Fickle Godlings

De Treasure Chest Island, pt 1
7/17/1110

Journal of Undio diCorrenze VII

Jenen 17th, 1110

We have just landed a few small expedition gigs after having spotted land. This is terra incognita to myself and de crew, a jungle island. Our duty, as a navy merchant vessel, is to explore and claim what lands and resources are found for King Gressner. This is de type of expedition I have been waiting for. A newly promoted Halfling has twice as much to prove as a human, with twice as much burden. I am up to de challenge. It stands half as tall as dis wonder of de world! We will be setting up camp and sending our oarmen back to de ship to prepare Abundance’s hold for whatever riches lie on this savage land. We have already captured several wild boar and are anticipating quite a bounty. They have been instructed by Captain Brumeken to return in a week. After a stern look and a cough of protest from de first mate, he sent de gig back to de ship and invited us officers to speak for a few moments. De second mate, Kitt Pitchfinger, backed up de first mate, Hiulis, in objecting to de Captain’s strategy. They seemed to disagree with him, insisting de gig should return every three days at noon, instead of in a week.De Captain remained silent as he took in de officers’ opinion, and shot a knowing glance at me in between their clamor. There was a strange fear in his eye…a certain look of doom that I didn’t quite like. In de end, he politely considered their perspective, but stuck to his decision. I can see where de first and second mate are coming from, but I respect de Captain for standing his ground.

It is imperative for our men to maintain excellent physical fitness. As new Third Mate, it is my role to lead de sailors in morning calisthenics. On our morning run, as we rounded de tip of de sandbar, de jungle forest opened up to reveal a giant, red stone statue rising above de trees.

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The Stairs to Mordok, Bowser's Towers

Events from Okeber 12 to Okeber 21
Birte and Melfina partook of the spa, and also the mining rights, and did well by both. Barrabus passed, instead researching spellbook copying, and watching his back. After a week, items ordered previously in Foremountain were delivered (scale barding for Melfina’s steed, studded leather for the steed of Barrabus, studded dragon armor for Birte, an ornamental helm for Birte).
The party ascended the stairs to Mordok, pushing through until they reached the Rose Quartz Inn, where they feast (even the goat, in tow).
Midday on Okeber 21, they enter the Caverns of Calamity. Garious and his henchmen attack. Birte falls to a roper disguised as a rock spire; she is bitten to death. Melfina tried to save her. Barrabus fled, but then returned to help defeat Garious.

Events from Okeber 21 to Okeber 26
Melfina and Barrabus pay their respects to Birte, take her valuables, and continue the ascent to Mordok. They arrive at the mountaintop dwarven city in the evening, and find the West Wall burned, with soldiers on guard. A crier advertises the “Wall of Eight” fight night. The party turns down lodging at the Gilded Griffin, choosing instead to stay at the more humble Pork ’n Mead tavern. At the Wall of Eight fight, Undio the halfling sailor fights brilliantly (defeating a Highvale Lightfoot rogue, 4 giant rats, a green adder, and a giant toad), while Melfina and Barrabus get roaring drunk in the stands and make winning bets. Undio pays off his debt to Karl Gizzardbeard and joins the party (after learning that his dear cousin Endo has fallen during the Battle of Levytown).

Over the course of the next few days, squire Delbert fails in his diplomatic attempts to gain access to King Bowser, but Melfina successfully finds a skilled artisan (Lothario) to craft a gemstone studded shield (a holy symbol of Geova). Melfina herself (with the help of Barrabus, and Undio disguised as a human ship captain), gain an invitation to Bowser’s daily feast at Bowser’s Towers.

Leaving much of their gear and loot behind at the Pork ‘n Mead, the party travels south to Bowser’s Towers along the High Wall. Over a seven course lunch, Melfina makes a downpayment of 150pp on resuming the mithral trade between the Cragen Mountains and the Horrid Woods, assuring King Boswer that the trouble with Megemus is well concluded. With that out of the way, she challenges the King’s champion, Rock Knight Fergel, for a duel. She bets her shield (and possibly her life).

