Kingmaker

Adventure 1

The party arrived at Oleg’s… what else?

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The Story of Bors and Co., Part I

An unlikely group…

I had been tasked with a group by the Kingdom of Brevoy to chart a map along the unclaimed regions to the south. While there, our primary duties were to explore and make safe the surrounding wild areas, relieve a trading post (Oleg’s) that had fallen victim to banditry, quelling the bandits entirely, and preparing the region for settlement that the Kingdom of Brevoy may expand its majesty further south.

My group included a ranger of sorts, who seemed descended from Elven heritage, although not entirely so. His name is Zirul. The third member of our trio was a gnome sorcerer – the self-proclaimed Bosco “The Brave”. Though quite small in stature, I was not entirely certain what exactly this diminutive gnome had exactly “braved”. No matter. Bosco seemed quite adept with magic, and particularly that of the fire variety. He is essentially a pyromaniac, which could prove problematic since most of what we have to chart lay deep within the forest.

Poog…

En route to Oleg’s, our camp was visited by a goblin. This goblin was sneaking around as we lay asleep. We had caught him red-handed. Bosco wanted to incinerate the hapless goblin, but I could sense no deliberate malice coming from the goblin. He was merely homeless and looking for some food. And he had a rather large fondness for “shinies” as he would call them. We know these “shinies” as precious gems, or coin. His introduced himself as Poog. He seemed harmless enough, so I made the decision to take him along, much to the chagrin of my companions. I maintained that I would be entirely accountable for his actions.

Bandits no more…

Upon our arrival to Oleg’s, we were greeted by Oleg himself, and his lovely wife Svetlana. Immediately, we were welcomed in. Oleg explained to us his dire situation while Svetlana served us lemonade and some stew, of which were refreshing and delicious. Oleg’s Trading Post itself was effectively a fort made of wood, with high walls, and towers on each of the four corners. Each corner contained a catapult. These catapults were in disrepair and would be of no immediate use to us. There was also a stables that could stable up to 4-5 horses, a guestroom with enough space for 4 guests, a storage room, and Oleg’s personal residence.

When Oleg had explained to us the his plight, we decided to rectify his immediate need. Bandits were to visit the next day, demanding taxes or “protection” money. We planned to get the jump on these bandits once they were inside. The next day we made good our plans and we dispatched of these bandits with relative ease. Oleg and Svetlana were entirely grateful for our help.

After we had repaired the damage the bandits had done (a portion of the guest house had caught on fire, though this was no fault of Bosco), and we were well rested and resupplied, we decided to embark forth and finally start our mapping assignment. We left knowing that we had a bed and place to eat at Oleg’s – another fringe benefit to helping he and Svetlana be rid of visiting bandits.

Pranksters and hungry Kobolds…

The first couple of nights out, we seemed to have attracted the company of pranksters. They would douse Poog with water while he slept or surround Bosco’s head with blinking lights. Whatever they were, they seemed harmless enough. The only real “damage” they were doing was ruining the sleep of Poog and Bosco. We also came upon a small trio of Kobolds that were eating some peculiar radishes (Moon Radishes). Making quick work of the Kobolds, we plucked some of the radishes because they did look quite good. Who knows? They might make a nice stew.

The Temple of the Elk…

We came upon what appeared to be a place of religious worship, though this place had clearly not been used in quite some time. The way this shrine was laid out was a clearing in the woods, with an alcove of 5 caves. Before one could get to the caves, there was a bridge crossing a stream, though that bridge had seen better days. And before the bridge was a statue of an Elk humanoid as well as a pond of water that still looked quite drinkable, albeit being stagnant.

Upon closer inspection, I was able to discern that this shrine was once dedicated to Erastil, a god of the forest. My close inspection of the statue did stir a bear out of sleep from one of the caves. It was rather large and territorial. And angry. It charged before I could react, swiping at me with it’s two great paws, and instantly knocking me unconscious. I’m not certain what happened next, but I was awoken to the feeling of warm liquid being poured down my gullet. Opening my eyes, I was surprised that it none other than Poog who had come to my rescue. Getting back onto my feet, we all beat a hasty retreat. Though, Zirul and Bosco had already made that decision whilst I was unconscious. Being completely abandoned by the Elf and the Gnome but saved by the Goblin was quite a revelation indeed! Never judge a book by its cover.

Oleg’s Trading Post comes to life…

We returned to Oleg’s, battered and bloody. Well, I was battered and bloody. Everyone else was relatively unscathed from our encounter with the bear. There was a priest who happened to be at Oleg’s as well. He was a follower of Erastil and wanted very much for us to take him to this shrine. He introduced himself as Jhod Kavken. In addition to Jhod, there seemed to be the added security of 4 guards, led by a young captain named Kesten Garess. Kesten informed us that he and his men were sent from Brevoy and that they would maintain and oversee the security of Oleg’s, and they would help us in any way that they can.

The next day we made a return trip back to the Temple of the Elk, with Jhod accompanying us, and us having the peace of mind knowing that Oleg’s was well taken care of, all thanks to the watchful eye of Captain Garess and his men. Arriving back at the shrine, Jhod positively identified that this shrine was once a place of worship to the forest god, Erastil. But the bear currently residing here was not of Erastil. A bit more organized and better prepared with a priest for healing, we had very little trouble taking the bear down this time around. Though, the bear did chase Poog a good bit, giving the poor goblin quite a fright.

What was rather odd was when the bear was slain, the corpse immediately reverted to that of an old man, who we could hear sighing in the winds (which there was a sudden gust of), and then his remains disintegrated into nothingness. Was he cursed? If so, did we alleviate the curse? Jhod seemed quite satisfied with the results, so we all returned to Oleg’s for a well-deserved rest, a hearty meal, and a pint (or 3) of ale.

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The Story of Bors and Co., Part II

We resumed the session back at Oleg’s. Upon returning, myself (Bors) and Zirul met with Ganon. Our goblin friend, Poog, had also informed us that our resident Gnome Sorceror, Kaanon, had mysteriously disappeared – supposedly to sell cakes in the city of Brevoy somewhere. No matter. Our strange group of vagabonds welcomed this smelly person of the woods who, in fact, turned out to be a Half Elf Druid, complete with a wolf companion.

Oleg’s trading post now had 4 guards permanently stationed to help protect against bandits, and to maintain general security of the area. The Sergeant in charge brought to our attention a young lad named Brolin, who turned out to be a sorceror of sorts. Brolin was also somewhat of a drug addict, and he was caught trying to steal from items from Oleg’s storehouse. After much deliberation and hesitation (mostly on my part), we decided to take him along as we were to continue our cartography duties of mapping the area, as well as finding the location of the bandits who had a long history of making life hard on Oleg and his wife, Svetlana.

Just 4 days into our trek, Brolin could no longer continue as his body begun to suffer the terrible side-effects of drug dependency withdrawals. I stayed by his side while Zirul and Ganon continued on. A couple of days later, Zirul and Ganon returned, wounded themselves. Evidently they had an encounter with a Worg and things didn’t go so smoothly. Since Brolin still needed more rest, it also gave Zirul and Ganon an opportunity to recover as well.

