Off the Edge

Prisoner Tellick

Dawntreader finds his riding companion increasingly chatty as the party travels on:

“Well the last thing I rightly remember was bedding down along the East Sellen.”

“Nah not in the stolenlands or this puppet hand of Restov ya callin’ Viridi, it was in Mivon. We were on patrol, it being House Tellick’s honor. An honor taken a blade point from House Lebeda”

“Yeah straight away I’m a Tellick but third removed from line of succession. I’m the second son of the second son of Siron Tellick. I’ve bet’a chance of ruling Pitax as leading house Tellick and far more walks to the fish ponds than I could stomach to rule Mivon itself.”

“Your friend there, the one with the Aldori blade, did he steal that or has he the honor of the dueling code.”

“We’ll then I can’t imagine more of an insult than to be the prisoner of a Rostlander. If he honors the blade he’d permit me a duel for my freedom.”“Yeah well death or freedom, what else is there? To ride bitch back to Mivon would be a daily death I’d soon not face.”

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Dizzying Highs, Terrifying Lows (22 Lamashan 4713)
And I thought they smelled bad on the outside...

Trolls. They had taken a lookout founded out of the cliffs by my dwarven brethren. We thought to have had the drop on them, but the battle turned sour quickly. Our cock sure attitude was what got us into trouble. We were in a bad way and had not even pierced the main entrance! We quickly reconnoitered just outside on the cliff wall, and I was able to get some much needed healing to the group. Once rallied, we took down the remaining entrance guards and their troll dogs. After torching the bodies to assure they remained dead, we quickly came up with a plan of action to root the rest of the brood. With Kel in the lead, then myself, Zuri, Az and Bobcat taking the rear we went room to room looking for more trouble. We found what was left of a halfling on a table. Poor bastard looked like he had a time of it before his end. A quick search of a few more rooms reveled a vast chamber of stores. Wood, cloth and other building implements filled the room, which gave way from the perfect dwarven stone engineering, to a hack job tunnel burrowed out of the rock looking like a giant child had made it. We carefully further explored and cam upon a 3 way tunnel with two more trolls to the north. We jumped into formation and they followed suit as planned, bottle-necking the doorway so Kel could hack away at it, while the others hit is hard from range. We felt we had them where we wanted them, but suddenly a great two headed beast came from the east catching Zuri in a bad spot! Zuri made his way out of the ugly beasts’ grasp, but took many hits from it and the trolls along the way. What seemed to be the leader appeared in the cavern with the two other trolls, but the two trolls seemed to have a great fear of this bi-cranial beast, as they hesitated to assist in the fight against us. Following our plan, we and made a fighting retreat to the far end of the sore room. There we pitched our next battle, with all of us landing enough hits to take the two headed troll down, and the other two trolls just on its heels. With a coordinated attack we set the store room ablaze, arresting the trolls healing ability in the process. After securing the rest of the structure, the blazing storeroom as our temporary guard, we decided to head back into the tunnels. I used my divine abilities and cleared a safe path through the flaming storeroom with summoned water. It was not long before we found an intersection that exposed the lair of the leader and another troll variety we had never seen. This new creature looked as if it were made of stone itself. Fortunately our tactics felled the great beast swiftly. Not a moment after we dropped the stone beast, the leader gathered a magic bead and threw it upon our location. the bead exploded with fiery force that sent us reeling. I used more divine power to bolster out party’s health. We then Charged the leader, with Az leading the charge. In moments we had it surrounded and soon in many pieces. We bathed it and the other rock troll in fire to staunch their healing powers. Using my knowledge of healing, I observed that the rock troll did not seem to have the same weakness to fire the others did. I only had one other option in our alchemical arsenal; Acid. With one application, it was obvious that it did share it’s brethren’s weakness for Acid, to our luck of course. We cleared the rest of the complex, and in doing so discovered a map of the green belt with our cities and settlements marked for attack! There were many Fey locations that were marked as well, but to be left alone. This was most curious,and I planned to take this information up with our Fey allies in the forest.

Outside of the few setbacks in the beginning, the group wan on a high of success. Routing the Trolls meant another threat to our kingdom was put down, and we could return to New Castle as victors. Someone was out for us though, the map made that clear. I had hoped to do some research on the matter. Then we saw it; smoke on the horizon. New Castle had been razed.

