Epic DnD - Scales of War

Brindol - Day 1

I have reached the town of Brindol. It is not so large as Varshtenspire, but it is a lively place nonetheless! I stopped at an inn for a meal and beer, which was pleasant, but it will take some time to get used to the food here. The soup was nice, and had chunks of meat (not just broth), but the bread tasted old. There were people playing cards in the corner, and apparently wagering at them, for a Deva took offense at them for not putting the money to better use. (The Deva’s name is Adara – pardon my spelling of all these new names; they don’t all translate well – I met her later. She is most elegant.) They looked to be thinking of provoking a fight, so I stood up too, but before we could encourage them to mend their ways, several hobgoblins burst into the inn and started setting things on fire.
This is not to be suffered! It is destructive, and it is rude. Fortunately, Adara and I were not the only ones who saw to admonishing these small ruffians. There was a Dwarf – Rhonin, who was most careful to protect the barkeep and keep the alcohols from catching fire. That poor man was sorely injured, but I put my mending to good use and soon had him right again. There was a Human wizard – Ah-Lahn – who is also disposed to set things on fire, but mostly the hobgoblins, and besides he put his fires out afterward. There was also a most confusing person who seemed like a Vampire, but also seemed to change whether he was woman or she was man and anyway I have forgotten her name in all the uproar.
No sooner were we done but there was an outcry in the street so we went to see what was the matter. Around the corner there was a large beast of an Ogre who was carrying large kegs of oil the way Rhonin carries one of beer, except that beer does not burst into flames when you light it on fire and throw it into buildings, which Rhonin assures me would be a waste of good beer even if it did work. Ah-Lahn tricked him (the ogre) and set his (the Ogre’s) keg to explode before he could throw it. It took some work but we subdued him and his hobgoblin cronies, but we did keep one to turn over to The Authorities so they can administer Justice.

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Brindol - Day 2

What do you think – we have not heard the last of those hobgoblins yet! They made off with seven good citizens of Brindol and several artifacts from the city museum. (I understand they have a very fine collection of small game snares and traps.) (But I’m sure those are NOT what the hobgoblins made off with.) We were called in to talk with a City Official – Councilor Troyus – who is very arrogant and fastidious. He wanted to hire us to go after these hobgoblins and bring back the people. And the artifacts. But the whole Council doesn’t want to hire us because they don’t want to deal with mercenaries. What a lark – me, a mercenary! Voth would chuckle over that thought. I think it’s all political. Voth would probably understand, because it felt like what he talks about with Mom and Dad. I’m just glad I’m not the eldest so I can be out and about and not have to deal with people diplomatically.
First we questioned the hobgoblin prisoner. We were joined by an Elf, name of Therrin, who I think is a plant by Troyus. Or maybe he’s just a wild elf. His attitude toward hobgoblins was rather like that of most people’s to cockroaches. Anyway, Ah-Lahn seems like such a serious and quiet person, but he was very good at talking to the hobgoblin and getting him to loose his old scales. He told us the Big Boss of the goblins is a big guy, name of Suun-Ryth, who is hiding in a big castle off to the northeast. He wants to start the new Red Hand of Doom, the old one of which was a big marauding band of Tiamat-worshipping goblins that terrorized the countryside. I can’t say he’s very original, copying something some old goblin did back in the old days, but I suppose it’s easier that way. Anyway, I’m going to call Ah-Lahn “Silvertongue” from now on, he’s so glib.

