Empire of the Sorcerer Lord

Yuri's Journal 3/10/12

Hado and I observed the activity around the mine for a bit, then returned with the news of 90-100 orcs plus bigger things as well as one smaller guy. We decided to take advantage of the hole in their surveillance and move further in towards the mines, perhaps to look for another way in.
We passed tracks, which Anders identified as belonging to ogres, orcs, goblins, gnolls.. and also something reptilian.
We obviously weren’t scouting ahead well enough because we got ambushed by four ogres. We killed one and healed the rest to stability. We woke one of them and he claimed the mountains for his kind, promising more ogres and others will come. He refused to tell us more. We woke a second one, who either wouldn’t or couldn’t speak common so I killed the first one in front of him. HE still wouldn’t talk.
We woke the third one who obliged us by being a bit more talkative than the first two. He said they were getting weapons from the mine. The bossman there isn’t an orc, ogre, human, Halfling, gnome or dwarf – he’s not sure exactly what the bossman is, but he’s scaly without having horns. The bossman and the head orc both have axes resembling Fundin’s missing heirloom. He also told us that it is a dwarf who is bringing the weapons to the mine, but he didn’t know from where. He also told us that there was a big feast planned for that night.
We searched the ogres’ bodies and found a lot of gold and gems. While it seems such a small thing, I’m glad we found something on them. I don’t know how the others are doing on gold, but I would like more cash on hand. I’d like to find a way to improve my defenses and magic isn’t cheap.
We found a hidden place to camp for the night. Our ogre prisoner broke his bonds and attacked Fundin. We knocked him unconscious again and kept him that way.
Many orcs, plus all of the goblins, gnolls and ogres left the day after the big feast. That left only the tribe that actually lives here in the mine.
We decided to leave the unconscious ogre with the horses and Anders’ wolf to guard them all. Piper made sure the ogre was force fed some water before we left to keep him alive. Then we began to search for an opening into what we hoped would be the caverns that led to the mines.
Eventually we did find an opening and Ceri climbed down to check it out. The rest of us followed once Ceri determined it was safe. We traveled a bit and found a chasm with giant centipedes in it. We killed 8 of them. No more attacked, I hope we don’t run into more of them. They died easily but their poison could be devastating if one succumbed to it.
We got across the chasm using grappling hooks and ropes… it wasn’t easy, and I hope we don’t have to come back this same way – it will be slow going and could be dangerous if we’re being followed or chased.

