyclops. Bjorn wanted to keep the remaining one alive. We argued for a time. That we couldn’t let him go or he would devour more innocent people or track us down with his tribe of 40+ cyclops brethren. If he stayed he could be our slave, in essence, until he stood trial. But if the city hired them; we could be arrested for killing them. Which easily could be the excuse the governor would need to shut the church down and all hope would be lost. Also, if we were to take him with us, the monster would give away our position at the first opportunity and/or kill us. Al made our decision by slitting the monster’s throat and then it turned to dirt. Not sure what happened there. I did see Jiminy’s staff glow, but why dirt?

I and Sir had no problem with Al’s actions. He did what needed to be done. The monster was restrained so perhaps we could have freed him and allowed him an honorable death. Bjorn was agog. So I assigned Al 20 boom-shaka-lakas and a administered a slap on the hand. Bjorn was not happy. He’s young and he crushed the other cyclops so I think he’ll understand with time.

What to do with the bodies. We could either use them or dispose of them. I feel disposal would be best. We have lots of paths before us, but only one to victory. The light will prevail. We must follow Al’s example and stay the path. Destroy the Hobglobins, leave none alive. Send their evil souls to burn in the light! So say I, Inquisitor of Iomadae!

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Critter's Tale
We weren't alone

Grandpa Tell us more about the Heroes of Estilin!
Ok now wer was I?…..Oh yeah, we had done jus come up from the hole and we had made camp. Now we was perty tired and hungry by now and so hunkered down to catch some shut eye after we had us a quick meal of the strange fruits that was fallin from the tress. Now I took first watch and bout the time the other two was drifting off, That young rascal Jiminy hops up and ‘nounces he figures he got the shits. Me and Alvanas was like what in the hell! Boy had a poor constitution if ya ask us. You rug rats didnt spect yer gramps new such big words didya? Anyhow, Jiminy wanders off a bit to dig his self a cat hole, but ends up he’s gone fer quite a bit of time. Me and Al decides we should go find him, so we meander in the direction he took out at.
Wasn’t long ‘fore we come out near a clearing and find a bunch of other folks climbin’ out of a dagone hole. Yeah we had that same look on our faces too. Turns out Jiminy had stumbled into the thing in his haste not to soil his self. Well it also turns out this was the place where the hobgoblins were bringin’ some of the slaves ashore, and they was none to pleased to see their cargo escapin’. So theres a short skirmish and a lot of runnin’ and hiding going on at this point and we send Jiminy off with most of the folks, while me and Al and three other fellas try to draw them off.
In the chaos me and Al end up down by the shore where we find row boats tied up. Also out in the bay are three slaving ships anchored. We start thinkin’ it may be good to row out there and take one of them boats and sail the hell away from this crazy island, but we was conflicted ‘bout leavin’ Jiminy. Ended up that made no nevermind cause right then and there all those dadblamed people shows up with Jiminy and those other fellas. We all decide to jump in the small boats and skedaddle. We row out to one of the ships and someone tries climbin’ up the anchor chain, but was not having good luck, when suddenly a couple hobgobilns go flyin overboard. We was all like; Shit! Low and behold it was that damn Halfling Janis! Crikey, I shout, screw that noise. Jiminy turns all pale and Al says no way in hell he’s getting’ on that ship with Janis. So the three of us and three other fellas, Sir Akerion a Paladin of iomedae, Bjorn, a clergyman of unaligned goodness and Lorick, an inquisitor, also of Iomedae, make our way toward another of the ships. However that little rascal Janis aint havin’ no part of that. He starts firing the cannons from his ship at the other and blowin them out of the sea. So we say the hell with that and make wake down along the coast away from Janis and the dagone hobgoblins.
Well we finally make shore when we lay eyes on what seems a giant glass slide, coming down from the volcano. Now not knowing anything about this island really, we decide to follow that tube toward the mountain. We walk for a couple of days through all sorts of treacherous terrain, but the worst was the swamp we found ourselves in when we got close. We was dee baitn’ whether to swim across the last stretch of swamp water to the mountain, and try to avoid bein’ gator chow, or going round, when all the sudden a pack of Mangy, wild mutts ran in on us. Now we had to fight for our lives and us only having a ragtag bit of weapons and ner a scrap of armor amoungst us. Rabid hounds was harrying us from all sides and we was swingin’ and slashin’. We weren’t doing to bad and had felled a decent number when that damn fool Jiminy up and ran off into the underbrush. Well good for us cause them dogs all chased after him like he was hauling a sack of dried meat. Well we go after the rascal so he don’t become chow and we find him standin’ near the edge of the swamp dazed and the dogs running off. Well come to find out a huge gator lunged out of the swamp and snatched one of them there hounds and the rest tucked tail and split. Lucky for Jiminy it was.
Ok time to give Gramps a breather, now go outside.

