Knightfall's World of Kulan: Tales of the Companions Story Hour (Final Update: Sep 20, 2014)


World of Kulan DM
Melee in the Tangles (Conclusion – Part 2):
Garth gripped Bactra’s quarterstaff in both hands swinging it over his head in challenge to the advancing ogre. The beast man charged in defiance of the Justiciar’s bravado. Garth stepped to one side and swung the stout, iron-shod staff, once into the brute’s ankle and the second time into the back of its knee. The ogre brute stumbled but did not fall.

“Fall down, damn you,” Garth cracked the ogre on the back of both ankles and third shot grazed its groin. “Down you brute and stay down!”

The ogre brute howled like it was baying at the moon, swinging its flail around to crush Garth. It missed. Garth did not. He swung the staff over and over into its ankles, Achilles, knees, and shins. The ogre brute couldn’t stay on its feet, falling to its knees. It swung its flail back and forth but Garth knew how to stay out of the path of the overextending ogre’s reach. He worked over its back aiming for the spine, ribs, and hipbones. The ogre swung again, losing its weapon, as it slipped from its hands.

“Not so arrogant now, are you?” Garth stepped to the side and began pounding the ogre’s sagging arms, as it tried to lift its fallen flail with both hands. Elbow, wrist, wrist again, the beast man dropped the fail again. It roars and slams its fist into Garth’s chest. The Justiciar takes the blow and hits the ogre’s other elbow over and over again.

The ogre brute reaches for its healing fetish skulls but Garth slams the quarterstaff into its fingers and wrist. The ogre grunts and sags forward. Garth swings the staff up into the ogre brute’s chin, once, twice, three times. He hears the ogre’s jaw crack.

“Finally,” Garth steps back, blocks the ogre’s clumsy swing, and slams the end of the staff into the creature’s sagging forehead. “Now it ends!”

“It will never end, human. You can kill a dozen of my kin and a dozen more will take their place. You can try to burn us out, defile our people with magic, and we will still keep coming. The scions of my race will grind your kingdoms to the ground and enslave your populations long after you and I are dead.” The ogre brute’s poor Common speech was broken through its shattered jaw, but its menace was clear.

“I think my son will have something to say about that,” Garth’s head turned at the sound of his son screaming. “No!”

“You’re arrogance will be the end of your pathetic kind, human.” The ogre laughed. “See, you’re son dies, even now.”

The two watched as Dabuk pulled the blade out of his back, turned, and thrust the weapon into the other ogre’s groin. The beast howled and Dabuk finished the cut.

“Defiler!” The ogre brute reached for his weapon on the ground, but Garth slammed the weapon into the beast man’s outstretched hand.

“You underestimate us, beast!” Garth brought the other end of the staff up into the ogre’s throat, as hard as his aching muscles would allow.

The ogre brute wasn’t finished, balling its other fist slamming it into Garth. The blow knocked Garth back several feet, but the ranger stayed on his feet, gripping the staff in one hand. Garth chided himself on his stupidity. The ogre had been waiting him out, gathering its strength. It flexed its hand, grabbed its flail off the ground, and began to stand.

“You are the one overestimating your importance.” The ogre pointed to Dabuk who was crawling along the ground. “I will teach you and your faltering son, over there, the true reach of Vaprak’s will.”

The ogre rushed Garth, swinging its flail with skill and menace.

* * *

Bactra soon found himself crawling around on his hands and knees trying to find Thessa’s pack – anyone’s pack. He had stopped Thessa’s bleeding and now needed to find anything to bring her around. She was the best hope for all of them.

Then he heard Dabuk scream.

“Rillifane, where are you? Guide me, please!” Bactra felt a surge of adrenaline and he was soon on his feet hobbling around the avenue.

He located Mesik who has slipped back into unconsciousness and nearly jumped for joy when he found Garth’s pack. It was in tatters and had obviously been rummaged through. He searched through it anyway. Most of the vials were destroyed but two were intact. Both were clearly labeled and Bactra thanked both Rillifane and his uncle’s need to be organized.

Bactra limped back to Mesik and checked his hairfoot friend. He was breathing and seemed stable enough. He knew Thessa would die without help, so he made the only choice he could.

“Sorry Mesik, Thessa comes first.”

Bactra stumbled back towards the gnome priestess, praying that he would be in time, and that Mesik wouldn’t pay for his decision, with his life.

* * *

Dabuk felt like he was going to throw up. There was blood everywhere. His, the ogres, and some that he wasn’t sure where it had come from. Plus, the beast’s “member” was lying in a pool of blood nearby. The smell was horrible. He’d lost the ogre’s dagger again, not that he wanted to ever touch it again. The thought was enough to send his stomach pitching into his throat, meeting blood and phlegm, and then spilling out onto the ground.

“Ugh, I f-feel terrible.” Dabuk barely got the words out.

“I’m going to gut him like a stuck pig!”

Dabuk heard the words in Giant from the ogre and knew he didn’t have much time. Then his hands brushed against steel and he knew his luck had changed. He grabbed his short sword and pushed himself to his feet. He turned just in time to see the fallen ogre crush another one its skull fetishes over its groin.

“No more of that,” Dabuk moved in and cut through the leather of the ogre’s belt. The stroke didn’t sever the belt but it did dislodge it so Dabuk could grab hold and cut away the rest of it. The half-elf ranger pulled the belt off the ogre just as the beast man reached for another fetish.

“Damn you, elfspawn!” The creature tried to reach Dabuk as it held its groin. “You will suffer a fate worse than death!”

“Whatever,” Dabuk threw the belt away. He’d rather die than use one of the ogre fetishes. “Time to die.”

Dabuk steeled his resolve, breathed in as best as he could, and rushed past the ogre’s clumsy attack. He dodged the ogre’s other fist, as it came down, thrusting his sword into the ogre’s shoulder. The ogre growled in Dabuk’s face and tried to bite him. Dabuk punched the ogre in the eye, pulled his sword free, and rolled away. The beast fell towards the ranger trying to crush him under its bulk. Dabuk threw himself over a pile of rubble, towards his father who was still battling against the other ogre. The brute came crashing down behind him, its head slamming into the debris.

“That was almost fun,” Dabuk breathed out then coughed. “Ow.”

He picked himself off the ground and turned to see his handiwork. The ogre brute was still on the ground but Dabuk didn’t buy into the beast man’s bluff.

“N-nice try, stupid.” Dabuk picked up a rock and threw it against the creature’s skull. “I’m falling for that old trick.”

The beast roared to life, crawling towards Dabuk on its hands and knees, very fast.

* * *

Garth met the ogre brute’s charge with zeal. He used the quarterstaff like a spear, aiming for its knee. The ogre brought down its flail, which the Justiciar dodged. The staff impacted the brute’s knee. The staff held, but the knee didn’t. A loud crack echoed across the avenue. The ogre roared in pain falling to the ground.

“And, this time, you won’t be getting up.” Garth rushed up the ogre brute’s back and slammed the staff against the back of the creature’s neck. The beast man groaned, as its limbs went limp. Garth slammed the staff into its neck over and over until the evil giant stopped moving.

He turned just in time to see Dabuk get crushed under the weight of the other ogre. He prayed his son still lived, running quickly to his aid.

* * *

Thessa woke coughing and moaning. The healing draughts slowly worked their way through her body.

“Welcome back,” Bactra stared down at her in relief. “But don’t get to comfortable. Mesik needs your help and so do the rest of us.”

“Ow, my head feels like it going to explode.” The gnome priestess sat up shaking the cobwebs out of her head. Here eyes cleared just in time to see Garth bring down the ogre brute. “Where is Mesik? You said he needs my help.”

“Over there, I’ll guide you.” Bactra tried to help her up, but his leg was oozing. “Damn, I can’t stand anymore.”

“You need help, that could fester.” Thessa wasn’t sure who too help first.

“Mesik might be dying, I’ll live. Go on, over there.” Bactra sat down pointing towards where he had been forced to leave Mesik. “Go on!”

Thessa stumbled away towards Mesik. She found him lying perfectly still, near death. She poured healing into him and was relieved to see him breathing. She made sure he was out of danger before hobbling back towards Bactra.

“How is he?” Bactra wore intense emotions and pain on his face.

“He’ll live, now show me that leg.” Her tone was unmistakable.

“Yes, ma’am,” Bactra tried to smile but it came out more as a grimace as Thessa began casting another healing spell into his leg, as well as adjusting his makeshift splint.

“I’m going to have to teach you how to do this better.” Thessa untied several ropes and discarded several blood soaked bits of cloth. “Much longer like this and you’re leg could have become infected or worse.”

Healing energy poured into Bactra’s leg from Thessa’s spell and he could feel bone and flesh knitting together. The leg began to throb and the pain increased. Thessa reset the splint and cast one more cure into his leg.

