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Letters from Derrack

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Letters from Derrack

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:44 pm

4-9-4715

Drake,

Things are taking a surprising turn here in Trunau.  As you know, Tibb and I are staying in the Rambling House and she works at various farms throughout the day while I learn more and more about the area.  Well, this day seems to be a bit different than normal.  Actually it’s the next day, but events start off this night.

Tonight is Ruby’s (the Captain of the Guard Holgra’s daughter) twelth birthday and as is local custom she is to receive her Hopeknife.  It is still strange to me to think of someone so young being considered an adult but I do suppose it makes some sense if one were to think biologically.  But I digress.

Tonight has all of the major defenders of the town in abundance including Jaegran and his sons, Rodrick and Kurst.  Rodrick starts out the night essentially getting the crowd riled up in a cheerful way however his brother declines the opportunity to speak.  At which point our dear Captain of the Scouts takes the halfmoon stage.  You will recall from my earlier letter from when I first got here about the commons area and the stage the townsfolk use.  Well, Jaegran’s speech was passionate and definitely designed to inspire the people, I have included it here as I believe you may enjoy it.

“We all have shed the blood of orcs, we all carry the Hopeknifes, ready to take our own lives rather than be captured.  We work the land our ancestors fought to keep, and we draw strength from their sacrifice.  Our people have stared into the eyes of the hordes of two hundred years.  We have married, borne children, and lived more fiercely and more freely than those of softer nations can ever imagine.  Will we be here next year?  Only the gods know.  All I know is this is our home.  If the orcs plan on taking it from us then every one of us will ten of them screaming down to Hell with us.  And we’ll be laughing the whole way down.”

After this the proud mother steps up and while extoling her daughter’s praise, presents her with a slender fancy knife on a silver chain.  Beautiful item really.

After this there was much celebrating and much drinking.  It never ceases to amaze me how humans can drink as much as dwarves despite being so much less sturdy.  Still, to be polite I did intake some wine.  As you know I cannot hold my drink.

Though perhaps this was the reason I agreed to the game.  See, throughout the night many various games of skill are played and the first one was apparently a tug of war.  Ruby versus the guard.  Ruby can pick her teammates and for some reason, she asked me.  Gods of Magic only know why I agreed.  She also picked Tibb, which as you know, was a smart choice.  My little ward is much stronger than she seems.  Ruby also picked the half orc doctor Tumac and our resident teifling, the beautiful Saoirsa.  Against this team of obviously strong individuals, note the sarcasm in my writting, was placed both brothers and two others from the city guard.  

I am a little ashamed to admit that it seem Ruby was in fact stronger than I.  Yes you have chided me many times over the years about my lack of physicallity but never before have I felt it so keenly.

Before we begin the young Rodrick taunts us, attempting to be the bad guy to Ruby’s hero, the only problem is that the taunts were probably accurate.  I could see no way we could win.  Well, we won.  

Not only was the game much closer than it should have been, (I am seriously considering lowering my expectations of these guardsman) but just as they should have won, some townsfolk came out and grabbed our side of the rope, easily pulling the other team across the line.  So technically we won though it still feels like cheating to me.

The rest of the games I’m agraid I wasn’t paying attention to.  My arms felt like the wet flavored noodles favored by the Tien people.  It was all I could do to hold my water and wine.

Anyway, as the night progressed Rodrick and Kurst travelled the celebration talking to everyone who wasn’t born in the town.  For a town beseiged by orcs, there were a surprising number of us.  They were doing a recruitment drive of sorts, and somehow managed to acquire all of them except me.  I told them I would do poorly in a military setting however if they needed my assistance then they would have it free of charge.  Yes, even Tibb chose to join.

The rest of the night passed quietly, or so I thought.

The next morning, the new recruits and I (minus Tibb who got up early as usual to help out at the local farms) gathered on the green for training.  I was curious so I wanted to watch.  The hours passed with very minor training, Tibb showed up, time passed.  About a half an hour later Kurst showed up expecting Rodrick and not finding him.  So he left again to search out his brother.

An hour and a half later a seargant shows up and informs us that Rodrick apparently killed himself in the Rambling House.  

The group of us, Tibb and myself, Saoirsa, and Tumac, head over there. Once there we meet Kurst who is obviously upset and for good reason.  To all appearances his brother commited suicide however Kurst was adamant that it was immpossible and Rodrick would never.  He then practically begged us to investigate.  I guess our makeshift group of people with very differing skills seemed like a bunch of detectives.  It was for the best really since I was planning on looking into this anyway.

First, backstory.  Rodrick stays here ever since he and his father had a fight about Rodrick’s new girlfriend, the red haired half orc Brinya Kalver.  That was about two months ago however most people in town don’t know the full story.  The only reason I do is because I listen much better than most.  Humans are always so impatient, they forget the simple pleasures that just listening can bring.  Again, I digress.

Here we have to split the group as it seems that before we got here the militia took Rodrick’s body to the Longhouse.  Tibb and I stayed and searched the room while Tumac (who wanted to do an autopsy) and Saoirsa went to the guards dwelling.  That’s the Longhouse by the way.  I forgot if I mentioned it before.

Tibb and I find nothiing so we head to meet our new companions.  It still amazes me how much she’s grown in the years we’ve been apart and how much she hasn’t changed.   Apparently I have a problem with digression today.

We meet the others and find out that all Tumac was able to determine was that it looked like suicide and apparently happened about six to nine hours ago, so very early morning by now.  

A bit of searching and we find the two guards who had removed Rodrick and his possessions.  Those possessions include clothing, a journal of unfinished poems, and his Hopeknife.

Moving on we search for Brinya, finding her at a boarding house not far from the Longhouse.  She is visibly upset, as one would expect.  She states she hasn’t seen Rodrick in the past three nights.  About two months ago Rodrick proposed to her using his mother’s ring.  This is what sparked the confrontation with his father.  The two were going to wait until he was more accepting of their relationship.  They would meet up at the old Plague House especially since Rodrick seemed to be investigating something.

Saoirsa ponders if he was investigating the white crosses that had been painted in various places around town with a strange paint that can not be cleaned off.

After some light questioning Brinya admits to seeing Rodrick earlier in the evening last night.  They were talking about how they had exchanged Hopeknifes after having inscriptions on them and somehow he had lost the one she gave him.  Her description of the knife was definitely not like the one found in Rodrick’s possession.  So if he had lost the one he had, whose was it that was found with him?

Back to the Longhouse to inspect the knife, which seems to be of poor quality than the ones normally produced at Sara (the half orc blacksmith married to the dwarf mage, I’m sure I’ve mentioned them) place.

While here I get an idea and use a simple spell to see if the knife was poisoned.  It wasn’t however Rodricks body had traces of poison in it.  I am not familiar with those things so I was unable to determine what it was.

We end up back at the Ramble House where, with eyes apparently sharper than Tibb’s and mine, Tumac finds a false bottom in the desk drawer.  However it was empty.

We continue through town to Sara’s, nicknamed Clamor for the noise coming out of it, and show her the Hopeknife.  Sara recognized the knife as one that was unfinished she was making for Rodrick.  Believes that her “clumsy oaf” of an apprentice (Umsal, a young female refugee who begged Sara for work) may have taken it with her when she quit two days ago for no reason.  Umsal stayed at one of the many boarding houses in town and unfortunately Sara doesn’t know which one.  

We thank Sara and head back to the Longhouse looking for Kurst.  He states he was with Rodrick till just before midnight and no he doesn’t know what his brother was investigating.  As a side note, Kurst seems perfectly accepting of Rodrick’s and Brinya’s relationship, even worrying about his almost fiancee.Kurst also states that he saw Rodrick and Omast talking after he and his brother split up.

In Rodrick’s old room at the Longhouse we find an old patrol journal. The last date in it was for a month ago, unfortunately there is no current journal.

We finally find Omast (older fellow, likes his alcohol, acts like he’s everyone’s favorite uncle) hanging from guard tower attempting to clean one of the white crosses that Saoirsa mentioned earlier.  Again, it was uneffective.

The drunk guard, after calling Rodrick a “magnificant bastard” says that these crosses are a messege from Rodrick from beyond the grave.  I quickly summon a gallon of water above his head, hoping the wet cold shock will sober him up a bit.  Thankfully it does.

He knew nothing about Rodrick’s Hopeknife however he does not like Brinya, even calling her racial slurs I’ll not repeat here.

Tumac, our resident doctor and alchemical expert, is able to recognize the paint as a special variety designed to be very hard to remove.  He does believe however he can make a solvent to fix that problem.

Since we want to speak with the Ramble House owner, we take the drunk Omast there on our way so he can dry off and sleep off the drink.

The halfling owner states that she got worried when Rodrick didn’t leave his room at the time he normally does and after getting no response from knocking, she entered.  Which is when she found his body and promptly fainted.

She initially states that she doesn’t know of anyone besides Brinya who visited him here.  However after she appeared nervous and seemed to try and get us to leave we pressed the issue.  That was when she broke down and admitted she allowed a person, who came very late last night, to enter a room without signing the guest book.  He apparently paid a small bribe for this, however he left very very early without saying anything to anyone.  Cham (the halfling who owns the “inn”) was able to give us a basic description of the person.

Obviously we searched the stranger’s room.  As we do Saoirsa finds a note, apparently forgotten in the hasty departure.

“Melire, I shouldn’t be away much longer.  We still haven’t found what we’re looking for but it’s only a matter of time, and the other preparations are proceeding as planned.  A meddling militia patrol captain has been poking around but I don’t foresee him being a threat for much longer.  Once our work is done it won’t matter anyway and I can return to you.  I marvel that I found you in the midst of all this, and think of you constantly.  Soon my beloved.”

Another quick question of Cham reveals that a short time ago a large group of half orcs had rented out all the big person rooms at the Rambling House but they left two days ago.

So, since the note was obviously refering to Rodrick and we know from Brinya that the good guardsman was investigating something at the Plague House, and local legend that says strange lights can be seen throughout the place at night but no tracks show up in the morning, we head there.

We circle the place as darkness falls and towards the back we find a hole in the wall and floor area that apparently leads to the basement of this burned out abandoned former church.  You will remember from one of my past letters that I told you of the story and history of this place.

Tibb, in full fuzzy form, attempts to climb down the rubble but slips, landing badly and getting very hurt.  I resisted the urge to just jump down after her, thankfully, and was able to memory slip a spell into one that would allow me to get down without getting hurt.  Soon we were all down and the lovely Saoirsa was able to cast healing magic which allowed Tibb to recover.