By the 10th day since leaving Oleg’s, everyone was well enough to travel on their own. We came upon a hot spring that smelled of rotten eggs. Thinking a nice bath was in order, we decided to scout the surrounding area before bathing. Brolin and I were only minutes into our tour of our assigned area when we noticed that Zirul and Ganon were being attacked by what appeared to be two very large toads. I had never seen anything like it. After a minor battle in which both toads continuously attempted to devour Ganon’s wolf companion, we dispatched both toads, severing their legs so that we might eat some frog’s now, and save some for later. Frog legs taste like chicken anyway.

After a night’s rest, we continued on westward where we encountered another giant toad like creature, but this particular one was more humaoid, walking upright on two legs and able to communicate with spoken, albeit broken, words. His name turned out to be Boggard. Or maybe, a Boggard was what this strange creature was. This Boggard screamed “TRUCE” at us and motioned for us to come back the way we came. After some consideration, we gave him and his dwelling a wide berth, so as to not upset or offend him, and continued westward. Next, we encountered the corpse of a unicorn, sans its unicorn horn. It seemed to be of old age, but something told me that this unicorn did not meet its demise at the hands of time. We did our best to give the unicorn a proper burial by burning its remains in a makeshift funeral pyre.

Continuing further westward, we happened upon what turned out to be the alcove of a giant boar. Hungry for bacon and pork belly, we decided to hunt this creature. It didn’t take long for Zirul and Ganon to pick up its tracks and soon enough we had a mighty feast of boar’s meat. What we didn’t eat, we packed up and headed back to the mysterious Boggard’s dwelling, offering him some boar’s meat as a truce. From that point on, the Boggard would let us pass through his dwelling as guests.

When we settled to rest on that particular night, I, during my watch, decided to try to make contact with whatever mischievous creatures were constantly played pranks on us during our nights. I made an offering of one of our giant frog’s legs. My idea worked and I did manage to make contact with one of the sprites – a tiny dragon looking fey creature who was all too grateful for the bountiful gift of food. His name was Perlivash. Perlivash then told me the location of the bandits. I promised that I would give him and his friend (another sprite that would not yet reveal itself to me) a gift of ale, wine, candies, and food in exchange for helping us take care of the bandits. We then returned to Oleg’s to resupply and rest for a few days.

Upon returning to Oleg’s, we learned that the bandits had come back and attacked again. A hunter by the name of Johnson had informed us of this whilst we were en route traveling back to Oleg’s. This was all verified upon our arrival and we were sad to know that the barn had burned down, along with our horses and my dog. Poog felt bad, but he had eaten the charred remains of my dog. A strange fellow for a goblin, Poog was loyal no matter what. And he was starting to learn how to read. Desiring nothing but revenge unto the bandits who set fire to the barn, we set out in search of the bandit camp, but this time leaving Brolin behind to stay with Oleg and opting instead to take Poog with us.

We also received a reward for killing the boar, which happened to have a price on it’s hide because it had injured a hunter. The retired hunter then rewarded us with a nice new longbow as well as some arrows that were specifically meant for hunting animals. I kept the longbow and we sold the arrows, dividing up the profits amongst ourselves.

Setting out in the direction of the bandit encampment (thanks to my new fey friends), we made good time and arrived by nightfall. While Zirul and Poog scouted the camp, looking for the best avenues of attack, I once again attempted to make contact with my little pixie friends, making sure that I was away from Ganon as these two are a bit shy around my companions. This time, they both revealed themselves to me and were all to happy with my promised gifts of wine, ale, and candies. Perlivash’s companion looked like a tiny woman with the lower body of a grasshopper. Her name was Tyg-Titter-Tut, or Tyg for short. Utterly grateful for their gifts, I was able to convince them to help us in the upcoming battle with the bandits.

Zirul came back and notified us of the situation. Given the layout of the bandit camp, it was decided that he would attack from the east, Poog from the north, and myself and Ganon would form the main body, joining the fray from the south. As Zirul and Poog engaged their targets concealed and from range, Ganon and I jumped into action, charging from the south. We made quick work of the two sentries posted there as we caught them by surprise due to the distractions caused by Poog and Zirul attacking simultaneously from two different directions. I made quick work of the bandit camp leader, slicing her with my blade, and soon enough there was just one solitary bandit left. He did try to escape, but our friendly fey creature allies ensnared him, somehow manipulating the forest itself as vines and shrubs came to life and entangled to poor, unsuspecting bandit. After a quick interrogation, we learned that there was an even larger bandit encampment that we knew we would have to ultimately deal with as well. It seems that there were no end to these bandits and their camps.

Collecting all of the items from the recently dispatched bandits, as well as the treasures and coin they left behind in their now vacant camp, Zirul and Ganon made multiple trips back to Oleg’s (with the prisoner in tow) while Poog and I stayed and watched the campsite. A few days later, this was complete and we headed in search of the main bandit camp, using the directions given to us by our bandit prisoner.

We arrived at what looked like a heavily fortified structure on top of a hill with a road leading up to the main entrance. Much to our chagrin, the road itself was infested by zombies, mindlessly milling about. On top of the ramparts of the fortress were not zombies, however, but very vigilant, and very alive, guards. Though I wanted nothing more than to dispatch of these zombie abominations, it was quite evident that they were simply used as fodder so that the guards posted along the fortress ramparts could pepper invaders with arrows from afar, and from an elevated vantage point. Deciding that it would be folly to attack this fortress using a frontal attack, and with so few numbers, we decided that it was best to leave the fortress for now and come back at a later time, but with more support.

We then proceeded to search for Svetlana’s ring, which was purportedly stolen by some Mites last seen in or around a dilapidated tree of sorts. After some searching, we came upon a tree that matched the description of where these Mites may dwell. Traveling into the confined spaces of the underground proved problematic for all of us with the exception of more diminutive Poog. Our first encounter were with some giant centipedes, housed in a nursery of some sort. We made rather quick work of them, and their Mite handler, but not without Zirul getting bitten by one of the horrid vermin. He did not look so well after that bite. Pushing forward, we continued exploring the depths of the Mite lair. Soon enough, we came upon a rather large group of Mites, led by a Mite mounted on a rather large tick. Charging on top of the hill, I managed to maintain the attention of most of the 12-14 Mites as well as the mounted Mite. After a lot of clashing of blades and shooting of arrows and bolts, we managed to be the last ones standing but not with everyone personally sustaining injuries. What’s worse, Poog and I had the misfortune of suffering a bite from the giant tick mount. I did not feel well after that, but it was still necessary to press on. A quick search of the area yielded some coin and, interestingly, a statue of some heathen god.

The rest of this chamber ended with a chasm that we knew we could not simply cross so we backtracked and luckily found ourselves on the other side of the chasm but not without coming upon another group of mites. These ones didn’t notice our presence as they were busy torturing some unfortunate Kobold. We decided to attack the Mites while they were distracted in their sinister ways, and they fell as quickly as we surprised them. The Kobold that the Mites were torturing was alive, but was in terrible shape, so I decided to heal him a bit because he muttered something about the statue we had in our possession, ableit unbeknownst to him. He also informed us that the ring that we sought was no longer in the possession of the Mites, but was no in the possession of his Kobold clan. He did promise us treasures and riches as well as the ring that we sought if we brought him back to his clan and met with his clan leader.

Though we resolved to keep the Kobold alive and use him as a guide to take us to where his lair was, I was curious as to what was in the chasm below. The Kobold informed us that it was the mother version of the giant centipedes that we had encountered earlier. So that meant that there was an even bigger, more menacing and dangerous, version of the centipedes. Maybe it was the fact that I had been fighting in the confined spaces of these tunnels for far too long, or that the disease that I had just acquired starting to really have adverse effects on my judgement, but I decided that this centipede could not, and must not, live any longer else it continue to be a bane to the hapless tree, that still clings to life, above it.