“That’s all I can spare you right now,” Thessa looked towards where Garth was standing. “I’ll have to see how Garth and Dabuk are. And then I’ll want to check on Mesik again.”

“Understood.” Bactra could feel blood pumping through the limb again, which did little to ease the pain beginning to throb in his leg, as well as his head.

“Thessa!” The gnome priestess looked up to see Garth waving at her. “Dabuk is dying! I need you over here, now!”

* * *

Dabuk hadn’t been fooled by the ogre’s ploy, but he had been surprised by how fast the creature came at him on all fours. The ranger lashed out just as the ogre reached out to grapple him. The short sword sliced off one of the beast’s fingers and another slash cut its hand from the palm to behind the wrist. The ogre then dropped its body on the half-elf, crushing him. It didn’t see Dabuk twist his weapon up at the last minute, however. The blade thrust up into the beast man’s chest.

The creature howled, rolling off Dabuk, clutching at its chest where the blade had sunk in to the hilt. It tried to grasp the small weapon, but couldn’t get a hold. The ogre laid down struggling in vain to get the blade out of his chest. He didn’t see Garth until it was too late.

“Hello, remember me!” Garth slammed the quarterstaff down on the creature’s temple and the beast man’s eyes rolled into the back of its head. Its body twitched until Garth brought the staff down again on the other temple.

The Justiciar rushed to his son’s side. He looked dead. He looked back towards where Bactra had been helping Thessa and was relieved to see Thessa attending Bactra.

“Thessa! Dabuk is dying! I need you over here, now!”

* * *
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


World of Kulan DM
Melee in the Tangles (Aftermath):
“Dabuk! Dabuk, can you hear me?” The voice sounded like a trumpet in the half-elf ranger’s ears.

“Ugh, not so loud.” Dabuk woke to a splitting headache and double vision. He knew this because he only ever one gnome, not the two that were looking down at him now.

“How do you feel?” Thessa propped up Dabuk’s head feeding him water.

“Like someone dropped a dragon on me,” Dabuk gurgled while drinking the water.

“Don’t exaggerate,” Thessa had used up all of her healing ability for the day. “I’m being serious.”

“So am I,” Dabuk wheezed. “My chest hurts and my head feels like its going to fall off. And my feet are numb.”

“Well, that’s a good sign. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to heal your legs. The ogre would have crushed and smothered you if you hadn’t stuck the beast with your sword. You were lucky you didn’t kill it or we would have had to roll it off you. By then it would have been too late.”

“Thanks, I’ll remember that,” Dabuk tried to remember where he was, but his memory was foggy. He wasn’t surprised that an ogre had landed on him, as it wasn’t the first time and wouldn’t be the last. “Someone remind me where are we again, please? Everything is a little fuzzy.”

“Tangles.” Bactra bent over his cousin with concern.

“What?” Dabuk didn’t have a clue what Bactra meant. “Tangle what?”

“No son, the tangled ruins of Onaway, remember?” Garth looked at Thessa with concern, as Dabuk tried to process what they were trying to tell him.

“He’s as healed as I can get him, at this point. His body has taken an awful shock to its system. Blood is again pumping to the healing areas, which means he’ll be a bit dull-witted for a while.”

“When isn’t he dull-witted.” Mesik smirked.

“Oh, very funny,” Dabuk’s vision began to clear and the healing energy continued to seep through his body. He saw that they were on a roof somewhere in a ruined city just like his father had said. It seemed familiar with its clinging vines and crumbling stonework. Then a name came in a flash. “Bren, how is he?”

“There we go,” Thessa laid his head down on what remained of one of the backpacks. “Bren isn’t with us right now. He went to give his report to the garrison, remember?”

“No, but I’m sure it will come back to me.” Dabuk closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

“Shouldn’t we keep him awake?” Mesik’s grin faded to concern.

“No, it will be all right,” Thessa sighed. “I took care of the worst of his injuries down on the avenue. We wouldn’t have been able to move him or bring him up here if I hadn’t.”

Thessa had gotten to Dabuk just in time. She had been forced to dump her most powerful healing spells into the ranger just to stabilize him enough to be moved. Garth had been relatively fine and had insisted on her using most of her spells on Dabuk and the others.

Those first few minutes after the last ogre had died were tense, to say the least. They weren’t sure if more ogres would arrive and Dabuk had been too hurt to be moved right away. Mesik had scouted the route that Bren had taken down the avenue, being overly careful not to spring any of the Onans’ laid traps. He found no signs of other ogres, so they had risked staying put until Dabuk was well enough to travel.

They found a way up on to the rooftops and carefully selected a defensible position with enough room to set up an area to let Dabuk rest. Thessa waited to see if her friend would wake on his own but after a good 5 to 10 minutes of waiting she decided to use a scroll she kept with her in case of emergency.

Dabuk woke up just as the last healing spell took effect throughout his body.

“The question now becomes, what do we do next?” Bactra’s leg was healing nicely and he could finally stand on it without aid.

“Now, we wait.” Garth laid down on the cold, cracked stone pulling his cloak over himself. “And hope it is Bren who finds us first, and not more ogres or something else.”

They all decided that sleep was best, except for Bactra who wouldn’t need to enter the Reverie until just before sunrise.

“I hope Hougwarth is okay?”

* * *


World of Kulan DM
The Night of Fire:
Hougwarth Medinton, or Hugh to his friends, was frustrated when cutoff from his traveling companions. The fire had come out of nowhere and he hadn’t been able to cross it in time. The fire had been placed to keep intruders out, of that he was sure. It was a simple, yet effective barrier, as the flames rose higher than he was tall.

It hadn’t kept the ogre from crashing through the walls, at least, not the huge ones. The smaller ogres, that were closer to him in height, had balked at the idea of crossing the barrier. The huge ogres had insisted, however, going so far as to pushing or throwing their smaller kin through/over the barrier.

The result was to be expected.

“Stupid,” Hugh wonder how he could possibly be related to such walking imbeciles. He had watched from a distance, as the ogre hordes through themselves at the walls of Onaway. Those few archers and swordsmen that fought them on the walls died quickly, but with great honor and courage.

The humans through themselves at the towering beast men with everything they had. A few hedge mages and adepts joined the fray, but they weren’t very effective against so many opponents. Hugh watched all that he could, but decided it was better not get directly involved, as the humans were more likely to shoot first.

Not that he spent the onslaught cowed in a ditch somewhere. He was a warrior dedicated to the ideals of good and honor. He spent the Night of Fire fighting against isolated groups of ogres or trolls that found themselves cutoff from the rest of the horde. For while Hugh believed in honor, he also believed in good tactics.

He moved around the field of battle as stealthily as he could attacking the hordes supply lines and reserve forces. He didn’t see Kellin anywhere out in the darkness, but he had a feeling the ogre that had become his friend was out there as well, dealing damage to the horde.

Several times during the night Hugh came across groups of dead ogres that he hadn’t killed and that had definitely been killed by someone using a bladed weapon designed for a large humanoid or giant. He smiled at his friend’s handiwork and showed genuine appreciation for Kellin’s skills when he came across several dead commanders near the back lines of the horde.

The two giant were not the only ones fighting a guerilla war against the horde, as many locale foresters, militiamen, and nomads banded together to help turn the tide. Hugh proved himself to one such group after he had come to their rescue against a group of ogres and trolls that were overwhelming them. They had been suspicious, at first, but soon realized that Hugh was no ogre and was not part of the horde.

“Dawn is coming,” a man named William noted as the band stalked another group of ogre that had broken off from the main horde. “Hugh, if they haven’t taken Onaway by then, do you think they will retreat?”

“Hard to say,” The men had come to rely on his knowledge of giants, as the night had progressed, a great honor. “Ogres are fickle creatures, but these ogres have brutes with them and wherever brutes are, a ogre scion can’t be far away.”

“An ogre scion,” Felita was a kitt, one of the cat races of the world, and a good tracker. “What, by Rel, is an ogre scion?”

“They are the leaders or the ogre race,” Sariuk, an elf, spoke the answer. “They are larger than even the brutes and have incredible magical powers. Hugh, are you sure an ogre scion is responsible for this? A scion hasn’t been seen since the end of the Second Ogre War.”

“My race still exists, and you say you haven’t seen a vonakyndra in your entire lifetime. Yet, here I am.” Hugh stood out amongst the smaller people he had bonded with overnight. The ogres they were stalking saw him and came at them. This was the plan, as the ogres couldn’t see the others who were crouched down in the high grass, as they walked.

“Here they come, my friends.” Hougwarth pretended to run away. The ogres came, the trap was sprung, and Hugh happily joined the fray. All the while he kept reminding himself to keep it simple and not drop his sword.

By dawn, the ogre hordes were in full retreat.

* * *


World of Kulan DM
Tangles End:
Bren found them all sleeping, except for the elf, late into the night. They let them sleep and Bactra told him what had transpired. Bren went and checked the avenue and surrounding areas. He couldn’t help but feel impressed.

