Friday, July 18, 2008

Larien's Journal - 21 Barrakas, 998 YK

The taste of combat is on the tip of my tongue. I'm starting to feel alive again. I was questioning why I was still hanging around the Clifftop Adventurer's Guild. Yes, it was a good place to learn some new skills and pickup a few tips and tricks, but it hasn't satisfied my need for battle and glory.

I figure things are starting to turn around -- lets see where we go from here.

Finally, I'll be able to prove my abilities to both Earnin and Ragnolin and finally shed my wench-like duties at the guildhouse. I am a warrior. I shouldn't need to spend my mornings making bread and waiting tables like a 2 copper whore. And I sure hell hope that "tin can" warforged doesn't end up bringing that tea he makes to the guildhouse. Damn it's good, but I don't need to see any more perverts in the guildhouse each morning.

Character Sheet

Notable NPC's

We need Earnin, the barkeep and the two serving girls added to the Notable NPC's list.

Sterling's Journal - 21 Barrakas, 998 YK

We are two weeks into our journey now to a place called the Black Pit.  Earnin has filled us in one some of the goings on there.  Apparently bandits/ruffians have taken over the town, imposing their will on the folks that live there and have murdered anyone of importance in the town including the local Sheriff.   They have then gone on to force then to working in the mines outside of town.  For what purpose is unknown but think it would be prudent to find out.

From what I can gather from Earnin, and what I know about the area it would seem Black Pit would have the following statistics.

Black Pit:  
Village - Approximate population 800
Industries - Mining, Smithing
Natural Resources - Mithril, Silver, Jewels, Dragonshards
Population mix:  45% Human, 14% Dwarves, 9% Half-Elves, 7% Gnomes, 6% Elves, 5% Halflings, 5% Goblinoids, 4% Orc, 5% Other 

The Pit is apparently named after a giant fissure near the village that opens up into the depths of Khyber.  It seems a dreary place.  Hopefully it will not drag on the moral of the group.

Speaking of moral, the long days on the horses seem to be affecting the group.  The rain over the last few days certainly led to the dour mood that existed between my companions.  Being wet and cold makes even the most stout and stoic humans I've met miserable, and some of this party haven't had to endure this kind of hardship before.

To lift their spirits on the road I began collecting the roots of a blue flowering plant that grows along the side of the road.  I've seen soliders harvest then roast these roots, which when steeped in hot water, prepares a dark tea of sorts that seems to help a man's mental alertness and generally makes them a little more agreeable in the mornings.

I prepared some of this while I was on watch a week ago.  Apparently the aroma of the liquid was found to be appealing to all as the group all woke up a little earlier than their usual.  Questions were abound about what it was I was preparing.  Though some seemed suspicious about drinking something made by a warforged, Delian brought out some mugs and a little honey.  He informed us that the root was from the Chicory plant and he'd heard out it's use but didn't recall ever having it.  

He was the first to try it and sweetened with a bit of honey he stated that he quite liked it.  Everyone else followed suit and since that day I've prepared it each morning to greet my fellow companions as they wake from their slumber.  Moral is up again and we are again making good time, slowed only by the occasional stop to harvest more chicory root or honeycomb.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Recap #1 - The Journey Begins...

It was a warm evening. The kind of evening where a cool glass of mead and a quiet song while gazing upon the constellations should only bring hope for peace and good rest in order to face the glorious dawn to come.

Unfortunately it was not to be that sort of glorious dawn for some.

Shortly before dawn our intrepid group were arriving to work at the Clifftop Adventurer's Guild when they discovered a man being accosted by several humans and an elf right in front of the Guild House! When the victim called out and promptly took a solid blow to the head and crumbled to the ground, the group jumped to the aid of this hapless man. Coming from the stable doors Ethan attempted to focus on the elven archer. Unfortunately the slippery tree-hugger eluded his first attack and promptly returned the favour with an incredible shot that nearly sent Ethan packing to Dolurrh. Closer inspection revealed that the attackers were none other than members of the Deathsgate Adventurer's Guild! Luckily Sterling, Delian, and Jonathan leaped to his aid. Three of the humans fell quickly to the blows of Delian and Sterling while Jonathan rushed to the aid of the bleeding victim. After a short fight Sterling was able to convince the remaining human and elf to submit and further death was avoided. However their trials had just begun.