Here however is where I made a mistake.  We searched the room, finding a small recently dug out tunnel against one wall (a doorway on the opposite side) and under some rubble near the tunnel was a pair of human shaped legs.  As we were investigating it, first one then two more Shadow Rats exit the tunnel and make life painful for us.  They are, if you will remember volume twenty four of the Pathfinder’s Almanac on the Relationship Between Undead and Vermin, a type of undead ghost rat that has the ability to blend into shadow as well as being incorporeal and the ability to drain the physical strength from someone with an attack.  After a couple hits failed I decided that blending into the shadow and being incorporeal were the same thing so I made lights eliminating the shadows and proudly exclaimed that they could be hit now.  Saoirsa and Tibb quickly proved me a fool and eliminating a means to hide does not make one easier to hit when one has no physical body.  I paid for my foolishness by being bitten a few times (again forgetting the incorporeal can pass through walls) and now I feel weaker than I did after the tug of war game.

I can only say that my haste to prove myself useful on my first adventure outside a library hampered my judgement.  You have my permission to mock me the next time we meet, however I will remember this incident and will not let it happen again.

A strange thing did happen during this encounter however.  An arrow came flying in from somewhere, attempting to strike the ghostly rats.  It passed through them with you harm, as you can imagine, but I never did learn who shot it.

We exit that room through the doorway opposite the tunnel and down another passageway we find a larger room with a ladder going up.  Tumac and Saoirsa and Tibb go up first, with me quickly following.  Thankfully the Shadow Rats can not climb.   Unfortunately the room was full of Haunts whose sudden screaming and baleful presence caused Tumac to run through a doorway in that room (filled with burned beds, each one holding a ghostly presence of a former member of the church of Iomedae as well as broken statues of said goddess) into a hallway where he found three dire rats eating a strangely fresh corpse.

I was able to put two of the three to sleep as a now terrified Tumac ran past them and down a flight of stairs.  Saoirsa and Tibb quickly attack the remaining awake rat and once it is deceased the three of us continue down the stairs after Tumac.

Ah unfortunately my brother I can see my dear Tibb looking at me with those impatient eyes of youth.  I will end this letter here and continue when I have more time.  Hopefully after we solve this ghastly murder of a captain.  Be well and may the gods watch over you brother

Derrack A. Tyme
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MrPrettyPretty

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Re: Letters from Derrack

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:02 am

4-10-4715 Cont.

Salutations dear brother.  Apologies for the interruption of the last letter. Writing and adventuring at the same time tends to be somewhat problematic.  On with the tale started in the last letter.

After a brief time good Tumec was able to return to himself.  You’ll remember some Haunts had him terrified.  Once he was better we held a quick debate on what to do next.  Tibb, bless her heart, wanted to finish off the Shadow Rats and wished to return to the room with the Haunts.  Thankfully it was decided to finish searching the rest of the place first.  After by blunder with the rats before I’m not overly confident about returning.  So we move on.

We open the doorway at the bottom of the stairs and are greeted by a new companion.  An elf with blonde hair wearing worn and patched clothing and holding a bow.  An abrupt fellow who ignored my simple greeting to converse with Saoirse since it seems that they have meet before.  Strangely enough Tibb seems excited to meet him.  Or perhaps not so strange giving her personality.

Apparently, on an orc he killed some twelve miles away he found a scroll.  However he was unable to read it so he was hoping Saoirse could, since it was written in giant speak.  It seems I was right to study that language as well as the orcish tongue before I came even though this time my skills were not needed.

“The search shortens, your time is fast arriving, and soon you will be able to feast.  Take care not to be noticed until we are ready.”  Ominious messege indeed.

Our new friend, who by strange design calls himself Adanethel, yes that is his name apparently, also pointed out some orcish scribbles on the walls of this burned out church.  These crude representations of writing seem to spell out Skreed.  To all appearances it seems to be a name.

Two more surprises from Adanethel, one is that presence of tracks “twice the size of a man” on the rubble pile leading down into the lowest levels.  Given the significance of the giant writing on the scroll, this will probably be somewhat important.

The other surprise is Adanethel’s familiar, no wait, the elf isn’t a spell caster.  Pet?  What ever he is, he is a giant sloth named Maksa’quesseth.  Yes, his animal friend is named “Soft Pillow”.  

We then search the next few rooms, finding thanks to magic at times, a number of things.  A coffer of gems behind a false back of a book case.  Potions of Shield of Faith, Magic Weapon, a couple flasks of holy water.  Scrolls of Knock and Summon Swarm, Which I will of course, place into my book when I get a chance.  

We, and by that I mean Tibb, finds a Hopeknife as well, this one with the inscription, “To Rodrick, My Love”  Seems we’ve found the missing blade.

While we are doing this our companions Saoirse and Adanethel discuss the presence and nature of the white crosses, but neither have any new insights into the strange markings.

Ahh, it seems that next we went back to the room with the Haunts, who thankfully were not present this time, to see about attacking the Shadow Rats with magic from above the trap door.  However the rats were gone so we started to climb down.  Only I seem to have missed a step.  I went from starting my climb down to waking up on the ground with a worried Tibb above me and Saoirse’s healing magic inside me.  All in all a very surreal experience.

Once I was back on me feet we examined the room and found ourselves in the remains of a library.  A library full of information on Iomedae, which seems appropriate since originally this was her church.  We also find a vial of super glue and two solvents used to dissolve said glue.  Quite a haul hmm?


We also find a signet ring of a style usually associated with the counting house in Truneu.  

We move on, exiting a door to the south I believe, finding ourselves in a small room with a statue of Iomedae holding a masterworked longsword.  Which we take, I suppose since the statue isn’t using it.

We then head east.  Through the iron door we find a room filled with niches on the walls, some containing urns and a statue of Jingh.  So a repository of cremated remains, ironic considering the fate of the church itself.  Other than that, nothing.

After a brief search of the library for secret doors and such, and finding nothing, we head to the north hallway of the Jingh room.  This leads to a door which opens to a room aproximately fifteen by fifteen feet.  In one of the back corners lie a pile of debris which Adanethel states that larger tracks he’s been following all this time lead to.

Unfortunately also in this room is a clear gelaton like cube which fills the entire room.  And seeing food, namely us, it decides to attack.  It drops our new elf friend in one hit then proceeds to chase us down the hallway.  Saoirse keeps Adanethel out of it’s way for a while however during the fight both she and Tibb are swallowed by this thing.  I continue to use acid magic on it and it eventually falls.  I believe Tumec was also using his bombs as I could hear them, though somehow he had gotten behind it so I couldn’t see him, just hear the small pops of them exploding.

The room has nothing in it.  A grand fight damaging a number of us and we obtain nothing for our travails.  Is it like this often while adventuring brother?  The bards would have one believe that every creature drops mighty magical treasure and while I am sure that most of that is embellishment, I would think something would be left behind with this thing.  Oh well, more to explore.

We found a boy.  Upstairs.  Chained to a wall.

After recovering we go upstairs to the final door we haven’t seen, open it and head into that area.

A hole in the back wall leads outside and stairs up, Adanethel finds a teen boy chained up next to a statue. He removes the gag from the boy’s mouth. The boy then says he was beaten by a brute of a half orc. Adanethel questions the boy whom it turns out heard the half orc to know it’s schedule, Tumec attempts to use the tools of theiving to open the shackles.  The boy, named Othdan, says he was ambushed three days, By the way, the boy does not match the description of the guy who snuck into the Ramble House.  Tumec finally gets him out.  We debate staying there and ambushing the orcs or taking Othdan back to town and warning them of possible attack.  Adanethel will stay with Pillow and watch to see what he can learn while the rest of us take the boy back.

We get back to town with him and he can stay in my room while Tibb feeds him and gives him some water.

The rest of us go back to the Longhouse.and speak with Jaegran, who looks bad.  As we inform him of everything he seems to understand and feels better (murder is better than suicide).

Jaegran then questions Othda himself and we attempt to get some sleep.  Since the boy is in my room I stay on Tibb’s floor.  She originally offered me her bed but I can only imagine how many of my limbs would be hanging off the sides.  All of them if I am not mistaken.

During the night we were attacked.  Two individuals wearing all black snuck into our room and stabbed me twice.  Each stab, while not  only hurting, seemed to rob me of some sense of balance.  I manage to put them to sleep and Tibb kills one and captures the other, tying her up.

Tibb heads out to find Saoirse and Tumec who it seems had also been attacked.  Tumec’s got away though Saoirse managed to kill hers.  The lovely oracle then heals us up as best she can and we all head for Tumec’s place, leaving our prisoner with the guards on our way.  Thankfully the rest of the night passed with nothing more threatening than the grumbling of Tumec who now somehow had multiple house guests.

This morning however we woke to misfortune.  Dear Tibb seemes to have contracted Filth Fever.  A serious illness.  Now do not worry, we quickly took her to Sanctuary and had the priests heal her, though it took much of the treasure we had acquired.  Worth every copper and then some.

After Tibb was back on her feet, we speak to Tyari Varvatos, the leader of this temple.  Rodrick was talking to a fellow from here and we believed Tyari could point us in the right direction.  The lady says she believes that Rodrick was talking to Katriza, an older half orc who apparently has visions, sometimes gibberesh and yet sometimes highly accurate.  The older half orc vanished the night of Ruby’s party which is very unsual since he rarely ever leaves Sanctuary.

We check his room out and it is empty of all but the most basic of items.  A simple cot and a bed pan and nothing more.

After leaving Sanctuary, with Tibb now feeling much better thank all the gods of magic, we discover that not only are our escapades last night being discussed but it seems Adanethel is here in town looking for us.  So while dodging most questions about the attackers we find our earstwhile elven friend in the lower section of Truneu.

It seems I am again getting the look my brother so I will have to continue this letter some other time.  Tibb sends her love and promises to leave you with some welts next time you both spar.

Be well my brother.

Derrack A. Tyme.
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MrPrettyPretty

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Re: Letters from Derrack

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:04 pm

Forgive the abruptness of this letter brother for I have not much time. Truneau is under attack by what seems an army of orcs.

It started immediately after the funeral for Rodrick. We had just gotten back into town after doing some more investigating of the Plague House. Turns out the Shadow Rats were easier to defeat than we thought. Enough of that however.

The orcs breached the town, are are now pushing their way through. The house of Agrit and Sara was attacked. We discovered this while moving through the town both to help people escape the coming horde and to light the beacon fires. With these fires throughout town lit the orcs natural night time vision would be hampered and the humans would be able to see them.

We approached the second beacon near a well in the lower city when we came upon the dwarf and half orc’s house. Sara was trapped inside. While Tibb, Tumec and Saoirse helped to free her Adanethel and I found some orcs outside. With magic and weapon we were able to triumph just as the others pulled the two from their house. With them now seeking safty with the guard we pushed further into town.

Brother, have you ever heard the screams of people being….no, I’ll not go into it. That the people of this town have survived as long as they have in impressive.

As we pushed into town I heard the sounds of orcs in multiple houses. We go now to investigate these. If I am able to write again I will update on the state of the town and the investigation into the death of Rodrick.

Be safe brother. Be well, and maybe if you get a chance, say a prayer to the gods of magic for me.
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MrPrettyPretty

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Derrack

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:31 am

Drake,

Battle continues without stop. We are tired and sore and most of us have exhausted our stores of magical (or divine) energy. I still have a little left but against an army I do not know how much it will help.