These strangers, these easterners came all this way just to make an alliance with a crumbling, ruined city. He knew that the Senate would debate about it for months, and in the end nothing would likely come of it. He told Bactra and Garth as much, after the elven wizard woke him to stand watch.

“So it is all for nothing,” Bactra felt his need for the Reverie increase.

“Even without an alliance, we have learned a great deal. Knowledge is never nothing, didn’t you’re tutors teach you that.” Garth smiled. “Besides, I haven’t given up on anything, yet.”

“An optimist.” Bren smiled passing a flask of water to Garth.

“Hardly,” Bactra suppressed his need to laugh, as he didn’t want to wake the others or hurt his uncle’s feelings. “Garth is more of a realist. He won’t accept the idea that the alliance won’t happen until he hears it from your Senate, himself.”

“Ah, I see.” Bren laid down in the darkness. A fire in the tangles attracted the wrong sort of attention. “Well, you never know, stranger things have happened in this city.”

“Well, I’m exhausted.” Bactra rubbed his eyes and positioned himself for his rest cycle. “Time for the Reverie. See you in four hours.”

Bactra closed his eyes and was instantly into his cycle.

“That is an amazing thing,” Bren couldn’t help but be transfixed by the resting forest elf. “I’ve never seen an elf do that before.”

“Not all elves do,” Garth sat near the edge of the building, leaning against a foot high stone wall, which use to go around the entire building. “It is unique to the forest elves. Hmm, however, the hunter elves of the Verdalf Forest do something similar, but it is standing up.”

“Can he hear us?” Bren looked back and forth from the wizard to the ranger.

“No, I don’t think so,” Garth felt the need to divert the Onan’s attention. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” Bren yawned.

“Why do you stay?”

“You mean us Onans, sir.” Bren replied.

“No, I mean you personally, and your family. You could start a new life for your children someplace that isn’t so dangerous.”

“I’ve just been stubborn, I guess. My wife wishes to leave and my son isn’t old enough to have become firmly entrenched in Onan way of life. I still love what’s left of my father’s family and, I guess, I feel like I’d be abandoning them.”

“Yet, they refuse to deal with you due to social stigma.” Garth wondered if this city was a place that the Eastern Shores wanted as an ally.

“What you say is correct, sir. Yet, I have to ask myself, if it had been their dishonor, would I have subjected my family to it. The truth is, I cannot say for certain.”

“And now, after this latest attack. You showed bravery and honor in protecting your people. That should cancel out any previous dishonor.”

“Unfortunately, it is not that simple, sir.” Bren’s mood seemed to be heading towards melancholy.

“I will say nothing more on the subject, except this; if the alliance isn’t cast then you and family can travel with us back to the Eastern Shores. I can’t ensure that the trip will be easy, but I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I hadn’t offered. Call it my own personal code of honor.”

“Thank you,” Bren was visibly surprised. “I will consider it if and when it becomes required to do so.”

They did not speak again until dawn, after the horns announced that the enemy was retreating.

End: The Alliance (Part I)

Below is a brief description of two new major NPCs that the characters encountered during this part of the adventure.

Avaniia (NPC, elven female) - At this point, there is very little that the characters have learned about the evil elven woman, known as Avaniia (also known as The Foulsoul), who tried to trick the characters into delaying their journey to Onaway. The most the PCs discovered were the elven witch’s plan too lay siege to Onaway. (She was so confident that her ogre and merrow allies would make short work of them that she felt like bragging to the PCs.)

Kellin One-Eye (NPC, ogre hero) - Kellin One-Eye is the only ogre on Harqual that is welcome in the Kingdoms of the Eastern Shores and a few city-states in the west. He is a hero in those lands and fights to protect humans from the predatory nature of ogres, orcs, and other evil humanoids. Why he chose to side with humanity against his own kind is a mystery to all except his closest friends. Some believe that he might not be an ogre at all but some kind of divine proxy of the gods or a spirit of some kind. Of course, these are all just rumors and Kellin isn't the sort who tries to quash wild stores about his past. After all, if these stories make his enemies nervous to face him on the field of battle, all the better. Of course, he doesn't deny that he is different from the savage and evil hordes that are constantly trying to conquer the continent.
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM

From the Journal of Bactra Redwind, son of Minonus

The City of Onaway:
It has been four days since we came out of the tangles and into the city of Onaway, proper. However, classifying Onaway as a “true” city would be a mistake. The inner wall that protects against the dangers of the tangles is little more than a row of thick wooden stakes and the “city” currently takes up only a third of the area surrounded by the ruined, outer walls.

Yet, these Onans continue to exist here fairly comfortably, due to the protection of the tangles, its cultivators, and men like Bren. They refuse to give into the disaster that always seems to loom above their heads. To mark a point, it isn’t the size of the useable land that makes Onaway great, it is its people. Still they are quite isolated behind their tangled maze and many of their people will resist allying with outsiders.

Bren didn’t have much trouble leading us to and pass the garrisons and inner wall. The guards, cultivators, and militia see him as one of the leaders of the Tangle Rangers. Yet, as we moved out of the rugged streets near the edge of the tangle, his word held little to no weight. Soon he was forced to report back to duty by his “superiors” and we were brought before the Senate by a group of elite guardsmen. We had to surrender what was left of our armor and weapons, as well as agree to have our wrists “peace-bonded”.

Basically, the guardsmen tied are wrists and hands together and strung a silk rope between us as they marched us through the, much cleaner and safer, interior streets of Onaway up the marble steps of the main Senate building. They sprayed us down with cold water and made us change our clothes into what could be called little more than a large bolt of cloth draped and tied onto the body.

I thought Dabuk was going to hit something by the look on his face.

We faced the Senate as companions and did not let them divide us or humble our spirits. Garth spoke for the group and as diplomat for the Eastern Shores. He words were gracious but firm, which the Onans seemed to respond to. The Senate agreed to hear the petition for alliance and the headman of the Senate, a human named Than LaMarche, officially welcomed us to Onaway.

All went well, even after Hougwarth was brought into the city “peace-bonded” in chains, a day later. He had several local Onans with him that he had fought alongside during what has become know as the Night of Fire. They spoke for him, telling of his great strength and honor in fighting the ogre hordes alongside them.

I was glad to see that he was all right and I have even more respect for him than before. Dabuk still teases him about the time we first met, and how he dropped his sword in the dirt after a longwinded introduction. News of the vonakyndra spread like wildfire throughout the small, half-ruined city and Hugh has found himself swamped with questions everywhere he goes, which he answers with his usual zeal.

Garth has spent almost all of his time speaking with the Senate and privately with Lord LaMarche. Things are progressing even slower than Bren had foreseen. The Senate was divided down the middle. The old hard-liners insisted on Onaway not becoming involved with us easterners, while the younger, more liberal senators saw great potential in having allies beyond the confines of the Wild Plains Region.

Garth has yet to become discouraged.

Thessa feels out of place in the human city, and she has noticed that she draws almost as much attention as Hugh, regardless of her small stature. The Onans have never seen a forest gnome before and many of them haven’t even heard of the gnomish race. Thessa, as a result of all the attention, rarely strays from Mesik’s side or my own, when the hairfoot is off making maps of the city.

One of the favors that Garth agreed to was offering Mesik’s services in helping the Onans map out the “inner city”, as we have come to call it, although that appellation doesn’t really describe Onaway’s layout. Regardless, Mesik has jumped at the chance to map out the twisting mess of streets that is Onaway. There wasn’t a Cartographers’ Guild in the city before our arrival, but if Mesik has his way there will be before he leaves.

Dabuk and I have also received our fair share of stares and comments by the Onans. It seems these people don’t meet elves with favor. The Onans blame “all” the elves of the Great Forest for a great deal of the destruction that happened throughout the Wild Plains Region during the First and Second Ogre War. Supposedly the silver elves, and my people, were suppose to come to the west’s aid. What a silly, and very human, notion!

As a result, Dabuk has taken to spending as much time with Bren as he can, which means he’s spent most of his time learning the way of the tangled maze and sharing his own ideas with the Tangle Rangers. I, however, have found solace in the Hall of Records and Library of Onaway. The history and writings of the Onans aren’t substantial but their record keeping is quite organized for a people who were originally nomadic, living off the land of the Wild Plains…
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM

The Library of Onaway:
Bactra Redwind finished writing his journal entry -- the first he’d made in days. He dipped the inkpen one more time to enter the date, but then realized that he wasn’t even sure of the current day of the week. Let alone the date. He looked around for some sign of a calendar, but couldn’t find any markings on the walls that would indicate one. He’d have to remember to ask the Record Smith at the Hall of Records what calendar, if any, the Onan people followed.

