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Thread: Last Stand of the Dorinthians
Friday, 23rd March, 2007, 07:54 PM #1
Guide (Lvl 11)
Last Stand of the Dorinthians
My campaign here is going well, so I figured I would make it into a Story Hour:
The Four Main Factions in the Silver Forest Council
Story So Far
Rough Map of the World
Cast of Player Characters:
Danica Swann, Female Human Sorceress
Player: Kobold Stew
Vaerixsjach ďRixĒ, Male Kobold Rogue
Alexander, Male Half-orc Ranger
Player: Land Outcast
Silas Eyrstan the Caernite, Male Human Abjurer
Kel, the Male Elven Cleric
Baron Dartis Kalnian, Male Human Fighter
Chalik Bermax, Male Dwarven Fighter/Rogue
Tessan Ventus, Male Human Fighter
Barok Hume, Male Human Rogue
Nikolos Viridikos, Witness of Adeiros the Seeker, Male Human Cleric
Player: Blarkon Dragonslayer
Caramip Ashhearth, Female Gnome Bard
Player: Bloodweaver 1
Connavar Banouin, Male Human Barbarian
Last edited by Deuce Traveler; Thursday, 12th April, 2007 at 04:06 PM.My Involvement:
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Friday, 23rd March, 2007, 08:51 PM #2
Guide (Lvl 11)
The town of Fair Creek is no more, and the Dorinthian refugees from that town have fled into the southern edge of the elven Silver Forest. There they have been offered a new hope. An old half-elf town called Meristra was partially destroyed and abandoned after an orc invasion a generation ago. The town can be theirs, if it can be successfully explored and made safe. At the same time Baron Dren Dorin's son, Cal Dorin, is taking a group of riders east to the dwarven lands to seek a possible home there, and to see if more survivors of Dorinthia can be found and recovered.
A number of talented Dorinthian step forward willing to investigate the ruins of this lost town and report back whether or not it is safe to occupy the territory. These are Alexander the half-orc, Rix the kobold, and Kel, a visiting elven ambassador.
The town looked empty except for some vermin and scattered skeltons from long ago. They made their way inside a building that was likely used as a administrative building for the town's guard. The structure was the scene of past fighting, with the skeletal remains of half-elves and orcs still littering the floor. Several of the group were investigating the downstairs area, when one of the party members opened the door to a staircase leading to the basement.
This door had a primitive warning device tied to the doorknob, a rope with bells attached to it. When the door was opened the bells rung, their sounds echoing down a dug corridor leading from a wall in the basement. From the looks of the corridor, it was newer than the building, perhaps completed within the last year or two.
Following down the stairs Kel watches the group huddled by the door cautiously "Well they know we're here now, who is going down? Or should we wait here for them to investiagte?" the elf hisses in a whisper.
The great half orc shrugged at the moment of silence and asked, "We came to take them out, I say we go in. Ready to go on? I am."
Alexander started descending, scimitar on hand and dagger at the ready, wary for any noise or movement.
The ceiling was low, causing the half-orc to have to stoop down as he entered the tunnel. There was only room for one medium-sized creature to walk in at a time, although two small creatures could probably walk side by side.
Alexander had taken the lead and reached the bottom of the staircase, the rest of the group following and seeing that they could stand comfortably there. They noticed a tunnel in a nearby wall that looked like a natural collapse from a distance. As they walked closer they realized that it was actually an artificial creation. Someone had dug a tunnel directly into this basement. The tunnel snaked off to the right after 10 feet and is small in size, which causes everyone except Rix to have to stoop uncomfortably as they entered.
The kobold, Rix, searched the tunnel before the chamber opening, when a small bolt flew into the tunnel and left a gash across the thief's right arm. They saw a small shape scurry behind a couple of barrels that lie in the chamber, and a small voice yell something unintelligible.
Something unintelligible that is, except for the kobold who hears his own native language of draconic. He yells out in draconic, "I have meant no intrusion kin, these others poke and prod in the manner of brutes." He grimaces at his wound, "I saw evidence of my kin here, may I have counsel with the All-Watcher?"
A creature answers in a similar language, and after a moment a kobold comes into view, disables what looks to have been a hidden trip wire at the end of the tunnel, and lets the party into the antechamber. Two other kobolds stand in the room, each holding a small crossbow at the ready.
A voice answered in draconic, "Come forward and explain who you are and what you are doing here while the All-Watcher decides whether to see you," the kobold says demandingly, while holding a long dagger at his side.
Rix grins the tooth-filled grin of a dragonkin, he speaks again in his own language to the kobold. "I am Vaerixsjach, dragonwrought of a tribe now extinct. I have been pressed into service with these pointy-eared and tusk-toothed brutes to explore this decrepit town, to see if it is habitable once again. I saw evidence that my kin were here, but these brutes blunder heavily without any finesse like they own everything." His ochre eyes narrow awaiting a response.
Meanwhile, Kel hung back in the corridor, carefully watching the scene play out in front of him. He had half an ear cocked for sounds coming from behind the group. Alexander, realizing that his intervention wouldn't be welcome, waits for Rix to make introductions... though he didn't loosen his grip on the scimitar. Let the wolf deal with the pack of wolves.
As Rix and the other kobold converse in their language several more kobolds beginning to appeared from a corridor opposite the party. They stood ready with small crossbows and daggers until another kobold, larger than the rest appeared. He seemed to be their leader. The kobold looked older and more intelligent. A shortspear was carried in one hand, while he fingered a claw necklace with the other.
After a moment he spoke: "Talk common we shall, since that is tongue of your taller comrades. What purpose you come to our home?"
Shrugging Rix continued in the common tongue, "My name is Vaerixsjach." He jerked a scaled thumb back at the others, "They are here to see if this town, once abandoned is habitable. The orc there decided it was his business to blunder into your domain," he pointed out Alexander.
The kobold leader chuckled nastily. "It is habitable! We are proof of that, but we don't want your big men coming here. This is our home! We lived in hills nearby, but goblins force us out." He pondered a moment, and scratched his chin.
"Perhaps you help with goblins. Your big men go with you and kick them out and we move back in. We give you maps of place and escort you to entrance, too. Then maybe more of your big men come and trade with us. Orc and human weapons good."
Alexander made an effort to block the situation, he isn't asking "goblins, where?!" just because he knew that if he did so, that'd be the first step towards loosing control and impaling the kobold with his punching dagger...
He managed to muster a "trade? trade and not raid big men?"
...Remember the words of the Huntress, when the pack of wolves sorrounds you, if you have meat they want, give it to them and you can get to feed them regularly, while your enemies won't always have spare meat...
"Then we have a deal, anything against it Rix?"
...Even though, keep an eye open; and the knife at the ready, as always.