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Alvanas Byanim Log 5
A Short, Short Adventure (Game 5)

Progress within this city is challenging. Between building a church, finding allies, and making sure we can fund it all, our small group seems to be pulled in all directions.

To help with one of these needed tasks, Lorick, Critter, and myself set off to determine if the city had a den of thieves present. Lorick dressed in his finest and placed his purse visible. Critter and I followed at a distance watching for something to happen. A thief, I presume, attempted to steal from Lorick who noticed immediately. The thief ran, but in an instant of poor judgement I tackled her in the street.

She got away from me by tearing the flesh of my hand. We gave chase, but unfortunately I tripped over a crate, landed in caltrops, Lorick landed on my back, I was burned and on fire, and finally I was doused with water. Well, the thieves had noticed us. Lorick attempted to recover the situation by offering them free healing at the church. Did it work? We do not know yet. If they come to us, it worked.

The morning after this fiasco was the mass that the Governor was attending. I stayed upstairs watching the streets for possible situations. Nothing happened.

After the services, Sir brought a heavily cloaked individual upstairs. He presented himself as Faithbringer Varatus (sp?), the former head priest of the temple. He explained that he was the last, with the rest of the temple members going missing. He claims the church might have been closed legally on paper but there was some unsavory events that lead up to it.

He knew a few things of the city, which helped to confirm somethings that we suspected and opened up other things that added to the mess. Witches for one. Just what we need, a force of witches.

Faithbringer Varatus hesitantly agreed to help keep the church open while we traveled to the other parts of the island to find funds, find the dwarves that Critter, 5 Years, and I formerly met, and dispatch some of the hobgoblins. He wants to stay in the background, which is fine as he can place a puppet up as the temporary “face” of the church.

We set out for a long journey. At least a month and a half of travel. Though I think the fresh air will help us sort out the issues in the city.

About half a day out, we encountered a new wall being poorly constructed. It was being built by a trio of, from what I could tell, inexperienced cyclops. The cyclops were angry about not getting their “token” and in time attacked.

The fight was rough. I was unable to do much in the fight with a small dagger against such a large enemy. One of the cyclops drop Sir. Fortunately Lorick was close to aid him. Most of the fight was handled by Bjorn, who again used his ability to grow to make himself larger than the enemy.

In the end, the trio was either defeated or surrendered. One cyclops that surrendered was bound by Bjorn and interrogated. After learning that the Governor was most likely the one who commissioned the wall and that there were about 40 more of his kind building the wall. Once the information was gathered, the party faced a division.

Some of the party felt that the cyclops prisoner needed to either come with us or be freed. Others felt that the cyclops needed to be dispatched. This division caused some arguments over what to do and what could happen. If we brought the monster, could we sleep safely? If we freed the monster, would he no longer eat innocent people? How could anyone consider just killing a prisoner without trial as justice?

The argument was going no where. I figured, the party might turn on me, but something needed to be done before we become two groups! So I took my dagger, went up to the cyclops, and slipped the blade into his throat before anyone could stop me. The death for the cyclops was quick, as he turned to dirt! I am not sure what happened, perhaps the cyclops had been a creation of magic or cursed as it was.

The party did not turn on me for the action. Not all members were satisfied with my actions either. I am sure that my decision will affect me later, perhaps a member of the group will not trust me. But the action of killing the prisoner is my burden and it will not weigh me down.

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Three days bound in hell
Lorick's log

I need to be more careful with my righteous fury.

Since I last wrote several things have transpired. I pray that wisdom will be found in these words.

