Gathering of An Army

Bringing in Wealth
Session 27

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 19th of Gozran…

I have received notice that we are to be expecting a rather sizable upcoming delivery. Master General Sarras has informed me that three of my units will be traveling south to the meeting post – headed by the goblin chief – in order to rendezvous with a large shipment of gold and other valuables. I have chosen sergeants Loyalar, Vortigern, and Cerberus as the best candidates for this mission, whom Sarras has signed off on. They will be notified and briefed on this assignment tomorrow morning and will be departing early the morning after.

From the personal journal of Sergeant Lucan Vortigern, dated Desnus 10…

Our victory was one somewhat hollow and ruinous. While we did succeed in meeting up with the shipment, we encountered an ambush of orcs on our return trip through the valleys. We hadn’t seen hide nor hair of them in several weeks, so our scout’s assumptions was that they had fled the area finally. Apparently though, this bounty was too good of a target to pass up. We lost many men in the attack – nearly all of my unit was killed, most of the light infantry, and Sergeant Cerberus was nearly slain. A handful of our soldiers showed great resolve – namely soldiers Ro’Dash and Arfen (whom has made me personally proud of her actions). From reports I have read, soldiers Barros and McKeon were also instrumental in saving the life of their commander.

Because of the heavy loses of troops and the need for redeployment within the units, I have been given command over a new principal infantry group consisting of these standout soldiers, whom will in turn be given priority missions to guard the Oracle during any missions or diplomatic journeys which take her beyond the walls of Newhold.

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New Lands & New Ties
Session 26

From the official journal of Master General Sarras dated Kuthona 28

A group had arrived to our city claiming to be allies. They were detained, and officers were sent to each one in an attempt to see if their intentions were true. In questioning, it came out that one is actually part of them – Private McKeon – was part of the original scouting expedition out of Pramaya that Command General Moren had thought to have been unsuccessful, while another appears to be the son of Major Lieutenant Trumble. It also appears that The Oracle had not in fact been lost to the Dark Army and was actually travelling with this group. The rest of them are foreign to our lands – one calling herself Fall Two appears to have a clan whom reside in the desert, while a gentleman by the name of Barregen says that he is from an entirely different continent from our own. I have decided that they are indeed trustworthy and they have been released, with precautions – especially where the orc is involved – for their safety and ours.

Next page, dated Abadius 02

After discussions with my generals and the council, we have determined that we should follow through with our initial plan of resettlement in the north, seeing how information that we have gathered from Ro’Dash, McKeon, and Trumble leads us to believe that the lands are much safer than the south and possibly offer a new start for the people of Skalderna. There are several citizens who have volunteered to be included in the journey, which is good as we will need all of the craftsmen and manual labor that we can get. The 3rd Legion will also accompany the caravan and act as the beginning of the new northern military. The plan for departure is begin within days, with the departure date scheduled for the 3rd of Calistril.

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla dated Gozran 2

There have been reports of sheep having gone missing in the fields to the north. However, nothing has thus far been investigated as some of the hunters assure me that it is likely wolves or the like migrating north with the warming weather. However, I have slightly increased guard watches just in case.

Next page dated Gozran 5

I have been informed by a few guards that two citizens have gone missing, one being a sheppard and another a barmaid working at the King’s Tavern. I have ordered Captains Peter and Bair to dispatch a group of infantry, with the assistance and guide of a couple of scouts, to investigate this situation and offer a solution.

Next page dated Gozran 7

We have had nearly two months without any sinister actions in our settlement, however it appears that has now come to an end. The group sent to investigate the disappearances has discovered that the two citizens had indeed been killed; their bodies being found in the woods to the north-west of the settlement a ways off. What is odd though is that the murderer does not appear to be from within our own walls; the offended is some type of strange human-like creature. The body of the beast is being kept under lock and key currently, with more study being needed to determine exactly what it is.

