Fickle Godlings

From the journal of Barrabus the Storm:

Forgive the lapse in time since my last entry. I am currently writing this by candlelight in a smallish room at an inn in Cozy Hollow, of all places.
It all started for me a ten-day ago. I was in that godsforsaken dullard’s settlement of Levytown. I had taken to the refuge of my father’s home after my run in with the Red Guard in Vassna. Claude was spending his days in the taverns, per usual, and I gained notice of an outsider clad in a forest cloak and dark hood. He seemed to be watching me, though I’m aware how that sounds, what with the countless tales of mad mages driven to paranoia in their brooding towers with no company but their tomes and imprisoned beasts.
On the second day of this stranger’s observance, I was yet again trying to calm my father’s exaggerated stories, as Druca’s reputation for over-serving often warrants. Suddenly, a small elf boy marched into the tavern with a mast adorning an elaborate elven banner and announced the arrival of a Lady of some renowned, at least in elven culture. T’was then that I first met Melfina, or the Lady Silverleaf. She gracefully sauntered up to the bar after her page announced her arrival (quite tenaciously) and all in the place were startled, lest for one gruff fellow who flew to military attention.
I was examining her wares and trying to prevent Claude from causing an embarrassment, when the farmer Bailey came in, crying about one of his suinae disappearing and that this wasn’t the first in so many days. To my surprise (given my knowledge of the Sylvan races), Melfina leaped at the chance to help farmer Bailey. Reluctantly, I agreed, seeking mostly to learn more of this fey noble. The brutish Northman, now known as Trond, also lent his axe and eagerness to the cause for some reason.
We arrived at Bailey’s property, but since it seemed quite a dull affair, I merely relaxed on a stretch of fence while the others slipped around in the mud and feces. It was when a curious noise was detected that I flawlessly darted to the other side of the pig pen, where we all three saw the largest species of Anura that any of us had ever seen in the flesh. Or in this case, the mucous and granular, but I digress.
Needless to say, that we laid waste to the gargantuan lissamphibia, and the counterpart that emerged downstream. Trond proved clumsy with his axe, but the Lady Melfina was graceful and immaculate with her trident and shield prowess. Though her throwing arm may need some clearer communication channels to her oculars.
We stayed at the farmers house and made our way to town the next morn, after a fine breakfast. On the main road, we encountered a flock of disheveled commoners trailing in packs. They were refugees from the town of Broken Hill that, as we learned, had recently been broken. Broken, burned and raped from hordes of goblins working with some sort of goat headed humanoids.
We aided the the refugees in whatever capacity we could, though my talents were mostly useless, Melfina helped in both diplomatic matters and the mending of wounds, which I first found she had a gift for.
Later we were at the tavern, surrounded by several refugees whom we had extended coin to, along with other townsfolk. It was then that the first goblin stormed in the door from Druca’s storage room behind the bar. Several followed after him, grabbing whatever they could, casks mostly. Trond went to protect Druca, who had fled from behind the bar at my direction. Melfina advanced with trident and shield . I was reluctant to use magic, with the hooded ranger in the place and the red guard encounter shortly behind me, but I knew I must. So, I slyly flourished and whispered the words to bring forth a fog to mask the scene. My hopes were to confuse the goblins and prevent their escape, and it worked, save for one. I walked through the fog, releasing electric currents through all goblin skin I touched and made my way to block the door. Melfina followed flank and we beat the last of them. She was exquisite.
We piled the bodies up and examined them. Some scimitars were appropriated and a tattoo of some sort was on the goblin leader’s flesh. A druidic symbol of some sort. I later did a simple spell of reading magic, in private, but gleaned no new information.
The mysterious ranger, who told us his name was “Bane” whilst avoiding me the entire time, asked Melfina to embark on a journey to find the source of this incursion, in Broken Hill. Melfina accepted, and when I told her that he wasn’t to be trusted, she informed me that she had come to the same conclusion. I truly felt that it was sincere and I trusted her. Let’s hope, as I reread my words, that this isn’t the folly of my curiosity and fondness of the elven people.
The next Morn we acquired a few provisions and left on the road toward… not Broken Hill, but to the Cragen Mountains. That had been Lady Melfina’s original purpose for questing westward, and I was much anticipating the wonders that could be seen in the realm of the dwarves. But nonetheless, our travels would lead us through that burnt ruin of a town.
Not far before Broken Hill, however, we sited a merchant wagon approaching. It was headed east on the road, and likely had just left or rolled through Broken Hill. When it approached, I and Trond had hidden under the bridge at Sallywynde Crossing, Melfina and her page (Delbert) advanced with question on the merchant and his two guards. The back of the wagon revealed a caged prisoner transport packed with children. They called out as negotiations became tense between Melfina and the merchant, Scorve.
