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The Reconquista

Game Master Branding Opportunity

Veterans of the giant wars in the Sheldomar Valley return to their homes to claim their reward.


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Male Grey Elf Bard1/Wizard6/Loremaster4

Solaufyn noted to Flynt that the gates had been opened, and that it was time to strike at the commanders. With a lot of action happening in a small area around the front gates, Solaufyn pointed out a back way for he and Flynt to take.

They had to slay a few orcish sentries along the way, but nearly all of the defending forces were concentrated on dealing with the main assault. They found an unguarded back gate, and entered the keep to find that it had been torn apart, made giant-sized for its new occupants.

The two of them avoided the main chambers, instead focusing on unbarring the interior doors, granting the attackers free access to the keep's inside. So few of the defending troops were inside that they had little trouble with getting all of them opened.

The large double-doors to the main chamber were the tricky part, as the only way inside besides the main doors were actually windows from the outside. The two of them climbed the stairs to what was the top floor of the keep, then used Flynt's rope to rappel down the side of the keep and into the window. A pair of large white-skinned giants were inside, arguing with each other over whether to flee or fight, while the double-doors were barred by a heavy iron beam, the sort a giant would use.

They kept out of sight while preparing a way to clear the obstruction. Solaufyn cast a pair of spells: one which made Flynt as large as a giant, and another which made him invisible. While the frost giants squabbled, Flynt quietly wriggled through the window, dropped onto the floor of the keep's main chamber, then silently made his way to the doors, where he used all his strength to lift the iron bar. It made a massive scraping sound as it was lifted, which drew the attention of the giants, but it was too late. Solaufyn emerged from hiding behind a discarded piece of furniture and rushed to the doors, and with a spell, enveloped himself, the invisible Flynt, and the doors themselves with an opaque sphere. The giants could hear the loud thud of Flynt dropping the bar, and they could hear the doors being shoved open, but they could not see what was coming from within the sphere.


Male Half-orc Oracle 11

Feeling overwhelmed by the great size of the giants, Tanith and Mortifice both wove spells, granted by their respective deities, to enlarge their bodies and fight the giants on their own terms. With a few additional spells to boolster their fighting prowess and their allies, the two led a group of footment and gnomes in through the castle's gate.

The gnomes, small as they were, seemed to be adept at fighting the much larger foes. They took advantage of their small size by ducking underneath their legs and swarming the giants from all sides; it took about three gnomes for every giant, but one by one they brought their foes down.

Tanith and Mort each went toe-to-toe with the white-skinned frost giants. Moort took a few blows from a mighty greataxe, but he swiftly healed his wounds and delivered a blow to the giant's gut with his bastard sword, ending its time on the mortal coil.

As one giant bled out at his feet, Mortifice glanced over to see Tanith sever the head of his enemy. It was a bloody battle that took the allied forces from room to room, but for now at least it seemed like they had the upper hand.


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

Their leaders defeated and the keep's defenses shattered the rest of the occupying forces fell soon after. Before the sun set reached its zenith, the battle was over. The giants were defeated and the keep retaken.

There would be a time for mourning those lost in the battle but celebration had to come first.

Sol led festivities with song and his musically inclined cousins from the Otywood soon joined in. Tanith took on all challengers, still brimming with energy to burn. Many of the high-spirited soldiers rose to the occasion but not many were able to topple the young Kordite and even the hulking Tauren had trouble besting the Suel when it came to wrestling. Mortifice's normally stoic facade softened as even he joined in the revelry, drinking, and sharing with those in attendance. He did get a bit heated when questioned, in jest, about the chastity of his goddess, Mayaheine.

As the evening's celebration wound to a close, Flynt took the opportunity to proposition some of the elven maidens from the Otywood that he'd been shamelessly flirting with throughout the night. Despite Sol's discouragement, he was seen escorting a pair off to more private quarters - the Laughing Rogue would have been proud and Tanith was not the only one to wrestle that night.


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

The heroes were rarely apart for long from that point on. Together, they were at the forefront of many of the battles to retake the giant occupied lands and were often instrumental in their success. Soon, although already well known near Godakin and the Otywood, their reputation spread like wildfire across Sterich as word of their exploits reached its far corners.

Months turned to years and Tanith continued his religious exercise and, combined with the rigors of war, his growing frame swelled with rippling muscle as did his budding faith in Kord. The Suel began to exhibit nearly supernatural stamina and the feats of strength he performed approached inhuman. Somehow, the nickname he'd picked up at the temple in Keoland became known and soon many began to refer to Tanith as 'Kordson'.