With that, I decided to lure out this mother centipede using the recently deceased bodies of the Mites we had just subdued. Of course this plan worked in drawing out the mother centipede, and soon enough we found ourselves face to face with a centipede the size of a giant tree. Immediately I began to regret this plan, and that was substantiated when the giant centipede bit me as soon as it was near enough and I felt, not only weak from the bite itself, but also sick to my stomach as a new disease began to set in. We all made an attempt to retreat, but Ganon had the misfortune of being knocked unconscious so we had no choice but to stay and fight. With Poog and Zirul shooting the giant centipede, and Ganon lying on the floor unconscious, I turned around and threw all caution to the wind and swung my blade for one last attack at the giant vermin. Fortune and luck, as well as favor of Iomedae, were all on my side as my strike hit true and the vermin was disposed of. Finally clear of Mites and centipedes, we decided to rest for a few days so that we could recover from our wounds. Soon enough, we were healthy and ready to pay a visit to the Kobolds.

The Kobolds wanted us to meet with them within the depths of their lair. Sensing an ambush, as Kobolds are not known to be very friendly (particularly these Kobolds, who not only have a poor reputation with the surrounding communities, but also have a price on their heads), we insisted that we parlay outside, in front of the entrance to their lair. The lead Kobold chief then led a contingent of warriors to just take the statue from us by force. I became the cork at the bottleneck of a chokepoint, thereby limiting the amount of Kobolds that could directly attack me and also serving as a living, albeit dangerous, barrier for my allies so that they may pick off the Kobolds from behind. The battle was clearly going our way and soon enough the Kobold chief had had enough and further demanded a parlay. My, how the tables had turned, but we did agree as it turned out they were somehow enslaved as a result of the existence of the statue that we possessed.

The chief asked us to destroy the statue so that they would no longer be under the control of what turned out to be another Kobold, and a sort of sorcerer no less. Destroying the statue, the Kobold chief led us and what was left of his minions back to where this purple Kobold resided. After a short battle, we emerged victorious but the interesting thing was when the corpse of the purple Kobold morphed into that of a Gnome. Very strange, indeed.

Very thankful and gracious for our assistance and help, the Kobold chief made a pact to never be a bother to the surrounding communities, even going to the point of leaving the area altogether. They had lost too many kinsmen as sacrifices to the purple Kobold’s whims, as well as the battle that they had just had with us. Moreover, there were no more females with which to help them repopulate. We were also rewarded with a substantial amount of coin and some treasure, the most valuable of which went to Zirul – a pair of boots that would further enhance his repertoire of sneaking and hiding and tumbling and jumping. The boots were of little use to someone like me anyway.

With that, we decided to make the journey back to Oleg’s with our victory plunderings in tow, and also to claim the reward monies for for several of the Wanted posters posted at Oleg’s. Oh, we also managed to find Svetlana’s ring, something Oleg had desperately desired for us to find.

We accomplished quite a bit.

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Zirul's Journal Part I

Entry 1: The first days journey in this new land has been uneventful, but it’s been an opportunity to get an understanding of these individuals who have also signed on to explore this region. What an odd grouping it seems, we have a gnome who seems to like fire, maybe a bit too much and our walking goodie two shoes Paladin. So far I haven’t learned much about them.

Entry 2: Last night turned into a bit of a spectacle. As we were resting I encountered a goblin picking my pocket while the party was resting. I know I must have been tired or out of it because for some reason I didn’t kill him on the spot. In fact after questioning he turned out to be an interesting drinking partner, though he didn’t last long. The poor paladin didn’t learn I let him drink until morning, so much for those rules. Seems he has a soft spot for others as he wanted to bring the goblin along.

Entry 3: We have encountered a small trading post run by a man who I believe called himself Oleg. He seems reasonable enough and has even given us a bit of a place to stay. However after some discussions with him we have learned that a group of bandits has been harassing his camp; hopefully none of them know me as I was hoping this trip might be a fresh start. Either way after some talking we have learned a bit about them and the fact that they return regularly to demand resources and have even stolen his wife’s ring. We are old that the leader is female, and that they may be up to a dozen strong. We have agreed to assist him in defending his home from them.

Entry 4: The defense preparations went well after we managed to convince our fire happy companion that a mountain of hay at the front door might seem odd and not work as a trap; he does seem to love fire. Around the middle of the day a group of 4 bandits came to demand more resources from our host. We were able to get the jump on them and eliminate all four. Sadly in the process the building we were sleeping in was caught on fire (not the result of our companion to my joyous surprise.) To assist in deterring any future visits we agreed to string up the corpses over the wall as warning. Also, it seems that we will be staying a while to help with repairs of the burned structure.

Entry 5: Well a month has gone by and we have been able to re-build the sleeping quarters hear at the trading post. It’s, been a good chance to get to know Oleg and my companions a bit more. Our Gnome Kaanon is quite helpful, but lives up to early impressions with his love of fire; which is okay as long as he doesn’t burn down the forest while we are in it. The goblin who’s name seems to be Poog is an enjoyable sort and does seem to have a lot of comments about our gnomish friend, the banter seem harmless enough and helps the work day go by quickly. My other companion Bor (Paladin) is exceedingly helpful and seems to like talking to people and it seems they enjoy it as well. I have been surprised that he is less of a stick in the mud than I would have expected.

Entry 6: Well after a few days of uneventful travel last night was our first incident while camping. Seems in the middle of the night a prankster decided to dowse our gnomish companion with water. A thorough investigation provided no clues as to the culprits. I suspect fey as it seemed harmless, but a bit annoying as a wake-call.

Entry 7: How good it feels to finally be back in the forest and out of those plains. Not that there was much danger, but how long can a person spend looking at grass before he goes crazy. At least the trees have character. We have had some more minor pranks over the last few nights from our little pranksters , but they have those far stayed out of direct contact. Yesterday we encountered a few kolbolds picking radishes but not much more.

Entry 8: Well yesterday we had our first casualty on our journey. As we were exploring a patch of forest we encountered a temple with a large statue of an elk. After some review it was learned that it was a temple of Erastil. During our brief visit we had just tied up our horses when Bor’s went to explore a bridge. It seems that the local inhabitant was not impressed with him; maybe too much metal. So he decided to open him up. Our friend companion was seriously injured and might have died if not for the bravery of the Poog who seems to have taken a liking to him. We were able to feel from the bear, but not as much can be said for the horses who were tied up.

Entry 9: After some uneventful exploring we have encountered the body of a dead trapper. We were unable to identify him or provide for a proper burial for the fellow. However we will see if anything can be learned about him when next we visit Oleg’s.

Entry 10: Yesterday seemed eventful after several more peaceful days. While working our way back to Oleg’s we encountered a field full of traps. Poog attempted to do his best with them, but was almost devoured at one point by a particularly nasty bear trap that took up much of the poor fellows leg. We were able to rescue and treat him. Seems the traps were not goblin friendly; or half elf for that matter as one tried to take off my toe, but missed.