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The Comatose Mind Awakens

Rusk stood looking through black bars made of a smoke like substance. Splayed across what seemed to be empty air is an image showing a great battle raging on. A giant skeletal serpent suddenly roars into view, but from an odd angle. It takes Rusk a moment to realize that Marian has just been hoisted up into the air by the serpent’s tail. He feels a slight tingle on his right shoulder. He knows this feeling well, it means Marian is hurt. He pays it little heed, mainly just scratches at the spot while continuing to view the lopsided combat. His friends are not doing well. They don’t seem to be hurting this beast all that much, not even with all their new weapons. Suddenly Rusk screams in pain as he falls to the ground. Glancing to his right, he sees two things. The first is that his right arm is now gone. The second, even more confusing sight, is Marian laying on his left side facing the wall and not moving. Rusk rushes over to check on him but he is nonresponsive. After trying unsuccessfully to wake him, Rusk does the only thing he can do, he sits down and waits. A few hours go by, Rusk believes, or it could be a few days, time goes by oddly here, before Marian stirs. Rusk must have been dozing because he looked away for just a moment and when he looked back Marian was laying on his back, clutching the stump where his right arm once was, and staring up at the ceiling.

Rusk jumps up and takes a step forward “Marian?! You’re awake! What are you doing here? How are both of us on the same side of the bars? What happened to our arm?”

Marian barely moves is head and somberly glances at Rusk out of the corner of his eye. “Rusk, please go away and leave me be. Can’t you see I’m useless now? I failed to protect you, again, and in that failure made it so I could never protect you again.”

Rusk has seen his surlier half like this before and knows when to back off. “Fine I’ll go away. But first you have to answer one question. What happened to our arm?”

Marian practically screams back, “The damn snake ripped it off!! I know you were watching so don’t act dumb.”

Rusk responds quietly, “I actually couldn’t see that happen, so no, I didn’t know that. No reason to be rude…. Ok so the snake ripped off our arm. But how are we both on this side of the bars?”

Marian closes his eyes. “You said one question, now go away.”

It was now Rusk’s turn to yell. “What do you mean go away?! We’ve never been on the same side before, why don’t you care about this?”
Not even bothering to respond, Marian rolls away to face the wall, successfully ending the conversation.

Over the next few days, Marian continued to stare into the void that surrounded their little island of reality. Never talking, barely even moving. Rusk wasn’t exactly productive either though. If he wasn’t sitting, rubbing his shoulder, and watching Marian, he was walking intricate geometric shapes in the ground. Occasionally he would glance up towards where he could usually see the real world, but each time he had to lower his head and keep walking. All that was there now was darkness. Each time this happened he would glance over at Marian inert form. After what must have been the hundredth time, Rusk didn’t just glance over at Marian, he ran over and kicked him. It wasn’t a soft kick meant to wake someone up. It was a full strength kick straight at the middle of Marian’s back. The reaction was instant. Marian shot to his feet and spun to face the threat. His left hand came up to accept the handle of the red two-handed hammer that his right hand should have formed, but there was nothing to grab. His right arm was gone. There would be no hammer forming. Marian’s eyes flicked from Rusk’s face, down to Rusk’s severed right shoulder, and on to his own severed right shoulder. And then it looked like all the substance went out of him as he crumpled to the ground. Rusk was sick of waiting though. Instead of walking away again, he took a step forward and kicked Marian in the head. Picking himself up off the ground, Marian once again turned to face Rusk. This time his face was contorted in rage.

“What the hell do you want from me? Are you excited to take advantage of my disability and finally beat me in a fight?!” he screams at Rusk.

Rusk shifts to put his own severed stump towards Marian. “What advantage?” he all but spits at Marian. Still talking, he slowly advances towards Marian. “I see two options here. We both sit here and do nothing but stare off into whatever surrounds us. Or,” he glances down at the stump, “we learn to deal with this.”