We enter the first house I told you about last in the previous letter though not before Tumec and Adanethel hear what sounds like muted laughter from the bar behind us by a number of yards.

Adanethel opens the door and he and Saoirse enter first though a mistimed game of kick the can causes most of the orcs inside to notice them. The fight is brief and bloody on both sides however we emerge victorious.

As we are searching the house for survivors or anything else of note, Tumec shows me the necklace they found earlier (I do not know where and was too distracted at the time to ask) which turns out to be a weak Pearl of Power. I claim the vaunted trinket for myself (as it was freely given to me) however I notice that Brinya’s Hopeknife that Tumec still carries is also a magical weapon in and of itself. Interesting to note.

The second house we enter, next to the first one, is much the same as the first. Four more orcs, all weilding great axes (except for the one weilding a double bladded axe, nasty looking thing) and all fall before our budding might. I discover that one of my weakest spells, one to put an enemy in a daze like state is usefull, however the limitation that it can only be used on a subject once per minute is hindering.

After that house had been searched dear lovely Saoirse used her abilities and channeled divine healing energy into us. I learn more about these individuals and become more and more intrigued.

The third house we clear quickly thanks in great part to me putting the orcs inside to sleep allowing my companions to simply slit their throats.

After exiting that house we decide to travel to the Killing Grounds, which if you will remember is the name of the local bar in town. Inside we found strange humans and half orcs standing over the bodies of some of the locals. No one recognizes the humans, probably meaning they were not from the area and Adanethel attempts to parlay with them, to no avail.

Meanwhile Saoirse has lingered behind to search through the cart the orcs were filling with ill gotten goods from inside the houses we cleared.

We defeat the group, killing the half orc and apparently capturing the humans, and somewhat surprising to note, Saoirse who had come back carries manacles. No to answer the obvious question, she is not a member of the local constabulatory. A question for another day as Rabus, the fine fellow who owns the Killing Grounds comes out from the back though he does have a fairly large gash across his chest.

Tumec attempts to do what he can with his doctor skills as Rabus tells us that the group was inside the bar before the attack started. Once it did they sprung up and started to kill the locals gathered inside to great effect. Tumec, Adanethel, and Pillow take both Rabus and the two captured strangers to the guard, Tumec helping the former since his injury makes moving difficult.

Once they are back with us we continue our journey to find the beacons however we hear something. The sounds of drums beating a rhythym of chaos and apparently guiding the orcs and pushing them to a feverish pitch. The sound is coming from a nearby guard tower where two of our fine soldiers lay dead outside.

Let this now be a warning to you my hot headed sibling. The exhuberance of youth can often lead to fatal mistakes. My sweet child Tibb, doing what she naturally does, rushed into the tower and my heart stopped. She was attacked by the orcs inside as we were attempting to catch up and fell, wounded. I thought she was dead. Never before in my life have I regretted my decisions to focus my magical studies and enchantments and alterations than on pure destructive evocations however when she fell I sorely wished I could simply level the tower in a rage and fear induced explosion that would make the other orcs cower in terror.

However I cannot and thankfully, after the orcs were defeated, Saoirse was able to heal Tibb who did wake up though she looks weak and wounded still. We gathered ourselves and rested albeit briefly before heading up to the next level of the guard tower.

The next floor, up a ladder, a contraption I have not had much luck with recently, is filled with three orcs and after Saoirse enters, webs made of chains. During the fight our elf friends falls briefly to his wounds but is healed and able to continue. Not so with the orcs on the level.

The top of the tower held the most interesting orc, one who was able to cast spells while still beating the drum. He was taken out well before I made it up the ladder and we were able to find spell scrolls and a wand and some other trinkets, weapons and armor or something like that.

Outside the tower we continued again towards the beacon, finding in our way an orc with three large dogs, as well as a large fire with greenish (!) smoke. The faint whiff I got of it suggested alchemical in nature and it was confirmed by our resident alchemist Tumec. Stay out of the smoke.

I was able to put most of the dogs and the orc to sleep however one of the four legged fiends was able to shake off my spell though he faired not well at all against what is quickly (by necessity) becoming a well practiced team of adventurers.

Once that was taken care of we continued on to find Omast, sober thankfully, setting up some logs on a hill. Below the hill was a gate that is just about to be breached by the orcs. This is where I will have to excuse myself for the moment. The orcs are indeed about to break through and poor Omast asked for our help defending the gate and hill. Since we cannot leave him to his own devices will have to fight. Judging from the sounds of the orcs on the other side this will probably be our toughest fight yet.

Please continue to pray for me brother.

Derrack A. Tyme
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MrPrettyPretty

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Saoirse

Post  Saoirse on Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:47 pm

<An excerpt from a private diary>

Standing with Olmast on the hill before the gate while waiting for the hordes of slavering orcs to break through, I recall our merry little band looking to one another with the understanding that some of these faces would not be seen again.  I considered quite detachedly, that one of those faces might be my own.  Perhaps the objective of The Mothers would not be fulfilled in me, but then again, Skuld may have foreseen this to be necessary.  Without knowing their actual objective, it's impossible to say, and they are nothing if not cryptic.

We stood our ground behind two barricades of sharpened stakes.  In front of those barricades were lashed two long bundles of twigs and branches ready to be set to fire and released down the hill.  Also, and most fortuitously, something had thrown a large boulder over the walls and it had landed there on the hill in front of the gate, where Olmast must have coated the stone with some kind of flammable liquid.  Tumek recognized the stuff on sight and upon sharing his knowledge, we prepared to ignite it and propel it down the hill as soon as the horde broke through.  

The resounding death-knell of orcish war drums in the distance, the acrid stench of smoke and the flickering lights of people’s lives and livelihoods burning to the ground, set a somber stage for the events that were about to transpire.

The orcs pressed the gate in a writhing mass, parting only when their battering ram was brought to bear.  It wasn't long before the floodgates burst and the enemy began pouring through the opening and up the hill where we were waiting.  They didn't make it.  A couple of desperate heaves and that first wave was dealt with quickly in the form of a flaming boulder of orcish death

The second wave came hot on the heels of the first and battle was joined.  Using the weapons Olmast had collected we were doing rather well at dispatching the enemy, but we were doing so too slowly for all too soon, a third wave rolled in, even larger than the first two.  This is where things broke down.

Olmast fell first, cut down by axe and falchion before being trampled under orcish boots.  In the ensuing chaos we lost track of Derrack and Tibb.  They must have gotten separated from us as we were ranging around buildings and fires in an attempt to gain any tactical advantage against the horde.  

Adanedhel was able to get the attention of four orcs who peeled off the larger group and gave chase.  I know he was trying to divide and conquer, giving Tumek, Maksa and me a chance to whittle down their numbers, and I know he intended on returning when he lost them, which made it that much more worrisome when he did not return.  

Tumek, Adanedhel's sloth and I were now alone and trying to find an area to bottleneck the group of orcs coming after us.  Many of them were badly wounded, but they just kept relentlessly attacking, ignoring their injuries.  We were not without our share of damage either.  I had nothing left to me to help.  Nothing!  Only a pitiful wand held the magic to keep us going through this impossible circumstance.  It wasn't enough.  I wasn't enough.

The three of us made a tactical retreat through an alleyway toward the line of medics who stood behind a low barricade.  They did not look especially pleased to see us when then caught a glimpse of the mob that was following close on our heels.  I saw a number of townsfolk draw their hope knives and my blood ran cold, but it became evident that they intended to stand and fight, not put the knives to the grim work for which they were forged!  Now, we could only turn and face our attackers head on and end it here – one way or another.

I heard an earsplitting crack from the roof of a nearby building, and the orc who had been raising his falchion against me had his head blown off.  What kind of magic this was I had no idea, nor did I have the time to consider such things.  We were more than happy to have the additional help, for we were in desperate need.

Maksa was taken down by a particularly burly orc with a double axe.  Maksa, who was such a brave sloth, continuing to protect us even though his master and friend did not return. . .  Then Tumek was surrounded and cut down.  Fearing utter defeat, I pulled back to the barricade and stood shoulder to shoulder with the townsfolk who were ready for fight for all they held dear.  And that they did.  Further reinforcement came in the form of a small froglike creature wearing a wide-brimmed hat with a huge plume, and carrying a rapier!  The more the merrier!  One by one, the orcs began to fall to the united front, but there were many of them and having taken point, I was also the focus of much of their wrath.  I tried to hold the line but I saw the final axe cut down at me, my arm too weak from loss of blood to block its descent with my morningstar, and so the world went red. . .then black.

I awoke to a macabre scene.  But. . .I awoke.  Two bodies lay bleeding and unmoving atop me, the two townsfolk who had stepped up in my place to take point.  One of the medics found the wand on my belt and had used it to bring me back from the brink, and after being pulled out of the pile, I employed it in the same manner.  Miraculously, none of the medics or townsfolk behind the line had been killed outright.  More than half lay unconscious, but that “pitiful wand” saved their lives.

Tumek was dead.  I found him first, but he was far beyond saving. . .  I hope he has been reunited with his beloved wife and has now found a place of peace from all the trouble this life had dealt him.  Such exquisite pain the man bore!  It was that pain which drew me to him when I first came to Trunau and continued to keep me near him while working at his clinic.  He suffered sweetly because of his wife’s murder, but I suspect also because of his upbringing.  He was never one to share, and now I will never know nor find the means to help.  His passing has left a sadly satisfying ache in my heart.  I will so miss his silent anguish.

I was surprised and horrified to find Adanedhel’s body among the fallen orcs farther into the district.  I had only just begun to know the Amber Shade after he had saved my life and that of my caravan, those years ago.  Perhaps I knew somehow that I would meet him again, for I’d saved the bow that he left there that night.  I was hoping to return it to him. . .to thank him properly, not only for saving my life but for inspiring me to take up the fight and help defend the stubbornly independent town of Trunau.  I’ll never get that chance.  Sadly, his fight -- on this side of eternity, seems to be over.

In the short time I had to search the battlefield, I couldn’t find any sign of Tibb nor Derrack, and I’m not sure what to think about that.  I hope they’re safe somewhere as opposed to taken by orcs.  I enlisted one of the townsfolk to help me take the bodies back behind the barricade where we can tend to them after the battle has been won.  Things look bleak, but all of Trunau is fighting for their lives, and as they are a tough and stubborn bunch, they will not go down easily.  

The shooter from the rooftops, a halfling named Jonh, and the frog swashbuckler named Edgar, have joined me in the fight.  Trunau may have taken some grievous losses this battle, but the war isn’t over yet.
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Saoirse

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Jonh

Post  The Sub-Creator on Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:56 am

True grit.