Bactra tried to remember how many days had come and gone since he had left The Woodknot. Frustrated by his own lack of record keeping he simply ended the journal’s entry with his personal sigil and left it at that. He dusted the finished page with his own personal sealant so the ink wouldn’t run. A concoction that had been passed down to him by his arcane tutors in Woodknot. He would soon be out of the mixture, however.

“I hope I can find something similar here,” Bactra spoke out loud to no one in particular. Not that it mattered, as the library was empty, except for him. The scholars and librarians at the Library of Absolute Learning, in Fruen, would have laughed at the idea of calling the humble building that Bactra now sat in, as a library. It was barely 100 feet long and only half as wide. Its shelves were a third empty, but it was more organized than any human library that Bactra had ever set foot in. “Hmm, I wonder what the scholars in Fruen would think about that.”

Bactra blew the unstuck sealant mixture off the finished page. He set the page aside and began to collect as much of the sealant, from the alcove he was sitting at, as he could. The young elven mage had already scribed several new spells into one of his spellbooks, which he always kept close by.

“Not as much left as I had hoped,” Bactra noticed he was down to one or maybe two pages worth of sealant. “I’m going to have to go shopping for a substitute much sooner than I thought.”

He thought about asking the Keeper Smith, who was in charge of the library, if there was something the library kept on hands, but he put the thought out of his mind, as quickly as it had came. Whatever the library had would be considered precious and it would not be for sale.

Bactra collected his spellbooks, journal, and other scholarly gear, glad to have it all back, as it had all been taken from him when he had been forced to be peace-bonded. That had been the only thing that had bothered him about the whole experience, but he understood the Onans’ concerns. They didn’t get friendly visitors, ever.

Bactra shouldered his pack and adjusted his clothing, which he had also been glad to get back. He didn’t like the Onans’ style of dress, with their flowing robes, sandals, and gaudy jewelry. Of course, he would never point that out, but he’d feel silly walking around in what would pass a large, heavy blanket in a fine inn back in Fruen.

The elven wizard gracefully walked the empty, central corridor leading to the ornate double doors of the stone and marble library. The corridor was lined with statues of many of the continents known gods of learning & magic including Cull, Immotion, Boccob, and Heward, as well as few deities he didn’t recognize. He walked past them, through the double doors, and out into the late evening air.

On the steps leading down from the small library, which was one of the largest buildings in the city, he immediately noticed two guards standing at attention near the bottom. He knew these guards intimately, as they had been assigned to escort him around the city. The Senate had insisted that while in the city, the elves must be accounted for at all times.

It had been one of the main reasons why Dabuk had retreated to the tangled mazes with Bren and the other Tangle Rangers. Bactra had taken it all in stride, however. For he had felt the eyes of many Onans on him right away and he felt safer with the escort. Not that he was too worried about what a simple Onan peasant could do to him, even at this time of night. The fact he was a warlock, as the locals referred to wizards, had quickly spread throughout the small city.

Supposedly, true wizards were rare in Onaway, or at least they kept to themselves. The local arcane guild was better known for its bards and a few sorcerers & mages who had little or no respect in Onan society. Arcane magic wasn’t forbidden in Onaway, just not appreciated the same way as divine magic. It was feared by many of the city’s citizens, however.

“Claris, Vestin, I see you’re right where I left you.” Bactra treated the two guards well, but they rarely acknowledged him other than to pace his every movement. “I’m surprised you didn’t check up on me to make sure I was still inside.”

The guards didn’t speak, as he walked by. They fell in behind him, n more than 3 feet behind. It was like he was a nobleman’s son being guarded against pickpockets or street toughs.

“After all, you were ordered to follow me everywhere.” Bactra continued walking.

“We don’t go in there,” Bactra was in shock to here Vestin speak. “The library is meant only for scholars and warlocks.”

“Hmm, I see. So it is forbidden.”

“Not exactly,” this time it was the woman Claris who spoke. “The library is considered taboo by many Onans, as strange things often happen to those that enter, who the Gods deem unworthy.”

“Interesting,” Bactra couldn’t help but smile. “I’ll have to talk to the High Prelate about these taboos. After all, we don’t want you two to be getting into trouble, now do we?”

Neither guard spoke, at the jibe. Bactra decided to let it go, as he walked towards the inn he, Mesik, and Thessa were staying at near the inner wall, called The Creeping Vine. As the three of them neared the edge of the Central District, Claris began marching in front of Bactra. It was a sign of superiority to the denizens of the poorer, Outer District. A sign that said stay away, not that it mattered here.

The denizens of the Outer District were more reasonable and less suspicious. They were the salt of the earth, and in Onaway’s case, the salt of the sea as well. The Outer District ringed around the entire Central District, and was home to tangle cultivators, lowborn hagglers, and many, many sailors and fishermen. Onaway would be like any other port city, if not for its tangled maze.

As the trio approached The Creeping Vine the guards quickly turned around and headed back towards the Central District. The edict that said Bactra and Dabuk were always to have an escort didn’t reach this far into the Outer District. Bactra had been surprised that Claris and Vestin had escorted him this far.

Bactra entered the inn and headed upstairs for some, much needed, rest. Mesik was already fast asleep on his pallet, snoring loud enough to wake the dead, exhausted from a day of mapmaking. Bactra prepared himself for the Reverie, not worrying about the noise, as once into the elven ritual he wouldn’t hear a thing.

* * *
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
The Creeping Vine:
Thessa had her own room at The Creeping Vine, which suited the gnome priestess just fine. She had become quite popular in the Outer District, as she freely went around healing people for no charge at all. So far, it hadn’t gotten her in trouble with the High Prelate, but it was only a matter of time.

Thessa rolled over and over gain on her feather down bead, trying to get to sleep. She was angry, angry at the temples and healers of the Central District. They charged outrageous sums of gold for the simplest of healing spells, which wasn’t, in it self, unusual for humans. However, they refused to help many of the citizens living in the Outer District due to being of lowborn status, or worse because they were forced to do jobs that those in the Central District found distasteful.

Thessa found this abhorrent, and she had immediately begun wandering around the Outer District healing anyone and everyone. She did not judge and she did not charge even a single copper piece. The lowborn of Onaway had come to greatly admire the gnome priestess and she was happy to help. Yet, more and more she saw how the citizens of the Central District had everything and the citizens of the Outer District were forced to live on nothing.

The citizens of Onaway prided themselves on their system of government, which allowed everyone to vote. Yet, the citizens of the Outer District were only allowed 2 representatives in the Senate, while the Central District had 8 representatives in the Senate. It was hardly fair.

She found Lord LaMarche to be fair and even handed man, but his influence only went so far. He was not a king, after all, only the Lord of the Senate, and even that title was mainly for show. Yes, Lord LaMarche wielded great power in the City of Onaway, but it was not absolute, which Thessa knew was a good thing.

“He should have a little more control than he does, however,” Thessa thought. “Then perhaps things would get better for the citizens of the Outer District.”

She knew from talking to many Onans that Lord LaMarche was highly respected, in both districts. He never favored the Central District, even when it would benefit him, and he was considered the voice of reason in the Senate, and a good man.

Yet, Thessa knew it wasn’t her place to say anything to the Lord of the Senate. However, she had brought the matter up to Garth and had asked him to talk to the Lord of the Senate about the possibility of the Outer District having more members in the Senate. Garth had agreed to ask, but said he wouldn’t promise anything.

“We will see just how good of a man this Lord LaMarche is,” Thessa yawned, rolling over one last time before drifting off to sleep.

* * *
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
Updated First Page!

Hi all, just posting this note to let all my readers, or maybe that should say any readers, that I've just revised and updated the first page of this thread. A lot of what was there has been cleaned up as best I could, including trying to make sure it reads in the same tense (past).

I have also cleaned up and expanded some of the descriptive text, as well as better defining where Bacta's journal entries begin and end with the use of italics. Plus, each adventure described within the story hour a clearly defined beginning header, as well as the Interludes and Soliloquies.

If any of you have wanted to tell a friend about my story hour then now is the best time. I might also go back on page one and two and write more interludes, as several posts detailing my health issues could be used to add new tidbits to the story hour. It is something I've been considering for a while now, but I have to think more about what I want to write.


Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
The Burning Fowl:
“Tell me, Hougwarth, how are you enjoying you time here in Onaway?” The voice was almost mocking.

Hugh looked at the slack-tongued human sitting across from him without any hint of disdain or anger. It was often the way of fools to judge before they knew. “Very much so, thank you sir. You and your friends hospitality has been more gracious, up to this point.”

It was a veiled warning not to trample of the vonakyndra’s honor. Hugh hoped the sailor got the point, as his evening, so far, had been fun-filled and full of mirth. The sailors at The Burning Fowl had been amiable upon his arrival, but the night had become long and most of the original revelers had either left or become so drunk as to lose their manners. It didn’t help that Hugh had a giant’s constitution and could drink any of them under the table, twice.