***

When the call for aid came from their dwarven allies, his friends volunteered and Tanith eagerly agreed. He was not excited about being so far from the front lines but the prospect of testing his strength against the powerful fire giants was an opportunity he would not miss.

After their business within Witch's Hump came to a close the war abruptly, and without reason, came to an end. Tanith was happy to see his homeland begin to rebuild, but with no more war to fight he felt like he wasn't needed anymore. The Suel bid farewell to his friends, this time for good, and left for Keoland.

On his way out of the Otywood Tanith encountered the grizzly bear he'd seen years prior when he and his friends had been preparing to retake the keep. This time, however, the bear turned its rage on him. Caught unawares, Tanith was unable to draw his blade and had to face the beast unarmed. The two wrestled for hours until the sun began to fall behind the horizon. Suddenly the giant bear loosened his grip and backed off.

Tanith was puzzled, the bear was hardly winded and he was bleeding and sore from a dozen scratches and bites, yet the beast had simply stopped. Unable to understand what had happened, the Suel assumed the ursine had been a test from his patron and shared his dinner that night with the bear. In the morning, the bear happily followed him.

***

In the years to come Tanith continued to build his body and grow his understanding of the Brawler's way. His time was fruitful and his already powerful frame reached even greater proportions. His broad shoulders and long limbs became thick with slabs of corded muscle and his iron-like sinews grew to test the limits of his clothing. Gone was the boy's awkward form and in its place was the body of a mighty Kordite.

It took some convincing to get the bear entrance into the temple but the beast soon became an honorary member. Tanith named him Boris, in honor of the temple's high priest. The Kordson's training soon included regular wrestling with the bear as Boris was one of the few within the temple's walls that could best the Kordite.

It was not just strength and a talent for athletics that marked Tanith as favored by the Brawler. As his celebrity grew so did his appetite for the fairer sex and it seemed he shared his mighty patron's talent for attracting their attention. His dalliances with the beauties that came to meet one of the 'Heroes of Sterich' or train at the temple became a popular topic of discussion among the temple's worshipers and, although Tanith lacked Solaufyn's classic beauty, his strapping form and rugged charm proved to be almost as effective.


Male Half-orc Oracle 11

Mortifice didn't know what to do with himself after parting ways with his companions. They hadn't truly known each other very long, but the bonds they forged were strong. "Brothers in battle" is what he believed they called it.

Not content to simply live the life of a priest, Mort roved the land in search of other communities in need of aid. Some he bolstered with faith, others with force, but in the end he felt like he was doing the will of his goddess.

One day he received a message, asking him to return to Fitella for a three year reunion. They didn't have to ask him twice.


Male Grey Elf Bard1/Wizard6/Loremaster4

Solaufyn knew that the people could be inspired by the tales and legends of heroes fighting for them. So, in the years that followed the retaking of the keep, he made sure to build that legend. He wore attractive, well-tailored clothing on his adventures, and he crafted ever-more-gorgeous and unique magical items for the heroes to wear. In this way, the four heroes would be instantly recognizable, and the tales of their heroism would spread far and wide. As Solaufyn learned that the people of the Sheldomar held an innate mistrust of overt wizardry, due to the rule of Vecna, he made sure to adopt a more bardic persona. He sang his arcane syllables, and he made his magical gestures as if he were wielding a brush, dazzling both friend and enemy with his technique and the results.

As Solaufyn grew in arcane ability, his ability to travel long distances and communicate with distant allies also increased. He was able to assist in conflicts all over the Sheldomar, from the war with the Pomarj in the east to the struggles of giant-occupied Geoff in the west. His adventures even took him into the Fey Lands, while a part of a quest to rescue Gwenllian, druid and sister to Duke Owen I of Geoff. He returned from Faerie a bit different, as if he absorbed a bit of the glamour of the faeries. His eyes became a deeper blue and seemed to glitter with tiny points of light. His skin became fairer, entirely without blemish or scarring. His black hair took on a silvery sheen to it, and never seemed tangled or disheveled. Solaufyn had always been attuned to the faeries due to the enchanted nature of his homeland, but the time he spent on their native plane had affected him, even if the results were outwardly subtle.

He seemed to return from the Fey Lands at just the right time to make good on an invitation to return to Fitela in the spring of 593, for the rededication of their temple.


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

After the war, Flynt went back to roaming. Throughout the war his wanderlust had grown unbearable from being in one place for too long.

The first place his travels took him was home, to the kingdom of Nyrond to see his childhood friends and family. However, it seemed he was not meant to escape battle and a few short weeks after returned home the Black Prince Seward usurped the throne and started another civil war. Flynt reluctantly got involved, but the reality of fighting his neighbors and countrymen quickly proved too much for the young Rhenee.