Entry 11: we have returned to Oleg’s and it seems that in our absence the place has had some new life. They now have received about 4 guards including a captain who is in charge. A brief discussion with him gave us some updates on the bandits who did not seem to like our decorations to the trading post before we last left. We have also encountered a priest who has come to stay here. After some discussion he has convinced us to return to the temple with the bear and help him to extract the creature by force if necessary. It seems his God wants to re-establish his facilities there.

Entry 12: we’re back from our trip to see the bear. After some convincing he was removed from the premises permanently. Sadly this was through his death. we have all agreed to take a few days to re-supply before seeking the camp of the bandits to return Oleg’s wife (sfetlana’s) ring.

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The life and times of Bosco the Brave
A Gnome Sorcerer's tale of intrigue and woe

THE PEST

I’ve been supplanted. When I joined this party, I thought I’D be the small one. I’d be the useful scamp running around and saving the day. This walking vat of grime is going to be the death of me. Even his name sounds asinine. Poog. I never knew hate until now. I want to set him on fire and smell the sweet sweet smell of this leathery skin as it crackles under the intense heat I envelope him in.

THE DISRESPECT

No one is taking me seriously. We’re at this fort, that’s being continually attacked. “Some Fort”, I say, but no one laughs! That was a good joke. I offer a perfectly good plan of setting up a few bales of haystacks in front of the gate, setting them on fire, and using the fire as a barrier so the bandits can’t run away. They tell me that I’m obsessed. That’s not true, I just know that fire WORKS. Watching Father’s cauldron as it warmed our meals was hypnotizing. Fire makes food. Seeing the fire as it caused chaos among invaders was invigorating. Fire wins Fights. Fire is my tool. My plaything. It’s been my ticket into a life in this world of never-ending sky. These grimy surfacers just don’t know the power of my fire.

THE ATTACK

Maybe they are right. We ran into a bear today. It nearly took us out. In fact, the grimy gob actually saved our Paladin. And I. Was. Helpless. I couldn’t set the bear on fire. I mean, what’s worse than a creature 4 times your size? A creature 4 times your size who will incinerate you if it gives you a hug. So I ran into the forest, like a squirrel. Am I cut out for this?

THE ESCAPE

I told Poog I needed to sell cakes. He’ll believe anything. Idiot. I venture alone now. Away from the party. Away from the adventure I chose for myself. The treasures untold. The women to behold. The honor so sweet. The drinks so cold. I don’t know what I’m looking for. Maybe I’ll find it in these woods.

THE ARRIVAL

I’ve landed in a city this evening. At the tavern, I heard a man speak. As I drowned my sorrow in ale, he was the life of the party. He told stories of far away lands. He told tales of facing certain death, but avoiding it from the bravery of his companions. Then he said he needed to retire to his ship. His SHIP. What a wonder. I had heard of the stories he told, but not in the same way. We don’t have men like this in the trees of Omesta. Brilliant gnomes, sure, but none with such extravagance. None with such panache. None like this. I am inspired.

THE ENLIGHTENMENT

Here in the city, I’ve come across so many new people. I’ve spoke to the man from my first night here, and let him know how great his stories were. We began to chat and I mentioned my sorcery. He let me know there was more to magic than I ever knew. All of my spells and powers were innate. I got better at them with practice, but still, it was “easy” for me. All that to say, I’ve learned some new spells. One for improving health and one for summoning a creature from the planes beyond this reality. So far I’ve only managed a rat and a frog, but apparently, in time, I’ll be able to do more. How helpful this would have been against that bear. Even if it only distracted it for moments at a time, it would have been enough. Also, I’ve had more time with my recorder and have become pretty good playing it. It’s surprisingly relaxing.

THE SHOW

It’s been weeks months some time, and I’ve earned money by playing my recorder on the streets. I’ve spent my nights learning all about goings-on here and abroad. I’ve heard many stories, from the first man, and from many others. I’m starting to tell some myself now. The story of defending the damsel and her “servant” at the fort. The story of defeating a “werebear”. I’m finding that listeners favor embellishment over accuracy, so I give them what they want. Comedy, Tragedy, Triumph. They’ve begun calling me “the Brave”. If they only knew my cowardice. That part lies in the past, only for me to know. I’m starting to see the joy that exists in the world. Joy, free from destruction. Free from BURNING. I’d still spark that gob if I saw him again. Sigh. Joy and Rage, at odds in my soul. Maybe Mother was right about our Fey heritage.

THE RETURN

It’s time for this to end. I ran away from my commitments and away from all that treasure. I think I’ve grown now. I think I can help. Even if I can’t I’ve got to GET more stories so I can TELL more stories. Let’s see what they think of me now. Maybe my crossbow will have come in by now.

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Adventure Log Part II

Sorry for the lag on part two, week got a bit busy.

We have had a nice chance to rest this past week or so. My associates have each taken to their own a bit while we have been here. It seems that Poog has gotten a chance to learn to read and will be staying on here when we go out in pursuit of the bandits who continue to cause trouble in the area. Bosco has up an disappeared, Poog had some story but I am not sure what to believe it sounds odd. Either way he is not around, Borg is his normal kind self; wonder if he even knows how to do wrong? But for now I am left to myself to ponder this pursuit of the bandits that we mus take on. I am a bit thrilled with this chance to put an end to this group. I can not help but think of my father, were they like him? If so should I give them a chance or put them out of their misery before they mess up like him? Maybe some will see the last message we left and flee, but info not maybe scattering their camp will help.

Well we are ready to leave and our team has changed so much. Instead of Poog and Bosco it seems we have picked up a stray addict from the kindness of Borg. Why try and fix and addict, they never learn; at least none that I have ever seen. However there is something off about him; I could almost swear I saw some bronze color in his eyes. But I guess he can not help is heart for them, I only hope we are not too delayed by him. We have also added another, a half-elf by the name of Gannon who seem to truly love nature and was heading our way.

After about four days of travel this kid is getting so tiring, with each day coming off his stuff he becomes slower and delays our work. Today he is so slow that it seems that we will not be able to go on any further until he recovers. Leaves you a bit on edge to stay put in the wilderness for so long. But we have discussed it and Gannon and I will go ahead a bit and check out the surrounding area further while they rest.

What a disaster that turned out to be yesterday. While scouting some of the plains a few miles west of the camp with Borg we encountered a Worg. After trying to negotiate with it (why would I think that would work) it became evident that we must either flee or do battle. Battle was not a good choice, we should have left it alone. It almost killed Gannon’s wolf and took a small chunk out of me. Fortunately it chased his wolf while we were able to flee another direction and meet up later. Probably best to go back and rest with Borg, always nice to have an extra hand.

Well for today the greatest adventure we have had was another visit from the fey and watching the addict sit around, Maybe soon we can get on the road.

Today we finally were able to take off and get on the road again and it seems in this section of the forest they grow some big frogs. As we arrived at some nice warm sulfur springs we encounter some large frogs who seem to have a taste for wolf of all things.

Its been a few days since I had a chance to write so I’ll try and summarize the last few days. We encountered a large frog like man with a pet. As we lacked language skills. The most we could get from him were the words Truce and him point at use to leave. So after a few attempts at communication we agreed to give a large birth to him and go back the way we came. Then after passing by another temple of Erasil we encountered the body of a dead uniorn.

We after a chance for a nice hunt and some fresh boar meet we have found a way to make friends with the creature from yesterday. We learned that Boggard like boar almost as much as those frogs wanted wolf. While rest our little fey tricksters returned and it seems that they are still not interested in talking to me, but for some reason they took a liking to the Borg.