Well, except maybe for the few dwarves in the establishment.

“Well, aren’t you just a keen talker.” The man’s words slurred back and forth just like his head. “I think old Hugh here thinks he’s better than us.”

“Shut up, Randal.” Lucius ran a simple establishment with strong drink and mildly passable food. “He pays for his drinks and hasn’t caused any trouble, which is more than I can say for you.”

“Aw Lucius, you’re just being soft on this outsider because his friends are bigwigs trying to ally themselves with the Senate. We all know you’re hoping to gain favor, with this here giant and his friends, so you can move The Burning Fowl into the Central District.” The sailor stood up challenging both Hugh and Lucius who was coming out from behind the bar.

“That’s it,” Lucius snapped his fingers and two hulking brutes near the front door came towards Randal and Hugh. “Get that drunken sailor out of my tavern!”

“Hey, I’m an honest Onan citizen! It’s him who should be tossed out on his giant-sized ass.” Randal pointed to Hugh, as dozens of eyes turned towards the sound of the sailor’s high-pitched voice.

“I warn you, sir,” Hugh took a gulp of his ale. “Ah! Do not make your current situation worse than it already is. You’ve obviously had too much to drink and have lost your head under the table somewhere.”

The jibe brought laughter from several sloshed sailors, at nearby tables. The bouncers quickly gathered up Randal and escorted him out of the tavern. Hugh laughed and motioned for the sailors to join him.

“Two more jugs, please, Lucius,” Hugh raised his glass to the men that swarmed for chairs at his table, which was now empty. “And another round each for all these fine sailing men revealing here with us tonight.”

His announcement brought cheers from the entire tavern. He passed ten gold pieces to Lucius to pay for the drinks, as well as sizeable gratuity. A bard began singing a sea shanty across the room and soon the entire tavern was singing along. By night’s end, all were wasted except the wood giant. He was tipsy, of that there was no doubt, but he still had most of his faculties.

“Ah, what fun,” Hugh toasted Lucius who was now sitting across from him. “I hope I didn’t deplete your ale reserves too much?”

“Pretty much, although it will be fine. I’ve made more coin tonight than in the last two weeks. You’re good for business Hugh.”

“I try.”

Lucius laughed. He was a little drunk himself. The two stayed up all night swapping drinking songs and talking about the state of Onaway and Hougwarth’s people, as the two bouncers cleared the tavern and cleaned up broken furniture and broken teeth.

“Messy business, running a tavern.” Hugh mused.

“I try.”

Hugh’s booming laughter could be heard as far away as the docks.

* * *


World of Kulan DM
Morning Consul:
Garth’s patience with the Onan Senate was beginning to fray. He’d never show it, of course, but the strange rules and bylaws that had to be followed in order to speak directly to the Senate were daunting, to say the least. He’d only gained on official audience with the Senate and that had been the day after he and his companions had arrived.

It was at that time he had gone over the details of what the Eastern Shores were willing to give in exchange for an alliance with Onaway. The list would have made most rulers in the lands south of the Eastern Shores drool over the possibilities. However, he soon discovered that the Onans were nothing like the lands and independent city-states of the Thunder Lands.

They had no interest in gaining access to arcane magic of any kind, which had been surprising, at first. The main points of the alliance were based on magical exchange, as well as scholarly. The one arcanist on the Senate had immediately become Garth’s ally; that had been the only good part.

He soon discovered that most arcanists were nothing more than second class citizens and his thoughts had immediately turned to worrying that Bactra might get into trouble. Lord LaMarche had assigned Bactra two bodyguards, at Garth’s request, which had put the Justiciar’s mind at ease.

Garth found Than LaMarche to be quite an affable, no nonsense man. They had many similar qualities when it came to ideas about government, war, and the rights of all law-abiding, sentient humanoids. It was this that made Garth bring up Thessa’s idea that those living in the Outer District might benefit from a stronger voice on the Senate.

“You do realize that such a process couldn’t happen overnight,” Than sat cross-legged near the edge of a large pool of crystal clear water.

Several men and women of noble birth bathed together nude in the clean waters. The Onans weren’t much for modesty, a trait that Garth found both intriguing and disturbing. The bathing was done in a very proper manner and it was no where near like a huge orgy. Still, many in Fruen would consider such a thing scandalous.

“I understand completely Lord LaMarche,” Garth wouldn’t push the idea even though he had told Thessa he would. It was not his duty to change the Onans’ system of government or laws. “It was only an idea put forth to me by my friend and traveling companion, Thessal Simmial.”

“Ah yes, the gnome. She is causing quite a stir in the Outer District.” Than ran his hands through the water, as a young waif passed by, eyeing them. “The High Prelate wants the Senate to censure her faith until she pays the proper taxes on healing. I have stalled the vote, so far, but I cannot guarantee that I will be able to for much longer.”

“How much?” Garth wouldn’t be intimidated.

“Ah, you are indeed a smart man.” Than liked Garth’s bluster and need for honor. “She can either pay the tax per healing spell cast or the yearly fee, which includes the right for her to set up a temple anywhere she chooses within the confines on the city proper.”

“I see.” Garth understood, as Than put emphasis on the “anywhere” put of his speech. “How much is the yearly tax?”

“Oh, a mere 1,000 marbles,” Than smiled at the Justiciar. “Not including the costs of building the temple, of course.”

“Of course,” Garth knew that “marbles” referred to the Onans’ own poorly minted gold coins. They were inferior to the coins minted by the countries of the Eastern Shores. He reached into one of his magical pouches and willed 100 coins, minted in the Kingdom of Thallin, into reach. He transferred the coins into a small mundane pouch, tied it, and tossed it into Lord LaMarche’s lap. “I take it that 100 of those coins will be sufficient.”

Lord LaMarche hadn’t been paying attention to Garth, distracted by the young waif and her ample treasures as she once more came near. He sighed in disbelief at the easterner’s arrogance before opening the tie string and losing his jawbone into his lap.

“By the Gods,” Than looked at Garth with new found respect and a little awe. “Is this platinum?”

“Yes?” Garth was puzzled. Platinum was rare but not that rare. “I take it Onaway doesn’t see a lot of platinum?”

“Almost none,” Than showed the coins to his new muse and she gasped. “You still had this on you? After traveling all the way across the continent! Amazing!”

“Not really,” Garth liked Lord LaMarche’s naivete. “After all, the pouch I took them from is enchanted. It allows me to store a great sum of wealth in it without having to worry about the excess weight. However, I wouldn’t mention that to the High Prelate when you tell him the tax has been paid.”

“Indeed.” Lord LaMarche quickly forgot his muse who had recoiled back at the mention of magic. “There is more platinum here than I’ve ever seen in my entire lifetime.”

“Really?” Garth knew he had the advantage. “Well, let me know if there is a fee that will allow my next audience with the Senate to be pushed up, will you?”

Garth walked out of the bathhouse, the condensation on his armor quickly evaporating in the cool morning air. He didn’t even look back to see if Lord LaMarche was watching him leave.

“Now, maybe the real negotiations can begin,” Garth walked silently towards the Outer District to give Thessa, at least, some good news.

* * *
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
Ok, it took me a little longer to get to the next Interlude, but it is done now -- link.

There will be, at least, two more interludes, which will be posted on page 2, somewhere. One will be about Jeddar while the other will feature Dvalin and Rikin.


Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
Interlude #6 posted! (Follow link.)

The next Interlude, featuring Jeddar, can be found here. I'm hoping to get the one for Dvalin and Rikin done before the end of the week. (No promises.)

I've also modified several other page two posts for two more interludes. Once all the interludes are done then I'll get back to writing the next update. (Or I might do both at once, who knows.)




World of Kulan DM
Breakfast at “The Creeping Vine”:
“Pass the sweet rolls will you, Bactra?” Mesik mumbled through his overflowing mouth. “I’ll say this for you Onans, Rilius, you sure know how to eat.”

“Thank you, friend Mesik.” Rilius was amazed at how much the hairfoot could eat. He tried not to show his revulsion at Mesik’s table manners, while, at the same time, filling up with pride at the small man’s compliment.

“You might want to slow down, Mesik,” laughed Bactra as he offered the sweet rolls first to Thessa and then to Mesik. “After all, we’re going to be here a while and you don’t want to deplete Master Rilius’ stock of food.”

“Indeed,” Thessa glared at Mesik. “And try chewing with your mouth closed. We are not out in the wilderness, Mesik!”

“Oh.” Mesik stopped chewing, closed his mouth and then chewed some more. He swallowed before opening his mouth again. “Sorry Thessa. Sorry to you to Rilius, its just all so good.”

“Yes, a grand repast, as always Master Rilius.” Bactra had adopted some of the local’s speech patterns and use of honorific titles. “I’m sorry my cousin isn’t here to witness such a fine feast and the honor it brings your household.”

