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The Dangerous Pursuit of Happiness
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Below are the 14 most recent journal entries recorded in The Dangerous Pursuit of Happiness' LiveJournal:

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005
8:28 pm
The Very Secret Diaries
Yes, Danger Persuit has a Very Secret Diary. It is the diary of the Wizard, known to, uh, HIMSELF as Astus Expiscior.
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12:09 pm
2005-01-17 Adventure Summary
Where we last left our intrepid adventurers...

They were standing at the entrance to the Great Hall of Drombar's Regret. Ominous, humanoid figures were moving in the distance near the far end. Slowly creeping up, Sildaris saw that they looked like dwarves... normal dwarves at that, not skeletal horrors, but they were simply milling about. Deciding that discretion is the better part of valor, the party moved towards the southwestern side exit to the main hall to explore a little deeper.

(Here, the absent dwarven rogue decided to busy himself with searching for secret doors in the shrine.)

They found themselves in a ten-foot-wide corridor with two doors on the left, one on the right, and a broken door at the far end where the corridor turns to the right. Since a door on the left was the closest one available, they entered the room there--despite slight scraping sounds from the right-hand door.

Here they entered a large room full of arms and armor, with a counter or bar in the middle. (Both left doors in the corridor lead into here.) Many things contained within were rusty, but a surprising amount were still usable. As the party picked through weapons, they noticed two dessicated bodies lying in the corners... they raised the alarm and ran to take their heads off before the unspeakable happened, but it was too late. The bodies rose from the ground and started swinging, just as a door in the corridor banged open!

Kiara lunged at one of the ghouls and hacked one of its claws clean off, but it countered with a claw and a bite that left her paralyzed. The bard leapt over the bar to attack, and the wizard took a shot with his crossbow--unfortunately, he just hit the bard in the shoulder.

The dwarven fighter grabbed a warhammer from a rack and took it to a nearby ghoul, and with the help of the druid charging in with a new spear and the ranger swinging with both weapons, it fell quickly. Amadeus, the cleric, ran to hold shut the door they had entered by.

The first ghoul lost his other claw as well. As Amadeus was forced back by the door and narrowly avoided a ghoul trying to claw him around it, the fighter took her warhammer to the other entrance of the room. With a tremendous blow, she knocked the door clear off its hinges and pinned a ghoul waiting on the other side against the wall!

Amadeus flailed at the ghoul who burst through his door, and with the help of the ranger and a Magic Missile, cut it down. Soon the first ghoul was dead as well, leaving the room silent.

Most of the party equipped themselves with masterwork weapons, completely looting the room of its best equipment. They also discovered a chest of coins. Hooking it on two shortspears, they carried it out.

The party noticed that the far west end of the corridor felt very cold, and that the room on the other side of the hall seemed to have bedding at one point. A few party members entered that room to search it, and heard a high-pitched voice cry "They're here!"--but a more thorough exploration, and a spell of detect magic, revealed no beings and no magic.

Beating a hasty retreat, the party re-entered the main hall...and found themselves face to face with four hammer-wielding angry looking dwarves who stared at them. Things were very tense as the party tried to establish speaking contact, until someone noticed that the dwarves were *not breathing*...

A battle ensued, and as two of the dwarves were cut down, Amadeus's holy symbol finally turned the remainder away. The party hastily returned through the barracks to the door from whence they entered, collecting their absent rogue again.

...The door was now closed and barred from the outside. Peering through the arrow slits they spotted a lone orc investigating the party's horses. Two rogues with crossbows and two sneak attacks later, the orc fell with a quarrel in the back of his head.

The wizard Mage Handed the barred door open, and the party quickly mounted their horses and fled back to town.

Upon their arrival, Amadeus received a letter from the church: Unfortunately, they would not be able to send military aid.

In the morning, the party (sans a sick dwarven rogue) went to the baron and prepared their loot to give to the dragon: 1,100 gold pieces and 1,000 silver pieces in a chest. They set off out of town on the ferry. On the other side, there was once again movement in the trees... the ferry was nearly out of sight when a cry for help went out. The ferryman was being held up by two armed gnolls!

Most of the party--all but the fighter and wizard--charged to the ferryman's defense, and that's when ten gnolls burst from the trees around the treasure. The leader spoke harsh common and demanded the treasure, then barked a spell and Commanded the fighter to surrender (whereupon she dropped her hammer and did). Four gnolls ran up to take the chest.