It was not long before Ragnolin himself emerged from the guildhall to see what the commotion was. He was about to take charge of the situation when nearly a dozen of the nightwatch arrived. As they approached, the human captive made a terrific twist of his body which enabled him to escape Jonathan's grapple and Sterling's iron grip. He fled into the shadows of the rising sun. Several of the nightwatch took off in pursuit.

The captain of the nightwatch did not take the deaths of the humans lightly. It was after all his responsibility to keep all the citizens of his area safe during HIS watch. He quickly brought the chaos to order and began inquiring as to the events that lead to spilt blood on his street. With some smooth talking by the group, a good word from Ragnolin, and some very incriminating evidence found upon the captured elf, the captain decided on a choice of a 200 gp fine or a trip to the local holding cells.

The group was dismayed. 200 gp was far more than they could afford. However Ragnolin came to their aid and posted their fine. He was not a happy dwarf though and he ordered his employees into the guild hall so he could talk the now-recovering victim Earnin.

After what seemed an eternity Ragnolin sent Earnin upstairs for a bath, healing, and some sleep and approached the group. He informed them that they were to complete their shift and then prepare themselves for a very long journey North to Black Pit (I may change the town name here as I did not realize it already has a history in the Ebberon books. Oops.) in order to aid Earnin. It seems that his town has been taken over by a band of ruffians who have either killed or enslaved the townsfolk into working in a nearby mine. His 200 gp reward for assistance would cover the cost of the group's fine.

The group prepared the best they could with guild provisions based on their minor experience in these matters and left with Earnin in the morning. It took nearly a month of riding to reach the town of Black Pit.

Arriving in the evening they noted that the town was very small. A few rundown buildings surrounding the obvious center of town - the Crooked Inn. Earnin informed them that the Inn was left standing as it provided a source of entertainment for the local thugs. When he had left several months earlier it was still run by the innkeeper and his two serving girls.

After a brief discussion the group left their horses on the outskirts of town and proceeded to enter the Inn as weary travellers on their way to Audair. By the briefly shocked look on the innkeepers face it was apparent that he was surprised to see Earnin in the company of such a group.

The group proceeded to sit in the far end of the dining area. They noticed that they were being watched by 4 humans in the other end of the room. Two of the humans sat near their halberds while the other two kept their maces on the table beside them. One of the mace wielders had a serving girl with haunted eyes upon his lap and was whispering and groping her in a most inappropriate manner.

By way of innuendo and a note under a stew bowl the group determined that the residents here would be ever grateful for assistance in ridding their town of these hooligans. It was a good thing anyway as Ethan could no longer stand watching the shenanigans that the serving girl had to put up with. A round of ale and some big words and the fracas ensued. The accosted serving girl paid for putting a dagger in the groin of one of the thugs with a tremendous blow to her person. Jonathan proceeded to protect her as the rest of the group and the innkeeper proceeded to make mincemeat of the unwanted guests.

Now they must figure out what to do next...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ethan's Journal - 8 Barrakas, 998 YK

Tower Spit! My arse is sore! Riding horseback is not for me. I'm not sure if I can handle a month of this! Six take the watch for their laziness and for swindling Master Dourstone. Never there when you need them, yet always around to screw up your life. That's the Sharn City Watch.

Blazes, I don't even know what to write in this thing and my hand is hurting for the effort. Master Dourstone thinks writing a journal will help me focus. He tells me, write what you think, what you feel. I guess if I'm honest with myself I'm afraid to do that.

My hands still shake when I think about yesterday. Our new companion Eranin was being attacked by those thugs from Deathsgate. He cried for help so I ran to his aid. Stupid, almost got me killed! I was next to useless, but at least I didn't leave others to fend for themselves like Jon. I could have used his help, I asked for it, but instead he moved towards Eranin. I understand why he did it, but I was still up and could have used some help. Ogre's Eyes, we could have had two prisoners instead of just the one.

Sterling was there though. Wow, was he a figure of resolve. He gave me some tips later on that day, about fighting as a team. I'll need to talk to him more about this. All I know is if other Forged are like him they have my vote.

Well I think that's all I have. I wrote how I feel, what I'm thinking just like Master Dourstone said to do. Except for this; I'm afraid. I've never been out of Sharn before, I've never owed anyone money. I'm ashamed to admit it but when the guard showed up, I almost ran. I thought my streak of good luck had ended. But here I am, sore arse and all. Olladra keep me.

Larien’s Journal - 7 Barrakas, 998 YK

I am a warrior.
Death is my business.