It was fortuitous that the summons came from the distant Sterich calling him back to the Fitella. Eager to travel again and escape the horrors of the civil war, Flynt left for Fitella.


INTRODUCTION: OLD MEETINGS

Village of Fitela, 12th of Coldeven, 593 CY

It was an emotional day for everyone involved in the rededication. After over eight years of sorrow, struggle, and disappointment, the surviving common folk of this small village along the rushing Davish river had come together to remember the past and make a fresh start.

After the giants and their allies began retreating into their mountain strongholds in 588 CY, the villagers had slowly begun to trickle back over the border from Keoland. On barges, wagons, horses, and even on foot they had returned from the refugee camps, spurred on by reports that their homeland was once again on the path to freedom. The frost giants of the Jotens and Crystalmists had held on longer than anyone could have imagined. Even now it was said they still controlled a number of the old Borderland forts built hard against the mountainsides. The people of Fitela had to wait patiently until just over a year ago before it was safe enough to make their way home. With the monetary support of the young Baron Veaublanche, and even a few lions from the court in Istivin, the people here had slowly rebuilt their community. Invitations were sent out, proclaiming that there was to be a celebration in honor of the laying of the cornerstone for the newly built church of Allitur. As the local heroes, you had been brought here to be guests of honor.

You hadn’t seen each other since the freeing of the dwarven hold of Eagle’s Nest three years ago. The winter had not been a particularly harsh one for this part of the Flanaess, and with the coming of spring the smell of hope seemed to hang in the air for the first time in a long while.

Upon arrival, each of you had been greeted not with the formal stiffness of visiting dignitaries, but with a familial warmth and genuine affection that surprised and touched many of you. Old mothers had fallen into your arms weeping, as seeing you reminded them of the brothers, sons, and daughters they had lost at the Last Stand by the Davish. Mothers beamed with quiet pride as they introduced you to their young sons and daughters, who had been named after you in recognition of your deeds. Others came up to you, sadness and joy mixed in their eyes, telling you of the many struggles they had endured since you had parted ways.

You met a young dwarf barely in his beard who carried a warhammer with great reverence, carved with runes holy to Moradin. He looked somewhat familiar and introduced himself as Grintur, son of Grinnur. He had been asked to travel here from his home in the South, and mark the occasion in his father’s stead. Grinnur, you soon learned, had been killed two years before in an attempt to retake a dwarven mine still held by the giants. Grintur spoke of his father in the present tense, telling you that even though his spirit had gone on to sit beside the Allfather, he still guided his decisions and gave him much courage.

The ceremony had thankfully been brief, as the newly appointed priest of Allitur gave a somewhat poorly-delivered speech on the importance of tradition and structure to the workings of society. Following this, the visiting High Paymaster of Zilchus and even a stonewoman of Ulaa had joined with the speaker in laying the cornerstone of the new church to the accompaniment of great applause. A large banquet in the recently rebuilt town hall followed and had gone on late into the night.

The following day you said your goodbyes and accepted the invitation of the High Paymaster of Zilchus to accompany him on his boat back to Istivin Crossing. Upon mention of Istivin you had realized that for whatever reason, none of you had visited, or even thought about the capital in quite some time. It was as if the city had faded from your memory, which seemed odd considering that it was the meeting point of the three major highways crossing Sterich, in addition to the only city of any size for hundreds of miles. You assumed that this was simply the result of too much stress and excitement over the past few years; mostly spent fighting the invaders on the borders of Geoff and the March. You also recalled that there was still the matter of the land in Sterich’s southwest that had been promised to you as payment for service during the war. A few of you had tried to claim your prize over a year ago, but the newly formed government, now under control of the strict Marchioness after the mysterious disappearance of her husband three years ago, had told you that various conflicting claims were still being sorted out, and politely asked you to come back later. In any case, it had been too long since your last visit: Istivin was calling!

Port of Istivin Crossing, 14th of Coldeven

Early this morning the High Paymaster’s boat has docked at Istivin Crossing. As you disembark, he bids you safe journeys. True to the tenets of his faith, the high priest of Zilchus has combined the ceremonial visit to Fitela with a supply trip to Godakin Keep, and the local dockworkers are busy unloading numerous heavy boxes with the royal stamp of the Kingdom of Keoland on them.

It is still chilly this early in the season, and a freezing wind blows hard across the river from the south. In that direction, far in the distance, the high, snow-covered peaks of the northern Jotens are catching the first rays of the sun, sharply silhouetted against the grey steel sky. A few miles to the northwest you can see the tall, triple towers of the Javan Gate, and the dark-grey curtain walls of Istivin. The imposing Krelont Keep sits atop the Promontory behind them, still shrouded in the night’s last shadows.

