This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Add on-Shakun - Exotic Transportation

Going back about 30 years ago now, the first official town I had ever laid out was Shakun. It was crude, simplistic, and missing most of the actual buildings that people lived in - a layout of the major streets and the shops there. The people were either lifted wholesale from other places I had read about or my first awkward attempts at populating a town.

As time went on I grew more refined and was able to further flesh out the broad strokes of Shakun. This place holds a special place to me as I have had countless adventuring groups either "start" from here or make it their home after the fact.

However with my current group I have not been describing the city as well as I should have, playing it in my mind and glossing it over to the people around the table (plus it is VERY hard to town adventure properly with 7 players!). In an effort to rectify this, I have been penning a few short essays about prominent places in Shakun and forwarding it to the group.

Here is the 5th one:

Exotic Transportation

Of all the places in Shakun that are a far cry from their former glory, none is more obvious than Exotic Transportation. Situated on the western end of town, literally just on the inside of West Gate, it takes up six property lengths and the fenced in yard that is part of its grounds easily covers another five.
Originally it was the trading post and launching point for the traders and travelers that were heading westward towards Waterdale, Orland, and the barbaric outlands of Pervia. Caravans would meet there, get organized, and leave from this place often. At that time there was a strong following of Artemis in Shakun and the local matrons and priestesses would often bless the gathering before they headed out.
As the number of wagon trains heading west eventually lessened and traders began returning from these distant places with their wares, the building was expanded to house all the horses, wagons, and carts that used Shakun as a waypoint. Business and trade flourished and the location was renamed “Western Points Shakun Stablery and Wheelwright”. The priestesses of Artemis continued their many blessings and the months moved into years.
Things would have gone on in this vein without change if Matron Merliss hadn’t gotten terribly ill. The High Priestess to Artemis developed a wracking cough that no healing was able to squelch. She grew weaker and died within 3 days. The Motherhouse in Gul did not have anyone interested in taking over Merliss’ post so they had their small temple closed and the 5 sisters that had been left behind donated most of the heavy pieces (benches, desks, chairs, water basins, etc…) they did not want to bother transporting back to Gul to the Western Points Stablery with their thanks and departed Shakun.
It was remarked after this time that the horses and ponies that Western Points tended to kept their shoes longer, were in better health, and had fewer diseases and ailments. Eventually the same was said about the oxen and mules as well. In fact even the stable cats were noticed to be of better disposition and had more full litters of kittens born. This translated into a lesser mouse problem about Shakun and the surrounding fields.
Montgomery Wheelwright, the owner of Western Points, had three sons working at the stablery. It was his youngest, Eherego, that showed the most promise. Careful, attentive, eager; he had the easiest time with any of the livestock brought in and even though he was barely into his teens, had the respect of most of the riders and traders that used Western Points.
When one of the rangers had dragged in a half dead hippogriff he had captured in the wild, the original expectation was to have the beast slain, the feathers and blood harvested, and the head stuffed and mounted. Eherego instead saw something about the hippogriff and gave the ranger every coin he had plus a promise of bondsmanship to the ranger for 181 days if he would sell him the beast. The ranger agreed and Eherego nursed the badly hurt animal back to health.
He had a seemingly natural knack with any kind of animal, even those that would be considered monstrous. Once the hippogriff was healthy he then was able to train it to take a rider and sold it back to the same ranger for 10 times what he had paid for it as well as the lifting of the bondsmanship. Other traders and trappers soon heard of Western Points and all manner of captured and strange beasts soon made their way to Shakun.
On Eherego’s 16th birthday, Montgomery Wheelwright had the name of Western Points changed to Exotic Transportation and took his youngest in as a full partner.
In its heyday, Exotic Transportation had seen just about any animal that could be ridden on through land and air come to Eherego’s locale. Horses, ponies, mules, lizards, hippogriffs, griffons, elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, pegasi, unicorns, gigantic snakes, wyverns, gigantic spiders, war dogs, wolves, great cats, even one time a small green dragon. Stock would rotate swiftly at Exotic Transportation and if you saw something one season you wanted, there was no guarantee it would be there the following one.
And then in the blink of an eye, the goblin occupation came and it was all over. The Leech plundered Exotic Transportation of its unique wares and dispensed the riding beasts to his captains and trusted followers. Eherego’s life work was scattered and within a year, he lost track of every one of his special mounts.
After the lifting of the occupation, Exotic Transportation was cleaned, refitted, and ready to once again cater to the strange and wondrous needs of those who wanted superior mounts properly trained and treated by an expert. However, sadly, Eherego’s stock consists of horses and oxen at this time, and most of them are in poor health and had been ill-treated. It is a testament though of his staff and himself that the animals that he does take care of often times do overcome their ailments and appear to be of better temperament after a while.
If you do stop and see him he will wax long about some of his glory days and the things he had done, and he will promise to pay highest coin to anyone who can find him anything outside the norm for him to train and work with. To date it hasn’t happened, but he is tenacious in his belief that the wheel will turn again one day.
Exotic Transportation is a very long building with over 30 stalls large enough to house any horse or oxen, with 5 of them being of gargantuan size. There is a well maintained running yard where he or his sons and apprentices are often times seen training what mounts they do have. Exotic Transportation has saddle broken every horse currently in and around Shakun.
The back area of Exotic Transportation is used as a small carpenter’s shed with a number of saws, lathes, braces, and planers. Everything is done manually; there is no wheel to ease any of the processes. The primary purpose of this shop is to keep the aging and poor cache of carts and wagons that the locals of Shakun use in some sort of decent repair. There is a lack of decent hardwood trees in the area and most of what is needed has to be imported from Timberton. This has resulted in Exotic Transportation being forced to salvage what they could from existing wheels and wagons as well as use poorer quality local timbers when there are none available by trade.
For a short while Exotic Transportation was doing their own farrier work but it was not effective so instead they have all shoes being currently made by Sutor’s Forge while they do the actual work on the animals.
Exotic Transportation is owned and run by Eherego, his 4 children (3 sons, 1 daughter) and their spouses, plus he has another 7 apprentices who work for him part time. Most of the work is mundane in nature but for the people who are employed there, they either remember a time or had heard stories of when Exotic Transportation was the destination that most travelers from even 30 leagues away would talk about and come all the way to see. Perhaps as Eherego is fond of saying, the wheel will turn again, and they will be able to see those times once more.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Add on-Shakun - Sutor's Forge

