The Rambling thoughts of that Scree Character
It is complicated, these bits and pieces of our mission for the Arcane Order to find out what the Shadow is looking for. It is contemplated in discussions when we chance getting together, in notes left in our safe places about the city in order to communicate secretly when we can’t or don’t dare meet and in our thoughts before we rest our heads at seemingly longer and longer days. Why does everything point to Novgorod? It was the stronghold for the Rebels who fought the Shidhe, the gods who walked as men. There are three items that seem to be intertwined: 1. A sword wielded by the Darkness Winter Twilight 2. A sword Urthur used to bring down the tower in Novgorod called Sommer Swerd. 3. A crown (or a very authentic duplicate replica) worn by the Darkness’s consort Alezberevf, which is in the hands of a wizard by the name of Eviseral.
In (or near) this same city Urthur (who founded Nondor 6,000 years ago) forged 7 swords to destroy the 7 Arcane Towers. One, for sure, destroyed the tower in Valorium, Valencium. It has been rebuilt and now is called the Ivory Tower. The sword used to destroy the tower was consumed in order to neutralize the Tower. One was destroyed. (How do we know this? Who destroyed it?) 5 are lost. We believe that we held one in our dream world episode back at the Obsidian Tower. It made Arcane Magic Users sick with an anti magic field.
There are 3 forges that seem to be connected some how. The Durgeddin forge which we dropped the Dragontooth Mountain on. The forge “The Darkness” used is rumored to be near Novgorod. We believe “The Shadow” means to reclaim it. The forge Urthur used is rumored to be near Novgorod also.
The Arcane Order and the Church of Three used to get along much better long ago. It is rumored that they were going to work on a new forge together but the venture failed. Both have either ½ a map or ½ of some type of information. Or should it be said had ½ because the one the Church had, seems to have been stolen from the ruined tower in Novgorod. And because there is still activity in Novgorod, we believe that the Shadow is still searching for the church ½.
Why do you suppose the Arcane Order chose us for this mission? Why not Arcane Mages with magic that we can’t imagine? Those buggers probably read minds and pass through walls and float and go places while invisible and other junk like that. It seems like 3 guys as good as Nasriul could work miracles compared to us. Perhaps there is a possible magic drain or something deadly to wizards in this forsaken place. They could be chickens or something. No, no I must be daft. If the balance is tipped too far the whole Wyrld will slide into oblivion. We must protect every element. Got to quit being suspicious. This place gives yah the heebie geebies. Stop it!
We have a meeting scheduled with the agents of “The Shadow” at the Boar’s Tusk Inn. I don’t know if I’m looking forward to it or not. I’m not a good liar and me temper flares at the thought of these thugs. I can only hope we get a line on the whereabouts of that Tobias Hembrache from them. If we do I think we are going to mount a rescue mission for Ilizabeth and her boyfriend Casper and possibly the missing monk Gheron. The music sheet Weedwillow ciphered says not to trust Tobias. As I read it again, I can’t read anything into it that points other wise:
IHAVESUSPICIONSOFTOBIAS MISSINGATODDHOURS ROOMEMPTYNIGHT MAYBEWORKINGAGAINSTUS DONOTTRUSTTOBIAS LOOKFORWHATISNOTTHEREWHATISMISSING GOINGTOAPPREHENDTOBIASANDCONSPIRATORS MAYTHEGODSHELPMEANDTHOU
Would be nice to know what this Tobias looks like. Don’t want to slice the wrong pigeon. In this city,yah kin rightly chop down every third person and not have to feel guilty you nailed a decent sort. Reminds me, I think I need to gets me a silver or blessed weapon. Betcha the lovely Joan could put a whopper of a blessing on me heirloom urgrosh.
The two weeks here has been feeling to me like two months. Our meeting with the “agents” has been pushed back a week. Probably the shake down show we put on Shimeer has made them need more time to prepare for us. Talanicus has spotted them more than once following us and I’m not built for the back stabbing spy game. I’m built for the “Who you calling a lawn ornament?” game. The body count in the Sunrise Slums is heavy and rumor has it growing. Wonder why. Whole families are missing from farms too. Maybe we should investigate this too. Well, somehow, we have to get from Greyburg to the Kingsway through or around or something past the Mouth of the Dragon. We got a note from Jonas to meet at the tower ruins to unbury a vault full of magic at midnight. ‘Yum, yum, this is going to be tasty.