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They Mined Too Deep

A summary of recent events …

(Okeber 8-9):

  • found the goat with the gold
  • found the troll tax bridge, fought and defeated the trolls
  • ambushed by Scald and the Acrobats, fought all but one off

(Okeber 10-11):

  • entered the dwarven village of Foremountain, cleared weapons check
  • shopping and fraternizing with the dwarves, ordered custom items
  • defeated creatures unleased by dwarven mining (giant centipede, giant spiders, wyvern)
  • accepted mission to clear out Fallshaft 42, Dwarven Thrower on loan to Birte for one year from Tiptok Toolman

(Okeber 12)

  • shopping for potions and herbalism kit and fur coats
  • Delbert begs off (scared of dwarven depths); he will look after Melfina’s affairs in Foremountain
  • descent into the Westmine fallshafts (it’s cold!)
  • an encounter with Holveus Marshmouth (an old friend of the Blackhammers) — Boloak lives! (and is looking for Birte)
  • discovery of the Fallshaft 42 entrance, boarded off with warning signs
  • warning signs ignored, discovery of the dwarven hall beneath the caved-in passage
  • too many spiders! (the party fights and defeats two fire beetles, two giant spiders, two giant jumping spiders, and a giant orb weaver); Melfina loots a gold and ruby ancient dwarven ring worth 200gp
  • discovery of the entrance to the tomb of Holocious Hollowleg the 19th, locked with magical runes
  • exploring Fallshaft 42, encounter a Carrion Crawler feasting on the bodies of dwarven miners; quickly dispatched, but rumbling earth and then a ferocious hooked beast! (Umber Hulk)
  • two great uncut emeralds (worth 400gp and 600gp) looted from the dwarven miners
  • back down the rope to the dwarven hall
  • a hallway that intersects with a natural cave, lair to a Behir
  • after Champ scouts, Birte attempts to sneak by the Behir and steal it’s loot
  • almost eaten alive and electrocuted, but the party escapes with two magical suits of armor, and a dwarven morning star
  • weary but alive, the party ascends the stairs to Foremountain, and spots a henchmen of Garious the Thorn
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Journey to the Cragen Mountains

A quick summary of events (early Okeber)…

  • Melfina is promoted to elvish sergeant
  • Life returns to normal in Levytown, Trond decides to stay
  • The party is gifted with good, gold, and weapons; a thank you from Levytown and Bern himself
  • Garious the Thorn lures the party to the Drunken Dragon, attempts to apprehend Barrabus, a huge fight ensues, many windows are broken and the place is set on fire, Garious is badly wounded but escapes with three of his henchmen
  • A Levytown pub crawl, Melfina makes a speech
  • Pig Bailey gifts the party with a whole hog
  • A smooth journey to Broken Hill, an encounter with a boring onion farmer, a goatherd on the road
  • The party pays a visit to Megemus’s old camp, sees trampled earth, old tracks
  • The party discovers the remains of an unfortunate merchant, finds an old Ebengradian fighting pit, barely wins a hard fight against gnolls and an ogre
  • The party makes it to Cozy Hollow, receives a warm welcome from the halflings, gifting chalices to Endo’s family, attends Endo’s (rather long) wake, and the feast that follows
  • Off to the Cragen Mts., taking the rough trail up through the hills (Birte does not share the location of the secret dwarven road)
  • Birte speaks with a bear, hears of Troll Bridge
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From the journal of Barrabus the Storm:(Late Seben)

Well, the threat of Megemus and his army are no longer. It seems that my masterful strategy in fortifying this plot of taverns have payed off. The Lady Melfina, as expected, did a perfect job leading the pasture bravos and bumpkin bandits into skull-splitting ruckus. Much to my relief, the bumbling dwarf woman(?) only managed to lead a small cadre of halflings into death’s clutches. Mind you, Endo was among their number’s, and she’ll surely be held accountable for her actions once we address the elders of Cozy Hollow.
But that raises the pressing question: Do I want to accompany sweet Melfina to the West? I have my own life to consider, and study is difficult on the road. The stern, but tender, elf surely needs my protection, but life was certainly easier when I didn’t have to split my earnings with a holy woman, a tree hugging drunk, and an illiterate barbarian.
The dregs of the Red Guard didn’t seem to raise an eyebrow to my name, here in Levytown. Perhaps my warrant, though I still don’t know it’s origin or details, have faded in attention in Vassna. I might be able to return to the city and pick up a proper job. Surely my contact has been wondering why I haven’t sent word for so long. And likely Raneese Entreri is wondering the same, as he runs short on supplies for his shop.
Still, the call of curiosity is strong, as the dwarven keep to the west offers no limit of undiscovered treasure and mystery. The Lady Melfina seeks aid for her kingdom, and she is surely my ticket into that most wondrous land. To be one of the few humans allowed to experience all of the splendors of the elve’s society ignites sparks in my deepest sensory tissue packs.
Ooh, speaking of, I’ve been making quite a bit of headway on the book. The current working title is, “Natural Philosophy: Experiments in Life and the Arcane.” I’m quite excited about the whole project.
But in conclusion, I have yet to decide my path from this point. Champ is safe and has been called back from the celestial plane. Though I will have to repay Melfina in some way, even though I bluffed her coin under pretenses. Perhaps adding the presdedigitation spell to my repertoire would serve her so well that she might forget the debt. Time will tell. Yes, time will tell on all of these matters.