Friday, 23rd March, 2007, 09:25 PM #3
Guide (Lvl 11)
The terms were agreed upon, and the party headed back to camp to get some rest before heading into the goblin lair the next morning.
They were led just outside the village, to the crest of a steep, dark hill. The party's kobold allies explained that the entrance to the tunnels are at the peak of the hill, with a portcullis that is normally guarded by a couple of goblins.
They drew a rough sketch in loose ground of the complex, which featured 10 main rooms. The first room was just beyond the doors and used to admit guests. It had three connecting tunnels, one to the north, one east, and one that goes west.
The western room were the living quarters of the goblins and consisted of one very large communal area, although the goblins slept in shifts. The eastern tunnel had two rooms in sequence, and was often used to store prisoners or pens to keep animals.
The northern tunnel led to a room that split again, with three rooms to the east that normally held the food and water storage of the goblin tribe, plus the occasional plunder. These rooms were not in sequence. The first room had two tunnels to each of the other rooms, one which lay north, the other which lay east.
The two northern-most rooms housed the goblin leader and his defenders. If they could kill him, the other goblins would lose heart.
The rooms looked like this, with '4' being the entrance:
Alexander got besides the group just in time to hear the kobold's explanation of the complex and knelt down to examine the situation.
"We must sneak upon them, the first step is to eliminate the guards..." Or, knowing this was inhabited by smart scaly buggers... "Or go through a backdoor directly into the Scum's Chief room; is there a backdoor somewhere?" Alexander asked to the kobold drawing the map.
After that we can just wreak havock within the complex...[/COLOR]
Rix grinned, there could be a profitable future here. "A rear entrance would be most effective for a stealthy infiltration, what other sorts of defences were there before. Goblins are poor trapmakers, but they may be able to jury-rig some of the master traps into working again."
The dragonkin scratched a nail across the back of his hand.
Kel pondered whether he should still be involved in this venture, he has after all done what was asked of him, he has escorted the rabble to the ruins and has found them a home. The thought of ridding the world of some goblins though does hold a certain amount of appeal.
"Hmm, a back door would make things simpler" he concurred.
The kobold guide, Linds, considered the party for a moment before answering. "Maybe there is a secret exit that leads from the leader's living chamber (room 10) to somewhere behind hill. Is rumor I heard from All-Watcher's woman, once, but only All-Watcher would know and maybe goblin leader knows, maybe not. Another tunnel goes from animal pens (room 2) to leader's throne room for possible escape. Is on east wall. A real kobold finds no problem. And you no need to sneak. You have big ones with. They chop slice!" The kobold, Linds, made some quick jabbing and cutting motions with his knife. "Oh, and traps too difficult for dumb goblins. Except for pit trap in front of throne room (room 9), by south door. That drops with switch at throne."
"Yeha, we "chop slice"..." Alexander smiled to himself, even though vicious, these kobolds can lighten the mood when they are not trying to bite a piece off you
"To me it seems settled, we take out the guards at the entrance silently, then sneak inside to the eastern room. That way we get to the Scum Chief's room in no time, then it becomes her turn" -as he touched his sheathed scimitar with his punching dagger; a broken blade tied to his forearm with leather underneath.
"Are we ready to go?"
Rix nodded, for once he and the half-orc are in agreement about something. "Let us go then." He thanks the kobold helping them with the map in draconic, also sending his regards to the All-Watcher for their cooperation.
Kel stood back and watched the exchange, feeling even more an outcast than previously "Seems the orc and kobold are starting to form a friendship" he thought to himself as he waited.
"I am ready, let's cleanse the kobold home of goblins so we can move the refuges in here" the elf druid said tersely.
The party moved onward, with Rix in the lead. They approached the crest of the green hill and saw what looked like a cave opening topped by a ceiling of red stone. From their vantage point at the end of some bushes, they could make out the shapes of two hunched goblins who were tossing around a game of dice. One was armed with a spear, while the other had a short sword attached to his hip. The goblin with the spear was sitting on a rock, his back towards a line of brush.
Rix unslung his light crossbow, holding it at the ready, and examined their surroundings.
Speaking in a hushed tone, "if we pincer them in a crossfire from either side, they'll have little chance to respond adequately."
Under likewise hushed tones, Alexander added "I'll circle the hill and get on top of them ready to drop" he looked at Rix "you get in the bushes, behind that goblin" and shifted to look at Kel "we attack when the first arrow falls upon the goblin to the right side of the hill"... "We must be brutal and swift"
The half-orc nodded emphatically to encourage the others onward. I'm used to do things my way... do they disagree? Let them complain.
"Should anything go awry and the yellow midgets give the alarm... we move to the top of the hill."
There we can, as well as run away, hold our ground, depending on my mood... and how much these two can stand.
"I'll take the hill, I can cover the area more easily from up there. You'll just make a racket climbing it anyways. Better to have you on the ground where you can do some good." Rix smirked at the half-orc, better to put him in the way of danger than myself.
Kel nodded his agreement to the half-orc and then carefully watched his reaction as the kobold changed the plan.
Happy to have the decision made by the chosen of the refugees, the wild elf sinks down into the foliage and starts to quietly edge his way into position, pulling a short spear from the long quiver that hangs from his back as he moved.
Alexander had his own thoughts. Scaled little cowardly scoundrel... Let him go uphill... Break a leg Rix.
"Sounds like a sensible suggestion, from up there you'll be at a a good vantage point for whomever comes from inside. Anything to add Elf?"
Kel stops and looked over his shoulder at the orcs hissed question "Yes. Let us kill these goblins, rid the area of one more evil, and then we can move the kobolds out of the ruins and you and your people can leave me and mine alone. Unless you're concerned about killing your cousins?" the elf replies nonchalantly to the ranger.
"Choose your terms carefully. "Cousins" implies family or pack. "My people" are those who defend this land." By the Huntress!, why did he offer himself for the job?
Having spoken thus, Alexander unsheathed his scimitar and started moving cautiously towards the bushes at the right of the cave's entrance.
The killing was brutally quick.
Rix managed to quietly work himself around the hill and atop of the cave entrance as Alexander circled through the bushes, crawling then through the brush until he was nearly touching the right-most humanoid. At a signal from Rix, all pounced at the goblin guards.
Alexander leapt from the ground like a flying spear, driving his scimitar through the back of his opponent, instantly killing him. The second goblin fumbled for his weapon while screaming in horror, only to be interrupted by a crossbow bolt from Rix that struck his throat and silenced him forever. The battle lasts only a few seconds, too quick for Kel to engage.
Kel scouted around as Alexander examines the cave and finds it sealed by a metal gate. The kobold put the gurgling goblin out of his misery and then searched the bodies and found a few loose coins, a rusted spear and short sword, and the key that opened the metal gate.