The location of the bandit camp seems to have been just under our noses the whole time. The Fey have informed Borg of the location, but before we pursue them it has been agreed that we would return to Oleg’s and let his project stay there for now has he seems to have no value in combat, besides those scary nails that he hasn’t quite gotten use to using.

Instead of getting the message from their hanging friends a while back it seem the bandits have regrouped and assaulted Oleg’s. These guys just don’t learn. While in town we were able to collect a bit of a reward for killing that boar, seems he was worth more than just a tasty meal. Also picked up a few other jobs. The most interesting was a person who contacted me about capturing a bandit I have heard about before (name on back of map). Like old times, while walking through the street this guy pulls me to he side and informs me of a reward for capturing this guy; twice as much if we can keep him alive.

Our raid of the bandit camp last night couldn’t have gone much better. It start’s with Poog and I scouting the area; which almost went bad. Messed up and step on something that made more noise than I thought and they herd us, but we were able to lay low and they fell for it and returned. We proceeded with a precision strike and with some help from Borg’s fey friends even caught one of them who gave us some good info on their leader. Seems he is a large man who likes to drink (missing name it’s on map), also mentioned another man who is there who he think may be the real brains? Anyways we have tried to convince him to go straight and will return him to Oleg’s with a chance in tomorrow. He has taken it as the alternative isn’t good.

Well it took a few trips but all the loot has been taken back to Oleg’s and sold. Only regret is there wasn’t much of a way to say that bandit. Did I give in to easy with handing him to the guards to be killed? He didn’t seem to show remorse, just to want to save his skin. Maybe it’s possible to save some of the others.

What the ? Really, these bandits go with zombies as security and here I was starting to think I should show them some pity. Last night Poog and I were out scouting around them camp of the bandit leader that our former captive described and what do we encounter, a group of zombies at least 12 of them guarding the road up to their base. Then as I look up they have several towers with guards watching down on the road. These guys have got to go, but not just yet we should get some help before we try and take on something like that, maybe we can get a guard or two from Oleg’s.

I am not sure what has been worse over the last couple of nights. Having to cram into the little whole and caverns of the mites or the kobold holds. After leaving the bandits we traveled for about a day before discovering the tree where the mites who took that ring live. So we climb down there little who and hit these time caves that force you to kneel down. The as we go through we run into mites, annoying little creatures, their centipede pet, one of them who wants to right a large tick of all things and finally the mother of the centipedes which Borg is determined to fight. Nah the worst had to be that stench, who keep refuse in their home. Well after making it through the stink hole we say this little kobold who promise that his friends have the ring and will give it to us and lots of treasure if we return their ugly god statue. So what else is there to do, give their God to the Paladin and see if we can cash in. Turns out they are stupider than they are deceptive. They decided to come out of their whole into a little cavern filled by our tin can and fight. Doesn’t take long for them to beg for help and after some discussion we agreed to destroy their statue for for reward and to kill their ruler. The ruler wasn’t much, but it does turn out he was some kind of shape changed gnome. After all that Borg still had to convince them to give us a split of their loot; man that guy can talk. Anyways we came out with a lot of copper and I got some pretty cool boots; all the better as mine had seen better days.

Time to take this loot back and get our reward from Oleg.

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The Story of Bors and Co., Part III

Fangberries for Bokken…

After resting just a couple of days after our most recent encounter with the Kobolds, we (Poog, Zirul, Ganon, and I) set out in search of Bokken, a hermit of a man who lived just east of Oleg’s. It was this Bokken fellow whom Oleg recommended that we seek out because Bokken was known for making and selling potions. Considering that we had the daunting task of overcoming the fortress of The Stag Lord, we all thought it best to see Bokken’s wares.

Upon reaching the rather humble abode of Bokken, we were greeted by a rather eccentric, unkempt man. He informed us that he did in fact have potions that would help our assault of The Stag Lord’s Fort. Bokken also offered to give our group a 30% discount off of the top if we could get him some Fangberries. Potions are expensive in cost. If saving roughly a third of the cost meant this small chore, we all figured that it would be well worth our time.

Spiders, big and small…

Unfortunately for us, however, our trip to get to the Fangberry bush was not as peaceful as we otherwise would have preferred. We came upon a rather large, and very angry, Owlbear. We tried to avoid it by giving it a wide berth, but it was extremely territorial. This unavoidable fight was no easy encounter as it managed to bite into Ganon’s neck and also grab me in a bear hug. Thinking the end was near, Zirul saved me from being crushed to death in a feathery bear hug as his arrows sunk directly into the Owlbear’s back with a resounding double “THWUMP!” And, as my luck would have it, the Owlbear fell forward dead, and with me underneath. Shaking my head, spitting out a mouthful of feathers, I was thankful that Zirul’s sniping abilities have become far more accurate and deadly since we first encountered bandits together at Oleg’s Trading Post.

The very next day of our trip, we came upon a very large trapdoor spider’s lair. Fortunately for us, we could see it clear as day as it made a little bit too much noise as we happened by. Perhaps it was too eager for a meal. Deciding that it might be best to take care of this large vermin, rather than to leave it alive to make prey of unsuspecting travelers and merchants, I had Zirul fire a warning shot in its direction. If the Owlbear encounter were any indication that Zirul’s sniping prowess were vastly improved, then this very unlikely shot (which was meant to be more of a warning) hit the spider directly in its face, of which it was barely revealing any as it lay mostly hidden and concealed underground, barely peaking out of it’s trapdoor. Screeching in pain, the giant spider retreated back into its lair.

When we finally came upon the Fangberry bushes, it was completely covered in spiderwebs and crawling with spiders. The use of fire was my initial thought in getting rid of the spiderwebs and the spiders, but that would likely only result in the burning of the Fanberry bushes as well. This is where Ganon proved he could rectify a potentially dangerous situation through the simple use of one of Nature’s most powerful elements: water. He merely uttered a few prayers and there was a torrent of water that washed over the Fangberry bushes, completely flushing the spiders out altogether. We were then able to pick the Fangberries at our leisure.

Werewolves…

On our return trip to Bokken’s to deliver his Fangberries, we encountered a lycanthrope. It was a werewolf.

During my watch, I was startled by the sounds of howling. Initially I had dismissed it as wolves simply being wolves, but when the howling became ever closer and more urgent, I thought it best to awake my companions. Zirul and Ganon noted that the howling sounded unlike any other wolf that had ever heard. Still, there could be no denying that something was howling and coming closer towards us.

As we scanned our surroundings, a werewolf did in fact get the jump on us. Well, it got the jump on Poog, to be more accurate. The cursed thing bit into Poog’s shoulder, causing our poor goblin friend to yell in anguished pain. Zirul and Ganon took to their positions while Ganon’s wolf companion and I met the lycanthrope toe-to-toe. Zirul had hit the werewolf with at least 10 arrows, and accurately too, but I could clearly see that the arrows were having very little effect as the werewolf showed no signs of being seriously injured.

What could it be? Do werewolves have naturally superior armor? This particular werewolf was already well-protected by a suit of mail, but such a thing seldom gave us this much trouble. Then it dawned on me. Werewolves, lycanthropes in general, had a weakness for silver. If trying to attack a lycanthrope with anything other than silver (or holy), such attacks would be largely ineffective.