Marian’s face loses its rage, and actually takes on an intrigued look. “And how do you propose we do that?”

A smile appears on Rusks face. He has already won this battle. The hard part is over, what follows is just icing on the cake. He brings his left arm up, scrunches his face as sweat starts beading on his forehead, and causes a blue sword to slowly form in his left hand. “By learning to use this. It won’t be easy, but it will be necessary. Now, your turn.”

It didn’t take Marian long to follow suit, except his was a slightly smaller version of his red hammer. Once he formed it, his confidence seemed to return as well. They spent hours sparring. At first they looked like toddlers just learning how to use their limbs. The loss of a limb effected their balance, causing them to over stretch and tumble to the ground on more than one occasion. In the theater of the mind, sleep is not needed, so short rests were all they needed. By each break, their skill had clearly advanced. They had found their new center, could form their mindblades as easily as before, and had learned that footwork was even more important now.

They were in the middle of one of their sparring sessions, when Rusk suddenly ducked and caught Marian off guard with a spinning low kick followed immediately by a backhanded slash aimed right at his ribs. Marian knew he couldn’t get his hammer around in time, nor move out of the way in time, but as he heard the familiar metallic sound, he had to smile. Where Rusk’s sword should have struck his unprotected side, it instead struck strong black chainmail. Rusk was undeterred and spun back the other way to strike at the other side, only to find more chainmail. Marian, overconfident with the return of his armor, stepped forward into a wicked overhand chopping maneuver. Rusk’s defense was reactionary. He didn’t grow armor. Instead, he just wasn’t there anymore. Quicker than Marian could see, Rusk was moving sideways around the hammer and coming up behind Marian. Marian used his momentum to spin around into another strike, but all he saw was a blue blur as Rusk kept moving, following Marian’s spin. After spinning for a few more seconds, Marian fell forward into a roll, coming up on a knee facing back the way Rusk was standing. They both wore smiles. They took a quick rest, and then resumed their training with renewed vigor.

This training went on for many days. Both Rusk and Marian had lost count of just how long they had been there together. Both had found a new respect for the other. When Marian’s hammer suddenly dropped from his lifeless fingers, Rusk’s first reaction was to take advantage of the lapse in concentration. His second reaction was to hold back thinking it might be a trick, but upon further inspection of Marian’s face, especially his eyes, Rusk paused and looked over his shoulder. His own mindblade slipped from his fingers to dissipate before it reached the ground. The tunnel and window had reappeared. The window was hazy, they could barely make out anything, but the tunnel was very clear. Rusk looked at Marian. Marian returned the stare, and then flicked his eyes to the tunnel.

His voice was gravelly as he spoke, “Get going Rusk. It’s your turn now. You don’t need me to hold your hand anymore. Go be what neither of us has been for a lot longer than the snake attack, one whole person. It’s been an honor.” Marian suited actions to words, and raised his left hand.

With a smile on his face, and a slight tear in his eye, Rusk grasped Marian’s forearm in a tight embrace. “The honor is mine. I’m sorry it took me so long to see that. I’ll see you soon.” Still with a smile on his face, Rusk turned and started jogging down the tunnel. Marian watched him go for a few moments, then turned and headed back towards the bars of black smoke. He walked through the cage door and slowly sat down to rest and watch the window. As he saw the image sharpen, Marian spoke quietly “Go be what you’ve always been in my eyes. Goodbye my son.” A smile slowly spread across Marian’s face as his body faded into black smoke and was swept away by an unseen wind.

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Guess Who's Back
Session 25

From the journal of Barregen Cromwell

So far, we’ve made it back into the stinking, dank, dark tunnels of the mountain that we did so much to get out of in the first place. I cannot believe that we’re back in here after all this time. It’s been four days since we came back in and so far it’s exactly the same: tunnel, tunnel, more tunnel. Statues and flowers, then rocks. At least this time there doesn’t seem to be any more ogres.