With a gentle click and a loud squeak the gate comes open, allowing access to the halls below.
Saturday, 24th March, 2007, 04:44 PM #4
Guide (Lvl 11)
Chapter 1- Homeless
"Quality work Rix," Alexander commented while cleaning his scimitar on the fallen goblin's clothing.
Rix nodded wordlessly, I knew it would work, no question there. "Sorry you two missed out on the fun, better be quicker next time." A draconic chuckle rolled from his throat, a humorous malevolence present in the sound.
He checked to see if he could recover the bolt he had just used, but found that the head splintered after passing through his enemy's jugular, rendering it worthless.
Better lodged in a dead goblin than in my quiver, Rix thought as he tossed the broken bolt away.
Taking the lead, the kobold detected no traps or goblins as the party entered the first main room, far from the cave entrance. The room was 50' wide, by 70 feet long. The room was an artificial creation, with several stone columns carved out of natural stone and depicting scenes of what looked to be kobolds worshipping a dragon. A tunnel led into the unknown into each of the north, east, and west directions. The tunnel the party just came from pointed towards the south. There were no signs of goblins in the room.
Pausing a moment to admire the excellent craftsmanship of the room and its scenes, the kobold gestured towards the east and moved off again cautiously towards the prisoner and animal pens.
Alexander halfway smiled at the kobold's comment, then nodded and proceeded silently in direction to the pens. He felt there was no need to warn the elf to keep silent.
Kel ignored the kobold's snide remarks, feeling even lonelier as he followed the kobold and the orc into the darkness.
The elf moved as silently as he could, using the light seeping in from above to aid his eyesight. A short spear was gripped loosely in his hand, his arm cocked and ready to throw it should become necessary.
The party began to walk down the eastern tunnel, warily stopping just outside the entrance to the next room, where they could hear the sounds of a goblin speaking commands loudly in his rough language. Rix peered inside and reported seeing the back of a goblin in leather, holding a whip and snapping at a creature the kobold could not make out.
Meanwhile, Kel discerned the sound of two, very hungry wolves in addition to the goblin animal handler. It would be a tough battle.
Alexander whispered to Rix, "Can you put a bolt in the base of his skull?"
In reply, Rix cocked his crossbow and loaded another bolt into it, nodding to the half-orc. "Stand ready. I only saw one but if there are more I'm coming back and I want you two ready."
He crept forward again, to get a clear line of sight on the goblin, sighting for a gap in the armor behind the heart. With confidence, he loosed the bolt, the crossbow bolt lodging in the back of the goblin's skull, instantly killing him. Alexander moved to cover the rogue, but was jumped by two wolves. The first of the canines bit down on Alexander's arm, causing him to yell in pain. The second wolf barely missed the half-orc.
In anger, Alexander sliced the wolf that had bitten him, killing it with a blade into its ribs. Kel then moved forward, while Rix fired another bolt into his target, and dispatched the second wolf before it could reattack.
The battle was over. Kel cleaned his weapon and then checked on Alexander's arm while Rix examined the room. It was 30' wide by 40' in length and lit from the torch still clutched in the dead goblin's hand, showing a cobblestoned floor. Eight pens lined the walls, all closed and empty except one that was open and housed the wolves. A passageway continued to the east to what appears to be more pens.
A quick search of the trainer revealed a whip, loose coins of little value, and a tarnished dagger. A ring of keys was also found in his belt.
Alexander carefully touched the wounded area, repeatedly, until he seemed not to realize the wound was there. "Thanks elf," he added in a low voice.
Snapping back to reality, he carefully took the whip with his left hand and commented "Tsk... These vermin, they have need of this," -The half-orc split the whip in two with his scimitar- "to make wolves do their bidding... but better them be wolves than worgs, I suppose."
"Let's see, before going on let's examine these cells... the tunnel's entrance might be there." He proceeded to unlock the nearest cell with the keys on the keyring.
Initially, the party did not find signs of a secret entrance in the room, despite looking in each of the six cells. The adventurers moved on and checked the cells in the adjoining room, successfully finding a secret door against the eastern wall that was activated by turning a stone in the wall. The only other thing of note in this second room of pens were the decaying corpses of two kobolds that had been locked up in one cell. They looked to have suffered from wounds inflicted by torture before they expired.
Rix pocketed the dagger and examined the ring of keys after Alexander was finished with them, saying, "We'll need this."
Before departing the second room, Rix moved over to the dead kobolds, speaking a short litany in draconic so that they might be reincarnated into the next hatching of kobolds.
At the sight of the corpses, Alexander looked silently at Rix... and his thoughts drifted away...
I wonder if they have felt my absence at the shrine during this month... Heh, this deer will be motive of a good celebration, noone fell one this size before... Strange, I should be hearing the noises of people by this time, I'm near enough...
Ash, cold ash and carbonized buildings, footsteps, scores of footsteps, splinters of bone...
What!?... The shrine! Destroyed! What's that thing shining down there?...
The holy symbol of the Huntress, still grasped tightly by the decaying hand of the acolyte who took care of the shrine, and besides it, a piece of a broken blade...
Suddenly he returned to his senses, and said nothing, but shook his head in grief.
Scoundrels or not, these two were his people...
"...Eh? Sure, yes" [/QUOTE]
Meanwhile, Kel paced nervously back and forth in the room while the orc and kobold paid their respects to fallen evil.
Examining the hidden passageway carefully as they proceeded, he remarked to his over-sized companions, "Watch your head."
The group continued down the tunnel, eventually reaching the end without a problem, although Alexander had trouble fitting his body through. At the end, Rix turned a stone against the wall, which caused a secret door to slide open and revealed a large goblin playing catch with two large, feral-looking wolves.
The goblin stood at the center of the room while tossing a femur to one of the wolves. The remnants of a ragged bed with a form lying on it stood at the far corner of the room. A chest rested at the foot of the dirty mattress. The walls were decorated in primitive goblin war banners.
As the party took this all in, the second wolf began to sniff the air and growl.
"Surprise has already been lost," muttered Alexander.
And with this, Alexander charged at the goblin, hoping to take by surprise the wolves so that they couldn't react, his scimitar rose, ready to make an ascendant arc and bite into goblin flesh.
Rix stayed back in the shadows of the hidden tunnel and drew out his crossbow, takes aim and firing at one of the wolves, figuring it as more dangerous than the goblin.
As Alexander yelled and rushed into the room, Rix shot from his crossbow caught one of the wolves flat-footed, and making it give a satisfying yelp. The large goblin and other wolf jumped in surprise from this, turning to face the half-orc, Alexander.
