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#14394296 Jul 24, 2020 at 06:06 AM
71 Posts
Fosco Fleetfoot was bored. He had grown up in a small hamlet not far from Crossroads. His father was a tinker, but as a younger son, his prospects in the family business were unappealing and he'd left home to seek fame and fortune in the larger nearby town. Growing up, he'd loved listening to stories told by his mother of his great-grandfather on her side of the family. He'd been an adventurer and traveled the world for many years. He'd found and squandered several fortunes, leaving nothing but a rather plain gold band with some archaic runes which no one seemed to be able to decypher. His mother had pressed it into his hand when he'd confided in her his plan to leave home. Life in Crossroads wasn't easy though; he lived by his wits and doing odd jobs for whomever paid a bit of coin. Sometimes he pondered his fate and wondered when his luck would turn. He figured it was all just a matter of time.
#14394297 Jul 24, 2020 at 06:11 AM · Edited 4 months ago
63 Posts
((Following up from Ayram's post, and meant to set the stage for them meeting VM's character! Portrait may be found here:

https://app.box.com/s/v8di3xpub6m73ao83qexu1svb853xet4))

Lord Garmund Kaldwen was a very serious man.

He had spent much of his younger years as a very serious knight in service to his majesty, King Dangren of Arresh. Later in life, when Garmund’s very serious lord father and very serious elder brother succumbed to illness, he returned home to become a very serious duke, and took charge of a very serious household. He married a very serious wife, who in short order gave birth to a very serious son, who was to succeed him in turn.

All, of course, as was right and proper for a leal and pious noble lord.

Granted, a number of youthful indiscretions may have taken place in-between some of these very serious steps. Such was only to be expected from a healthy and daring young man out and about in the world, after all. Those who valued their hides, however, knew not to speak of such things in lord Kaldwen’s presence – or anywhere he might later learn of it, in fact, if it could at all be helped.

Like any aristocrat worthy of the name, lord Kaldwen valued his family’s reputation – and its accordingly high standing within the vaunted Aureate Council – above all else.

That is, until his lady wife gifted him with a daughter some years after the birth of his son and heir. Even as a child, her eyes shone brightly with a keen – some might say dangerous – curiosity. Her nannies despaired at keeping her from crawling off into the darkest and most dangerous corners of the manor. Privately, lord Kaldwen would smile to hear of his precocious daughter’s latest misadventures, perhaps because she reminded him of himself as a bold and daring young man.

He instructed his servants not to be too harsh on the girl, and even assigned Klayne – his shameful secret elf-blooded bastard – to watch over her, to ensure that she would not come to harm. She was after all second-born, he reasoned, and therefore could be permitted a bit more leeway than Lucan, his firstborn. He had enjoyed such freedoms himself, once upon a time, before the untimely demise of his elder brother forced him into his current, very serious position of responsibility and authority. Though Lucan seemed to chafe at the unfairness of this, Garmund grew ever more hesitant to deny his little girl anything that she might desire.

It turned out that what little Fiona most desired was to sate her unending curiosity.

Her interests shifted wildly, but always had in common their boundless intensity. One month, she might wish to know all there was to learn about horses – a common enough affliction among young girls of noble birth, yet most maidens who suffer a similar love of all things equine are rarely found sneaking out after dark to dissect a recently deceased mare with stolen kitchen utensils. That particular episode was one of the handful of times that Fiona had received a proper scolding, but she always maintained that she had done nothing wrong. It wasn’t her fault that all the books on equine anatomy she’d been reading had proven woefully inaccurate and dreadfully lacking in scientific rigor besides. Someone had to set the record straight, and it might as well be her!

Some time later, she would bear witness to a humorous altercation between a horse and a particularly territorial hog, and her scholarly interests would turn swiftly towards affairs of a more porcine nature. This was deemed to be a subject matter most unsuited to a young lady, but it soon proved impossible to impress this upon young Fiona, who was all too eager to plod through the dirt in muck in order to chronicle her observations, dragging a hapless Klayne behind her – when she wasn’t demanding her let her climb on his shoulder so that she might have a better view of the proceedings. Some time later, she would witness a pig digging around in the ground to reveal an interesting-looking rock, and her interests would soon turn to geology. And so the cycle would continue.