Going back about 30 years ago now, the first official town I had ever laid out was Shakun. It was crude, simplistic, and missing most of the actual buildings that people lived in - a layout of the major streets and the shops there. The people were either lifted wholesale from other places I had read about or my first awkward attempts at populating a town.

As time went on I grew more refined and was able to further flesh out the broad strokes of Shakun. This place holds a special place to me as I have had countless adventuring groups either "start" from here or make it their home after the fact.

However with my current group I have not been describing the city as well as I should have, playing it in my mind and glossing it over to the people around the table (plus it is VERY hard to town adventure properly with 7 players!). In an effort to rectify this, I have been penning a few short essays about prominent places in Shakun and forwarding it to the group.

Here is the 4th one:

Sutor’s Forge

Sutor’s Forge is cobbled together from the three smitheries that used to make up Shakun's blacksmithing industry: Issac’s Tinsmithery, Lessa the Farrier, and Twocask Smiths. During the overrun and occupation of Shakun these smitheries were commandeered by the goblin forces and the original workers were forced to churn out metal works for the greenskin occupiers. Most attempts at sabotage or dereliction resulted in the smithy workers being put to death and replaced by slave labor.

After the goblins were routed and order restored, the town needed a tremendous amount of clean up and repair. It was decided that Lessa’s and Twocask would be cannibalized, with their anvils, tools, and what coal beds that could be salvaged brought over to Issac’s. Issac Smith had been killed many years ago and his children had also met similar fates. A former slave of the goblin snamed Sutorian Baker was one of the main members of the rebuilding of the smithery so in his honor, the forge was named for him. It is for that reason when people ask who runs the forge and sees a mid-30’s human named Torrence come out and greet them they are sometimes confused.

Sutor’s Forge isn’t an actual forge at all. There is no blast furnace, nor can they handle commercial grade iron. There are 3 coal beds and one furnace that is capable of reaching just about 700 degrees C (the beds hover around 350-500). The furnace is closest to the eastern part of the forge, right against the outer wall and the open air portion.

The open air portion of the forge is where the anvil work is done at Sutor’s. There are 2 300# anvils and 5 smaller work areas with lesser weight anvils and just some pounding stops. Covering roughly 40’ x 40’ the roof is slate and pitched away from the main forge building along the entire run from 15’ in height to 10’.

The inner portion of the forge is where the coal beds are located, the furnace, a number of bins, the molding room, and a small counter with a display area showing some of the wares that Sutor’s makes. The Charcoaler is located in the building right next to Sutor’s and there is a firebreak wall between the two buildings (a combination of brick, mortar, and backfilled sand). It was an expensive undertaking but Sutorian Baker had demanded it based upon his knowledge of ovens and bakeries.

The Charcoaling goes on two days a week and Torrence does not allow his journeymen smiths to oversee the process; instead taking it on as his own responsibility. The Charcoaling is dirty, messy, smells, and can become very dangerous if not handled with care and respect.

Shakun is built on a tremendous field of limestone and granite that is situated some distance below ground. The area is metal poor at best although the many many caves that dot the landscape do occasionally give up a small treasure of ore now and again. Because of this the Forge does mostly tinsmithery and farrier work (horseshoes). Their biggest demand product to date though happens to be nails. At this time about half the nails are actually scavenged and rescued from the reclamation projects taking place around Shakun. They are brought to Sutor’s where they are scoured, straightened and set up for sale. The others are made and cut from wire stock that Sutor’s purchases every week on caravan. Because of this there are times when there are no nails available until Marketday.

You will not get a suit of chainmail from Sutor’s but they can have the links fixed. You can buy plowshares, bridles, stirrups, fireplace dogs, horseshoes, binding wire, pots, pans, forks, spoons, chimney sleeves, and arrow heads. He does not have the ability to make swords or shields but can repair them if need be.

As for the people who work at Sutor’s there is Torrence, his 4 journeyman smiths, and up to 12 apprentice smiths employed there. The majority of them are human although numbering amongst his apprentices can be found two half-elves, one elf, and even a half-orc.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Add on-Shakun - Cornelius' Tower

Going back about 30 years ago now, the first official town I had ever laid out was Shakun. It was crude, simplistic, and missing most of the actual buildings that people lived in - a layout of the major streets and the shops there. The people were either lifted wholesale from other places I had read about or my first awkward attempts at populating a town.

As time went on I grew more refined and was able to further flesh out the broad strokes of Shakun. This place holds a special place to me as I have had countless adventuring groups either "start" from here or make it their home after the fact.

However with my current group I have not been describing the city as well as I should have, playing it in my mind and glossing it over to the people around the table (plus it is VERY hard to town adventure properly with 7 players!). In an effort to rectify this, I have been penning a few short essays about prominent places in Shakun and forwarding it to the group.

Here is the 3rd one:

Cornelius’ Tower

This tower was originally called The Tower of the Secret Flame and then years later Redbrick Tower. Nowadays it is called Cornelius’ Tower in honor of the last wizard who lived there.

