A New Start

Game Master sunshadow21

The untamed lands to the north and west present great opportunity, and also great risk, for those bold enough to make their own path.

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I'll add 10 Morningstars (80g), 5 more light crossbows (175g) with 200 bolts (20g) and 10 Heavy Wooden Shields (70) to the Hillvale foundation; Grand Total: 345g. I'll wait to see how things go with the liaison before I finish spending the rest of my share.

I will add to the pot 10 Javelins, 10 daggers, 10 battleaxes, 10 Guardsmen armor (if approved), 10 heavy wooden shields for a total of 350gp. Will fetch for my self 2 potions of cure light wounds, 1 vial of antitoxin, Heavy Warhorse, military saddle and saddle bags for 514gp. This gives a total expenditure of 864gp. I was thinking of getting some hirelings to drive/protect our things and everyone to get some kind of transport for everyone, maybe another cart or wagon?

"The man says its fair, I won't discuss it he knows his trade" as Einar touches his axe "We know ours, besides its always good to make friends in our line of work" noticing Balmoren glittering eyes, Einar pats him in the shoulder "Focus lad, I can hear the excitement out of your eyes"

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"Well with this fancy new magic stick, it will be much easier to keep all of us alive. I can't help but be excited!" Balmoren says to Einar as he twirls the wand around pointing it at things and making a "bzzzz" noise every time it sights a target. "Now that we have all these weapons and armor, maybe we should go see the community liaison at the Keep. I'm sure he'd be happy for the help."

As I shamelessly crib the DMs idea.

Hirelings and wagons would be best to discuss with the ATA station master. Masterwork weapons and armor are certainly available here, given that almost all of the trade centers around the military and it's many needs. Do you want to do all the shopping before or after you go see the garrison community liaison office up in the fort?

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

I assumed before.

What are people's thoughts about the campaign thus far? It's been a challenge for me to judge how it's doing as the characters are still fresh and the interactions are still being shaped. Anything positive or negative that stands out would be appreciated, either on the discussion thread or via PM; all I ask is that you remain respectful at all times.

I will do all my shopping before time and take the stuff as suggested to the garrison liaison

Einar approaches the blacksmith "I would like to have a special armor made if you don't mind me asking for it" as Einar begins giving the specifics of the armor he wants made for himself [/b]"I do hope it's not something impossible to create as I wanted to be a masterful work of art as those that I have witnessed already in your shop already"[/b]

While such things as what you wish are not available at this shop, you are directed to another shop that deals with that kind of armor; the smith there listens quietly, and tells you he can have such armor ready in about a week.

You head up to the fortress with your wagon full of armaments and armor, where you are stopped at the gate, and spend a good hour taking care of the paperwork required to be let in. Eventually, you are led to a small courtyard where your wagon is inspected and held until some assistants from the liaison office come to handle that part while you are led to the offices where find a captain and a colonel waiting for you. The captain speaks from behind his desk. "Good afternoon, good gentlemen. I am Captain Forix, in charge of the day to day operations of this office, and this is Colonel Saunders, the gentleman in charge of the department. We are both pleased and puzzled that you would be willing to give such a large donation. While I do not wish to impugn your reasons, it is quite an unusual occurance, and one that has a few of our security folks on a bit of an edge. Perhaps if you could explain them, we can get them to calm down."

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"Hello! Well, we earned that money by slaying some Ankhegs that were attacking Hillvale. So we figured that they could use some help defending themselves, since we won't always be around. We came here and gave it to you all because we thought you would know who needs this equipment the most." Balmoren replies. "Why were you worried?" he looks quite concerned.

"I couldn't have said it any better. It some sense, we had made profit from their suffering so by returning a portion of the wealth we made selling those shells we hope to give those people the means to... uhh, to..." Garrett trails off a bit as he loses connection with the point he was trying to make.

"Anyway, they're good people and should be able to properly defend themselves, their families and their homes from any and all threats that come their way. We hope that this equipment paired with decent training from experienced veterans will give them that chance," he recovers confidently.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16

"Oi! Common we can settle this over a beer and I buy first drink, what do you all say! as Einar stands at the front with a big smile in his faces.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

Balmoren looks around for beer or wine. Don't see any. he says, "Maybe we should finish this paperwork real quick, then go find a drink. Perhaps the gentlemen would allow us to treat them!" His hair begins wagging back and forth like an excited dog's tail.

