XmasMPathfinder

The Black Letter

Day: 1
I was sitting in the Pick and Flagon enjoying a drink when Theasa’s letter arrived. My heart sunk the moment I saw her bird. I never actually imagined that the mask would return for either of us but life as I have found is full of surprises. Her note was very brief in comparison the the one I have prepared in case I were to be taken, a testament to her reclusive nature after her time as a mask bearer. I bid farewell to my companions and headed to the mining district to have a word with a black smith. After what seemed like an eternity of negotiation and awkward questions about the purpose of my commission the black smith agreed to begin work immediately he tells me if I don’t care how it looks he can have it done by tonight. it cost most of my savings but it is the only possible defensive measure I could come up with against the mask. I left for the plains just south of the Uskwood to the location of the drop box.

Days: 5
Travel was hard the rain started the night I left and persisted until this morning but I have finally found the drop box. A hallowed stump containing a tiny bottle of liquid and two stones. I took everything.

Day: 7
Following the pull of Theasa’s stone I found she had traveled deep into the Uskwood. I came to a cave and the stone was leading me toward it I knew she would be in there. I waited an entire day hidden observing the caves entrance and then she emerged tall and skinny and wearing a black metal mask. I carefully took out the mask that I had the black smith make and chained it onto my head. She left walking eastward with no supplies or weapons just her dirty clothes and the mask. When she was out of sight I entered the cave. Inside I found that mask had her busy building a new lair for her to work in. She was undoubtedly going to return soon the purpose of the structure (What ever it was) has not been fullfilled yet as she was still setting it up in the efficient manner he remembered from his time wearing a mask. I took out the bottle and with the greatest of care I coated the handle of a shovel she had been using before escaping back into the woods.

Day: 8
She returned the following morning. She entered the cave and I waited several hours before entering after her. I found her on the ground convulsing next to the the shovel the mask still attached to her face. I reached down to pull it off but it would not budge in any way. I had the feeling that if i pulled hard enough it would come off with her face still attached to it. I took out my knife and slit her throat to end her pain as promised all those years ago. The mask shot off of her and hovered there for a moment and then flew away.

Day: 11
I traveled north to Pangolais. Theasa was a women of habit and I could only assume that she still lived where she did when we first met. I had always hated this city and the vampires that rule over it. The extreme density of the Uskwood’s canopy serving to completely blot out the light of the sun. The cities inhabitants are a dark and dangerous as the city itself . To her however it was the only acceptable place in the world for her to be at peace with who she had been and what she was forced to do as a mask bearer. Like all outsiders who come to Pangolais I had to hire a “Guide” which is basically a goon working for Roarik (The vampire leading the council at the cities head) that is instructed to follow you and kill you if you get into trouble or ask to many questions. I managed to dip my guide with the help of a vanish spell and I found her home.
Inside was much as I remembered it with little furniture and no decorations. A utilitarian place to sleep and work devoid of any sense of “Home”. She had a locked chest chained to the floor a bed and a pile of clothes. The chest was difficult to open but inside I found exactly what I expected. A long black robe carefully folded, A bow, quiver of arrows and her spell book.

Day 13
I returned to the cave and buried Theasa. I took the evening studying her spell book and transcribing a few spells I hadn’t mastered to my own then left the book on her grave.

Day 15
The gates of Ridwall are an extremely welcome sight.

