Hilda - Sessions 2 & 3

After returning the girl to her family, and while we were still at the tavern, a caravan driver was present to hear the tale of how we had brought the child home. He wanted to hire us to protect his caravan. For some reason, the children all looked to me to make the decision, though I have been perfectly clear that I've no interest in meddling in the affairs of others without good reason. They were insistent on knowing my thoughts though, so I cast the runes to see whether it was fated that we go or stay. I drew three stones from my pouch and cast them to the table. They suggested that to accept the task would be in keeping with the greater good, that we could offer strength against attack and that each of us would grow, personally, from such an endeavor. The children were all manner of excited over this reading and clamored to go. Sensing an opportunity to ply my trade and perhaps earn enough coin to retire comfortably, I agreed to go along as well.

Brienne accompanied me to my cottage in the wood to collect a few things for travel, including my seldom used pavilion. A small tent, though tall, it serves as a basically private audience chamber and seals out the light of the sun while I am reading the fortunes of others. The illusion of privacy and the dim light, as well as the various bits and baubles that I keep hung inside lend a mysterious air to my work and encourage the superstitious to believe my words. Showmanship is important.

While there, Brienne asked me to read her fortune, and though I thought it silly that she should ask, having been so reluctant to make use of my abilities a few years ago when we first met, I obliged her. As I turned over the cards, I chose to do a complicated reading. Ten cards, rather than my customary three, each depicting one of the children going on the caravan and myself. Even that peculiar bodyguard of Seth's was shown, but then each card after that showed to be the Queen. There is only one Queen in my deck, and as I continued to turn them over, they became more and more singed until finally, the last card burst into flame and burned my deck to ashes.

I was shaken, disturbed and very angry, because the fates are not often that destructive and now I'd have to make a new set of cards. It takes a very long time to do so, and my artistic talents leave a bit to be desired. Brienne was visibly distressed as well, and asked leave to go and pray, which I allowed, but outside. There will be no summoning of the gods in this house, thank you very much. When she was finished, she shared that her god had spoken to her and said that he would send someone else to investigate the probable subject of the burned Queens. I thought it an odd thing, that she is not as unimportant within their church as I'd thought, which made me equally curious about her change of heart toward my speaking for the spirits.

Come to find out, that young lady has some deep rooted personal issues. 

We traveled for a week or two, coming once to a town and staying the night. I set up the pavilion and made some coin before we continued on. The trip was reasonably calm, save the brief skirmish against some bandits. They were quickly cut down and we continued on, leaving their corpses as a warning to others.

When we arrived in the town of XXXXXXX, we again went to stay at the inn, but the innkeeper was very shy and nervous, saying that there was no room for us. He kept looking toward a small gang of toughs eating in the corner, and implored us not to kill anyone. I thought that odd, but had little time to deliberate on it before the toughs got up, left without paying and Seth felt the need to interfere with them. The fight turned lethal nearly immediately, but it was over even more quickly. The innkeeper looked spooked, and a moment later we found the reason. 

A robed man entered the inn, feet not touching the floor, as if he were too good for walking. He called himself the Carter, but I'd heard his real name before. Kalarel. He'd been ousted from his seat at the Wizard Academy some years ago for crimes that don't bear repeating in polite company. He thanks ed the innkeeper, handing him some crimson gold coins and then turned to us and paid one of the children some of the same. A fee for the bodies, he called it. Then a passel of goblins came bustling in and carried the bodies away.

Come to find out, these toughs were a part of some bandits calling themselves the Rabid hounds. After some investigation, we captured one of them, killing several in the process. He spilled his guts metaphorically, then did so literally, when Brienne ran his through with that shiny new sword of hers. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. From all I'd heard about her, she was a stand-up woman and cared more about preserving life and taking it. 

I could see in her eyes that she knew she'd acted hastily. She ended up going to the temple to make an atonement a bit later.

Regardless, the information the hound had given us, led to the creation of a plan to end their hold on the city, and the hostage situation that the mayor found himself in. We ended up killing quite a few of them, though most lived and were carted off to prison. I'm sure they'll be put to death anyway, som I'm not sure why Brienne was so insistent that we not end any more of their lives than needful. Probably some penance or the like she placed on herself.