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Yuri's Journal 2/26/12

We had to set new watches with so many new folks in our party, but it’s good to have more friends traveling with us. Our very first night on the road, we were camped on the side of the roadway, with trees surrounding our campsite. During 3rd watch, Winna, Fundin and Hado thought they heard something in the trees and woke the rest of us. We waited til we were sure of the direction and distance of the sounds and I shot out a bullet with daylight on it. What we saw was such a surprise. It was a huge skeleton, far bigger than any man with an enormous Morningstar. Fundin threw an entangle field around it and we tried hitting it with various magical and ranged attacks. It took damage from Winna’s lightning bolts and my sling bullets but it didn’t seem much slowed by the entangle field. When it got to the edge of the field, we moved up to attack it. Piper cast a spell to make us all a little more resistant to damage and easier for us to hit, and Winna enlarged me to the size of a small giant. Ceri sang the song of fiery death to improve the damage we could do to this creature. The skeleton got a good solid hit in on me. It hurt a lot – I thought it was going to kill me, but thanks to Piper’s spell, I was still alive, but barely. Piper tried to turn the creature, but was unable to affect it. We were in real trouble here. Piper healed me and I stayed to help the others attack the creature. My weapons weren’t really successful at getting through to this creature, but the fire damage did affect it. It almost killed Anders’ new wolf friend before turning back to me again. If Ceri hadn’t gotten a good strong bite attack in on it that destroyed it, we could have been in a real lot of trouble. Piper healed the wolf, Anders, and me some more too before we were through for the night. The skeleton turned out to be that of a cloud giant. Who or what could have raised such a thing to wander the countryside?
The next day during our lunch break we were attacked by three zombie bugbears. This time, Piper did manage to destroy them with Pelor’s assistance.
We finally got off the main road and started moving on a smaller, long-unused road. Under cover of trees, I finally shared the secret of my wings and ability to fly with the newcomers. I didn’t want to surprise them in the middle of combat if I needed to take to the air. It felt good to have my wings free even if only for a few minutes. I wish I didn’t need to wear this cloak all the time.
That night we camped and again were disturbed on third watch. This time it turned out be an animated brazier. Winna adopted it and vice versa. She has a new friend. The way she treated it was actually rather cute. I’m sure as a wizard, she can put it to good use, but I wonder who or what created such a thing and left it around to wander on its own. I hope not the wizard who has been raising these undead creatures.
We spent two days of uneventful travel. Actually it was rather a relief to avoid encounters for a while. On the third day, we spotted orc tracks near a ravine. Anders said they were relatively old and not to worry about them – but they probably mean we are headed in the right direction.
Two more days passed and we found more orc tracks – these were headed further into the hills. Fundin pulled some maps out of cases he was carrying. He showed us that we were headed in the general direction of three abandoned mines. The orc tracks were also headed in the same direction. The map showed that if we stayed on this road, we would eventually reach all 3 of the abandoned mines.
The following day was quiet as we moved further toward the hills and the mines.
On the next day, we spotted an orc watcher on a ridge. Hado and I snuck up to the ridge… a long slow process because we were trying so hard not to be seen or heard. Finally we made it to the slope up to the ridge. While we were climbing the slope, we made a little too much noise, and the orc spotted us. I threw off my cloak and flew up to the top and grappled him before he could light the signal fire on the ridge. Hado finished climbing up and stabbed the orc, killing him.
Unfortunately, even though we prevented him from lighting the signal fire, we couldn’t avoid making noise during the scuffle. Hado and I spotted a mine opening higher up to the north with a wisp of smoke rising up nearby it. There were a lot of orcs milling about outside the mine opening. Did they see or hear us kill their scout?