The officers just kind of chuckle. "Don't repeat this outside this room, but neither of us were overly worried. We are always pleased to get supplies that allow the locals to take care of their own problems, and you clearly respect the role that we in this garrison play in maintaining the peace required for them to do so. Others in the command get feisty with the thought of even basic weapons in the hands of nonprofessionals, which is kind of funny because they are among the first to complain that we spend too much time helping the locals out and not enough time on our core mission. I am glad you chose to work through us rather than doing it all yourself, though; it makes everyone's life much easier when certain protocols and procedures are followed to insure that the proper checks and balances have been applied. Good intentions are only helpful when they are applied in ways that do not end up counteracting them.

As for the drinks, we cannot drink on duty, and the garrison commander would be greatly displeased if we were to do something that would appear to shirk our duty, as he expects all the officers here to be clear role models. However, the general is having his weekly officer gathering tonight, and I don't think it would be at all out of place for you to attend. It's a chance to relax, and a perfect environment for you to demonstrate your good will."

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"Good will to all!" Balmoren says nodding excitedly. "I'd be happy to attend."

Captain Forix wrote:
"Others in the command get feisty with the thought of even basic weapons in the hands of nonprofessionals, which is kind of funny because they are among the first to complain that we spend too much time helping the locals out and not enough time on our core mission."

"And what is that core mission if you don't mind my asking," Garrett asks innocently.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15

Captian Forix wrote:
"However, the general is having his weekly officer gathering tonight, and I don't think it would be at all out of place for you to attend. It's a chance to relax, and a perfect environment for you to demonstrate your good will."

"Thank you Captain, we would be honored to join you at the General's event this evening. Just where might that be?"

"Well don't mind if we do then" "We might get some better insight there after some alcohol loosens some tongues and people show a bit more of themselves" as he smiles to the group of officers "Well, you can't please everyone so just do your jobs someone is bound to always complain, that is what my old man told be and then complained about something I did" as Einar chuckles for a moment.

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

Evrail asks after hearing how the others wish to go to this meeting. "Is this gathering very formal?"

"Our mission is to patrol and protect the trade routes as far as the borders and Tent City below. A lot of money and supplies flows through those corridors, and those in power don't like to see that flow disrupted. The gathering is at the general's house, and is an informal gathering where everyone can relax and get to know each other a bit more in a less stressful environment. The general calls it team building; most of the time, it's actually fairly interesting, at least as far as such events go. His wife is a very good cook, so the food at least is always excellent." He gives you directions to the house, and after wrapping up a bit more business, you find yourself with a few hours to spare before attending the gathering.

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

After hearing, that the meeting is informal Evrail says to the group "I am going to go buy some equipment. I will meet back with you all before the meeting." He than heads off to find what he is searching for.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"Wonderful, we'll see you tonight gentlemen." Balmoren replies before wandering off to explore town some more and play with Compy. He will wander around for the rest of the afternoon oogling things and generally behaving like an overly curious child.

"I will need some proper clothing for such thing" as he goes away in search of a store or his things to see if he can find something suitable to wear other than his traveling clothes or gear.

"An honorable mission, indeed. We most certainly appreciate your actions. I look forward to meeting your General and sampling his wife's cooking this evening. Until tonight my friends," Garrett bows with a smile and exits the tent.

For the remainder of the afternoon he visits the various traders and smiths, eventually getting himself fitted for a suit of masterfully crafted Field Plate armor. The armorer assured him that the alterations would only take a few hours to perform and that final product would be delivered to the ATA office by closing hour. In addition, the paladin also purchased a fortified coat from the same trader who assured him that if he and his companions were to be traveling, it would be smart to keep a bit of quickly accessible protection in case of camp ambush.

After finding Einar at a tailor a few hours later he asks the aasimar, "I thought the captain said this affair was informal. Why are you getting fitted for such a fine suit?"

