The Path of Legends

The Carnival of Earth and Sky
What is it with large flying creatures and horses?

Entry #11

After we took our time skinning Reginald, or should I say, after Orrin and Khelditia skinned Reginald, we made sure to get all of the loot we could find from his cave hideout. The foolish giant beasty lied about where he hid it, but I managed to climb up and find it after an hour or two of hopping from cave to cave. From the loots I managed to snag a new bow, which was cool, but not as cool as the fact that we managed to bag the beast in the first place. It was odd to say, but defeating Reginald felt somewhat satisfying.

Anyway, we decided to sleep for the rest of the night and head off in the direction of the flashing lights in the morning. We wanted to get the combat fatigue out of our system and ward off the smell of skunk. The light disturbance wasn’t as profound in the morning, but using the night before, we figured the direction and kept on its trail. It was interesting heading off toward what we assumed to be a freaky lightshow. There were many things it could have been, but we were going to walk straight into it like a crew of traveling sheep heading to get sheared. It’s sad, but that is often how we end up with the best loot, so I don’t complain… Often.

On the way, we spotted an abnormal flying creature that was pretty big; we could tell that from how far it was in relation to us. It flew toward the desert, so it probably couldn’t see us. That, or it didn’t consider us an appetizing alternative for what it was going for out in the sand. I was curious why the horse wasn’t appealing to the large creature, but I ended up lumping it into the fact that the creature was huge and Excelsior was nothing more than a finger food for it, which was hardly filling for one so big.

After a few days ride/walk we happened upon a six wagon large caravan that housed a menagerie of different creatures of different walks of life. We met exciting new people, saw an amazing unicorn, and even got to see a decent carnival show that explained why the lights shone in the air every night.

There were a total of around twenty people involved in the carnival that milled about with very little pattern, but the more notable people were:

A Sylph Druid named Teresia
A Quickling named Rigg Gargadilli
A ‘pretty’ Harpy named Zyobi with a group of 10 colorful Wyrmlings
A Big Burly Man, the head guardsman named Barth
An Orrian Bard with Crystalline hair named Alishette Cardosa
A Tengu clown named Valayhus

They didn’t seem overly excited to have an audience though, which was sad, because some of them were quite good at what they did. A few of them even taught me a few juggling moves, so that was nice.

We eventually figured out that they were sold as slaves though, to a king. The Sylph and the Orrian were sold as magical slaves, that would die if they weren’t received in time, and the carnival tagged along with them either out of pity or because they were purchased too. I can’t remember.

Regardless, we all sat around a fire and told each other stories back and forth. We each enjoyed each other’s company and we got to take a closer look at the dragons and the props used in the show. Then we rest with/ around them that night.

The next morning we awoke bright and early to go look for the shard, which meant that I, being the resident rogue, was tasked with taking the lead and finding what lie before us. Be it an ambush, an animal, or a trap, I was just the girl to find it.

However, I didn’t do so well in my scouting and when we came through a divide in the nearby mountain-range; I took a javelin hit from a traveling band of Ogres. I quickly retrieved my signal whistle and started to project with great clarity the trouble I was in as I ran away with as much speed as I could muster.

As a note to me or anyone who reads this, these are the signals that I use:

1 Burst of long sound is == ENEMIES!
3 Medium bursts of sound are == BEING ATTACKED!
5 Short bursts of sound indicate that == MORE ARE COMING!

As another note to me, Javelins hurt…. A lot…

Attack quickly ensued as I neared the party and I got in some really choice blows before we emerged the victors from another challenging battle.

Not a day after that though, when we settled into our watch schedule, we were caught by a Wyvern. A large nasty beasty that already started away with our mighty steed, excelsior, before we even had a chance to catch him. I am beginning to sense a pattern here…

It didn’t take long to kill it, but Excelsior took a bad spill and we had to patch him up before we continued our adventures. Meanwhile, I am going to look around for that Wyvern’s lair. He had to have been hiding something, right?

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Manticores and Shining Lights
Manticore! Baltimore! Who's your friend? Not Reginald...

Entry #10

Hello again Journal, after the last few days I needed to write a few things down…

One morning, a few days after our crazy landshark encounter, Razza popped by to let us know of some mysterious lights she saw off in the distance. They were a series of different colored lights and they only appeared at night she said. It was an odd tale, but something of a wonder, considering how close the party was to the desert. I had never been to the desert, so I didn’t really have any frame of reference. Razza also warned us though, that we were heading into Manticore country and that we should be careful. The concern in her voice was enough to give me shivers, but Savalia was determined. I could see the overpowering desire for loot denying her better senses.

We headed off later that day upon the wings of many wordy arguments and attempted stealth and we made camp a day or two – I don’t remember precisely – later at the base of a large stony ring like structure. There were large rocks encircling the camp, but they weren’t in any sort of organized pattern. It almost looked like an awkward crown of stone and would have been, if they were all standing upright. It was a good enough camp though, lots of cover and a decent area, considering that we were heading into a deadly animal’s territory. However, I quickly learned that even a decent area can be used against you.