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Yuri's Journal 2/18/12

In the morning I got up early to say goodbye to the caravan, then wandered the marketplace for a while. I overheard something about small thefts at the warehouse in the gate ward. The merchants seem to think there is some kind of gate or portal in there because the warehouse has been too well-guarded for thieves and missing stuff is too small for really determined thieves. Also, there are rumors circulating that Imperial ogres are scouring the southern desert for slaves. I need to tell Ceri about this as it might concern her and her people. I returned to Rondal’s.
Ceri received a summons to appear at the lore guild an hour past noon today. Fundin came in and told us he wants to host dinner for us and 2 other folks tonight at Rondal’s. Good for us anyway! Ceri will tell Piper about it on her way to the Lore guild so Piper will know not to be late for dinner. I told Ceri about the ogres in the desert but she didn’t seem at all concerned. She said her people could disappear into the desert and not be seen if they didn’t want to be.
Later in the street, Ceri got attacked with Dragonbane powder. It made her afraid and she ran away from her attacker. By the time she recovered and returned, the guy who threw the powder was gone. She thinks the mean gate guard was behind the attack, though we have no proof of that. When time came for her to go to the lore guild, I escorted her to the gate to make sure she arrived safely.
When Ceri returned, she informed us that she was now a member of the lore guild. She had to pay a 100gp fee to join, but she can now come and go in the city as she pleases with her papers and/or her new cloak of office.
She performed her new song for us when she got back. It was very funny. I’m sure it will be well-received by all except maybe the bad gate guard and his bully boys.
A message arrived for me from the lore guild simply saying “appear at your convenience”. This sounded promising and I was hopeful that I would at least get an audience with Grirdil.
On the way there, while still in the marketplace, I spotted a guy in a brown cloak watching us, esp. Ceri. I snuck up on him and he tried to leave. I followed and hit him my tanglefoot bag. Ceri said it didn’t quite sound like the guy who attacked her but sorta kinda, like maybe someone related to him? Anyway, we left him in the street to get the goo off himself and with a warning to leave us alone.
Ceri and I went on to the lore guild, and I went in to see the same female dwarf I’d seen before. There was a military looking dwarf in civilian clothes there with her, watching her the whole time. She seemed to be choosing her words very carefully as she spoke to me. Basically she said that Hammerfast had tenuous relations with the Empire and can’t help me at the present time, but perhaps in the future. That last comment got a disapproving look from the military-looking fellow.
I left on a much more somber note than I arrived on. Ceri and I went to the Black Cat, then on to Craft Way – I needed a new tanglefoot bag and Ceri wants some kind of anti-toxin in case she’s attacked with that strange dragonbane powder again.
Ariel, the proprietor of the the apothecary shop said she hadn’t sold any dragonbane powder lately. The only other ones who might sell the stuff are an old man and his apprentice in the marketplace or a master at the craft guild. These are the only 4 people in the city with the knowledge of how to turn dragonbane into an attack powder. I bought my tanglefoot bag and we returned to Rondal’s.
Fundin arrived with Hado Banksi, a Halfling rogue-looking sort, and Winna, an elven tattooed wizard, mentored by someone named Amror. We had dinner and talked some about the potential adventure to retrieve Fundin’s family heirloom. After dinner we went upstairs to talk more in private about what we each do, but I didn’t tell them about the wings or the Imperial tattoos.
Later we all went to the Foundation Stone so Ceri could play her new song. Someone left as soon as we came in. I was pretty sure we needed to watch out for ambushes on our way back to Rondal’s. Maybe I’m just getting paranoid. A fight broke out in the Stone, and a pair of bouncers make them settle their differences over the Giant’s Foot pit. It was all very entertaining.
Tras came in while Ceri was playing her song about him. He had two humans and a dwarf with him – the the two humans looked alike enough to be brothers. One of them was the guy I’d tangled up at the market, making the other possibly the one who assaulted Ceri since the voices were similar. All four were rude, crude and surly. When we tried to leave, he challenged me to a game of Giant’s Foot. I was almost drunk enough to accept, but Ceri talked me out of it.
The next day, Ceri went ot eh lore guild for research and Piper for one final day of work for the temple of Pelor. I hung around Rondal’s and visited the herbalist in the marketplace. He said he sold dragonbane powder to Tras a few months ago and that the stuff will keep that long. I bought 10 sticks of cinnamon, as well as rations for myself and my horse for the adventure to come.
The following day, we bid farewell to Rondal’s, picked up our horses, settled our stable bills and left. After leaving the city, we met Anders’ new friend who he’s been spending time with outside the city while we were busy with affairs in the city. His new friend is a large black wolf. Awesome.