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Brindol - Day 3

So then we had to find the ruins of the old Rivenroar Castle. Honestly, you would not think this would be too difficult. But apparently this was a very old castle that went to ruin so long ago that everyone has forgotten about it. We did manage to find it without too many problems, although Adara had a run in with some blackberry brambles, and I nearly twisted my ankle falling over a tree root. When we found it, there was truly not much there above ground that could even be called ruins, but they have a prodigious basement. We were discussing how to approach and be reasonably quiet but Rhonin just hefted his greataxe and took off down the stairs, so of course we had to go in after him. He reminds me a lot of the twins. I’ve almost been away long enough to start missing them, but not quite! A Next-Older is always annoying, but having TWO Next-Older’s is at least ten times so. I hope they are faring well in the Border War.
At the bottom of the step there were more hobgoblins. Of course we were expecting this. Therrin rushed in and struck a prodigious blow and was soon surrounded. Then what do you think – the lamps in the corners (the tall, tippy kind) started sliding along the wall and shot out bursts of fire! Not very practical for lamps, if you ask me. What if you had them in your front hall, and got home late after a night of carousing and you couldn’t find your key right away for having a stoat in your pocket, and they activated and blasted you on your own doorstep? But hobgoblins probably don’t think in such practical terms anyway.
Therrin was sorely injured, and I had to heal him twice to keep him from dying of his wounds, but he fought furiously when he was up and just would not stop, even when the last one was killed.
And then there were three doors: To Von Urstadt; To Rivenroar Family; To Von Yallak. Or something like that. We went to Von Urstadt. Rhonin picked. I think he spun around in a circle with his axe extended for a while, closed his eyes, and charged. This was the goblins sleeping quarters (very smelly); they had bedrolls and a heap of food. Silvertongue loosed fire on a small group of them, and they were all destroyed. I charged in and engaged one with the proper form I learned at Felicci, and everyone else who charged in just ran past to engage another one. I could have gotten injured or even killed! But then I couldn’t have healed them, and then they would have been sorry. But it all turned out okay. We almost fight like a team. Sometimes.

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Brindol - Day 3 - Continued

Umeril caught up with us finally. We were glad to see her – she is very good in a fight. She rushes in and does not give up. But she does have identity issues! She keeps changing her shape and gender, and if it weren’t for the fact that we were in a basement it would be very hard to keep track of her. If someone kidnapped her in a city, it would take us hours to even realize she was gone. In some ways she reminds me of Kharthana, who lived in Varshtenspire for a time. Her parents were killed in the Argollan War when she was little; she was orphaned and passed off to her uncle who didn’t want her. I’m not saying that’s what happened with Umeril. But I am on Peregrination, and we’re supposed to make observations about the people we’re with, so I’m speculating.
One of the hobgoblins had said something that SilverTongue translated as “bottomless pit” which was through the north door. None of us have ever seen a bottomless pit before, and we thought it would be interesting to see one. And what do you think – it was only a regular pit! Only about twenty feet deep and with a tiled floor, no less! We were so disappointed. There were ropes tied to hooks above it, for swinging across. I suppose it would be good exercise if you had to go in and out several times a day. SilverTongue and Rhonin came up with a clever way to keep the ropes on our side so we could go the other way and nothing could swing across and come up on us from behind.
The next room had a very odd painting in it. It hung from ceiling to floor and was as broad as the Tekka-K’nar Tapestry at home. It was an ugly, smoke stained picture of a very boring swamp, but it had a queer way of flickering that made it look like a real swamp. Rhonin rushed up to it, and this yellow, oozing monstrosity poured out of it and promptly attacked him. It burned when it hit, like vitriol. And when Rhonin and Umeril smacked it, it split into two! I hardly saw what happened next, because out of nowhere we were attacked by two wraith-like skeletal creatures. They sent out bursts of a cold, unholy energy that felt like it stopped my heart and quite simply knocked me to the ground. I got up once, and performed the Rune of Mending on Rhonin, but they cast out the energy again and that was all I knew. When it was over, they said Adara had gotten right angry and sent forth a bolt of energy toward one of them, and when it hit, it was as though the sun had exploded in the room and the thing burst into dark bits of shadow and was gone. Then she did it again but to the other one. I wish I had seen it!
Then we got to a room with a bunch of cells and two goblin guards. Umeril drew one in close, but before we could get to the other one, it opened two doors and let in some flaming beasts the like of which I’ve never seen before. Madame Prynn always said the Peregrination would be an educating experience! We dispatched everything pretty handily and turned to the cells, where we found one of the prisoners! He is an old soldier named Sertanian and he was sore wounded, so I tended to him. After he had some food and water we asked him of anything he knew of his captors or the other who were taken. First, there is a prisoner, a cook name of Mirtella who is being held near a spiral staircase. Second, Kartenix (another prisoner) attacked his captors, and an Ettercap took him off and he is feared dead. Third, there was talk of the hobgoblins planning on EATING the prisoners!!!! This is most unusual for hobgoblins do not tend to be cannibals, so you wouldn’t expect them to be semi-cannibals either.
This was a lot of activity for the day, so we decided to rest.