The goblin leader blocked the initial blows of the ranger, although a second attack got past his guard and sliced his side, causing a trickle of blood to flow. Kel fired his sling at the wolf Rix hit, striking the wolf with a critical blow between the eyes, although the creature still stood on wobbly legs.
Both wolves recovered from the shock of being attacked, while the goblin leader was able to draw his short sword.
Rix loaded another bolt into his crossbow, took aim and loosed steel at the wobbly-legged wolf, hitting the wolf once more and dropping it.
"They are forced to do these foul deeds," the elf said as he concentrated his fire on the goblin. "The next time we encounter animals let me first try and deal with them."
"Sure, let's just get done with this," answered Alexander. Without stoppping his movement, he changed the direction of the scimitar to produce a oblique arc to the goblin's shoulder, while at the same time throwing in a stab with his dagger.He got passed the goblin's guard and sliced him badly, but not enough to stop the goblin leader for yelling for help with a shout that echoed against the walls. He was silenced forever, though, by a sling bullet from Kel that pierced his eye, blinding him with a mortal wound and causing his return strike at Alexander to miss.
Alexander struck the goblin as he fell, but was brought down in turn by the remaining wolf, which tore at his jugular and brought the half-orc down.
At that same moment, a feminine form rose from the bed and cast a spell, a magic missile striking Kel.
"Take care of the wolf." Rix loaded another bolt into his crossbow and fired at the female figure. His shot slightly wounds the goblin sorceress in the corner, disrupting her spell.
"Forgive me, but you threw your lot in with the goblins," Kel said as his stone flew through the air towards the wolf.
The wolf moved to leap at Rix, only to be felled mid-strike by a well-shot sling bullet from Kel.
Recognizing the difficulties faced by the group if the half-orc remained down Kel spit, "Hold on dumb orc, I'll heal you in a moment."
Alexander bled some more, but Rix was able to fire his crossbow again, killing the shamaness before she could cast another spell.
Freed up from combat, Kel moved up to heal Alexander, barely saving the half-orc, although a scar across his throat would remain in later days, while at the moment he was shaken and not in a strong position to engage in a long fight.
From the hallway to the south the party could hear the shouts of several goblins preparing to rescue their leader, probably not realizing that he was now dead.
"There are more on their way" Kel said as he scanned the room for something he could use to block the corridor and give the party some cover. Kel grabbed the only thing he saw that might block the door for a short while, the torn mattress and bed frame and held it up against the door. "I have no more healing, you'll have to fend for yourself," he whispered to the orc as Alexander slowly rose from the floor. Turning to the kobold he said, perhaps mockingly, "What're your acting skills like Rix?" the name rolling strangely off his tongue. "Feel like dressing as the sorceress?"
"Damn it elf, thanks for not letting me die," said Alexander, coughing, as he gathered himself up. "I'm in debt... but what to do now?"
Rix quickly examined the body of the goblin leader for anything of value, stripping it with thoroughness.
"Time to demoralize them." Once done stripping the body, he gestured Alexander over. "Toss it out the door, that should give them a few things to think about."
Alexander first retrieved his scimitar from the floor... and spit at the goblin corpse, cursing when he saw that his saliva was made mostly of his own blood. Damn it, I'm really bad off...
Rix found a small bag filled with coins hooked to the goblin leader's belt. Unfortunately he had no time to count them, although he did note that the belt buckle looked valuable and slipped that into the bag before allowing Alexander to pick up the body.
Suddenly, a goblin spear went through the mattress that Kel was holding, barely missing the elf. Alexander had Kel move the mattress back slightly from the door as he tossed the goblin leader's bloody body into the surprised mass of angry goblins, then moved to help Kel block the doorway.
The goblins could be heard arguing on the other side of the makeshift barricade for a few minutes before their footsteps were heard walking away from the party's location.
Hearing the goblins on the other side of the door depart, Alexander stated"They'll come through the tunnel."
He weakly supported himself on the wall, grimacing as he moved his neck and touched the place where the wolf's jaws sunk still marked on the skin. "We can try to make a rush through the tunnel... or we can try the door. They'll certainly not expect us to come through there."
"I doubt they even knew the tunnel was here. Killing their leader probably gave them a reason to reconsider attacking us." Rix smirked at the half-orc.
Alexander answered with short laughter (which was interrupted by pain, again) to Rix's comment, and then said: "What now then? Any idea? Elf? Rix?"
"Well, it would do us little good to leave empty handed. I propose we search this and the guard chamber first, then move on to the storage area and then finally go to check the common area." Rix smiled menacingly.
"I'm not sure that we should press them right now. Let's retreat, get ourselves patched up and then come back and deal with the rabble. They'll likely kill each other, trying to establish a new leadership while we're away." Kel responded sagely.
When Rix spoke of ransacking the place, Alexander said "I agree about not leaving empty handed, but there should still some of the vermin around."
At Kel's words he stood up straight and looked at the elf, notably surprised. "They are weakened now and we shouldn't have further trouble... after I'm somehow recovered," he nodded, agreeing for the first time with the elf.
This one is curious, first he spits on me and then he not only saves my life, but also has answers which coincide with the Huntress' teachings...
Rix noticed the chest in the room and went up to it while the half-orc and elf considered one another. Finding a simple blade trap, Rix disarmed it without much effort. The key found on the goblin's body openened the chest so that Rix didn't have to spend any more time trying to pop it open. Inside was a masterwork medium-sized chain shirt that the goblin leader never had a chance to put on before the party barged into his home, and a garnet of some value. The small sack Rix took from the body contained a mixture of a few dozen silver and gold coins. Two small vials of an unknown liquid were also found near the body of the female goblin spellcaster. There was nothing left in this room that seemed valuable.
The kobold pointed out the masterwork chain shirt to the others, finding it useless himself and almost too heavy to be worth carrying back- well, almost too heavy. "Someone carry that back."
At Rix's request, Alexander silently takes the chain shirt and puts it in his backpack.
After a quick scouting mission, Rix discovered that the remaining goblins had all left the tunnels, although it would seem that they had taken their treasure with them. Still, the tunnels were now once again clear for the kobolds to move back into, if the party was willing to have them as neighbors once the refugees moved into the town.
Now that we've cleared this out, I'm sure the kobolds would enjoy their home back, and I'm sure a profitable arrangement can be made with the humans as to a mining treaty. And I'm sure the kobolds could use a hand setting up a new wave of defensive precautions that I could help with.
Alexander shook his head as the group exited the complex... and suddenly takes a moment to reflect on what just happened I fell... couldn't fullfill what Ravil asked me to do...
He remained silent for quite a bit of time.
Another member of the party was quite a bit happier. Rix smiled at the garnet... he always appreciated gems. He gathered the coins together, as well as the two vials, for safekeeping of course.