Cursing my carelessness for being so ill-prepared for facing such a beast, I did my best to Smite him, but I missed completely. Had the heavens forsaken me? I landed a couple more blows with my blade, but the werewolf merely shrugged them off. After incapacitating Ganon’s wolf, it turned its entire attention on me. I didn’t last very long against its onslaught, as I could not hope to match the werewolf blow-for-blow. It would only be a matter of time before I fell. And fell I did, but not before seeing a woman heavily armed and armored (and bearing religious emblems similar to mine) burst out of the forest and come to our aid.

When I awoke, this mysterious woman was kneeling over me, saying a prayer, and healing my wounds. I stood up, wincing in pain, but noticed that the werewolf lay dead. Thanking our woman savior, I introduced myself. She in turn introduced herself and told me that she was a fellow worshiper of Iomedae and that she had a vision to come find me, and to follow me. Her name was Aurora, and she was an Oracle. I was completely taken aback by this revelation, but I welcomed her companionship no less. Once we actually started establishing a city, we would need all the trustworthy allies we could get.

The Stag Lord’s Fort…

After we had given Bokken his much desired Fangberries we set off towards the Stag Lord’s fort, with 1 invisibility potion purchased (using our new 30% discount of course). While Aurora said she had visions of following me, she decided to stay behind with Bokken for personal reasons.

En route to the Stag Lord’s fort, we came across a dilapidated bridge with a sign that read, “Nettle’s Crossing”. The sign further instructed that the bell be rung in order to gain services for crossing the bridge, albeit at a cost of 4 coppers. Seeing no ferryman of any sort nearby, we decided to ring the bell anyway. What we did see came as completely unexpected as a zombie-like man emerged from the river, and made his way towards us. Readying ourselves for a fight, the zombie man showed no desire for combat but instead proclaimed that the body of the Stag Lord be thrown into his river, that his suffering come to an end. And with that, he disappeared back into the rivers depths.

Finally approaching the Stag Lord’s fort, the situation remained the same – zombies mindless guarding the front gates, while archers were positioned in the three towers of the fort itself. We had Zirul consume the invisibility potion. Ganon then cast Spider Climb onto Zirul as well. Zirul was to sneak up and deal with the Archers while the rest of the main body, comprised of the rest of us, attacked in a frontal assault. Ganon would case a cloud that he and Poog would use as cover, while I veered off obliquely, dispatching as many zombies as I could while also drawing the attention of the archers.

Execution of our battle plan went quite smoothly as I was able to dispatch two zombies, Zirul was able to scale the fortress walls and open the main gate from the inside, and all the while Ganon and Poog were able to get inside the fort completely unscathed from the zombies and archers. I was the last one inside, and once I was past the thresh hold of the main gate, I closed it behind me, leaving the zombies isolated outside and us having just the fort’s inhabitants to deal with.

The Stag Lord Himself…

Now that we were inside, secured from the zombies outside, we could focus our attention on the Stag Lord and his henchmen. With Zirul above still dealing with the remaining archers (as well as whomever else was up there), that left us with a caged Owlbear. As luck would have it, the Owlbear was released to meet us, and on no friendly terms either. I spotted towards the rear of the fort a sinister looking man who quickly disappeared around the corner. Charging forward to meet the Owlbear head on, no sooner had I connected with my first blow, another man, armed and armored quite similarly to me came out to meet us in combat.

While engaging the Owlbear and the other knight, the sinister looking man I had seen earlier revealed himself again, this time on our rear, attacking Poog from behind. Amidst fighting the Owlbear and the knight, I tried to reason with the knight because I could sense no evil emanating from him. He refused any form of reason I had presented and simply fought on.

We took the Owlbear down, but Ganon and his wolf suffered serious injuries. Fortunately, it was at this time Zirul was able to join the fight and help us, shooting his deadly arrows from above. No sooner had we dispatched the knight, the Stag Lord himself showed up, shooting arrows directly my way, striking me directly in the chest. I faltered and fell, my body weak from the many injuries it had sustained, but I was still conscious, albeit somewhat. Shortly after, I could see from the corner of my eye, Ganon falling and his wolf running away. We were in desparate straights indeed.

The world was becoming dim to me and just when I thought I would succumb to the cold blackness completely, Poog rushed over to my side and forced one of his potions down my gullet. I could feel the strength restoring itself to my muscles. Getting up, I muttered a few prayers, calling upon Iomedae to grant me the strength necessary to see this battle through. Stepping forward to the Stag Lord, I rushed him with all of my might, arrows sailing past my ear as Zirul continued to keep firing. He must have taken care of that sinister fellow. That meant it was just the Stag Lord and us. With numbers alone, we were certain to win.

After a bitter final battle, we won the day, but not without being completely exhausted and injured. We saw that there was a door leading further down, but we decided to rest a bit before continuing further. After all, we were secure and safe within the confines of the fort.

Resting for a few hours, we regained our strength and descended to the tunnels underneath the fort. This area seemed to be where the bandits stored their ill-gotten goods. As we explored this underground area, a goblin of some sort ambushed us from above. Somehow able to cling to the ceiling, it called forth a giant ant to attack us on the ground while it fired at us from above. These two proved little problems for us as we dispatched of both of them rather quickly.

Confident that we had finally secured the fort in its entirety, we opened the gates and vanquished what zombies remained outside. Shortly after, we decided to take the Stag Lord’s body to Nettle’s Crossing where we were able to lay the angry spirit to rest, and it left us with a magical polearm – a Guisarme.

Searching the bodies and the fort itself, we came upon a plethora of coin, gems, arms & armor, potions, jewelry, horses, supplies, and just about everything that the Stag Lord and his minions had accumulated during their reign of terror.

Conclusion…

Their reign of terror ceased, we decided that we would start the beginnings of a settlement using the late Stag Lord’s fort as our base of operations. It is a very defensible structure that has many geographical advantages – it lays atop a hill, is adjacent to a ready source of water, and is near a forest, which would satiate our needs for lumber and wild game.

Maybe we could get Oleg, Svetlana, and Kessen & his guard company to help us stabilize the region. Restoring the Temple of the Elk could also be a future project as it is in a very defensible location as well. Utilizing our newly acquired fort, in conjunction with Oleg’s Trading Post, which in its own right is a fort, as well as The Temple of the Elk, we have unlimited potential!

Connecting the 3 points and getting them to work together will be the first goal towards region stabilization.

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Zirul's Log Part III

Adventures Log Part III

Off to see the Wizard:

Not knowing much about how to approach the undead we have taken some time to discuss the situation of dealing with the guards of the Stag Lord with the locals though it seems to have been a pointless discussion. It seems they are about as clueless as us. Strange I would have thought a paladin or a priest might have greater knowledge of such things. They did make a suggestion of visiting a wild wizard by the name of Bokken who lives no far from the trading post to the east.

Today we set out to meet Bokken and discovered a man who is quite strange and very wild. Unfortunately he too lacked any knowledge to help us with the undead guards of the Stag Lord. However after so talk with him it does seem the old coot has some value to us. For the price of some fang berries he will provide a 30% discount on his wares that he sells. Guess we should get some berries!!!