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Brindol - Day 4

We found a shield that I immediately recognized as something magical. It had runes on it, and when I invoked the Rune of Protection and touched it, a rune on it flared, and that one looked like a sympathetic amplifier to the Rune of Mending and possibly to other types of healing. I think this could be very handy.
We went down a hallway and there found a crypt dedicated to evil gods and full of sarcophagi. Here we battled hobgoblins and made rather short work of them. I realized after the fight with the zombies that Rhonin and Adara were not with us, so SilverTongue and I went looking for them and found them. Rhonin was so worn out from battle that he had overslept and was grouchy until we gave him some travel cakes, soaked them in brandy, ignited them, and told him they were pancakes.
This room had a spiral staircase in it, and we went up it, looking for Mirtella. And we found her in the room at the top, but we didn’t notice her immediately because there were four enormous rats (Dire Rats) before us. I didn’t know rats could get that big. They would need a very large and wild cat to keep them down. Adara singed the whiskers off a couple of them, and Silvertongue thought that was a fine idea and did it some more. That roasted one of them, and darn it if it didn’t smell kind of like chicken. Then Therren, who likes to hang around in back, but that’s okay because he has very sharp vision saw a hobgoblin in the corner and sure enough there were two of them. One of them hit me and then he went all blurry so I couldn’t see him. I breathed on him and when I could kind of see where the ice crystals formed I struck him. It did not take us long to battle. Therren has a very fancy bow and can shoot arrows even two at a time. He would be a Big Hit at the faire and could probably win the prize for shooting.
Mirtella was very ill with Filth Fever. I got her comfortable and if we’re careful she may survive. Then Adara asked about the bite she had gotten from one of the rats. It’s always hard to tell right away, but it looked deep enough that I fear she may also start developing symptoms. We will have to keep an eye on her. I cleaned out the wound and we bandaged it up but we’ll have to keep checking on it. Adventuring is most unsanitary.
Then we went into a room that had great big runes on the floor and a huge family crest – “Von Yalak.” The runes were bright as if they had been freshly painted, even though everything else down here has been grimy and dingy. Ho, ho! Our scales are not still wet! We carefully avoided them as they must be a trap! There were swarms of little flying lizards in the room that were so cunning, except for that they were also very vicius and did not appear amenable to training . (Needlefang Drakelings). Adara rose up and floated into the air and blew just the tiniest puff of breath, and it lifted (by magic, obviously) Rhonin clear off his feet and blew him across the room! I’ve never seen anything like it! But after she landed Adara was attacked by hobgoblins (is there no end to them?) and I had to work to keep her healed. Between all of us we made short work of them, but it helped to have Silvertongue against the swarms of little guys. It takes forever to try to hit them all, like trying to smite mosquitoes with a warhammer. (Which, I note, ought not be done if a mosquito has landed on your brother’s nose. Even if he did call you “Shorty.”)
We freed a cantankerous dwarf, who hit it off with Rhonin and I had to heal him and we had to splint his broken arm. We are doing well so far as Heroic Rescuers! I think they should write a song about us. It is sure to be very popular.
And last we found a room with two larger Drakes in it. What do you think – this was the room that the “Bottomless” Pit fell into! What a funny thing to have in the basement! We just wanted to take care of this as this was the last room in this part of the basement, and then we would have a big meal and a good rest, so we fell upon them with Great Vigor and dispatched them quite handily. We also rescued yet another villager, a grandmotherly herbalist, who is going to share some of her wisdom with us. Or at least Adara. Besides her and Silvertongue, the rest of us are more the action type than the learning type.
and look forward to a nice time in a steam room and rubbing off with hot sand.