Kel stalked out of the kobold home trailing behind his companions, withdrawn and silent, seemingly lost in thought. What's going on? I'm starting to see value in these two. They stood strong while many others would have fled. They've proven useful. Is it ime for me to leave the woods Huntress? Is it time for me to experience more of the world? Will this lead me closer to You? Will this make me a better Hunter?
The party left the now empty tunnels and did a quick sweep of the remnants of the town, but found no other signs of immediate danger. The heroes did find several fields of forgotten farm fields, which lacked any sustenance that could be used for such a large population of the refugees. The town looked like it could comfortably house about 700 people when the homes weren't in such a state of disrepair. The current vacant fields could be used to feed about a thousand. It would take a lot of work this spring before the 2,000+ refugees were able to make this a decent home and become self-sufficient.
Rix headed the negotiations with the kobolds, who agreed to move out of the town and into their old tunnels. They were grateful for the assistance and looked to trade with the Dorinthians when they became established. The kobolds began to move their various digging tools and other items into the hills. The party estimated that there were perhaps slightly more than 50 kobolds, and therefore not a large tribe.
The party headed back to the elven camp of delegates, where Kel entered into a discussion with Silas Generwine, the camp leader. After a few minutes they agreed to lead the party back to the Dorinthian refugee camp in order to bring the human civilians to the abandoned town, although Silas couldn't help but to add, "I'm not sure why the group of you would think it a good idea that the humans should live next to a pack of thieving kobolds, but I'm happy to move the lot of your them further from elven territory at any rate."
After a couple of days of travel the group entered the Dorinthian camp, Alexander then discussing with Baron Dren Dorin and his daughter, Syra, what was found in the abandoned town. Cal and his riders were still gone, since the trip to the dwarven lands was much longer in duration. That put Kyle Radnal and his men in charge. Alexander briefed them on what to expect in the settlement. The older fighter wasn't happy about the nearby kobolds, but seemed to be satisfied that there were only a few dozen of them.
The party was taken care of next by Heron Silvertongue's priests, who looked over and healed their remaining wounds.
The next day, the elven camp stayed behind with the refugees while Radnal's Ruffians and the party entered the abandoned town and did a thorough sweep, killing the remnants of the vermin left over without much of a struggle. The refugees followed a day later. At first it was chaos as different people argued over the better homes. A few disappointing incidents of fist fights broke out, which were quickly settled by Radnal's Ruffians in a not always gentle fashion. Although Baron Dorin was unable to effectively organize the process, Kyle Radnal did a remarkable job of taking over and assigning people to the buildings and restoring order.
The party members suddenly had a newfound respect for the Dorinthians, as they quickly took to Kyle's leadership. After his assignments they started clearing trash, patching up damage with their limited tools or bare hands, and helped their brethren. Many of them worked even through the night. By the second day the town started to make a remarkable transformation, looking almost livable. The baron and his daughter, along with their retainers, established themselves in the government building in the town square, with the Ruffians moving next door into the old guard barracks. A family of halfling merchants (the Risenthrops) moved into the trade building, which was also in the centralized town square, and began to make plans on opening business to the population along with the visiting delegations of gnomes, elves, dwarves, and nearby kobolds.
As the sun approached noon on the second day of the refugees' entry into the town, the party finally allowed their exhausted bodies to relax...
Saturday, 24th March, 2007, 05:00 PM #5
Guide (Lvl 11)
End of Chapter 1, Rix's Reflections
The sorceress and childhood friend of Rix, Danica Swann comes to him, and hugs the kobold. "Rix! What a great job you've done with those kobolds! Of course, Mr. Radnal worries about them, but I think it's great that you can be close to your people. I hear that the baron wants to make you the delegate to speak with them, but Mr. Radnal thinks you are too busy and someone else should do it."
Rix, unaccustomed to the close physical contact shied away from Danica before giving up and returning the hug. He did like her. She was the only one who really treated him well from the start. "I may have time. My kin are an industrious people and their mines may bring business and stability to this small village. Although it has been a while since I have been with my own, it may take some getting used to again." He smiled draconically, teeth showing through, although for once it showed warmth.
After his conversation, he was able to mingle a bit and overhear discussions from members of the various foreign delegations. It seemed that the dwarves were very pleased about Dorinthian actions against the goblins, and admired their decency when it came to attempting peaceful relations with the difficult kobolds. The elves also grudgingly admitted surprise at the party's well thought approach, although they mostly credited Kel's influencee. The gnomes were not pleased, however, and there was a worry of improved relations between the Dorinthians and the hated kobolds.
Rix made the customary snide and derisory remarks towards the indolent and self-righteous elves; too full of their own personal glory that they couldn't see anything beyond their pointy-noses.
The rogue then tried to keep his profile low, although he did visit a few times with the nearby kobolds. Mostly, he helped them set-up their defensive precautions again and negotiated business with the Risenthropes, along with the dwarves as well. He attempted to exclude the gnomes from any benefit from the business negotations as well as he could.
In his spare time he also perused a journal he found in one of the administrative buildings before they investigated the tunnels underneath the town, and examined poison in a mug he had found...
Although most of the journal was full of logistical information that was barely of any interest, parts of the two entries at the end caught his eye...
The orcs tribes have been united by a single leader, something that hasn't happened in many of their generations. They have overrun much of the elven lands, and now the Elven council has decided that it is more important to defend their own people than to protect my town of half-breeds. Should I blame them? We half-elves may be their children, but we were never accepted as truly one of the elves. Now we are almost defenseless against the coming onslaught...
I wonder... how much of this is my fault? I helped establish this town. I refused to call the retreat when I had a chance. It is now too late, and the orcs have circled our town and cut off all hopes for finding sanctuary. If we are unable to hold the line, I will drink the poison I requested from our alchemist. I created this town. I'd rather die of poison than be alive to watch it die. I offered the same escape for the men, but they have sworn to go down fighting... if only we had a little more time. I have heard that the orcs have caught a disease that is killing off their population. Time and sickness may bring us victory, Sol willing...
The poison smelled strong, despite there being only a few grams left in the empty mug. No one could have mistaken such a pungent smell as anything healthy.
One of Randal's guards walked up to Rix and he quickly hid the container in his pocket as the guard said, "Sir, I'm sorry to have bothered you. The baron would like you to come by in the morning, about an hour after breakfast is served in the town square. Something about a mission to the south, sir."
Saturday, 24th March, 2007, 05:08 PM #6
Guide (Lvl 11)
End of Chapter 1, Kel's Reflections
One of the humans, the cleric named Heron Silvertongue, smiled at the elf when he caught Kel coming out of a meeting with Silas Generwine, and came over to speak with him. "I have heard from Alexander about your healing technique. It's very similar to how we do it in case of need. If I may ask, what are your skills at healing with herbs versus magic? Some of our most experienced herbal healers have not made it back, (may The Rider carry their souls swiftly), and we could use the expertise."