Located on the northern end of town, just to the west of Town Square, the Tower stands roughly 75’ tall with a 30’ base. Town records show that the tower was the 2nd structure ever built in Shakun; right after the Shakun Keep was constructed (nowadays called Castle Canastal). A wizard conclave called the “Brotherhood of the Secret Flame” had banded together and with a variety of magical as well as mundane means had the red brick tower completed in roughly 2 seasons close to 150 years ago.

In those days every lord had a guild wizard at his disposal, and every high wizard had a conclave of his own. Many conclaves numbered at least 10 members, but some could have as many as 20 or more. The Brotherhood of the Secret Flame numbered 12 and they did not have any names that were ever spoken outside of their own group.

The tower is different in many respects than others in the area. First, it has no windows of any kind anywhere on its face. Second, the top of the tower has what appears to be a mass of metallic branches that even after all these years only show a small amount of rust marring their surface. And even though the original red bricks have faded over time, it still has that sanguine coloring to it that makes most people uneasy being near it.

A thin smattering of ivy does grow around its base but at no point does the plant reach higher than 3’ from the ground. A single door would provide entrance to the tower, should anyone be able to open it. The heavy wooden portal is marked with over 50 deep carvings of strange sigils and glyphs. No door knob is visible and no one is even sure which side the inner hinges are on. Also, even though the doorway appears to be wood, cursory touching and testing leads most people who dare it to believe it is something much denser.

And that is the problem, when one gets to even within a foot or so of touching the doorway, they are filled with an unnatural illness and sense of loathing; only the most stalwart of brave souls can stomach their way forward to completely touch the surface. Even wearing gloves or attempting to touch the door with a stick produces the same sensation and difficulty. Many of the younger members of Shakun will engage in dares to see who is bravest or toughest by approaching, touching, and maintaining contact the longest. One young man in recent past did actually get a nasty rash and raised blisters on his back from standing too long near the tower’s doorway, somewhere on the order of 1-2 minutes.

During the goblin occupation, the tower’s occupant was a mage of some renown known as Cornelius Firebrand. Whether he was a member of the long defunct Brotherhood is unknown, but Cornelius was not a trifling mage. He and his three apprentices did help in the defense of Shakun and performed admirably in keeping the goblins from breeching the walls for some time, but it eventually was for naught and one by one, his apprentices were wounded and slain.

Cornelius was able to bar the door closed, keeping the goblins out and saving for a short respite some 60 citizens that he had retreat into the tower with him. However the Leech was able to force his way into the structure through demonic means and the Abyssal Goblinoid and the mage did battle within, with Cornelius being beaten. The Leech then had Cornelius flayed alive and wore his skin as a cloak, the mage’s spirit trapped within and screaming constantly until the spells binding him to his removed skin eventually faded some weeks later.

What was noted was that even though the Leech was able to gain access to the Tower that one time, he was unable to do so any time after that. No spell, tool, or force of arm was able to open the doors again. He had his goblin minions attempt to sap the tower to topple it but they were unable to tunnel under the tower’s stone for some reason. The tower would not be marred, broken, scratched, or opened no matter what. Eventually the Leech stopped wasting his time on it, had the last of the town’s mage’s put to death, and visibly ignored the Tower from that day forward.

Now that the occupation is over almost 2 years, there has been some renewed interest in Cornelius’ Tower, but no one has been able to gain entrance and even the few mages that had been commissioned to come out here from Agros, Gul, and Titestory are baffled as to the sealing of the Tower and their inability to effect and entrance.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Add on-Shakun - Town Hall

Going back about 30 years ago now, the first official town I had ever laid out was Shakun. It was crude, simplistic, and missing most of the actual buildings that people lived in - a layout of the major streets and the shops there. The people were either lifted wholesale from other places I had read about or my first awkward attempts at populating a town.

As time went on I grew more refined and was able to further flesh out the broad strokes of Shakun. This place holds a special place to me as I have had countless adventuring groups either "start" from here or make it their home after the fact.

However with my current group I have not been describing the city as well as I should have, playing it in my mind and glossing it over to the people around the table (plus it is VERY hard to town adventure properly with 7 players!). In an effort to rectify this, I have been penning a few short essays about prominent places in Shakun and forwarding it to the group.

Here is the 2nd one:

Town Hall

Originally the Shakun Town Hall was used as the trading hall for the visiting caravans during Marketday. As time went on, the interest in imported Pervian goods grew and the sheer number of traders coming through Shakun made the hall impractical. The shanty of hovels and lean-tos that had grown outside the Hall were cleared away and cobbled over, making what is now known as Town Square over 60 years ago.

The Town Hall was first officially used during the Gaia’s Festival in 127 as the place for the brewers and vinters to set up their wares out of the rains that had been hitting that week. A few drunken brawls followed and the first trial was held here at that time to identify who threw the first punch. Not a noble start but an honest one.

Since then the Town Hall has been refitted for its new purpose and is one of the more structurally sound buildings in Shakun. Although it is a single story building, it does boast over 15’ of height on the inside from the stone floor to the open rafters above. The windows are plentiful but narrow, a mere 13” in width making it difficult for anyone other than halflings to slither through. The main double doors are 4’ wide each and have been replaced many times – the current set are iron banded reinforced oaken timbers. The main entrance is also set partially inside the walls of the Hall; set back and concave to the furthest point of the exterior wall by almost 10’. This was by design since the Hall can also be sealed from the inside and anyone attempting to gain entrance would be subject to many potential flanking attacks through the windows by either bow or long spear.