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Yuri's Journal 2/12/12

The dwarven lad woke me early, so Piper is off the hook, though I have no way of telling her. She’ll just end up waking Anders I guess. I got a quick day-old breakfast from the cook and headed toward the gates.
There was a line at the gates – they apparently don’t open until dawn, so I waited my turn to go through, then ran for the lore guild. There was already a line at the guild as well and there were almost a dozen waiting before me. I realized while I waited that I’d forgotten all about the clothes that I had ordered yesterday. Maybe the others will remember and pick them up for me. Otherwise I’m sure I can get them tomorrow – to who else are they going to sell a custom-made shirt designed to accommodate wings?
Piper is supposed to work at the temple today, but I have no idea what Ceri and Anders have planned for the day.
I talked to a lot of the people waiting with me, and overheard others talking as well and learned a lot of interesting things during my wait:
• A coven of vampires are in the knife blade hills west of the city
• There’s good fishing on the Rushing River. People climb the walls to fish from the banks
• There’s a fishmarket in town (already knew this)
• A few months ago, a fisherman caught a sack of coins. One hooked a magical helmet, one caught a silver skull.. maybe these items washed out of an old tomb?
• People have gone looking for where these special items have come from and haven’t returned
• One guy fished all night and disappeared so now only fish by day
• The Hidden Coin has gambling – near fish market – entrance is in an alley – min 50 gp buy in
Finally at mid-day, I was called. I saw a female dwarf who asked why I wanted to see Grirdil. I explained, and showed her my tattoos. I had to admit that I was probably being actively sought by my owner and also told her I’d had the tattoos since childhood. She said I would hear from them “later”.
I made my way back to the gate ward and checked on my clothing. Ceri it seems had already picked up my new clothes.
I went back to the inn for an afternoon nap. Some dwarves from our caravan were there eating. They said the caravan was returning to Laskon tomorrow or the next day. We wished each other luck.
My new clothes were on the bed when I went in.
Ceri woke me later and informed me we were having dinner at the Arcane Star that night, her treat.
The food at the Arcane Star was VERY good, and very expensive. Animated instruments floated on the ceiling and played music while we ate.
Ceri said the tunnel in the alley had a new seal on it so after dinner we went to see the seal, and find out what it said – Anders reads Dwarvish. It apparently said something on the order of ‘closed by the City Council, sealed on pain of death.’
Next we went to the Foundation Stone where we found Dogrund hiring guards for the caravan’s return to Laskon tomorrow morning. I had a little chat with him about keeping my wings a secret. He already talked to his staff about it and understands completely.
The next day, Ceri and I bought fishing gear at the market and went fishing. It was pretty easy. We both caught a couple of fish… between the two of us – enough fish for us and Anders to have lunch. We saw no sign of any outlet for the tunnel in the alley. The cook at Rondalls cooked our fish for us and kept the rest for stew parts.
After lunch we bought tickets for the theater – a box for all of us to share. We sent a message to Piper to meet us at the Coach and Pony for dinner.
Come time for dinner, we headed to the Main Gate. The human guard in charge there took our ticket and tore it up, saying it was no good. This was the same guard who earlier had give Ceri some dirty looks. We went to the west gate and lodged a formal complaint with the guard there, then sent word to Piper that we wouldn’t be joining her after all and to return to the Gate Ward.
When Piper got back, we all ate at Rondal’s. We did find out the nasty human gate guard named Tras did not like Dragonborn and thought Ceri was one of them. He wouldn’t be on duty tomorrow night so we will buy more tickets tomorrow in the market. He lives in the Gate Ward area – probably at the garrison, so we should be cautious.
The next day we did indeed buy tickets for the play, but boxes were sold out, so we had to buy tickets for the balcony. Oh well. Still should be fun. Ceri spent the day writing a nasty song about Tras.
In the evening, we headed to the Coach and Pony for dinner and had no problem getting through the gate. The C&P was crowded, so we had to wait a little while, but we eventually got a table. Taras, the Eldarin bard, was playing at the C&P that night. The food was incredible and SO expensive. We split the bill – it was too much for any one person at this place.
The play – The Axe of the Dwarven Lords – was exciting and fun – lots of action and drama and special effects. The walk back to the inn was uneventful, though we were really hoping to see a ghost or something.
Back at Rondall’s we paid for another three days at the inn for each of us. The next day was very quiet. Ceri worked on her song, with help from Taras, who came to visit her after lunch.
The following day was Monday and Ceri’s audition. Piper went back to work at the temple. I went looking for Fundin, the scarred dwarf. I found him at the outfitter’s shop. We went back to Rondal’s together and talked.
Apparently last year a caravan from High Peak was attacked by orcs. Fundin’s brother, and leader of his clan, was slain, and the battleaxe that was not only a family heirloom but the sign of clan leadership, was stolen. Without the axe, Fundin doesn’t have clear claim to the title and is being challenged by cousins for leadership of the clan. The orcs seem to have retreated into the mountains near Summerdown Valley. This was the place we had heard of in relation to Stravella, who calls herself Queen of Winter’s Mourning. I wonder if these orcs work for her. I hope not.
When Ceri returned from her audition, she said she had to wait for the results. I filled her in on all Fundin had told me.