Kel reluctantly spoke with the priest, but as he talked he started to warm to the man. He may be human, but he is likeable, quick witted and wise. Pretty soon Kel was telling Heron about the local herbs and what they were best used for.
Heron nodded as he talked, all the while leading the elf into the burned ruins of a former temple that was destroyed when the village was taken. It was difficult to discern which god was worshipped there. Heron's followers of the Rider had started treating the sick patients on the old site. Heron kept talking as the human and elf passed by the ill, "I hope these herbs will help, Brother Kel, and I thank you. I'll have some assistants try to gather some later. As you see, not everyone made the trip here in good health. I have about 50 very ill people and a few hundred moderately sick that I had to send back to the new, decrepit homes since I lack room to house so many. A few dozen have died along the way, like the parents of this young boy," he stopped in front of one glassy-eyed child and his voice became lower, "Some are not really sick. They've just given up."
Heron was lost in thought for a moment, but then said, "Brother Kel, I do not know what god you may follow, but give a prayer for us from time to time."
The elf left the temple deep in thought, but was met by one of his fellow fay. Kel was told there would be a meeting with the human baron at the main building an hour after breakfast the next day. His presence was specifically requested.
Saturday, 24th March, 2007, 05:24 PM #7
Guide (Lvl 11)
End of Chapter 1, Alexander's Reflections
Syra Dorin walked towards the half-orc, followed by the haughty Lady Huffring, her lady-in-waiting. She stopped in front of the ranger and asked, "Are you enjoying your accomplishments, Alexander? I'm so amazed about what you and Kyle Radnal have succeeded in doing. My father would have had ... difficulties if it weren't for you."
Alexander couldn't help but feel awkward before the young lady, he didn't blush... or maybe he did but the darkness of his skin protected him from showing it.
When he realized that he had been silent for a few seconds he promptly answered -in a surprisingly uneasy voice-:
"Indeed, I'm enjoying this... Although I was of little help when we came upon the goblin chief..." Some more seconds go by...
-He passed his hand over the mark left over his throat, suddenly vigorizing his voice with the memory- "But I could still serve through the Huntress' way! My cunning helped us better than my strength..."
"Sorry lady, it's good to hear your father considers our actions helpful; surely you came to deliver some missive, not to hear a scout's ramblings"
I ejoyed it because this is the first step towards doing justice to the hamlet where I was born... Serving the Dorinthians will lead me to those who desecrated The Lady of the Lake's shrine. The previous owner of this broken blade...
At noticing his wound, Syra unconsciously moved her hand to touch at the injury, but was interrupted with a loud cough from a distressed-looking Lady Huffring. Syra smiled at the interruption and asked, "Alexander, will you meet with my father tomorrow at his office an hour after breakfast is served in the square? Your presence is requested." With a courteous nod to the half-orc, Syra left followed by a pouting Lady Huffring, who gave the ranger a sharp, angry look.
"Sure..." Ignorant of Lady Huffring's glare, Alexander absently continued, "I hope we meet again..."
It was the first time a women had extended a hand towards him... since his mother. More than once he had noticed people in the city looked at him, including women, but that's why he prefered to be outside, in the forest; those critical eyes weren't welcome.
More than once he had expended a glance towards those beautiful creatures, women... but they weren't as easy to catch as the other creatures of the Huntress. He didn't know how to weave those nets of speech of flowers and moonlight.
And the little words exchanged showed that they wanted to have nothing to do with talk of stalking the woods and living away from the city.
But my scars didn't drive her away from me...
Suddenly having changed his previous ideas of leaving the town as soon as possible, Alexander walked around, hoping to find the old priest Ravil, and to speak with him both as son and as fellow servant of the Lady of the Lake.
Ravil, priest of the Lady, also known by some as the Rider, was assisting Heron attend to the sick at the remnants of a long-ago burned out temple. For a moment Alexander thought he saw Kel leaving and walking down a nearby trail. As he approached Ravil walked away from the sleeping body of a sick-looking woman. The older priest wiped his hands in a cleaning rag, then clasped the half-orc's hand and pumped vigorously, "Alexander! I'm sorry I've had little time to seek you out with all of our exhausted peoples becoming ill. How have you been?"
Alexander joined his other hand to the clasp, and smiled warmly for the first time in days.
"Ravil, I have doubts... doubts concerning happiness and doubts concerning fears..."
Alexander spent the rest of the day helping to tend the sick, and when most of them were stable and not in need of immediate attention, he spoke once more with Ravil.
Speaking by the fireside, time ran like water, night fell, and the two followers of the Huntress conversed for a long time...
Alexander spoke about his doubts, about how he should deal with Rix, about what sickness had attacked the refugees.
Then he went to the important doubts... about him falling in battle without being of help when they had the prey surrounded, and about Syra; how she wasn't scared by him or his scars...
Ravil listened for a long without interruption, except with a nodding of his head and an occasional smirk. Finally he spoke when the half-orc had finished. "Rix is a rascal, and will always be a rascal. He is greedy, untrusting, and likely to be a detriment to your group if he can gain from causing you harm. Yet, there is a small, compassionate side to the kobold. You are afraid of falling from the light, and into the darker beliefs that he has. Be strong, and remember it cuts both ways. Your faith can also make him see that there is a better way of dealing with life. Be his friend when you are in agreement, but do not fear argument when he wants to do something that is against the Lady's way."
"As for Syla," He sighed, then paused. "I have seen her gazing also at Sgt Radnal. Syla has been protected by Cal, the strong man in her life. Now that he is gone and her father is... not the strongest man... she seeks other strong men to help support her during her own crisis of faith. You are the talk of the town right now, our wild protector who was felled by the wolf, but refused to die. So are the others. She needs a hero right now, as do the rest of us. Be her friend, but be careful with her. It will take some time for her to find her own strength."
"Men fall in battle, Alexander. Sometimes, however, they fall from lighter things such as stress. Look at these people. They've lost their homes, moved a hundred miles or more in a few weeks, and are having to start anew in a strange land. The illnesses are natural, and it is remarkable there aren't more sick. It's their willpower that has kept our people healthy, but you must also keep the body intact. Men die in battle, that is the way of the world. Yet, you survived that wolf attack. Perhaps you lowered your guard a moment before it leapt. Have you thought about how this constant movement and these understandable doubts may have exhausted you? Go rest now, Alexander. You have even greater trials ahead, and exhaustion will not suit you in battle. And remember... The Lady is with you."