Next page of the journal

Orcs. Fucking stupid orcs. Looks like these things spread out a bit since we came through here last. We came up on them at the start of night during a thunderstorm, which helped cover our approach a bit. Shai doused their torches and kept them busy looking for light, while we snuck up with Rusk taking the lead (Not sure how I feel about seeing him again). Problem was when Falltu got tripped up on the rocks and alerted the guards to our location and the honed in on us quick enough.

Luckily, Ro’Dash managed to talk them down from killing us to just letting us not pass through their territory. Unfortunately, as we found out later when we made our way to the other side of the valley, that they had also expanded their territory. Saying “fuck it” we hopped over the wall and made our way into what looked like a mining field – at least, that’s what I got from the excavation equipment that we came across. The watchman that we ran into didn’t feel like talking to us though when he tricked Ro’Dash into thinking that he was just going to let us go through, and instead ran off to the village.

Harman managed to find us a little cliff to hide on while the search party came through, and when they were far enough out of site we made our way to the cliffs that we originally used to pass over the village.

Oh, by the way. That was fun! Since we all almost fell to our deaths because Rusk slipped and nearly pulled the rest of us down with him. The rain made it slow going, but eventually we crossed. I have a feeling that we’re still not going to rest well tonight.

Next page of the journal

Right now, we’re campaing outside of the temple on the other side of the mountains. At least, what used to be the temple. The entire thing has been burned down to the foundation and apparently a bunch of goblins have taken up refuge it in. This Rip Nugget that the rest of them had been talking about seems to have led a little revolt and started making a new “castle” here. Good for them. Tomorrow, we start the trip down the mountain path and back to level land.

Next page of the journal

Falltu just lost her shit. Looks like losing her people has finally taken its toll on her and she snapped. We found her by the river balling her eyes out and crawling on her stomach into the water. She finally snapped out of it and started babbling about her people screaming and blood…. Who the hell knows. At any rate, we’re apparently taking a short cut and heading straight across their land to some capital city. Langen I think they called it. We’ll see.

From the records of Commander Rafe, dated 2nd day of Abadius in the year 176:

Today, a group of people came to the walls of Langen Castle. They had fought their way through the Bone Fields and managed to even kill a couple of the necromancers from what my watchmen say. Upon examination, it appears that at least three of them are from this region: I have my doubts about the female as she sporadically spoke an unknown dialect, and one of the males – after examination of the gear that he possessed – seems to have some unfamiliar equipment. Another was a female gnome, while the last was an unknown race, though he did seem to at least comprehend our language. They have been restrained and moved to isolated chambers until we can interrogate them on an individual basis. Follow up report to come.

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Heading Home
Session 24

From the journal of Barregen Cromwell

Sleeping in a bag on a stone floor isn’t exactly what I’d call comfort, but at least it’s better than the ground or a boat. These haven’t been the best several days of my life, but then again… they haven’t been the worst, either. They’ve given us a place to sleep, food, and drinks. Oh hell have they given us drinks.

I’ll tell you what: I’ll never look at a toad the same way again, that’s for damned sure. And it was enough that Shai woke up curled up with a kobold in her bed. Their children will be disgusting.

I’ve been spending the last few days crafting a new firearm; a musket. And while I spent time in the forge working on my own gear, the rest of the weirdos had commissioned the kobolds to make them some new gear. Harman managed to get some new armor that his weak bones can actually handle. Marian got a set of vembraces that he asked “could protect from goblins” because he apparently hates them that much. This turned out to be an idea that the smiths were interested in though, so they went with it.

Falltu really made out in the deal though. They crafted her an entire set of new armor, complete with this demon dragon lizard head helmet thing. She’s pretty crazy looking in it, to be honest. But, her simple mind was pleased with the results.

After we got set up with new equipment – packs, rope, rations, kits – and we got another day of rest behind us, it was time for the rest of the group to head back home. Me? It’s just another place to make some money.