We spent the night in the church. We tried to find information of where we are in the sea. We encountered a cartographer whose avarice was beyond his loyalty. He told us that there was no trade with the outside world except for a group called the Lion’s Hammer. I don’t know of this “empire” he calls it. This town was taken over by the Lion’s Hammer to make weapons. Merchants are well paid to keep shops open and slaves work the weapon areas, mining and the like. The closest port is Pathoro (sp). Its like that place is always haunting me. I can’t be rid of it. The plague was so horrible.

I went to the slave auctions and bought 15 sickly children for well over three hundred gold. I remember what the Night Spawn Revel did to children under the guise of candy breads and pretty smiles and all i wanted to do was help them. One of my opponents, Norman?, wanted to buy the children and I didn’t know who he was. Later I found out he was a good soul and we are going to check and make sure that he can take care of the children with the churches help. I’m hoping they will be safe. I managed to heal them and give them water. I marched them in chains to the church, I removed the chains as soon as they were safe. I didn’t want them to wander and be nabbed by someone who may not be as honorable as myself and associates. We fed them, clothed them, and hopefully some will choose to follow the light. There is a slave auction every week we need more gold to save as many as we can.

Knowledge is power. So Father Bishop says. We need more. I hate to resort to this but the thieves guild may have everything we need as well as the knowledge we seek. I’ve dealt with thieves guilds before. You go in with nothing but gold and maybe you come out with what you want and, sometimes, just your life. Hopefully they can be used to further the cause of the Light.

Bjorn (sp)? Decided to place a bulletin board of church member’s accomplishments. I don’t think sleeping with the governor should qualify. It seems that Critter, my ranger comrade, had an awesome=good night with the governor. I took down critter’s “accomplishment” since there are children around.

I met the governor. She was aloof. I was just as aloof. I was returning the chains from the auction house and she was there. I knew she was the governor but I acted as if I didn’t know. We were followed, I know it; from the action house to the Jaded Branch were Al and I dined that evening. I didn’t get a good look at who was following. I think that my goal at getting the government’s attention is a success. I invited, her honor, to Mass on Friday, two days from now. I may be arrested but I pray the Light uses me to bring about change in this horrid Land.

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The Heroes of Estilin
Snatched and Stranded

Grandpa, Grandpa tell us a story! Tell us about the dragons! No tell us about the seamonsters! No tell us about the Giants!

Now hold on there you bunch of rascals. Settle down settle down, im just one old man. Gimme a minute. Ok I got one. So quiet now. I’ll tell ya the tale of how I became one of the heroes of Estilin…

Now it wasn’t to long back I was layin’ under the stars in the hills just up from Koranth. I had stopped to make camp after I had dropped some folks off in town, who I’ld taken on a hunting trip. The fire was low by now and my squirrel supper had gone down nice and easy. I was thinking I might make my way over to Lake Tolfir to see some friends, when I must have drifted off to sleep.

I had fitful dreams of Goblins, now I don’t much care for them goblins, and traveling to somewhere. It seemed I was in and out of sleep, but I couldn’t make myself wake up fully. Anyhow, when I finally came to, the world was tipping this way and that, and it took me a few minutes to shake out the cob webs. That’s when I realized I was on a dagone boat! And in Shackles to boot! Course it turns out I wernt the only fella in this predicament. I was chained up to two other fellas and a bushel ‘o corpses. Now I assumed they was corpses at first cause I couldn’t really tell if the smell were them or me, but it soon came to light it were them. So the other two fellas turns up was a skinny fella named Alvanas and a younger fella named Jiminy. I was like who in the Hell names their kid Jiminy! But it’s possible I aint got room to talk.