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Brindol - Day 5 - Part 1

Hi Vaxxa! Rhonin here! I found your journal while you were sleeping and decided to write in it. Adara told me no but I don’t know why. Oh and I don’t have one of your fancy feather writing thingies, so I’m writing in the blood of a hobgoblin we killed bahahahahahhahhahaha.
After you and Silvertounge fell asleep, Adara and I noticed Umeril going upstairs. We figured we’d follow her and found quite a sight! Apparently there was some in-fighting, two bugbears and a bladeling were fighting a hobgoblin. Umeril rushed forward to assist but Adara and I were more confused than anything. There was some other hobgoblins so I decided we could at least kill them! So we did! I bashed their heads in good. You would be proud of me Vaxxa!
Ran out of blood to write in, so now I spit on the ground to make mud. Works just as well.
After Adara and I killed some of those hobgoblins, Umeril, the bugbears, and the bladeling ran into the next room. I’m not sure what’s going on there, but Adara and I decided it best to just come back downstairs. Umeril will find her way back to us. …maybe.
Oh look Vaxxa, you are awake! Why do you look so angry at me?

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Brindol - Day 5 - Part 2

We took a bit of a rest, and then we continued upstairs. This seems odd, since we were in the basement to begin with, but I guess we started in the upper sub-basement. I think the architect was maybe just a little mad.
We found a room with three coffins in it and rescued a young lady whose name was something like Jusilla, but I don’t exactly remember. She was very scared. very glad to be rescued, and annoyingly clingy. I broke her chains. It’s all in the technique.
We went down a hallway and rescued a young boy. No sooner did we get him untied. than zombies poured in from the hallway and tried to attack the people we were attempting to rescue. Shortly after that, a Deadlock Wight came down the OTHER hallway. We did manage to beat them back and keep our little bunch of townsfolk safe.
Then we found a throne room. Would you put a throne room in the basement? It’s so dank and dreary. Unless that’s only a spare and you didn’t have anyplace else to put it. Or maybe it’s a play throne room for the kids. There were skeletal things all over the room and in the throne a Deadlock Wight and a Boneshard thingy (I think. It’s hard to keep track of everything. I need a handy Guide to Common Dungeon Creatures or something. Maybe I’ll write one as a project.) I don’t know what exactly they were, but I do know they were annoying. One of them kept immobilizing me. Adara helped with that – she flew across the room and picked me up with her. It was so amazing! I would like to know how to fly, but I’m pretty sure that even in advanced classes, Felicci doesn’t teach that. Not for Runepriests! Then I got pushed back out of the fight AND immobilized which was also very annoying.
We did clean out that room too, and we now have six of the seven townspeople we had set out to find! I feel like we are making progress.
We haven’t seen any hobgoblins in ever so long. They apparently were talking about fattening up the people (just like the old stories). Although I wonder why they scattered them all over. It seems very inefficient. I’m sure if I were an evil overlord I would be better organized. But then I’d have to live in a dank basement, or a mountain outpost, or an underwater complex, and it’s just very inconvenient and you don’t live close enough to anywhere to see plays, go out to dances, or go out for dinner. I suppose you could play card games with your minions, but I would get too bored.