Saturday, 24th March, 2007, 05:40 PM #8
Guide (Lvl 11)
A New Hero- Silas Eyrstan the Caernite
A New Hero Steps Forward- Silas Eyrstan's Tale
The human abjurer with the elven name, Silas Eyrstan the Caernite (not to be confused with the elf, Silas Generwine), was a camp follower that helped keep the party's campsite outside the abandoned town cleaned while the others handled the kobolds and goblins. He had fought in the war and hoped to see an end to combat. Such was not to be his future, however. During the return to the refugee camp Silas said little. His concern for the refugees was temporarily overshadowed by the tension and bickering amongst his companions. He frowned as he looks at each of them in turn. At least they were able to set aside their differences long enough to secure the village. "But how long will it be safe?" he asks himself quietly.
Silas was overjoyed to return to his wife, son, and father at the refugee camp. He realized that the buildings in the village would require much work to make them habitable and that there were not enough to house the entirety of the refugees. Though he wanted to keep his family close, at the moment his skills in building were much needed and he threw himself into the task of restoring the structures and helping those who had become his new neighbors. Soon he planned to turn his mind to finding a small plot of land very close to the village where he could begin building a home for his family.
The abjurer was able to find a home on the northern outskirts of the village. Although it provided less protection from an attack from the north, it rested on a decent plot of land. Because space was tight, Radnal assigned a family of seven to stay with the Eyrstans.
The family of seven were the Rostans, a mother and her six children. Mrs. Rostan's husband, Eric, had died on the trip. In fact, it seemed the the wizard that about forty of the people of Fair Creek had died or gone missing since the initial flight from the town. He hoped that the rate of casualties would start to go down and that there would be a roof over everyone's heads. Some of the larger Rostan boys were planning to start looking to build a home off the Eyrstan land once they could find a proper location and materials.
After two days, and finally a full night of sleep, Karl, a member of the town guard, came and knocked upon the door to Silas' house. After greeting one of the smaller Rostan children who had answered the knocking, he was introduced to Silas and said, "I'm sorry to bother you, sir, but I've been asked by Sgt. Radnal to ask if you can join an expedition to the south. A group of adventurers are being sent to help some of our neighbors, and we are hoping to augment them with your popular...errr...skills. Sir, if you say yes, I should give warning that you will be gone for awhile."
Silas nodded obediently, though with some hesitation. "Certainly, Karl. I just need a moment to load my pack and say my goodbyes." Silas quickly packed, kissed his wife goodbye, again charged his father with the safety of his family, and said goodbye to his son and the Rostan children of whom he is already growing fond.
Making his way into town, Silas looked for Sgt. Radnal.
Sgt. Kyle Radnal greeted the abjurer at the new barracks that he had made. It was his decision to save room by taking over the military administrative building and leaving room for the towns people by making the underground tunnels that the kobolds had created into an underground barracks for his troops. Although not the best location since it required a lot of torches and lanterns to move about (oil was coming in at a slow trickle from the elven lands), it did serve well defensively.
"Silas! Good to see you! I've heard you've accepted my request without even hearing the details. Good man," he said in all seriousness. "Let me tell you what I know. The gnomes in the hills farther south to us are having trouble with increased kobold and goblin raids. Their delegation has been the most helpful in agreeing to send to us needed supplies, but they actually had come to ask the elves for help, and did not initially know of our own plight. We really can't send our own forces to help right now, as they are needed here and are of limited numbers. We asked if a small group of specialists, like the one that helped clear this town would be welcome instead. The gnomes gratefully agreed. Now Silas, we plan to send the group that helped before, but they lack a mage and I would hope one would join to aid their party. You will be gone until the issue is resolved. Of course failure may mean that the gnomish lands become overrun, causing our south to be filled with aggressive groups of kobolds and goblins. If you are still up for it, meet the baron in his building an hour after breakfast is served in the square tomorrow morning. You may go back home for now, or stay in our barracks to meditate and train."
Silas nodded in reply. "Thank you, sir." He hesitated a brief moment. "I've said my goodbyes..." His voice trailed off before he straightened and continued. "...so I will billet here until the briefing in the morning. Sir."
When Sgt. Radnal gave him leave, Silas exited the barracks and sought out a quiet and secluded spot to meditate and study his spellbook, taking advantage of the daylight to save precious lamp oil...
Saturday, 24th March, 2007, 05:44 PM #9
Guide (Lvl 11)
End of Chapter 1- Homeless
What I posted to end Chapter 1:
The sun begins to go down, and you realize that it is time to get some sleep, especially if you will be starting an important journey tomorrow. Rest comes easier than expected, despite the troubling last few weeks. As you enter the land of dreams, terrible images begin to fill your mind. You see gnomish underground dwellings in ruins, goblins overrunning the last of the defenders. The image fades, then a new one takes its place. A strange, hairless humanoid creature holds a struggling kobold in its arms, then straps the the smaller creature to a chair with a strange helmet-like contraption. The device is lowered onto the kobold's head, and you feel your blood run cold as the creature's struggling grows weaker, then stops, the intelligence in its eyes disappearing as its pupils turn white and mindless. Again the image fades, only to be replaced with the image of a large, pulsating purple sphere levetating off the floor. A gnome with a pointed hat stands before it, his face shining with a joyous rapture akin to worship. His unkempt face is that of a madman. An image that you cannot make out appears on the surface of the crystal. Somehow you manage to get closer to the vision, and you see your own sleeping form imprinted upon the sphere's surface. Fear tosses you from the land of dreams, but not before you hear the madman throw his head backwards and howl in glee. In a cold sweat you wake, glad to see the safety of your cot and signs of the approaching dawn. You know in your heart that a new chapter of your life is about to open for you.
Next chapter, Chapter 2- Illusions
Friday, 30th March, 2007, 02:22 PM #10
Guide (Lvl 11)
Intro to Chapter 2- Illusions
An hour after breakfast was served in the Dorinthian's new home, the party met in the baron's administrial office. Baron Dren Dorin, Sgt Kyle Radnal, Heron Silvertongue, Silas Generwine of the elven delegation, and Phly Loughphray of the gnomish delegation were also there. After short greetings, the party was motioned to chairs while the foreign delegates remained standing. Baraon Dorin started the discussion, "Thank you for coming to hear us out, gentlemen. Mr. Loughphray here has a bit of a problem with his own home and is here to seek aid. I'm willing to send you gentlemen and a handful of other men to accompany him back to his homeland. If you can help him, it would help secure our south and establish for us a strong partner for trade, which we desperately need to get back on our feet. I can't spare more men, so I hope you are willing to help."