Well the three of us was trying to figure how we got on this here boat and how we got chained together. Seems none of us could remember gettin snatched. I managed to free one of my hands from the cuff, but it tore me up good, so I was a bit leary bout doin’ it twice. However, we hear another voice and we discover it belongs to a short fella name of Janis. Turns out he’s a hafling. Now Janis offers to unlock us all, well not Jiminy, on the count of him being part elf I rekon. Anyhow, the only way he’ll agree to lettin’ us loose is by us swearing to one year servitude. Now I had one hand loose and might be able to get the other, but there wernt no way I was gonna be able to free my feet the same way. So Alvanas and me say we’ll serve, and good to his word Janis gets us loose. Im thinkin ‘bout this time he’s some sort of rougish fella, but I keep that tidbit to myself. Course Jiminy starts complainin’ bout Janis not lettin’ him loose too. Alvanas and me discuss with Janis that three fellas might be better than two, since Janis explains he wants us to attack the hobgoblins who are sailing this boat, in the eminent assault. Janis sets him loose, but not after makin Jiminy agree to five years servitude. Me and Alvanas were like it sucks to be that guy, but what can you do.

So the three of us devise our plan of attack, which included using Jiminy as bait when we opened the hatch, and try to lure the hobgoblins down to the hold to kill them off. So we throw open the hatch and a hobgoblin sees and starts hollerin’ down at us. Now here’s the real genius part of the plan. When the hobgoblin starts down the steps Alvanas, who is hidin’ under em is to grab his feet so he trips, then I’ll jump him and whack em and take his weapons. Course I had to break some poor sots femer in half to use as daggers, and im hopin’ his ghost don’t haunt me much fer that.

So surprisingly the plan actually begins to work. The hobgoblin is hollerin’ at Jiminy and starts down the steps. Now this is the part where stuff gets a bit tricky. First the hobgoblin is wielding a crossbow, and that don’t look good for Jiminy one ounce. Second it turns out that Alvanas is just to skinny and the hobgoblin to heavy to pull him off his feet. However, with some luck Alvanas manages to knock the dirty rascal on his face. Now at this point I leap on the dog, jabbing him with that fellas leg bones, but it aint doin a lot of good. Then I get an idea. Ill just take his short sword that’s hangin’ right there on his belt. Boom! One of us has to be the brains. Then a second hobgoblin begins to come down and that Jiminy starts shoutin’ al-a-peanut-butter-sandwiches! And then a bunch of crazy lights and that makes the second Goblin fall face first on top of the other one. Course me and Alvanas were like, What the, could have mentioned that trick a bit earlier yeah? Its was right about that time when the Halfling shows back up and low and behold he had set the dadblamed boat alight! This situation was getting ugly fast. So we manage to dispatch the two goblins what had tripped on the steps and we climbed over their bodies to the deck. The other goblins were lowerin’ a life boat down, on account of the boat burnin’ up, so we all made a bee line for it. Now I never met a Halfling what could out pace me, but Ill be dammed if that Janis didn’t just blaze past us all toward the life boat. Now hear this! That dirty dog dropped caltrops in front of the rest of us as he fled. WTF! Who asks fellas to be in servitude and then tries to kill em, all within a few minutes of each other. On top of that he slammed the hatch on Jiminy and we wasn’t sure he was gonna get out before bein’ burned alive!
Good news is that we all made it over the side ‘fore the ship sunk, but now we was floatin on the high seas on top of barrels. Janis had landed in the life boat but got in a skirmish with a hobgoblin and was pulled under. We never saw him re-surface, so we said good riddance, and started kickin’ our way toward this Island which we was near. So we get to the island and realize all we got is a couple barrels of stinky goblin fish and a barrel of rum. So we was mopin’ around thinkin’ we was gonna starve, when we see that the fish have attracted a whole mess of crabs on shore, so we snatch em up and have us an all-you-can eat crab leg dinner. After that we just crashed for the night.

So the next mornin’ we figure we should figure out where we was, so we start walkin down the beach. Next thing we know there was that dirty rascal Halfling Janis. Ah crud, we say to ourselves, cause now we are back in servitudism. Not good. So Janis starts bossin’ us around again and we all head off to see what we can see. Well we come across this hatchway in some stone outcropping and it has a ladder. So we send Jiminy down there to check it out. I mean that fella was down right gullible. But it turns out it were a mine. Janis starts bossin us find the gold and steal it for him. Now we wernt the stealin kinds, but we decide to investigate anyhow. Alvanas and me went down one tunnel and Janis and Jiminy down the other, but soon enough we come out of our tunnel and there is Janis and jiminy standin there starin at this big wall.