There is a weapons rack and closet just on the inside right door where citizens are divested of lethal weaponry and it is placed here until they leave. During Court Day the Town Hall will have 12 guards on duty and placed in various spots both within and outside the building. At other times only 4 guards are on duty although the full roster of 12 can be mustered within 15 minutes if need calls (over 30 citizens are classified as Town Hall Guards but the “active” duty roster rotates so most of them can pursue whatever other jobs they need to maintain their homes and families).

The center of the Hall is dominated by an 8’ diameter fire pit which is lit during the winter months to provide warmth. The ceiling above does allow smoke to escape but the flue and chimney is not perfect and when it is cold there is a sweet spot where the people who do come to the hall try to sit; someplace where they are warmed by the fire but not choked out by pluming smoke.

Seating in the hall is primarily along the back, left, and right sides where simple roughhewn pews of 12’ lengths are set in not quite perfect rows. Up to 200 citizens can sit on the right, 250 on the left, and another 150 can sit in the back. There is also standing room for another 200 or so should that many people come to the Hall.

The front of the hall is dominated by a large scarred bench. 5 chairs are placed behind the bench with the central one for the town Magistrate. The other 4 chairs are for: the Baron (Taugis), Consul (Ikarsbane), Reeve, and Captain of the Guard. Not many matters require the audience of all 5 members of the Town Board and most are handled by the Magistrate or in the matters of common cases, the Reeve. The bench was used by the Leech during the goblin occupation for a time as a torture table before being discarded. Local artisans had scrubbed, sanded, repaired and refinished the bench lovingly after the Leech’s destruction and it has since been replaced here in the Town Hall.

In front of the bench is a cordoned off barred area where plaintiffs or accused can be brought to present their case or matter to the bench. Behind it is a grand table with seating for 18 where supporters would sit. To the right and left are two smaller tables, much newer constructions, where defendants and accusers would situate themselves.

Finally, behind the bench are three doors. One on the left leads to a private lavatory, one on the right leads to a storeroom where often times dried meats and vegetables, a few barrels of water, and a small amount of simple arms and shields are stored (enough to outfit 12 men if need be), and the one in the center leads to an apartment where the Magistrate resides. The apartment has 4 rooms and is fairly spartan, but is provided free for the Magistrate and any potential family for as long as he holds the position.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Add on-Shakun - Pelis the Rug Merchant

Going back about 30 years ago now, the first official town I had ever laid out was Shakun. It was crude, simplistic, and missing most of the actual buildings that people lived in - a layout of the major streets and the shops there. The people were either lifted wholesale from other places I had read about or my first awkward attempts at populating a town.

As time went on I grew more refined and was able to further flesh out the broad strokes of Shakun. This place holds a special place to me as I have had countless adventuring groups either "start" from here or make it their home after the fact.

However with my current group I have not bee3n describing the city as well as I should have, playing it in my mind and glossing it over to the people around the table (plus it is VERY hard to town adventure properly with 7 players!). In an effort to rectify this, I have been penning a few short essays about prominent places in Shakun and forwarding it to the group.

Here is the 1st one:

Pelis the Rug Merchant’s Shop

Located on the east end of Shakun, this two story large faced shop announces itself long before someone gets close enough to peer inside by the smell of the woolen carpets the trader sells and makes. The aroma of dyes and damp wool hangs low to the ground, scented for half a block before the doorway itself. It isn’t unpleasant, just obvious; more so when it rains.

The main supporting features of the building are brick and mortared stone, encompassing the corners and in 2 places along the building’s front. The roof is a mix of thatch and slate tile canted towards the street with small eaves running off the left and right sides. The rest of the building is wooden planked with a heavy layer of crude concrete (mud and crushed gravel) that has been painted white and shows many signs of repair. The windows are large and spacious, made of leaded glass and kept clean.

A trio of racks line the front of the building just outside the larger of the two doors that leads to the showroom, each rack is over 10’ in length and stands around 5’ high. It is here that Pelis often shows the most colorful of his wares during the dry days, enticing the locals to both see and touch his rugs. The ground around his shop has been laid in with paving stones, and expensive undertaking since the rest of the street is not but one that Pelis and his father in years past had happily put in place regardless of the cost in order to keep the carpets clean and provide a place free from dirt and mud.

Pelis has a young niece (late teens/early 20’s - relatively speaking) who helps him maintain the day to day business, as well as 4 other people who work at his shop. Two of them are journeyman weavers and rug makers, one is an apprentice, and the last is a laborer who often can be seen sweeping the front street clean after a busy influx of traffic.

The shop itself is a sizeable showroom, often times having upwards of 70 rugs and carpets on display. Large wooden racks adorn the back walls where the finished products are shown, folded over the display dowel in a series of 6 rugs per racks. Most of the wares are smaller however he often has a few great rugs shown at any one time. A counter with a raised set of iron bars that runs 3 feet over the counter’s top and the full length of the wooden furniture, is along the right side, beyond which is the workshop. The bars prevent anyone from easily reaching across the counter and getting to the strongbox which is built into the floor and counter itself. The box has not only a first class lock affixed to it, but also needs a special series of turns on the front lever to effect opening the small vault.

Pelis was robbed only once and it was many years ago. Over the doorway to the workshop is a length of old frayed rope mounted on a wooden plaque and if asked about his robbery, Pelis will often look at the ropen trophy and smile to himself before replying that his funds were returned and the thieves were punished for their crime.

The workshop is cramped with the looms and weaving stations practically on top of one another. Great spinning wheels take up the back wall, the two of them are obviously new, replaced after the former ones had been destroyed or taken during the goblin occupation. Most times there are a few spools of finished wool which is ready for dying and weaving. Pelis does not dye his wool until the color requests are made for commissioned work, or until he is ready to have one of his journeyman begin a new project.

