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Chronicles of Brevard Cosonio

Graywolf-ELM

Explorer
As a young man on the streets of Daerlun, I was able to survive by quickness, both of intellect, and of foot. I had the benefit of two tutors; Blackie, an old rogue who showed me how to survive on the streets, and Loremaster Martinson a Cleric of Oghma the Binder who taught me how to order my thoughts, to work with numbers, and to read and write. I met Blackie by chance one day, while freeing a baker of one of his extra morning loaves of bread. I tripped and fell over a clumsy woman’s long skirt, and would have been caught, if not for the quick thinking of that old rogue. He tripped the baker into that same woman, and scooped me to my feet, to escape down a nearby alley. A friendship was born that day over a loaf of bread sitting on a rooftop overlooking the city. Blackie began schooling me in the honorable ways of rogues. I had been living in an orphanage sponsored by the clerics to the God of Knowledge. Loremaster Martinson was my tutor there. We were required to train in a trade, in preparation for the day we might have a chance to better ourselves with work and the gaining of knowledge. I was found to be an apt pupil, able to learn several languages and to master the ability to write. These were mastered with the benefit of the good Father’s teachings. Blackie encouraged me to learn as much as I could from the Clerics. Knowledge and learning are important to cultivate for success, and often a rogues keenest weapons. Success is where I am headed, and what I have learned will be my guidebook to that end. After seeing Blackie hung by the town guards as an example to the criminal element, I vowed to make something better of myself. This Street Rat will be successful or perish in the attempt. I found my first work with a Caravan heading out of town, and back west toward Cormyr. Cormyr is the great land that my mother claimed as the land of her birth. I hope to begin my good fortunes there. So with no fanfare and short preamble thus begins my chronicles of adventure most dangerous.
 

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Graywolf-ELM

Explorer
5th of Tarasakh –Early Morning– I heard tell of a Caravan that was to head west to Cormyr for trade. I decided to take my chances and see if I could be hired on. I look pretty tough if I do say so myself, so there is a good chance they’ll hire me. I haven’t a penny to my name, and could use the money to start out on. I expect the work to be pretty mundane and tiring.
<Later that morning>
At the Inn of the Red Leaf I met up with Vadullen Gehen, a merchant from Cormyr, and his assistant Sharwin Tundle, a gnome. (The first I’d ever seen of his kind.) Master Tundle appeared to be a full-grown man, but of smaller proportions. He is a little stout with pointed ears as well. Vadullen is a dark-skinned man with dark eyes and facial hair. His black-gray goatee, beard, and mustache sharpen his already serious and contemplative demeanor. His clothes and armament reflect the hazards of the open road. He was wearing a rich dark blue tunic, slightly worn grey breeches and a well-worn black cloak. He wears a prize of golden rings on both hands, the largest of which holds a rich red ruby stone. (I’m working on being aware of my surroundings, and taking a mans measure, or woman’s for that matter, is one of the methods I’ve decided to employ.) He directed me to Olas Genshul, the Master of the Guards for the trip, with assurances that a man of my trim would fit in with the caravan guards for this trip. Olas took one look at me and hired me on the spot. He was so impressed with my look that he offered me a short sword to help in the defense of the caravan. The standard rate of pay for the trip was 2 pieces of silver a day plus meals for the trip. I’m sure that I would have been offered more, but some others showed up to apply for work, just as the conversation was turning my way. As it was, I’d been sent to Gaith the head pack master, to get my assignment to ride and care for the trip. Without much delay, the caravan left for Cormyr. It has been a crisp airy morning with a slight breeze out of the south today. Everyone seems to be in high spirits, as we get under way. I hear that this path is safe, as long as the guard is alert and numerous enough.

5th of Tarasakh –Afternoon– The caravan is moving along well, and I’ve made some new and unusual friends. Lourian is a Half-Elven Druid with an interesting background. He’s mostly been a city dweller if you can believe that. He has a wild-eyed look about him that leaves a man wondering at his sanity. I hear Druids can become powerful if they have enough time to learn and gather power. Ishmar is a monk, and quite an odd presence if you could see him. Smart and quick, but tall and thin, you’d never believe the power he can display while sparring. Nysis is a Cleric of the Goddess Sunni. Like many of the priests to that goddess, he’s pretty to look upon if you like the type, but always looking for a party.

5th of Tarasakh –Late Afternoon– We can see mountains aptly named “The Thunderpeaks” off to the North as we travel along. We’ve been told that we are headed to a small town called “Bearden’s Hollow” located in a rather large swamp. They produce, of all things, cranberry wine.

5th of Tarasakh –Evening– Camp has been made, and first guard for the night posted. I drew the Third watch of the night, along with Nysis, Lourian, and Ishmar. All of us seem to be out for adventure for our own reasons; friends are good to have on the road.