Buying Mwk Field Plate (550g) and an Armored Coat (50g)

The general's house is easy to find. Like most of the buildings here, it's architecture is simple, heavily emphasizing function over form, but not uncomfortable. There appear to be a couple dozen officers, and their wives, for those who are married, mingling in the ballroom and backyard that it opens up onto. The general and his wife welcome you and thanks you for your generosity, but otherwise no one seems to pay you special attention. A table of food and drink is laid out along one of the walls of the ballroom.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

Before making his way to the general's house Balmoren extends his hair to its full five foot length, and animates it into hundreds and hundreds of tiny intricate braids. It has the overall effect of a snow covered willow draping its boughs down his back. He brushes Compy's scales to a fiery orange sheen, and dons the robes of his home village. I haven't worn these in ages He thinks as he slips the spring green fabric over his head. The robes, while nothing fancy for an elf, appear rather posh next to most human textiles. He conjures four globes of colored light, one blue, one red, one green, and the final yellow. They whirr playfully around him as he makes his way to the general's house.

Once there, he commands Compy to stay close and no pooping inside! He mixes freely with the guests, not trying to converse with anyone, but smiling broadly at one and all. If someone approaches him, he will respond.

"No such thing as Einar looks at his fellow aasimar and probably considers him as a naive brother, since they are so few of them. "I'm just getting something else than traveling wear, a good quilted armor for the chest and a simple clothing is all I need, but I have to still get measured to find the right fit. You never know if things get hostile for some reason" as he starts going through the colors and just generally loosing some time. "If you ever care for a sparring don't be afraid to ask me"

I will buy my self probably the same set of guardsmen armor since it's nice looking and light armor, of course if the GM approves.

I don't see a problem with it.

As you mingle, people will eventually talk with you as the conversations flow naturally. You get to answer the same questions repeatedly, but it seems as though important guests are common enough that no one is particularly keen on paying attention to you. Few seem to truly believe you when you say your intentions are altruistic, but that lack of belief doesn't seem to bother anyone. All in all, it seems like what you would expect from such a gathering; some light politicking, lots of polite small talk, complaints about garrison life.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

After a couple hours of mingling, Balmoren will seek out his traveling companions amongst the guests. "Well, don't we all look nice tonight! At least compared to when we're covered in mud and blood like normal." He giggles briefly at his own comment. "So guys, I've been thinking. Now that we wrapped up the ankheg thing, and we've taken care of the people of Hillvale. Where are we headed next?"

Einar wrote:
"I'm just getting something else than traveling wear, a good quilted armor for the chest and a simple clothing is all I need, but I have to still get measured to find the right fit. You never know if things get hostile for some reason"

"Funny," Garrett replies. "I just finished have my measurements taken for some plate armor a moment ago. I wonder if they use different measurements for clothing than they do armor? It may be better to dress appropriately for the party tonight."

Einar wrote:
"If you ever care for a sparring don't be afraid to ask me"

"That thought has crossed my mind more than a few times. Truth be told, I've forged many more swords than I've wielded. I've heard of men who trained to pair a hand and a half sword with a shield. If that's possible I'd like to get at it immediately."

Balmoren wrote:
"So guys, I've been thinking. Now that we wrapped up the ankheg thing, and we've taken care of the people of Hillvale. Where are we headed next?"

Garrett considers the question for a few seconds before he attempts to answer it. "I suppose we could ask around town in the morning if there are any worthy jobs available for us? That or we continue on down the road to see where it brings us."

Well Garret, The sword and a half is tricky, but I instead mastered the bearded axe which is the axe version of the sword and a half"

"Balmoren don't forget insect snot and goo" as Einar grins "But I sometimes rather be fighting than the boring things they do in this country" as Einar begins to somewhat complain there is no mead, this is no decent hall or how people are busy politicking instead of speaking of their deeds.

Is it worth it to raise our weregild around 'ere?

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

Evrail shrugs after hearing Balmoren's question "I prefer going through forests but any wild place would do. It always good to get fresh air away from the noise of cities." He after answering he just listens as Garrett and Einar speak of weapons.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"I have an idea! Wait for just a minute." Balmoren says before walking off to find the General amongst the crowd. If he is talking to someone, Balmoren will wait for a pause in the conversation and then clear his throat and say "Good evening General, lovely home you have here. My name is Balmoren. My companions and I were wondering if you had any problems that we might be able to take care of for you? We're not members of any military or anything, so we have nothing regulating what we do. Anything unusual or difficult that you have been having trouble with?"