There is a door out of the workshop that does lead back to the street, and there is a smaller private one also fitted with a lock that leads to Pelis’ domicile on the 2nd floor. His home is above his shop and contains a kitchen, larder, living room, a lavatory, and 4 other room sone of which is a bedroom for himself, one for his niece, and two others which he lets out now and again to borders (of which a Woodhelvian Grey Elf named Enthir is currently staying in one). There is a cistern on the roof which collects rainwater and holds up to 10 gallons at any one time. This water is what is fed by wooden piping to the lavatory and the kitchen. When the cistern is empty, Pelis will have his niece go to the well and draw a couple of gallone of water each morning.

Finally, Pelis is also the guild master of the Thieves guild in Shakun, a fact that is a poorly kept secret at best. He does not make it his business to promote this fact, and the 37 members of the Shakun Guild who answer to him know that NO ONE in Shakun is to be marginalized at any cost. There is no "sanctioned" stealing here. Most people in Shakun don’t have enough to live on and Pelis demands that we help our own. Most of his people are information brokers and fences of stolen goods from other caravans and towns. Their skills were learned against the goblin occupiers and are well suited for covert missions and spying.

The guild hall is located in a basement level beneath Pelis’ shop. Access is achieved three ways: 1) in the alleyway to the right of the shop, about 15’ down is a slab of stone 3’ x 3’ that can be pivoted up (counterweights below the street level make this an easy prospect), 2) in the shop the 2nd rack from the left, the heavy mass of rugs covers a “hole” in the floor (the hole can be plugged from underneath with a wooden trapdoor that will lock into position), 3) a crude tunnel leads under the city walls and to a gutter that can be lifted aside to allow entrance/exit.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meet 9, Adv 1, 8/11/12

The group had performed the "Couch Move" Quest and then were escorting the caravan to Timberton where they did some shopping and the opportunity for another quest. Pulled it right out of my ass - had nothing planned except "meeting a strange rich older dude in a tavern who offers you a chance for glory and riches to bring back a strange artifact." If I could have had him wearing a cloak I would have.

So now over the next few weeks I will finish up Candlewick Keep and the surrounding area and get the adventure ready for the group.

I really enjoy DMing off the top of my head some times.

Write up follows:

The group spent the rest of the 6th getting ready for their guarding mission of the goods caravan leaving on the 8th. Fist’al continued his dalliance with Lirea and the remainder of the party bought a few perishables for the trip. We rested well and on the 7th we convened at the Merrik household to go over the moving of the couch.

The carpenter had been here yesterday and had made various repairs to the aging furniture. We tested it and felt sure that it would survive the trip from upstairs to down. As for the rest of the house, it was still a cluttered, hoarder, mess and we did our best to ensure that there was at least a wide enough path for the couch to be moved.

It was decided that Ironboar and Marcus would move the couch from the top of the stairs to most of the way down, and then Marcus, who was taller, would hand the couch to Tempi and then Device OVER the weak railing and eventually the two half-orc brothers would finish its trek against the living room’s far wall.

Fist’al, Enthir, and Flimflam would be watching.

The move went without any real issue. There was a scary moment when Ironboar did trip when navigating the steps, bashing the 140# couch into the top of his thighs, but it made its way without any further real mishaps and the Merriks were thrilled. 90 commons were promptly paid and we left feeling good after a meal and some weak beer. Ironboar drank quite a bit of the frothy brew and eventually commented while slightly inebriated that his “piss was gonna smell like urine.” Um..thanks Ironboar for that observation!

On the morning of the 8th we met up at the Northern Stablery where there were three large wagons already loaded down. Each wagon was to be pulled by 2 horses, and there were an extra 3 horses being brought along to cycle the animals out during the trip. Each wagon had a driver and a second, and there were 4 other teamsters who came as well, each armed with a crossbow and sword to help scare off potential bandits. (Which hadn’t been working all too well during the past number of trips).

Verim was here waiting for us and he and Lirea were very happy to be with one another. Introductions were made all around and the feel from the men was that they were pleased we were coming and felt confident that this would be an uneventful trip.

We rode off without issue and by 6:30 that evening had arrived at the Flying Pegasus Inn, a large 3 story inn that was situated roughly halfway between Shakun and Timberton. There were also 4 other smaller thatched cottages around the inn which did boast a sizable stable as well as a small smithery for shoeing horses and fixing traces and harnesses should need be. The animals were tended to and the group bedded down after eating.

We slept without concern and the next day we were off before 8, hitting the road with blue skies and sunshine along the way. It was in the mid 50’s today and the bloom of spring was deep across the land. As we travelled closer to Timberton the road meandered through the trees. In some places there were still burned section and scarred ground, testament of the battles that had been fought here. We did also see a few travelers, and in one case a hunter did watch us for a bit before going into the woods, presumably to hunt.

By early evening on the 9th we arrived at Timberton and spent some time making sure we had lodgings. We spoke to the caravan leader who assured us that we would not be leaving until around 10 AM on the 12th. The group talked about it and told Lirea that they did not feel comfortable taking her to Ferron as they had made a promise to stay with the caravan when it would leave and Ferron was just too far to risk going and coming back. She bid us all farewell and kisses went about. She assured us that when the time came she would return shortly to Shakun with Eden (here sister) in tow.

We then spent the next 2 days going around Timberton. It was larger than Shakun in population, but not in area. Most of the homes were 2 and 3 stories tall and there was more obvious poverty and desperation amongst the lower classes of the town. Their chief export was wood – both raw and unfinished. We wandered about and made a number of purchases and contacts, some of the notable ones being a bastard sword for Ironboar and a number of pipes and pipeweed for Flimflam.

Towards the end of the 11th though we had the luxury of being in the Roaring Treant where through a number of conversations about our being an adventuring group, and yes always looking for work, we were introduced to a man named Perrin. He was a man of some means and had a number of compatriots with him – some of them less than savory looking.