That’s what you gotta have inside when yer opponents’re orcs.  Ya kill ‘em, but they just keep comin’.  Just don’t know when ta die.  Folk keep hackin’, an’ they don’t quit ‘til those green-skinned brutes’re lyin’ in piles and pieces scattered about the commons.  Lookin’ down on the carnage from my rooftop perch, I watched the Undefeated pullin’ the battered but breathin’ bodies buried two-to-three deep from amidst the orc dead.  Ya had ta dig ‘em out quick, else they’d drown in the blood that pooled up like a pond about the palisades.

The frog musta felt right at home down there.

Yup.  Ya heard me right.  There was a frog hoppin’ about the battlefield, and he was wearin’ people clothes.  I’ve seen mutations galore where I’m from, but ain’t never seen a frog pokin’ the enemy with a pig-sticker before.  Some strange sights on this side of the world . . . .

While I was marvelin’ at those walkin’ an’ talkin’ that maybe shouldn’t’a been, the townsfolk were usin’ wands ta heal some of their wounded.  One of the first brought back to consciousness was a gruesomely comely redhead that looks all together at home covered in the blood of ‘er enemies.  Course, I’d never say that to ‘er face.  She might take it as a compliment, an’ I’ve found that compliments are akin to horseflies in this part of the world: the bigger they are the more likely ta get swatted.  An’ that one looks like she’d do some damage with all them chains.

There was talk about some beacon needin’ ta be lit in the Lower Quarter, and as I climbed down ta meet ‘em all on the ground, we were joined by another newcomer that went by the name Adelbri.  Archer.  Quaint.  Black powder weapons ain’t common in these parts either, but folk sure do like them twangin’ tools here.  I held my tongue.  No point spoutin’ off ta the antiquated, and b’sides that, there’s a job ta do.

I hooked up with the small team headin’ ta that beacon: the bloody beauty (Saoirse by name), the jolly jumper (Edwyn or Edgar or some name ‘r other that don’t fit ‘im), the archaic archer, and myself.  When I arrived in Trunau this mornin’, I can say with some certainty that I’d never’ve thought I’d be defendin’ this town from a siege, let alone with such a motley crew.  Without time ta worry ‘bout that over much, we set off ta get in harm’s way by lightin’ that beacon.

Didn’t take long ta reach that beacon, though there was fightin’ heard throughout the Lower Quarter.  A decision was made ta light it from afar by a flamin’ arrow, and that turned out ta be a fortuitous call.  Moment that fire-spewin’ arrow hit, the beacon exploded in furious green flames that woulda brought a lotta hurt ta anyone caught inside ‘em.  Somethin’ alchemical.  The fire was green and a bit larger than anticipated, but the beacon was goin’ strong, which was the mission.  Yay us.

Apparently, the Captain of the Guard had announced before that he was leadin’ a small sortie against whatever it was chuckin’ them rocks over the walls.  Lotta shouted whispers claimed that ta be a giant.  If so, we all agreed he’d need some help--a point made clear by the fact them stones still soared regular overhead.  Off we went along the inside of the outer wall, headin’ fer the front gates, where we expected ta get a better notion as ta what it looked like outside.

I tend ta keep my distance from folk when travelin’ because I ain’t one for fist-o’-cuffs, an’ loud folk tend ta bring it down on themselves more often than not.  En route, I heard noise comin’ from an alley ahead.  Adelbri appeared ta hear it too, but she was farther back like myself, an’ the pair ahead were oblivious.  Expectin’ trouble, I headed fer cover amidst the shacks with the intent of climbin’ atop ‘em.  Turned out ta be a couple a half-orcs beatin’ up on a townsfolk, an’ their lives were extinguished pretty quick.  Archer proved she could handle that wood and twine she seemed so fond of, an’ the front-liners held their own well enough.  We put the unconscious townsfolk into a shack for safety and meandered on ta the front gate.

Once there, we climbed ta the top of a tower ta get a look ‘round.  A stone thrower still chucked ta the west, though it remained hidden from our eyes b’hind a rock formation there, while a buncha orcs were hootin’ and hollerin’ off ta the east.  By unanimous decision, it was agreed the western chucker needed ta be stopped, an’ we wasted no time goin’ that way.

When we got there, I scurried up the rock formation ta get a better look.  Wasn’t no giant . . . just another antiquated piece a machinery called a catapult with three hellfighters mannin’ it.  Poor Adelbri kept strugglin’ to climb up the formation after me.  Eventually, enough noise was made ta garner the attention of those orcs, but the brutes instinctually knew better than ta bring the fight down the narrow alley in the rocks that afforded me a fine shootin’ lane.  They brought the fight round the south side.  One kept gettin’ fresh with the bloody beauty, grabbin’ at her an’ tryin’ ta haul ‘er back ta the catapult.  No doubt as ta ‘is intentions, but all he got fer ‘is trouble’s the business end of a holy water sprinkler.

The three orcs were beaten down without much problem on this occasion, and the catapult dismantled.  Searchin’ ‘round the area, they found some grenades in a sack nearby that were quickly taken possession of.  That bein’ how the west was won, we started our way back east to handle them orcs we heard while at the gates.  One a those town guard happened upon us at the gate and conveyed with no small amount a worry that a giant had been seen over by that third beacon we’d got goin’.  Adelbri wanted at it rather adamantly, an’ as the rest of us had no real objection ta that course of action, away we went.

Makin’ it over that way, I was able ta scale the side of a house so as ta position myself on prime snipin’ real estate b’fore the behemoth ever got wind of our arrival.  On the other side of the pond, a cave had been burrowed into the cliffside under the Upper Quarter, or so I thought of it; whether that’s actually what they called it, I don’t know.  I’d never seen a giant like this one b’fore, an’ it looked darn ugly.  Mammoth-like tusks, muscles the size of mighty mountaintops, an’ a pair a orcs holdin’ on ta chains wrapped ‘round each of its wrists tryin’ ta direct the beast made for quite the intimidatin’ sight.

We got the first couple shots in, stoppin’ the giant from disappearin’ within that hole.  Its way was hindered by that pond, so its charge back ta us was slow, though not slow enough, as it turned out.  Now, up ta this point, froggy’d had a good showin’ in all the fightin’ goin’ on, which was why it took me by surprise when our hoppin’ little friend made a beeline in the other direction, leavin’ me ta reap the wild wind of them orcs as the giant sent flyin’ at the end a those chains like flail heads.  Bein’ atop that building, I had nowhere ta run that wasn’t open ground or outta that giant’s reach.  A couple a bludgeons with them orcs, an’ I was on my way ta flyin’ in the spiritual realms on the wings of eagles, if ya get my meanin’.

Oddly, the darkness flitted away pretty quickly, though I haven’t the slightest as ta how.  When I came back to, the giant’d not moved any farther from me, but its attention appeared focused on somethin’ else.  The jolly jumper’d joined the fight again, an’ apparently made quite the nuisance of ‘imself fighting the giant.  I can’t blame ‘im fer runnin’ earlier.  Comparin’ sizes, it’s unlikely the critter stood tall enough ta reach that giant’s ankle, but I’ll admit ta bein’ a touch miffed at the time.

Regardless of all that, I became utterly the quiet man atop that roof while reloadin’ my musket.  I had no intention a seein’ another flailin’ orc crashin’ down on me over that roof line.  Didn’t take long b’fore the jolly jumper jumped ‘is last.  Instead a squashin’ the critter flat though, our illustrious archer caught Big Jake’s attention (seems a proper title ta me in the absence of a proper name fer the beast) with a couple a well-placed shots.  It became somethin’ of a cat-an’-mouse game from there on out, with Adelbri runnin’ an’ pluckin’ and Big Jake chasin’ and swingin’ those lethal chains (the orcs’d fallen away dead a short time ago now).

Now, most days I can be quite the shootist, but since receivin’ the beatin’ a my life a few short moments b’fore, my aim’d left somethin’ ta be desired.  Frankly, I’d’ve been darned lucky ta hit that cliff face had Big Jake been wanderin’ ‘round in that direction.  Things were lookin’ dire, an’ our nimble-footed archer was runnin’ outta space ta maneuver with that big lug lumberin’ b’hind ta squish ‘er.  Takin’ a breath ta steady my nerves, I took careful aim an’ squeezed the trigger.  

Bingo.

The bullet traveled through Big Jake’s head ta leave a red river flowin’ out both sides.  It toppled over, and we were all thankful fer the breather.  I mighta said a thin ‘r two ta froggy fer runnin’.  Sometimes things need ta be said.  I harbor no ill will ‘is way though.  Just too much optimistic pep in jumper ta stay mad at ‘im long.

Turns out that breather wouldn’t last . . . .

Within moments, that Captain of the Guard we’d come out lookin’ for hurried on in atop ‘is horse ta shoo us in ta that cave.  Fancy thing, him showin’ up at that exact moment.  Hope he enjoyed the show.  Told us some orc an’ a few mutts had gone in there; he needed us ta root ‘em out.  Naturally, we agreed ta finish the job.

It’d already felt like the longest day, an’ it was about ta get longer.

Those tunnels were dark . . . pitch black, in fact.  Those of us unable ta see in those conditions required a torch, but some of us failed ta suffer from such a setback.  Them were the ones that went first in ta the breach.

Sure ‘nough, we barely got inside when a small horde a rats came skitterin’ out at us.  But these weren’t no normal rats, no sir.  Darned things didn’t take damage from regular weapons.  Judgin’ by Saoirse’s face (yeah, I can use names when I have to), these things were no mystery ta her, an’ we were soon ta realize just how much a boon that would be.  She informed us these things could be harmed by magic, or, lackin’ that, by fire.  She put them bombs ta good use, though its wick took longer ta burn down than expected.  She took no small amount a damage actin’ the decoy while waitin’ fer that grenade ta finally blow up.

Now, the frog wanted nothin’ ta do with these shadow rats after learnin’ that they sapped strength, an’ he ran fer the hills without hesitation.  Can’t says as though I blame ‘im.  Prob’bly been best--er, smartest--had I joined ‘im in that retreat.  We needed ta clear out these caves ta find that orc though, an’ I just got the feelin’ that these things wouldn’t just go away.  If fire hurt ‘em, there was a little somethin’ I could do ta help.  As our bloody beauty acted the part of decoy, I talked the archer into tossin’ a torch into the midst of ‘em while measurin’ out some black powder in my empty powder horn.  Was I scared?  Darned right I was . . . .  I ain’t the strongest--in fact, I’m far from it, but courage is bein’ scared ta death an’ saddlin’ up anyway.  She flipped the torch in ta their midst, an’ I lobbed the powder horn with a couple doses a black powder inside onto the flame.  It caused the desired effect.  A contained explosion small enough ta hurt them but not our decoy.

Course, it wasn’t near enough.  Saoirse’d had more fun than she wanted an’ bolted past me.  Shadow rats followed ‘er an’ feasted a bit on me.  General consensus by that time was follow jumper, so I did.  Critters followed us out in ta the sunlight rather unexpectedly, but wouldn’t step foot in water.  After grousin’ ‘round the edge for a few seconds, the lot of ‘em fled back toward the darkness.  Didn’t make it though.  I’d pulled out an empty potion vial fer puttin’ more powder in, but the others finished the shadow critters off b’fore I had ta worry ‘bout it.