That night, during my watch, Khelditia felt a little on edge. I was a little curious and even prodded at her for some information, but I was caught off guard by a reeeeeaaaaaallly sharp spike from the darkness. Khelditia and I immediately woke everyone up and then the group set about prepping for the active Manticore. I, knowing very little about the beast that was trying to kill me, started to sneak off toward what I thought was a good vantage point. It looked like the others were following suit, when we all heard a yelp of pain from back at camp where Savalia and Excelsior were. We quickly rushed back and I kept an eye on the sky for any movement I could see. I was gripping my short bow and prepared to do any damage I could to help subdue the attack. After realizing Savalia was hurt with another well aimed spike, I climbed up to the boulders and hopped from one boulder to the other. I was doing each transition as quickly as I could and tried to isolate myself as much as possible from the group to draw the predator’s attention; hopefully.

In the end though, I didn’t succeed at drawing anything except humor. The other party members suggested I tie myself to something and levitate up, offering myself as bait. I had an image of that in my head and just the thought of being dragged away by a huge flying monster was enough to press me into silence.

I continued my jumping for a bit until my feet were sore, and it was clear to most of us that the Manticore wasn’t messing with us at that moment. I was convinced that something was going to happen to us, but my feet were not going to do it anymore and I needed rest, badly. We all agreed it best to continue sleeping as close to the large rocks as we could, but that was more to help our peace of mind than anything else. I slept near to Khelditia because I felt a little safer with her, I guess…

The next morning Khelditia told me I kicked in my sleep, which was surprising but not unbelievable. I always used to sleep by myself so I wouldn’t really know if I kicked. Regardless, when we were all awake we quickly learned that Ward spotted the Manticore that was hunting us the night before. I don’t remember what he said the Manticore was doing, but whatever the beast was doing, I’m sure it was malicious… And evil… and bad… and stuff…

Using our extra special perception-y goodness, we determined that the Manticore headed north. Since it ruined our night and we were out for a Manticore tail anyway, the whole group moved off in that direction after the beast. That was when we came upon a huge cliff pockmarked with caves. And sitting at the top of this large cliff, was the Manticore with his large paws resting underneath his massive head. From here, his face reminded me of a man I knew when I was young. The man’s name was Reginald, so I am going to call the Manticore Reginald for the purposes of this journal, just to remain consistent; either that, or Manticore.

The thing was, none of us knew that the Manticore was up there yet. The naturists of our group compiled a list of likely caves that the Manticore could be found and Orrin, Pan, and I all started to climb. I was a little quicker, because I had some experience and could catch myself if my handholds failed, but the rocks falling from the sky were slightly disturbing. I almost thought the falling rocks were caused by a landslide and considered taking the risk to find some loot in one of the smaller caves, but when the entire party concluded that the Manticore was on the top of the cliff, I decided that leaving the Cliffside was the better idea. I jumped down after a few minutes of scrambling and used levitate to compensate the distance. I landed a little roughly, but all things considered, it was pleasant.

The Manticore eyed our odd little party and patronized us with vague attempts at being funny. He told us lies and made us feel insignificant which, from Savalia’s tales of heroism and awesome-ness, we knew weren’t true. However, this gave us another problem. How are we supposed to kill something that knows the land?

The conclusion was to sleep out our indecision in one of the caves on the ground floor and come up with a suiting end for the Manticore in the morning. It was an interesting moment and would have been an effective strategy, I thought, until the Manticore parked outside our cave at the start of First Watch with a pile of dead skunks. He threw the first one in and I relived that entire seen in the crypt from days ago. My stomach was turning end over end and I almost hurled all over the cave floor. I am proud that I didn’t, but I was still very sick. It didn’t stop there though. ‘Gilgamesh’ as he suggested his name was – I am still going to call him Reginald – continued to throw skunks into the cave opening until the smell was so potent that I could swear my sinuses were bleeding. He even threw in a live one to see if it would be more potent. Ward killed it quickly, but just the thought of spray all over my already sick face was enough to vomit in and of itself.

The final plan that we concocted while a few of us were close to puking our guts out, was that we would charge out and separate. We needed to get him while he was down and he had to be close enough to the cave to successfully throw things inside, but far enough to be safe from our arrows, so it was perfect for us. If we ran out full tilt, we could catch him relatively by surprise and take that moment to dispatch him. It was a perfect plan, and with the aid of Khelditia’s slumber, it worked.

Afterwards everyone celebrated the death of our poor friend Reginald by beheading him and cutting off his tail. Once all of that gruesome business was done though, I got to participate in the best part of our little Manticore encounter, and that was loot hunting. It turns out Reginald was hiding some loot in the cliff’s cave system.

We thought all was said and done for the moment, but that morning, a few hours after we killed that Manticore, we saw what Razza mentioned. Off in the distance, miles away, a beautiful light show of brilliant colors played, but we were all exhausted and decided to wait until all of us were rested before investigating.

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Success at the Temple leads to problems on the Road
Waffles... We will miss you...

Entry #9

With the undead dispatched what sort of thing will we think up next I wonder?

Savalia and Pan were pretty sick for hours after our conclusive fight and maybe a day or two after that. I’m not sure. I can’t remember when Savalia stopped puking. Ward took the corpse of the Wight and bagged it up, while the others made to burn the Necromancer’s. I thought that was a tad ceremonial for someone we just killed, but I didn’t really want to argue. The others said we were leaving the crypt, so I was first in line to touch the dead decaying grass once more. Anything to get out of that awful hell hole…

I was surprised that the horses were still alive, but it was a pleasant surprise. The funeral pyre needed wood though, which meant that as soon as I could see the sky, it was partly my task to start gathering wood for the Necromancer’s pyre. At the behest of Ward’s Grandma’s advice, I set off toward the edge of the wood where the spooky, presumably dead, gnarled trees were. I levitated up to a few of the weaker branches and was just about to cut one when I was blown away. My levitation went immediately from convenient to inconvenient and I was flying in the air, flipping like crazy, end on end and trying to regain my bearings all the while.