The destruction was vast and unfathomable. Fields burned, homed destroyed, but the worst loss was intolerable. The Town hall had been set to ruin, but the most devastating shock was the loss of the Castle itself. Our crowning trophy of the Stag Lord’s defeat and the prosperity of our kingdom laid in ruin. It was hours before we could get any of the commoners to speak of the incident as most were in shock from the attack. Finally, some came to their senses long enough to tell us what had transpired. A Giant Owlbear, armored and frenzied had smashed its way thorough the forest and into New Castle leaving a wake of decimation in its path. The trail through the forest was so blatant that a newborn elf could have followed the trail. An ARMORED Owlbear. They do not don fabricated protection on their own. Whomever made the map at the Troll lair was behind this, of that I am sure. Trolls are never that organized, not for raiding parties that purposely avoid Fey settlements. If anything they would target the Fey with a preference I would think. Regardless, we will rest and re-supply, garner aid to the people, and then head out in search of this creature and it’s master. I am generally one of even tone and rational action, but not today. We will bring this mysterious attacker to justice; street justice. Soon we will reveal ourselves to the enemy. Soon we will have our revenge.

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Mudluk musings (15 Lamashan 4713)

Mudluk liked the way this one looked, it being part wet and part dry, like when he squeezed that stuff out of the little Halfing. His stomach gurgled at the thought of food. Food is down stairs and Mudluk is up here on stupid watch. He feared Turdik would feed what was left of the Halfling to the hounds if given the time. Turdik loved his hounds too much. Fresh meat should be for the masters not the hounds. He sighed and extended his arm into a shaft of daylight admiring the glistening creation stuck the tip of his claw. The nonstop bickering between Gamit and Stolud echoed up the dark staircase reinforcing his isolation. His back ached from being hunched over. He scraped off his sculpture on the sill carefully lining it up with his past efforts. The light sliced into the room at about knee height casting long shadows on trash strewn floor. From outside the opening appears to be the dark shadow of an overhanging rock near the apex of the cliff. The chiseled out stone aperature permitted a commanding view of a long forgotten ancient trading route and the approach to the outpost itself. That is if Mudluk would bend over and look out rather than marvel over the production of his nostrils.

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Whoa....That was close...

“Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back.”

No doubt, throughout the annals of time and history, that quote will be misattributed to some other man; But let it be known that on this night…the night that I, Lord Azarillius almost lost his life, I smiled back at the evil Fey Grimstalker and his Assassin Vine who attempted to cut my life short. They would have succeeded too if not for my great friend Faldal. He always has my back, and for that I am forever grateful.

My ears could not believe what they would soon hear about a tawdry and licentious seductress who manipulated my comrades with the shaking of her hips. Apparently she stood atop the center tower of the fort and used her wiles and magic to make Zuri and Kel all but useless. My cat, try as he might, could not damage the harlot, so he took to a common house cats trick, and tripped her up…this caused the three of them to tumble down the stairs, but nevertheless caused the trance to be broken!

This adventure was doomed from the start, when Faldal was trapped into getting separated from us at the gate. Alas, I was the last party member to gain entry via a rope and grappling hook over the wall. It resulted in us, yet agayne, being split up as a party, which none of us supports. I guess you can never really plan for true battle regardless of how many times you prepare.
A strange and speedy creature of unknown origins but I suspect Fey like his two counterparts, was running all over the place, stabbing us with what can only be described as a common pin needle. He escaped our wrath and his whereabouts is unknown today. I liked Faldal’s plan to lock him in the tower, but I had a bad feeling that he being familiar with this location, would find a way out…and indeed he did.

Our team was truly tested today…both in physical battle and in spirit. We almost met our makers today, especially yours truly. I can only hope we learn from this experience and continue to improve as we have over the last great years of knowing each other. When we return to the Kingdom, we should hold a meeting on future tactics and perhaps have some training sessions with Akiros as he seems like a man fit and becoming of a military strategist.

Now, I must get out of this makeshift hospital bed and join my brothers by the fire. I only hope Faldal hasn’t drank all the ale!

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Return of the Baron (1 Rova 4713)

(three more updates at bottom)

Taking a direct route home, crossing the fetid swamps of the Murque River and the sparser east edge of the Narlmarches, the leaders of Viridi return to Newcastle. Still scratching at bites and rashes despite a long hot soak they assemble in council chambers for the business of the realm:

General Garess reports that training in arms progresses well and that his squads trained in skiffs in anticipation of confronting Lizardfolk. He’s relieved to learn that the Baron’s requested preparations are not currently needed but concedes they are proper lessons for a nation of so much water.