IN AID OF ARGON Talanicus/Lanarius, Nasriul/Minoc and Ralph/Grimsmile begin their walk to the north end of Greyburg. “I’m hungry” states Talanicus, a bit too loud. They’ve travelled too long together to not know something is up. He stops and buys a loaf of bread while Ralph, with his stomach growling, is already looking for some cheese and meat. Nasriul has already spotted them from the corner of his eye and by jockeying around the bizarre booths Ralph is looking to see them too. They gather and make a rather good looking sandwich which Talanicus cuts in half and gives the other half to Nasriul. Ralph holds out his hand at the same time Nasriul dimension doors away. Talanicus makes a bee line toward one of the tailing agents. Ralph follows the only half a sandwich he can see and Talanicus as close as he can. He peeks around Talanicus as if eyeing the food and spots a rather large and well built human in the direction Talanicus is heading. “That’s our man”, he thinks to himself. Talanicus stops and offers the tidbit as the big man smiles. “So, we’re the guys who shook down Shimeer and killed the family. We don’t like being followed and I’m sure we can behave for a week until the meeting. The same can happen to you if I spot you again. Eat hardy, my friend.” The two turn and continue north. Ralph turns to look at the sandwich a couple times and notices the smile is no longer on the face of the spy and he hasn’t touched the sandwich. Ralph doubles back and grabs the sandwich as the thug flinches. Scree jogs to catch up with Talanicus as crumbs fall in his wake.
Meanwhile, the second guy visibly jumps as Nasriul suddenly appears on the man’s weapon hand side and places the sandwich in his weapon hand. He reaches for his weapon and jams the sandwich into it instead. “Don’t try it. Enjoy the faire instead. Or you can die of, let’s say, a bolt of lightning. Hmmm? Your name?” (pause) “Please, I can’t tell you.” “All right then where are you staying? (longer pause) “You see my foe, (Nasriul throws a handful of sand on the agent’s clothes and boots) I’ve just put a locator on you and will know where you are until you are 100 miles out of my range. Therefore, you need to pack up, pay your bill and remove yourself a goodly distance from the fair city of Novgorod. Do I make myself clear?” The clearly defined odor of perspiration follows a path several streets down and into an alley way. It continues out the gate.
More to follow when I return 12-9-08. I’m only on page 2 of my notes.
11-9-08 NOT JOURNALIZED YET
NEW INFO Arcane Order Church of Three Dragontooth Mountain Durgeddin Rebels Shidhe Urthur Valorium Valencium Tobias Hembrache Boar’s Tusk Inn Ilizabeth Casper Sunrise Slums Greyburg Kingsway Mouth of the Dragon.
10-26-2008 Next Day: (Hey C.J. what is the game time calendar date?) they could have been followed. It has happened before. There are other loud voices in the tavern and as the team glances about, it appears that no one is paying any attention to the group.
In a hushed voice, “I am still slowly researching the Viscount’s library. Still, there are not any references of it except one small hint that it may be in the hands of the Church.”, says Aumei as she pushes a noodle like piece of food around her plate. “I have to keep up appearances with the Viscount.
Jonas and I are wasting a lot of time on preparing for the Ball that is coming up.”
Jonas sighs; his disguise as Aumei’s valet is wearing him down, restricting him. “There is an Arcane Order Wizard by the name of Argon still hangin about the destroyed tower. He claims that there is a cache buried in the lower levels. Could be what we are looking for. It seems nearly impossible to reach it without magic more powerful than he has at his disposal. There is possibility that the lyre thing that Talanicus does might uncover the secrets.” murmurs Nasriul. “In the same token we need to get with the agents and get more information from them. We are still walking about in the dark with little to show for our time. So far they have proved useless. I say we need to get some answers here. I grow impatient.” almost startles the group. “I am making very little headway in the church library. While fine weapons are much entwined in the history of Novgorod I have not run across mention of a super weapon, nothing that the Shadow would be interested in.” Aumei pipes in, “I believe that the church has a powerful sword that the Shadow wants. I will return to Dula’s library and pour over more of the books.” “All I say is this: We need to get Hakeem and his 15 family members safely away from the city. It’s number one priority. If this plan to fake their deaths fails, I’m one angry dwarf. I have a real itch to get back with that slime bucket Shimeer and let him know that jobs well done are jobs well paid,” said Ralph, as he glared about the table. a contact with agents of the Shadow for us,” corrected Talanicus. set in Screes jaw. “We’ll see terror in his eyes,” Ralph whispered to himself. It was well known by the group that the dwarf hated people like Shimeer. Talanicus suggests that they go now for supplies and disguises for the adult members of Hakeem’s family.