Needless to say, when I managed to get back to ground, I was a bit dizzy. I was a bit nonplussed as to what or who blew me off the tree, but I found a bird creature staring back at us. It came from out of the woods with his bear companion and stared us down. The creature was a Tengu and his name was Wodes. He told us not to cut the trees and that this forest was under his protection. I immediately apologized for my actions and asked if there was an alternative we could use for the fire.

When Wodes walked away and started about his business, I, the ever inquisitive one, walked over to him and asked what he was doing. He picked up a small stone and palmed it in his feathery hands. I tried to describe it to the others, but I apparently didn’t have the best of luck trying to describe what it was.

The others got just enough information though, that before long, Savalia and I wound up on a hunt for rune stones scattered about the forest by the necromancer. The tengu said they were the reason that the forest had decayed and that the principle way to bring the forest back to life, was to remove the stones. While I searched the afternoon away with Savalia somewhat nearby, the others went into the temple and fought a shadowy monster. I don’t remember the details as much because I wasn’t there, but I was told the fight was amazing and glorious.

The rune stone search escaped me and by the time I returned to camp, I hadn’t found any.

Sleep time went like any other, except that the Wight bag started to move. At first I thought I was hallucinating, but after a minute or two of constant movement I could no longer deny it to myself and the rest of the party found out where it was headed. It had an unconscious compulsion to hunt the elf. Ward cut the Wight’s head off of its body and then the rest of the night was uneventful.

3 days of travel later and we were reunited with our wagon. We were traveling in merry argumentative blissfulness through Razza’s country once more and this time we were off to hunt Manticores. On our journey to Manticore land, which was fruitful and much more pleasant than the stony land of the dead we were just in, the land seemed a bit… bumpy. The flat lands we were combing had a series of very large mounds poking out of the ground. The nature buffs of our party, Khelditia and Orrin thought about what it might be and the conclusion was not a pleasant one. We found ourselves scrambling for rocks and levitating away like ants scattering underneath an impending foot fall, but before we could prepare…. CHAAAA!!!!!

GIANT LEAPING LAND SHARKS!!!! YIP!

It crashed down and hit Ward. It destroyed our wagon and split Waffles completely in half. Excelsior was so terrified that he soiled himself and we were: without horse, without wagon, and injured in the span of one minute. Khelditia did her magic sleepy spell again, like she had done on the necromancer and the fight was once again concluded with a successful slumber.

The mage made Ward big and, with one move, the warrior brought the land shark down. It was all very interesting and cool, but Savalia and I were busy mourning the loss of the horse, the wagon and our loot. Ward moved the land shark off of our wagon’s corpse and with his help we managed to gut the giant beast. Thankfully our loot was still alive. We removed the shell and carefully removed our gear, placing it in the land shark’s shell for safe keeping.

Razza popped by to watch us as we gutted the creature and watched as we pulled loot from its stomach. Then, with all of the looting, skinning, gutting and re purposing done, we buried Waffles nearby and had a small peaceful memorial service for our cowardly former pack animal. All in all, our work took us a couple of days and in that time, Razza helped to keep the carrion away. It was more than we could ask of the dragon that I offended, but we were very grateful and offered her more cakes for her service.

After everything was sorted, we made for the hills…

As an after note here: The mage managed to decipher the writing on the black stone spinel. It mentions the name of the lord of the undead ‘ Orcis,’ and the words ‘key’ and ‘gate.’

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The *Former* Temple of Lathander
Where both greed and digestive constitution are tested in equal measure...

Entry #8

Like normal, I was asked to scout out the creepy village again. However there were no more things in the village than the last time I scouted it out. Now that I had the freedom to roam, which previously wasn’t granted to me by the skeletons, I still didn’t find anything curious or neat among the broken town. I found pieces of walls, trees that were twisted and ‘evil looking,’ the destroyed road, and I found that pretty much all of the buildings were destroyed.

The only mystery was the dark hole amongst the fallen temple ruins. I was a little shy to be going into a dark tunnel filled with undead, but that might have just been the fact that I was a small person going into an enclosed stone space with other people and possible creepy undead things.

Surprisingly, Savalia not only offered to go first into the dark and scary, but she left both of the horses behind near the mouth of the temple ruins. I bade farewell to both Excelsior and Waffles, because considering the trouble we’d been in up to that point, I had no idea what was going to happen to them.

The order we entered the temple was: Ward first, Savalia second, me third, Khelditia fourth, Telen fifth, and Orrin with his gorilla as sixth and seventh. We were all greeted with the immediate stench of death and decay. The room was dark, musty, quiet, and still. It was odd and felt very uncomfortable to even move about in the dark murky blackness. Then! Instant dead people! WOOOOSH! They popped from the floor like daisies in a green field and charged at the nearest of us with haste defying people with no flesh. They weren’t that tough though and we managed to dispatch them with the same haste they arrived with. With the final blow of my mighty sling, I heard the bullet clack against a hollow wall piece. I didn’t quite place which wall piece it was, but upon further inspection I found that there was a false wall with a box hidden inside.