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Ceridwen Journal 2/12/12

Yuri headed off early to see the mage. I slept in till about 8 got some food and wondered around. I went to the alley to see if anything was going on. No one was around I played badly on the corner for awhile then went down the alley. There was a puddle of wax and a metal seal with dwarfish writing. I figure it must say keep out.
I picked up my clothes and Yuri’s from the shop keeper. I found out along the way that you could get tickets for the music hall here in the gate yard. I really want to see a play. I decided to have lunch at the Arcane Star. The food was very good and the place was nice. It had no stage so I asked if they had a Bard. The owner said his wife could make instruments play themselves. I had to see that so I made reservations for the four of us an hour after sun down. We all met up back at the inn and went out to dinner (my treat) it was a very nice evening. Later Anders came with us to look at the seal (he can read Dwarven) He said it said by order of the council don’t break this seal on pain of death. Darn Dwarves are too serious.
The next day Yuri and I decided to see if we could look for the opposite end of the tunnel. I figured if it was a bolt hole maybe it came out outside the city walls down by the river. Yuri had heard that there was good fishing on the Rushing River. So we got some poles and some really stinky bait. On our way out of the gate a human guard gave me a dirt look. Yuri didn’t like it and had word with him. I tried to laugh it off but it bothered me a bit. We had no luck finding a spot to fish out the north gate so we tried the other side of the gate yard. Here the going was difficult but we got to a good spot and caught some fish. Yuri did better than me. We looked around some more for the tunnel but didn’t find anything. We headed back with the fish. Yuri sweet talked the kitchen into fix us some fish for lunch. Yum
We purchased tickets for the night performance at the Music Hall (The Axe of the Dwarvish Lords). We sent a runner to tell Piper to meet us at the Cart and Pony. Just before night fall we went to the gate and showed our ticket. The priggish human guard was there again. He torn up the ticket and wouldn’t let us in town. We went to the West gate and filed a formal report with the guard there. Boy am I mad. I’m going to write a song that people will sing forever. We this stupid guard as the patsy. We sent a message for Piper to come on back to the inn. Yuri insisted on standing by the gate until she got there. We spent a boring night back at the inn.
The next day we got another set of tickets for the play. They didn’t have a box this time so we got seats in the balcony. The stupid guard wasn’t on guard tonight so we got in ok. We went to the Cart and Pony for dinner. It very very good. The elven bard I had met before was at the bar playing. I asked him if he would help me writing the song to zing the guard. He said he would as long as it was anonymous.
On Sunday I laid low and worked on my song the bard came and helped on it too. I think it will be popular.

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Yuri’s Journal 2/4/12

I waited and waited. Finally I asked about extending my pass. Since I didn’t actually have a pass, I had to get Piper from the Inn. Her pass was only for the temple so that wouldn’t do at all. I needed to be vouched for by a resident of the city to get a pass for the lore guild. Piper went off to see the Dawnspeaker to ask him to vouch for me. Luckily for me, he was willing to do so. Turns out the pass was necessary, as I was never called today. I need to return EARLY in the morning to try again. It’s all first come, first served.
We took a different route back to the gate ward. Doing so allowed us to find the theatre, a crafts hall and a fish market.
We got rooms at Rondal’s for 3 nights and Ceri sent a message to the Lore Guild about where she’s staying so they can send for her when it’s time for her audition.
During dinner at Rondal’s we learned some interesting things… some overheard, some from chatting with other patrons.
The town of Boothill was destroyed by an earthquake.
A star fell into the Sea of Serpents. It was seen for hundreds of miles.
Dragons were gathering on the Suri Steppe, far north across the Sea of Serpents.
We also learned about orcs north of the city that stole a family heirloom. There might be a reward for recovering it – we need to talk to this Fundin, the scarred dwarf, to learn more….
I also learned that the city was led by Highmaster Marsinda Goldspinner, a dwarven guild leader. The Highmaster is elected by a council of guildleaders.
Taras the bard came in to play at Rondal’s – he also plays at the Foundation Stone.
I met Mera and Ellarl. Mera is a copper-haired, tall human with a rabbit (familiar?), and Ellarl is a red-haired Halfling with a bandolier of potion vials. Mera and I went upstairs to her room for about an hour of youthful and exuberant sex. The rabbit watched – very weird, but fun.
Meanwhile, the others had already moved on to the Foundation Stone Tavern. I followed after I left Mera’s. In the street, I encountered a screaming ghost who came out of an alley and went into a wall across the street. Down the alley where the ghost had come from, I saw something glittering on the street. When I went down to investigate, there was nothing there, so I cast daylight so I could see better. I found some loose cobblestones and pried them up. There was a tunnel down below. I was about to go down and investigate when a few town guardsmen came up and challenged me, asking what I was doing. I explained and they immediately thought I was tomb raiding. I tried to explain that I wouldn’t do such a thing, but they were adamant that I leave, so I put the cobblestones back and went on to the stone, putting out the light as well.
At the Stone, I caught up with the others. Met Illirien, a tall elven woman. Ceri and I played knife throwing with her. She was much better at it then she first let on. She says she’s an Eladrin, some kind of extra-planar elven type.
The other bard, Terrell, showed up at the Stone. He is also one of these tallish elves. He sang some drinking songs, told some raunchy stories, and did some insult humor aimed at Ceri, who took it all in good humor. Ceri made friends with him.
On the way back to Rondal’s, we passed the alley where I saw the tunnel. It was all lit up and guards everywhere. The dwarves were investigating the tunnel. While the others returned to the Inn, I climbed up on a nearby rooftop and crawled over to watch from above. It turns out to be a series of tunnels, which they didn’t fully investigate, but I overheard them talking about them. It appears the tunnels are very old and might predate most of the buildings here. Perhaps it is some kind of bolthole from the original garrison? Anyway, they closed it up for the night. I assume they are going to investigate further, maybe in the light of day.
I returned to Rondal’s and offered a boy a silver if he can wake me an hour before dawn. I also left a note for Piper to wake me as soon as she is awake. I don’t want to be late since they take people first come, first served at the lore guild.