Afterward, the children wanted to deal with the Carter. Permanently, I gather. I don't really care, but the world probably would be better off without him. So we toddled off to gather information on his lair from a woodsman who'd seen it once. It eventually led to a black tower of living parts. Quite disgusting, really. We tromped our way in and although we met with some resistance, we've nearly cleared a path to the old wizard. One hopes the children have what it takes to beard a lion in his den.

Session 3

After we had saved the town, we all set about to do our own thing. Seth went a smithing, Lady Brienne went to her church to pray, silly thing to pray. Lady Farzen had to rest and heal, Lady Hilda had her tent set up, and Jack went to the mayors library for his own findings. Argonia was waiting to be found again by its king, Jack. After finding only a few books Jack went in search of everyone else. Finding Lady Hilda in her tent set up for readings, Jack decided to help out by drawing a crowd. Jack played fantastic he did, bringing more people than he thought possible, and making alot of coin for both of us. Hatchett and his friend BelacX just hung about,  watching, brawling, making Lady Hilda annoyed. 

While they were standing around Hatchett seemed to notice some more Hounds hanging about watching us. We went to intercept them and see what they wanted just as Seth joined us in it. Which the hounds told us that there were more of them in town trying to take us out. Out we took them, and guess who showed up? The carter, him and his goblin lackeys. After finding out that they are waiting on a signal from their boss, a whistle which Jack was able to mimic and draw the remaining dozen or so Hounds remaining to the mayors house.

However Jack is getting ahead of himself. Apparently Lady Briennes praying worked Jack guesses because she came to us with a request. She has a task and purpose, to capture the Hounds and bring them to justice. So apart from the few we killed already we managed to capture the rest of the gang and put them in jail. And with no dead bodies, there is no carter to show up and take them. 

Which reminds Jack, we decided to find out about the masked man, the carter, Karlarel. We asked the inn keeper about him, and he pointed us to a hunter out in the wilderness who might be able to help us. We were told that he leaves early to hunt so we set out as soon as able. Not long after we left Wend, we found the hunter. His name escapes Jack for the moment, but the information he gave us Jack will never forget. What he told us will be with Jack forever. A place in the woods several miles to the NE, a place of death. A mound of something in the center of it, beating like a heartbeat. What in Meloras name could that be?? Something from a nightmare. So Jack and his friends readied themselves and set out. We encountered some half starved, rabid even wolves not far from the hunters hut. Jack tried to get them to leave, to go get food elsewhere, but they didn't listen or care. So we put them down, some trouble involved because they knocked half of us down and were about to rip throats out. 

We were only a few hours away from the area of death but, Lady Hilda suggested we stop for The night and tackle the mound during the day. Which we got to, and nothing could've prepared us for this. A obelisk of black ooze, or something, seemingly growing with time. Stairs leading down was our pathway, too which met, pit traps, goblins, magic symbols on the floor, and a really fat, big goblin who, after some convincing, managed to tell where Karlarel could be found. Backtracking wasn't all that bad, until we ran into, ZOMBIES!! Undead creatures brought back by Karlarel for what purpose we are about to find out.

Session 0-2.
Jacks Adventures

Jacks adventures

They are the following:

We left the inn at Orlaine, to rescue the blacksmiths daughter. We, Jack means, the Lady of the woods Hilda, a spiritual lady Brienne, a dragonman Belac X (odd name that one), two elves Farzen the female and Seth the male and Hatchet a human mercenary. Tracked the goblins trail we did into the Boarwoods. Found a cave they had, Jack tried to charm one, but somehow this guys little mind was stronger than Jack thought. But dispatched them the Lady and Seth did, and down we went. More of the buggers we encountered and a trap pit, a giant goblinesque creature. Then we found her, the smiths’ daughter Jenna. She was lying on a table, unconscious. Jack tried to wake her, he kissed her, like he knew it might work, but it did not. Jack doesn’t know why he passed her by but he did and went to a statue.

There was some Oath for the Order of the Dawn? And mention of knowledge. Jack needs knowledge, to find Argonia, to return. So Jack speaks the oath, the door begins to open but stops. Jack needs the knowledge so jack will push it open and force himself through. Perhaps that is why these skeletons attacked jack, or that he didn’t use his true name? Jack will never use his true name. Never, jack, never. That is the last thing Jack remembers, before the world went black. The old lady is standing over him, blood on jacks’ shirt. She saved jack? Brienne save Jack? Hatchet saved jack? All have saved jack? Oh dear.

