In Hextor's Name (Completed 22 Oct 2004)




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    In Hextor's Name (Completed 22 Oct 2004)

    This is the obligatory "Out of Character" introduction to the story hour.

    This is a new campaign, DM'd by the person who plays the Padre (in Company of the Random Encounter) and Geoffrey (in Seldarn Empire - Copperheads). The DMs of both those other games (myself and arwink) are players in this one.

    Naturally, there had to be a story hour

    There is also now a Rogues Gallery.

    Unlike the games where we DM, we are going to write this story hour from the (limited and very, very biased) points of view of our characters. These are:

    Kull Redfist
    LN Half-Orc Cleric of Hextor
    Life's ambition: to become a mighty warrior and crush Hextor's enemies

    Zalich Wavewalker
    CG Halfling Transmuter
    Life's ambition: to own his own trading ship

    As you might imagine, their opinions on events are likely to be rather at odds! They do, however, share a great love of tea, so there is some common ground.

    We may also be privileged with visits from Brodnak, our monosyllabic Barbarian.

    Update: arwink has become too busy to continue updates. Zalich's contribution to the Story Hour was to be replaced by the journals of Gnorric, a wizard of rather "unusual" persuasions, but his player also became very busy, and hasn't been able to update in some time. This means that Kull's version of events now goes undisputed. Which is how he prefers it, in all likelihood


    Adventures Used in the Campaign
    An Icy Grave ('net freebie adventure)
    Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (U1 - 1st Edition module)
    Danger at Dunwater (U2 - 1st Edition module)
    Clarshh's Sepulchre (Dungeon #53 - 2nd Edition)
    The Final Enemy (U3 - 1st Edition module)
    Knight of Newts (OD&D module)
    Quest for the Silver Sword (OD&D module)
    The Setting Sun (Dungeon #53 - 2nd Edition)
    Assault on Raven's Ruin (OD&D module)
    Quoitine Quest (Dungeon #53 - 2nd Edition)
    Baltron's Beacon (I7 - 1st Edition module)
    Various stuff the DM came up with for himself
    Last edited by Capellan; Wednesday, 12th January, 2005 at 04:02 AM.
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    Kull's Report, Part 1

    Saltmarsh
    Midwinter

    To: Bishop-General Kartrak Visehart


    Report from Kull Redfist


    Sir,

    I have arrived in the village of Saltmarsh. This was not my intended destination, nor did my means of getting here match my expectations. However, the events that have befallen me are such that I cannot but think it is Hextor's Will that I raise His standard here.

    As instructed by the Church, I took passage on the ship Nightingale, bound for the Woolly Coast. The ship seemed well-managed, though the captain had hired a navigator of uncommon youth. This was to prove an unwise choice, in the heavy seas that followed.

    We were beset with bad weather throughout the voyage, and I saw little of my fellow passengers, many of whom were so sickened by the weather as to be bedridden.

    The ship foundered on rocks on the fourth night of our cruise. Fortunately, the collision was severe enough that we were all awakened. It was obvious to me that she ship was stricken, and I took charge of the other passengers, ensuring that they were ready at the lifeboat when the Captain ordered the ship evacuated.

    Casting off into heavy seas, we rowed for a rocky island that had been spotted nearby. Unfortunately, the Captain's life boat was swamped, and lost with all hands, but Hextor lent me His strength, and I was able to provide leadership to our own rowers. We thus reached shore safely.

    The storm had become icy as we rowed, and wind and snow alike buffeted us as we dragged the boat high on the beach. Discovering a path, I led our motley crew further into the island, reasoning that a travelled path might lead to shelter.

    Hextor had led me truly in this matter, for we came in time to a monastery, carved into a cliff at the heart of the island. Already some of the weaker members of the group were foundering, and thus I marched up and threw open the doors, leading the way inside.

    Barely had we closed the doors behind us when a magical darkness blanketed the room. As those around me panicked, I used what I had seen of the room to reach a wall and follow it outside of the darkness. Once there, I called out to the others, leading them to safety with the sound of my voice.

    Two of my companions did not emerge, while a third was bloodied: it seemed a tentacled creature had attacked him in the darkness. He seemed a strong warrior, so I called on Hextor to heal him while I took stock of our position.

    We found ourselves in the chapel of the monastery. The room was plain, but for six statutes set into alcoves, each with an offering bowl before them. Their number included the weakling Heironeous, but also our mighty lord, the Six Armed King, in all His power and glory.

    Seeing this, and knowing from the earlier attack that this place had been despoiled, I realised why Hextor had sent the storms to drive the Nightingale onto the rocks. It was His Will that I undertake the task of cleansing this place of the creatures that fouled it.

    As I placed an offering in His bowl, and dedicated myself to the task, I found myself wishing for the company of my brothers in arms. Those who were with me offered little hope of aid.

