From the Adventure Journal of Krel Tor

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From the Adventure Journal of Krel Tor

Post by Rakaneth » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:06 am

I am often told that spending so much time in my grimoire will drive me mad or, worse, summon something terrible. While neither of these are true, the sentiment is not without merit; I will need practical experience to advance my studies at this point. So it is, then, that I offer my services to the human settlers needing guards for their caravan. I am joined by Ceadda, a steadfast human Warrior; Gronk, a silent ork Archer; and Heartscry, a whimsical windling Illusionist.

I spend much of the first day watching and listening (mostly to Heartscry as she talks to everyone). Trouble comes soon, in the form of Zote and Vah, two brothers who act like anything but, constantly fighting. Their fighting becomes violent, and Ceadda breaks them apart; good thing, too, for I was considering attempting to scare them straight, something I am certain the headman Lareth would not have appreciated. Later that night, just before I take my watch, Heartscry informs me that she saw someone clandestinely leaving one of the wagons. By now, I start to become convinced that we were hired to protect them from themselves as much as the outside.

The next morning proves my theory. A woman named Rosario, whose wagon Heartscry watched the figure leave, seems distressed over her father's heirloom sword being missing. Heartscry follows the tracks, leading us to Zote's tent, and now the trouble truly beigns. Heartscry is convinced that Zote is innocent, based on the theory that only a half-wit thief would steal something and bring it back to his own dwelling to be found. I suspect something more sinister at work, and look into the Astral; I find nothing, much to my surprise, though as will be seen, something more sinister is at work. Lareth, unconvinced by Heartscry's vigorous defense of Zote, banishes him from the caravan. Determined to right this wrong, Heartscry follows Zote as he leaves (without gathering his tent, I might add; does he enjoy sleeping under open sky?) and I follow Heartscry, in the event that Zote turns on her in his rage. I simply keep watch as they speak.

We return to the caravan, and I find myself being much more careful, as it is clear that this community is not so tightly-knit as mine own kin might be. Heartscry informs us that one of the many caravaners she has spoken with, a fisherman named Kirtar, is hiding something from her, and concocts a plan to scare the truth from him. While I appreciate the boldness of the plan (which would have involved convincing Kirtar that I was some sort of monster in his nightmares), I counsel patience; I feel, especially at this point, that an opportunity will come.

As it turns out, I am right.

During the first watch, I awake to the sound of screaming. Vah has an arrow in his foot, and Kirtar is marked with a sigil I have not before seen; standing on the roof of one of the wagons is Gronk, bow drawn and arrow nocked. He overheard Vah and Kirtar speaking of their plans to get rid of Zote, that Vah might be his father's sole heir, and Kirtar, poor as he was, might be able to pursue his dream of becoming a fisherman. (Apparently, Vah's father was not well-loved by the town, and Vah seems to cleave closely to his father.) Lareth, dismayed by the situation, demands to know why Vah was attacked. The plot is revealed, and with the sack of money lying at their feet, the evidence is all too clear. Both are banished, without their things, and Zote returns. Zote and Lareth reconcile their differences, and, at least for the moment, all is well within the caravan.

The next two days pass uneventfully.

As we draw near to our destination, it appears that the scouts' markers have disappeared. We go to investigate, following tracks the scouts have left behind. We find a creature Ceadda calls a Dappled Brithan, a bear-like thing with horns and claws and a very bad attitude. It roars a challenge to which Ceadda responds. I consider attempting to scare the creature, but Ceadda warns us that it does not like outside interference, and is confident that he can defeat it. Heartscry, though, displays her skill in making Ceadda even more formidable than he at first seemed. The battle goes back and forth, with Ceadda and the Brithan pounding on each other, two titans on the battlefield trading blows. Ceadda is wounded badly, but in the end, he defeats the Brithan, but does not slay it.

With the Brithan defeated, we return our attention to the missing scouts. We hear a cry near the river, and when we approach, we find one of the missing scouts, who urges us to help his companion, who was attacked by a bog gob - another creature I had not heard of before now. Ceadda tells us that they do not normally kill, that they fight and wound - but this one clearly had killed, as a blood-raven was feasting upon the corpse of the scout we had been sent to help. I suspect Horror involvement, but with no further proof and no time to investigate further, I simply begin weaving an Astral Spear, as this bog gob is anything but friendly. I feel a sudden pain on my leg as a pair of snakes appear from the grass. I unleash my Astral Spear upon the snake as Heartscry weaves her own illusions around us to make us appear as monsters. Gronk, too, is bitten. The blood-raven takes to the sky, chasing Heartscry. For agonizing moments that feel like an eternity, the snake's poison burns in my blood, and from the look on Gronk's face, he suffers similarly. The remaining snake is dispatched as I spear the blood-raven from the sky, though not before it tears into Heartscry. A second blood-raven joins them as the bog gob approaches angrily. I fix my unwavering gaze upon the bog gob, and the wicked creature does not like what it finds, suddenly fleeing for its life. Ceadda clips the wings of the second blood-raven, and we run down the bog gob and slay it.
With that done, I collect the body of the fallen scout and return it to the settlers. Apparently, the scout's name was Borgan, and in his honor, the humans name their new town Borgan's Rest. With our task complete, we are paid.