With them rats gone, we’re ‘bout ready ta play the part a the searchers once again.  Don’t know what awaits in them caverns, but if the openin’ salvo was any indication, this could be a long walk off an awfully short pier fer a few of us.

Life is tough, but it’s tougher when yer stupid.

Let’s hope we ain’t that . . . .

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Dear Drake

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:17 pm

11-4-4715


The fight is over my brother.  We beat the instigators of the invasion, as I mentioned before however at what cost.  I still cannot believe that Tumec and Adanethel are dead.  I have never lost friends this way before and honestly, I still don’t know how to handle it.


We leave the cave and head back to town.  I am fully expecting the sun to be up by now but, apparently it’s only been a few hours since the attack started.


Back in town we meet a guard who informs us that the rest of the orcs have been pushed back and are fleeing.  Great news indeed as I believe the entirety of our group are too exhausted to continue fighting.  Jonh goes to watch the from the walls since his little halfling eyes are a fine sight (I made a pun) better than the rest of ours.  He goes, though he does complain about being out of bullets.   He was gone in the morning.  A shame too, I would have really liked to study his weapon.


We make our way through town, helping where we can and finally meet up at Tumec’s house.  The door has been broken down and everything inside is broken, most beyond repair.  The house itself however is quite sturdy still.   I wonder?  I shall have to talk with Tibb, and probaby Edgar, about claiming the house and living here.


Moving throughout the town we get to Saoirse’s place.  We have found our friends bodies by now, and have them here with us.  Tomorrow we will see about placing them in their final rests.  We decide to stay here tonight.  We had volunteered to continue helping but were shooed away by the guards.  Get some rest they said, relieve them in the morning so they can get some rest.  It makes sense really.  So we do.


On a sad note, the Ramble House, the inn Tibb and I were staying at, has been destroyed.  A number of guests were killed in their sleep including the owner.  I will miss her.  Another friend lost.  Too many.


12-3-4715


In the morning we meet with Jaegran at the guard house.  He tells us that the continuing efforts are today are divided into four parts;


The first is the group going around town and collecting the fallen.  They will provide appropriate last rites to the townspeople and lay their remains to rest, usually in a ceremonial fire..  While moving through town this group will also do what healing they can on any injured they find.


The second group is going around the town fixing what can, clearing debris, and doing what is necessary to both clear roads and search the ruins for survivors or…...or bodies.


The third group is gathering the dead orcs and taking them outside town to burn in a fire designed specifically to not be ceremonial. Good riddance.


The fourth group is going out of town after the various groups of orcs that fled to make sure they don’t come back.  Against my better judgement our group decides to join that group.  As a group.  Oh well, it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last that my advice won’t be taken.  I have to remember, back home I’m a famous genius professor, and here I am a fellow towns person.


Brie and Saoirse, being townsfolk good and true, are given horses.  Myself, Tibb, and Edgar will ride on one that I summon.  Along the way to the gate out of town we hear that the orcs attacked from the north however when they fled, they fled in all directions.  The Twisted Hearts orcs came from the mountains to the west’ish.


As we are passing by the temple to Abadar, Saoirse tells us to stop saying she hears, “Something.  Whispers”  I am about to question her on that when she says she has a kid to talk to.  She heads over to a group of orphans, Edgar following along.


They come back with the kid, Dragomer by name.  So, get this brother.  Our friend Adanethel’s spirit is stuck inside the kid.  Bonded to him somehow.  I have heard of things like this happening.  It is rare and no one I personally know has ever seen it before.  However, sometimes these things are benificial but most of the time, it is harmful to the person.  Tibb trusts the spirit of our friend but I think I’ll watch him, just in case.


So, with spirit elf’s guidance, we head not after the orcs but instead after the trolls Adanethel found earler.  Well, their tracks at least, and that leads us to a cave.  As we enter I keep Dragomer with me while Tibb and Edgar take the lead.  Saoirse is between us and Brie, with her bow, follows along.


Inside the cave we find too flood trolls who were obviously waiting for us.  Combat was short and brutal.  The beasts hit hard but seemed unable to regenerate.  Right after the fight I realized these were Flood Trolls, and needed to be in water to regenerate.  Lucky us.


Outide the cave again Saoirse finds another set of tracks heading toward the Mindspun Mountains.  Unfortunately we lose them after about a hundred yards.


Since the day is early yet we decide to go after the orcs initially planned.  Upon hearing that the spirit of Adanethel actually manifests outside of the kid.  And proceeds to call the boy Moxa after his sloth companion and leads the way to do what he seems to do best.  Hunt orcs.  We didn’t find any.  So Adanethel says he will continue to track them and vanishes back inside Dragomer while apparently believing he is out hunting the beasts.  A strange relationship and I am only further encouraged to keep my eye on them.


There was also a bit in there about us misjudging the time frame of the tracks we found heading back to town, but we don’t need to go into that in detail.  It happened, now we can move on.


Back in town we find out that they found Dragomer’s parents.  We attend the funeral for them, offering our support to the boy.  I encourage my daughter to stay close to him, be a comfort and companion since being by her makes everything better.  Though to be fair, my opinion may be biased.  Still, she is ray of light in this world and her exuberance should help the boy.


We all, with Dragomer this time, stay again at Saoirse’s place and thankfully, sleep restfully all night.


The next morning we wake up in a bit of a predicament.  Both Saoirse and Brie came down with some form of disease.  We manage to get them to the temple, where they are both healed however Brie’s condition was a bit worse.  That one took a couple castings to clear.  I had thankfully managed to sell the stuff we had found thus far but still.  Oh well, it comes and it goes.  A small price to pay to make sure our friends live a lot longer.


No one else will die if I can help it.


As we are exiting the temple we are found by guards who tell us that Helgra and Jaegran want to see us immediately.  We reach the guard house and are escorted in right away.


After telling us essentially how grateful she is for our help, Helgra then asks for it again. It was discovered while interrogating the prisoner’s that all the orcs were unified at Red Lake Fort by a female hill giant.  They believe she will again unite the tribes and send them against the town unless she is “taken care of.”  


Yes brother, they are sending us out to be assassins.  I just shrugged but then realized you couldn’t see it.  Sorry.  Anyway, we agree.  Helgra and Jaegran give us a credit limit of fifteen hundred gold throughout the town and we managed to negotiate a couple days preparation time.


I need to make some scrolls, record the new spells I did find, and….well all of us are getting ready now.  We will see what the next few days bring.
Yours in magic,
Derrack A. Tyme
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MrPrettyPretty

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Re: Letters from Derrack

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:52 am

Gozran 14th 4715

Hi mister Drake person.

Tibb says that mister Derrack writes to you a lot so I thought I would do that too!!! I think he was too busy this week, though I don’t know why. I haven’t seen him much on the ship ride.

I’m EDGAR FLIBBIT!!! I’m a grippli.

Before we left the Trunau place, a druid with no voice had lots to tell us. Someone else talked with their fingers to him and gave us messages. I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to look at…

Apparently there is a place on the river in a swamp (YAY SWAMPS!!!) that has a secret stash of stuff. I’m not sure what kind of stuff, but we can take it. It sounds like we should bring it back afterwards… but I didn’t that was what civilized people did?? I haven’t been part of civilization long.

OHHH it’s called the Vault of Thorns in the Ghostlight Marsh and it sounds a bit scary. Something about being on another plate… or plane… or something. OHHH they gave us a cool lantern that will help us find the door, but we need to shove a dead willow thing… or wispy thing… Some dead husk in the lantern and they didn’t have one. They said there might be some in the swamp.

When we left for the boat, the guard at the gate didn’t want Dragomir to go with us. Something about it being dangerous and him being too young. I’m smaller than he is, but the guard didn’t say anything about me. Tibb either… Not sure what that was about.

Then we got to Captain Bloodtusk’s boat. Skiff… Ship?? I’ve been on ships before. I find them fun and I’m really good at climbing. So I got lucky and got to be lookout. This involved a lot of climbing and looking. I’m not as good at looking as I am at climbing… but I’m a lot better then I am at rowing. I don’t row well at all. Saoirse volunteered to row. I can’t tell if she regrets it or not. She seems very sore in the evenings and the mornings but she also smiles about it. Tibb likes to clean the horses. They have horses on this boat. I think I heard something about pulling it upstream which will be interesting. My last ship was on the sea and we didn’t go upstream…  Dragomir simply paid money so he didn’t have to work, then sewed pants for the crew. The whole crew are half-orcs which seems strange to me since we were just attacked by a half-orc. I’m still not used to these ‘cities’.

It is an exciting trip. Before we even left the first day… Adelbrie was helping to pull up fishing nets when a railing broke and a sailer Urog went over and was attacked by two crocodiles… alligators… water dragons?  They chomped his leg good, but I was able to use my new crossbow! We killed one, but the other got away. OHHH and Urog survived and Saoirse healed his leg. So everyone was happy. We didn’t drag up the river dragon though I don’t know why… people can eat those.

The next day Tibb and I were in the mess hall when I heard a familiar sound. PREDATORS!!! When you're a little froggy in the jungle, you know a lot about predators. Tibb didn’t know what predators are… I suspect she’s tough enough that she IS the predator in most cases…

Today however, there were different predators. Large lizardy predators with wings that were attacking the horses and Saoirse and the lookout mast. The horse one was closest, so Tibb and I ran there. I stabbed it a bit, but it bit at me and then things went dark.

Things seem too dark for me when I get into battle and when I wake up the battles are all over. I had a brother who did that. He went crazy and strong and eye-spinny and then fought hard. I think that’s what happens to me, but when I wake up I’m usually very sore and bloody. Sometimes people are pouring potions down my throat or Saoirse is standing near by. But the bad guys are all dead. So that’s Good!!

I had to go retrieve the body of the guy in the lookout. It was very messy.

15th Gozran 4715

EVERYDAY is an adventure!!!!

Today a big furry monkey predator with four arms broke out of a cage below deck and attacked Saoirse while she was rowing. One of the sailors wanted to catch it alive… but I’m not good at that. I kept stabbing at it while Saoirse wrapped it up in magic chains. I thought I was small enough to dance in there without getting caught.

I was not.

Still with some people stabbing and some people trying to make it sleep, it eventually went to sleep and was put back in its cage!!!  That was kind of fun.

Well. Gotta go now! BYE!!!

FLIBBIT!


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The letter from Tibb as dictated to Derrack (with minor corrections)

Post  TRU on Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:44 pm

Dear Drake,


I asked Master Derrack if I could send you the letter this time. By “I” I mean me, Tibb (with two B’s). I know you couldn’t tell because this is Master Derrack’s writing. But I am telling him what to say and he is putting it on paper to send to you. I wanted to write to you to make sure you got a balanced view of our story of fighting orcs and finding giants. Wouldn’t want just one slanted point of view to be the only record, would we? I always seek to keep Master Derrack’s stories set straight.