“You bless me and household with your kind words, sir elf.” Rilius had come to respect Bactra, as well as fear him. “May Dionysus watch over your table.”

Rilius refilled all the plates and cups with his finest meats, cheese, and pastries, which wasn’t much considering his lowborn status. He clapped his hands and two servers brought more sweet rolls and biscuits.

“Thank you, Master Rilius.” Thessa smiled.

“It is my pleasure, Healer.” Rilius bowed and Thessa turned red.

“I see you are all eating well,” Garth stepped into the private side room that Rilous had set aside for the Companions. “Mind if I join you.”

“Of course, uncle.” Bactra pulled apart his sweet roll and dabbed it in the melted butter sitting next to his plate. “What news from the Senate?”

“I think I’m getting somewhere, finally.” Garth took a seat on the wooden bench next Bactra, across from Thessa. She was staring at him intently. “And yes Thessa, I asked Lord LaMarche about the idea of the citizens of the Outer District getting more representatives on the Senate.”

“And?” Thessa hoped Garth had some good news.

“I wouldn’t hold your breath.” Garth waited for Rilius to bring him a clean plate and cup before taking any food. “However, you won’t have to worry about the High Prelate issuing an order for your arrest.”

“Well, that’s good news,” Mesik looked at Thessa relieved.

“How’d you manage that?” Thessa didn’t think was going to like the answer.

“I paid the yearly fee that an outside church must pay in order to heal the sick and dying. Than was quite impressed with the 100 platinum that I gave him.” Garth smiled.

“100 platinum, that’s outrageous!” Thessa turned red as a beet. “I have a good mind to give this High Prelate a piece of my mind.”

“You will do no such thing,” Garth was tired of her interference. He slammed his hand down on the table, just as Rilius brought him his plate, which was already full. “You agreed to be part of this mission and you will abide how I am handling these negotiations!”

“And if I don’t,” Thessa refused to be intimidated.

“Then I will ask for my 100 platinum back and you will be forced to either leave the city or be thrown in jail.” Garth stared at each person sitting at the table. “And if anyone wants to help her continue to break the local law then I suggest you be prepared to join her. Understood?”

“I will abide by your wishes, uncle.” Bactra was not happy with his Garth’s hard line attitude. “But I don’t have to like it.”

“I know,” Garth sighed. “I hate all the useless hoops and ladders that is the Onan system of government, not to mention the taxes, but we are not here to change Onaway’s way of life.”

“I think an alliance with this city is a mistake,” Thessa’s sour face had become a grimace. “How can the Eastern Shores align themselves with a government that denies healing to it sick and poor. It’s horrible.”

“Well, then I guess you will have to set up your temple in the Outer District,” Garth smiled.

“Temple?” Thessa’s face went slack-jawed.

“Yes, as part of the fee you can set up a temple inside the city proper, although the fee doesn’t cover the costs of building it.”

“And how much is that going to cost?” Thessa sighed.

“I didn’t ask,” Garth shoved a piece of cheese into his mouth. He turned his attention completely to his plate and the conversation died down until Rilius spoke up.

“Healer Simmial, you don’t have to build a new structure. You can either buy a vacant building or align your temple with a current independent business.”

“Hmm, that’s interesting.” Bactra couldn’t help but smile at the thought coming into his mind. “Thessa, you could make your temple part of The Creeping Vine. It wouldn’t be much more than a shrine to start, but I’m sure Master Rilius has some extra space.”

“Yes, I rarely use the small shed attached to the stables. It is yours Healer, if you want it.”

“It’s a deal,” Thessa giggles.

“Now can we get back to the food?” Mesik noticed his plate was empty, again.

The companions all laughed. Garth couldn’t help but wonder where his son was, as well as the vonakyndra.

* * *
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
Okay, I haven't updated this in a while so I figured it was time. I've post two new Interludes (8 & 9) on page 2, and I have an new update below. - KF72

In the Tangles:
“Dabuk, its time.” Bren admired the young ranger’s dedication.

“Damn it, I was just starting to have fun.”

“You can’t put this off forever. And I’d like to spend some time with my son, this week.”

Dabuk sighed. He new he’d pushed Bren’s hospitality as far as he dared without losing the older man’s friendship.

“Why is it so hard for you?” Bren asked again. “You’ve told me about your life in Fruen and I would think you’d be happy for some city life, such as it is here.”

“My father,” Dabuk’s grim face spoke volumes.

“So you hate him?” Bren shook his head is disbelief.

“No, I could never truly hate him. Although there are days that I sometimes wonder if it would better that he simply forgot who I was. It’s more feelings of frustration and doubt.”

“This Kellin you told me about.” Bren had found it troubling that the Justiciar had a strong friendship with an ogre man. Ogres have been his people’s enemy for years and he had considered confronting the man about it. Yet, there have been half-orcs (and a handful of full-blooded orcs) living in Onaway for years and many had fought alongside him as fellow Onans during numerous conflicts. Garth had let his feelings be known though body language and mannerism, but he had restrained himself in the name of diplomacy. If he could see past the racial hated he had for orcs then Bren could consider that this Kellin person had a good soul.

“Yes,” Dabuk sighed. He spoke as he gathered his belongings. “But it’s more than that. He’s always been distant and we fight over ideology, faith, and how best to honor my mother. He is so steadfast in his beliefs that it’s nearly impossible to sway him on anything.”

“Traits to admire, and frustrate.” Bren couldn’t help but smile.

“So true.” Dabuk laughed. It was rare for him to show so much emotion to someone that was a complete stranger up until a week ago. Yet, he’d found a kindred spirit in Bren and had become fond of his family as well. “Time to go. I’m sure Megan will be glad to see you, and feed you.”

“I’m looking forward to much more than her cooking. I’ll stop by The Creeping Vine first and have Thessa cure me of this awful rash I picked up from that creeping fungus vine. I’m going to have to report it to the cultivators too. Tonight and tomorrow are going to be time consuming.” Bren looked over the tangle maze to make sure the coast was clear. There were still a few rogue ogres loose in the maze and caution was the watchword.

Dabuk shouldered his pack and waited for Bren to pick one of the rope bridges. He surmised the northern most bridge was the best way and was surprised when Bren chose the southern one. “Okay, was sure you were going o go north. Why this way?”

“You lesson isn’t completely over until we clear the tangles, so I decided to choose the more challenging path. Follow my lead and try to keep up.”

Bren sprinted across the bridge like a housecat on a windowsill. Dabuk almost tripped halfway across, but soon found his bearings as the two moved over the ruined rooftops of the upper-tangles.

* * *

Hougwarth Medinton had stayed up all night, drinking with the tavern owner of The Burning Fowl. He had drunk the tavern owner to a standstill and the giant man helped the sloshed Lucius close up and to his home on the edge of the Outer District. The sun was low, shining through the mist into the vonakyndra’s eyes during the winding walk.

Halfway there, Hugh realized that he and Lucius were doing the swaying, not the streets. He tried in vain to gain help from the locals. Many of them still feared him, while the other “tut tut” at him and Lucius for drinking so much. Soon Hugh was carrying the bartender, as the man had passed out. He reached Lucius’ home soon after his head stopped pounding.

He tapped as lightly on the small cottage’s door as he could, which shook it, the frame, and the surrounding walls. Laughter issued from within and soon the door flew open and Lucius’ four young ones crowded into the doorframe.

“Mother, father’s home!” The oldest giggled. “Hug’s brought him home again. They both look terrible.”

“Ooh, not so loud, Aniai.” Hougwarth had come to know Lucius’ family in the short time he’d been in the city. They often let him sleep in their back garden when his regular room was unavailable at the barracks down the lane. “You’ll wake your father, and I’m sure he’d suffer for it.”

“Mother will be cross at him, and I wouldn’t count on being able to sleep in the back garden today. We have guests today.” The four children stepped out of the way as there mother came to see to her husband.

“Hugh, I see you two have been testing each other again.” She sighed.

“Yes, Camilia.” Hugh tried not to sway, as he handed Lucius to her and their oldest boy, Clade. “He almost won this time. I here you have guests, so I will take my leave. A long sobering walk would do me some good.”

“A long one, Hugh.” She shook her head. “And stay away from the docks, or you might end up soaked again.”

“Aye,” Hugh dumped a large bag of silver in the youngest boy’s hands. “Here Anthius, make sure you share this with your siblings, and no sweets, mind me.”

“Thanks Hug,” the small boy beamed at the vonakyndra. It made the giant man’s heart fill with warmth. The children couldn’t seem to ever get his name right, but it didn’t matter.

“You’re welcome, small one.” Hugh waited for the children to leave, carrying their father as best they could, before handing over a bag of gold to Camilia. “And here is half of last night’s profits. It should help to feed your family and keep the debtors away.”