My own instincts aside, I haven’t come across too many things with traps on them, so it stands to reason that a locked box wouldn’t immediately have a trap on it right? Despite that notion though, I was still a little wary to immediately open a random box we found in a wall. Savalia urged me to open it again and again. I could almost feel her hair reaching out to my skin and burning me. She was so insistent that it defied even my own loot obsession. It was eerie and almost scary to think that she thought about loot that much. Eventually though, I mustered the courage to open the box and was caught in a magical trap. Three times…

Note to self: Locked anything = probably has a trap on it.

Anyhoo, we continue to wander through what I am now calling a crypt for reasons of my own when we are almost caught in another trap. Ward got shot with the ancient arrow trap and I narrowly avoided it, but the monster in the next room must have heard, because a fair sized insect rushed after Ward and latched itself to his armor. Next thing I know, the warrior’s armor starts to hiss, pop and turn a rusty brown.

THE MONSTER WAS EATING HIS ARMOR!… AHHH!

We managed to kill the armor eating monster, but seriously… Creepy.

Once we gathered our bearings and Ward changed into new armor, we rounded the corner into another room. On the other end of the small room was statuary with loot at its base. The only odd part was that it was covered in fungus. Savalia’s eyes went gold with greed and she shot toward the pile of loot like a madwoman. In my odd sense of morality concerning the crazy ifrit, I reached out with my reasonable strength in order to halt Savalia’s possible death. Before I could reprimand her though, and remind her of the trap that we saw earlier, a mushroom with tendrils of rotting death reached out and latched onto Savalia’s arm. Then mine. OOOOOOOWIE!!! It hurt. It hurt so much I can still kind of feel it under my skin even though it was healed quickly after, thanks to Khelditia and Orrin.

Like a nightmare I once had, we were almost immediately greeted by ghouls soon after our fungus attack. Pan and Savalia were wounded by the ghoul’s sickly touches and diseased with puke-itis, which meant that they puked a lot and were sickly, but we managed to kill the ghouls too.

The next room was… I don’t even want to remember it, but here it goes. Here is its description to the best of my clouded recollection. It smelled like one thousand rats that had died and defecated themselves on an extremely hot day. The smell, the atmosphere, the look, and the consistency of the room that I stepped in, oppressed me. I felt pressured from all sides to become ill and sickly like Savalia. The room kept pushing the feeling on top of me one tier at a time until it culminated in an overwhelming nauseous feeling when I came face to face with the pit of corpses. Everyone suggested I go in, but I was too busy struggling to keep my lunch inside my stomach to even consider their request. Instead, to prevent the inevitable, I walked to the other side of the room and leaned against the doorway. I plugged my nose and turned my head away when the lowered Savalia into the muck to look for loose change.

I may have been a dirty child. I am not afraid to go in the sewer or roam the dirty city streets. I will even walk through a bloody glen and get my feet dirty. But never before in my life have I been so uncomfortable than in that room… Things that make you go… BLURGHGHGHGHG

We spent the next few minutes going from room to room and killing skeletons. I even managed to find another secret area and a locked chest. This time I wasn’t caught by a trap.

It was the next locked thing, a door, which made me immediately regret my actions. We were greeted by the corpse of the boy we were sent to find raised as a Wight and a caster waving his hands in a pompous manner. Everyone’s immediate reaction was to rush the caster, while Ward ran off to occupy the Wight. Savalia began to chant, as is the way with our fights and we were starting to get into the rhythm of it all. Then Khelditia did something amazing. With one poke, the young half-elf decided the fight and sealed both the Necromancer’s and the Wight’s fates. The Necromancer did wake up again and try to scare me, but I stuck my tongue out at him and then helped the others kill him.

Naughty Necromancer, Loots are for Tieflings!

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Dark Woods and a Decaying Village
Dark woods and spiders are pretty much synonymous now...

Entry #7

Who knew a lizard that breathed fire could be so nice? I mean, wouldn’t the flames in their throat make them constantly irritated. I know it would make me a little cross to be constantly blowing fire from my mouth…

Later that week, we came upon a large intimidating patch of wood. I say large and intimidating because the patch was miles upon miles in each dimension and it was thick. There was a ring of thick brambles that encircled the entire area and large heavy trees that warded off entry. My only guess, which seemed to be pretty accurate, was that we needed to continue through the woods to get to our destination. Goody.

There was a huge argument on what we would do with the wagon.

“Should we suspend it in the branches?” – Terrible idea. It might fall and break spreading our loot all over the ground and leaving us without a wagon. Or worse, it might fall into the brambles and get stuck. Not to mention, we had no idea what breed of creatures lived in the woods; they could come by and steal from it.

“Should we camouflage it with leaves?” – Better idea, but a little hard considering the Wagon’s size.

We eventually decided to dig through the brambles and push the wagon into the brambles, letting the woods disguise it for us and consume our hard won loot with brambles. We took the horses with us, which I thought was a terrible idea, but I don’t really know that much about horses. All I knew was that Waffles was growing more terrified the further we drove ourselves into the woods. He was even more terrified that night when we were attacked by spiders and skeletons. The spiders weren’t that much of a surprise because of the webs that started sprouting up all around us, but the skeletons were a bit of a surprise because they popped up out of nowhere. We figured it had something to do with the dark stone that the elf still had, but that did nothing to grant me any sort of peace of mind.