Long and short he offered us a job. A collector and facilitator of fine antiquities with a strong emphasis on religious artifacts (focus on Zeus), he wanted us to go and find a place called Candlewick Keep, somewhere on the southern border of the Endless Forest. In there would be a 3’ tall statue of Zeus with sapphires for eyes. It had been made some time ago and the sculptor had actually been struck by lightning at the final stroke of his carving. Through a number of transactions and events it ended up being taken by someone referred to as the Bandit Baron to Candlewick keep where it has been ever since.

The keep is very close to goblin territory although Perrin assured us that according to the Oracle at Argos, the Goblins had never actually ever entered the keep and the statue was still there.

We went back and forth and were going to say no when he told us the job would pay 750 crowns for returning the statue, with 100 crowns up front that would be returned to him should the group be unable to find the statue within 2 months. Also we would be entitled to keep whatever else we found with the knowledge that 5% of it should be donated to the temple of Zeus in honor of the quest.

We talked about for a bit and as had been mentioned, it was a lot of money. One of the party members did comment about taking the job and not going just to get the 100 crowns. “To be honest, we could lie!” It was decided that we should be up front as adventuring jobs would mean more if we had a reputation to be proud of.

On returning to talk to Perrin he could tell we were wavering on taking the job. That’s when he increased the offer to 800 crowns and of the 100 up front, we could keep 50 of it to pay for any associated costs that it would run us for the expedition. Also he increased our time from 2 months to 4 months. However, he was NOT going to be here in Timberton much longer and would be leaving to continue his circuit, eventually ending up in Gul (much further east).

We took the job, got our 100 crowns up front, and then retired to discuss a better name for our group than Flimflam and Company, or the Shakun Adventuring Group. It was roughly 8 PM on the 11th and we were leaving the next day at 10 AM to return to Shakun.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Add on - Past Adventure Logs

The party had looked around the Hall of Heroes where they did find a log book of other adventures that had been taken by prior groups. Breadcrumbs for their interest.

Fernius’ Tower roughly 4 miles South and West of Timberton.     Poran Woods.

The Five Swordbrothers. 5 Members, 11 hirelings.     46 days.

Deaths: 0 members, 3 hirelings     144 A-30

Adventure Leader Comments: Fernius Slavemage had preyed on the travelers and traders of Timberton for some time. We were commissioned to achieve entrance to his tower and bring him down. Justice was supposed to come with a spear in his neck. We did, but the problem was cutting through all his charmed slaves which were just normal regular folk that had succumbed to his magics. After being trapped in his tower for some time we did manage to break free of our cells and took the fight to Fernius. Slayed the mage and plundered his treasures. Didn’t touch his library as two of our hirelings were turned to pigs for touching the books.

Devilclaw Caverns roughly 6.5 miles South and East of Shakun.     Forested area.

The Five Swordbrothers. 5 Members, 2 hirelings.     15, 21, 7 days.

Deaths: 3 members, 2 hirelings     147 A-30

Adventure Leader Comments: Discovered by a trapper we followed his directions and entered the caverns. At least 3 levels. First two were no issue, lots of goblins and hobgoblins. Third is where the Devilclaw resided and we were taken down. Barely escaped only because the Devilclaw was gorging on our fallen companions. Would like to mount a campaign eventually to go back and reclaim Brother Bartimarius’s magical flail, “Sunburst”.

Hall of Donnegarten roughly 10 miles South and West of Heatherfield.     Silent Hills.

Terril McLochlan and Company. 3 Members, 3 hirelings.     23, 16 days.

Deaths: 0 members, 0 hirelings     151 A-30

Adventure Leader Comments: Former dwarven stronghold, mostly ruins. Plenty of treasure in silver and old dwarven weaponry. Made two trips. On 2nd trip discovered a side passage on the 4th level that went somewhere else. Quality of tunnels were different and our priest got a bad feeling. We left without exploring and decided to have a 3rd excursion at another time. Still haven’t as of yet.

Tower of the Forest Wizard roughly 45 miles north of Du’uk Tsarith in the Endless Forest.

Baylin Quickfoot and Company. 5 Members, 7 hirelings.     74 days.

Deaths: 1 member, 3 hirelings     154 A-30

Adventure Leader Comments: The trip there was terrible, harried throughout the endless forest by the Greenthorn Tribe of Goblins. Once at the forest shield we had a problem with our ensorcelled items and them a sudden tornado appeared. The aftermath had killed Dragonbreath Emberson and three of our hirelings. We left without resolving either entrance through the shield or getting to the tower.

Brokenleg Ridge 5 miles north of Shakun.

Baylin Quickfoot and Company. 4 Members, 1 hirelings.     13 days.

Deaths: 0 members, 0 hirelings     156 A-30

Adventure Leader Comments: Aptly named since I had broken my leg at the sloping scree of stones when I failed to make a jump over a pit by the entrance, we actually did pretty well here. Was a goblin bolthole for some time that allowed them to raid on Shakun without being found. We routed the gobbo’s, took their spoils, and even returned maybe half of it to Shakun as “found” while I sent Sperius to Ferron to fence the rest. Two levels, suspect there was a minotaur on the 2nd. We didn’t stay to find out.

Pervian Castle roughly 24 miles west, southwest of Shakun.

The Squirrels. 4 Members, 6 hirelings.     29 days.