Asking around, first of the general and then of others, you get the impression that this area is pretty quiet this time of year. Things don't really start to pick up until late spring, and you're a good month away from that still. You do hear, however, of numerous opportunities down either of the trade routes, depending on your inclination.

I'll go ahead and give you your options now, and you can roleplay it out as you wish.

The trade route going north leads to the mouth of the Valley of the Giants, running along the base of the Dragonspine Mountains, past the Iron Valley, a region still being opened up by mining interests. On the other side of the road, you have the Great Waste, a wide expanse of flat plains filled with old ruins and nomadic barbarians. North of the Barrens, the adventurous can find opportunities in the Remnant Hills, a wild region with several former giant cities around the edge forming a ring. Some of the cities are largely abandoned; most serve as a home to the dwarves, former servants of the giants, though some serve as homes for orcs and half orcs, also previously servants of the giants. The different groups don't necessarily like each other, but they don't hate each other enough to want to be the one to start a fight. Going this route insures a lot of fighting and potential for great wealth, but very little in the way of resupplying stops unless you reach the Remnant Hills, and make friends there.

The trade route going northwest passes through the southern edges of the Feywood as it skirts the northern edge of Baricyr, another one of the havens, and eventually reaches the Three Rivers region. The Feywood has a large population of elves and is well known to be the easiest place to pass between this world and that of the fey; as such, strange things fill the heart of the forest, and few strangers are comfortable going past the edges. The western border of the Feywood, and the eastern border, as well as the major source for the rivers, of the Three Rivers region, you'll find the Wind Peaks, a mountain range similar to the Rocky Mountains; some mining, mostly passable with a fair bit of effort, at least in the summer. The Wind Peaks also marks the southern and western boundaries of the ancient giant empire that once dominated the north, so some dwarven towns and giant ruins can still be found scattered along it's eastern face. The Three Rivers region is basically the wild west. There are a few established cities in the few easily defended location, but otherwise, this region of rivers, and the remains of old channels and rivers is largely very difficult to defend, so it has only been with the recent developments on Mariki in getting the wild magic contained that has allowed people to start seriously focusing their efforts on taming these lands and it's long shore line. Pirates are quite active along the southern portions of the coast and the waters just off of them, and as the northern part is developing, they are becoming even more of a problem. Going this route would give better access to resources, but would guarantee a fair amount of politics as well, with open combat being slightly more frowned upon, at least officially.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"Well, now that we know what our options are fellas, which way sounds good to you? I would think that as we are tasked with opening new lands to ATA influence we should head north. Perhaps the risk is greater, but no risk, no reward." Balmoren says to his companions once they are alone somewhere after the party. His hair is back to normal, and he is back in his patchwork performance/traveling clothes.

The simple paladin considers the options thoughtfully before speaking. "I would not be opposed to travelling north. My father often spoke of the wealth and possibilities open to a skilled blacksmith in the Iron Valley. To me it would be worth the journey simply in his honor," he smiles solemnly at the thought. "Either way, we'll need to stock up on food, tents and other such gear before heading out. Einar, you spoke earlier of replacing our wagon; did you manage to look into that at all? Regardless of where we're going, it would be nice to be able to move on the same platform."

I've got 470.28g to put towards stuff of that nature. I'm happy to pool it all for the greater good. A Carriage seems to be the ideal transport for the penny.

The north is always a good direction for a northman to take when not at home. as Einar smiles drinking some beer as he makes simple conversations here and there with the people, keeping mostly to himself as he analyses everything around him.

I will pool my money for better transports and hire some caravan guards or even drivers.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"Wouldn't a carriage just make us a target in a land with no law? Also, what if the roads fail. Would it not be better to simply ride battle-trained horses, and possibly bring a pack mule or two if necessary?" Balmoren asks Garret.

I've got 227 gold left.

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

"Would of preferred to go towards the Feywood but seems north towards this Iron Valley we go." Evrail says after listening to where the group could go.