“We’ll see.” An uncomfortable silence crept in as the group noticed the
Studded leather armor with face shielded helmets 5 @ 25gp each: 125 Supplies, (rope, canvas, food, etc.) ………………………………… 475 Covered wagon …………………………………………………….. 40 2 large horses ………………………………………………………. 400 Total ……………………………………………………………….. 1,040 GP Negotiations brought the total in for [[875 GP of Talanicus’s gold.]]
The 9 adults are moved to an inn in the Northern Merchants section of Novgorod on the North wall and as near as possible to the northwest gate. Talanicus then disguises them by shaving beards, changing hair styles and complexion color changes.
THE FOREIGNER DISTRICT Talanicus, Ralph and Nasriul under the alias’ of Lanarius Dante, Grimsmile and in a most uncomfortably shape changed to a dwarf called Manock respectively are in a cramped room, in the Foreigner District of Novgorod with Hakeem and his 15 very nervous, stressed out family members. Talanicus was fitting the male adults with studded leather armor. Talanicus’s cover is an elf sent to Novgorod to hire mercenaries. He is trying to sort out the helmets with face shields to get tolerable fits for each of them. It looks as one or two are going to be uncomfortable but, acceptable. They expect the journey out of the gate and 25 miles or so west to be a good trade off between comfort and remaining alive. The family is still suspicious, but, not as filled with it as the day before the huge pillar of fire consumed their home. They have taken comfort in the fact that all their possessions and heirlooms are safe in a wagon that the city guards think contains dead bodies from the morgue that are to be taken to be buried outside the city. Another cart of food and supplies also stands ready. Nasriul has linked the 4 female adults, 2 elderly adults, the 4 children and one healthy adult male leader together with a rope knotted for a handhold for each member in order that they don’t lose each other when he drops an invisibility spell on them. He will get them out under the cover of darkness because they would never pass as mercenaries. Ralph follows a short time later with the possessions wagon and when they are out of site from the city and other prying eyes the 11 members climb aboard.
WEEDWILLOW AND JONAS Jonas and Bill go to 2 of the hidden message drop spots in the Greyburg District and drop notes for the other members. They find the inn that Nasriul, Talanicus and Ralph were staying in. (Wyrmsbreath?) They find that the party had 4 rooms and had a bunch of hired mercenaries with them. They pulled out with a covered wagon. Jonas and Bill look at each other wondering what is going on. Jonas announces that a round of drinks is on him. (COST?) In this place that buys them instant friends and in the gathered crowd they hear about a pillar of fire in Southern Merchant Borough that virtually made the home of the merchant Hakeem a cinder. Without so much as a glance at each other the two comrades know where they are going. “Wowie, I’ve got to see that,” wiggles Bill. “Hold on Halfling, I’m with yah. Just let me finish my ale will yah?” Bill bangs his ale down and Jonas sighs. “Ok, Ok!” They part company and the drinking pals quickly go back to arguing politics.
Manock/ Nasriul’s search for informatio Keeping to the shadows and mostly staying hidden from the majority of prying eyes Nasriul and his familiar Rue take to the Sunrise Slum area of Novgorod. After a short reconnaissance Rue returns with a one word sentence, “Nasty!” In the few contacts Nasriul makes he gets very few acknowledgements that he even exists himself. People turn and look or walk in opposite directions. Some appear to be deaf. Some glare. It appears you don’t ask questions in this area of the city. In a nondescript tavern without a sign over the door, Nasriul finally gets to slip a charm person spell on a bartender without any patrons and tells him he means to give a thrashing to a club footed elf wizard by the name Eviseral. The barkeep chuckles and gives him the names of two guys that might be of help. “These guys might know, Yoli the snitch or Augi the rat but either way they don’t much cotton to yer kind. The Families (actually groups of thieves or a loose attempt at a thieves guild) don’t deal much with dwarves ‘cept with the Sweatyagate Clan. Yah can also hook up with Boris the Lefty, but, don’t mention me. He has a fencers and I don’t mean epees shop in Greyburg. He got bounced from the royal guard and still has a lot of guard friends. Just then 3 toughs walk in and head for the back corner of the tavern. They all sit facing the door. The keep’s eyes coupled with a slight nod indicate there’s some of them now to Nasriul. Nasriul makes sure that the barman sees his tip and heads for the door. A voice from the room says “Watch yerself.”