I still remain convinced that something very sinister resides all too close to Borgan's Rest, based on what Ceadda tells me about bog gobs. Normally, we might have been able to bargain with the creature, but it seemed intent on killing. I am certain that we will be called upon again to assist the folk of Borgan's Rest, and soon.

Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:26 pm

Once again at Borgan's Rest...

Post by Rakaneth » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:33 am

As it turns out, I am right. Usually, I like being right, but this is one of those times that I wish I weren't; something very sinister was (is?) brewing near Borgan's Rest.

Following Gronk, I return to Borgan's Rest; I am considering keeping a bone circle here, if the locals are amenable to the idea. I get the feeling that this will be a home away from home. This time, we are joined by Ibontu, a mighty obsidiman Warrior, and Thane Cawdor, a fierce troll Sky Raider.

The locals seem to be doing well. More settlers, some not human, have joined their numbers, and their community seems to have found the peace and harmony it was lacking through the journey here. Borgan's Rest is but a hamlet yet, but the locals all seem to have the singular goal of bettering their small town. It is a heartwarming thing to see.

At first, Lareth is confused by our presence, even after we explain that we are concerned by the bog gob we originally found and dispatched a while ago. He informs us that they have had no trouble with the bog gobs, nor anything else. Just when we were about to go investigate on our own, the town is suddenly beset by bog gobs - undead bog gobs, at that! I curse myself for being ill-prepared to deal with the undead as we rush out to meet them.

Bog gobs are extremely irritating for most fighters to face in melee combat. Their bodies are so sticky that weapons - and flesh - stick to them. What's worse, the creatures know this, and attempt to use this to their advantage! Fortunately, Thane and Ibontu hold the line as long as they can while Gronk and I provide supporting fire. (I think I might have pinched my left arm raw casting Spirit Dart. It's been a few days, and my arm still hurts.) After a long, grueling battle, during which Ibontu was felled (but not slain), we manage to send the bog gobs back to their graves...but not before a bog gob - living and riding a boar - comes crashing through the field, bearing also an unmoving Lareth. Fearing the worst, we make a cursory attempt to save Lareth, but the boar is too swift. As night has fallen and all of us are battered from the battle, we take a night to rest before giving chase.

During that night, we attempt to recruit a Troubadour (who happened to be staying in Borgan's Rest to "grow his legend," according to him) - we have need of his facility with languages. When we find him at first, he cowers beneath a table. (I can only imagine how this legend will begin.) Even after encouragement with drink, he is still unwilling to travel with us to the bog gobs' den. Upon the next morning, after some key preparations, Ibon applies a different method of encouragement - the direct, physical kind, quite literally dragging the poor Troubadour along with us. (It might have been prudent to offer payment, but considering the difficulty of coin to acquire and the great monetary demands of my master, I would not have felt justified in making this recommendation.)

After a lot of walking around in the woods after Gronk (perhaps we should have also hired a tracker), we encounter another bog gob, this one living, and not hostile. With some difficulty, we tell the creature that we're seeking dead bog gobs, and it draws a symbol in the dirt - Raggok! It takes us to its camp to speak with its chieftain. After some more awkward translations later, we learn that some of their number have fallen into darkness, learning vile magic from a follower of Raggok, stealing and killing their kin and enslaving them in death. The prodigal bog gob's name is memorable, but impossible to form on my tongue or with Throalic spelling. (If I were to make an approximation, it would look something like Rrr'thll'gkk.) We are tasked with slaying the errant follower of Raggok, which falls in line with our own goals since that selfsame creature has taken the headman of Borgan's Rest. The chieftain sends two of his scouts (who, unlike Gronk, know the way to the creature's lair) and, after some debate, we decide to make our way to their den, but determine the time of our attack (since we will arrive in the dark of night) once we arrive by sending Gronk in to scout.

It is not long after we arrive that Gronk signals us to attack. Screams pierce the night, and I fear the worst for our smith. We engage the creatures - three more undead bog gobs, their leader, and its boar - but we are much better prepared. The warriors are prudent, having cut down shillelaghs to beat the bog gobs without worrying about getting weapons stuck. I prepare the Life Circle of One to hold back the undead. All seems to be going well until that damnable boar begins charging back and forth, tearing into our split lines. Ibon gets one of the undead attached to him after crushing the leader (who had received wounds already from Thane and Gronk) dragging him to my Circle to free himself. Thane distracts the other two bog gobs while the Circle - and Spirit Darts - grind down the undead Ibon brought home with him. The boar gores me hard during one of its charges, leaving me with an ugly gash in my side that has since scarred over. Thane brings his pair of undead to the Circle, but one breaches the Circle, apparently better-made than the rest. Finally, Ibon strikes down the boar, crushing its head with his mace. With the living threats taken care of, it is simple tedium to cut down the remaining undead.

Collecting Lareth, tortured nearly to death, we make our way first to the bog gob village (notably sans Troubadour; I hope he returned to town safely) to inform them of the success of our mission, and then to Borgan's Rest to deliver Lareth. Thankfully, he survived the experience, and in his gratitude, did some smithing for our warriors.