Spiders, Spiders, and a few Berries

The Fang Berries turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than we had thought. They were loaded with little spiders that hindered our efforts to obtain Bokkens request. After some discussion it seems that there is an unusual option. Gannon believe that he can flood the bush and flush the spiders out. As it turned out he was able to do just that

There is nothing like a good trap, but today we were reminded why it is so much better to be the one setting the trap than receiving. As we traveled through the forest on our way to deal with the Stag Lord we happened upon the dwelling place of a large trap door spider. Fortunately for us this particular fellow seemed to have had a bad day and left us advanced warning of his dwelling place. As we were unable to get him out we found it best to ride around his dwelling.

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf

It seems that these woods are far more dangerous that I had ever thought. As we were traveling through the forest a creature who’s like I have only ever heard of in stories has appeared and attacked us. This creature was part man and part wolf and had skin as thick as mountains. No matter how many hits the thing took it seem to shake them off as if it has been stung by a bee. The battle seemed to go on for ages and I had thought that our only option would be to flee; but that seems a poor solution against a wolf. As the battle drew on an unexpected ally came by the name of Aurora who seemed to have a connection with Bors arrived. With her aid we have defeated the creature. After that encounter I am certain we must prepare better lest next time our luck should run out.

Taking the Stag Lords Base

So our plans to get into the Stag Lords base went almost perfectly. I began the assault using a invisibility drink and with some assistance of a spell to help climb the gates. While I got to sneak into the facilities and unlock the door, the guys were to create some fog and fight the zombies in there; not sure how well that worked as there were still quite a few left when we finished taking the place. After climbing into the keep I was able to open the door; which the ever perceptive guards only noticed as it was opening and everyone came in. After entering I was able to work from up top to dispatch a few guards and the guys finally met the Stag Lord and his team.

As the team entered I was able to work on clearing out the archers who on the towers, unfortunately it turned out one of them was the bounty I was trying to get alive. After that as I was preparing to go help my friends as I could hear their shouts below this big ugly looking guy began to come at me with his big club. I was fortunate and got the better of him as I rushed to check on my friends. As I looked down from above it seemed that things were not going well. The guys were besieged y several soldiers, and Owlbear and The Stag Lord. Man wasn’t sure whether to run or laugh when I first saw him. Dud wore a deer as a hat.

From above I was able to assist the team, but it was a rocky battle as both Gannon and Bor’s were briefly taken out of the fight. They fought well, but it seemed their pponents got ina few lucky shots. Fortunately for them Poog seem to have a good sense of things and was able to dump some potions down their throats. Finally after some time we were able to end his reign though at the cost of some exhaustion.

Odd Man and the Bug Wars

After our adventures upstairs we proceeded to get some rest before venturing to the underside of this place. We had been warned of an old man in the cellar by the Bandit we captured a while back, but reality was slightly different then expected. As we entered he attacked us from the ceiling and with a giant ant friend. And to top it off he goes and drops some kind of swarm of insect on my head; man this guy needs to go. As I was trying to figure out what to do to get away from a swarm of bugs Ganon decided to send another swarm at me to fight the others. Nothing like being in the middle of a war of insects, at least they didn’t sting too bad.

Next?

What shall come next? As we have now completed our charter we must seek to find a plan for what will come next. I believe we may stay here a bit to finish establishing peace in this region, but we shall see what hand fate has dealt us.
If we should stay maybe we shall have to take some time and evict the spider that we saw a few days back. While the team talks of maybe using this place as a base or a home, I must wonder what that will look like.

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The life and times of Bosco the Brave
A Gnome Sorcerer (and Bard) tale of intrigue and woe

The Potion

It’s lonely on this road. I’ve heard of sorcerors putting wizards putting their spells
in liquid form, so I gave it a shot. Turns out I can. I simply cast the spell on swamp water
and lets it boil and after some time, the spell is imbued in the new potion. Unfortunately
I’ve only got one wineskin, so I can’t save the potion. I’ll need to pick osme up.

The Wanderer

It appears I’ve gone the wrong way. I’ve never seen these lands before. The ground is much
more wet. Almost like a marsh. Perhaps I’m near a place of water. A lake or stream or river.
These humans have so many names for waterways. Lake or stream should be enough.
How is Pond more clear than “small lake”. This grimy language is inane.

The Victorious

I did it. I was threatened and I didn’t just flee. I fought. Probably helps that I was grimy
starving and it was a small boar. And that I snuck up on it. And that I my wineskin was full of
Curing potion. When I saw the boar, i was burrowing about, as if for truffles. I hit him with
my Burning Hands spell and ran THEN I ran and hid behind a tree. The boar chased me, but by then
I had Vanish and he was unable to see me. Of course, he could still smell me and I got a bunch of
tusks in my thigh. Instintively I touched it and it began to laugh. A laughing boar!
I’ll never forget that. After a few more rounds of fiery spells, the boar was not only
dead, but fully cooked. That was the best night in a long time.

The Feasting Hall

I take it back. THIS was the best night in a long time. I’m in a bed, in a house, with a full
belly and stories to dream about. I found a hill and climbed it for a better vantage point.
Nearing the summit, I spied a door in one of the rocks. Approaching it, it opened for me
with no prompting. Inside, I met men of valor. Women of courage. There was a glow about them
as if their joy was a small aura, in the same way each of us has one of arcana. I learned the story
of Torykk the barbarian, who slew a troll with the bone of it’s fallen brother. I heard a song
by Drais the druid who’s beautiful notes spoke of rescuing the orphans from an evil priest.
My favorite however was another gnome. A wizard named Zook who battled his allies in a tournament
and in a moment of brilliance, shapeshifted a lion into a sheep to end a battle. The ale and
food awere top notch and I’ll sleep well this night. I’ve even snuck a few of the smaller jars from the kitchen
into my pack. I’ll use them for potions later.

The Entrepenuer

These jars are fantastic. I’ve got curing potions, vanish potions, armor potions, even a gag one
that will rotate glowing orbs around your head. When I return to Oleg’s I’ll see if he can sell some of them.

The Silver Tongue

My recorder was put to the test today. As I slept a group of bandits came upon my camp with
devious intentions. I told them to wait, and offered my self as a slave and jester to make
money for them. The naivete of bandits. Once I began playing they were completely fascinated.
And that’s when I disappeared. Unlike the boars, bandits can’t smell you out

The Trading Post

And I’m back. Things have changed a lot in these 3 months. There are far more people here and the
group I came with seems to be in charge. Let’s see what this future holds.

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The Story of Bors and Co., Part IV

A New Charter…

We were all feeling quite accomplished for having completed our charter. After finishing the mundane task of transporting the seized goods from the slain Stag Lord and his henchmen back to Oleg’s (where we intended to sell most of it which would net us a nice profit), we were tasked with yet another charter.

The Sword Lords of Restov sent an envoy by the name of Jan Ice to find us. Jan presented us our reward for mapping the territory and quelling the banditry – a bag of 500 platinum pieces. Jan also informed us that we were to start a new nation to serve as a “buffer” between the untamed wilds of the south, and the city of Restov. In order to get a start on meeting this daunting task, we were given a large sum of coin to be used for laying the foundations of what we intend to be a great nation. All told, we were given ~200,000 gold pieces. The price for such a generous offer from the Sword Lords: that we simply become a trade partner once our economy is properly established. But the primary focus on Restov having our nation serve as its buffer echoed in my mind no less.

Enlisting Help…

I personally took upon the mantle of Baron for the city that we would call New Hope. Our vision with this city is that others see it as a beacon of hope, that they may live in relative safety and security in a land newly liberated of bandits and lawlessness. Zirul took to the task of clandestine affairs while Ganon would become the head of the council. Poog only desired that he patrol the frontier. For that, he was appointed as the Marshall.