=||=(=

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The Battle of Levytown

A quick summary of events:

On the eve of the Fall Equinox, in the darkness of the new moon, on Seben 22 in the Year 1113, the insane druid Megemus marched on the hamlet of Levytown with his army of hundreds (goblin infantry, goblin archers, warg riders, broos, ogres, and a troll). His intent was to raze the village and return the land to nature, as he had already done in Broken Hill, killing dozens and creating hundreds of refugees.

Megemus was met with STRONG resistance, the hamlet of Levytown having prepared for weeks, well fortified with fortifications, traps, and reinforcements from both Weston (miners, led by The Incline), elves (eagleriders from the Horrid Woods, called in by Melfina), and halflings (pony lancers and slingers from Cozy Hollow, led by Endo and Plunderfoot).

The battle was a complete rout, with the forces of Megemus on the losing end. Sadly, the pony lancers of Cozy Hollow fell (Endo among them), and a few Levytown militia met their end as well. But Levytown was saved. The Green Griffon half burned, but not beyond repair.

Megemus himself escaped (turning into an owl), but the party chased down and killed the evil blacksmith Tyr, and the noxious broo leader.

For now, the Sallywynde Valley is safe.

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The Defense of Levytown

A quick summary of events by date:

Seben 4 to Seben 7:
- Goblins and wargs track the party to the goatherd’s house and attack, fended off with the help of Birte the Dwarf

- Battle of the bridge near Broken Hill, killed the bandit Felton, attacked by a giant crab

- Camped near the refugee camp, Birte made a fine crab stew

- More goblins ambush near Levytown

- Levytown council meeting, Bane’s offer to parlay with the wyrm Devellious is turned down, and the mysterious ranger leaves

- Melfina sends a pigeon message asking the elvish army for help

- Barrabus and Melfina lead efforts to fortify Levytown against a possible attack by Megemus and his army of goblins, broos, ogres, and a troll

Seben 8 to Seben 10

- Barrabus and Melfina successfully create traps to defend Levytown (ogre snares, hill avalanche, trench with spikes, crossbow table)

- The bard “Quaron the Red” visits Levytown, sings the Ballad of the Buried Keep (Argath)

- An entrance to Keep Argath is uncovered during fortification building, Barrabus and Melfina descend, defeat the carrion crawler, giant spiders

- Barrabus and Melfina get assistance from Trond, rest, find and defeat the mimic, collect treasure

Seben 11 to Seben 18

- Birte returns from her scouting mission, has observed war preparations by Megemus and his army, they do not yet march

- Barrabus, Melfina, and Birte continue to explore Keep Argath. They find the corpse of an elven champion, with his notes musing on the locations of the three missing elven rings (and loot his choice items, a Cloak of Elvenkind, a magic dagger, a mithral shirt). The party tricks an earth elemental, who lets them pass.

- The party discovers the servants’ quarters (Elva’s room) now overtaken by an aranea and her servant stirges. A quick, brutal battle ensues. The party emerges victorious, despite the dwarf sleeping through the conflict. The slim volume “Elva’s Household Tips and Tricks” contains a number of low-level spells.

- Leaving the keep, the party is blocked again by the earth elemental “Dokrok”. They attempt to run by, a battle ensues, Melfina paralyzes the rock creature with a mighty blow (that also destroys her trident).