    True, the warrior I had healed - one Brodnak - seemed strong and competent, but he was the only one of whom this was true. The others were a nature-worshipping mongrel, with a bedraggled wolf at his side, two women - one of whom eyed my offering with ill-concealed greed, and a halfling cook.

    But as Hextor teaches us, a strong leader can make a mighty army of even the weakest troops. If it was His Will that they serve Him, then serve Him they would; or die in the attempt.
    Last edited by Capellan; Thursday, 25th September, 2003 at 04:30 AM.
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    Hmmm, it sound interesting....

    I want more

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    Originally posted by Capellan
    It was obvious to me that she ship was stricken, and I took charge of the other passengers, ensuring that they were ready at the lifeboat when the Captain ordered the ship evacuated.
    "Took charge" being a euphamism for what in Hextor's church? Threatened them with death? Beat them until they obeyed?

    I like the perspective of the individual characters here. His personality seems strong enough to make it work.

    "Even if youre a snake, and even if youre on fire, adventurers will still kill you."
    -- Logan Bonner

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    Ignore Brodnak
    ruurgh!

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    This is gonna be an interesting thread to follow. Can't wait for the halfling's pov.

    Devlin Magruder in Living ENWorld, semi-retired.
    Lucien Rayes in Living ENWorld, semi-retired.
    Living Enworld DM for R1: Hired Hands and R2: Rats in a Maze

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    Zalich's Log, Entry One

    Well, the old log is gone, at the bottom of the sea with the Nightingale along with half my good spices. Thankfully, managed to keep the tea-pot and a good measure of rations when the ship went down. Seems unfair somehow. I picked this journal up in Saltmarsh. Well, perhaps created is a better term. It's not much more than a few stray sheets of parchment sewn together with fishing twine and stuck in the back of my spellbook, but it'll do for the moment. Haven't had enough time to find a proper book here yet. I'll consider myself lucky if they even have a book binder. What possesses people to live in the midst of a swamp like this?

    Ah well, given it's a fresh start, perhaps it's better if a start at the beginning.

    I had a bad feeling about the Nightingale, and I shouldn't have ignored it. It's the same feeling I got when I signed on to the Darkwave, and Yondolla knows how well that turned out for me. Of course, because of the Darkwave I found my way to the Silver Arrow, so perhaps the tragedy of the Nightingale will lead to better things in the future as well.

    We were doing a cargo run up the Wooly Coast, although we seem to have taken aboard some passengers as well. The crew was pleasant enough, but nothing like the comradery of the Silver Arrow. A few of them seemed a bit to young and inexperienced, but I suppose everyone starts off like that sooner or later. I shudder to think of what my old shipmates thought of me when Meldach took me on as an apprentice.

    The passengers seemed like the worst part of the trip. The captian wanted to make a good impression it seems, so he asked for a special dinner in his quarters. I spent hours slaving over the stove for it, but it seems something of a waste given those who assembled to eat it. Two half-orcs (on a hextorite!), some uncouth barbarian from the wild lands and a scattering of adventuring layabouts. They seemed to expect more than can be done with a ships provisions, although the Hextorite did compliment me on my tea. Was that then, or did it happen later? I can no longer remember. It seems so long ago.

    The storm hit a day or two from port. One of the undercooks told me it was uncommon for a storm so bad to brew during winter, but it happens every five or six years. Just our ill-luck to be at sea when it happened. A lot of the travellers didn't fare so well in the rough seas, and even I and a few of the less experienced crew were afflicted during the worst of the rough waters. If nothing else, it made my job a lot easier. Nothing like cooking for half a crew and getting paid for a full crews work.

    We hit rocks on the fourth night. I remembered the sound from the time Captain Larethian drove a pirate frigate into a reef, so I new what to expect. I packed as much as I could into my small pack, and made for the deck. Most of the crew and passengers were already there, and Captain Millen was already ordering all non-essential personal into a lifeboat. Thankfully, we were already close to land, although we weren't sure what kingdom exactly the land belonged to.

    Naturally, the lifeboats sized for humans, so we had to rely on the land-walkers to row it. They were effective enough, but no-where near as fast a well-trained crew. It's frustrating to watch amatuers do what should be your job, but what else could I do?

    Luck and Yondalla's blessing got us to shore. It was cold and icy on the beach, and the others at least had presence of mind to pull the ship up on the beach. It took a few minutes before the captain finally abandoned ship, and we watched the remainder of the crew try and row out in the secondary lifeboat.

    If I thought it was lucky the passengers rowing got us to shore, it's nothing like the relief I felt when I saw the captains lifeboat go down. A dozen good sailors on that boat, good shipmen all, and they were overturned and lost of the rocks.

    Of course, I was hardly in the most savory of company. We had Simmons, the Nightingales 1st mate, who tillered us to shore, and the navigator. I'd never known the lad well in my time on the ship, but he looked bad.