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Ceridwen journal 2/4/12

Hammerfast is an interesting city, after my visit with the Lore guild I joined Piper and Anders over at the Black Cat. The inn was a former tomb and the decorations still look like it is. The tables are sarcophagi and the waitresses wear shrouds. What a wonderfully ghoulish place. I tried to play but sound doesn’t carry in here. Considering its right next to the lore guild this must be a really popular place to conduct business or discuss things that you don’t want over heard. I talked to the owner about the place and told him how much I liked it.
Yuri/Riyu never got into see the ghost wizard but he got a pass to come back the next day. We headed back to the gate yard to find rooms for the night. We stopped by the Music Hall to see when the next show was; it looks like they are on the weekend. I’d like to come back to see a show but I’m not sure how you go about doing that. Does getting a ticket serve as a pass?
The people at the moderately priced inn were not overly friendly not mean just not very welcoming. We had an uninspired dinner and drinks. An elven bard (one of those curiously tall elves) came in and started playing. I went over at his break to talk. I told him I was a bard and looking for new songs because some of my companions are tired of hearing my songs. Most of the songs he knew I knew as well. He mentioned a few that I didn’t know. The Ogre and the farmer’s daughter? He said he didn’t usually play those here but he was going to the Foundation Stone and would play them there.
I overheard a dwarf talking to a Halfling about Dragons gathering. I figured I had better find out more. I found out what they were drinking and brought it over and asked them about it. The dwarf said he had heard it from a cousin. The Suri Steppe sounds like it is far away so I won’t worry too much about it now but I’ll try to find out more if I get in the lore guild. The dwarf said he is getting together a party to recover a family heirloom lost to an orc raid. That might be fun.
Piper, Anders and I went over when the bard left. Yuri had found a girl to spend some time with and didn’t come with us. At the Foundation Stone they were playing Giants feet. The game is played by two people who have their hands tied behind their backs. They stand on a plank over that awful smelly pit and try to knock each other in. Yuck. I listened to the bard and picked up a few new songs.
Yuri finally showed up and told us he had seen a ghost. I wanted to go investigate the tunnel but the rest of the group said they didn’t think it was wise.
We went over to throw knives instead. There were two guys sitting throwing and boy were they drunk. One of those really tall elves was there watching them. She stayed and watched me and Yuri throw. Yuri won; he is slightly better than me but not too much so it was a good game. The elf chick joined us she threw just well enough to hit every time. Next she suggested we play for a gold Yuri and I declined but said we would play for drinks and again she threw just well enough to stay with us. We got to talking over drinks and I asked her about her race. She said that they were from another plane. She said that most of the people of her race that were here had been asked to leave their native plain. She said if I stay here long enough she might tell me some stories of her home. Then she said she had to get back to work. I’m glad we didn’t put a lot of money on the knife throwing game.
When we were going back to our rooms we saw people around the ally were Yuri had seen the ghost. I told them we should have investigated sooner. Yuri stayed to watch them.
When we got back the kid I had sent to the lore guild was waiting with an acknowledgement but no pass. I guess I’ll have to wait on their pleasure. I can spend the time practicing.