“You might be a giant and a bit of a lush, Hougwarth. But you’re still the nicest person I’ve ever met. This and what you gave me two nights ago is more than enough to cover our expenses for the next two months.”

“Think nothing of it, dear miss.” Hugh bowed as best he could in front of the doorway. “I consider it an honor to know you and your fine family. I will call again tomorrow and bring my friend Thessa to look at your ailing chickens, if that’s to your liking?”

“Thank you, Hugh. We would be glade to meet this Thessa you speak so highly of.”

“And with her, you won’t have to worry about eating outside, while I entertain the small ones. Plus, there is this rather large boar that I’ve had my eye at the butchery in the Market Square. I shall bring it along, freshly cooked, so that you do not have to worry about cooking for Lucius and me.”

“An excellent idea, but now I must attend to my guest. I will see you and Thessa tomorrow at sundown.”

“Ah yes, your guests. I almost forgot. Excuse me, dead lady.” Hugh shuffled off down the lane, away from the docks. Soon he was walking more briskly, as his stomach growled. He knew Master Rilius would have the morning meal out by now at The Creeping Vine. His appetite and nose made him drift in the direction of his friends’ morning repast.

* * *
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
Two more interludes...

Interlude #8 and #9 can be found here. I'm done adding interludes for a while. Some might appear on the third (this) page eventually, but not until I after I write more.

I haven't started the next update, but I plan to start writing it either today or tomorrow.




World of Kulan DM
Before the Senate:
Garth stood in the center of the Senatorial Alcazar speaking emphatically to the gathered senators and the large crowd of onlookers in the gallery. The man known as the Justiciar spoke quickly, simply, and from the heart. He refused to speak with the flowery tone and mannerisms that were so common to the Onan people. He’d rather “the people” heard him how he was even though it would lose him supporters in the senate.

For while this speech was costing Garth dearly in platinum and a bit of his self-respect, it would be worth it if he could sway the people to his point of view. He had learned that the power of the senate wasn’t absolute in matters of security and prosperity. His speech focused on these matters and the need to help rebuild the city of Onaway using hard work and clerical magic. While wizardry would have worked better for such a task, he knew the Onans would not accept the aid of arcanists, regardless of whether or not they were benign.

Garth’s speech lasted over two hours, as he highlighted the strengths of the Eastern Shores and downplayed the regions troubled past. He did not gloss over it, however, instead the human ranger simply compared the Eastern Shores past hardships to what the Onans were going through now. He spoke of alliances and friendship amongst the royal peers of the region, fired in the heart of conflict during the Second Ogre War.

It was a great speech. He knew it because he even had his own companions, who watched from the gallery, enthralled. Only the vonakyndra was absent from the Alcazar, as he was too large to fit in the gallery and the Onans had refused to let him stand with Garth as the man spoke. Hugh was spending this time catching up on some much-needed sleep and keeping a low profile. As least, that’s what the giant man had promised the Companions.

“In conclusion, I promise that all of the lands of the Eastern Shores will uphold any trade agreement that is finalized here today. In time even a military alliance could be formed, but only after years of good will and patience. I understand that our very different people are separated by more than just distance, but by society and law, as well. I thank you for letting me speak today and I hope it is the first step towards a lasting friendship.”

Garth bowed stoically then stood at attention. Murmuring rose from the gallery and some of the senators. However, most wore a look of placid nonchalance on their faces, while a few looked at the Justiciar with disdain. The murmuring rose to a din that encompassed the entire senate. Several shouts arose from the gallery for the strangers to be cast out of the city, while others jeered and mocked the Easterners’ way of life.

Garth wondered if he had misjudged the Onans needs in some fashion. His speech hadn’t been controversial or in any way implied that the Eastern Shores wanted to subjugate Onaway. Yet, that is how the crowd was reacting. He could only think of one option. Someone had stacked the gallery against him, perhaps even Lord LaMarche himself.

The Lord of Onaway sat impassively at the center of the members of the Onan Senate who were ringed around him in a rising spiral, with only benches to sit upon. A senator’s placement in the spiral denoted his or her longevity in the senate. Those closest to Lord LaMarche had served nearly as long, while those located at the end were still young and untested.

Than LaMarche stood and the gallery went silent. He watched and waited until he was sure that he had everyone attention then turned towards Garth.

“I have come to know this man to be a good and decent, although I do not entirely trust that the words that he speaks are entirely those of the common people of the Eastern Shores. There is more hope than substance in your words Garth Tigerstorm.” The Lord of Onaway did not take his eyes from Garth’s.

That brought more murmuring from the gallery, but a raised hand from LaMarche quelled any outbursts.

“What do you say to that, Justiciar? Do you really speak for “the people” of the Eastern Shores? Or do you simply speak for the “royal peers” you so simply spoke of as heroes and soldiers?”

“I speak for me, my companions, and the people I serve as Justiciar? And while it is true that not all are equal in the Eastern Shores, it is not the same here in Onaway? You have a senate that speaks for “the people” yet many are not given an equal voice. You judge my culture as backwards and unjust, yet you deny that Onan civilization has its own inconsistencies.”

Garth’s bluntness shocked several of the Onan senators, by the worry that now lined their faces. Several took a look towards the gallery, but the citizens didn’t seem too know how they were suppose to respond. That or they found the Justiciar’s words meaningful. One senator, a dwarf that Garth had met only once before, seemed very disappointed by the crowd’s silence. Not even his well-trimmed flowing beard could hide his annoyance.

“Your words bite deep, Justiciar.” Lord LaMarche couldn’t help but admire the other man’s tenacity. “Onan senators are not use to be orally attacked in such a manner.”

“Well, then maybe Onan senators need to listen more and debate less.” Garth stood resolute.

This brought about a few guffaws from the gallery.

“Who are you to question our ways, Easterner?” The dwarven senator shouted the words to be heard above all and in harsh tone. He stepped down from his bench, which sat near the lowest part of the spiral, his blue silk garment draped over his torso, waist, and arms.

“Senator Hammervein, while overly boisterous, does have a good point.” Lord LaMarche moved to one side of Garth, as the dwarven senator took an opposite position on the other side. “You have only been in Onaway for a short time, Justiciar, and yet you insist you understand out people’s needs more than we do.”

“I made no such claim, Lord LaMarche.”

“Liar!” Senator Hammervein crossed his arms in defiance. “We all heard you question our ability to govern our own people. I say enough of this interloper’s faithless tongue. It has long been known that Easterners are godless jezebels. They do not respect the Gods the way Onans do.”

“Never question my faith, sir!” Now it was Garth’s turn to raise his voice.

“I question everything about you and your people, sir.” The dwarf stepped forward glaring at Garth with malice.

“Enough!” Lord LaMarche’s voice resounded throughout the Alcazar. “Senator Hammervein, I expected better behavior from one such as you. For while your passion for the Onan way of life is always welcome in the senate, your personal biases are not.”

“As you wish, Lord LaMarche.” Garth watched with disgust as the dwarf bowed in resigned indignity and returned to his bench. “However, I still say this so-called alliance would be a mistake. The other city-states throughout the Wild Plains and Savage Hills would look upon any such alliance as a military one. It would cause a greater rift between us and our neighbors.”

“And why is that a bad thing, my dear Eagleon.” A young male half-elven senator near the back of the spiral stood. Do we really want better relations with the likes of the city-states of Metan, Nikel, and Halandra or the citizens of the Jovian Alliance? They are not the best of neighbors.”

“Yes, what you say is true, my dear Dalman, but what about the more southerly city-states of Ambian and Gillian? They are more amiable towards us, but could become indifferent or even hostile if we align ourselves with the Eastern Shores. Do we wish to make enemies on all sides, while our only supposed allies are on the other side of the continent? Nay, I say.”

“It is worth considering, at least,” another senator near the back of the spiral spoke without standing. “The Justiciar might dislike our tendency to debate, but it is way we do things. I put forward an official motion that the Onan Senate debate this issue and determine all its merits and drawback.”

“So noted,” Lord LaMarche’s response was steady and without bias. “I assume you second the motion Senator Shallowater?”

“I do.” The half-elf near the back waved his hand nonchalantly as he sat down.

“Do we have a third?” Lord LaMarche waited for a response. He didn’t get one. “Very well, then I will act as the third to motion for the debate.”

“Than, you have got to be kidding?” The dwarf named Eagleon Hammervein slammed his feet down on the marble floor. “How can you, of all people, believe any of this?”

“I didn’t say I believed everything Garth Tigerstorm has spoken. I do, however, believe this alliance is worth considering. Again, I say I thrice the motion.”

“Very well, but I will be filing an official objection in the morning.” The dwarven senator’s words softened slightly, although his face remained hard.

“So noted,” Lord LaMarche turned towards Garth with what appeared to be a genuine smile. “I hope my tough questions will not keep you and your companions from being my guests for dinner tonight?”