A few more days passed of sleeping, hacking, arguing, scouting, and leading horses. Then we came upon a small settlement embedded in the heart of the wood. It was a ruin, but I could tell that it used to be some sort of small town. I was tasked, no surprise there, with scouting the ruin and trying to find out what the situation was.

The sad part was, there wasn’t that much to find. The entire town had been destroyed. Even the temple was just a shamble of pillars and bricks. What I did find though, was a looooooooot of skeletons and zombies; more than I had seen in my entire life. I didn’t want to disturb them and instead find a longer way around, but when I returned to the group they were adamant that I pull them back into a trap that they were going to fashion to catch the undead as they followed me.

They wanted me to pull one skeleton at a time… Really? One at a time?

I told myself it would be easy. I told myself that they might just react the same way that guards do when you throw rocks at or near them, so I picked up a small rock and chucked it at one. It looked over at me with a hollow glance and when it found nothing there, it turned back. I tried to throw another stone, but the same thing happened. I pooled the options in my mind and when I couldn’t think of something more practical, I grasped Felix’s whistle held in a pouch at my side. With a powerful blow I summoned the entire horde to give chase and I managed to snare the entire lot of them in our trap with minimal collateral damage. I say it was a job well done and the others think I am incapable of following orders…

Typical, blame the young tiefling; it’s always her fault.

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Ifrit Abduction and mistaken introductions
What are the chances that Dragon had a friend? I mean honestly...

Entry #6

Hello Journal,

Turns out, that the dragon from earlier had a cave… go figure. It was a ways up a large rock formation and I had to go a little far into it, which was a bit creepy, but the loot I found was totally worth it. I worked with the others to get the loot out and once we loaded everything into our wagon, we pushed our wagon off to the side and figured we would get a little shut eye for the night. Cue the dramatic action and possible injury!!!

First watch, which had been Savalia and Telen ever since we left Shadowdale, wasn’t always the best watch. They were the ones caught by the dragon, and this time both Savalia and the horse were gone when we were all awoken with a frightful start. A pair of Cyclopsi… sees’? es? Whatever…

Large man-like monsters with one eye bore down upon us with huge axes that were easily three times as big as my entire body. I tried to maneuver and gain a footing to pull an advantage in combat, but like an ant underfoot, I was quickly charged under the oaf’s big feet. Ward was there to charge him in turn, which was some consolation, but I was still seeing stars by the time the group of Cyclopses fell. I felt proud of myself for the amount of damage I did on my own account, but the rest of the group felt like they were coming together as a unit, which made me feel a little more comfortable. A little.

Once Savalia was back, I gave her a big hug and told her not to go running off again. Not that it was really her fault that she got captured by big giant men, but I digress…

Anyway, the rest of the night was uneventful which helped the lot of us heal from our surprise battle of awesome epicness.

The next day started like any other: breakfast, with a side order of arguing and scouting on the side. I was once again hoisted onto Excelsior’s back and told to act leaderly, which was convenient, because we were greeted by a pack of gnolls. They were nasty dog like creatures that looked at me with hunger in their eyes, but I did what I could to look indifferent to their leering gazes.

The rest of the group managed to look intimidating enough I suppose to let us proceed without bringing the wrath of the doggy people upon us. I kind of wanted to steal from them, but because I was supposed to be the ‘respectable leader’ of an ‘intimidating band’ of adventurers, I figured it was a bad idea.

Later that day, when we had left the gnolls very much behind, we started to settle into the doldrums of everyday adventuring. That was, until a dragon landed on a large rock near our path. I didn’t even see the color of the dragon before I darted into the wagon and held my head behind the wood. I readied my bow and poked my eyes out to see if I would be needed, but the dragon just sat and stared. Such an odd creature I thought.

Then it started to talk, which was something I hadn’t seen a dragon do before. At first I froze a little, but when I heard its tale and listened to its calm demeanor, I deemed it safe to leave the wagon and pursue a peaceful exchange of words with the flying lizard bat thing.

It was a Bronze dragon named Razza and it seemed friendly enough. I put my foot in my mouth though about mentioning the other dragon.

Note to self: Let Savalia talk to the mystical beings of great power from now on. Maybe she knows better?

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New Friends, New Quests
THE MERCHANTS OF EXCELSIOR!!!

Entry #5

My sleep wasn’t comfortable. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and my tail was caught between the sheets. I tried to squeeze out without doing any damage, but ended up pulling my poor tail against the cloth. Beds are so uncomfortable.

Anyway, I woke up to the somewhat fresh smell of the Old Skull Inn. It was a homely place, even to a tiefling with bad bedhead, which is saying something. Most people in my hometown would have shooed me out of a place like this. Not that it would have mattered. I awoke alone in my room and headed downstairs when I was greeted by an oddly official fellow speaking with my friends. My gut told me that it was a guard, so I played it cool, but it turned out to be some guy from a guild association or somewhat. I am now part of the “Merchants of Excelsior” and our colors are Red, Gold, and White. It seems like a lot of pomp for a group of ragtag misfits roaming the countryside, but that is hardly my say, is it?

All of the business with our licensing took a great deal of registration, which led me to follow the impulse of my hungry morning stomach. I was about to ask Savalia for money to buy bread when a curious creature blocked my path. It was a small furry brown thing that played with my tail for a few moments before I retracted it and looked the animal square in its beady black eyes. I came to find out that it had a friend, for no sooner had I stared at the otter, had a young woman greeted me.