Okay, okay, enough of the joking. Master Derrack is giving me a hard stare. I know he tells you the right details. He is very good at this kind of thing after all. I will try to tell you all the right details, too. I’m mostly just writing you because I wanted to say hi.


Master Derrack says I should tell you what happened in the last couple of days, so here goes. I’ve been cleaning the horse stables to pay for my keep on the boat ride to Fort Redlake. Must be doing a good job because Captain Bloodtusk asked me to start taking care of Bacara, the giant animal that broke out of the hold and attacked us today. Bacara has four arms, and a short snout. He walks on two legs and everything but his face and hands are covered in this whiteish grey fur. He is a strong and beautiful animal. I wish I could convince him to behave, but I think the medicine I have to feed him to keep him from killing everyone is also keeping him from understanding me… So I mainly just make sure he is clean and comfy. Oh, I also have to fix the hole Bacara made when he broke out of the hold. That’ll take a few days.


On the evening of the day Bacara attacked us (Master Derrack tells me it was the 16th of Gozran. He is so much better at remembering what the days are called than I am.) We came to dock at the Castle Fareem, or as near the castle as the river comes. We tried to dock, at least, but the dock was a burned out wreck! Captain sent us to go check things out, since we had a delivery to make here for the Castle Fareem. Found a dead orc body in the water as we were rowing ashore. Not a good sign. Dead orc plus wrecked dock equals orc attack, in my book. I was really hoping the Knight of Ozum we were supposed to meet was still alive.


First we fought through two wild dog animals that were eating some dead horses. They were Dire Wolves, or so I was told later. I can’t tell you who told me yet because that would ruin the story. (Dire means really bad. That’s what Bri told me. I’m sure you knew that already because you are so super smart, just like your brother.)


After the we took care of the dogs Adanedhel told us we were needed inside the building. He must have heard something we hadn’t heard and so, very quietly, he led the way through the door. I wish I could be that quiet. Maybe Adanedhel is that quiet because he is dead and now a guardian to Dragomir… Anyway, we went inside and there were three orcs and they looked like they had been beating on this poor blonde lady who was tied up in the corner. We made sure to kill them all, but not before one of them threw a goblin head at my face, which exploded, ripping a new hole in my body and burning half my skin off in the process. After that we rescued the lady and she got to feeling better because of Saoirse’s special magic. The lady told us she was Kalreon Blix and that she was the Knight we were looking for. Some of us were a little surprised that she was a knight, which hurt her feelings a little bit, I think. We told her about the delivery, then after talking to her a bit we found out that her family had once lived in Fort Redlake. And she still had a map of the place! Amazing! How lucky is that?!


So this is what she told us about Fort Redlake. Her great-great grandfather Fabian was a cleric at Fort Redlake before it was taken by the orcs. His son Bill (Kalreon’s great grandfather) was the only one in her family to survive the orc siege, escaping to safety through the sewer tunnel. She was pretty ashamed to tell us the next part, but we were able to draw it out of her. Apparently the man that was the fort’s castellan when the siege happened was a very bad man who did very bad things inside the fort. How he was allowed to do these bad things I can’t tell you. I would have thought someone could have had the guts to stand up to him. But I guess he was kind of the guy in charge so no one wanted to cross him. Anyway, it sounds like this castellan guy did more to help the orcs during the siege than he did to stop them, and that is why Fort Redlake fell under orc (and now giant) control.


Kalreon was also the one who told me the dogs we had fought outside were called Dire wolves. I didn’t want to tell you that before because it would have spoiled the surprise about whether she was going to live or die! You gotta be careful not to spoil a good story halfway through. I learned that from Saoirse.


We decided to stay the night on land with Knight Blix. She was planning on heading to Castle Fareem on foot in the morning since her horses had been killed in the orc attack.


Oh yeah, and you should know that the orcs we fought when we rescued Knight Blix were from a different tribe than the tribe that attacked Truneau.


The next day we got back on the boat [the 17th of Gozran] and before my work at the stables was even done we made it to the fork in the river and I had to help harness the horses to the boat so they can pull us up river. While we were doing this I decided to name one of the horses Lady. He’s a picky horse and doesn’t like to be dirty. I had to harness him to the far side of the boat because he didn’t want to pull in the softer ground next to the river. It’s funny to call a gelding Lady but if the shoe fits I think he should wear it.


It was afternoon and I had been down in the hold fixing the wall to the storage room when I felt the boat stop. I came up to the main deck to see what was going on when two monsters popped over the sides and started coming at me. Since no one else was in sight I braced myself to defend the ship as best as I could on my own. I threw a few punches targeting the weaker areas around their knees, but these monsters were strong and could withstand my attacks. I looked up just in time to see Froggy Flibbit flying (yes, I said flying) in to help in the attack. Watching him do that unfortunately left a hole in my defense and one of the monsters grabbed me firmly in his fist. I wasn’t sure if I could get out of his hold when suddenly the monster just started shaking. It dropped me and, looking very pale, it fell overboard! Having it out of my way I put all my focus into the other monster that Flibbit was also fighting. We were just about finished with it when I heard Saoirse yelling from the bow. “Do it again, Dragomir!” she wa screaming, and she sounded like she was in trouble. I looked back to see that a third monster had climbed up from the bow and was holding on to Saoirse like the one had held onto me. I didn’t know what Dragomir could do about it but I hoped he could help. Flibbit and I had our hands full already.

Once we killed the second monster we ran to see if they still needed help at the bow. The third one was dead when we got there and Saoirse told us that Bri had killed it with a hammer. That girl is a pretty impressive fighter! I can’t wait until she lets me spar with her. As we cleaned up the mess on the boat I finally found out that the reason we were stopped was because someone had built a dam across the river and we had no way to get around it. So we were stopped for a few days while the crew worked on clearing a path through the dam.


Captain Bloodtusk told us that the three monsters we fought were called Marrows. Someone mentioned that Marrows will keep treasure in their dens and so Dragomir and Bri worked on tracking them so that we could find ourselves a little extra cash. It took them two days to find the right tracks but eventually they did and now, I am told, we are quite a bit richer.


Today is the day after they found the Marrow den [the 19th of Gozran] and we were finally able to clear a way through the dam. We won’t be able to travel up the river any more until tomorrow, though, because it took us all day today to get the dam cleared. So we have one more night at this spot in the river which has been quiet since we killed those three Marrows. Once we get going Captain said we still have 8 days of traveling through the Ghostlight Marsh. We haven’t found the Druid’s place yet, but we still have plenty of time to find it. Hopefully the sign with the thorns will be hard to miss!


Speaking of thorns, Dragomir made Saoirse a beautiful shawl the other day. It is very well made, with a pretty pattern of thorns woven into it. Dragomir’s parents would be proud if they were still living. He is just as handy and making clothes as his mother was! He told me that he could make me a necklace that would help me punch better. I told him I would love it if he made one but then he told me that they weren’t free and I didn’t have enough money to pay for it. Hopefully now that we have the Marrow hoard I might be able to afford the necklace with my cut. I’m so excited!


I wonder if Dragomir ever found the small animals he was looking for… Before we got to Castle Fareem he came to me in the hold looking for rats. I told him that I hadn’t seen any. He looked a little disappointed and told me he needed them “for his purposes”. I don’t know what those purposes are… Now that I think about it, Bri had brought him a dead rabbit that very night. It must have suited his purposes just fine because I haven’t heard him asking for small animals since. I’m going to have to ask him just what these purposes are…

Anyway, I hope this finds you well and safe. Stay away from orcs because they are quite strong and dangerous. I am doing my best to protect Master Derrack so you shouldn’t worry too much about his safety. I will make sure he is taken care of.


Goodbye from Tibb

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Derrack

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:03 am

20-4-4715

Drake,

I apologize about the lateness of this missive. Things have been quite hectic for a while now.

Morning comes and as we all resume our duties I discover something rather strange. I am apparently good at cooking. Like, really good.

However while fixing the meal for the day I noticed the cook, the regular one named Gashriakh, putting something in the food. He wouldn’t tell me what it was when I asked him so I’m afraid I had to use some magical persuasion. He will probably be mad when he finds out.

So the stuff he was putting in was the same stuff used to make the monkey monster in the basement (same one that went on a psudo rampage the other day) calm. He said it was “her” who told him to do it, and short version, it was also him on “her” orders that released said monkey monster.

I made myself not popular by telling the crew that they couldn’t have the stew, despite how well I made it. So we (my friends and I) talked it over once I explained to them what happened. We decided that it was the cockswain who was the mysterious “her”. Which is when she came in, yelled at us for not feeding the crew, grabbed a bowl of stew, got tripped down the stairs by Tibb, came back and threatened Tibb, then told me if I didn’t feed the crew in the next ten minutes I’d be off the boat no hesitation.

With Tibb’s rations I was able to make something very tasty which the crew, despite being confused as to why they couldn’t have the stew, enjoyed. Like I said, I’m apparently very good at cooking.

So, Edgar goes to relieve Gashriakh from the crow’s nest so he can help me clean up the mess made when the cockswain fell down the stairs and I could question him. Tibb meanwhile, being added by a little magic of mine, followed the cockswain as she made her rounds.

Well, turns out it’s not her, it’s a woman who lives in the bilges and has some kinda control over the cook. So much for deductive reasoning.

Immediately after deciding to go for the bilge woman however we hear the Captain say that he’s going to bed early. That is very very strange. We attempt to investigate and are blocked by the cockswain who we almost have to fight. However we are able to convince her that something is wrong and we manage to….get….into the captain’s room. He is completely unresponsive but he is in fact breathing, which I do believe is necessary to life so that’s good. I was able to use magic to determine that he was in fact poisoned by the same stew that the rest of the crew didn’t eat. The cook brought the captain a bowl before he climbed up to the crow’s nest.

Well, it’s now time to confront this woman in the bilges. So we head down, past the storage, past the gorrillan (monkey monster) and find…..absolutely nothing. Thankfully I remember reading about ships like this one and realized that there was a second bilge, a lower deck. Tibb is able to find the stairs down (thankfully not a ladder, wet robes are hard to climb in) and we head down.

We head down, Edgar first, then Tibb, Dagomir and I, then Bri bringing up the rear. We think Seaorsa may have had some stew when we weren’t looking.

It was rather amusing, as we approached one door a noose trap sprung out. Since Edgar was in front and is rather short in stature, the thing swung harmlessly over his head.

Inside the room we found Melira, the woman who was “her”. I won’t bore you with the details of the fight, just to say that she used a bow and had a pet snake that squeezed me very very hard.

After we defeated her, but not killed, we found out that she was Gorewillow’s lover. He was that orc we killed back in the cave. She had a pretty nice item on her that allowed her to know his location, how well he was doing, and could even perform a task that he was profecient with even if she wasn’t.