He nodded to Phly Loughphray, who started explaining the situation, "We honestly came here to seek help from the elven lands, when we heard about your own plight. We've been willing to help with the limited supplies that we brought, but now we must return to our clan. The elves are unwill... err... unable to help us," he said this part carefully, while glancing at Silas Generwine, and Kel. "And the dwarves have sent a small contingent of aid, however can't spare anymore because of their own border problems. We've always had trouble with the various kobold clans," he glanced then at Rix, "but recently a large influx of goblins in our hills has devestated our defenses. Also, the kobolds have become more aggressive, almost suicidal. There have been other problems... " his voice trailed off for a moment. "Regardless, we need capable men to help us protect our lands. It is our hope that you may be of assistance. Especially, Mr. Rix, who has shown an ability to make the kobold people a little more willing to negotiate... at least long enough for us to kick the goblins out. I hear they have been preying on the kobold clans as well, which may be the reason why the kobolds you met earlier have shown up this far north."
After Phly finished talking the baron finished the meeting. "You are to leave in a few hours, if you accept this task, gentlemen. That should be enough time to restock or to get a drink or say good-byes or whatever it is you do," the baron said awkwardly. "Thank you. This is a big help to us."
At the mention of goblins attacking and about them being thent to gnomish lands, Alexander was staggered for a few seconds, remembering the dream he had the night before...
Immediatly the half-orc accepted the proposition, but planned to say his good-byes..."I accept. But what's that handful of other men? We need to know whom we'll be working with"
Tunnels... Underground... New terrains... I'll stand firm this time!
Silas nodded his agreement with Alexander and shouldered his pack. He seemed as if he wanted to make mention of something but he remained silent, remembering the dream of the previous night and wondering if it was in any way prophetic.
Sgt Radnal answered the half-orc's question, "Just a few volunteers from our people. They won't be going with you while you explore the surrounding area or track down the goblin bases. Instead, they'll be extra swords for guarding the homes of the gnomes while you adventure outwards."
"Good to know then" Alexander nodded and without further ado retired to say good-bye to Ravil... and see if in the way he could run into Syra, and maybe even exchange a few words with her...
That dream was sent by the Huntress to warn me of what lays ahead... Those kobolds aren't acting by their own will... I shoulld warn Rix later.
Gnomes... bah, incompetant, groveling, worthless creatures. Think they'll trick us into helping them for nothing. Vaerixsjach was silent during the meeting, but perhaps if his eyes could have been seen behind those smoky goggles he always wore then others might have had an idea as to what he was thinking. He clicked two claws together like a clock, in perfect rhythm.
The stupid beasts have gotten themselves into something they probably started, foolish stupid gnomes delving into what they shouldn't. My assistance... there's a perfectly reasonable solution to all of this, wipe yourselves out, problem solved. The stacatto clicking of the two claws continued, uninterrupted and still in perfect intervals.
When the baron closed the meeting, Rix finally shifted to speak, "we've been pressed into service before Baron, without any recompense. We're not indebted to this village, you're indebted to us. It would only seem reasonable that you would pay your debt before we are to leave, hard times or not. This is not even to speak of proferring my services to gnomes." His voice was sharp with contempt as he finished.
Kyle Radnal and Loughphray stiffened at Rix's words, though Silas Generwine smiled and nodded to himself, as if solving a previous puzzle that had eluded him.
After an awkward pause, Baron Dorin spoke with a confused look, "Uh... Rix is it? Well, I would not consider you 'pressed' into service. This is simply a request and I had thought your last journey was made profitable for you, but if you feel abused I certainly will not force you to go. Do you feel I owe you money? I wish I had wealth to give you, you who have done so much. What of the rest of you gentlemen?"
Rix smirked at the gnome and human as they reacted to his statement. "Profitable? Some rusty blades and armor which would sell for barely the worth of the metal they are made with and a few coins to divide amongst four who risked their lives. Surely you can at least pressure the Risenthropes to waive their exuberantly inflated prices and offer equal trade for the goods we acquired. They would have even less business were it not for us securing this village."
Loughphray pondered for a moment before answering, "The goblins and people of...your kind... have taken many valuables from gnome lands. Whatever you recover you may keep, it's previous gnome owners will be told they may not reclaim any items stolen by the invaders, despite their worth. Does that satisfy, kobold?"
"That was expected. Stay out of this." Vaerixsjach said with a cold and utterly malevolent air. "Baron? We have given you a new town, isn't that worth having your merchants refrain from fleecing our nearly bare pockets for their equipment?"
Loughphray bristled angrily, fingering his hand-axe. The baron looked almost ready to agree when Kyle Radnal stepped in. "Sir, the Rosenthorpe's have their prices so high since they are trying to trade what little we have for essential tools and equipment. If it's the price of equipment that is giving Rix, here, a problem, our guard's armory can help outfit them with several items at no cost. Ammunition, food, water, and so on."
"Perhaps that may be an equitable solution, although I doubt your armory will have much sized for myself nor the equipment I was seeking, although my companions may find it useful." Rix said with a hint of annoyance in his voice.
DM's Note: Silas Generwine, the elven delegate, was watching this uncomfortable moment with a smile the entire time. If Rix had gotten greedy and requested more goods, the elf was going to step in and offer the kobold a very valuable brooch for his troubles. I have little doubt that Rix would have taken it as payment, but what he wouldn't have known was that the brooch was a family heirloom of Silas Generwine's family. Silas Generwine would have went back to the rest of the delegation, 'distraught' that the greedy Dorinthians could only be bribed by such treasure in order to act to save their gnomish cousins who had done so much for them. The resulting scandal would have hurt elven and human relations.
After all was decided, Sgt Radnal took the party into the armory where they had the chance to pick out one weapon and one piece of armor from what was available, and two other items. They were also allowed to take all of the ammunition and food they could carry.
"I do indeed find it useful, Sergeant," said Silas as he addded 20 bolts and several days worth of trail rations to his pack. Hefting its weight he nodded to himself as he decided that he has not packed more than he could comfortably carry. Looking first at his companions then to Sgt. Radnal he said, "I am ready to go."
The cleric Ravil had seen the party leave the administrative building and followed the half-orc into the armory, slipping him a small potion, "Use this in case you or someone else is badly hurt. No need to fear wolves this time." He gave Alexander a wink, and in return the ranger patted Ravil's shoulder thankfully, and slipped the vial into a new backpack. Alexander also took a grappling hook, a 100ft coil of rope, and a longbow along with 40 arrows.
"Ready. When will we depart?" I would have been lifted by her sight, pity I won't see her until we return.
Kel, believing that the Huntress had a purpose to how he was feeling at the moment, agreed to the contract. Exchanging his armour for something sturdier in a chain shirt, and swapping his short bow for a longbow, he waited patiently on the road for his comapnions.
The group left by midday. As they began to leave, Alexander took one last look at the baron's new building. On the balcony he saw Syra watching him. She smiled charmingly at the ranger as he left, and gave one quick wave as he disappeared with his group down the main street and off into their next adventure.