6th of Tarasakh –Morning– The caravan has broken camp, and the sky is darkening rapidly. The “Thunderpeaks” look like they’ll send rain our way by tomorrow. Lourian is pretty certain of it, the way he casts about and tastes the air, makes you think he knows something the rest of us don’t. Nysis just doesn’t want to get his robes wet, a little fussy that one is. Riding the wagons is a pretty easy assignment; it gives me more time to write than I’ve got things to write about. Rumor has it that the swamp is home to fell black dragons and demonic Beholders, Hobgoblin armies, and Lizardmen to boot. Some of the guards are getting nervous as we come alongside the southern tip of the swamp. Superstitious lot if you ask me.

6th of Tarasakh –Afternoon– The caravan is turning off of the main road in Cormyr, Bloody Cormyr!!, I did not think we would be here so soon, yet we’ve been here for most of the day. We’ll follow this smaller road North by Northwest into the swamp. I had no idea the little town was in the swamp. It seems the town was named after a local hero that slew a Great Black dragon there.

7th of Tarasakh –Morning– We pulled double guard shifts last night, due to some of the guys getting sick off of some bad sausages. That vendor on the road didn’t look very clean to me. If I were suspicious, I’d have thought something was being planned against the caravan that night. Anyway, I was too tired to write. It looks like the rain is about to come, so I’ll put up my writing ‘til we get somewhere dry.

7th of Tarasakh –Evening– It rained pretty much the rest of the day on us. Finally we’ve arrived at Bearden’s Hollow. We passed by some farms and small groups of buildings on the way. This is a walled community with a small moat being fed by a stream. Vadullen treats his caravan well and has filled the rooms at the Wild Duke Tavern with us. By Oghma, he’s even paid for the rooms and meals for us. Enmar Tallthen is the Innkeeper, and a practical looking sort. I enjoyed hearing his tale of Bearden and the Dragon over a flagon of ale.

8th of Tarasakh –Afternoon– Enmar greeted us cheerily in the morning, but spoke of the roads being washed out and settlements in the bog being attacked by some foul creature in the night. I guess his enthusiasm was for the thought that he’d have company for a few days. He turned out a good breakfast that man did. After breaking our fast, Vadullen suggested that several of us come along with him, while he makes arrangements for some of the local cranberry wine. The walk was wet and easy to lose a boot in if not careful where you step. We traveled up the road about 2 miles to a cranberry farm. Here we saw a Cleric laying out 13 bodies between the buildings. As we came closer, we were greeted by Father Denothen, a Cleric of the God Helm. I’d never noticed before, but the holy symbol was that of a gauntlet with a single eye in the palm. The good father was dressed in robes and sandals, not much to be made as an old cleric I guess. It seems the bodies were generations old, and had washed up from the old Bearden’s Hollow, much to the locals’ consternation. Bad enough a creature from the swamp comes after you, but for the dead to come floating out of the swamp as well? These be cursed times hereabout if I’m to make a judgment. The Cleric described a foul creature with green glowing eyes, and claws that attacked while most where sleeping. Vadullen suggested that we see if we can help the Cleric, as the caravan will be here for a few days. He headed on to meet with Earl Duneman to negotiate pricing for wine. Father Denothen quickly steered us towards one of the nearby buildings, where Jamen, one of the farmers, lay recovering from his creature-inflicted wounds. We listened to his account of the creatures’ attack, and saw the black and green bruise on his arm. The Cleric had done what healing he could but this injury was stubborn. Nysis conferred with him for a bit, but did not seem to have much more to offer on it. We decided to catch up with Vadullen to decide on the next course of action. We also wanted to see how long we would be in town to allow for tracking this creature down. Just a few days out of town, and my first adventure looms before me.