The girl is saved, we rest. Jack is tired, Jack is hurt. Brienne throws the girl over her shoulder like a military soldier!! And we begin back to town. At the inn we are met with thanks, payments, and praise. Jack makes a tale of the deeds of his friends, Jack has friends now. Jack and his friends are then hired by Pasko? Paskel? Mr P. Jack will call him. Hired to escort him, his daughter, and wagon up to the wayward wanderer and then on to Wend. Maybe Jack can find the knowings of Argonia, or the Madcap.

We set off; on the road we are bound. Before we get to the WW we are met by some humanoid fire beings. What cruelty can make people alive but on fire? Jack doesn’t want to know, but they are fired up to kill us. (Ha-ha Seth will be happy). And we make it to the WW, Mr P along the way told us about pickles, meat, and the biscuits. We order food, and Jack meets another dragonman!! What is going on??? His name is Kinra and he doesn’t like jack talking like him. Fine, Jack wont. He sells Jack interesting things, and has more to sell. One day Jack will come back.

We ended our stay at the WW and headed off to Wend. No surprise to Jack, Mr P is still telling stories. Jack likes stories. We get to Wend, at the inn. And our vision is accosted by these bullies. Needless to say we kill them. And out of nowhere this floating man takes the dead bodies, and pays us in blood money. No one wants it, but Jack takes it. Money is money; money will help him find Argonia. And Jack charms one of these Rabid Hounds they call themselves. Interrogate him, beat him, and the cleric, LADY Brienne does the unthinkable from her!! She kills him! How unfortunate, she beat Jack to it. And we end up rescuing the mayor from the rest of the Rabid Hounds who was held prisoner for ransom from Wend. Library, Jack needs a library. The mayors will do just fine.


Hilda - Session 0
Following the Fates

I don't often read my own fate. It's a silly thing to do, really, since the outcome is so easily influenced by one's own biases. I suppose it was meant to be a bit of a lark, but I should know better than to treat my abilities so carelessly. But what I saw had me gathering a few things and heading into town. Just in time for the rainstorm my old bones told me was coming.

I admit to a bit of surprise that there was no real surprise at my entrance to the tavern. IT isn't every day that I go into town, and most of the people old enough to run business are old enough to remember why. I always exact a price for my services, often more than what the superstitious are willing to pay. The rumor is that I take a bit of the time a body has left on this earth in payment. And…the effort of coming to see me kept all but the most desperate from my door.

I went in, because it's the only place to get a warm meal, and after my long walk into town, I needed one. My joints were creaking, and while my eyes were unappreciative of the brightness of the hearth flame, my knees happily took in the warmth. A young lady I've had dealings with before approached and took a seat at the same table. A trifle presumptuous of her to sit without asking my leave, but although frowned upon, it's not exactly against any rules to simply sit down wherever one would like at this tavern. I've been told that there are some taverns that have many small tables, where only one or two people could fit and that people don't commonly share. Which sounds lovely.

Brienne, a "lady of the Guard," sat down near me, close enough to be able to whisper conspiratorially, though I very much doubted she was the type. She'd come seeking my assistance with some thing some months ago, which is a bit surprising for those religious folk. As she had before, she attempted to proselytize me into joining her dragon cult. I rebuffed her efforts, gently but acerbically. It's best to make it known to these cultists that one is not interested in their malarkey. The other patrons were an odd mix. It was clear that the fates had intervened to bring me here this evening. The was a dragonborn, of all things as well as an elf and a mixed breed elf. Hard to tell if they're related or lovers, but I'm leaning toward lovers. The buffoon hired by the owners was a little sillier than usual. Wore a crown fashioned from a pumpkin, of all things, and refers to himself in the third person. He didn't even play a proper instrument, though the odd contraption he wielded, did make a rather pleasant noise. I hear music quite often, and his was, if not good, then at least not awful.

As I was enjoying my repast, once it had been corrected by a somewhat ungrateful daughter of the owners, the town smith burst through the door, wild eyed. He began babbling about his daughter having been taken by goblins and dragged out into the Boarwood. I was incensed. That is MY WOOD. As any decent steward of nature would, I naturally allow predators to roam freely, but GOBLINS are another matter entirely. Filthy little things. I had just made up my mind that I would help, when he started carrying on about how he doesn't have much money, but he's got a few dozen silver coins that he doesn't care about if it will get his daughter back.