We take her to the cockswain who wants her tortured. Dragomir does, breaking that girl. I’m begining to think that the problems with that boy aren’t just from having a vengeful spirit bonded to him. Though in the end we find nothing of importance. She’s just out for revenge for killing her lover and isn’t with the giantess who orgainzed the whole shebang. Is that the right word? I’m sure it’s the right word. Or maybe it’s the write word. I made a pun.

21-4-4715

The next day, one without poisoning, we find the marker we are looking for. As my companions and I are getting ready to depart the ship we are ambushed by a group of orcs. I don’t remember much of the fight, whenever I try and recall what happened all I get are images of pain, lots of pain. We prevailed though and with some healing from our friendly oracle, were able to leave the ship and move into the…..swamp? Jungle? I’ll have to ask about that.

It’s a swamp. While the ship normally pushes through here quickly the cockswain says she will wait for two days while we complete what we need to do. Which is kill a willow wisp, use it’s dead body as a fuel source for a lantern, find the hidden entrance and ….well, as you will see plans don’t always go as you want them to.

We make our way through the swamp, slowly as moving in thigh high water is near impossible for most, especially since I’ve never been the atheletic type. While walking through we are attacked by a five headed snake creature, a hydra and though it hurt Tibb and Edgar, we managed to defeat it.

After that we find a solid ground landmass with a ramshakle tent being minded by an insane female dwarf who decided the best way to defeat us is to hit herself in the head with a hand axe. I did mention she was insane didn’t I? We manage to subdue her and tie her up and…..Sometimes I hate having to make the hard choices. Our best bet at that point in time was to just knock her out and leave her at the mercy of the swamp. It was in fact my suggestion and it was what we decided to do. We move on and my what ever diety she follows watch over her.

A few hours later, around dusk, I am attacked by...well, by a willow wisp. The fight is….short but stinging and we manage to kill it. It’s body does in fact light the lantern which points in only one direction. So we follow it.

It finally leads us to the standing stones, large heavy rocks covered with thick vegetation. On the far side was a pool of bubbling, I hope, water. As we approach the stones, something very large that was somehow hiding behind these things came out and attacked us.

It was large, very very large. It managed to squish poor Edgar though he was able to get back up. However it shrunk when Bri hit it with her wonderful hammer. I was able, thankfully, to cause him to fall down laughing, since that spell is more difficult to get to work on things that aren’t….well, humanoid. We rush to kill it before it stops laughing and manage, somehow, to do so.

We are now resting a bit before we look around. Which is why I am able to update you like this. Hopefully the rest of the day or should I say night now, will go better. I am running out of spells and will have to conserve what I do have for emergancies.

Be safe my brother and I hope to hear from you soon.
Yours in magic
Derrack A. Tyme

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Tibb's Second Letter to Drake

Post  TRU on Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:51 pm

Dear Drake,
It’s me again, Tibb! I don’t like swamps. The ground is so soft I sink nearly to my neck. It’s a good thing I have big feet, even if I did almost lose my shoes. It’s also a good thing that we found the entrance to the druid cache (Derrack says that cache means a safe and protected place where people store things that are important to them). Now I have solid ground under my feet, I am happy.

Before we got into the cache we didn’t know how to get in. I think Derrack could have figured it out really easy, ‘cause he is smart like that, but he and Saoirse left to go back to the boat. He must have left something important behind. Flibbit thought they went to go “play doctor”. I don’t think he knows what that means… Frogs really need to get out more.

Anyway, Flibbit and I decided the way into must be hidden by the stone on the middle. So we thought if we moved it we might find a way in. We braced ourselves to push against the weight of the rock when suddenly we were in the most beautiful garden I have ever seen. I was very confused, not remembering having pushed very hard on anything, but apparently that is what is suppose to happen. You touch the rock and it lets you in. I didn’t know rocks were so smart. It must be magic.

Druids sure do love their gardens! First couple of rooms we went through were full of nature. So full it even attacked us! A stick jumped out and hit us with a bunch of splinters. Must be magic. Like I said about stones, I didn’t think sticks were so smart. Magic+nature=crazy! Edgar hit the stick enough times with his sword that the stick finally broke. We were all ready to move on, walking across this bridge in a hot, hot room, when I looked around and saw that Dragomir wasn’t following. I ran back and found him crying. He had gotten hit pretty bad by the stick’s splinter attack and wasn’t used to that kind of pain. Poor boy! Even though he acts tough he is still just a little kid. He hasn’t had time to get used to feeling pain. I tried helping him but my hands aren’t too used to being gentle. I pulled too hard and only made his splinters hurt worse. I suggest he should start sparring with me so I could help him learn to get over pain better, but I don’t think that is what he wanted to hear. Thankfully Bri stepped in. I think Bri will make a better mother than I will. Usually she is very rough around the edges, but when Dragomir is sad her edges seem to soften and she seems to know just what to help him get through it. I’ve seen her do it twice now, here with the splinters and back at the funeral after the last attack on Trunau. Don’t let her fool you, she has a good heart.

We got back on the bridge in the hot, hot room. There was quite a drop off the edge of the bridge. On the bottom were a lot of overgrown plants and above our heads there was a ceiling made of star patterned glass. We were halfway across when the wind attacked us. It was actually two tiny women we couldn’t see until Dragomir shone the lantern on them. These tiny women must have thought that sticking us with their tiny blades was funny because they just kept laughing at us. I suppose I would have wanted to laugh if I had such a big upper hand as they did. The lantern turned the tide though, and we finished them both off. It wasn’t a clean victory however, because the tiny women somehow managed to blind our boy. Dragomir cannot see. I have no idea if we can fix it. Maybe Derrack or Saoirse will know what to do when they get back. I was prepared to help lead Dragomir through the rest of the Druid cache but the ghost of Adanedhel insisted he lead instead. The problem is that Adanedhel thinks that Dragomir is his old pet, Maksa. He seems confused yet caring. At least he is helping Dragomir, and that’s what counts, right?

We met a lady druid elf named Ewigga. She told us that she was the guardian of the cache. She called it a vault. I think that is what the druid guy in Trunau called it, too. The Vault of Thorns. The room she was in had all sorts of cool pictures on the walls that told the story of the druids fighting orcs in the swamp. It seemed pretty epic!

We told her that her friend in Trunau sent us to get the weapons on our way up river to fight the giant Grenzeldek at Fort Redlake. Ewigga told us that the cache has become more dangerous lately because of something called the First World. Apparently this First World is sending all it’s bad guys here to muck up the place. This means that getting to the weapons is going to be much harder now. We needed to rest up before continuing further. Ewigga said we were safe in her big room so we slept there. It was so hot though that I don’t think any of us slept that well. Some rest is better than none.

[The 22nd of Gozran] When we got up again we headed to a room where we had to hop giant lily pad to giant lily pad to get across. The floor was dark so we couldn’t see how far the fall was if we miss our jumps. Thankfully no one had to find out. Dragomir even made it, even though he’s blind. Okay, he slipped a little, but we caught him before he could completely fall off. We didn’t get across without a fight however. There were a tons of flies that flew into our faces but they were nothing but an annoyance. But when I got about halfway across a giant hoochadinger came flying up from the bottom. It was like a big fly, but it had eight longer wings and a long stick-like body. I think I may have seen something like it around the river sometimes but I’m not quite sure. Anyway, this hoochadinger was BIG! Flibbit came hopping back, yelling, “Against your kind I am the predator!”

Then it went dark. I don’t know how it all happened but I think I got blinded too. All I know is that I hit the flying hoochadinger a few times and I heard the others fighting it, too. We must have fought it until it fell, because it wasn’t there when I could see again.

This being blind thing is for the birds. I’m glad I can see again. I hope Dragomir will be able to see again soon. I know how he feels now, and I’m sure he’s having a tougher time with it than I did because he hasn’t had the time to work using his other senses.

As for the rest of what happened that day, I will let Derrack tell you. I don’t want to hog all the letter writing. It wouldn’t be nice.

Always sending love,
Tibb (Derrack told me I should say that. He said that “goodbye” wasn’t a proper way to end a letter)

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Derrack

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:32 pm

22 - 4 - 2715
Continued

Edgar is dead. Since all this started I have had friends die, companions, people I cared about, but never right in front of me. It is hard Drake. It is so hard. But I have to be strong. I have to continue. Even though all I want to do is lie down and cry.
Saoirse and I finally find the others, Edgar insisting we were off somewhere playing doctor. The thought does make me blush however I don’t believe the little fellow understands the double meaning behind those words, only the one where Saoirse heals us as a doctor would. A shame I will now never get a chance to enlighten him.

Our friends however are on the other side of a chasm, deep enough that we cannot see the bottom. As for how they got over there, the blackness of the abyss like hole is marred by what appear to be lily pads just sitting there spaced out enough to allow a person to jump across them to reach the other side. One can only assume that is how our companions made it across.

So, I have devised an ability that allows me to open a small rift in space and step through, similar to the more powerful Dimensional Door spell only this one I can use abou every few secnds with a smaller range and can only take myself. Edgar had jumped back across to help guide us so I was comfortable leaving Saoirse there and using my ability. I made it to the very middle lily pad and when I arrived it was if an alarm was triggered. The sounds of insects reach me just before the swarms (plural) of flies arrive. I manage to leap to the next pad and am able to again Slide out reaching the other side.

Saoirse is not as lucky however. Thankfully they were able to attach a rope to her before she started across as the weight of her gear caused the lily pad she was on to start dropping. When she made it to the middle pad it managed to sink about ten feet before she could even attempt to get off and the swarms of flies were upon her.

My friends, Bri and the Spirit Adenathel, were able to pull her up safely. Edgar simply leaped across, eating what he could from the swarms.

Once we were all gathered together again dear Tibb informed me of some troubling situations that had arisen in my (and Saoirse’s) absence. Apparently Dragomir was blind, completly, and Adenathel believes that the boy is actually Maksa even calling him that and expecting the boy to respond and act like his lost companion. A truely troubling statement that will bear further investigation if not for…..

In front of us now is a stairway down, winding to a small landing before curving further into the ground. Finally at the bottom is a hallway so long, not even those among us who have been blessed with the ability to see in the dark can find the end. But being the intrepid adventurers we are, we push on.

At the end is a door which is thankfully not locked. Or trapped, so I’m told. We open it and are immediately blasted with bright blinding sunlight and overwhelming humidity. This doorway opens to the terrarium we had seen from above. Heavy wet mists prevent those of us who are shorter from seeing much of anything while the thick trees help break up the fog around the height of us who are taller. The vegetation is thick, which is restricting movement, especially for me seeing as I am still, even after all this time as an “adventurer” still not very athletic. Oh well, we all have our strengths.

Seeing as the mists and plant life are preventing Tibb and Edgar from moving very well, we take them on our shoulders. Saoirse allows Tibb to ride on her and Tibb really seems to enjoy the way her armor is almost fashioned into a seat. Edgar rides on my shoulder and I wish I could have gotten used to that. He would have made quite the familiar. Excuse me.