8th of Tarasakh –Evening back at the Inn–
I have so much to write about tonight. Where to begin, I guess the beginning will have to do. So much has happened today.
We ended up walking another 2 miles to the Earl’s small estate. It was windy and drizzled rain the whole way. The smell from the swamp is a constant companion here and permeates the air and any food or drink you might imbibe. The estate has a 3 story tower attached to the main house, and a 3 foot high fence surrounding it. The gates had been smashed open, and there were a couple of town guardsmen effecting repairs. They wore a tabard with an Eagle Crest and their helms and weapon belts were set aside for the repair work. They seemed to expect us and pointed to the main house. As we walked by, I couldn’t help but notice the gate was pretty well battered. When we reached the door, it looked like some kind of wild animal had scratched it up. I would hate to meet up with the creature that made these claw marks though. Inches deep, and high up on the door, not down low like an animal. The strength behind it was inhuman.
An old maid let us in, and ushered us in to meet Earl Duneman, and Constable Gaith. Vadullen made the introductions, and we were invited to join them. The Earl looked like a typical aristocrat of medium height and above average weight. He had a beard and dark reddish hair, and wore an mantle of authority about him with little trouble. The constable looked like a stiff board to all appearances, but proved to be canny at the art of conversation. They were sitting around a table sipping wine and discussing business and the recent events. Nysis took it upon himself to finish a whole bottle of cranberry wine. The Druid seemed concerned that the wine might be tainted with the death in the swamp. The rest of us enjoyed a glass and joined in the conversation. Our arrival was quite timely, as the topic of discussion had just moved from business to the creature from the previous night. It seems the damage outside was caused by a visit from the thing. It ran off when the tower bell was rung. The Earl seemed to think that the swamp witch would know something of the creature and where to look for it. Hearing about the bodies the Cleric was not unusual to them at all, “It has happened before”. The Earl mentioned that the old town proper was to the East and people used to bury their dead just about anywhere. He went on to explain that the town was founded to guard against evil in the swamp, just what all that evil was, people are no longer certain. Lizardmen live in the swamp for sure, and a great Black Dragon was slain by someone named Isendale. Maybe he was the Bearden that Enmar told the story of.
I suggested to my new friends that we take a look around outside, and see if we could locate any tracks left behind. We left the three men to their wine and conversation, and took a look around the estate. The old maid told us a story on the way out, about the previous master and mistress of the house disappearing during the night, never to be heard from again.
After some confusion about what to look for, I found some tracks leading off into the swamp. I pointed them out to the Lourian who seemed to think this was what we were looking for.
Not 1 hour into the swamp and a pole that was being used to test the way ahead clangs against the shell of some giant crayfish looking for a quick meal. I found my weapon practically jumping into my hand at the thought of my first combat. 3 of them come out of the swamp, and I swiftly crunched my sword into one of them killing it with a single blow. Ishmar, glowing with a blue light, smashed one in the face with his spear. At least what you can call a face on these things. The third crayfish managed to get a claw into Lourian. The swamp gave way under my feet as I went to his rescue; luckily Ishmar was able to finish the remaining beast without my help. Where Nysis was in all this I don’t know, I didn’t think he was a coward, and at least I was proven wrong about that later in the day.
Two hours later of trudging through the swamp and the day became even more exciting. For the first time in my life, I laid eyes upon one of the Lizard folk. I cautioned the others to silence so I could sneak up and get a better look. I glided quietly through the trees, and grasses to within about 15 feet of it. I later found the creatures name to be Ou Lay Yan. It was crooning something to a large Raven. I had learned Draconic from Loremaster Martinson and could make out some of what it was saying. “We will find them.” I judged this single creature not to be a great danger, and turned to go back to my friends. I was betrayed in my stealth by a loose rock, and Ou Lay Yan must have heard the rock splash into the water. The Raven took flight, and Ou Lay Yan turned to look in my direction. I managed to convey to my friends that the creature did not seem to pose a threat, and offered to try to communicate with it. When the creature caught site of all of us, it turned and began to disappear into the swamp. I called out to it, and managed to get it to stop and talk. I asked about the location of the old town of the humans, and Ou Lay Yan bade me to seek out the Old Ladies cave to the North.

8th of Tarasakh –More this Evening back at the Inn– While my friends were moving to get closer, Lourian the druid found the body of a Lizardman lying in the reeds. There were tracks of the creature we were trying to find, nearby in the mud. Ou Lay Yan saw this and the grievous wounds that were inflicted, and offered to help us track the creature. We were led in an easterly direction for at least another couple of hours. At one point Ou Lay Yan warned me that we were passing through the territory of the “Wolf Ones”. Ou Lay Yan led us up to an area where an old structure was in the distance. It pointed and told me that this was the place we were looking for, and the creature would be here. The Lizardman said that it must return and see to the bodies of its brethren and complete the rites that they set out to do.
The dark shape of a building loomed out of the swamp. There was an old rotting sign on which I could barely make out the symbol of helm at this late hour in the day. There were the remains of other buildings around, but none as obvious as this one. Nor did they have tracks leading up and into them.
The entryway was dark and wide, looking like there used to be double-doors hanging there. The whole building was sinking into the swamp, and we had to wade to get into the building. Ishmar lit a lantern, and Nysis lit a torch. The room appeared to be about 80 feet in diameter, with doorways opening to the east and west. The remaining floor was draining away from the entrance and water was trickling down across the floor. There were some remnants of furniture at the bottom of the slope. I made my way down to search around and found the floor to be quite slick.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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