One of the gnolls who was threatening the ferryman caught two swords in his chest and fell, while the other ran. Archers from the city guard were running to the riverbank, but a greater commotion was raised when an enormous gnoll burst from the tower's dungeon, fists flailing, swinging his ineffective manacles around as they were still attached to his wrists.

The wizard brought out the magic mirror and contacted the dragon, who was not happy to see him. The dragon expressed no concern whatsoever about their treasure being taken, so long as he was still paid! While the gnolls seemed unconcerned about the dragon ("We'll be long gone by the time he comes"), the dragon didn't seem to care about the gnolls. The dragon also firmly chastized the wizard for contacting him again, and demanded the treasure be there at sundown. As the dragon pulled his head back from the mirror's image, his scales showed as red.

The bard shot a crossbow bolt at the remaining fleeing gnoll who had threatened the ferryman, and joined others in rushing back to the treasure. Meanwhile, the giant gnoll who was running wild in town swatted a guardsman away, then got filled with arrows, stumbled while still striking, suffered another hail of arrows and finally fell--to the entire militia hacking at him.

The gnoll leader, laughing, led the gnoll horde as they took the treasure away. Some gnolls remained to hold weapons at the party, then they withdrew behind a line of archers in the woods--and finally they all ran, once more to the southeast, too fast to even follow. The leader's words echoed back to the party through the woods: "I'll see you back in Zerinoth."

It was still just early morning. The party returned to the enraged Baron in shame, and collected another sum of coins for the dragon--this time with militia to back them up. But no gnolls came this time. They arrived at the end of the path and waited...Just after sunset, a group of kobolds silently filtered out of the woods and picked up the chest, nodded to the party, and left.

On the way back, a winged, draconic form could be seen flying in from the south...then minutes later, returning in the same direction. It blotted out the stars in a new-moon sky.

The original wealth the party brought home from the mines contained 300 platinum, 600 gold, 200 silver, and 1000 copper, as well as a masterwork large and small shield that nobody claimed.

At the dwarven bar, the barkeep mentioned that the artifacts the party had found could easily be returned to grateful dwarves at a price, and mentioned that he would watch for any assistance to give the party while keeping their adventures quiet.

Kiara wrote a letter to the thieves' guild she hails from, asking for permission to join this adventuring party.

Back in the library, research was done on this place called Zerinoth. A reference was found in a footnote: It's the name of a mythical City of Thieves, and it's almost a holy site... to Olidamarra. It has not existed for a long, long time.

To be continued...

It is 1 day past the new moon.
Time remaining until further contact with the dragon is demanded: 6 days.
The Baron's remaining store of loot for the dragon: 600gp
Entire present party gained 200xp.
Monday, January 17th, 2005
10:57 pm
Bling Bling
{{Below is a cost breakdown of our phat lewt from the adventure. If you need the full explanation, bring it to my attention at the next adventure and I'll show you the sheet with the fancy numbers and whatnot.}}

Incompetent Wizzzard Person, Bardy McFly, Sildaris: 738 gp and 42 silver each
Brother Sol: 497 gp and 42 silver, 1 mstwk. hvy. mace, 1 mstwk. lrg. steel shield
Altin Forestwalker: 436 gp and 42 silver, 2 mstwk. spears
Kiara: 428 gp and 42 silver, 2 mstwk. shortswords
Dwarwfy McStabberson: 582 gp and 42 silver, 1 mstwk. warhammer

Remaining is 6 silver, which could be put towards the party account, which I highly suggest, because 1 more silver isn't going to make that much of a difference towards your own wealth. Whatever else you wish to donate to the party account should be discussed first. I make a motion towards 25, maybe 50 from each person. Not too much, as it becomes pointless to donate a large amount only to take it back again.
11:33 am
2005-01-07 Adventure Summary
Where we last left our intrepid adventurers...

After much deliberation, they decided that pursuing the gnolls would be the best option at this time. After purchasing an everburning torch, they left town, and soon found the gnoll encampment--burned and abandoned.

Onsite was a lot of wax ground into the dirt, and a strange message, mostly burned:

They followed the gnolls' tracks to the southeast, and found that they diverged. The two large and the many small gnolls went in different directions. Reasoning that the larger gnolls must be commanding officers, they chose to pursue them instead.