Now at this time we send jiminy over to see whats there and it turns out it belongs to a band of dwarves, and they are none to happy to have us skulkin around down there. So Jiminy or Alvanas one, that parts kinda fuzzy, tells the dwarves that we were servin Janis and he was tryin to make us find and steal their gold. Well that makes their blood boil and they take us all captive. So next mornin’ they bring us all to this room and they have the Halfling tied up to some contraption sayin’ they’re gonna execute him. Now ‘bout that time there was a huge quake and the whole thing comes crashin down so me, Alvanis and Jiminy scram. We get back to the tunnels what brought us down and start makin fer the exit. But as we’re hauling tail up there we see a huge minin’ machine start scootin into place to come down the tunnel we was in. it wasn’t looking good fer yer old gramps, but at the last moment I spy a lever to the side and I pull it. And guess what? The machine stops, so we run past. On the way up the ladder, jiminy pulls another lever on this side and the machine starts down the tunnel again toward the dwarves. Course we didn’t stick around for that endin’. We made like a mule train and hauled ass. Then we found us a good place to catch some shut eye, but we never saw that Halfling come outta that hole so we said good riddance.

Well that’s all fer now. Y’all git.

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Alvanas Byanim Log 4
Information Gathered and Slaves Purchased! (Game 4)

We continued learning about the City of Estilin, where we currently call home. Faced with several decisions, we chose to look at two paths: build a congregation and learn who is buying the most slaves. As well as those primary goals, we needed to learn about the area, so we found a cartographer, the last one in town.

Bjorn negotiated with the cartographer to get some information. We learned several things about the area, both from a geographical aspect as well as a social. The cartographer assured us the conversation will be private, but we will see.

What did we learn:

1) This is an isolated island not an island chain.
2) The next closest city/country is Plathoro, northwest about 2 to 3 weeks by ship.
3) Island has the human city with a dwarven mine within the mountain/volcano as well as a small dwarven group elsewhere on the island, the elven community 3 and a half miles from Estilin.
4) There is one slave contractor with the city.
5) The hobgoblins are the middle man between The Army of the Lions Hammer and the Dwarves/Humans who are making weapons for the army using slaves.
6) The Dwarves created the piping to divert the lava flow from the city, as the volcano is active.
7) Any trade merchant is turn away unless it is one of the slavers/arranged vessels.
8) The cartographer creates fake maps to sell to the outbound untrusted ship captains.

We did buy a map of the island, a map of the surrounding area out to 3 weeks travel, and we recycled an old map that was for the surrounding area up to 5 months travel.

After we gathered the information at the cartographer, we began building a congregation from the bars. Bjorn rallied people up while Lorick, Critter, and myself help keep the crowd inspired. We ended the night by having a small gathering at the cathedral, which according to Critter drew the attention of armored guards.

The next day, with Critter having not returned from the night before, Lorick and myself bought new clothes to change our appearance and went to the slave auction. The walk up to the 25th level is horrible.

The auction was very beneficial. We met up with Critter just prior to the auction, who sat with the spectators. Lorick and I sat with the bidders. The auction began with sick children, that Lorick purchased, drawing attention to us from one individual who stormed out of the auction house. While watching the auction, Lorick and I noticed a uncontested big spender, an olive skinned female who was decorated in full armor.

After the auction we learned that she is the governor of the city.

So the individual that had stormed out of the auction house, Critter met up with and learned that he, Norman, was attempting to purchase the children to save them as well. He arranged a meeting with us, Bjorn and him has some issues, but we came to an arrangement. Together we would find the best place for the now free children.

Now we have more questions that need answers, more information to find, a need to earn money as we do not own the temple that we are using, and the governor is coming to the cathedral for a sunrise mass.

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Alvanas Byanim Log 3
And How Did We Miss This? (Game 3)

Recovering from the skirmish with the dog pack, we put some distance between us and that location that we fought them. No need for more of those Crocodiles to visit.

The lake seems to be a moat that is surrounding the volcano. And if there is a non-natural moat there should be a civilization. We set off to find the entrance.

As we traveled we came across some chanting and a dark figure. Bjorn and the others that are more aligned to the divine powers determined that the individual was undead. They vanquished him quickly. We continued after taking the few items that the undead had; Sir was finally protected by armor!