One particularly memorable incident occurred when Fiona was twelve summers old. Astronomy was her principal subject of interest at that time, owing to the fact that a predicted eclipse had captured both her imagination and her curiosity. She had charged Klayne with transporting a rather heavy telescope (to be placed on the manor’s roof) and, while dashing across a busy courtyard, loudly and thoughtlessly exclaimed “We’re going to miss it! Come on, brother! Hurry up!”

At that instant, everyone froze. Servants stared at them. Fiona blinked; in her excitement, it took her a few moments to realise what she’d done.

Previously, she’d only ever called him ‘brother’ when they were alone together, usually when she had cause to convince him to assist in a particularly questionable endeavour. She had found this to be a moderately effective stratagem, though her father had impressed upon her the importance of never acknowledging Klayne’s parentage under any circumstances and would likely not have approved had he been aware of this. Not least because it could well lead to incidents precisely like this.

Afterwards, lord Kaldwen summoned Fiona into his office, where she remained until well after the eclipse had passed. Servants gossiped that the duke never raised his voice, but that young Fiona nevertheless appeared shaken and distraught from the experience. She never called Klayne ‘brother’ again.

Predictably, Fiona did not grow into the most conventional of noble maidens. She abhorred balls and other social gatherings, preferring instead to spend her time in the library or dragging some of the household staff – Klayn usually still first among them – off to the countryside or out into town to assist with her latest expedition. Politics and etiquette ill suited her, and her mother – as proper a noble lady as ever you will find – despaired at her daughter’s failures in this regard – how were they ever to find a good match for so unladylike a daughter? Who would tolerate such reckless, improper behaviour from a potential daughter-in-law?

As far as Fiona was concerned, the solution was obvious: she would bring prestige to her House by alternative, far more exciting means. Ever since encountering a particular tome buried in the family archives – which she playfully named the codex tenebris – Fiona had begun research into what would prove to be her most enduring obsession: the secrets of the long-lost Mai’i. Written in a previously all-but-unknown ancient dialect, it had taken her the better part of a year to even begin to decipher its contents. She had discovered that said secrets were quite comprehensively arcane in nature, and had started experimenting with the spells and instructions contained within. Only Klayne was party to this – Fiona knew that engaging in witchcraft, while perhaps not the most shocking revelation given her proclivities, would still invite some measure of scandal. With such promising results in so short a time, how could she not be excited by the possibilities?

So it was that she came to her father with a proposal for an expedition, funded and officially sanctioned by House Kaldwen, to the frontier region around Crosspath, where Fiona’s research suggested many secrets remained to be unearthed. Despite Fiona’s – in her own personal estimation – incredibly persuasive and well-argued presentation in support of the idea, her father was initially hesitant to support this latest and most ambitious of his daughter’s schemes. It was only when her elder brother Lukan, much to everyone’s surprise, expressed his support for the project that lord Kaldwen’s position began to soften. Fiona and Lukan had never been close, exactly, but perhaps he saw genuine potential in the investment. On the other hand, perhaps he was simply eager to have her and Klayne out of the picture for a while.

Granted, it wasn’t as though they had much to work with. Fiona secured for her expedition enough supplies and equipment to last them a good while along with the funds to secure the services of a (hopefully) talented and trustworthy sellsword. It wasn’t quite all that she had hoped for, but she had decided that it would suffice, and that her brilliance would surely see them through.


**

There you are!” Fiona said as she all but tackled Klayne just as he emerged from the innards of their ancestral home. She paused for an instant to catch a book from the top of his pile that promptly went tumbling floorwards – a familiar, well-practised motion – and then pointed her finger towards the gate, where a lone figure stood waiting. “It’s our escort! Can’t keep her waiting now, can we? Oh, I can’t wait until we’re on the road! So many things to discover! So many notes to take! Oh, you did bring the extra notebooks, didn’t you? Please tell me you didn’t forget the extra notebooks!”
#14394317 Jul 24, 2020 at 06:53 AM
65 Posts
It was a journey of epic proportions. Well maybe not epic, but it was the first real journey of his life. He was at a figurative crossroads in his life. Answering the call to adventure and destiny by heading towards the literal Crossroads. Or Crosspath he supposed, but it didn't really quite match the wordplay he was going for exactly.