Night was starting to draw near as the larger tracks turned back southwest to the river and plunged straight into it, apparently crossing over to south of the town. With no more options to pursue the gnolls and in a slight panic, the party returned to the ferry crossing and town, where they heard that large figures had been spotted outside of town, to the south.

From here, it wasn't difficult to pick up the gnolls' tracks, and they found them waiting in the woods by torchlight. What the party didn't expect was their tremendous strength. These two gnolls, each twice as high as a member of the party, swung their axes with fearsome power. Their size left them open to flanking however, and they were easy targets for ranged weaponry. After inflicting heavy wounds on just a couple party members, the gnolls were both defeated.

One of the gnolls was badly hamstrung and caught an arrow in his eye, but the other was barely surviving, and so the party chose to bind and heal him. They brought him back for interrogation, as has become routine.

For the cost of a Tongues spell from the local witch, the party's cleric started to ask the gnoll questions. He was strangely cooperative and in a fair mood, though he didn't want to answer who specifically he was working for. However, it became clear that he served a god, and the focus became which god he worked for.

Three Command spell helped it along. First the answer gained was "The one who shall be rich", then he fully spoke the name: "Olidamarra."

The gnoll also alluded to not having much time left, but what he means is uncertain.

At this point the party had three days remaining before the dragon demanded his tribute--Enough time to get to Drombar's Regret, the dwarven ruins, and back! They left quickly on horseback and arrived in the morning.

Drombar's Regret appears as a large, ancient wooden door (20' high and wide) built into the mountainside, with arrow slits coming out of the rock on either side. Nearby was a recently built shed-like structure.

Inside, they found a small guardhouse complex and another door, made of metal and stone, that could be bypassed through other corridors. The entrance to the guardhouse contained a trap which turned its stairs into a slide, discouraging defenders--but not our valiant party, who made it up anyway.

They also found a shrine to Moradin, now desecrated--its altar smashed by the very hammer that is the holy symbol--and discovered that it contained wealth: Ten silver candlesticks, a silver ewer, a mithril chalice, and a bulky ceremonial hammer inlaid with blue gems.

As they were searching the temple, skeletons poured in from deeper inside the ruins: Ten skeletons entered; four of them were turned to dust immediately by the cleric's power. The battle was not terribly difficult.

The ruins had once collapsed before a third door, but it had been dug out at some ancient point. Beyond laid the great hall: Eighty feet wide, with no end in sight, and monstrous pillars that disappeared into blackness towards the ceiling. In the distance, shapes moved.

To be continued...
Thursday, January 6th, 2005
3:55 pm
2004-11-27 Adventure Summary
Where we last left our intrepid adventurers...

The party was in the woods southeast of town, hunting gnolls. They had just defeated four of them, and advanced upon the gnoll encampment. There were about fifteen easily visible gnolls, and many of them were busy around two surprisingly large gnolls. The larger ones were dressed in painted, bulky, apparently ceremonial armor that the others were decorating. Another gnoll seemed to be picking things up.

Deciding to wait and see what happened, the party observed the gnoll camp being gradually packed up. As night grew near, they left the fighter and Sildaris (the ranger) to watch the encampment while the rest of the party returned to town.

The situation in town was grim: Many of the peasants and travelling merchants tried to flee town to escape the draconic threat. However, a group of bandits had set themselves up on the western road and were robbing the fleeing refugees! Immediately, the bard decided that something had to be done right away, and it took some difficulty to restrain him. The decision was made to call back the scouts with a message spell (from a wizard of the Baron).

Escaping from the gnolls was a bit of a challenge: It seems that one of the warriors noticed something in the bushes where the fighter and ranger were hiding. They started to back up, very stealthily, as he drew nearer... and managed to escape and run, before the bewildered gnoll brought his axe down on the unoccupied bush.

Once the party had regrouped, a small group left town to scout out the bandits' location. It wasn't difficult to find their camp, and the rogue stayed alone to watch them. This may have been a mistake: By the light of day and on the mostly barren hills, the bandits found him quickly.

The bandits were not swayed by the rogue's stories or his claim to want to join their band. They tied him up and left him in the middle of the road at swordpoint, planning to hold him for ransom to the rest of the party. However, this was the bandits' turn to make a mistake: They took the rogue at his word when he said he had only two companions, including a wizard.

In the morning, the party took a wagon down the road, with two members driving and the rest of the party hiding in the back. Negotiations broke down very quickly, and the party burst from the wagon to face four archers, two swordsmen and the bandit leader.