Deaths: 0 members, 2 hirelings     157 A-30

Adventure Leader Comments: Some story from a traveler who had seen a castle lying at an angle at the base of some hill had us going to check it out. Big, old, strong, it was transplanted from somewhere else but don’t know how. Hard to maneuver around. Some decent haul but the coinage was old. Big fight with some nearly unkillable thing but Zarik was able to drop the balcony on top of it, burying it and allowing us to leave. Plenty of treasure sure to be there still but not interested in going back, not without a few spellcasters and someone with a bow.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Meet 8, Adv 1, 7/28/12

The group spent some time looking around the basement of the tower but did NOT want to risk entering it or messing with anything that might be considered outside their skill and comfort level.

As for moving the couch, a lark offer, that is very much BELOW their skill level - but if done right has the chance of providing some decent goodwill with their adventuring name in town.

Write up follows:

We decided to investigate the basement area of Mahr’s Tower, limiting our possible problems to just Fist’al, Ironboar, and one of the bandits that was fairly healthy. The area down there was dark, darker than expected, and it wasn’t until Fist’al made it to the floor that some sort of mystical ambient light emanated from the ceiling.

The basement was the entire size of the tower, just about 120’ diameter, with a number of support columns spaced about the place, supporting the weight 8’ above. A circular iron stairwell was set in the middle of the tower going up to a large trap door in the ceiling. Falag and Thagorek were using a small section of the ground as a place to sleep and work, purloined and mismatched furnishings that had been obviously scavenged elsewhere and brought here. Beds, dressers, foot lockers, desk, chairs, tables. Beyond this were a 5 count of iron and ironbound boxes.

We checked over the area carefully, Flimflam and the rest of the group calling down now and again to ask if it was ok. We discovered a small ring of keys, various papers and paperwork, and even a complete set of torture knives. Eventually it was time to check out the boxes and we had Enthir come down and the mage checked for magic – verifying the ceiling was magical but the boxes were not. Fistal checked for traps and not seeing any unlocked the 1st box and had the bandit with us open the box. A tiny dart flashed out and hit him in the chest. He began to freak out and spasm so Fist’al knocked him to the ground, slashed the wound with his knife, and proceeded to suck and spit out any poison possibly in the bandit’s system.

Shaken but not dead, the bandit was thankful and we checked out the box – it was filled with hundreds of brass and copper coins. Nice. Perturbed that he missed the trap Fist’al had the luxury of looking over the box while open and noticed a release trigger along the top of the box. If it was held down in a certain way after being unlocked and then opened, the dart would not fire.

Armed with this knowledge he checked out the rest of the boxes and opened them without issue – finding hundreds and hundreds of other coins. Most of them brass and copper but eventually some silver and gold as well. Finally while giving the place a final once over we did find a bag of dust spores hidden under the table and from some of the notes found it had something to do with someone named Vingian. We took it carefully.

We left the basement with our treasure and proceeded to hook up the cart in question that was here to one of the nags and roped the other two with leads and harnesses to the cart as well. Small sacks were placed over every bandit’s head and they were all linked to the back of the cart. We had a small issue with Falag where the bandit lieutenant was getting verbally accosted and abused and tortured and the smell of rosewater grew strong and he actually burst his ropes until getting knocked back out again. Flimflam cautioned us against what we had been doing and we grew ready to bring everyone back.

During the trip back we did come across some trappers who we talked a bit to about what we were doing and what they were doing and then moved on.

It was over 3 hours until we came back to the furthest places of Shakun (the homesteads) where we had some angered conversation with Dormanger and some of the other people. They felt slighted that they had been left behind but eventually were overjoyed to see the bandits brought to justice as well as most of the stolen gear. Flimflam assured them it would be settled back and town and the mass of over 30 farmers followed us for another hour back to Shakun.

We eventually met with the Magistrate, Baron Taugis, and Zarik Ikarsbane where we formally gave over the 9 bandits we had brought back to Captain Thragirel and the stolen gear. From there we spoke with Baron Taugis and some of the other council members and were thanked for our part, were paid the gold for completing our 1st charge, gave the Baron 10% of our findings as required, and eventually given the keys to the Hall of Heroes and told we can live/stay there. We were also charged with following up on where this goblinwater was coming from and bring the maker/supplier of it in for trial.

We then checked out the hall of heroes, noted what was there and what was of use. The place needed some fixing and repair so we hired some washer women to clean the place. Some rooms were taken and we divided up the treasures found amongst ourselves. We did find a log book of adventures that the prior inhabitants had maintained and gone on, taking the time to look it over and share it amongst ourselves.

We were going to take the job to escort the stabler to Timberton on the 8th, which would also allow us to take Lirea part of the way to Ferron. Before getting something to eat though the group went to the town square and hunted the stalls, travelers, gypsy tents, tinkerers, and other folk for anything they might need being it was Marketday. We had questionable luck and some of our recently earned coin was spent before going to the Pixie Down Inn and getting a meal.

A round of ale was brought for the townsfolk there and we were certainly popular. Lirea went back with Fist’al and the two of them had more carnal delights. We also commissioned the carpenter to make a number of beds for us, completion and delivery in 5 days or so.

The next day (Plantmonth the 6th) we were eating breakfast and eventually were approached by the Merrik family. They reminded us about the couch that needed to be moved from the upper floor to the lower and we decided to go and take a look. The house was a hoarder house with piles of stuff everywhere, some of it precarious. The couch was an old wooden carved monstrosity on the 2nd floor and was needed to be brought down to the 1st floor. It was made by Merrik’s grandfather and was irreplaceable. No laborer would move it even though they had gone as high as 10 commons.

That was when they had gotten the idea from the Todron family about hiring the “adventuring group” to move it for them. We went over the price for a while eventually settling on 90 commons for moving it correctly without issue or mishap, 20 commons if something goes wrong. We told him to get the carpenter to tighten up the frame of the couch and we would move it for them tomorrow.