In the meantime, we’re sitting about 100 paces away from the giant rotting corpse of a pincushion. Some place I figured that we’d…. I’d never thought that I’d return. But, I never try to say never.

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Invasion of the Caverns - Part 2
Session 23

We had the kobolds carry Rodash’s body to someplace safe. Harman did his best to try and communicate to them that we needed a place where we could rest up and make sure that the big guy was okay. Apparently Shai couldn’t muster up any more glowing-hands mumbo-jumbo to make him better, so this was our best bet.

They lead us down a bunch of tunnels until we finally came to a room, but safe it definitely wasn’t. Falltu and Rusk Marian started yelling that they were being shot at and ran off, one towards the room and the other back down the hallway. I kept my eye on Marian running down the tunnel, but Harman told Shai to keep near me, so I figured that I would stay close. Meanwhile, Harman and Falltu ran into the room to smash some shit up. And man, did they. All I heard was metal and wood being tossed everywhere.

I managed to get one decent shot at the goblin that Marian ran after, but apparently he got away. It looked like the kobolds lead us to their armory that had been completely raided. This place definitely wasn’t safe, so Harman asked the lizards to take us to the All-Watcher instead. They got the gist and started leading us down another tunnel.

Fat ton of good that was. When we reached the All-Watcher, there were voices up ahead that definitely weren’t kobold. I scoped ahead and realized that there was a bunch of lizard guys tied up with goblins watching over them. Me and Harman came up with a plan: Falltu and kobolds would make their way to the hostages, Marian would go around to the other side while me and Harman would provide cover fire for them.

The plan worked well enough, and soon we were able to free a bunch of the kobolds. Falltu went berzerk and bashed the heads of a couple of goblins, while Harman and Marian did a pretty decent job of cleaning up the other side and made their way to the top of the platform. Harman called out that there was someone, or something on the other side and Marian just went jumping off at it. Sounded like it went pretty well, considering that I heard some loud grunts, slams of metal and Marian groaning a lot. Great.

And holy crap was this guy ugly. This rough warty skin that was obviously not moisturized, messed up teeth, a metal lion’s head for one hand, which had apparently been relocated to the other arm since his right side had two hands from the elbow. But those two hands held a giant sword.

I got a couple good shots in though, and soon enough big ugly went running to his momma. Only problem? Apparently she was on the other side of Shai and Rodash. Harman yelled out to warn her, and the rest of us went chasing after him. But, when we got there, all that was left was a barbecued hunk of shit.

We took Rodash and dragged him into the room, then went to check on the All-Watcher. Yeah… he was just a pile of mush at that point. Looks like the big guy had taken care of him in a bad way.

A bunch of the kobolds gathered around and one of them started taking the cloak and staff from the All-Watcher’s corpse. He disappeared behind a hidden door and we all pretty much passed out after that.

The next morning… maybe morning, who knows… a few of us woke up with Rodash and had a little chat. Basically, shit is messed up and we need to figure out what we’re doing here and why. Looks like Harman doesn’t even really understand why they’re still here. When the new All-Watcher came out of his little hidden chamber, Rodash translated some stuff for us and, long story short, we can stay here as long as we want until we have to leave. Also, looks like these goblins are their enemies or something and they fight all of the time. A heads up would have been nice.

Armies. Monks trying to kill me. Rock things in a mountain. Orcs, ogres and trolls. A field of statues. Fucking skeletons coming out of the ground and a… something disappearing into a cloud of smoke. Gates in the side of a mountain. Kobolds fighting goblins. This is all just way too much.

I can’t wait until I can sleep in a bed again.

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Invasion of the Caverns - Part 1
Session 22

Barregen Cromwell’s Personal Journal…

We returned from the mines successful with arms full of ore, and there’s black smoke billowing from the mouth of the lizard’s hut? Great.