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Yuri’s Journal 1/29/12

We moved on just a bit beyond where the orcs attacked before finding a place to set up camp for the night. We were extra watchful that night, expecting another attack, but nothing happened. In the morning, Piper cast ‘Gentle Repose’ on the corpses of our three dead guards before we traveled onwards. She said the spell would keep the bodies from decaying for almost a week.
While we traveled we did learn more about Hammerfast. For example, we were told it had been about 200 years since the orcs and dwarves died there in the battle for the city. Hammerfast is the largest and richest settlement in the area, and the undead are full citizens along with the living in the city. All these seemingly disconnected facts should help us understand the place we are about to visit.
Mid-morning, we met up with the Rushing River and at mid-day, with the Trade Road Once on the Trade Road, we began to meet fellow travelers and patrols from the city as well. Dogrund made sure to tell the first patrol we met about the landslide and the damaged roadway. We arrived at Hammerfast that night via the West Gate.
The Dwarves confiscated the Dwarven-made weapons and armor that we took off the dead orcs, the ones with no makers marks. Too bad, as they would have fetched some much needed cash, especially since we had to pay taxes on the rest of our belongings. Dogrund arranged for the Laskon gifts to be exempt from this tax. Piper’s new mace turned out to be the priciest item we had to pay tax on. I think she was disappointed in having to pay most of her gold in tax.
We found out about a lot of the buildings in the outer area of the city – warehouses, stables, the Arcane Star (a fancy inn), Rondal’s (less fancy inn), the Foundation Stone (tavern), rooming house across the street from the Stone.
We spent the night with the caravan, got paid 100 gold each by Dogrund in the morning and stabled our horses. We had breakfast at the Stone and discovered that they watered down their drinks. Then we took a walk, met some Halflings who were friendly enough. They told us about Siege Day and warned us to be indoors by nightfall on Siege Day especially. I think it might not be a bad idea any day in Hammerfast since the undead mostly come out at night. They also told us about inns in the main part of town – the Coach and Pony and The Black Cat. Ceri was very interested to learn there was a theatre in town as well.
Back at the bazaar, we bought clothing to be ready by tomorrow. I ordered a courtier’s outfit, with a shirt specially made to accommodate my wings. I had to pay a bit extra for it, but it will be good to have something nicer to wear.
Piper got us a pass to enter the main part of the city to visit her temple. We passed a lot of interesting looking buildings and tombs, passed the Lore Hall, where Ceri and I would like to visit, and on to the temple of Pelor. Very interesting place, this temple of Pelor… open to the sky and always sunny and temperate inside. The Sunspeaker, who I gather is the head cleric gave Piper an extended day pass so she can return and help the temple on subsequent days. He also gave Ceri a letter of introduction to the Lore Guild.
Piper and Anders decided to visit the Black Cat Inn while Ceri and I went to the Lore Guild. Ceri got in to see someone about membership in the Guild. I was still waiting on my request to see Grirdil when Ceri left to join the others at the Black Cat. I wonder if she got into the guild…

