Category: RPG

A Wonderful Day on the Road

1st day, 1st ride, April, 1372 DR

Woke up after a restless night. Nervous. Nervous because of the mission, but more because of the horse I will be riding. And, of course, Abel’s passionate discourse with the barmaid last night. I woke up loverboy before going into Daggerfalls with Roland. We shared a nice warm piece of bread while gathering Roland’s rations at the market. The man paid a fortune for honey. it’s unbelievable what he spends his money on. The polearm, which he was carrying at the time, was a good example of his frivolous nature. I have yet to see him utilise that – or any weapon, to be honest. I wonder if his loyalties are as frivolous and as whimsical as the rest of his interests.

At the barracks we found Thorim grooming three horses and a pony. Nervously, I waited and saw Roland move to the most aesthetically pleasing horse in the collection. I moved to a raven-coloured horse, obviously bred for war, with broad hooves, powerful legs and a broad back. Thorim told me his name was Stygos. I moved around him, inspecting him and his hooves. Apart from a small cut on his right, hind leg, he was healthy and well-maintained. I calmed considerably while puttin ghis saddle on. He would be able to feel my nerves, and I wanted him to trust me. I was hesitant to mount him, only knowing what to do by instinct or in theory, but I had never ridden a horse before, so I was intimidated by Roland and Abel’s apparent ease at handling these magnificent animals.

The journey was uneventful, but I had a really good time riding. My legs and back were sore once we came to Black Switch, but I didn’t mind. We stabled the horses and found lodging at an inn called The Ruse’s Mage. I know that during the course of that wonderful evening someone told us the story behind the name of the inn…something about a mage and a stick…but I honestly don’t remember. What I do remember is that Thorim, Roland and I had a wonderful time, while Abel was a stick in the mud retiring to bed early. I also know that Black Magic Brew is an absolutely wonderful and vicious ale; befitting of Abaddon’s blessing.

The Flaming Tower

6th day, 2nd ride, March, 1372 DR

We talked to Duran and reported our tentative findings about Marron to him. Later, I had some ideas about Marron, if he organises fights between animals then it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to think he might organise fights between humanoids as well, or animals and humanoids, willing or unwilling. The bluff on Eagle’s Eerie even resembles an arena.

Decided to let this lie and spend our time more productively by offering our services to the Freedom Fighters. Mestine Durmarck had two seperate missions; either to investigate the Flaming Tower, an outpost of the Zhents on the Teshendale border, or to investigate Castle Daggerdale, the Morn family’s ancestral castle in the heart of Daggerdale. We choose to do the first mission, since it seemed the most pressing and important. We would not be provided with any provisions or backup, accept for Thorim, should he want to be part of our investigation. Out in the Border Forest, he would be back in the late afternoon, at which time we could also have a look at some maps of the Flaming Tower region. So now we have the afternoon off. I think I’m going to see if I can catch myself some fish, like I used to do on the Icelace River in Steppenhall.

Thorim agreed to come with us and we aggreed to take the route north of the river Tesh, so we can use the Border Forest as cover and we don’t have to find a rivercrossing once we’re near the tower. Two rides ago, a group of five militiamen were sent on the same mission and are presumed dead. Perhaps they were recognised or betrayed by one of the townsfolk. How likely is it that someone might recognise Thorim?

Had dinner before we left at the Red Rock tavern. Kessla is stunning, but I can’t seem to bring myself to trust elves; they are so manipulative. It seems Abel and Roland both speak Elvish. Abel cleverly managed to spread the rumour of our mission to Castle Daggerdale. He, too, seems very wily.

Castle Dunbarton

10th day, 3rd ride, March, 1372 DR

The morning went by quietly until I saw Abel do some martial excercises with his staff. He’s obviously not used to holding a weapon, but he is of good will, if a bit soft. I thought I’d give him some pointers. The best way to learn how to handle a weapon is by non-lethal sparring, so we did; or rather, we would’ve, if he hadn’t decided to try and ensorcel me with his witchcraft. I called upon Abaddon to have him hold his blasphemous tongue. He stood there, frozen, and I pushed him to the ground and walked off. I retired to my room to ride out the storm raging in my head.

After an hour I went downstairs and made plans with Abel to go to the garrisson as well as check out the possibility of lodgings at the Red Rock. I woke up Roland, who took a bloody hour taking a bath and getting dandied up. An hour! Doesn’t he know that if you touch it that much it’ll most likely fall off!?

As we crossed the river Tesh, I realised just how fed up I was with the Teshford Arms. The service was mediocre, the cost was high, but that ford left me with wet socks and boots more than twice a day!

We met up with Captain Durmark and relayed everything we had seen and heard on our trip to the Flaming Tower. When I told her about the dead craftsmen and Zhent soldiers it occurred to me that the only people able to overrun a group like that without being seen are Elves, but none are so cruel as to severely torture them. Perhaps there are Dark Elves in those woods, or Drow, as the Dalesmen seem to call them.

Captain Durmark hired a group of a dozen Halfling scouts. They will act as scouts and a fast strike force, able to move through the forest quickly and stealthily.

She also told us of a castle, Castle Dunbarton, protecting the Serpent’s Bridge, which croses the River Ashaba, which in turn divides the dale in a north and southern part. The castle was ransacked over a hundred years ago, when one of Lord Morn’s predecessors cut military funding and the castle fell in bad repair. There’s a camp near the castle, housing an unknown number of people whose identities are a mystery. Captain Durmark is afraid that an unknown enemy is fortifying the old castle. We’re getting ten gold upfront, plus a mount for the duration of this mission, and another fifteen gold upon our safe return. She says that if the group is an undesirable one, and their numbers are managable, we can take them out.