Her name was Khelditia: she was of average height for a human-like person and she had a charming demeanor for someone who smelled like weeds. I didn’t and still don’t know much about her, but she came inquiring about membership into our group. For what reason, I have no idea, but Savalia seemed perfectly fine with it and pushed the two of us into buying food without much further deliberation. She was busy registering us into an “anti-rape” club or something. I thought it was a guild, but whatever. Biscuit shopping sounded a bit more effective and fun so I went along with Khelditia and her quirky little otter friend named Bubbles.

When we were done and we made it back to the Inn, we caught the group staring at the adventuring board. It had all sorts of posters on it. I think I remember something about a mystical lion. There was even this one about a rich prince on the edge of the Dale Lands and all he needed was a small amount of gold as collateral and then he would transport riches and jewels to the destination of my choosing. I was about to point that one out to Savalia, when the entire group decided that we would pursue the mission involving the child that wandered too far into dark scary lands and got himself killed. The entire group, except me.

Next thing I knew I was carried off to a dusty, smelly, stinky, crusty, old house where I wasn’t allowed to steal… again. I swear, if I don’t get to steal something soon, I might just start stealing something from our own stash and putting it back, just to prove I can.

There were pictures of the dead son all around the house and although it helped to describe who he was, I felt like I was being stared at from all angles of the house, which was creepy. The limping man, Lord Cyril, told us where to find his boy and let us know that the location also used to be a temple dedicated to Lathander, who was apparently a mystical god of light and happiness. All I really cared about is that this Lathander guy apparently had a golden cup. That had to be worth a fortune.

He also mentioned something about killing the adventures that left the boy behind, but I was honestly stuck at the golden cup part.

As we left the town of Shadowdale, we were stopped by a merchant who asked us if we could procure a Manticore Tail. He said he would pay 750 Gold for it. 750 gold…. Ooooh….

We signed on for the black spinel rock thingy quest as well before we left and said goodbye to Tamshan before we hit the road.

The time went by quickly. Three weeks was a blur, which was good, because for the first week nothing happened. Once the second week kicked around though, that was when things got weird. Savalia asked me to sit on Excelsior and pretend to be the leader. Me, a young’n, sitting astride a horse and pretending to be the leader of an adventuring group? and they though I was crazy.

Luckily there wasn’t much for a while but empty plains, so I didn’t really have to exercise my ‘leader-ness’. We traveled almost another week before something even vaguely exciting happened. Speaking of which, I sure am glad I wasn’t on the horse for Savalia’s watch. A small Copper Dragon swooped out of the sky and tried to make off with the horse without so much as a sideways glance. Savalia didn’t notice until the horse had made it a few feet away, but Waffles was so frightened that he messed himself something fierce.

We, the folks who had been sleeping quite soundly when the horse was taken, woke up and dispatched the Dragon with haste. We managed to get Excelsior back without too many cuts and bruises, but Savalia went crazy with the Dragon’s carcass. Once we had what we needed, she went ballistic on the remains and Khelditia had to cast some sort of sleepy spell on the fiery haired psychopath before she stopped. It was slightly entertaining to watch, but after all was said and done, we gathered all of our loot and started off again…

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Shadow Dale and Tamshan
Savalia gets busy... We get Swindled...

Entry #4
It turns out Savalia wanted help with looting the rest of the Goblin Camp, which I was extremely eager to do, given the small fortune we earned by dispatching the little green beasties and their overbearing puke yellow master guys.

That, in part, helped the next few days of walking go by quickly. Walking could be so boring sometimes, especially since nothing happened. I mean, I know it seems odd to want an attack, but when Orrin and Savalia start to yak, it almost makes me miss killing goblins. Still, there was something to be said for scouting, which is what I was doing most of the time anyway. That was, until a Half-Elf stopped me on the road and politely asked me to leave. My immediate reaction was to prepare myself and arm for the inevitable, because everyone on the road was a threat, right?

He didn’t threaten me though. He simply warned us that we should stay off the road for a day. I was a little surprised, because I thought I was sneaking pretty well, but something about him was different. There was a lot of experience hidden in the calluses on his hands. I chose to believe him, because I didn’t really want me or my teammates to get shot at. And that is exactly what I told Savalia when I returned to the group. It seemed, however, that Savalia had different plans. Instead of staying off the road and heeding the polite Half-Elf’s warning, Savalia took Excelsior and rushed off. It was then that I realized how comfortable my palm feels when it slaps against my face.

It was Savalia though, so if I didn’t go help her she would probably end up getting eaten or something. It turns out she managed to find the Half Elf just fine, but he scolded me because somehow I am supposed to have influence over a free spirit with fire for hair. Fat Chance…

The man’s name turned out to be Rungo Mirk and he was in the service of one of the local guilds. We didn’t figure that out until later though when the rest of his party came upon us with a giant wagon train. It wouldn’t have been an amazing wagon train, if it weren’t for the giant dragon carcass they were wheeling around behind them. Disregarding the Half Elf’s warning, we proceeded directly into their midst. Our party was moving faster so we had to finagle something, but right about the time we were going to overtake them, a man in fine clothes came to greet us.

This led to a series of gross schmoozing actions between him and Savalia, and an invitation to dinner from the man whose name was Tamshan. The invitation was followed up by Rungo, who brought food, and a Dwarven Cleric named Despar. While Savalia engaged in some particularly awkward conversations and private time in her tent, the dwarf in question, managed to convince me to drink. NEVER AGAIN… NEVER.