That wrapped up this session. As has been the way of things lately, we had two Ironboar-isms and another Marcus-ism. We heard, “I didn’t kill anyone, My flail did,” when asked about the number of bandits that had been slain instead of knocked out and “If I go there, you’ll force me to beat up hobos,” when asked about doing leatherworking somewhere other than our house and why not use the Tannery itself at Tanner’s Way. Finally Marcus had shared with us about the Merrik home and the number of weird items piled up on shelves, boxes, and leaning piles and us moving a couch through the maze and no dropping anything, “I can pretty much guarantee, something WILL break!”

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Meet 7, Adv 1, 7/14/12

This was the party's first attempt at real combat (not counting accosting teenagers, drug addicts, or various townsfolk as had been the case to date so far) with the new characters and it was different. Most people had different roles in battle than they were used to and we did not have everyone at the table which a few people were on "auto-follow".

What was a reminder was the possibility of death at 1st level as even single shots and lone melee rounds had the group watching how deadly only "6" hit points can be. Mind you, they went up against 13 or so effectively level 1 commoners (except for the 1st and 2nds in command) but they still accorded themselves very well.

Write up follows:

That evening we talked about whether or not we were going to bring Verim and the villagers and the group, in light of Ironboar’s argument with the Dormangers and Orin Dormanger’s dislike of Lirea and his son, were swayed in the direction of NOT bringing the villagers with them. Would there beany repercussions over this? We did agree to meet with them @ 8 in the morning but could we get out of actually going with them? We decided that a visit with the Magistrate should answer these questions.

However Tempi wanted…no demanded a visit with Fist’al, Ironboar and himself at Zarik’s – and Flimflam should come as well before going to the magistrate. Device was going to take Lirea with him to the temple grounds to visit the hospice there and tend to the wounded vagrants (that she knew) as well as talk to the High Priest Gavilerin.

At Zarik’s we sat at Zarik’s table and then spent some considerable time with Tempi trying to prove that Fist’al was untrustworthy and a dick. Zarik took the other tack and said that Fist’al was nothing other than honorable in his dealings and trusted. The dick part was up for conversation. Ironboar pretty much told Fist’al to take a walk and Fist’al got up from the table with a flippant, “I don’t need this group or your shit Ironboar” response. Flimflam and Zarik were able to establish a VERY tenuous peace but nothing was resolved except for Tempi hearing from Zarik himself that Fist’al can and should be trusted.

As for the Magistrate he had said that we were under no obligation at all to take the villagers with us and we have all the right as per our charter to make what decisions we deem necessary to perform our duty and keep Shakun and its people safe. So no – fuck ‘em, they don’t HAVE to come.

We rested well that night and woke the next day early. We did detour to Sern’s General Store to get another length of hemp rope and some small sacks to both bind and blind any of the bandits we managed to capture. After that we left Shakun.

It took us over 3 hours to leave Shakun, the homesteads, and what places we had been before behind. From them we were walking in the low rolling hills and grasslands, following what few landmarks Lirea was able to tell us on our way to Mahr’s Tower and the bandit camp.

Eventually we found the valley in question and spied upon it carefully from above. The tower was 120’ tall with some sort of metallic looking spindly structure up top. There was a ruined remains of a small encampment and village around the tower, the wall missing many sections in places. A number of the buildings were still in decent condition and we could see a simple stablery as well as a cook ground. A single bored looking fellow in a padded jerkin walked a picket around the tower grounds and we could see maybe 5 or 6 others about the place.

Plans were established and discarded for a bit until we decided on sending Lirea down alone. She would go to the front of the place(the east side) while we would pick our way around a few hills and approach the tower from the west side. Everyone would go to see the pretty and friendly (and well known – to them) young women and allow us to get within the actual grounds of the tower and find the two leaders in question. Lirea pointed them out to us: Thagorek (a shorter thick and brutish looking man) and Falag (tall, spindly, greasy, and not trusted even amongst the other bandits). We asked for 10-15 minutes to get in place and then signaled Lirea with a flash of mirror that we were ready.

It went off as we expected, she made a lot of noise and attracted the attention of the camp and a total of 12 or so men and women between the ages of perhaps 15 and 25 came out to meet her. She talked loud and long and took her time making her wishes known to the group that she wanted her and Brandone’s share of the money but Thagorek was not allowing himself to be swayed and was telling Lirea to leave. As for us we crept down the hill fast and got to the outer wall of the western side of the grounds. Only the stabler was here along with a horse a few mules, and 3 camp dogs. We split up briefly and hit the group with a sleep spell before charging in and dispatching the last of the threats here (the bandit had been crushed by a falling , sleeping horse). It was while we were trying to get all back together that we were noticed and about half of the bandits gave chase across the yard towards us.

We ran around the wide base of the tower and actually came upon the other half of the group swiftly. Arrows flew and our fighters plunged ahead with spears and flails and swords flashing. The enemy did meet us and the furthest 3 bandits had bows out and sent arrows falling amongst us. Half of our party had turned the other direction and had weapons at the ready, expecting the 2nd half to hit us from around the tower.

Whosea was vicious and Ironboar was just as terrible –the two of them not pulling their blows but instead going for killing and rending attacks when able to (Whosea had an excuse – he was a 120# German shepherd– Ironboar was merely a barbarian deep in the rage). A few of us did get hurt during the melee, clothyard shafts and sword burns but as a party we accorded ourselves well until at long last the final bandits stopped fighting and gave up.

We bound them together and called out to any others still here to show themselves (one did). We did note that those that were near both Thagorek and Falag did smell rose scent coming from them as well seemed to grow tired during the fight as if their strength was fueling the other mens’ attacks. We looked over them briefly and noted a surprising lack of coin. Itwas thought that any treasures might be in the basement section of Mahr’s tower where the two leaders often stayed and we were going to explore that possibility next.