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Yuri’s Journal 1/22/12

Dogrund told us to be wary as we entered the mountains – there would be monsters and bandits as we traveled onwards. He told us about the Weeping Skull Orc tribe, the Spider Goblins, human bandits, outlaw dwarves and Halflings, minions of Queen Stravella which might include trolls and were creatures, not to mention just normal creatures. Needless to say, we needed to be extra vigilant an watchful.
On our second night in the mountains, on second watch, orcs attacked! They tried to kill some of our bison, not to mention attacking us. After taking some losses, they called retreat, but the bison were already starting to stampede. Ceri and Anders were both able to stop a couple of the bison, eventually getting the rest of them under control. Piper healed all the wounded, including the bison.
We searched the four dead orcs. They had some treasure, but most curiously, they were all armed with weapons and armor that had no makers marks, but all had the look of being dwarven made. Dogrund found this disturbing, wondering what dwarf would make weapons and armor for orcs.
Day 3 was long and tiring, especially after a night with limited sleep.
On the fourth day, the road was narrow, with cliff on one side, gorge on the other. It was a precarious place to travel, and it proved dangerous as well. While we were traveling along the steep downward road, stones started to rain down on us from above. I flew up, while the others rode on ahead and Dogrund spurred the wagons forward full speed. I found orcs at the top of the cliff… they were already scattering into the forest. I chased one down and killed it.
Down below on the road, most of the wagons made it through safely, but sadly one was hit squarely by a large boulder and rolled off the road, pulling bison over the side of the road and down the cliff. Three guards on the wagon were pulled over with the wagon as well. The drover just barely jumped off in time to save himself.
Ceri started to climb down to the fallen wagon, but was having trouble, so I flew her down the rest of the way. We found the three guards dead and the cargo scattered. The bison were dead as well. I flew the bodies up to the road, while Ceri gathered cargo together. We used the bag of holding to take about 2/3 of the salvaged cargo back up to the road to be distributed among the other wagons.
It was about this time that we noticed Piper was missing. She had apparently, since she was at the back of the train when the avalanche started, turned back to wait out the landslide. She waited for the dust to settle before she picked her way through the rubble, walking her horse. We were glad to see she was okay, and she healed those who had been hit by rocks, including the injured bison.
It was decided that we would take the bodies of the dead with us, Piper to cast spell on them to preserve them tomorrow morning.
We made our way out of the mountains, closer to the Iron Road, which would take us to the Trade Road into Hammerfast.

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Ceridwen's Journal 1/22/12

Riding with the caravan is interesting. In many ways it reminds me of home but in others it is very different. It is wonderful to have a horse again and to be ridding instead of walking. My horse is a sturdy little bay with a very smooth gate. I have named him Myyadah which means to walk with perfection.
The great beasts, that they call bison, use to pull the wagons are not very bright and not at all friendly. They remind me a bit of camels. The wagons are strange to me but the others seem familiar with them. They are open-topped and covered with canvas, with a wide seat were the drover and a guard sits. Each wagon is pulled by four bison. Our leader says that except in a few places two beasts can pull the carts. It seems to me that we should have more spare bison in case something happens to them.
Case in point, one night we were awakened from sleep by Riyu. Orcs were in amongst the bison. They apparently planned to kill some and eat them. We defeated the orcs pretty easily buy they had injured some bison. The bison pulled up their picket lines and started to stampede. I tried to put the bison near me to sleep but I only managed to get 2 of them sleeping. I grabbed onto the picket line and tried to stop the herd. Riyu and some of the others grabbed on to the lines and with all of us working to gather we managed to stop the bison.
We should have gone to hunt down the orcs. There tribe is called the bleeding skull clan. They have a mask that looks like a skull dripping blood. I wonder how many of them there are all together.
A few days later we were going down a steep grade with a long drop off on one side. The orcs started a landslide when we were in the middle of the slope. Anders and I kicked up our horses and made it down the hill far enough that we were not in the path of the falling rocks. The drovers tried to get the wagons to do the same but bison are not fast when pulling heavy loads. Riyu flew out of harm’s way and harried the orcs. Piper rode back up the slope to safety. It looked like all the wagons were going to make it safely out of the path of the landslide but the second to the last wagon was hit by an enormous bolder. It sent the wagon and all aboard crashing down to their doom.
Riyu flew the bodies of the slain member of our caravan to where the other wagons waited. It is very sad to lose some of our number so soon after starting out. We used the bag of holding to move the iron ore out of the gorge. We distributed the weight between the remaining wagons. We will be moving more slowly now with the extra weight. I hope we have moved beyond the territory of those orcs.

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