At least travelling never felt that lonely to him. He was never lacking for someone to chat with or argue with, that's for sure. Albeit that was a more recent change that he could never have seen coming. And no, it wasn't one of those boy meets girl stories. If he had to give it a label like that, it would end up being boy meets sword, but he couldn't deny that it just made for a more ear catching tale.

It was one of those classic stories you hear about. Or maybe not, as that tends to be more of a cultural thing, but that's a digression. He was a boy without a mother, but not in the demon spawn or born from a peach sense. No, rather his mother had been killed by bandits soon after he had been born. His uncle took it upon himself to raise him from as far back as he could remember. His father was alive, well not now, no, but at the time he was given to his uncle's care.

There was some kind of reason for this, he figured, but he was never told what it was. Typical guardian to child treatment. Not to say that his uncle was a bad guardian, though. He took good care of him, treated him as if he were his uncle's own flesh or blood. Well, technically he was, but more in a son sense instead of nephew you only see every now and then. Far fewer presents involved, but probably for the best that way.

But it was perhaps the last present he received from his uncle that was the most important one. Actually, scrap that perhaps, it definitely was the most important present. Heck, it was the 'blade' in the whole boy meets blade thing mentioned earlier. It had belonged to his father and was evidently some kind of artifact. An important relic tied to some greater destiny of the world! Or at least that's what the sword told him. Yep, it was a talking sword. Otherwise the whole boy meets sword thing would be weird if he was just talking to a chunk of metal that couldn't talk back.

It was almost as if his uncle knew this day would come. Of the great destiny the sword hinted and foreshadowed. Of the great legacy he would leave behind after the deeds were completed! But probably not, as it turned out that only he could hear the sword. Made for an awkward fifteen minutes where he had to convince his uncle he was not going crazy, but he crossed that hurdle somehow, thankfully.

Definitely not the best start of his epic saga, but then it wasn't like the bards of yore embellished when writing their accounts of these kind of tales, so he figured he was probably okay. Still, it was a good fortune that his uncle had taught and trained him in the same style of swordsmanship as that of his heroic blade, as the sword liked to call itself. Among numerous other adjectives. Seriously, the sword probably had a narcissist problem. But yes, good fortune. Or maybe just that his uncle and father were trained by the same swordsman.

Either way, a childhood spent preparing to be a swordsman like his uncle and father before him. Also a childhood spent learning to cook like his mother before him. Or at least he assumed she could cook, cause his uncle definitely couldn't. At all. They might have starved to death if it wasn't for that kind elderly village woman who would eventually teach him how to cook once he got older.

But yes, a journey of epic proportions, albeit from only certain viewpoints and starting from a more humble start point to help build up the tension before the climax. Or to put it concisely and in other words, the beginning.
#14394368 Jul 24, 2020 at 09:11 AM
82 Posts
Clang! Clang! Clang!

Through the courtyard, the sound of hammer on metal was heard. Not the tap-tap-tap of cautious human smiths, nor the elegant pattering ringing of elven craftsmen. Each strike was full-bodied, measured, impacts of great force - and yet, not a one harder than they needed to be. Each one, a beat upon a drum, rhythmic and patient. A rhythm of the Dwarves.

One stroke for fire, one stroke for stone
These are the secrets we have known


This was no great craft-forge of Underhold, nor a workshop of Hightown. No. Rather, a simple roadside tavern on the way to and from the town of Crosspath, with its abandoned anvil and neglected furnace. Yet, it was a Dwarf of those places who struck; Borri was his name, and careful was his arm and his breath. He recited the words in his head as he had been taught, taking care to match the cadence with the swing of his hammer. The Forge-master's blessing to the metal could not be rushed.

One stroke for water, one stroke for blood
We'll tear the ore-rock from the mud
One stroke for iron, one stroke for steel
The strength of the mount, inside we'll seal


It had been a long wander, and yet, the words always called forth memories of home. Of the guild-hall he had known. Tall ceilings of stone, obscured by smoke, the signs of the labour of a hundred craftsmen, labouring over their training as the guild-masters looked on disapprovingly.