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Brindol - Day 6

We found a room with a barrier area. First a bunch of wererats popped in through a door, then the barrier faded and a bunch of zombies shambled in from around the corner. Adara let loose with Flames of Purity and they weren’t much trouble any more. We found a shrine and obelisk and rows of pews. For a bunch of undead, they really have a religious theme going on here. There was something like a “Witherling Death Shrieker” although someone might have been pulling my leg. Things have such funny names. More wererats and zombies, and we defeated them. We unfortunately found one captive who did not make it through this ordeal alive, which was upsetting. We’ve also started finding the museum treasures, although they are a little singed.
We had a good rest. I think we were all a little subdued after finding the boy’s father dead. All we had left to find now was the remaining town treasures. We slogged on this morning, but I think we were all getting tired of being in a dank, smelly basement full of undead things. We found a room with a large, dark sun design in the paving stones. It seemed a little disquieting to me, but Umril frankly became rather obsessed with it. She wants to come back and study it; she wants to camp out near it; she wants to see how it works; she wants to bring a piece of it out with her. But then she also thinks that coffins are a good decorative element for a parlor. Bahamut knows I didn’t pay much attention in decorating class, but I think I would remember if they had mentioned coffins. Then we found a room with a puddle, which is strange because there was no other water leak and the floor was perfectly level. SilverTongue figured out that it was a magic mirror for viewing other rooms and with Adara helping him, he used second sight through it to see that the treasures were still here, in the keeping of the hobgoblin captain. SilverTongue also set up a safe magical camp for our rescued people, which was nice of him. Then we found a room with a bunch of odd tall stones standing in it, like a stone garden, except they were icy cold. And finally we found the room where the hobgoblin was hiding, with a last few followers. Did I mention that another fellow came upon us? Murg the Monk, who was quite a good and reckless fighter, though without the panache that Rhonin has. Rhonin had a hangover and was quite grumpy. I didn’t even tease him about his spelling today either. Anyway, we all lit in and between Rhonin and SilverTongue, they set up magic that kept knocking the hobgoblin down. He had these chains in hand he fought with, and this could be quite fearsome, but he was plainly having a bad day. That, I understand, is what happens when Evildoers get their Comeuppance. I got my most powerful fighting rune to work this time. Some of them just slide out more easily than others; such is the nature of runes. We took him down and, what do you think, this wasn’t all his idea! An egomaniac who thinks calling himself “The Emissary” makes him important flattered him and told him he was such a fierce captain, he would send him troops to take down Brindol! Now really – what is there in Brindol to make it worth taking over? Anyway, I’m sure there is more for us to discover. I wonder if this was all a big distraction, and this Emissary fellow was launching his own attack on Brindol while we were gone. Well, it’s not like we’re the army or even the town guard. When we get back to town I have to write to father, and to mother, and to Madame Prynn, and to the twins. I think we found enough gold that I can afford the wooden tablets, ink and messengers! How jolly this has all been, but I am tired of being grubby

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After a bit of time

Well, that was quite an adventure, to be sure. We got back to Brindol with six rescued captives and an armful of interesting artifacts from the museum (although I’m not really sure that the chamber pot with the naughty pictures was supposed to be one of them). Councilor Troyus was happy to see us, and the city paid us rather well for all our troubles. Then as it turns out there is something else they would like us to do. I thought it sounded rather interesting, and Peregrination means we’re supposed to explore as much as we can and learn as much as we can about different parts of the world.
A long time ago there were Dwarves who were the slaves of Orcs and Giants, in a great mountain city. In time, the Dwarves overthrew their overseers and renamed the city Overlook. (I’m not making this up.) We do know how some of the mountain Orcs can be. So now it’s a great city, not just of Dwarves, but rather cosmopolitan. But the Orcs have a tradition of attacking the city every hundred years, and the Dwarves defend against the siege and win, so everyone goes home happy for the next century or so. (Don’t ask me – I think it’s a silly tradition.) This is the year of the attack and there are whispers that the Orcs are coming with more reinforcements (probably tired of losing all the time). They’ve asked several towns to send some help in the battle, and Brindol wants to send us. They’ll pay us a bit to help us on our travel. You’d think they’d rather have an army, but listening to Rhonin, he makes it sound like it’s all a great lark, but you know how that it – it’s all great fun until someone gets their kneecap chopped.
So we’re going to be traveling! I do like the mountains – it’ll seem a little more like home. Silver Tongue helped negotiate more pay. We had to quash Murg, who wanted to argue for more money, and Rhonin, who was trying to say how cheap it would be for us to stay at his place. We’re kind of a group, but just not really a very organized one.

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Getting Ready to Travel

We bought supplies – not really very interesting here in Brindol. Mostly food (lots of dried stuff, but I bought some spices and onions and things), and blankets and tarpaulins, and chickens, and a pack burro (named Lucca) and a dog (named Burro) and a hireling/cook to watch over the stuff (Alfred). Getting an expedition together is quite a job! Especially when people aren’t used to it. (Rhonin: “All we need is beer.” Adara: “How many pairs of boots can I bring along?” Silver Tongue: “Those chickens are so disorganized!” Murg: “You mean you don’t just squeeze the chickens to make the eggs come out?” Umril “Remember we have to travel by night.” Me: “One hundred bottles of beers on the wall, a hundred bottles of beer…”) (Then Rhonin smacked me.) (I took it in the ribs. He can’t smack very high.) For better or worse, we’re on the road! Before we left, I picked up a letter from Crish and one from Drexna, sent letters home, and arranged to have stragglers forwarded to Overlook.

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