But why in the bloody hell do I have to be on my rag? Worst timing ever...

The boys were saying that there were some thugs from the Deathsgate Adventuring Guild that were robbing someone in front of the guildhouse. Dammit, I should have been there. My bow is under the bar and my fingers are so itchy for combat. Crap I'm so mad!

Death is my business.

Those guys better f-ing take me to the Black Pit with them...

Character Sheet

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jonathon’s Journal 7 Barrakas, 998 YK

I haven’t written in my journal in some time so perhaps today is a good day to write a few things down.

I woke up this morning and had my usual breakfast, Goats Milk and left over stew from the day before. I got dressed and polished my mace and shield while chanting a few prayers to Onatar. Then I laid them out on my bed before my morning prayers to the Host. Like every other day since the age of 13, I offered my thanks to Dol Dorn for giving me a chance to make a difference in this world. I don’t know my parents, but the memory of that dark day when Shekkal told me what happened has haunted me with nightmares ever night since. Last night was no exception. But at least the birds were chirping and the morning sun rise was giving birth to a beautiful day. Knowing that Arawai had blessed Sharn with such beautiful weather lately brought a warm comfort to my soul.

10 minutes into my morning prayers, I knew my faith in Dol Dorn would be tested soon. It was an odd but comfortable feeling. I’ve been so good at keeping busy that I rarely have the time to confront my feelings but this one was strong and I knew it could be trusted.

I feel safe in Sharn, especially since beginning work as a chaplain at the guild. People come to me for all sorts of spiritual advice and confess the strangest things. I feel I’ve earned the respect of most members and they seem to look after each other.

I normally don’t take my weapons and armor to work. But because of the feelings I had during my prayers I knew danger might be lurking so I decided to take my shield and mace to be on the safe side. Putting on my chainmail though mould be overdoing it though and would certainly bring unwanted attention.

It didn’t take long for my spiritual gift of intuition had come true. After a short 10 minute walk to work I rounded the corner of the street where the guild is and came across a man being robbed by a bunch of well armed thugs.

There was no choice. My oath to Dol Dorn and Dol Arrah made the decision to aid the guy outnumbered 5 to 1 easy. Without evening thinking, I rushed forward yelling at the criminals to stop what they were doing.

Then out of no where, my co-worker and buddy Ethan came out of the shadows to stab one of the assailants. I was happy to no longer be outnumbered but disappointed that Ethan would lower himself to such dishonorable combat techniques. But I didn’t have time to think about that as there were criminals in front of me to dispatch.

Good thing Sterling and Delian were also on their way to work. They must have heard to commotion and ran into help. Delian’s faith in the Sivler Flame brought him much strength so I knew the criminals would no longer be a match. With their arrival the fight was now almost even. Five of them and four of us. Shit went down for another minute or so. I ran over to heal the guy. He surely would have died in the street before my eyes had the Host not blessed me as a channel of their divine healing. The guy was blessed with luck by Alladra that we had arrived in time to save him.

I think Ethan was a little upset with me afterwards as I left him to fend off one of the attackers while I healed the wounded man. But in the heat of the moment my concern was to save the innocent. I felt Ethan could withstand the attack for a few extra moments. After ensuring the guy was still alive, I continued to lay the smack down on the criminals. Shit continued to hit the fan, moment later, three bandits dead, the archer surrendered and I tackled one of the mace wielding guys.

Eight city guards and Ragnolin arrived from the guildhouse at exactly the same time to see what was going down. I’m sure my battle cry to Dol Dorn woke half the city up. The rogue I was holding managed to get away and four guards went after him.

The Watch captain blamed us for killing the three bandits and fined us 200 gold happened. I was diplomatic about it and didn’t want to cause a scene, especially in front of Ragnolin. He has done so much for us that I felt I owe him. But I definitely disagree with the guards and felt justified in my actions. I’m confident that I passed the test Dol Dorn set out for me today. I would have it no other way. Keeping my faith has always been more important than the upholding unjust laws.

I later found out the thugs were from the Deathsgate Adventuring Guild. I get so focused in battle that I can develop tunnel vision on the enemy I engage and sometimes do not hear what’s said in the heat of battle from comrades. Working in a unit has not been my strength. I’ve always preferred fighting my own battles. But I have good feelings from my friends that I should make an effort to change.