"O, I guess I hadn't considered that. Thank you for your insight Balmoren," Garrett responds, scratching at the base of his platinum haired head. "We could each buy a horse, just the same. I'd be happy to keep manning the wagon. It's proven to be a very worthwhile tool. I'll make sure to purchase a pack saddle if the day comes that we can no longer travel with it."

Garrett studies Evrail for a moment, "Would the reason you'd prefer to travel south be for the other elves or the forests? From what I understand, there are quite a bit of inexplicable goings on there," he adds; basically repeating the information that was just given to all of them.

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

"The forest." Evrail answers to Garrett's question.

"You don't say much, do you Evrail? Have I done something to offend you?" he asks earnestly.

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

Evrail shakes his head "I am uncomfortable in most towns or cities, preferring the outdoors. I learned from my father that it is best to keep quiet sometimes. Though telling stories of hunts are of a different matter."

"Well I have no opposition in heading south, if it pleases you. At this point either choice is as good as the other," Garrett says with an assuring smile. "I would be greatly interested to hear your hunting stories as well. Judging by the way you handled yourself with the ankhegs, I'm sure you've got plenty to tell."

"I understand Evrail very well, but as most of the settlements of my people are usually surrounded by wilderness" as he looks into the sky and closes his eyes for a moment while he remembers home.

It is always good to speak of ones prowess Evrail, and hunting are some of the best. I don't know most of the creatures around the area tough, but at least ours are usually giants and trolls, amongst other more simple things."

"I honestly do not mind knowing why we should go south besides sight seeing?" as Einar crosses his arms waiting to know why Evrail would like to go south.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"Are the northern mountains not full of trees? I was born in their valleys, and I assure you there are plenty of forests there. Perhaps not as vast, or fey as the southern ones, but trees nonetheless. I have no skill or desire for politics, and in the settled lands of the south we are certain to step on someone's toes and need to talk our way out of it. The northern trails will lead only to hunting, battle and exploration. Things far more suited to our talents if I don't miss my mark. Cousin, fear not, the Valley of Giants is as far from towns or cities as we're likely to get." Balmoren says, interjecting his opinion.

"Then it is settled, let's head to the north!" as Einar just wanted a more direct answer from Evrail, but understands his point of view.

Having decided on their next move, the party settles into an inn in Tent City as they make their preparations. Lord Mathel is more than willing to help you when you present with business he is set up to handle, and proves to be friendly enough when given the chance.

You can trade in your current wagon and mule for 40 gp. 2 full sized wagons and 4 heavy work horses with just enough combat training to not immediately panic are available for 600 gp. If you wish to skip the wagons, you can get enough heavy, combat trained riding horses for the party for 500 gp, a couple light pack horses (with enough combat training to not immediately panic) for 100 gp, and any additional horses needed for hirelings would be light combat trained horses at 60 gp each. You can find a couple of drivers willing to go with you for 3 sp a day, plus appropriate hazard pay, and a couple of bored mercenaries willing to go with you for 5 sp a day, plus help with upgrading weapons and armor as appropriate. Any other configuration of horses and wagons, you want, let me know, and I'll let you know prices.

After staying in town for some days waiting on his commission work to be done and everyone else is done supplying and buying the rest of their things he waits for them at the local Inn were he is staying waiting for them.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

Balmoren will purchase a sleek light horse, trained for war. He will make sure it has a proper military saddle and saddle bags, before settling into the inn to enjoy the few days of downtime. He will spend the time playing with Compy and exploring the Tent City. Once everyone is ready, he will be as well.

Garrett visits the ATA office to issue a trade. In replacement of the mule the young aasimar purchased a stocky black speckled white Percheron that had been specifically trained to keep it's composer during battle. Afterwards, Garrett had his horse drag the wagon from one end of the city to the other while he filled it with a wide assortment of random gear and necessities. By the time he was finished and returned to the inn it was well past suppertime and the rest of the party seemed upset by the delay.

"Well we won't have to make any stops in the morning now. And if Evrail will be hunting while we move we should be entirely capable of keeping ourselves alive until we happen across the next civilization to harbor us," he explains with a hint of pride.

Will get the party advanced either Sunday or Monday.

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