The battle went well for our heroes, though the cleric became the primary target as he was the one wearing robes (and targetted as a wizard). The bard vaulted over the wagon's horses to duel with the leader. Magic was used to keep down the archer threat, and before long, the bandits lay dead... except for the leader, whom the bard questioned. The bandits, unfortunately, seemed to possess no useful information: Mere rubbish of the road. All of the bandits were left for dead.

The rogue was rescued, and a great deal of loot was taken from the bandits' bodies. The party was surprised to find platinum among this treasure. The small bandit camp was ransacked and their horses were liberated for the party's own use. Much of this money belonged to a travelling merchant, who donated some of it to the party's cause and to the bribe for the dragon.

To be continued...

Time elapsed this session: 2 days (will begin in morning)
Time remaining until tribute is demanded: 4 days
Time remaining until further contact is demanded: 11 days
Entire party reached LEVEL 2!
Monday, January 3rd, 2005
4:07 pm
{{As a way to save time, I'm posting here instead of discussing it in game. Feel free to leave comments or whatever.}}

As we have recently come into a small amount of wealth, I bring forth to the table the idea of purchasing a wagon to carry our equipment. Cheap and mobile, the wagon could hold many of our supplies that would be too heavy and bulky to carry on our backs. Chain and manacles, for example, since some in our party seem intent on questioning every intelligent beast that wanders our way, instead of slitting their throats. A chest or two, to carry any valuables we might acquire. Crowbars, portable rams, and rope, all suitable for overcoming any walls or doors that might block our way. Tents, blankets, and bedrolls, so we don't have to retreat back to town every night. Of course, the wagon would present some problems, but I have suggestions to avoid these downfalls.

We would need some way of protecting our valuables while we are away. In town, it is easy enough, but out in the wilderness is another matter. If we can talk to the woodworkers in Dunwater, perhaps they can provide us with some sort of cover. Chains and locks would go far to dissuading potential thieves. Altin and I might be able to scrounge around for some natural cover. Also, maybe our bumbling mage can provide us with some sort of arcane warning or guard. I would ask Brother Sol, but I fear his training does not include the protection we are looking for. It is worth noting that while we are driving/moving the wagon, we are easy targets. However, I do not think we should take it everywhere we go. Only to a suitable distance from the next infestation, somewhere we can set up camp and have a safe place to retreat. Also, those in the party who are allergic to arrows can take cover behind or under the wagon, should the need arise.

I am open to suggestions, and if you think it folly, we can go about back to spending our money on other things. A breakdown of the prices follows below.

Wagon: 35gp
Chain: 30gp
Chest: 2gp
Lock: Average 40gp Good 80gp
Manacles (Masterwork): 15gp (50gp)
Portable ram: 10gp
Silk rope: 10gp

Also, if any of you are feeling particularly generous, we could go over west and bother Russett into creating an everburning torch for us. I am fairly certain he would have the skills necessary, unlike the minor arcanists we have in Dunwater. Again, your thoughts would be most welcome.

Sildaris Tharantor, elven protectorate of Elewyn
Saturday, December 4th, 2004
4:11 pm
2004-11-20 Adventure Summary
(This is merely the official, terse summary. Other, more detailed accounts have been given by the adventurers in question. Find them below on the calendar.)

Where we last left our intrepid adventurers...

Trying to decide what to do with two stone statues, the party spent a day in discussion, argument and drink. In regret for his earlier actions, the party's rogue decided it was his time to leave--and he did, saying he was going to visit his mother. The weight of this comment was lost upon the rest of the group. Word arrived as well from the Church of Heironeus--The cleric who had long been training to become a paladin finally had a mentor, and with this news, he left as well. A human cleric of Pelor joined the group in his stead, with Baron Eric Colburn's blessings.

In the morning, the party left town. They traveled a day's journey to the west with mule and cart to Forkford, a nearby town. They went to seek the wizard Old Man Russet, who was renowned around these parts, to turn back to flesh their ranger and Heather (the girl they had rescued from the kobolds).

Travel was fairly uneventful. They arrived in town and stopped at a bar, where they got a few slightly funny looks for their seeking the reclusive wizard. At the bar, they obtained the location of the the wizard (in a hut just out of town to the north), and picked up a party member to replace the one they had lost: A dwarven rogue who was willing to take up the adventurer's banner for some pay.