It did not matter the task. Mighty blade, crafty lever, careful spring, or as here, simple horseshoe. This is metal, they would say. This is iron. This is steel. This is silver and gold. Respect their strength, no matter the form we give them.

One stroke for sun, and one stroke for moon
Etch the long forgotten rune
One stroke for muscle, one stroke for will
Shape it with our ancient skill


Yes, even in it's some crummy human tavern yard, we take care. Even more care, if anything, Borri reflected, not missing a beat. His hammer and tongs might carry the maker's-mark of Ironcrest, but the anvil was old, forgotten since the departure of whatever smith had once been in residence. Neglect for the craft; a hallmark of these sad lands, that.

But that did not matter, they would say. The reputation of the crafts-dwarves of Ironcrest was on him this day, and he carried the spirit of their methods with him. The focus and attentive drive was the same, the joy was the same. The song was the same. Perhaps it was magic, taught in some secretive way that even the singers did not know it for what it was... Perhaps it was a simple way to measure the strikes of the hammer to a methodical beat. It did not matter, the craft-masters would repeat. The song was sung, and that was the way of it.

One stroke for fate, and one stroke for thought
And one for the shadow of which we are not
Perhaps it did matter...


Borri paused for an instant, thoughts derailed, hammer hesitating. Distant thoughts of lost truth... perhaps it did matter...

He was jolted back to this world "We're ever so lucky," the human said. Borri hadn't caught his name; he and his partner seemed to be travelling away from the town on horseback. "Truly grateful. This old nag, she's a finnicky one, you see? Didn't like the shoes she got in town."

Borri shook his head, scowling at himself. Resetting his arm, he picked up his place in the song.

One stroke for clan, and one stroke for throng
With every strike, we'll make it strong!


One last clang upon the anvil. Borri held the reshaped horseshoe to his eye, peering carefully at the curve of it, the width, the grain. Slowly, he nodded, setting aside his hammer and smoothing his beard, sighing. "Ay, human. It's my pleasure."
#14394478 Jul 24, 2020 at 01:04 PM · Edited 4 months ago
Veteran DM
192 Posts
Session 1

Excellent character concepts, all around. +150xp.

If anyone else has a portrait they'd like to share, post a link to it here.

Klasa, what is your character's name?
#14394498 Jul 24, 2020 at 01:47 PM · Edited 4 months ago
82 Posts
#14394508 Jul 24, 2020 at 01:55 PM · Edited 4 months ago
89 Posts
#14394551 Jul 24, 2020 at 03:03 PM
Veteran DM
192 Posts
I uploaded the module to Vanya Mia's Box.net account, just in case, but remember to try my server first. I think I have everyone's email, but I will send the IP and password via both email and the forum messenger feature to be sure everyone gets it.
#14394597 Jul 24, 2020 at 05:25 PM
Veteran DM
146 Posts
Giselle Ducey leaned her tall, muscular frame against the gate house wall. A thick plait bound her long auburn hair out of the way of a shield slung on her back, and her armour and sword spoke of her trade. Arms folded and idly chewing a straw she watched the preparations while staying carefully away from any work. A smirk lit her face and sea grey eyes sparkled with humour at the antics of her two new charges as they fussed and fretted over belongings. She wondered how long that would last once they were on the road. Scanning the preparations though she couldn't help but notice how little actual support there was for on the journey.

A few days ago she had been in the local tavern and halfway through a bout of the popular pastime that was a drinking game-come-arm-wrestling competition. The loser of a round had to take a drink which generally meant further losses. Not that it mattered as she generally played to lose. A guy who won was usually buoyed up enough by his prowess to cover the tab of an attractive woman who tried hard but didn't quite manage to beat him. Giselle played to lose whenever she needed the money, or whenever she felt some man deserved to be played, the suckers.

She had learned a lot of little tricks such as that in the Wharf House as a child amongst other things, including that pride was a luxury. Her mother had been one of the girls and the favourite of her Li Syval merchant father. Life had not been bad despite the location. It was a clean, well kept house and she'd spent much of her childhood during the day in the company of the Wharf House protection. Big Duncan had taught her much about looking after herself physically and some more esoteric methods had been learned watching the girls. Learned during the evenings while she was supposed to be out of the way.