Ha! What a farce! There is no reason for us to do anything more than check it out. When I confronted her with that she tried to counter with a feeble argument of us doing something good for Daggerdale, and then that we were free to take what we found on the bodies (liek she’s going to be able to check!) If she’s not paying us extra, then I’m not lifiting a finger unless I’m feeling particularly charitable that day.

I just realised that the massing troops at the Flaming Tower might simply be a ploy to keep Daggerfalls’ attention to the north, a sleight of hand, a misdirection to cover up the massing of troops to the south. Perhaps Dunbarton is being fortifided by the Zhents in order to attack from two sides. From what I understood, Dark Elves live underground, perhaps their tunnels are providing safe passage for the Zhent troops.

Or perhaps one of the southern nations is trying to move in on the Dales. From what I understand, the Thetyamar trail goes all the way south from Daggerfalls, past Tilverton, into Cormyr. I’ve heard a lot of stories of the Purple Dragons of Cormyr, vigilant knights and awesome warriors. If this turns out to be true, then perhaps Abel isn’t here because he slept with a nobleman’s wife…perhaps he’s here sent as an agent to the Cormyrian crown.

Roland and I cut the meeting with Captain Durmark short and went to the Red Rock Tavern where we met up with Kessla, who told us about the gold bracelet. Apparently, it’s a part of a uniform, worn by the guards of Myth Drannor, the capitol of the Elven empire of Cormanthor. She explained a bit about the fall of the Elven empire, but couln’t go into greater detail because of time constraints. She said that the bracelet was over two-thousand years old, yet not especially rare, so it wouldn’t fetch us more than two-hundred, to two-hundred and fifty gold pieces. (If it turns out that she is willing to purchase it from us, then I’ll be getting a second opinion.) So far I’m a bit disappointed that the story behind the bracelet wasn’t more of an adventure.

Roland and I headed back to the Teshford Arms (wet socks), after we stopped by the market. It was already getting dark, so I didn’t have a lot of time to haggle with the armourer about the price of the repairs I wanted done on my armour. I manage to talk some sense into the man, who had clearly lost his by the time he named his price. I also bought some supplies (cloth, parafine, spirits, canvas, food).

At the Teshford Arms I dried my socks and boots near the fire, while I took the cloth I had bought and tore it into little strips, three layers each, before soaking them in the spirits. Then I wrapped them up in pieces of canvas, sealing that shut with parafine, making it nearly water-proof. The alcohol in the bandages wouldn’t evaporate for a few weeks, so they would be useful, ready-made, bandages for our next mission.

I asked some Dwarves about the road to Anathar’s Dell, expanding on the map that Captain Durmark gave us before we left for the Flaming Tower. Tethyamar trail to Tilverton. Halfway (approx. one day) Black Switch. Then Green Orb. Approx. half day later Serpent’s Bridge. Two hours SW is Upper Nettle. Road Sign: Anathar’s Dell (silver-mining community.)

A few hours later I went back to the now empty market to pick up my armour. The repairs made to it were excellently done. I didn’t tip the man, because he already got enough of my money, but I’ll certainly come back for more.

While I was discussing the map of Daggerdale with Thorim, which I had assembled over time, I found that in the western part of Daggerdale, there’s a castle called Bloodstone. Naturally, I was curious, coming from what is commonly referred to as the Bloodstone Lands. Apparently, this dale was for the first forty years ruled from Bloodstone by fifteen vampire lords. He explained what a vampire was. Undead.

Our Last Legs

9th day, 3rd ride, March, 1372 DR

Around mid-night, Abel stopped walking, halting our caravan. Both of them told me of wing-beats in the distance. We moved off the road and turned our attention to the sky. We saw what I presumed to be Zandos on his damned angry chicken. Roland sat down, staring at the ground in resigned shellshock, while Zandos circled overhead.

We argued the merits of moving along the river or through the woods. I opted that in all likelihood Zandos was slowing us down, knowing that time wasn’t on our side, hoping that we would be felled by fatigue rather than have troops catch up with us. We decided to move along the path instead of on it, to minimise our exposure while maximising speed and ease. Damn that mage!

Before dawn we found ourselves walking, single file, along the road. After a couple of hours we saw the first plumes of smoke rise up between the trees and soon we saw Eagle’s Eerie, the city wall, as well as the Constable’s Tower. At the nearest gate we sent a messenger to fetch Thorim. As we crossed the ford I started undoing the straps and buttons of my armour, preparing for the welcoming comfort of the Teshford Arms.

The welcome comfort was Olavia telling us we were 2 days late with our room pay. I paid her enough for another week, then we were suppied with food and a hot bath. Afterwards, Thorim came and we talked about our findings.

After Thorim left Abel retired. I wanted to warm up more and enjoy a good drink, thinking of the twenty-four gold I would be picking up the next day. I was woken three hours later after nodding off.

Under Way

7th day, 2nd ride, March, 1372 DR

It was agreed to stay in the forest for the time being. We should be in Daggerfalls-controlled territory for at least another day before reaching Zhent-controlled territory. Or “contested” at best.

We also found that Roland can cook! He has a use!

At night we found shelter in a gully formed by several moss-covered boulders near a small stream. Abel scared the hell out of me by throwing his magic around without warning. What was he trying to kill? Rabbits. For dinner. Honestly, Abaddon, give me strength!

We set four watches – I got second – and Abel and Roland fell asleep almost instantly. After dinner I stayed awake through first watch with Abel, which was quiet and peaceful. My watch went well, and I finally became tired. I woke Roland and wrapped myself in two blankets and went to lie down. I tried to stay awake for a few minutes to make sure Roland din’t make any catastrophic mistakes.