Arriving at the hut, the party met Old Man Russet to make arrangements. Next morning the statues returned to flesh, with payment of three hundred gold and the cockatrice's body.

The party and the wizard traded stories, here: Our adventurers learned the history of Drombar's Regret, a Dwarven mine to the northwest that may still hold riches. Apparently, Drombar had built it on the site of some evil when outside advice combined with greed got the better of his common sense. It was a rich site of Mithril, often under attack by orcs, but one day it collapsed with few survivors. The fate of that mine is not known, but it seems to be responsible for the local dwarves' xenophobia: They lost much honor that day.

Another uneventful trip and the party returned to Dunwater to see the Baron. After performing some research in the library of the Arcane Benevolence Society, where the wizard noticed many spells related to farming, they decided to look at a mirror they had discovered on the kobolds. Some squabbling happened, involving a Detect Magic spell, and then some writing was discovered on the mirror in a fading blue text: The signature of an Arcane Mark.

The writing bore the word, in draconic letters: "Maereth". The wizard could not identify it as any word in the Draconic language.

At this point, all hell truly broke loose: The bard took the mirror and, looking into it, spoke "Maereth". He was answered by red eyes on a dark background, asking who disturbs it.

Fearful, the bard passed the mirror off to the wizard, who guessed the figure on the other side as responsible for the kobold attacks. He revealed himself as an adventurer for the Baron, and attempted to seek a compromise. He suggested giving tribute in return for the town's safety, to which the voice responded by asking how much. When the wizard suggested "as much as expected to a benevolent lord", the voice responded... "You really don't know who you're dealing with, do you?"

The voice demanded tribute to be placed at the end of the eastern road in one week's time, and that the party should contact it again a week after that--no sooner. It referred to the wizard as "my Maereth" -- and then the voice vanished.

Terrified, Helen (of the Arcane Benevolence Society) was at a loss to understand why the party had identified itself to, and promised tribute to, a dragon.

A hasty trip to the Baron ensued, and options were discussed: They would give tribute while making further decisions on how to rid themselves of the beast--for now, compliance was necessary. Furthermore, the people of the town must be informed. The party rested for the night.

Soon into the morning, the party decided that while they would comply with the dragon, they would also make a show of force against the gnolls, who they saw as clear servants. Some tracking later, they fought four gnolls in the woods east of town.

To be continued...

Time elapsed in this adventure: 5 days
Time remaining until tribute is demanded: 6 days
Time remaining until further contact is demanded: 13 days
Monday, November 22nd, 2004
12:42 pm
Druid Reports!
Hello? Is this thing on?

Okay. This is Altin Be...er, I mean Altin Forestwalker, the druid. I would like to scribe up this report of our most recent bout of adventuresome activities. 'Kay?

Alright. Situation: two statues, in desperate need of being turned back into people. We were going around from town to town (nicer areas than farms, I might add...but a bit of greenery here and there would be much appreciated, hm? Nature's all around ya, people. Embrace it!) finding all these magic-types who couldn't turn rock back into flesh...I've GOT to find out how they do that, by the way...and then we found one guy who could. Name of Russet, if I recall correctly. And naturally, he wears these reddish-brown robes to fit his name. Nice color. I really liked it.

Anyhoo, it was going to take him a while to fix up the spell to turn the statues back to people, so we went to a tavern to spend the time. Let me tell you, the kind of drinks they serve in towns is BIG. I don't mean in volume, but MAGNITUDE. I was feeling pretty good after just two, so I went upstairs and did something that, while I didn't exactly regret it, in retrospect was kinda dumb.

I thought the statues looked kinda dull, grey, and boring, and needed to look a little bit more lifelike. So I took some of the berries I'd been gathering earlier that day, and mixed up a halfway-decent set of paints.

I am not a good artist. At least, the state of the statues the next morning proved that I'm not while drunk. Oddly enough, though, I remember them looking a lot better while I was painting...

Anyway, the now-colorful statues were wheeled down to old Russet's place, and he changed 'em back to the little girl who'd been missing, and whazzisname, our ranger. Fortunately, the paint had dried overnight, and so flaked off instead of soaking their clothes and skin...fortunately for me, because I forgot to miss their eyes. Which were open. Needless to say, had some of these berries gotten the liquid juice on bare eyeballs, they would have suffered. Shortly thereafter, I would have suffered.