Once in a while Captain Roget Ducey would call into port, larger than life and with a full purse, bringing a party atmosphere with him and presents galore. When he was around life had been good. Proud of the girl who so resembled him he had taught her the use of a sword and told her stories of his adventurous travels. She and her mother had been lavished with attention, affection and coin in equal shares. Now all Giselle had left to show for it was his last gift, the large clasp featuring a coiled sea-serpent which pinned her cloak at the shoulder. Given to her when she came of age.

Consumption was an expensive and ultimately impossible thing to treat and this time her father did not return for far longer than usual. Hospitality at the Wharf House was always something bought and paid for and Giselle's non-working presence was purchased by the fortunes of her father. Without that the madame became impatient and while she tried to earn their keep as part of the house protection it didn't sufficiently compensate for the loss incurred by their occupation of a room. When her mother passed away it was either become part of the Wharf House 'menu' or leave. Pride may be a luxury but sometimes it was all you had left. She chose to leave.

That evening a few days back had been different, or at least it was for the couple of weeks Giselle had been hanging around the town looking for work. Some well dressed type had turned up during the aforementioned competition, complete with a full set of very well equipped guards. The evening had been particularly rowdy and she'd not paid much attention because the competition was therefore attracting more than its usual share. Not that he had interfered but his "man" approached her after the initial contest was complete, and those around her were both congratulating her opponent as a worthy winner and setting up a new bout with a fresh opponent.

It was hazy as by then she was well into her cups but she had joined the noble, a serious young man by the name of Lukan Kaldwen and the son of a local lord, to talk - and drink some more as it turned out. A job had been offered to assist in guarding his sister and another member of his household as travelers to Crossroads and from then on wherever they willed it. A vague promise of further reward may or may not have been made and she may or may not have bargained, who knew? But some payment had definitely been handed over and after that the evening had become particularly 'messy'. So had the following two days and evenings.

Awakened by a loud banging on the door of Giselle's room three days later she had rolled out of her bed, elbowing the supine form of her erstwhile arm wrestling opponent heavily in the ribs as she did so. Ignoring his pained grumbling and punching him roundly in the jaw when he attempted to restrain her she had recovered her equipment, dressing hurriedly. Replacing the unconscious man's grumbling with her own she had dragged her hungover form down to the horse trough and dunked her head.

Inexplicably Lukan Kaldwen seemed satisfied with her apparent work ethic almost to the point of smiling. He had looked pointedly at the leader of his personal guard who had returned the look with a knowing smirk and nodded. Both of them had been quite solicitous of Giselle's blurry headed blundering as they returned home, to the point of allowing her to doze on the cart while they conducted a conversation in hushed tones, throwing occasional glances in her direction.

Thinking on it now as she watched what were obviously unseasoned travelers that were Fiona and Kayne prepare for their trip Giselle thought that all a little odd. Even a little conspiratorial. Her brow furrowed a little and she looked over to where Lukan was standing with the man and woman who had been introduced her the previous day. She'd been sober by then and had done her best to impress the obviously a little concerned parents with her worthiness. Something Lukan had certainly supported going so far as to praise the feats of strength she had demonstrated and her prowess with a sword. Pondering that now she realised she didn't remember ever doing either.

As Giselle pushed herself off the wall to head across the courtyard and talk to him it became obvious the wait was over and they were leaving. The fuss of final partings took over and there was no opportunity to voice her thoughts. One thing she did note while he stood behind his waving parents was the smug look of satisfaction on his face as the traveler's left.