- Two sections of Kan-Ean (elven eagleriders) arrive, in response to Melfina’s missive.

- Miners from Weston, led by a mighty pick-wielding man called “The Incline” arrive to help.

- More reinforcements … a motley crew of green recruits, cripples, and crusty old farts from the Red Guard. Lord Greedle has sent his worst. Led by “Old Bart.”

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From the journal of Barrabus the Storm: (Mid-Seben)

Forgive this annotation for it’s ill spellings and inacuracies, but I’ve been up a tenday preparing a military defense that I’m not prepared for.
It began when we left Cozy Hollow. We had an interest in freeing up the trade roads and such, but when we backtracked Lady Melfina’s findings, it seemed we had a new set of problems.
Before we could get close there was a ghastly duo of Gnolls tossing a halfling to and fro.
The Ladt Paladin could not stand for it so we flanked the foes and let loose their targets. The Gnolls were dispatched easily, but, oh I do need slumber.
Anyhow, the halfling duo introduced them to us as Endo and Plunderfoot, and offered us a stay at their homes in Cozy Hollow, anytime. (Though how I could fit my head in there is quite a mystery to it’s own.) We talked of our journey, and when Broken Hill came up, the travelling pair had some unsettling stories to tell of a druid named Magemus and his plans to overturn the civil countryside into an overgrown bramble of slaughter. They further warned that he had the military might to bring forth such change and it was his forces that sacked Broken Hill.
After a long lunch with the halflings we ventured forward again, but as night fell, I heard a curious sound. It sounded like the roar of a tribe and the rythmic beating of drums, I relayed the info to the party, but decided I should be the one who advanced.
Lords what my eyes would see that night! 150 Goblins, 20 of those goat headed beasts, and 2 ogres in chains, all armored and rallying behind who?
Well, it turned out those halflings and their rumors were right, because the wild-druid Magemus, they’d spoke of, was leading the whole lot….
Gods I’m tired, I really am.
Anyhow, I snuck off to tell the others of what I’d seen. On my way down to them though, a wandering patrol of goblins riding wargs came at us, followed closely by more goblin soldiers on foot. As much as we fought, Trownd’s axe and Melfina’s….uh… Melfina, couldn’t stop the horde soon enough. I recall sneaking in and laying low two of the beasts as leapt from the shadows with twin daggers, and after that, it just becomes a hurried blur.
I awoke the next day, I presume, in the humble estate of a goat herder and his injured, mute, elderly, father.
I won’t dare disclose, for legal reasons, what took place upon leaving there. But we did make the acquaintance of a rather boring dwarf. She seems to be some sort of house-marm, and the persistence of goblins seems to follow her like diptera on feces. I’m actually starting to wonder if she’s some sort of goblin spy. But she followed us back to Levytown, regardless, and here I sit: exhausted, eyes burning, and dehydrated.
The raid shall surely come any day now, and I hope the massive fortifications and traps to the farmland I’ve engineered will do well to hinder the oncoming assault. I’ve been researching all of the scrolls and tomes I have available as well, so I do hope that I can stand well against them. My home, begrudged as it may be, depends on it.

=||=(=

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Goatheads, Gobbless, and da Gears of War

Dear Modre and Fader,

Tings been good for me, even do I ain’t vorkin for you no days. I vere stayed at a nice shorty-people town after da company let me go at da mines. Dey got nice ales(I specially enjoy deir makes of a lichen porter), and da best pies and pasties you ever seen.

I heard a rumor or two ‘bout a little groups of folk travelin’ tru da land vit an eff and a man knows some sorta secrets of da vorld. I tracked dem real easy by da path dem Halflings said dey travel, and vhat do I spot? GOBBLES! Tons o dem, and some o dem goatguys! Not only dem, but I sees a pairs of nasty OGGERS! Needles to say, I din’t need to go traipsin to dems much more closer.