Later on, we came across that band of gnolls we'd encountered before. This gave me a chance to try out an entangling spell. It kind of worked TOO well. A huge area of forest was rendered close to impassible for about a minute, which was pretty much the whole battle. As always, though, we tried diplomacy first, sharp and pointy objects second. I also tried out a summoning spell. Out of the aether, I brought forth a magnificent eagle, who smote our foes...well, one of them at least.

Egh. I should leave poetry to the bard.

Anyhow, we won, we survived, end of battle. Right. And now we're on our way to some dishonored dwarf mine or somesuch. As long as I can help people to better their lives through understanding nature, while improving my own life through the druidic ways, all shall be just peachy. Yay.

~Altin Forestwalker

Current Mood: bouncy
Friday, November 19th, 2004
12:10 pm
Organizations: Arcane Benevolence Society
The Arcane Benevolence Society teaches basic cantrips to commoners who wish to take up magical ways. They have a small library in most cities, filled mostly with history books, and have teachers who help farmers or craftsmen learn the most basic of spells.

In Dunwater, Helen is the local representitive and teacher.
11:59 am
2004-11-13 Adventure Summary
Where we last left our intrepid adventurers...

They were following humans' footprints to try and find missing family members, and had just dispatched a small group of kobolds (except for one knocked unconscious, which they tied to a tree). Continuing on their search, they found the footprints wandering around until they came near a clearing. Draconic voices were raised in the clearing, so the rogue and ranger went to scout at the edge of the trees.

What they found were several kobolds near a cave in a pile of rocks, arguing over something. The Draconic-speaking wizard 'snuck' up along with the rogue and ranger rather poorly, but went un-noticed by the kobolds, who were apparently arguing over pay. The wizard strode into the clearing with a commanding pose and tried to pass himself off as some rank high above them, but after a moment of trepidation, the apparent leader of the kobolds started to demand the wizard assume his true form and claimed he didn't have the 'mark'.

All hell broke loose as the wizard started zapping kobolds left and right. The others, who had advanced to the edge of the clearing when the wizard started talking, charged into the fray. The ranger caught the kobolds' leader in the chest with a well-placed arrow, but it was hardy and fled after unsuccessfully trying to cast a spell.

Two kobolds shot crossbows from behind large rocks, and six others rushed in with halfspears. The kobold leader dove into the cave as the battle raged. The brave fighter charged along with the others, and all the other kobolds were dispatched without a single wound on the party. People looted the bodies and secured the clearing. The ranger went back to the woods for just a moment, and delivered a killing blow to the captured kobold.

As they started to look into the cave, the party made two discoveries: First of all, there was a bat-winged creature sleeping forty feet in. Second, there was a makeshift altar in the clearing... covered with rocks... that looked like they used to be a person. A gold ring was found on the altar, later found to be from Lilian's husband, Keaton. It seemed that the party was dealing with a cockatrice here... and there was no sign of the kobold leader, though the cave turned just behind where the cockatrice slept.

The party gathered around the cave entrance as the rogue crept stealthily in, axe ready. As he closed on the sleeping cockatrice and raised his axe, his careful eye noticed a shimmering in the air... Heat, perhaps? Uncertain, he hesitated and was starting to back out of the cave when a shout woke the cockatrice! The rogue threw his axe and ran as the fearsome beast arose.

Ranged weapons of all kinds flew into the cave as the dwarf escaped, and the cockatrice was held back. The ranger dropped his bow, drew his sword and charged to deliver the killing blow--but swung wide, was struck by the cockatrice, and turned instantly to stone.

Behind his statue, the kobold leader winked back into sight as he invoked a spell of sleep. The party members were strong, though, and only the druid's wolf (who had been so brave against the kobold archers before) succumbed. Soon the cockatrice fell, and even as he used the statue for cover, so did the sorcerer-leader of the kobolds--yet he was not dead, and with the cleric's help, he was stabilized for later interrogation.

Very carefully, they all explored the cave and searched the leader's body. He had two pouches of gold and silver coins, as well as a particularly clean sword sword. The druid, wizard and bard pooled their knowledge to identify that the cockatrice's tail feathers were still dangerous, but the others were safe and could fetch a good sum as quills for scribing scrolls. The cockatrice's tail was cut off and its body bundled up in two pieces.