When we followed Rodash towards his home, there wasn’t a need for torches or lanterns, since the entire front gate was burnt to a crisp. The big guy went rushing in, followed by Rusk and Harman rolling through the fire. Falltu decided to try and take a shortcut by smashing down the remaining wall pieces. Apparently, on the other side were three creepy-ass looking hairless dog things that were a pain, but easy enough to manage. After Falltu made us a new door, we followed after Rodash who went running down the hallway.

_As an aside: Looks like Marian is back. I’m honestly not sure if I’m going to miss Rusk or not. He’s kind of a whiny prick and he gave away the armor that I fixed for him. Looks like Marian’s learned a few new tricks in his off-time, too.

We ran from room to room, swerving down those tiny tunnels and finally coming out to a room that opened up. In there were a handful of kobolds, and we finally found out what caused the door’s current debilitating condition – they were getting the crap kicked out of them by a group of goblins.

We helped clean up the green little bastards in time to have a couple of them start loosing fire arrows at us. Getting up close and personal, Harman was able to take one of them hostage and get some info from it. Apparently they’re following this leader Gnaw Back or something, but it had no real idea where this ass was. Rodash went running off again and Falltu followed him, so we finished up and followed them down the tunnel. At least we thought we did.

The goblin lead us to where he thought Gnaw Back was, and we ended up at the forge where there was a huge melee going on. Kobold blood was spilled all over the place, but a lot of them were still fighting. We jumped right into the fray.

Me and Marian started making our way through a bunch of goblins, blowing their shit apart. Harman spotted Falltu and Rodash on the bridge in the middle of the forge: apparently they looped around and came in on the other side. The two of them started fighting this big fucker with an axe who had just cut down a couple of kobolds, while me, Marian and Harman regrouped. Shai must’ve hidden in the tunnel entrance the entire time. Or did that invisible thing that she can apparently do.

As we were trying to make our way to Falltu and Rodash…. man, it was brutal. Rodash was doing this weird lean-back standing thing, but it didn’t do a thing to help him against the goblin’s axe. It just buried right in his chest and blood went everywhere. But as he was swinging, I saw Harman out of the corner of my eye step up and he just started yelling at Rodash. It was…. inspiring.

Rodash hit the ground with a thud, and Falltu freaked out. She dropped her shield and just started wailing on this guy. After he dropped and we took out the last goblin in the forge, we counted the kobold’s that we had saved – four in total – and decided that we badly need a place to take care of Rodash.

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It Is a Mine
Session 21

Barregen Cromwell’s Personal Journal…

We finally made it to the mine, and apparently the lizard king forgot to inform us that this was their off season for work. The entire thing is empty, but luckily Roedash worked here occasionally, so at least he knows his way around this place. Falltu, Harman and myself grabbed some picks and shovels while Rusk and Shai followed Roedash down the tunnels to light the way.

Damn, these tunnels are deep. But, at least we’re out of the cold.

Hours later, we finally start to see signs where mining was still happening before their winter break. These deposits aren’t nearly as pure as I need them though, so we continued down. Looks like we weren’t the only ones enjoying the warmer air down here though. A shit-ton of bats began to swarm when our lanterns invaded their nesting spot. Fucking Rusk and Falltu decided to start swinging about instead of just letting them pass, and we got into a really long and bothersome fight. Ever try to hit one bat, let alone fifty? Yeah, that’s how fun that was.

After Harman bagged up a bunch of them and Falltu smashed the shit (literally) out of them, we moved on.

After a rest, we finally found a sizable deposit of carbonized iron, perfect for smelting down into steel. Mining out as much as we could carry, we made the long trip back to the surface and decided to rest once more before heading back to the lizard caves.

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Other Side of the Door
Session 20

Barregen Cromwell’s Personal Journal…

Hell, I need a drink. At least I got my hands on some new ink though.