In the end, the guy we saved had 200 gold that was recovered from the thieves. I offered immediately to help the guy with bandits in his home town called Black Pit. After a quick prayer to Kol Korran it seemed like a reasonable transaction. The rest of my friends were unsure and waited for Ragnolin to return after talking with the guy we saved. He basically said the same thing with the 200 gold being used to repay him since he paid the fine for us. It felt nice that he said the same thing.

I went back to work and the rest of the day went uneventful except for dinner with Shekka. Most of my conversations with her in the past few months have been positive but this one made me feel depressed. I think she is worried for my safety and this will be my first official adventure outside Sharn. I tried my best to assure her that I am big enough and old enough to look after myself but I had an uneasy feeling when I retired to my room. Somehow I can’t help but think that she is right and that many dangers lie ahead for my friends and I in the days to come.

We are leaving for Black Pit in the morning so I better get some rest.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sterling's Journal - 7 Barrakas, 998 YK

I met Delian on a lift up to the tower on which the guild house is located.  Good thing too.  We chanced upon a group of thugs accosting a man in front of the guild house.  The man called out for our aid just as he took a blow to the head knocking him unconscious. 

I took a quick appreciation of the 5 men.  
  1. Human armed with a dagger and a mace.  He struck the blow to the victim's head.  Carries himself with a soldiers presence.  Dangerous.
  2. Elf armed with Bow.  Archer dangerous from ranged but usually easy to overpower in melee.
  3. Three Humans each armed with a sword.  Carry themselves as inexperienced warriors.  Unlikely to be much of a threat.
Upon hearing the victim call our way, the 5 of the men turn towards us.  The human with the mace stepped forward and warned us off as the elf moved into an advantageous position to engage us with a bow.  I was prepared to loose my shield from my back and place my had on my longsword and warn them off, but combat was engaged before I could.

Ethan quickly moved from the stables area and struck at the archer, his timing was close but the archer got the drop on him and he spun around and hit him square with an arrow from point-blank range.  Ethan was in trouble.   He'd made a rookie mistake and engaged before his ally's are in position to support him or come to his aid, fortunately the rest of the combatants didn't turn on him, I might not have been able to cover enough ground to get to him.

As diplomacy was no longer an option I switched my mind to combat, I fired a bolt at the mace wielder to keep his attention and I loosed my shield.  The three inexperienced ones came at Delian and I, and the archer moved to the guild house wall.  Ethan moved towards the mace wielder and appeared to shake off some of the effects of the arrow that struck him.  

Delian struck down two of the inexperienced warriors as I stepped forward to strike down the third.  I encouraged Ethan with some words of strength which seemed to have an effect.  The combat didn't last long.  Jonathon arrived at that instant as well and grabbed the mace wielder preventing him from turning on Ethan.

Someone wounded the archer badly and as I moved forward to engage the mace wielder I 'convinced' the archer to drop his bow and surrender.  He took the wise course and gave up, however the mace wielder did not wish to be taken dispite our best efforts.  The Watch arrived promptly and Ragnolin came out of the guildhouse to see what the ruckus was about, and as this happened the mace wielder slipped from Jonathons grip and he sped off with four members of the watch in hot persuit though I doubt they'll be able to pin him down.

The Watch captain was certainly upset about the bloodshed that happened "On MY watch!" as the captain liked to point out.  Though I regret that blood was shed in this encounter there was little that could be down for the three that we managed to take down.  They just weren't made of the right meddle to be in the line of work they were in.  It turns out that all five were in the employ of the Deathsgate Adventuring Guild.  I'm not sure if the outcome would have been different had I noticed that.

We, Delian Ethan Jonathon and I, explained ourselves to the Watch, we were coming to the aid of a Sharn citizen being accosted in front of our guildhouse and took the actions required.  The aggressors were certainly the Deathsgate members, though it was Ethan that struck the first blow, I chose not to bring that up.  I'll have a talk with Ethan when I can about the virtues of letting ones adversary's show they're hand before engaging.

In the end, Ragnolin vouched for our good character and a fine was imposed each of us of 200 gold pieces.  It was that or spend some time in prison.  We are now indebted to Ragnolin and the Guild and Ragnolin spent no time in ensuring we had a way to pay it back.  We're to accompany the man we rescued to a place called Black Pit and assist them with a local bandit problem.  I don't have many details but we leave shortly after our shifts are done today.  It's a month or more on horseback to Black Pit.  This will be an interesting time, and one that should cement us into a unit.