It tastes bad, it looks bad, it smells bad, and it feels awful. No…

The next morning we came to find that our guests had left in the night. We took our time to prep the wagon and made along our merry way, only to find that our guests had been stopped on the road by a few broken wheels. I chuckled a little under my breath, because I found it funny. One of their number, a large man with a thick beard seemed to be so angry that he was crimson with rage. We were gracious as we moved around their wagon procession and we made good time to Shadow Dale over the next few days. I was still chuckling about their wagon train breaking down until the day before our entry to Shadow Dale.

Finally, a town! It had been nothing but forests, hills, grasslands and things for miles. This town though, wasn’t what I expected. We were greeted by farmland and limping people; not necessarily in that order. The town was big and sprawling, but all the buildings looked to be about the same size. There were 3 towers that poked overhead, but everything else seemed pretty level. The houses themselves didn’t seem overly rich or overly poor. Here it didn’t seem like there were any upper class folk. And what I mean by Upper Class folk, are the hoity toity people like Tamshan that filled the upper levels of my hometown. No, this town was filled with people who were experienced in the land, experienced with adventurers and worst of all, experienced with thieves…

Everywhere I went the guards had their eyes on me. I was watched the minute I stepped into town and there wasn’t a time that I was free of surveillance. In the meantime, as I tried to flex my stealing muscles and frequently shirked under the invading eyes of all of the guardsmen in existence, Savalia and the others were trying to set up shop.

For all of her hot air and arguing, Savalia is really good at talking. It didn’t help much though; we still got stuck with an awkward spot a bit of the way down the lane. To top it off, I flubbed my juggling moves and everyone said our stuff was poor quality. That irritated me a bit, because we worked really hard to get it. Then some Halfling who thinks he’s hot stuff comes up and buys it all. He also makes a move at Savalia. I would be lying if I said she did nothing in accordance to his request, but I’d really rather not thing about what might have happened. He had a really stupid name though… “Corkatron ‘The Highroller’ Allinamuck” I think it was. He was a guild leader of the guild, “Halflings Inc.” They were apparently some prestigious guild or something.

After a while I truly didn’t care and just set about finding a roof to perch on for the night. I combed through a few choice ones before I settled on a nice shingled one overlooking a particularly nice part of the city. The others apparently had some trouble finding accommodations; something about everyone splitting apart and going in completely different directions. I was a little preoccupied with my own business however. I failed to notice until the act itself that I was apparently encroaching on ‘Harpy Bitch’ Territory. This crazy winged woman swooped upon my unconscious body and tried to heft me off of the roof. I jumped to my senses and just narrowly avoided death by sidewalk when I tried to seize my assailant by the feathers. They claimed this was, ‘their roof’ as were all the others. I still think that was entirely unfair, but I can’t and couldn’t do anything about it at the time.

Instead, I resolved to ask around for where my friends ended up and followed their trail to the Old Skull Inn… I hate this bed. It is extremely uncomfortable, but at least it gave me some time to write a little. I should probably try and get some sleep before tomorrow though…

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Goblin Camp Smackdown
Everything is coming up Goblins...

Entry #3

Hello again Journal. It seems the only times I really get to myself are in these Journal entries. Go figure. As for the goblin camp though, we managed to thrash um, but one stinky goblin got away. Oh well, I’m sure that won’t come to bite us in the butt, right?

After we took out the Goblin scout camp and set up for the night, we decided it would be better to hide the wagon and move it away from the road, let alone the goblin camp we just decimated. It seemed the best choice given that our havoc might have drawn some unneeded attention. Regardless, I had a horrible night that night. Spiders invaded my peaceful watch and I freaked the heck out… I mean, I knew there were spiders in the woods, but these were huuuuuge! Unlike the spiders I found in town, these spiders were the size of dogs. Part of me was fascinated, but all other parts of me couldn’t run away fast enough. I couldn’t let the others get eaten though, so I pulled out my guard whistle and gave it a large blow until everyone woke up.

In hindsight, this might not have been the best idea given the population of goblins in the area, but I was more thinking about the man eating spiders and less thinking about what would happen later.

Savalia was taking a harsh popping from a few of the hairy brutes so I gave her a hand. I don’t know what I would do if Savalia died. She was the original reason I even left my home town. Adventure seemed like such a weird thing, but Savalia showed me opportunity and although I know she will die, she is still cool and won’t die by monsters if I can help it. I don’t know much about these other guys yet though… We’ll see. Anywho…

After we killed the spiders, which took the better part of a few minutes, I was sent to scout ahead to find the lair. It took some careful sneaking, but eventually I found the stinky, smelling, rotting, lair of the creepy, dog sized, hairy, eight-legged devils. There were a lot of web covered ditches in the ground and a few sacks hanging from the trees. I managed to look a little in one of the holes and knock down one of the sacks, but before I began to loot too much, I left and rejoined the party back at camp. The next day, we made our way to the spider lair and cleaned it out as best we could.

There was a lot more treasure there than I thought spiders would have in the first place, but hey, treasure is treasure. With all of it loaded into the wagon we made back to our old campsite before we finished another day of our trip. It was quiet and when it came time for my watch I was enjoying the cold breeze against my hair and cheeks. But, as I was starting to slip into blissful enjoyment, I heard a twig pop. Immediately I hid and started off in the direction of the noise. Apparently I was successful at my attempt, because I came upon the duo of goblins completely off-guard. Then, with a slip of my dagger, both goblins lay dead.