This place is dark, and hot, and small, and dark. These lizard things walked us for too long of a time down pitch black tunnels when they left us in what Rusk told us was a small room. Finally something cast some light. This lizard with a staff and some robes who apparently has learned to speak our language somehow. He calls himself the All Watcher and says that he’s their leader. Harman takes the lead and explains our situation. Apparently they’re on some type of quest or mission or some shit that they didn’t bother actually telling me about. They yapped away for a bit and apparently we’re on their good side now, since they took us to a room and gave us food.

When we went back to get the big stone guy, he was gone and had taken the weapons that we’d had to drop with him. Looks like he took Francesco as a snack, too.

Harman went and talked with the Watcher guy again and apparently worked his tongue magic, since we’re getting new weapons to replace what the asshole took with him. They took us down to this hot as balls forgery where they dumped a bunch of weapons for us to sift through. Think I’m going to take this time and try to make myself a new musket while the others have the smiths craft them some new weapons and armor that’s more size appropriate.

Looks like their materials aren’t up to the quality that I am used to. No matter what I do, the iron won’t bend the way I need it to. The forge master told us that there is a mine with veins of iron that could be good enough for what I need though. In the morning, we’ll be taking a little trip.

They gave us cloaks for the cold weather and new fur-lined bedrolls for our travel. The forge master’s apprentice, this big ugly bastard who takes a beating from the kobold but takes it in stride, is going to be our guide to the mine. Mother Nature has laid down about 5 inches of snow in the four days that we’ve been stuck underground. Falltu is freaking the fuck out. Shai is doing her best travelling without her lizard ride.

As we were setting up for camp, the pack of wolves that had been trailing us practically since we left made their move. Almost a dozen of them swarmed on us, with this big black beast as their leader. He was the only one to make it out alive, with Harman planting an arrow in his ass as he ran away. For his sake, he better stay away since I’m probably going to need a new coat soon.

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Following the Trail
Session 19

They walk.

And walk.

And walk.

This group covers plenty of ground in the frigid air encompassing these new lands. Though they still have not grasped the true effect that such weather has upon their bodies, as they continue to march without protection or thought of the icy winds. They continue along the path that the Oracle has laid out for them: West towards a clearing of some sort.

By the next day, they reach this clearing. It is nothing more than felled trees that show no more signs of life. However, apparently there is a path leading south through the woods. Horse tracks? Interesting. This might suggest life within these lands after all.

The cold apparently keeps most of the wilds at bay, though within a few days they once again find that the lands hold many surprises. Rusk’s keen eyes have nearly paid off, as he is able to warn Falltu of the large beast that is in front of her just before she meets it face to face herself. A manticore has apparently stumbled upon their camping grounds in search of food.

I was not aware that such a beast still thrived within this world. An interesting development that may require more research.

The group does rouse from their slumbers and rally somewhat quickly, almost working together with the onset of possible death looming over them. Soon enough, they have scared off the beast as it takes flight, disappearing into the dark and clouded skies.

For the next couple of days they travel. Their exploits are becoming more and more tiresome, quite nearly a waste of my efforts. Within time, they reach the mountains once again, though at this location is the birth of a waterfall, several hundred feet tall from appearances. As they survey the surrounding area, it appears that the horse tracks are mixed alongside kobolds. Oh, this certainly should be a delight. Harman sends Rusk beneath the waterfall to follow the tracks, and the scout comes back with rather interesting sightings.

A wall of wood built within a tunnel found behind the water. Thick wood with a large door in the middle. No windows or slits to be seen. Oh… They are approaching the door with hopes of diplomacy and peace? They hope to find friends and allies with the kobolds? Their lack of knowledge of these crude lizards is most beneficial indeed. Apparently I will not need his services, after all.

These bundles of flesh have served their purpose, and now have worn out their interest. Their lives will be ended far away from their families and without purpose being found. Tis an unfortunate ending for such an enticing group, however they have given all they can and found wanting in the end. I shall turn myself again to more pressing matters, now with their failures at hand and new stories shall unveil, I am sure.

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