AUMEI’S FINDINGS While she pours over the piles of books in Dula’s library, she mumbles to herself about the amount of history. The Novgorod sure love their history. In truth the Novgorod did think that they were as a people, pretty important. She finds several historical swords mentioned and makes note of it. The Novgorod were the first to rebel against those that walked as gods. Hmmm, the dwarf population has dropped. Ralph might want to know why. The Darkness when it was king of Novgorod was making or perhaps even had a sword of great power called Winter Twilight. It was said to have been something to wield against the Overlords. It is said Valor used a sword called Summer Sword against The Darkness. The epic battle took place in a city east of the city of Neverfall in the Dragon Spine mountain region. That was by a place unfamiliar to Aumei near a place called Guards pass in Nondor. She’d have to find out more about that. It is also said that all the gates of Valorium were closed to all and mysteriously opened for Valor to pass in. Darkness had a council of 13 that were unhealthily loyal to him. Perhaps the arch lich Zethylon was part of that council. This arch lich was destroyed by his assistant Thangar who then took the Obsidian Tower for himself. Darkness also had a consort Alezberevf. There is a Sunless City connection here and two characters from the past, Eviseral and Golthius, have something to do with it. She would continue to try to make sense of it all.
JOAN/MORGAN DANTE MEETS THE INQUISITOR While in the vast library of the church Joan looks up to see a man in a simple tunic with an ornate chain around his neck. He is staring at her with Steely eyes. His face is a closed book and he reeks of stoic. He has been introduced to Joan alias Morgan Dante as the Grand Inquisitor, Hess. (Somebody insert his first name) Bluntly, he begins his conversation with, “Is it true you work for the Arcane Order?” Joan, changes her standing position of formal introduction to a position sitting back down and returning to her studies. She doesn’t look up. “I am loyal to the church and I serve those who need me.” “Already you offend her, Hess. Stop it this very moment; there is no doubt in my mind that she is a genuinely good person. She will follow the path of good. She has already proved it with more good works in a week than most provide in a lifetime.” Rikard Griffinmaine spills outward with a voice strained an octave higher than usual. Still glaring Hess continues in his naturally accusing manner. “Let’s not be foolish, there’s…..” “Three minds, all pointed in the same direction can accomplish more then this senseless badgering. Frankly, it is wasting valuable time.” Rikard breaks into Hess’s ranting. “How do we know she won’t tell others?” “Listen to me. She is a woman you, we can trust. Out with it! Tell us what you know.” Hess relents. “The trail has grown cold. Inquisitor Gheron and your archivist (librarian/scribe) Tobias are missing. Tobias’s room has been ransacked. All I have is a two month old report (From Gheron? I assume) It indicates with Tobias’s help we were about to locate the “Item”. But, now all is lost. The regretful loss of our Brothers tells us we were close. I have no doubt that the Shadow has infiltrated the church. Something in this library has gotten these two men killed.” He then turns to look at Joan, who is now looking at him again. “This is very, very dangerous. We are at war with the Dark Forces. Are you still in lady?” “Yes.” Joan states simply. “The Arcane Order believes that Shadow agents seek something in this city.” “What!” Presses Hess. “That is all I know.” “Humph, not much help. Well, well then continue with your eyes. Be of some use at least.”
