[Note: A couple- Maggie’s Log
Gnu’quirk and I met Durak the dwarf sorcerer (Never seen one of those before!). We were hired by a Halfling merchant named Blacklebuck who sent us with a human rogue Forgia Chase to stop illegal slave trading by Corwin Jaffe. We broke into Jaffe’s tavern and freed the slaves. The tavern burned down, but Corwin escaped. The slaves had a strange, magical snakelike tattoo. Gnu’quirk took a ring of 100 keys which belonged to Corwin; he still has them as far as I know.
Blacklebuck hired us again, this time to steal documents from bandits. Gnu’qirk was almost eaten by a 2-headed ogre, and later Durak was almost eaten by an undead ogre; he ended up being tossed into prison. The bandit camp was distracted by a possible orc attack, and we brought Blacklebuck the documents. We also found a strange obelisk—it makes me more resitant to poisons, diseases and such, and may have another power—the key to the tomb of Vorbix, perhaps.
Mung, the orc meat-pie seller, asked us to help the ratcatchers guild, which was plagued by wererats. We were joined by Mahthan, a Halfling fighter who can ride circles around poor Gnu’qirk. We killed the wererats (An awfully messy job when you lack silver weapons!), who were working with a gang “the Scarred Shadows” and freed guildmaster Westin. Gnu’qirk got a magic weapon and I got bit. I feel itchy…
Blacklebuck hired us to investigate murders in Ashmede (the slum area) associated with a strange magical disorientation field. People were going crazy around the area of an old theater, including Igar, the half-goblin son of Dilly, the mycologist. It had some strange sort of undead jester in it, which Durak defeated in a battle of wits. (A dwarf winning a battle of wits? Now I’ve seen everything!) We got the deed to the theater, but it’s not worth anything…yet. We also met a strange individual with green glowing eyes, Damar, who asked for our help in the search of the tomb of Vorbix. Damar says he wants to prove that Vorbix was the first king of Thar.
We went to the watchpost, in the hope it would find information of the tomb of Vorbix. We found a useful map on a mural, and learned that Vorbix had a powerful hammer. Sadly, Durak got eaten by a horrible flying thing which nearly killed Gnu’qirk and I, and to compound the tragedy, Mahthan ate a poison mushroom and died while we were exploring the watchtower.
We found two new companions: Javoc, a huge, intimidating (but strangely fragile) org, and Ricard, who…well actually I’m not sure what he does, but he seems likeable enough and useful in a pinch. We went with Javoc, who was hired by Lord Aubrek to retrieve his locked box from a derelict ship, finding it while on the dwarf ship “Soul of Winter,” captained by camptain Wolgar. We retrieved the box (Go Javoc!), but then a horrible kraken came out of nowhere and sank the ship before we could investigate much else on the boat, and poor Gnu’qirk had to strip off his armor or sink like a stone, so we lost more than we were paid. Boo!
We were sent to Galehaven to meet Haradil (friend of Ricard), to retrieve the body of her deceased uncle Kai. We did so, from some weird troglodyte cult with body grafts. We had to get out before any of us could levitate up to the treasure room and open it with the hand of Sae-Taz. (Note to self: must return to Galehaven sometime soon!) Kai’s journal mentioned more about the tomb of Vorbix.
While in Galehaven, were were hired by the half-orc wizard Bartholomew Magnostiumspew to deliver a strange pentagonal magical component to Theodorus. On the way back, it was grabbed by an imp, and we had to fight our way through a cave of goblins, Nigla, the goblin priest who had captured the imp Hazrak against its will, and a terrifying undead dragon. (I thought we were goners!)
Back in Melvaunt we were asked to find out more about the tattoos, delivered the artifact to eldritch artisan Theodorus Stormblood (That was surprisingly difficult!), who told us that his female dwarf friend Laura was getting him to do experiments—with sigil resembling the tattoos on slaves. Gemel Ganza has something to do with it too—cursed? The sigil is on 4 weapons, and has something to do with the “Red Wizards.” Huh.