As we continued we encountered more of those undead and a cabin. The undead seemed to be non-aggressive, but as they were unnatural we needed to get rid of their evil anyway. We split up, Critter and myself stayed outside to handle the undead while the others entered the cabin to deal with the evil presence that they had sensed.

The undead were easy to handle. Critter and I piled up equipment that the party could use. But the undead seemed to be endless. So we looked for the source. Circling the cabin we came across a basement door that was wide open and the undead were coming out of there, as well as a elf who came darting out!

The elf told us that he had been in there for a year and could not get out. The door just opened and let him free. Perhaps when we opened the front door the back door opened? Anyway, I needed to stop the river of undead, so I went in.

The basement was empty. Very anti-climatic. But I was free to leave the basement. And when I got outside the undead were still coming out though there was nothing in the basement. Perhaps the rest of the party should not have gone inside.

Critter and I go to the front door, where 5 Years exits—but vanishes! A few minutes later 5 Years comes out holding an urn. He explains that he ate some of the urn’s contents and could leave the cabin. We talk with the rest of the party through the door, they need 5 Years and the urn back. 5 Years reenters.

I do not know how, but somehow the rest of the party gets out of the cabin, which is then determined to be burned because the inhabitant is eating people. We burn the place down and watch the inhabitant bash his head against the wall until he falls over. I had priorly attempted to end his suffering earlier, but the window would not break.

Putting the cabin behind us, we head off toward a city of elves, home of the one that we rescued from the cabin.

The city of elves would not allow us to enter and we were lead to a large city instead. This city was huge. It was built on the side of the volcano, the side opposite the pipe. How we missed this city is unknown, but we did.

The city is not without its issues. The slave trade is strong here. Boats of hobgoblin captives are sold here every Wednesday in building 11 in the 25 level of the city. We almost bought a slave to get that information. Also the temple of Sir’s deity is vacated—or was forced to vacate based on what we understand.

We are at a dilemma now. Do we reopen the temple? If we do we need a pile of resources and a full following quickly. Do we stop the slaving? If we do it will be challenging as it is legal! We do seem to have an ally in the Temple of Desna. At least for now.

Considering our situation. I think I will learn some new skills. Being a little more stealthy and being able to blend into this city is going to be vital if I am to help stop this slavery!

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Alvanas Byanim Log 2
A Volcano with Plumbing (Game 2)

With the dwarves behind us, Critter, 5 years, and myself headed back into the jungle. The salted fish and rum were left behind, and we were out of crab meat so food was scarce again. Critter was able to identify this fruit that we could eat, though it did not agree with 5 Years. Probably his elven lineage.

As 5 Years was dealing with his food issues, he was gone for a while. Critter and I set out to find him and found something else instead. More captives and hobgoblins. Some of the captives seem more resilient than the others, having orchestrated a means of getting out of a pit.

5 Years took what seemed to be a band of weaker captives back to the dwarves to hide. Critter and myself headed to the shore where boats awaited. We could see three ships on the sea and a means to freedom. The hobgoblins would not have any part of that, sending forth a more menacing hobgoblins wielding a sword of fire. I remember looking at the crude blade in my hand and back to that sword of fire—laughing on the outside and crying on the inside. Before anything could happen the other captives made their way to Critter and me.

Rather than facing a foe that we would have no hope in defeating, we placed the boats in the water and made our way to the ships.

The door to freedom was closed though, when a familiar voice, the voice of a prior captor, the voice of a halfling echoed from the deck of the closest ship. With an offer of servitude and an impass, Critter, 5 Years, myself, and a few other prior hobgoblin captives chose to stay on the island. The halfling, Janis, had bested us again but at least we were not in servitude.

Leaving some distance between the ships, the hobgoblins, and us, we stayed in the rowboats until morning when we went back to shore. With the help of our new companions, Bjorn, Sir, and Lorick we began seeking something else on the island.

And something else we found, a huge clear pipe exiting the volcano and out to sea. We made the decision to follow the pipe, after all someone must have built it. We decided not to go into the pipe but rather travel at the base, which was a good idea when we say a plume of molten rock flow out of the pipe!