Just past the turn in the cave, they found a dead end: It had a statue of a young girl, still in one piece. They also found three empty potion bottles, three bulging sacks of coins, spare mundane weapons, clay pots of colored sand, and a small steel mirror.

Satisfied that their job was complete, but burdened by a party member turned to stone and the young girl and captured kobold, the party returned to the Lilian's neighbor's house. She confirmed for them that this was her daughter and that her husband must have indeed been destroyed while he was stone. That night, the party interrogated the kobold leader, but got no information--only that he served something powerful, whom he feared perhaps more than death. The kobold was no longer living by the end, which gave the rogue a great deal of moral pause.

The next day, the party returned to Dunwater to see the Baron. He congratulated the party and gave deepest condolences to Lilian, now missing two family members. After asking the party to bring him all the spoils of their adventure (which amounted to nearly three hundred and fifty gold pieces--not counting a large bag of gold that the rogue concealed), he instructed them to find someone to lift the enchantment of stone.

Their search brought them first to Linnet Weaver, a cleric of Pelor and a teacher but who was unable to help; then to Helen, a hedge wizard of the Arcane Benevolence Society, who sadly also lacked the needed skill; and finally to Mildred, a witch who lives a fairly secluded life within the town. She did not have the spells herself, but she recommended they contact Old Man Russet, a wizard who lives a day's ride to the west in Forkford.

To Be Continued.

Kill counts for this session:
Everyone: 6 Kobolds, 2 Kobold Archers, 1 Kobold Sorcerer, 1 Cockatrice

Loot for this session:
Baron: 300 gold, 400 silver
Party: 1 Cockatrice Body and Tail; Short Sword; Steel Mirror
Rogue: 250 gold

Bonus: 50xp for the entire party, for preventing the kobolds from menacing farmers ever again

Updated: NPCs: Dunwater
Updated: History: Dunwater
Created: Organizations: Arcane Benevolence Society
Sunday, November 7th, 2004
2:54 pm
2004-11-06 Adventure Summary
The party convened, and received their first task from the Baron: A couple days ago, a farming family that lives about a day's walk to the east from town went missing. Their neighbors reported it, and a scout who checked it out said he felt like he was being watched. The party was asked to investigate. The party was told that goblins were sometimes present in the area, but rarely attacked anyone armed. The ranger asked if there was anything strange with the animals, but the Baron knew of no such thing.

Taking a ferry across the river to investigate, the party asked the ferry captain if anyone suspicious had come across the river. The ferry captain claimed he hadn't seen anyone unusual, and that he sees just about everyone who comes across--it would be a several-day journey to go around the river in the mountains to the north.

Before the ferry was out of sight, the party encountered Lilian Worth, the terrified mother of the missing family. She had apparently been out looking for them when the scout investigated. She claims that Keaton had been out hunting at the time, and she doesn't know where Heather went. The party mended her wounds and shoes with magic.

Shortly thereafter, the ranger and rogue spotted movement in the trees around them. Deciding to investigate, the ranger, rogue, fighter and druid left the path, with the wizard, bard and cleric guarding Lilian. The party chased the stealthy figures into a clearing where they were revealed as three gnolls armed with axe and shield. An arrow from the ranger and a sling bullet from the druid slowed one down, and the rogue killed it with a throwing axe to the back. The ranger wounded one other in the shoulder, but it escaped. Attempts to stabilize the captured gnoll for interrogation failed, but they did discover a strange red mark running down its right cheek. It looked like the fur had been dyed in a line an inch wide and four inches long. The fighter and rogue stealthily split its purse of 30 gold between them, and the ranger tracked the remaining gnolls for twenty minutes before finding his arrow which they paused long enough to remove. The party moved on.

Stopping at one of Lilians' neighbors house for the night, they tried to gather important information with no success. The party did get good lodging that night, and left their hosts with five gold for their troubles. The party members who stayed out to watch saw and heard nothing but crickets, and they left Lilian there in the morning.

Arriving at Lilian's house, they investigated: The door was left open, and the cellar was partially ransacked. The ranger found two sets of human footprints, one large and one small, going off into the woods at a leisurely, unhurried pace. Occuring afterwards, he also found Lilian's panicked footprints, as well as many footprints from small, bipedal non-mammals milling around. They came from and left in roughly the same direction as the human footprints.