We went north with Damar to Sylamar at the northern tip of the Thar, where we each checked out a possible lead on the tomb of Vorbix. We found an ancient keep of the Silver Heel gnome clan, but the gnomes there had been corrupted by a huge (evil?) magical crystal into…something else. Gnu’qirk was captured, and apparently adopted by the clan, as his eyes are all dialated and he changed his name to Gnu’qirk Silverheel. We also rescued the son the innkeeper (Snorr Inn). While there, we saw a moving visual story of the history of the area, which indicated a new location for the Tomb of Vorbix.
From there we went to the new location of the tomb of Vorbix. On the way, killing a horrible bugbear who had been tormenting this poor family in an all-but-deserted inn, including an apparently possessed girl—babbling in Infernal about the hordes of Grumsh (an Orcish god)! Sadly, helping her is beyond any of us. The “tomb of Vorbix” turned out to be a fake, complete with an undead troll (Scary!). At least it had some nice stuff, as well as a ruined but restorable writing on the walls which might yield a further clue.
Back to Melvaunt we learned about the sons of nobility gone missing. Blacklebuck has a lead on the sigil. Also, a warehouse had a curse that needs to be removed. Constable Riven is worried about murders in Ashmede. We gave priority to rescuing the noble son of Worsten Nanther, as when such a powerful man demands task an intelligent person does not put it off! Members of all of the major families were missing—it looks like they may have formed an adventuring party, and were looking for a hidden chamber in some orc ruins 2 days north. We found the orc ruins, but no chamber, and the nobles themselves were captured by orcs.
We followed, slaying some belligerent orcs who worshipped Grumsh and spoke of the reconstruction of “Xul Jarak” and the upcoming conquests of “Warlord Thrul”. Javoc went to report of the orc clan., but lost the trail. We went to Glister in the hope of reestablishing the trail or catching rumor of the nobility. We met Javoc. The locals, including the evil but seemingly benign priests of “Frostmaiden Orral” were all yelling to “Kill Bargle,” apparently a very destructive, evil trickster wizard. Khoire the female ostomancer asked us to collect 50 teeth, each from a different living (how annoying) kobold. Lacking information on the nobles, and frustrated, we decided to go after this Bargle, though Gnu’quik insists he not die unless he is confirmed to be evil. (Paladins…) This keep is tougher than we thought, and I need to make a run, alone, back to Glister to purchase another healing stick (and identify a few items while I’m at it.)
In Glister, we learned of an evil wizard named Bargle, who had been tormenting the town. Not killing people, but destroying property, breaking fences, spoiling stew, and other mischief. Lacking anything better to do, we took upon ourselves the dangerous task of killing, subduing, or exiling Bargle. Bargle had teamed up with kobolds, some of whom were far tougher than I’d heard kobolds were supposed to be. Javoc was torn apart by ghouls, and I feel terrible that I was too small and weak to drag him to safety! Fortunately, we soon thereafter met a human warmage named Meirlos, who’s great at blasting things. Eventually we met Bargle and killed him, only it wasn’t Bargle but a doppelganger! Several dopplegangers later, with us nearly spent, we met the real Bargle, who had us for breakfast. Ricard and I were captured, while Gnu and Meirlos escaped. At least we found the Pebble of Sylvanus (an elf god), an interesting artifact which provides healing and even (we discovered later) restores spells! Hopefully it won’t run out of charges or turn us all into mushrooms anytime soon.
I thought Bargle was going to kill us, but instead he let us go. Only not exactly. He had somehow moved my mind to Speckle, who then took the form of a large wererat, though I was unaware that he had done this. It’s awfully confusing. All I know is that the rest of the world seemed to move slowly, but I kept feeling the urge to run and hide. There was also something wrong with Ricard. But before we could find out much about what Bargle had done to us, we found out that the noble scions had been taken by the orcs to a tower (name?) in the wilderness, where they were to be sacrificed as part of a ceremony to crown Thrul the new orc king, enabling him to unite the orc tribes and wage war on human lands!