It was then that Bosco, our long lost Gnome friend, had finally come back. He was a welcome sight, indeed. He regaled us with tales of his adventures, dealing with bandits and wizards. Bosco had become quite proficient at storytelling. Whereas Bosco had once been only able to tell a yarn, of which we could clearly sense he was embellishing, he was now able to spin tales of yore that not only entertained us greatly, but were quite believable. His abilities with his recorder instrument had also become above reproach. With his silver tongue and general likeable persona, it was best that he fulfill the role of Grand Diplomat – a position that he was all to happy to accept.

Kesten Garess, the Captain of the Guard at Oleg’s, also readily accepted a position with us. He would take the position of Warden – essentially fulfilling the same duties as he had for Oleg, but on a much larger scale, and with far more responsiblity. Oleg himself, on the other hand, was no stranger to keeping his own personal records of finance and inventory, him being a trader and all. It made perfect sense for him to be our Treasurer. His wife, Svetlana, would also be his assistant.

Spied by a Spider…

Deciding it best to make the roads completely safe, we decided to rid our land of the trap door spider that we had encountered several weeks ago. It was to be a few days before the first group of settlers would show up, so we had some spare time to complete this little errand.

Ridding ourselves of the large vermin proved to be a more challenging task than anticipated. It mostly stayed under it’s rock trap door. We had all tried to lift the door ourselves but to no avail. Ganon then made use of his Druid repertoire and turned the stone door into mere mud. The door more malleable, Bosco then set the mud ablaze (with the assistance of some oil I had happened to have). Now the door was ceramic. I was able to smash through the door but not without the spider grabbing me and pulling me down a bit. After an arrow or two successfully finding their mark, the spider nearly dragged me into its lair completely. I had thought my fate sealed. Then I pulled out my dagger. I raised my dagger up high, and with a desperate lunge downward, using all of my strength and might, I drove my dagger so far deep into the spider’s skull (which killed it instantly), that I had great difficulty retrieving it back.

The roads now safe from the giant spider menace, we then went back to Oleg’s to meet with the settlers.

A New Companion…

Poog was feeling down. Asking him what was bothering him, Poog told us that he really liked us. Of course the feeling was mutual (well, maybe not so much for the Gnome). The reason for Poog’s despondence, however, was that he wanted to help other Goblins who were of a kind heart, just like Poog. But they were currently vassals of a very evil Goblin King. And what’s more, Poog’s very own brother was a personal bodyguard of this Goblin King. Wanting nothing more than to rescue those poor good Goblins from their plight, Poog asked us to escort him go back to this goblin encampment, so that we may kill the king and his minions.

Naturally we agreed to help Poog, but we would need to enlist more help. Looking at the group of settlers that had just arrived at Oleg’s, I asked the group if there was any among them who had skill in battle and brave enough to fight insurmountable odds. Only one stepped forward. His name was Kratos. He was a tower of a man, and he was a Ranger to boot. But he was a Ranger unlike Zirul. While Zirul was handy with the bow, Kratos was quite skilled with the blade. And not just one blade – Kratos was quite adept at wielding two blades, one in each hand. His martial prowess would definitely be a welcome addition to this mission.

Leaving Kesten and Aurora (who we had appointed as High Priest to our nation) to deal with the mundane affair leading the settlers south so that they may prepare the lands surrounding the Stag Lord’s fort and thus make it suitable for establishing a city, we journeyed towards the west, where Poog once called home.

The Goblin Village…

We made it to the goblin village in about 3 days time. Zirul went ahead to scout out the village itself while we discussed the best avenue of approach. Once Zirul reported back, we decided that we would simply walk into the village while Zirul and Bosco hid up in the trees. Should combat be met, and we all felt certain that there was simply no way to avoid a violent outcome, Zirul and Bosco would be in a good position to snipe whilst up in the trees.

The most peculiar thing was that the Goblin King spoke the same language as us Human folk with such relative ease. I challenged him to a duel, 1-on-1, but since I was no goblin, I was not allowed to duel the king for the throne. Unable to solve this problem the civilized way, we simply met them head on, myself and Kratos engaging the Goblin King toe-to-toe with his two bodyguards flanking him, while Zirul opened up from his elevated position in the trees.

Ganon had the presence of mind to cast a spell that took all of the goblin troops out of the fight altogether, entangling them with vines coming up from the very ground from which they all stood. They never had a chance to participate in the fight.

Kratos and I were having a difficult go as the Goblin King and his bodyguards proved more than a match for us. Poog was able to divert one of the bodyguards away. Not surprisingly, that bodyguard happened to be none other than Poog’s brother himself. The odds more even, Kratos and I engaged the Goblin King and just one of his bodyguards. They were still very difficult to take down, but summoning the strength of Iomedae, I was able to smite the heathen king not once, but twice! The goblin king fell in short order, but not before leaving several painful marks on me.

Ganon did well making sure that Kratos stayed healthy as Kratos took quite a licking from the bodyguard he was dealing with. The combined efforts of Poog, Zirul, and Bosco were more than enough to take down Poog’s brother. And soon enough, Kratos and I were able to dispatch of the remaining bodyguard. Predictably, the entangled goblin soldiers immediately lay down their arms and surrendered when they saw that we had defeated their leaders.

I was able to separate the evil goblins from the non-evil goblins. There were 11 non-evil goblins (1 of whom was one of the soldiers), and we offered to take them with us. They eagerly complied. The remaining 20-25 evil goblins we had them leave immediately, leaving their weapons and armor behind and only taking with them supplies to make the trip elsewhere.

A New Hope…

Returning to New Hope, we were finally able to start construction of the nation. In about three months time, we had laid down some farmland as well as a road directly connecting it to our city. We then built a very defensible castle. I am quite proud and fond of this first structure as it is a testament to the strength iconic to a nation bearing the name “New Hope”. Worthy, indeed. We also constructed a Town Hall – an important edifice which would allow for the city’s citizens to directly meet with us when it came time to discuss civil matters. Lastly, we put together a cluster of homes so that the new settlers would have some place nice to live.

In those three months, our initial population of 36 settlers plus 11 goblins ballooned to roughly 1800! I have plans to appropriate approximately 5% of the total population into the army so that we may have some semblance of a regular standing army. Our new nation will also require a full-time city watch to man the gates and walls, and city guardsman to patrol the streets. I will also require that an additional 10% of the total population receive some form of basic soldiering training so that they may serve in the auxiliary defense force (reserves), to be called upon in times of dire circumstances and extreme duress. I feel that security is of the utmost importance, considering our vulnerable fledgling status as a newly founded nation. I will oversee training and Kesten and Kratos will both assist me. It must also be noted that Poog intends to patrol the frontiers and maintain its security. He will be training his goblin kin that we had liberated and they will be included as part of his regular patrols.

We have been told, flat out, that we are to serve as the BUFFER between Restov and the untamed wild. This tells me that we can expect to be attacked often. If we’re to be any form of effective buffer, we’re must have a well-trained, well-armed, and well-sized defense force contingent. With our high castle walls, this is certainly a strong positive step in going towards this direction. Next we need to construct a Barracks to house these soldiers and guards. After the Barracks, we can start thoroughly focusing on buildings of commerce.

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