    The passengers were the only other survivors. I still seem to be with them now, here in Saltmarsh, so perhaps it's worth mentioning them. Not the most cohesive group, I'll admit, and most of them seemed content to ignore me for the greater part of our journey. Yet for all that, they got me off the Isle we were trapped on and I have little better to do until I find a safe way out of Saltmarsh.

    Kull, the half-orc Hextorite, pays attention to me only when he wants food or a cup of tea. For all his bluster and grim rationalism, he does appreciate a good cup, and for that I'm almost thankful to have him along.

    Troylin was a slender female who looked a little, well, shifty. She proved to be particularly agile and stealthy in the events that followed, but I don't trust those traits in anyone who'se not a halfling. Of course, there was a streak of foolishness in her as well. One of the crew told me she'd tried to climb the rigging in the midst of the storm. Hardly the sanest choice I've ever heard.

    Brodnic was some savage from a mountain top, carting around a giant club and an axe. I think "Raargh" is the most adept thing he's said in my presence.

    There's another female, a swordswoman, named Julian or Jillian. I can never keep it straight. She's quiet, much of the time, but she comes alive at the prospect of a fight.

    Finally, there's the other half-orc. I try not to get to close to him. He's got a grim demeanor, and that wolf of his is large enough to take off my hand if it gets peckish. He's a druid, apparently, but that seems suspicious. Who ever heard of an orcish worshipper of nature?

    We're stuck on an unknown coast, with little supplies, no ship and a bunch of unknown strangers to rely upon for our survival. Troylin spotted a path as we seccured the boat. With few other options, following it seemed the logical choice. If nothing else, it seemed to lead inland somewhere, so there may have been a chance to get out of the wind and cold.

    The cold was bad, truly bad. Almost as chilling as the time I was left ont he ice-flow, but that's neither here nor there. It took a lot out of us as we walked. Our navigator was badly afflicted with frostbite by the time we found shelter, and most of the others were just as bad. Not for the first time, I cursed the halfling preference for bare feet, as my toes were numb and without feeling.

    Shelter, when it came, was in the form of an old monestry of some kind. Abandoned, by the look of it. We forced open the door and walked inside, glad to find a way out of the wind.

    Of course, there's no luck if it's not bad luck. Things went pitch black the moment we got inside. So inky even the half-orcs were blind. It was obviously magical, or some kind of beast. I grabbed my crossbow from my kit and loaded up, ready to fire if I heard something, but any chance of hearing our attacker was immediately drowned out by half-orcs and warriors running for doorways in clanking armor and rattling blades. In the end, there was little other option than to follow them.

    Of course, when we got beyond the darkness effect, not everyone was safe. Both Simmons and the navigator were collapsed on the floor, unconscious and exhaused, in the darkness effect, and Brodnic was letting out strangled gasps as he struggled with something high up in the darkness. I offered to cast spider climb on one of the warriors if they wanted to go in and help him fight the strange attacker, but none were inclined to help. It's a testament to his luck and rage that Brodnic managed to struggle his way free and find his way to us from the darkness.

    Of course, this meant that Simmons and the navigator were still in there with whatever was there. Brodnic had some nasty-looking bites on his shoulders that were rapidly healed by Kull, but no-one seemed concerned about the two crewmembers. Even when we heard the sound of crunching, as thoughs something was eating a body, they weren't willing to go back into the darkness to save them. I contemplated going in alone, but prior experience has taught me to avoid hand to hand combat with unknown quantities, and my spells for the day were optimised for a kitchen rather than a battlefield.

    While everyone else looked around the small room, apparently some kind of chappel to many lawful gods, I tried picking a good place to fire a bolt in the hopes I could distract or wound the beast, but it was too quiet, too stealthy. Unless I could convince the others to go in, it seems that simmons and the navigator were dead. Unfortunately, they were immune to please of compassion or mercy, and even logic failed them. How they though we were going to get back to civilisation without a navigator was beyond me, but such is the logic of land-walkers. They don't understand the necessity of sea travel.

    Hmm. It's late now, and Kull seems to be wandering our lodgings in search of a cup of tea. I could let him make it himself, but he's not quite as skilled at the art of measureing and brewing as I am. Will write more later, after I've conserved our supplies as best I can in light of two half-orcish appatites.
    Peter M. Ball

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    Two versions of the same tale, that's COOL!

    More, more

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    Three versions. You forget that Brodnak's already dropped in to offer his version of events. It's short, yes, but the depth and meaning are in the intonation
    Peter M. Ball

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    Originally posted by arwink
    Three versions. You forget that Brodnak's already dropped in to offer his version of events. It's short, yes, but the depth and meaning are in the intonation
    hmm, true, three versions...

    I love this kind of shared story, Peter.

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