((Completed the post to fill out the background and a portrait is here: https://app.box.com/s/8rbd16ipin8liyak12jd63s1jsd6a30m ))
Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14394637 Jul 24, 2020 at 07:50 PM
65 Posts
His name is Leondis, Leon for short. Haven't decided on a last name yet, but will decide on something before game time I'm sure.
#14394669 Jul 24, 2020 at 11:28 PM
Veteran DM
192 Posts
All right, here's the setup (feel free to modify any of the below as suits your character concept, this is just to get everyone in place for the start of play):

Brother Xylo is a monk in residence at the Monastery in Crosspath. He is assigned the task of helping a local tend the fish ponds that the monastery maintains just south of town. The local, a halfling named Fosco Fleetfoot, is from one of the local villages. He has been spending most of his time lately at the Boar's Tusk, one of the livelier taverns in town, but with his purse growing increasingly light he has accepted odd jobs to help meet ends meet. The monastery always pays well and on time, which is a boon in these times. Hardly any adventurers come to Crosspath seeking their fortunes these days, and the general consensus seems to be that the old Mai'i ruins in the Dry Hills have all been picked clean.

A small company heads northeast toward Crosspath, coming from the border marches of Arresh where the settled human lands give way to the vast wilderness of the elves. The pair in front engage in friendly conversation, and there's something, just a hint in their features, that suggests that they might be related. The woman trailing behind them looks like she's ready for a fight, but from the way she periodically squints up at the sun, she might be battling a nasty headache.

Coming up from the south is another man with the look of a warrior. He has a sword that looks almost too big to be practical slung across his back. At times it looks like he's having a conversation with someone, but he is alone.

Finally, from the east comes a solitary dwarf. His profession seems obvious from the heavy hammer he carries and the pouch of smith's tools dangling from his belt, but there's something in his manner that seems like he's enjoying the open air as much as he would the hot confines of a forge. He hums to himself as he walks.
#14394920 Jul 25, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Veteran DM
192 Posts
Connection info sent, server is up. Post here if you cannot access it.

LB
#14394923 Jul 25, 2020 at 10:04 AM
71 Posts
I'm getting a password error
#14394924 Jul 25, 2020 at 10:05 AM
71 Posts
nm, you changed it from our longstanding one
#14394927 Jul 25, 2020 at 10:08 AM
Veteran DM
192 Posts
I don't even know what VM's player password is, I just use the DM one. :)
#14395230 Jul 25, 2020 at 08:01 PM
71 Posts
It had been an interesting and profitable day for Fosco. The old monk hadn't missed his purse at all and he'd actually seen a fight between a giant skeleton and some adventurers. They'd even eventually gone to explore the ruins, which sadly, didn't prove to have any treasure at all. The friendly fellow they saved on the road had magnanimously given them a key to his tower in town. It was pretty spacious, but he was disappointed it didn't have a dungeon to explore, nor were there any trinkets lying around to collect. All-in-all, it had been auspicious start.
#14396893 Jul 29, 2020 at 10:59 PM
84 Posts
"Big Trouble in Little Town"

The days passed evenly in the monastery until some foreigners arrived to awake a giant skeleton and somehow disturb a flock of ravens who attacked them. Old Xylo did not see any of that, not that he could see anyway but he met the group of people including a dwarf (he sounded and smelt like one) and followed them in an old tower that some of them took as their new residence.

Xylo was quick to report the incident to the monastery. He planned to wait for further instructions or information from the archive...
#14397143 Jul 30, 2020 at 01:29 PM · Edited 4 months ago
89 Posts
The trip had quickly disabused Klayn of any notions that it would be a pleasant one. First, they were accosted by bandits before they ever even got to Crosspath, and then, immediately on their arriving, a mad murder of crows and a gods cursed giant skeleton exploded from the very ground beneath them and almost killed him.

He still had yet to really process it.

Klayn knew he should be dead even now, but the strange man involved in the attack had some kind of healing magic that mended Klayn. Pain and broken bones gone. Just like that.

And then the strange man gave them the key to his house and merrily skipped away.

If the Fatespinner was trying to tell him something, the message was loudly received, but Fiona of course wouldn't hear of turning around. No, she wanted to go further into the woods.

It was impossible to argue with her so, in something of a panic, Klayn had bought a small bow and a sling off a merchant with almost the last of his money. He'd had target practice over the years. Not serious of course, but he was a fair shot.

Fiona's magic might not scare whatever was waiting for them out there, so he had to be ready. The strangers were already conscripting themselves together, and Fiona was drawn in. Klayn didn't trust any of the odd group, but at least there was a sword among them. Between him and their guard Giselle, they might not look like easy prey.