“Of course not,” Garth didn’t smile back, but he did nod his head in acknowledgement. “Your questions were thoughtful, and your people will be glad to know you asked them. My companions and I will happy to attend tonight’s revelry.”

In the gallery, if you listened very carefully you could hear a moan of indignity at the thought of attending a state function. Garth hoped no one else realized it had been Dabuk.

* * *
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
A Festive Night begins:
Garth had instantly knew he’d have to convince Dabuk to go. He went to The Creeping Vine after the senate let out and waited for his son. It didn’t take long to realize Dabuk was going to avoid him at all costs. He and Mesik tracked his half-elven son down near the entrance into the tangles. Five minutes into the argument and Garth was already losing the fight.

“I will not,” Dabuk knew he should have stayed in the tangles. “And you cannot force me to attend. I am not your slave or your dog.”

“You will attend,” Garth kept his tone calm. “Or would you prefer that Lord LaMarche be insulted by your absence?”

“Let him be insulted, I really don’t care what he thinks of me. And right now, I care even less about what you think.”

“Dabuk, you’re being unreasonable. It won’t be that bad, and I’m sure there will be good food.” Mesik wanted to make sure Dabuk stayed out of trouble.

“Please, don’t let me stop you from eating your fill, Mesik.” Dabuk had his own mission to accomplish while in Onaway, and he’d yet to find any time to do so. His grandfather had insisted on he and Mesik going along so that they could make a detailed report of the Onans’ city streets and clandestine organizations. Not for the lords and ladies of the Eastern Shores, but for the Tiger Guild of Fruen. Of course, Garth knew none of this, and the last thing Dabuk would do is explain to his father that Carl had sent him to act as a spy and information gatherer, not as a diplomat.

“It’s more than that, and you know it.” Mesik, of course, knew of their obligations to the Tiger Guild, but thought the idea of skulking around in the night looking for signs of thieves’ guilds or worse, just a little too risky at this point. “Going to this function will aid more than just your father’s diplomatic mission. We’ll get a chance to learn more about Onan culture and what makes it tick. That way we’ll be less likely to make some political error while we’re here.”

Dabuk immediately understood, but he knew he would just get in the hairfoot’s way. He was like a sword blade scraping against a rock when it came to such ‘parties’. He looked at Mesik, shaking his head. “And you really want me there to mess it up?”

“Can’t you behave civil for one night?” Garth was beside himself. It was true he didn’t know why Dabuk and Mesik were really with him on this mission, but he knew he wouldn’t have liked the answer. He also knew that if Dabuk wasn’t by his side tonight then he’d have to explain why to Than LaMarche. He wasn’t looking forward to lying to the leader of the Onan people.

“No,” Dabuk grinned. “You should know that about me by now. And don’t worry about me getting into trouble. I’m going into the tangles, for the night, with Bren and some of his friends. They’re having a ‘festive’ event of their own. All right?”

It was a good cover. Bren was assigned to guard duty in the tangles, and wouldn’t be around to contradict Dabuk’s story. Plus, Dabuk had asked Bren to cover for him. He had told the tangle walker that he’d met a voluptuous human girl and would be spending the night carousing. To anyone who really knew him, it would have been an obvious lie, but Dabuk had refused to let Bren know him that well. He like the man, but that didn’t mean he was going to trust him completely.

“Well, I guess that’s all right,” Garth felt some suspicion, but his mind let family ties win out. “However, I expect everyone else to attend. Understood, Mesik?”

“Even Hugh?” Mesik wondered how the vonakyndra would handle the situation.

“Yes, Lord LaMarche specifically asked for Hougwarth to attend. He’s a bit taken with Hugh’s stories, as are a lot of the Onan people.”

“Okay, but he’s really going to stick out.” Mesik laughed.

“Not as much as you would think. Everyone is to attend in traditional Onan attire. No exceptions!” Garth held up his hand, as Mesik was about to object.

“Nuts.” Mesik looked sourly at Dabuk. “I hate wearing those bed sheets.”

Dabuk grinned back at Mesik like the fox that had just escaped the hound.

* * *

Being fitted in the Latest Styles:
Thessa watched on with some amusement, as six tailors tried in vain to find cloth large enough to fit Hougwarth. The vonakyndra stood just over 10 feet tall and seemed to be enjoying the attention. Lord LaMarche had sent the tailors to The Creeping vine too create garments for all the easterners, in the latest styles, using the best cloth available in the city-state.

Thessa, Mesik, and Bactra had been easy to fit compared to the trouble the tailors were having at the moment. Garth had insisted on being fitted last, and with the warrior’s cut he’d seen many Onan soldiers in. At hearing this, Hugh had insisted on the same cut, which was making the tailors’ job even more difficult. Garth realized that his son would never have stood still long enough for one of these fittings, and was strangely glad that his son had talked him out of making the ranger go.

Still, he wondered if he should send one of the local runners to check up on the boy part way through the evening.

“Hugh, you have to hold still,” Thessa giggled. The gnome priestess was decked out in blue and purple silk.

“I am trying my little friend, but this is not as easy as it looked when they were fitting you and the others."

“Well, if you hadn’t insisted on the warrior’s cut then it would have been over by now.” Bactra – admiring his new white cotton Onan-style garment, with black highlights, in a nearby mirror – was looking forward to rubbing shoulders with Onan nobility. He hoped he didn’t make any serious gaffs tonight. Onan Festive Nights were known for strong drink and revelry so he wasn’t too worried. After a few hours, no one would care how he acted, at least that was what he’d heard.

“Aye, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.” Hugh knew it was too late to change his mind, as the tailors finally making progress. Plus, they had considered designing such a cut for a large being as a great challenge. They would likely be insulted if he asked them to stop now.

“It will be a fine design,” one of the tailors remarked. “You will be the hit of Festive Night.”

“I look forward to wearing it with honor, Master Tailor.” Hugh tried not to puff up with pride. He didn’t want to knock any of the tailors over. Three were balancing on step stools and another on a small ladder behind him, draping over one of the final pieces of cloth.

The entire process was almost comical.

Thessa giggled again.

* * *
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
Intense Revelry:
The streets of the city-street of Onaway transformed from a place of hardship and tedious work into a full-blown night of feasting, singing, dancing, and heady oratories. Wine and mead flowed from secret caches kept for this one night, and all were free to partake in the best that Onan society has to offer.

Garth Tigerstorm quickly learned that Festive Night was “Bacchanalian” in every sense of the word. Love flowed as freely as wine in many parts of the city-state and guards were only on hand to keep the peace, not to arrest those partaking in a little too much love and wine. Young Onan nobles used this night to sample the wares of the Outer District. Such practices were frowned upon by the older generation, but tolerated.

Besides, they could not very well admonish their sons and daughters for partaking in the same revel that they once did in their youth.

The streets of the Outer District were filled with people from sundown to sunup, while the streets of the Central District were a little less congested. Garth noticed that while all were free to partake in Festive Night, not all were allowed to do so within the confines of the Central District. The division of class may have allowed for slumming, but only rarely for the opposite. A few young men and women of the Outer District, who cleaned up well and were attractive, who caught the eye of an Onan noble were given the honor of spending Festive Night in the Central District.

Garth found the entire evening, and the populaces’ debauchery, distasteful. A festival was one thing, but practicing such hedonism was another. He bore the night grimly, smiling when he had to and trying not to retch at other points in the evening. He did not partake in the more lurid and insisted that the others behave themselves accordingly. He had little too worry about, as his companions were also shocked at the behavior of the Onans. At least, most of his companions were.

Early on, Thessa had retired to her room in The Creeping Vine. Garth had learned, the next day, that she’d spent a lot of the night casting silence on her room. Mesik had been shocked, but not overly surprised, as humans tended to be quite different from region to region. He spent the night roaming from banquet to banquet eating a great amount of food and trying not to get drunk.

Hougwarth took much of the evening’s revel in stride, as he was still unaccustomed to the behavior of human society. He was worried that he might have to participate and was relieved when Garth told them not to get involved in the baser proceedings. The real test, for Garth, had been keeping Bactra out of trouble. The young elf had always been intrigued by different human cultures and he’d often got into trouble in the city of Fruen.

Garth tried not to laugh as he remembered one incident where Bactra found himself entangled in a love triangle with a young noblewoman and her maid. Garth and Dabuk had barely saved the wizard from the noblewoman’s three rather large brothers. That event had been near scandalous throughout Fruen. Garth knew Bactra rarely restrained himself, as elves tended to not worry about the moment too much.

Garth looked for the elven wizard, in the surrounding crowd, as he tried not to look bored as an elderly Onan noblewoman tried to seduce him. He couldn’t see Bactra anywhere.

“Damn, where did he disappear to now,” the noblewoman didn’t even hear him, continuing to prattle on in drunken stupor. She didn’t even notice when Garth stepped away.

* * *

Epic Threats

An Advertisement