High Priest Kavken repots that Erastil’s favor has brought many healthy children after the cold winter and the favorable summer yielded healthy crops that will soon be reaped. In particular he believes the harvest of the Foxtail Barley will be of some interest to Faldal.

Councilor Leveton intones that the harvest festival will be well received given the bounty (giggle) and plans are well underway. Recovering her composure she inquires on the status of the Rezbin’s request of founding a hamlet in the Narlmarches. The Council has greanted provisional land grant. The Resbin’s will govern their enterprise until such time it becoms part of Viridi.

Terseuk, an agent of Faldal, reports a number of reports from husbands. They talk of their loved ones suddenly changing their behavior. The superstitious among them speak of foul spells either placed on their spouses or themselves. Teseuk doesn’t put much stock in it. It’s more likely these "ladies " have run off with the new men that seem to arrive every day, as they don’t reek of manure!

Grand Diplomat Verasisi has received word from Brevoy that efforts in the Hooktongue Slough and the Nomen Heights have made progress. However to date he knows of no formal settlement established by the Iron Wraiths. He wishes to dispatch envoys to the Varnhold in the Nomen Heights, Drelev Demesne in the Hooktonque Slough and even one far west to the Iron Wraiths in the Glenebon Uplands. His wish is to establish regular diplomatic relations and perhaps future trade relations with these other nation-states.

Lurk, a patrol leader in the Viridi Rangers, provides an update on mite activity on what’s known as the South Road (its known as that south road because it leads from the larger and older Udaren to Newcastle) To date the mites have concentrated on harassing livestock without injury to Viridian citizenry. Patrols have yet to track the mites to their lair but the “raiding” parties have been small and easily taken when trapped.

And finally Warden Akiros Ismort says that the Narthropple Expedition has left City and by all reports the borders of the nation. It is believed that they have struck for the southeast as the settling of the northern areas of the Greenbelt have made things a bit of a bore.

On a side note while “recovering” at the Wyrm Head Inn Azarillus is approached by Lily Teskertin a woman of means and leasure. Lily’s always loved the workmanship of fine elven crafting but has never owned an example of such superb work. She’s heard rumors of an old elven ruin in the southern Narlmarches; if anyone could find the ruins and salvage from them an example of elven workmanship, she would be EVER so grateful…

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Azarillius’ letter to the council: (12 Arodus 4713)

Azarillius’ letter to the council:

Ladies and Gentlemen…fellow leaders…We recently had a spy within our midst. Posing as a citizen of our great nation, he was sent by a third party to cause uproar and to attempt to turn our own citizens against us. Some of you may have not been there on that day, so please allow me to bring you up to speed.

My comrades and I had just returned to town from the wilds, and we are greeted by Grigori, the spy I hath mentioned previously. He was spewing garbage and filth from his mouth like soup from a ladle. He was trying to poison the minds of our citizens by saying that we are a wreckless leadership and that we care to adventure more than we care to lead. We countered that our sole purpose for founding this kingdom in the first place was because of our ability to adventure and clear these lands to make safe once and for all. Luckily, after a bit of back and forth, Zuri and I were able to quell him with our words and Faldal with some of his finest ale.

With a little help from our new companion, Kel, who may be a bit mysterious and intimidating at first before you get to know him, we were able to force Gregori to admit his reasons for doing what he did. Kel’s mere presence in the interrogation room no doubt proved once again to be beneficial to the group as I’m sure Gregori has not met a man like Kel face to face many times before. (Grigori executed for crimes against Viridi) Kel continues to prove a worthy ally as he also saved us back at the battle with the werewolf. We were fortunate to even have found Kel, as he went off searching with Dryas a few weeks ago and we weren’t sure if our paths would ever cross again. While we were scouting through the woods we came upon a hostile beast. Lucky for us, that hostile beast was being tracked by Kel, and we were all reunited after the beast was slain. We were not as fortunante to find Dryas, but after speaking with Kel, it doesn’t appear we ever will. Dryas had other plans and intentions for this world. He couldn’t be bothered to be held down by menial tasks such as political office – he sought to spread his wings and fly – to explore and search and battle to sate his appetite for adventure and battle. We can all only wish him the best.

We may have rid the lands of bandits but now it seems where bandits have gone, more and more Monsters and wondrous/supernatural beasts arrive. No sooner had we rid the land of the werewolf, and the strange beast Kel was tracking, we heard reports of a swamp witch who was kidnapping children and who posed a large threat to our blossoming nation. Due to the information we received that a child had RECENTLY gone missing, we knew this was our chance to put a stop to disappearing children in our lands once and for all!