I follow da paths vit a couple scary volfs and a pair of ugly gobbles laid dead vidout much concealin. Dem guys need to vatch vhere dey leave deir toys, ja? As I follow deir trail some more I see dem been surrounded at a goat farmer’s house by more o dem scary volfs and more nasty gobbles. Vhere all dem come from? Da man in da cloak show a good try to stir up some goats so I helps him gettin dem goin. I try to help foster a volf, but he vere too smart for dat, and den I vere falled to needin’ meddies. ‘Fores I goes out, I hear some veird vords come out da man and I feel real varm all over. Vhen I vakes up, dere’s a bunch of burnin gobbles. I never saw dem light no torches. Da guy in da hood tells me his name be Brabbis, so I says hi to him and his friend da eff, her name Muffina. Somethin be veird ‘bout dat Brabbis fella, can’t qvite say vhat it is. Real smart ‘do. And dat Muffina, she talk too loud, but she got a good heart (for an eff). And she’s a far better speaker to da people dan I can ever do.

Den ve get goin to da Town of Levies so ve can vorns dem about dem gobbles. ‘Fore ve get far, dere’s some bandits tryin da take us for some coin. All da vhile a nasty vind come over da plains. Dem guys take care o dem vhile I smash a nasty carrion eatin crabber. Filty tings dem are, ja! Den I tro my net but I missed da man tries to run in da Sillyvinde river but he got no fins. Took me dang ner a half er to get my nets vidout gettin vet.

Ve come backs to da refuges and deir camp. Ve decide ve maybe take a sit and I cook some real good crab stoo. You’da liked it most of all, modre. Real tasty. I tink I’m a better cook dan a varrior, ja? Oh vell. Ve say guttags to da friend ve make in da camp and den ve on our vay.

Den da craziest ting happen vhen some more gobbles come over us on da vay to da Town of Levies… dis man da Brabbis say some funny vords and I sees a… fog a smoke pops right in front of us and da gobbles! Vhat kinds of vhat is dat? I can’t vait to see more o dem silly tricks! Vell, vit his fancy castins, ja, and my new eff friend’s mighty fork, ve take care o dem real good.

Ve needs talk to da people of Levies to varns dem of da bad guys. Some veirdo, Blame, tinks he own da place try to get us traipsin down da Cragen for ol Debelliseseses treasure or vhateber. No says Brabbis, dat not for good cause. So ve sides to make some varriors outta dem Levies people. I goes and gets us rangled a couple horsies, vhile Brabbis do some readin. Den ve bote scote out da area and makes for a Døddøren at da entrance da Levies. Dem gobbles goatheads has a hard time gettin in hur!

Vell, I have to be goin now. Got to vork dem horses into some kinda steeds for me and Muffina. Ven next I see ya, I be a lady you can be proud of. I be sorry bout da old Boloak, I hopes he doin good. Say hi to my babies, I know dey might be missin me for da cause of my goin avay.

Iron and Gold,
Birte

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A Game of Catch

Game Date: Seben 1 (September 1)

Barrabus, Melfina, Delbert, and Trond spent an extra day in Cozy Hollow, fortifying their cart and purchasing flotation barrels. Mayor Ploughfoot sends them a going-away gift basket, perhaps a little eager to see the backs of their heads.

Heading west on the road, back towards the ruins of Broken Hill, Barrabas hears a faint yelling over the rise, along with noxious laughter. Two large gnolls are playing catch with a hapless halfling, while another is strung up on a nearby tree. The beasts are dispatched in a quick battle, but not before Melfina is struck down, and Barrabus nearly kills her with a devastating wave of thunder.

The rescued halfling merchants, Endo and Plunderfoot, tell the party about the insane druid Megemus, and his evil plan to raze the valley. Megemus visited Cozy Hollow and spared them, on the condition they stay neutral (and silent). After Melfina chases off a pack of wild dogs, the halflings return to Cozy Hollow; the party continues west.

Camping near the site of the ogre battle, Melfina sees a pair of red eyes during her watch. She wakes Barrabus from a sound slumber, only to discover a raccoon.

The next morning the party heads southwest along the river, going off road. That evening, while camping, Delbert hears a faint drumming sound. Barrabus investigates, and comes across a war encampment of goblins, goat-headed creatures, a pair of chained ogres: the army of Megemus. The druid gives a rousing speech to his minions.

While deciding what to do, the party is attacked by a patrol of worg riders. Barrabus is felled in the vicious battle, but the party prevails in the end. Rushing across the plains in their cart, they encounter a goatherd who offers them shelter for the night. They accept, sending Delbert galloping off in the night to warn Levytown of the grave threat.

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