Joan thinks to herself. Search the library. He’s not lying but, he is holding something back. Greater good---Riiiight. Gheron has got to have left something behind. Hess thinks I will be fail of heart when the chips are down and Rikard thinks of me as a child of god. How can I ally with them? Hours go by and so does the headway. She looks up to see Hess walking out the library door. mention of Winter’s Twilight but, no mention of it still in existence or if the church has it or virtually anything. Unless it was destroyed, it could show up again. There again there is no mention of it since the demise of Darkness. infestation of wererats. It was horrible. They were finally fought to extinction and burned every last one.” of freedom and was pretty crude. The poem, that is.” Joan stifles a yawn between words. references to it than the Dark one’s sword. Still I’ve found no mention of it since the battle.” plate and wanders off. Too unsociable to sit with us thinks Joan. She is facing the direction of Hess’s path and at the same time talking with Rikard when she notices that Hess doesn’t head for the history section. Instead he heads for the music section. (I have written in my notes the words glorification of gods but I can’t remember why)
Hess interrupts with food and drink. He takes some cheese and bread on a
DISCOVERING LAST NIGHTS SCENE Jonas has to worm his way to the head of the crowd. Not surprisingly Bill is already there. “What happened here?” he asks and onlooker. Many voices respond. “Demons.” “Wizards” “Pillar of fire” “Move on, I say.” A guard heads in the general direction of Jonas and the people he is talking with. Using the guards’ distracted inattention, Bill skirts closer. He hears; “Dragged.” “Screams!” “Devils, I saw them.” “Murdered by fire elementals my uncle says.” Bill adds to the conversation.
LATE AFTERNOON, NEARLY EVENING Ralph moves the wagon to outside the city walls while inside Nasriul dons mage armor and magics himself to look like a dwarf. Using gathered street inquires he finds himself before a door with crudely painted words in the configuration of Pawn Shop. He detects magical wards on the doors and, ah ha, an arcane lock. There are bars on the windows. This must be Boris’s place he thinks to himself. He enters to find a shelf lined room. With a quick glance around he spots 3 employees. A very large man clerk looks as if he is carrying a club but, there’s nothing in his hands. Must be just shaped that way Nasriul figures. Must keep him in the corner of my vision. At the same time the gorilla is eyeing Nasriul up and down. There is a rather attractive clerk to one side. That seems to be the direction to head thinks Nasriul but, the shelf stocker cuts him off. “Need something?” Nasriul simply and bluntly says, “A Boris” The big clerk stands up. Nasriul originally thought he was already standing up. “Minoc Hammerhand asks.” Nasriul has seen enough of Ralph’s manners to easily mimic a dwarf attitude. The stock boy chuckles, “Prob’ly some in the back. I’ll check for yah.” He slips out a back curtain. Meanwhile ape man is fumbling under the counter for something. Nasriul ready’s a spell when, back in walks the stock boy. “None here today. How about somethin’ else?” “How about a someone?” “Who?” “How lame in the head do think dwarves are?” (thinking all the time about how lame he really thinks dwarves are) Nasriul inches away from the ape counter and within reach of the stock boy. “I tell you and you tell the cut throats he surrounds himself with and I end up having to work my trade harder.” By now, the stock boy sees coins in Nasriul’s hand and the other two employees, while attentive, do not notice them because of their angle in the room. [[(5 GP)]] exchanges hands. Nasriul looks back at hairy. “Clubfooted elf.” “Gotta name? Namezer easier.” No response from Nasriul/Minoc. “I’ll leave a message. Namezer easier. Wha’ de do?” “Enough.” “Between us I believe a Boris will be in tomorrow’s morning shipment.” With that, Nasriul heads for the door. As he passes the girl clerk she slips him a bag of candy. Outside he promptly drops the bag in a street beggar’s basket. Invisible Rue alights on his shoulder. “Three thugs from tavern follow at a distance.” Nasriul abruptly turns, points at them and waves them hither. “Drop a lot of coin, dwarf.” “I am and ……. I’m back this way again.” “We’ll have to wait then.” They back off facing him.
“Rue, my trusted friend, you shall have a full order of the finest fish and chips this eve.”
RETURN TO WYRMSBREATH Talanicus has picked up the dropped notes of Jonas and Bill and he knows that they are looking for them. The plan calls for another meeting at the Wyrmsbreath. When they get together, Talanicus explains the ploy to fake the assassination of Hakeem’s family in order to gain an introduction to some of the Shadow’s agents. Jonas explains that Talanicus’s talent is needed at the ruined tower to excavate a tunnel to examine the vault that is beneath the rubble.