Sorry for the delay in the writing, I’m alright now. Well, alright ish. As we are walking Tibb is “attacked” by a monkey who just seemed to be saying hello. We wave our selves to the creature and move on.

However once we get past it the simian and more like him suddenly fly past us in a terror. We turn to see what was frightening the animals and are fairly surprised, ok I was the only one surprised however my skill with divination spells allowed to react easier. It is a large plant monster with long tentacles and a mouth the covers it’s very large body.

We are eventually able to defeat it though not before Adenathel is eaten. Literally swallowed whole by the creature. Thankfully, after Bri’s arrow penetrated it’s…...head? I think the whole thing was head but anyway, her arrow killed it and Edgar was able to cut Adenathel from the corpse of the monster.

Which brings up another point of consideration. Can Adenathel die? Again? What happens when his new coporeal body loses what passes for it’s life force? Does he go back into Dragomir’s head? Does he stop existing? Something for another day as the study into it may distract me from the loss of Edgar.

We continue to follow the outer wall of the terrarium eventually finding a stair tree like the one we descended into this area with. We decide to search the rest of the habitat, making tighter circles so we cover every inch however, we find nothing and instead are sweating, wearing heavy clothes, drenched with humidity. We are all tired.

We ascend the second of the stair trees and enter a long passageway filled with flora of all kinds. Apparently I should have been paying more attention since as we were moving through, I fell asleep.

I was not the only one thankfully or that would have been embarrassing. A short time later myself and Bri and Adenathel awaken. A few minutes after that Edgar awakens as well. So a spirit body of someone who died can be put to sleep via a plant based monster trap. Questions keep seeming to pile up on me.

After learning my lesson I payed more attention to the specimens around us and found a number of them that would be worth a small fortune to perfumers. So we gather some to take back with us.

This room is much cooler and far less humid but alas, that was not to last. At the end of the passageway was another door and opening it welcomed in another wave of heat and humidity.

Inside this new room are many large fungi, humes, and briars. Numerous piles of compost raising twenty feet tall fill the room and ontop of one pile that seems about ten feet taller than the others sits a chest. Even one still as new as I am to this can see the obvious trap. However investigation of the piles and the chest wall have to wait as two very large plant creatures approach and attack us.

I do not remember the battle very well. One of the creatures nearly broke me and in my pain addled mind I could not see nor remember much. However, what I do remember very clearly, is the death of Edgar. I cannot describe it in detail, I can only say the young gripli gave an amazing standing for himself.

So my friend is dead and the others decide to investigate the chest. It is fairly large and locked with an intricate and complex mechanism which cannot be undone nor broken. So my companions do the next best thing and break the chest itself to reveal, an empty compartment.

Well, not so despairing as Adenathel figured out the bottom of the chest was actually false and opened up into a stairway leading to a room that appears to have the weapons we need are were looking for. But at what price?

We rest a minute before going down.

I should get going, I must press on.

Yours in Magic
Derrack A. Tyme
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Derrack

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:01 am

22 - 4 - 4715

Just a short update my brother,

We found the weapons we were looking for, down in that room built into the mound of compost. We were bringing them out when suddenly all the plants and vines and other living vegetable detrius became animated and attacked us.

Ewigga, the one lady we had met before, was there and was, for some reason not happy to find us alive. Her form changed and she became something known as a Green Hag. I will spare you the description of her new shape, suffice to say it was not pleasant. Thankfully a massive swing from young Bri was able to finish off Ewigga.

We took inventory of the items we found inside the storeroom and I will admit, after finding a metamagic rod, I didn’t pay too much attention to the rest of the stuff. I mean, I did identify them seeing as that happens to be a speciality of mine. I do not however remember who got what and what we are bringing back with us for the town.

I apologize for my lack of attention to detail, I’m afraid Edgar’s death is still too fresh, though I probably should have prefaced my letter with that line. Oh well, I am a scholar and spell caster, not an author.

We head back through the room with all the flowers, my friends gathering up what they can. We then leave are met outside by two dwarves. One of whom was the crazy dwarf we met earlier, the young lady who attempted to split her own head with an axe.

The other fellow was a man named Dulgar and he has one of the bushiest and reddest beards I’ve ever encountered. Long story short, Dulgar and our friend from before are friends and the dwarf fellow was here looking for the Green Hag we killed for messing with his lady friends mind. Since her death however the curse of madness she seemed to be inflicted with has gone and the lass has asked for her axe back.

These two are searching for the Tomb of Steelhand, a famous dwarven giant slayer and they believe it may be somewhere in this area. Dear sweet Tibb however is more excited that the formerly crazy dwarf’s brother may still be alive. The entire group of us decide to head back to the river where the two will decide on what to do there in their search for the tomb and missing brother.

As dusk approaches and the dark creeps in we return to the river. Thankfully the boat is waiting for us however Bri notices that our erstwhile friend Melira is no longer tied to the front of the boat. After boarding, and receiving questions about the two dwarves that were now with us, we questioned the Cockswain about the missing maiden of revenge.

Yes, after my earlier comment about not being an author I am trying to spruce up my letters with useless diatribe. I may fail, but I hope it’s at least entertaining.

It turns out that our erstwhile friend and chef in poor taste had loosened the ropes and allowed her to escape. Surprisingly there was some debate among the group as it if we we should track Melira down down or continue on with the original objective. To me the choice was obvious, instead of wasting time searching an unknown area, continue to the Fort. It may even be that is where Melira is heading thus completing two objectives at once. However even if she didn’t, it would make no sense, to me at least, to stay here any longer.

Thankfully my friends agreed with me and we continued down the river. During this rather long and mildly (thankfully) boring trip we were able to divy out the remaining treasures we had, for some reason, not done yet. Young Tibb and I got the True Love Lockets. No my brother, that does not mean we are together like that, despite the name of the jewelry. But what father doesn’t want to know where his daughter is and how she is doing. Specially after all that time apart. Thankfully Tibb seems to agree.

We make our landing and depart the ship, the captain giving us twenty five days. If we are not back by then he will leave us and I have no reason to doubt his words.

The dwarf Dulgar has decided to join us and I can’t say it’s a bad idea. He seems a sturdy sort and with…..Edgar…...no longer here we could use an extra hand.

However well prepared and well equipped we are, this group is not stealthy at all. And no Drake, it is not just me. As we made our way through the marsh we encountered a giant and four orcs who were waiting for us, having heard us coming.

We won the fight...but...Drake, magic can be used for dark and evil purposes. Tonight I made a giant kiss an orc and I will never get that image out of my head.

Yours in magic,
Derrack A. Tyme
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From Tibb

Post  TRU on Sat May 13, 2017 3:47 pm

Dear Drake,

We made it to Fort Red Lake! Now we gotta get in and find that other half of the map! And maybe kill us a few orcs while we are at it. As always, I will do my best to protect your brother. It’s going to be dangerous, but I will keep him safe.

Before we got too close Bri and Dragomir, with Adanedhel’s spirit guide go and check things out closer, because they are so much better at keeping quiet than the rest of us. They came back and told us that the moat was dry but filled with orc tents. They had seen the way in that the Knight lady had told us about but we would need to do a lot of climbing to get there. I was afraid for Master Derrack, but in the end, he wasn’t the one who had trouble climbing. It was Dragomir who almost broke his head when we nearly dropped him. In the end we made it, ropes and all, without really hurting ourselves(only a couple of rope burns).

We couldn’t get into the sewer when we found it. It was barred shut with a metal grate that had been worked right into the stone. I bet it had been covered to protect from any invaders. But if that’s true, I wonder how the Knight lady’s grandfather, or whoever, had escaped? Anyway, our new dwarf friend, Dulgar (Master Derrack told you about him, right?) took one look at the grate, pulled out a tool and popped it off like it was a cork in a bottle. Wow, it was amazing! Saoirse told him then that he was the greatest thing to happen to our group in a long time! I told Dulgar that his muscles were intense, no, immense. He seemed to agree with me.

In the sewers we fought two grey oozes. Everyone kept yelling about how the oozes were breaking their armor and weapons, but for some reason they didn’t hurt my hands one bit. Maybe it’s my tough animal hide… Further on in the sewers we found the skeleton of a poor dead child. It had a ring that had the same mark on it that the Knight lady wore. I guess her family didn’t all escape the old siege. It’s sad to think about.

Once we got out of the potty room, after Dulgar announced that he was about to ruin an orc’s day, we fought and killed two giants, two manticores (never trust a manticore, Drake. They lie), and saved a lizardman named Vursiliath from becoming the toy of 4 ogres and another giant. Vursiliath stuck with us for a while, which was great fun, since he fought a lot like I do, with his hands and feet. We needed some sleep after the rescue, so we went back to the cage where we had found the manticores and took a little nap. After we woke up, Saoirse did something amazing with her magic. She scooped up some of the blood (okay, it was my blood. I had gotten pretty torn up by the manticores) that was in a pool on the ground and rubbed it on Dragomir’s eyes, telling him that pain made everything more clear. AND HE COULD SEE AGAIN! That Saoirse. She is so amazing and wise! I love her so much!

Anyway, after that we had a run in with something Master Derrack called a “haunt”. It made me, and everyone else, except Dragomir, so sick and sad that we kept hurting ourselves. If it wasn’t for Dragomir we would all have been dead right then! Magic is so amazing! I wish I was smart enough to learn so healing magic so I could help like Saoirse and Dragomir do. They have saved our lives so very, very much!

After that haunt we found three giants doing some sort of ritual thing on a headless skeleton. I think two of the giants were pregnant, too. A fact that I didn’t seem to notice after I had killed one of them. I hope I don’t have to kill anyone pregnant ever again. It was the worst. The one giant who was in charge told us that we were interrupting his meal and said something about eating the giantess. I think he must have been talking about Grensedek. We didn’t care about his plans for Grenseldek and killed him anyway. He and his huge bat creature. Although we didn’t put him down before he could zap Dulgar so hard that his beard fluffed out. The body he was performing the ritual on looked like it might have belonged to the old human castle on [castelan], Tamand Varias, who had been in charge of the fort during the siege. If I remember the story right, he was not a nice man.

Oh, I forgot to tell you something we found out about the giantess who now runs the fort. Grenseldek apparently tried to marry this really important giant guy who is gathering all these armies, but he turned her down. He called her proposal insulting. What a jerk! I mean, Grenseldek probably isn’t the greatest, or nicest (pretty sure she’s not the nicest) giantess out there but you’d think that somegiant just as evil as she is would go for something like that. But apparently she wasn’t this Volstus’s cup of ale… anyway, she had had a wedding dress made and everything. Makes me kinda feel sorry for her, even if we are going to kill her if we ever come across her…

After finding a few empty rooms we ran across a couple of ogrekin. Man were they ugly. They came at us with a wicked looking hook for a weapon, but we took them down two. We seem to be clearing this place out pretty well. Hopefully it means we will make it back out alive. Only time will tell.

Always sending love,
Tibb

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