We encountered the swamp witch, who turned out to be nothing more than an old spinster with a penchant for crafting potions. While I can’t say for certain she has never practiced in the dark arts, she was a welcoming host to our group when we approached her to feel her out about the allegations made in her name. She directed us to a crazy hermit – no, not Bokken. Believe it or not, she said this hermit was even CRAZIER; hard to believe, I know.

After encountering the spinster “witch” and the old hermit…We were able to decipher that a group of lizard men in fact MAY be the culprits for the missing kids. It has come to our attention that the Lizards will eat ANYTHING, human beings included.

We have commissioned the elder/crazy hermit to show us how to find the lizard people. We are on our way there now. We do not know what lies ahead, so we are sending this letter and word of our intentions so that you may know of our fate should we not make it. If you do not hear from us in a fortnight, please do not send reinforcements…If we fall on this task, use this as evidence that indeed the Lizard People are a danger and rise a small army or militia before taking task to purge them from this earth. I hope this is an unnecessary precaution…we have every intention of making it out of there alive. But I felt, as your ruler, that I owed you all a warning of what may soon be coming to the end of our blades. All the best…Azarillus

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Cleric's Log: (14 Sarenith 4713)
A kingdom grows.

We have had great success in the development of the Kingdom. We finally were able to claim the Stag Lord’s fallen home as our castle, and create the new capital of the Kingdom! Newcastle is already growing, and we have expanded in the North West for farmland to feed out growing nation. All of our kingdom is now connected with roads, creating even more prosperity. We have been able to maintain the council even with the loss and shameful turn of Darien. After our encounter with the Werewolf, I had intentions of speaking with Kel about seeking a post on the council. His actions in defense of the city and myself place him in an honorable light. Unfortunately he has gone off with the new comer, Dryas, and been gone for many months.

While the kingdom was growing, there came report of a Worg beast that had been attacking bandits and hunters alike. I wish we could have talked the beast into just staying after the bandits, but it was it’s destiny to adorn the message post in town (and 1200 gold in our pockets!). We continued on through the west and then back around the South West in order to better chart the lands around the new capital. We came upon an ancient burial mound of barbarian ancestry. There was evidence of a previous visitor in the last few months, one that had already found what ever rewards were entombed here. After searching the tomb thoroughly, Zuri and Az were able to better identify the goings on of the previous visitor. There were tracks of a large avian creature and the evidence of the use of a gunpowder cartridge that Zuri called “Dragon’s Fire”. We suspect that possibly our new acquaintance, Dryas, may have been the previous visitor, as the tracks are identified as from a creature exactly like the mount he rides.

As we route back to Newcastle for court, it is my hope that Kel and Dryas arrive back into the realm. There is much danger in the uncharted parts of our kingdom, and their assistance in our explorations is appreciated. I would like to have that talk with Kel about the council. I am also curious to debrief Dryas on what transpired at the Ancient Barbarian Burial Mound, and what they found on their travels through OUR kingdom.

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Clerics Log: Supplemental (Erastus 4712)
Crazy Humans

It has been an eventful few months. Establishing a new kingdom, rationing its resources, and establishing a BREWERY! We recently dispatched some unpleasant business, but more on that later.

One month ago we were told of a blight, similar to what we encountered near the hunting lodge, that was creeping from the south. We left to investigate. When we arrived in the area we came upon an enraged group of loggers that were harassing a Nixie and her grove. Azeralius and Zuri attempted to parlay with the humans, but they would have nothing of it. They held no respect for the Fey and their co-existence in the kingdom. Tress were trees to those ignorant humans. They chose conflict over compromise. They chose their own ends. In an effort to right the injustices inflicted upon the Nixie’s grove, we went to a Dryad not a day’s travel from the Grove. She was also having affect from the blight, but was able to steer us toward the cause. An evil planar creature, a Scythe Tree, was proliferating decay and death throughout the forests. We sought it out and had battle with the foul creature. With the help of a summoner that we had sought out guidance at court earlier that month (looking to slay a troll) we defeated the foul beast and returned the forest to verdant form. The Dryad pledged assistance to our kingdom and awarded us with the tools to restore the grove of the Nixie. The Grove restored, the Nixie also pledged her allegiance with assisting the kingdom. IT felt food to help those of the first world. Ng would approve.