Initially our foray into the keep was a disaster! Ricard was hacked to pieces by orcs almost immediately. We rescued a strange human named Muktock, but soon after we ended up surrounded, and when I emerged to fight the orc lieutenant killed me with two swings of his halberd! Only, rather than go to the afterlife, I felt strangely “full,” as though my soul was back in my body. Only I was manacled in the orcish citadel, with Bargle giving me the strangest look and laughing. Some hours later, he handed me off to a couple of humans from Zentar keep, who were themselves killed by my surviving companions and I was back as with the team as a proper Halfling (27 days out of 28, anyway)! Once I was back in my real form, things went much better: between teamwork, stealth, some luck and me summoning a dire wolf (Fine, fine, Gnu’qirk was right about the dire wolves…), we managed to rescue four of the five noble scions and escape through an underground tunnel, though they lost all of their equipment (and I lost much of my own). The rescued scions are Argens Brul (paladin), Calman Laragon (sorcerer), Laura Cauladra (half-elf wizard), and Oriole Nanther (ranger). The one who was sacrificed was a cleric named **. Fortunately, his family does not seem to hold a grudge. Returning to Melvaunt, we were richly rewarded! Hooray! Muktock appears to want to stick around and join us. He seems useful, at least compared to Ricard, so I don’t mind. I wonder how long he’ll live…?
Gnu’qirk is making me write down that in the citadel were pictures of Silverheel gnomes made slaves by orcs bearing the mark of a white talon.
Our current plan is to investigate a warehouse which is connected to the slaves with the odd tattoo markings. Next, we will return to Sylamar, both as part of a favor for Bartholomew Magnostiumspew and Theodorus, who wish to test some sort of teleportation device, and for Shadwinks, who told rumors of a “Clockwork Academy” run by the Silverheels, and asked us to look for a vessel for transportation called “The Incomprehensible One.” We are to make contact with “Ablebrow,” a gnome who runs the Inn of the Slumbering Drake.
After I find a new animal companion. I still miss Speckle!
Party contacts: Maggie: Dilly the Micologist (Melvaunt) Gnu’qirk: Sharndar Lyrantar (Melvaunt), and Constable Riven (Melvaunt) though he doesn’t like Gnu’qirk much and is very cranky), also (informally) Shadwinks a gnome who runs the “Boat Out of Water Library and Inn” in Glister and is interested in history (including the Silverheels). Muktock: None at the moment, though the noble scions are no doubt fond of him, esp. Argens Brul, whom he presented with the magic halberd. Meirlos: None at the moment.
Other people/groups of note: Glister: Shadwinks the gnome innkeeper, “Boat Out of Water Library and Inn” – interested in history, and boats. Khoire: Human female ostomancer. Wanted us to collect 50 kobold teeth, but was uninterested in the 36 teeth we did get. High Temple of Frostmaiden Orral. They’re evil, but pacifists…weird. Melvaunt:
Melvaunt: Blacklebuck – Halfling tradesman who has hired us to help free slaves, among other errands Temple of Leviatar – evil goddess of pain, sells pain potions. Temple of Lyra – Sharndar Lyrantar is the high priestess; she’s a friend (and contact) of Gnu’qirk, and treated my Lycanthropy, sort of… Temple of Oghma – God of knowledge; we made a pact for their priests, “the Namers” to restore the writing in that fake “tomb of Vorbix.” And to share info with us. Oghma and Lyra are enemies.
In other news: The dragons are waking up. They destroyed the city of Blackmoon! A dragon cult is appearing. Helmuth Brule may know more details. More dragon attacks; a bounty is placed on kobolds. Dragons destroyed some order of monks.
Although we distrupted the ceremony of the Orc warlord Thrul, we don’t know to what extent that prevented his being crowned king, nor the chance that the orcs will wage war on humans. We personally are likely to have many enemies if the orcs find out it was us (and they probably will).
Deceased Party Members: Mahthan the Halfling fighter – ate poisonous mushrooms Durok the dwarf sorcerer – eaten by some weird enveloping monster. Javoc the orc fighter – devoured by ghouls Ricard the Human Beguiler – hacked to bits by orcs Also, Gnu’qirk lost 2 riding dogs (Cassius—panicked, cornered, and killed by zombies and Cicero, died fighting elite Kobolds.) and Maggie lost 1 animal companion (Speckle, who was Maggie at the time..sort of.)
Other notes: the first session was in January, 2007, though we didn’t play regularly until August, 2007 (after “Iron Wind and the Fleshies” wrapped).