Before that though, they needed rest, and that strange man's home was all they had. Fiona of course didn't care, but sharing a room with shady strangers was going to be nerve wracking. That, paired with the previous events all but ensured Klayn would not be sleeping well tonight.

Fatespinner have mercy.
#14397348 Jul 31, 2020 at 03:43 AM
Veteran DM
146 Posts
Quite suddenly things had taken an interesting turn.

The job had seemed to be a straightforward one and the bandits on route had been unexpected. The Crosspath road they had been on was a well trodden merchant route and they had made camp in a recognised way-stop. Merchant caravans were notoriously well guarded, the guilds made sure of that, so no she did not expect an attack. Then there was the matter of the others hired on as Fiona's armed guard who had quite conveniently run for it at the first sign of trouble.

Fortunately the bandits were equally useless and had withdrawn after two of their number went down in a manner that meant it would no longer be an option for them ever again. Between the bandits and their own guards though they had lost the majority of their gear. Including, Giselle brightened a little at the thought, the entire library carried by one pack horse alone. As far as she was concerned there was only one good use for paper, and that involved the opposite end to the body from the eyes.

Then before they even hit town they were engaged in further combat. That big skeleton had been a challenge, which was fun. Until the personal assistant Klayn had got too close and got badly hurt. As soon as possible she was going to have to teach him how to handle himself a little better. Giselle had noted the purchase of a bow which was not her best weapon but competence and discipline were universally improved by the correct approach and that she could definitely teach him.

She may have to have a word with the girl Fiona too. Yes, the old guy from town had helped Klayn but she was entirely too trusting. Use of the tower was welcome but it was definitely going to cost them somewhere down the line. As would the sudden interest of a bunch of tag-alongs who were also 'accidentally' involved in the attack outside Crosspath and were now going with them, including a blind old man. The human male at least seemed to be able to handle himself, a halfling was ever handy for getting into places even if they needed a push, and the dwarf had already bought her an ale, which was a positive sign.

Giselle wasn't about to forget one thing lesson learned from her time in the Wharf House though. Nothing ever came without a price. But that was a concern for the morning and there was a task ahead of her now. She quaffed down her ale and elbowed the dwarf conspiratorially before raising her voice to the bar in general.

"Anyone here fancy their chances at arm wrestling?"
Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14397390 Jul 31, 2020 at 05:08 AM
65 Posts
Every journey begins with a single step. And in the case of our journey those steps involved a giant, hulking skeleton that used a tree it ripped out of the ground as a club. It and its minions, a murder of crows, proved to be the first fateful encounter the boy and his future compatriots!

Yes, bards and minstrels would sing of their tales in the future, that could be assured. The way they selflessly all chose to try and save the old priest was proof of their morals and virtues. The fact that they survived the ordeal proof of their strength and ability.

The researcher wizardess! The stoic bodyguard, a classic! The blind, old monk, an unexpected twist on a classic! The energetic halfling and dwarven smith, perhaps cliche, but still good. And the servant boy who almost got himself killed... perhaps an example of why pure bravery or cowardice could be dangerous? Or maybe he'll just get written out, only time would tell!

Yes, with options abound in this town for fledgling heroes only time would tell which task their destiny would lead them onto first.


As some stayed to drink in the tavern, namely Borri and Giselle, and the blind monk returned to the monastery, the rest of them headed to the tower to settle in for the night. Leondis was not entirely sure of how to take the day's circumstances, albeit the sword was certainly ecstatic to have been used to slay that skeleton. That made it all the harder to concentrate as it wouldn't stop talking throughout the day about the people he had just met and the opportunity that had shown up.

At least now he could finally reply to the sword without looking crazy. Or at least he hoped that he didn't give off that impression.

"I know, I know. I think the bandits should be first too... I'll just have to think of- Oh, that could work, yes..." Leondis said in a whisper as he moved his gaze to his sword for a few moments before returning it to his hands, which held his journal and quill. He had taken to writing at the end of the day for two main reasons. One, the sword wouldn't shut up about writing down his exploits for the epic some bard was going to write about them, which he still wasn't sure was going to happen. Second and most importantly. whispering and muttering to yourself, or in his case a sword, looked much less crazy when people thought you were just looking for the right words to write.