One of the patrons, a large man, clearly a soldier, who I am sure that I heard say he was a sellsword, jumped right up and volunteered to go after them. From there it was only a matter of time before everyone else with a blade and a conscience rose up. Jago, the girl's father approached me, and begged that I go with them. Since I was going anyway, I reminded him of the cost of involving me was, but stood and led the way out the door. After all, I was going anyway, because I cannot abide a goblin in my wood.

The path was difficult, thanks to the storm and the darkness, but I had no difficulty finding my way. The elven woman with us had plenty, but everyone else managed. After an hour or so, we stopped for a rest and to let her catch up. After a few more hours walk, this time at a better pace, since the storm did not sully the ground so deep in the wood, we found signs of a goblin encampment. A few of us managed to see the two vermin posted on watch. As two of the men began to sneak up on them, and I prepared a nearly invisible bolt of shadowstuff to take one of them down quickly, the BLOODY "PUMPKIN KING" starts humming a song and tipped them off that we were there! The two sneaking up were forced to charge in, and I loosed my bolt earlier than expected, trying to keep them from sounding an alarm. In this we were at least successful, as no alarm was made. 

Once quiet again, Brienne, the "holy" woman asked us to watch her back for a moment. She sat on the ground and the pet owl riding on her shoulder opened his eyes and flew into the lair. After a few moments, a look of horror and disgust painted itself on her face. She told us her owl was not coming back, but she knew the layout of the lair and what was inside. What a waste of a perfectly good predator bird.

Thus forewarned, we went into the lair. Having no intention of being in a fight, I let the others lead. Of course, the Demon Murphy was looking out for the little vermin and two of them that had been away from the camp wandered back, found their brethren dead at the door and us still in the entry. Brienne and I were set upon, but we cut them down swiftly, albeit with the aid of gourd boy.

We continued, chasing the blighters into their own lair and eventually getting to the monster that had led them to my wood. I carefully stepped past the pit trap that was there, but I slipped and fell in. The elven woman and the mixed breed repaid my kindness from earlier and aided my ascent from the hole.

Once the large goblin was dealt with permanently, we had a look around. The missing girl, Jenna, was lying motionless on a stone altar in the middle of the room. I went to investigate and found the crumbled bits of a mushroom I recognized. I was just reaching into my bag for something to counter the stuff, or at least reduce the damage, when my name was shouted from the far end of the chamber. Fearing the worst, I moved as swiftly as possible to the children I was escorting, only to find that instead of an emergency, I was presented with a riddle. The riddle was written on a stone statue of a knight standing in some valiant pose or another. On the base was written: If you would keep it, you must first give it to me.”

The answer, “My word,” seemed obvious to me, but I’d been called because they didn’t know the answer. I let them discuss it for a moment, before adding my own two copper, and Jack figured it out. Perhaps the contents of his head are not completely addled. The door slid open a few inches and he wrestled it the rest of the way open, more or less ignoring the voice that rang out, “Speak your oath.” Some of the others found the words of the Dawn Keeper’s Oath written elsewhere in the room and tried speaking it, but only Brienne was able to get the door to open all the way. Unfortunately for Jack, he was impatient, squeezed himself through and was summarily cut down when the sarcophagi inside opened, revealing half a dozen skeletons, animated to destroy trespassers.

One of the other children, the sellsword, decided that he needed to go in and bring the lad’s body out. I opposed this vehemently, since the skeletons were quite efficient in their killing and felt that such an effort would only lead him to Jack’s fate. That was when Brienne spoke her oath and the voice rang out again, offering to allow her to enter. I heard someone ask her a question from the other side of the door, but was unable to make out what was said. When she came out, she bore a new sword, a shining jeweled amulet and Jack’s body.

Miraculously, the boy was still breathing, so we bound his wounds and, feeling safe here, rested for the remainder of the night. I returned to my work with Jenna, and was able to mix a small dosage of herbs that countered the poison she’d been given. Her breathing became more regular and less labored and she drifted into a deep, peaceful slumber.

With any luck, she won’t remember this night at all.


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