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A Brush With Slavery
Velix Journal 1

Day 1: I had just returned to Ridwall after a rotten excuse of an expedition. How exactly did I expect to just put my necromancy aside and still continue adventuring? I expected I could help guard a shipment from bandits with just my sword and these noodle arms? I won’t make that mistake again I was a necromancer to long to pretend that isn’t who I’ll always be. Upon my return I stopped by the Pick and Flaggon inn. Not having the money to pay off my past due rent at the miners district hovel I have been calling a home I decide I’m going to have to stiff an inn keep payment for a night and hope for the best I will be sure to make it up to him at some point. After speaking with the inn keep a tall powerfully built half orc man named Doverick I have learned that there is a group of slavers in the plains one days travel southwest of Ridwall. Upon further inquiry I have learned that even those who live on the fringe of Ridwall can fall victim to these bands. Dovericks own daughter a girl of twelve named Jezzi has been taken I have made a promise help return her. The plan is simple. The inn itself was once owned by a slaver and all of the equipment is still in the basement including all of the cages. I am to pose as a slave to learn of the location of the goblin lair and escape the lair with the girl. Doverick tells me that the goblins never deal at their camp due to fear that the Aselgrads or the Sornin families might decide to clear the camp and take their gold. Less then an hour later I began to get the feeling that I may have misjudged Doverick. His intention wasn’t to hire me to save his daughter. His intention is to trade me for his daughter. Me and three others in fact. The others didn’t go along quite as willingly. He drugged their drinks and The half man Sr.Jim who did not partake even tried to fight Doverick. I couldn’t see well from my cell but it sounded like a close fight. These people have apparently worked together in the past. Though they are all new to Ridwall.

Day 2

In the twilight hours of the morning we were transported to the camp in the back of a caged wagon disguised as a simple merchants wagon. When we arrived at the goblins camp we were dumped ten feet down through a skylight in a ruined structure of possibility dwarven construction. The the wagon parked over the hole it seemed escape wouldn’t be easy. However i had a plan. Goblins i had seen through the years worshiped fire and had a very loose understanding of the arcane arts. I channeled a cantrip and summoned 3 balls of arcane flame. I convinced the goblin guards that i am a great and powerful fire god. When the gate opened Sir Jim immediately pounced and attacking them. Some how Doverick and the goblins neglected to notice Jim’s flail. He ripped through one by one. It was a stellar example of the value of not making assumptions based on size. He seemed to be distraught about being separated from his lover “Jenny” whose name he cried out in battle. We escaped the structure and found our equipment which was apparently a part of the deal reached. The goblins were many in number and we fought for what seemed like hours but in the end we had won thanks especially to the young quite cleric Mera.

With the exterior and lower level of the camp clear i set myself to task to find and release any slaves i could. I have found that Theylon the half elf warrior and Sir Jim have no qualms profiting from slavery and while the goblins lives are of little concern to me i would not let them finish what the slavers started with any others. As i wandered through the camp I was struck by the number of empty sleeping quarters. This camps inhabitants might not have all been present.

Jim, Theylon and Mera stayed back i think intending to leave and at last i came to the final remaining structure a massive ruined building and I listened at the door. Behind it i heard a massive voice yelling about fires in goblinoid. Acknowledging my wounds i asked Theylon to help me sneak into this final building. Not having anything of my own to offer i offered him the sum of what i find here save for a magic torch and the girl if she was here. He accepted and looked inside. He returned shortly after talking about a “Big big goblin”

We rejoined with the others and Mera offered us potions to heal our wounds which we all took with thanks. I knew that the girl was in that last building, I could feel it. So i asked Jim to help. Playing to his ego he wasn’t to hard to convince though i worry about him if he were to realize i do it.

In the room was a massive bug bear. It seemed to be a second in command figure to the camp. The room he was in was lavishly furnished and had treasure to appease the others but a barred side door led to what i had hoped were the slaves. The fight was grueling. the bug bear was large and powerful but his actions were ungainly and lacked an economy of motion. In the thick of our fight he caught me in the chest with his mace. My vision swam and i came closer to death then ever before but Jim and Theylon felled the beast.

Collecting myself and fighting to stop the bleeding i opened the barred door and behind it i found the girl Jezzi, a horribly beaten dwarf man and a docile goblin dog apparently Jezzi’s pet. Confusion broke out among us as i had intentions of returning the girl to Doverick and being on my way and the others sought revenge. After a bit of bartering the party agreed to leave Jezzi in my protection.