Following the humans' tracks, the party was ambushed by five spear-armed kobolds to a Draconic cry of "Charge!". The kobolds were very easily dispatched by the entire party, leaving the characters still unwounded (except for a minor stab the druid's wolf received). One of the attacking kobolds was knocked unconscious by the fighter, and was tied up very well.

At this point, the first session ended to the strains of "To Be Continued".

Kill counts for this session:
Fighter, Rogue, Druid, Ranger: 1 Gnoll
Everyone: 5 Kobolds

Loot for this session:
Fighter, Rogue: 15 gold apiece
2:34 pm
NPCs: Dunwater
Eric Colburn, Baron of the Northeastern Wilderness and Lord of Pine March Castle
The baron wears a symbol of Pelor, and has brown hair and a prominent moustache. He wears banded mail and a longsword by his side. His throne room is on the first floor of Pine March Castle. He got the job as baron here because nobody else was interested, and led the pioneering effort.

Anton Gustav
Anton is the door guard of Pine March Castle. He wears scale mail, a white surcoat, and a helmet which he keeps visor-down just so he can flip the visor up whenever someone arrives. He is very talkative. Holds a pike and has a sheathed longsword.

Tom Winden
Tom is a scout and rider. He wears scale-mail armor and a white surcoat, and has near bleach-blond hair. He doesn't really see fighting in his job description.

Lilian, Heather, Keaton Worth
Mother, daughter, and father of a farmhouse nearly a day away from town. Moved to Pine March from a town to the west four years ago. Lilian's family disappeared recently, and the adventurers found that her husband and daughter were turned to stone by kobolds and a cockatrice. Keaton was destroyed, but Heather is currently a statue.

Lilian's Neighbors
Live in another farmhouse an hour up the road from Lilian and her family. Lilian is currently staying with them. The party left them a total of five gold pieces in thanks for their hospitality, when they stayed the night.

The Ferryman
His job is to take boats back and forth across the river during the day. He sees most people who come across.

Linnet Weaver
He is a cleric of Pelor who acts as a chaplain to Pine March Castle. One of the highest ranking clerics in the town, and a devoted healer and teacher.

Helen runs the library of the local Arcane Benevolence Society. She is a hedge wizard, and teaches farmers basic cantrips.

Mildred is a witch who is a bit out of place in Dunwater. She lives alone and is very reclusive, though fairly powerful.
2:11 pm
Geography: Dunwater
The town of Dunwater is a farming community near the northeastern border of the human-settled lands. It stands on the west side of a swift river that flows from the mountains to the north to the plains to the south. The town is built around a hill that the river circles, and the castle of Pine March stands on the top of the hill. The town and castle are recent, and were constructed eight years ago.

Dunwater is a small town, with about 2,500 residents. Most of them are human, while about 10% are dwarves from a colony to the north. There is a mere handful of other races here. The primary crops are things like lettuce, carrots, and other vegetables that can tolerate the cold, though winter is a difficult time for everyone.

Temperatures are moderate to warm in spring and summer. In the winter, they drop very low, but not quite low enough to snow often or freeze the river. Skies are often clear, though clouds from the southwest do bring snow to the northern mountains. Rain is infrequent, making the river and small streams important.

Dunwater's nearest neighbors are Forkford, a human settlement of 7,500 a day's travel to the west; Drombar's Vein, a dwarven colony of 6,000 a day's travel to the north; and Long Road, a human settlement of 500 four days' travel to the south.

Dunwater performs no mining. It trades its food surplus for ores and finished material from Drombar's Vein. There are a few skilled dwarven smiths in Dunwater who left the northern settlement for surface life, and Dunwater is slowly developing.
2:03 pm
The adventure begins
It's the northeastern border of human lands, near mountains inhabited by dwarves. It's a cold place just entering winter. Eric Colburn, the baron of the Northeastern Wilderness and Pine March Castle, has sent out a call for adventurers.

They are seven. Four humans: A quiet wizard, a cleric of Heironeous who wished to be a paladin, a druid with his wolf companion, and a bard from the Baron's court. Two dwarves: A sturdy fighter and an underhanded rogue, both outcasts who are hungry for gold. One elf: A ranger, who finds few of his kind in these lands.

The Baron has taken this party into his service as adventurers and heroes-to-be, taking care of tasks that few others would be willing to handle. The adventurers each received 50 pieces of gold upfront, and will collect a stipend of two pieces of gold each day. The Baron has said he expects great things from them.
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