Upon return to Udaren we encountered a band of gnomes that were having some issues with crossing a section of the river. We lent assistance and again had a less than desired parlay. They were proclaimed to be in search of an abandoned Dwarven homestead to loot. Their leader, a selfish overbearing and under qualified lout, would have few words with us, although I cannot blame him for Darien did cause an incident to further sway their disfavor. Zuri acted in his station and placed Darien under order, but this seemed to ultimately stain Darien’s link to the party. He left without any words. I can only hope he finds that which we could not provide and can ultimately come to peace with the forest fey. We allowed the Gnomes to pass after close scrutiny. We will see them again, I have no doubt.

Even after these hurdles to the kingdom’s stability were overcome, we encountered even more strife once we returned home. It was found that many deaths had occurred with a great loss of livestock due to some feral marauding beast. We discovered evidence of a werewolf at play, and a new ally. A shaman riding a “Large Bird” he called Layla (do not call it a chicken for he is quite sensitive about it) was in pursuit of the very beast we were tracking. his knowledge of the Lycanthope was deep, and as our current goals were in line, we agreed to join our minds and blades in finding the creature.

We investigated many avenues of suspect, ultimately finding the knowledge of a strange tribesman entering town in the time frame of the killings. We formulated a plan to wait him out at the Stag Tap, where he was frequenting in the early afternoon to drink of his insanity. The wait provided no showing of the suspect, but revealed much lore from the tavern patrons. We then decided to form a patrol, where I, in hindsight, poorly suggested to split up in order to locate the beast. It was the last of the full moon cycle and I feared that it would kill again without being confronted. It did kill again, and it confronted Kel and myself! It was quicker than anything I had encountered before, as it rushed me and struck a staggering blow with it’s great-axe! Kel, in his disturbing yet formidable “Ghost Beast” form, stood toe to toe with the beast. I was barely able to get to a church steeple in an attempt to alert the others to our need of aid. I placed some healing on each of us after the bell had been sounded only to find that I could not heal Kel in his form. I was able to bring the blessings of Ng upon our battle, and suppress the fighting prowess of the werewolf long enough for Kel to bring the beast down. I would have preferred to attempt to cure the creature of it’s obvious affliction, but that is difficult to achieve while it is trying to gut you!

We shall see where this path leads our group and the kingdom. We have prevailed in so much, yet failed in so many other ways. Maybe we will find greatness in our new ally. Only time will tell.

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Zuri's Journal: The First Two Years (4710-4712)
or: Finally, a Place to Belong

It’s been two years since we claimed our little corner of the world. Yes, our. These men, men that at one time I wanted nothing to do with, have become my brothers, my clan. I have come to find comfort finally in this place we now call our home, Viridi, a beautiful and verdant land populated and ruled by a people that respect the wilderness and the forces behind it.

In respect for the the wilds, as well as to protect our nation from over-reaching itself or drawing too much attention to ourselves in our infancy, we have made our expansion slow. At first, we were plagued by the last remnants of the Stag Lord’s bandit network, but they were easily quelled. A period of steady growth followed, though

((UNFINISHED, WILL COME BACK AND EDIT MORE WHEN I HAVE TIME!!!))

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Azarillius Inaugural address

Inaction is the mire of the common man; Action alone moves the wheels of history.

Good afternoon my friends…citizens of our new nation…fellow leaders…

I stand before you all a humbled man. When I was nominated to this office it was by men who I stood in battle with. It was by men who have saved my hide more than a few times and I am proud to say I have returned the favor. It was by men who have my utmost respect and allegiance for as long as my body takes breaths. It was NOT by some anonymous ballot; it was NOT by force, bribery, intimidation or fear; NOR was it through a blood line of thieves and rapists who would adorn a self made crown.

Have you ever asked yourselves in an hour of reflection, which every man and woman finds during the day; how long have we been striving for greatness? Not only in the time we’ve been trying to tame these stolen lands, but from the moment, as a child, we realized that the WHOLE world is at our fingertips. And that we could each impact this world and carve out our very own piece of it if we are not afraid to ACT.

Action is a struggle…it has been a lifetime struggle for us all – a never-ending fight, I say to you. And you will understand that it is a privilege to ACT! We are just now embarking on this long and arduous journey together to build a prosperous nation! I ask you, to rise and be worthy of this historical hour!

No kingdom is worth anything unless it can defend itself! Some people will tell you “Warrior” is a bad word. They’ll conjure up images of a mindless Barbarian killing for nothing more than to quench thirst for blood and battle. This is our duty to change their perception. I say, Warriors of this kingdom unite! We must never acquiesce, for it is together…together, that we prevail!!!

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