As we traveled, the land changed to a more swamping area. There were large mounds of grass and sticks that Critter call Crocodile Dens. At the time I did not know what a Crocodile was, but I do now. We found a safe area to camp one night, away from those dens where a large pack of dogs found us.

The dogs were hungry and there were many of them. We fought them off, holding our own with our backs to each other and the water edge of a pond or small lake we had found. 5 Years tried to run for it when the fight was going poor on that side of our small band. His running saved us though, for the dogs chased him. Before the dogs could catch 5 Years, a great beast viciously leaped from the water and grabbed on of the dogs. The dogs scattered, 5 Years was safe, and I now know what a Crocodile is.

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Lorick Vryce Brother of the silver circle

After spending time in this part of the world I remember that lessons and hope can be garnered from the recorded trials and tribulations in the holy writs of Iomedae. I searched for anything as I explored this dead edifice and found nothing but a pile of dusty holy symbols, I took one and now wear it proudly. Perhaps more priests will rally to it.

I was able to purchase some ink, quills and parchment and decided to write down my trials and tribulations so that perhaps someone will find lessons and truths in them long after I’m gone.

This is the account of Lorick Vryce, brother of the Silver Circle, Inquisitor of the Emerald Order of Iomedae.

My arrival:

I was tracking down the last of a decadent order known as the Night Spawn Revel, at least the last one assigned to me. I managed to track him down in the port town know as Arrienhiem and after securing him in a cell for transport I decided to go to the local inn and tavern, the Pig and Whistle I believe it was called. It was cold and I was tired from my quest. I was planning to book passage to a port closer to home when I noticed a young wench. It had been a long road and since I have no vows other than protecting the weak, spreading the faith and tracking down heretics of the Light, I decided to take the young thing to bed. I don’t remember much of the encounter.

I had feverish dreams of hobgoblins and ships and chains and screams. I couldn’t shake the stupor until I landed on this hellish island. When I “awoke” I was covered in excrement and my own bile and I realized I had been severely drugged. I met others that had been taken and I deduced that I and the others were kidnapped by slavers, hobgoblin slavers.

The Escape:

We managed to escape from the Hobgoblins. Losing several of our fellow captives in the attempt. We ran across others, I assumed, arrived under similar circumstances. A mage of questionable ability, a competent ranger, fighter and Paladin. The last, a cleric that has some interesting views of morality, but I choose to withhold judgment as I feel we are stressed beyond rational thought. My fellow priests kept me from making a mistake that might have ended my service for Iomedae. The mistake was to join a very resourceful halfling but doing so would keep me from my home for five years. Piracy was the vocation. I thank the goddess that my new comrades were more rational than I. I think that I’ll show that halfling the Light the next time I run into him.

The Island:

I’ve been here for almost a week now. I feel that I’m bound to hell. Why would Iomedae send me, an inquisitor to a land so dreadful? I feel I just answered my own question. This seems to be a volcanic island. Though I studied the stars of my homeland I recognized nothing other than the moons in the heavens. There seems to be little good in this land. Hobgoblins slavers who are free to apply their horrid trade; an unknown cabal of people living next to a huge glass tube that diverts lava flow to the sea. Only cursed cannibals and xenophobic elves in the wilderness. Not a friend among them. Horrifically, undead spawned endlessly from a cursed house. We were able to acquire equipment from the abominations. My comrades and I tried to destroy the structure that spawned them with fire. I know that the cursed occupant got to see the Light.

We met an elf that led us to seemingly the only city on the island. Estillin, city of debauchery. From what I gathered from the high priestess of Desna, the current government had run the church of Iomedae from the city about the same time they legalized slavery. At least there was a church of Iomede. I take comfort in that perhaps I’m as not far from home as I thought. I and my comrades encountered a hobgoblin slaver who was about to kill one of his captors. When the paladin and I defended the man we were reprimanded by the town militia. The man was saved. He could at least have a few more breaths, but was it really a rescue?

I’m unsure what I’m supposed to do here. Rebuild the church, brake the slave trade, instill more honorable people into the local government or get home as soon as possible, or become a productive society member? Goddess help me! I seem to have no direction and lack any skills to achieve these poor options I have. I pray to the goddess the path will be revealed to me soon.

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