I stepped out immediately, knowing the heated temperaments between the races of the realms, and began offering a voice of reason to the transport of prisoners, child or no. But, upon being issued with our “second warning” rather than a writ of charter from the king, I loosed an icy beam that clumsily missed his first guard. Melfina followed with a horse-lead charge that ended with her winded on her back in the dusty soil of the road. Luckily, not a second or so after I called Trond’s name, he emerged from the bridge, a screaming, charging, human-blade. He made it just far enough to guard the Lady Melfina, while the merchant hopped of the cart to check something at the rear of the vehicle and his guards loosed crossbow bolts at me, which I dodged, and Trond, which planted firmly in his torso, though he seemed not to notice.
I saw my chance and ran toward the wagon, recalling the intricacies of a spell I had prepared every night since leaving Levytown. I lowered my staff while uttering the sacred words and the earth and air before me boomed and rippled. The guards were shoved back while their ears bled, the horse whinnied and fell dead, and unfortunately a few of the children were knocked unconscious. Unbeknownst to me, the wagon was forced back and the merchant was crushed beneath it.
Trond sliced the throat of one guard while Melfina gained her stance and the other guard retreated. We went to the back of the wagon while Trond worked off his rage in solitude. Melfina unlocked the children’s cage and found a brave girl who informed her that they were the forgotten youth of Broken Hill, and were to be sold into slavery. I promptly let loose a series of shocking grasps on the trapped merchant, until the smoke wafting from every visible orifice let me know that he was no longer a threat to anyone.
Trond insisted on escorting the children back to the refugee camp outside of Levytown. I protested that it was a waste of time and we must advance, but my words fell light on his ears. Melfina gave the bravest child a bejeweled dagger that we’d found in the wagon’s wares and instructed her on how to use the pointy end and when.
Melfina and I repaired the wagon, full of useful goods, and hitched a horse to it. The trip North-West was easier now, as I sat with Delbert most of the way, stopping to make camp when needed. We did camp outside of Broken Hollow, near a vineyard, but we didn’t do much to tread into the place. Melfina investigated, while we waited at camp, and found some strange tracks leading south-west from the town. Her reports of cloven hoof tracks dissuade my suspicion of cultist humans clad in animal bones. Clearly we were dealing with something beastly and sinister.
We decided to trek further up the road though, as her destination was the Cragen Mountains and we still had seen no sign of Trond’s return. And it was only a day and a half later that I had heard something devilish near the road. A nashing and growling most disgusting.
Melfina decided to advance up the hill that was bordering the road in the grasslands we were traveling. On the other side was an adolescent ogre, feasting ferociously on the corpse of a bear he had felled with an apparently stolen javelin. The lady and I discussed for some time, in quiet, about whether or not something should be done. Well, clearly she must have spoken too loudly, because before I knew it, the creature had it’s eyes set firmly on ME.
I took quickness as my advantage and ran over the hillock and fired a bolt of ice at it. I hit, but the creature ran at me regardless as the Lady Melfina sneaked behind it. I enacted another spell to protect myself and Melfina asked what route we take on this dull creature, as she pierced it with her trident.
I replied, that we goad it with a confusing dance, as I drew a dagger in each hand and shifted right with a successful slash at the beast. Melfina followed, The beast tried feebly to beat it’s club against my mage armor, to no avail. Soon we had the beast down.
We continued our quest, and camped at a spot where the woods met the road and river. Melfina and Delbert caught us a fine catch of trout, which we stuffed with onions from the merchant cart, and roasted apples and tuber. Shortly after we lifted forks to mouth, a tall figure ran up the road, calling rejoices. It was Trond, hungry and happy. I’ll admit, it was good to see the northman.
I asked him to review my cookbook (which I suspected to be some source of my outlaw status), but he offered no knowledge, other than identifying the author.
The next day, we hit Cozy Hollow at dusk. A quaint inn called the “Paisley Parsnip” hosted us well, with all the comforts of home. And before we found our beds, we were able to talk to the mayor Ploughfoot and his council. They informed us of the difficulties of trade, when Lord Greedle holds the tax on the roads so high, and the suspects of the Broken Hill attack a serious threat. So it seems that it’s in the interest of all for us to backtrack to Broken Hill and see where that mystery might lead.
And so the hour grows late, and after six days I’m still getting used to the blank stare of an entranced elf boy, but I feel that these brown ales I’ve drunk will whisk me to slumber for the morn’s journey. Though one thing is unclear after all these days; is sap-wine a taste I must acquire?
Barrabus the Storm [?]
[?]-Year of the Horn