There were more than two though. We’d been through enough troubles with these buggers that I suspected there were more than two. I made my way back to camp and was just about to raise the others, when sure enough the other goblins began to fire from their hiding spots. I took up a defensive position near the camp and began to weave my way through the trees. The battle was quick though, they didn’t have too many reinforcements. With the entire ambush party dispatched it was a paltry act to loot them and then return to my watch.

In the morning we moved the horses and for some strange reason the Orc wanted to change the watch. I firmly stated my opinion and said that I preferred to be alone on my watch, but the others vetoed my wishes and carried on as if my opinion didn’t matter. Well bleh! My opinion does matter!

The watches changed to: Late after Noon => Savalia/Elf | Night => Orc/Me | Early Morning => Ward.

I protested again, but it was clear that I was being ignored.

Another day of scouting began while the group argued behind me. There was another goblin attack, but it was still small. There were seven, which were more goblins than we’d seen before, but we were told that there were large amounts of goblins at their camp so we knew we’d have to go further to find their camp. Naturally, when we had a direction but no information, I was sent to scout it out. I did, happily, because they were engaged in a particularly annoying argument that had almost absolutely nothing to do with anything… Like most of their arguments…

My Scouting mission was fruitful though. I came upon their camp and managed to scout it all out. There were… a lot. It rivaled most small communities I saw in my home town, but it was filled with savage green beasts. I relayed my information to my party members and we did what we could to set up an ambush. Then we awaited the huge wave of goblins that would come imminently through the trees. It was a long and arduous brawl filled with vines, stabs, arrows, and acrobatics, but in the end, we won. I got a nice suit of awesome leather armor and we won some really cool loot… More about that later though, Savalia wants me for something…

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Goblin Hunt
Dogs, Elves, and Goblins... Oh My!

Entry #2

I apparently had to leave the cart after my last entry. Savalia said I was doing something called ‘masturbating.’ I don’t really know what she means, but if it was important, I am sure she would have explained herself. Anyway… My entries will go on!!!

We continued on to Tilverton for a little while, but with one quick look at the map, we decided it might be better to cut through the clearing that was approaching, instead of going through the mining town that was our previous goal. Morvalo, the random old sage man-guy we picked up at the bandit’s camp, was telling us how dangerous it was, but when we left the road he continued on. I don’t know what will happen to that guy, but if what he said was true, we may not be seeing him again anytime soon.

A couple of days passed since we left that man on the road when I picked something up over a hill. The grass was fresh that day, so I almost didn’t smell it over the verdant green, but my ears picked something up too. The sounds of dogs fighting and the smell of blood were my biggest indicators that something was going on. So, like my role would suggest, it was time to let the little tiefling wander off alone and figure out what trouble was a brewin’. I didn’t really have a problem with it. Sneaking was easier to do alone anyway, but I apparently got a little overzealous and started humming. I talked a little bit to myself and ultimately blew my cover before I even approached the fighting dogs.

They sniffed and snarled, but other than a few of them turning in my direction, they seemed to be focused on a strange dog guarding what looked like a corpse. I later found out that the dog was an elvish hunting dog or a ‘kush,’ but at the time it was just differenty looking than the other dogs that surrounded him… Or her.

The others approached behind me and we made short work of the dogs although the larger one put up a bit of a fight. I had some more experience, due to my blunt force education brought upon by a giant’s club, but I still got a scratch or two all told.

The corpse, or elf it turned out, was apparently not a corpse. He was very much alive and separated from the rest of his crew. His name was Ruon and he suspected that his people were in trouble. He even told us that they were scouting out a nearby goblin camp, which perked both mine and Savalia’s ear, because of the potential loot to be had.

I was sent once more to scout ahead, but it wasn’t very long before I found Ruon’s elven friends and a group of ten goblins milling about wildly at the feet of several large trees, trying to grab at them. We moved in swiftly and I took to the trees to get a better angle on the situation. When all was said and done, we managed to save Ruon’s people and got to hear another story about Ward’s Grandma, who was apparently an old adventurer from way back in the day.

The elfy people thanked us and we gathered up our pile of loot before settling down for the night. It was standard procedure by now and I was prepared, as I often am, for my nightly watch, when the elf of our group woke with a fright. He looked around for a moment with a look I couldn’t really describe and then went straight back to sleep. It was odd to say the least, but when I took a closer look, I couldn’t grasp why. I figured he might have been having a nightmare, but he didn’t strike me as someone who had trouble sleeping; not often, at least.

We decided, after our daily bout of arguing that we, and by ‘we’ I mean ‘me,’ were going to scout ahead and plan out an attack on the goblin camp. I rolled my eyes casually, but Savalia has been like a mother to me ever since we met. I can’t say the relationship has been easy, because I have never really had a mother, but having someone there to count on makes me feel better.

Still, as my experience has taught me, arrows hurt; especially those received on your way to more treasure. I found a patrol of about 12 goblins as they did a circuit around the goblin camp. I think for now it may be wise to pay more attention to them than to write more in this journal, but I don’t really see them as that much of a threat at this moment. In any event, after we’re finished with this Goblin Camp, I’ll pick up where I left off…

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