As i was to leave the urge to collect the bones of the bug bear became to difficult to pass up on. I used my bonded connection to my sword and cast a spell to clean the corpse to bleached bone in seconds and began packing them in my bone robe. When Theylon confronted me. I didn’t understand his stake in the corpse at the time but he looked at me with rage and disgust as he took me by the shoulder. “What are you doing?” He asked me his hands shaking in anger. I told him honestly what i intended for the corpse but thinking back maybe a lie would have been safer. I know i saw it in his eyes that i could have died in that moment and that the only reason i didn’t is that it was beneath him to do so. A harsh silence followed and he backed away.

The walk back was awkward and quite. The girl was oblivious to what was about to happen to her father. I tried to convince her that he had died during his attempt to trade for her but she didn’t believe me. When we returned to the Inn a battle broke out between Doverick and Sir Jim. Jim executed Doverick in the street in front of the inn and was arrested by the city guard. That night Jezzi asked us if we would remain at the Inn free of rent and in exchange we would protect her from her mother who leads the slavers in place of her father.

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Jail House Rock
Sir Jim's encounter with the law

Sir Jimmothy Shufflebottom XIV

After executing that dastardly fellow who sold my followers and me into slavery, the local guards took it upon themselves to incarcerate me. Me! A Shufflebottom! I was in the right of course, but it’s best to let the fools work that out for themselves in their own time.

So off to the Ridwall penitentiary I was. Even after considerable hints on my part, not a soul admitted to having heard of me or my family. They must have been lying, that much is plain of course, but still they did not extend me a single courtesy beyond that of a common criminal! Outrageous, I know. Well, I am a Shufflebottom, tough as an alpaca’s teeth my mother used to say. I maintained my composure quite well, I do say, did my father proud.

Day 1:

Prison is not such a hard place as one might be lead to believe! The people here are quite friendly actually. They seem quite interested in my noble household. They inquire all manner of details about my estate. Yes, unlike most of the peasantry, they seem to take a genuine interest in my noble family. I’m not certain what turn of events has lead these enlightened fellows to captivity.

Day 2:

I am now quite certain these men belong here. One of them tried to steal my trousers of all things. In the middle of the night too! It’s a good thing uncle Tedward always pushed me so hard in my training, or I may not have been able to overpower the man. A pickle I would have been in then! Comporting around even this place without my trousers would have been indecent. Still uncertain what he intended for them, as his seemed in fine condition. Perhaps there is an underground market here for garments.

Day 3:

Unexpected development today. I covertly questioned some of the peasants about any underground, black-market clothing deals that may be going on. I have never been one to enforce the law myself, but being a noble surrounded by savages, I felt a certain duty to impose some civility. It turns out they misunderstood the question and I somehow ended up in a small ring fighting some oaf named Tito. The half-giant brute would not listen to reason, so I was forced to subdue him. The onlookers seems somewhat taken aback. I can’t be sure why. I am certain I mentioned my name at some time or another during my stay… Perhaps not… I shall endeavor to remind them on the morrow.

Day 4:

Excellent news! Uncle Tedward has brought my house’s great influence to bear and has earned me a fair trial later this afternoon. The fighting in the basement appears to be a regular activity here. A form of friendly competition it seems. I am not one to deny peasants their exercise, so I humor them. Unrelated note, it turns out Tito is a fine fellow. The others seem quite afraid of him, but he has taken to following me wherever I go. Surely he wishes to learn from his betters, not that I can blame him.

Day 5:

The day of my release has come! My trial went well yesterday, as I knew it would. I was well within my rights of course. It turns out my lawyer did not require a testimony from me. In fact he seemed quite adamant that I do not concern myself with such trifles as talking or even gesturing during the trial. I am certain I could have done a better job of it, but I take pride in allowing peasants to give it their all un-aided. A fair settlement was reached for my release. Quite a sum, but they deserve the fine for my imprisonment. I think I shall buy myself something nice on their behalf.

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