Cart Justice

Game date: sometime in Fall

Barrabus and Melfina, with Trond and Delbert in tow, travel west towards Broken Hill, passing through the refugee camp. The following day they travel on the north side of the Sallywynde until they reach the bridge crossing near Broken Hill. There they encounter a slaver who has captured Broken Hill orphans. They confront him, fighting his henchmen, and in the process the orphans are injured and the slaver is crushed by his own cart. Melfina heals the orphans, and Barrabus finishes off the slaver Scorve. One henchmen escapes. Melfina gifts an orphan girl Gia with a bejeweled dagger, and Trond escorts them back to the refugee camp.

At Broken Hill they explore the ruins, camp in a vineyard, and decide to not investigate tracks heading southwest.

Passing through forest on the way to Cozy Hollow, the party encounters a juvenile ogre eating a bear. They manage to defeat it.

In Cozy Hollow, the party fraternizes with hobbits at the Paisley Parsnip, and discuss the dangers of trade with mayor Ploughfoot (high taxes at Levyfort, marauding goblins, and so forth). Much coin is spent on ale, cheese, and pipeweed.

Frog's Legs (8/14/13)

Barrabus, who is staying with his father Claude in Levytown, meets the elven paladin Melfina, who is traveling with her squire Delbert Drake towards the Cragen Mountains.

Along with Norseman Trond, the unlikely duo assist Farmer Bailey, slaying some pig-eating giant frogs, and discover the body of poor Oliver.

Later, in Levytown, they witness a stream of refugees coming in from Broken Hill. The village has been raided and razed by goblins, led by strange goat-headed men.

A band of goblins raid the Drunken Dragon, but are thwarted by steel and spells. The goblins are marked with a strange brand: a Druidic symbol.

A mysterious character named Bane is curious about this sign, and suggests a scouting party towards Broken Hill.

Case file BTS

From the office of the Silver Tail Company:

As best as we can tell, Barrabus Fickendell, also known as “Barrabus the Storm”, was born 36 years ago in Vassna at what is now the “Stride’s Rest Inn”, formerly the “Golden Griffin Inn”.
His mother, Nadia Ahllenta, left him in the custody of his father, Claude Fickendell, as soon as she was able to travel and escape the eye of the Red Guard. Her activities in the area, at the time, remain unknown.
Barrabus was raised by his father, a boxer of some renown called “Claude the Clyde”, and showed a remarkable intelligence from an early age. He spent his early years grifting the clientele of various fight-halls and taverns that his father would earn his living in. Some of his more exotic calls would allow the young Barrabus to engage with some of the most enlightened sages and clergymen, all of whom reported being taken aback by the boy, when he was only ages 7-12. His father also trained his muscles, relentless in building him in the image of a fighter. Some reports, by those close to the two, say that Claude was never satisfied with the muscular bulk that Barrabuss’ body was incapable of obtaining, but that he was strong and quick as many full grown men they could recall.
Barrabus had just turned 13 when his father was apprehended by the Red Guard and sentenced to 20 years of hard labor and dungeon imprisonment. There were various charges placed against Claude the Clyde, but this officer suspect 3rd party involvement in such severe sentencing. Barrabus was almost through the final stages of court and headed to a Vassnan orphanarium, until his Great Aunt, one Mashira Mashalrashi, stepped in to see him delivered to his mother’s homeland of Istan. It is important to note that the ties between the Mashalrashi family and the ruling Serhan family has been previously noted, at length, in documents BTS3 and ISTAN-8.
According to what information we could acquire and deem truthful, Barrabus lived in a domicile with his birth mother, Nadia, and worked off some sort of debt in the shop of a family friend, Raneese Entreri. Raneese owned a shop of trade in curriousities and wonderous artifacts, known as “Entrees Entreri’s”. At some point a customer and instructor at the “Mishtah’s Academium” took an interest in the young shop-hand.
Barrabus studied under the tutillage of his instructor, Zsamuhll the Cold, but nothing more is known about this long period of his life, other than: 1.) He continued to work in Entreri’s shop shortly before leaving Istan. 2.) He honed his physicall education, as well as his intellectual conditioning for the entire time he was in the tutilage of Zsamuhll the Cold. 3.) He engaged in secretive activities for interested parties, in illegally obtaining artifacts, and earned his moniker from those who stood against him. They often said, “He had the power of the storm at his fingertips”.
Barrabus returned to Vassna 2 years ago, after his father’s release. Despite the fact that informants have kept an eye on the small house in Levytown, where Claude Fickendell resides, no plausible reports have been obtained. He has been spotted on many occassions in Vassna, but timing has been on his side when covering his tracks.
Despite the fact that the Red Guard and other such militia have no interest or orders toward the arresst of Barrabus Fickendell, a.k.a. “Barrabus the Storm”, he remains at large with a 300pp reward on his head. And despite the bounty issuer’s secrecy, I maintain in my heart that the capture of Barrabus the Storm is a concern of importance. He has absolutely never been seen with a small feline and is armed and dangerous. Be warned.

-Garious the Thorn, Ranger of ill men. Storm


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