RALPH AND THE WAGONS Ralph, the family, and the 5 clueless mercenaries (what a twist if one was a Shadow agent aye?) head west away from Novgorod. It is a long days ride and accommodations in the next town [[ ?]] are poor but even the mercenaries are too tired to do more than grumble. He has put the nephew in charge after he leaves to go back to Novgorod in order to keep him from any wild ideas of going back to kill Shimeer. Ralph has also mentally begged summons of Caliegh to meet the tiny caravan in the next wooded area west outside of the town. They have been separated for a bit and both are eager to see each other again. Caliegh has never been to the town but it is on the road going west and it is easy for the intelligent Pegasus to figure out. When the group of 21 see the huge gray mare with wings come charging out of the woods they are startled. They are further startled when they see the ash dwarf leap from the wagon and run toward it. When the two return to the wagon and cart Grimsmile/Ralph Scree puts it this way. “My good fellows and friends, what you have just witnessed has never happened. If word gets out of it, if any of you get drunk and leak the slightest hint of it, if any of you think mention of it will gain you gold, hear this. I swear, I personally, will seek you out and chop you into salsa. But more than your fear of that, whomever you tell will have to kill you once they know. You are dead either way. You will be watched on your journey to the northern coast and you will be safe if you erase the memory of this from your mind.” With this he securely ties a note to Caliegh’s mane. The note asks his arcane contact at the farm to make sure someone keeps this troupe safe and a blank bank note to pay for the passage of 21 people to the island a mile south of the Duchy of Alrik. The check eventually costs Scree [[ 112 GP per person for safe passage. This totals 2,352 GP removed from the Guild bank for the 21 passengers]] and he is surprised. Someone had some pull at the docks because he thought that it would cost nearly 6,000. The journey will take 56 days by sea. It will be much longer to the northern coast by land. They are on a long trek. But, Ralph is comforted that they are alive to make it. He lingers with a long hug to his steed and bids that he longs to be back. She understands that this is a very important mission and bids with her mind that he remains safe and strong. She swiftly disappears in to the clouds. Ralph turns and walks back to the caravan of two. There, he hugs all the children and to Hakeem’s surprise and uncomfortable look in his eye hugs him too. He then bids them safe journey and a new life in a new world. Hops on a borrowed horse and circumventing the tiny town he just came from returns to Novgorod.
WRAP UP Aumei is falconing with Viscount Dula.
Ralph is a day and ½ away returning to Novgorod.
Talanicus, Bill and Jonas are going to return to the ruined tower vault.
Talanicus has vowed that when Ralph returns with word of the safety of Hakeem’s family, Shimeer is going to cough up 500 GP each for the deaths of the family. No abiding assassin would do it just to meet up with two guys. That’s insane.
Jonas has advised all to not lie to Argon the wizard at the tower.
Joan hasn’t had any luck at the cathedral library.
All of Novgorod has heard about the horrible deaths of a family in the foreign district. The heat is on to find out the assassins.
Rumors of an aspect of a goddess, an angel of mercy as it were is in the city.
There is a ball coming up and Aumei is a bit interested while Jonas is dreading it.
Arcane order- two month boat ride (anybody know what this is about?) All have heard that there was a wizard duel back at the Ivory Tower. The rumors say that Thangar killed Maelfeas. However, Jonas hears: It was Maelfeas’s apprentice that was killed. The reason for the duel was that Damius accused Tomas of bringing a weapon to Thangar’s tower. But, Tomas upholds that it was given to him by Maelfeas. In turn, Maelfeas denies the accusation and is greatly offended by it. He sends in one of his apprentices to duel Tomas. Thangar (ask yourself, why Thangar? Isn’t Tomas an apprentice of Olexhander?) then steps in as a champion for Tomas. This really confused Ralph when he learned of it. Something didn’t make sense to him. Damius and Tomas are still alive as is Maelfeas.
The arcane wizards have been told to leave Novgorod but, Argon stays. He says, in revenge for the murdering of his brother, he intends to stay and fight the Shadow and his agents.
For homework Chrissie has to tell a joke.
The team intends to; Tend to Shimeer Continue to search for Eviseral Meet with the Shadow agents Aumei is being courted by the Prince. (oops I think I’m getting the prince and the Viscount mixed up)