This is a chance for you to catch up a bit and possibly talks to the high priest of Zilchus.

INDIVIDUAL INFORMATION:

Sol:
Karri Velthundle, Marshall of the Sterish Cavalry has extended an open invitation to you to join her as an instructor for her forces. You met Marshall Velthundle, a sylvan elf originally from the Oytwood, during the war and were very impressed by her. She has been Marshall of Sterich for over 200 years, and has been offered the role of general commander by a succession of Sterich's rulers, but she has always refused, preferring to concentrate on her passion and combat specialty: light cavalry. Velthundle's tactics combine horsemanship and magic, and the ranks of her renowned mounted order swell with multiclass fighter/wizards and fighter/sorcerers. They reside in West Citadel, near the Trade Gate.

Mortifice:
You have heard from other worshipers of Mayaheine that the church of the Maiden's Shield in Istivin is very worried that something is seriously wrong in the capital. None of them can exactly put their fingers on it, however, and just confess to a general uneasiness. The head of the Maiden's Shield, a half-elven woman by the name of Sarai Miskmatar, is a recent high-profile convert to the faith from the temple of Pelor in Keoland, and has been in Istivin for less than a year.

Flynt:
On a previous adventure you heard the tale of a magical bow of some power, which was found in the Demonweb Pits and then lost by the group of adventurers who defeated the minions of Lolth 14 years ago. You've heard that there are members of this group still living in Istivin, one of whom is now the Captain General of the Istivin Watch.

Tanith:
The dwarven Council of Princes recently contacted you to let you know that they, in conjunction with the Union (the dwarves you worked for in the freeing of Eagle’s Nest), have let it be known that the entity known as the "Red King" still controls the glacier that is the headwater of the Devish river. This glacier is also the location of a number of dwarven holds and mines. Any information about who or what this Red King is would be greatly appreciated.
A rumor has also existed for years that the original adventurers who defeated the machinations of the drow and their giant stooges forteen years ago (as told in the AD&D “Giants” series) stole a powerful weapon known as the Axe of the Keeper from a giant's den. This axe later disappeared and no one has been able to find it. A few of the original party are rumored to still live in Istivin.


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Tanith cheered as he saw his friends again for the first time in years. He's been in contact with Sol off and on via magical Sendings but it wasn't the same thing as meeting in the flesh. He greeted them with a crushing hug, lifting each off the ground in his mirth.

The mighty Suel returned the affection showered on himself and his comrades and happily played up the role of hero. He recounted his duel with the bugbear champion to those that requested, describing in great detail the beast's fearsome strength.

Tanith met with Katherine and Leon. The pair had grown into heroes of their own right. They'd participated in the later parts of the war to reclaim their homeland, Leon had been trained as a holy warrior of the elven goddess Ehlonna and Katherine had served as her priestess. So strong was their bond that the pair had been married under the blessings of their mutual patron. Both were obviously no longer children and Katherine in particular had grown into a beautiful young woman.

During the actual ceremony the big Kordite was a bit more subdued as the Zilchen's speech made Tanith reflect on what this victory had cost Fitella and the people of Sterich. He happily helped the priestess of Ulaa in carrying the heavy masonry to be the new church's cornerstone. As the stone is laid and the blessing are finished, the Kordite catches Katherine watching him closely and the two share a meaningful gaze.

Tanith happily participated in the celebration and partied late into the night.

***

The big Suel's heart swelled seeing the walls of his home again. He reflected on how far he'd come since he left. He thanked mighty Kord for his guidance along his journey.

"Welcome to Istivin", Tanith said to his friends.


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

Flynt tried his best to stay awake during the Zilchen's speech. The speech was brief, but the Rhenee didn't pay attention to most of it, something about great responsibility and great power. When the ceremony was complete, he was happy to help with the church's cornerstone.

The reunion with his friends and the people of Fitela was a joyous one, aside from a brief conflict with Tanith's friend Leon over Flynt's generally carefree attitude. The young paladin, believed that it was that kind of attitude that cost people their lives in the giant wars. Tanith had to step in and split them up.

While not as extravagant as the celebration after retaking Otywood Keep, Flynt enjoyed the party nevertheless.

........

"I feel welcome," he responds.

Tobias lands on his shoulder and squawks in agreement.


Male Half-orc Oracle 11

Mortifice was a bit uncomfortable with the lavish praise he received for being a hero to the people of Fitella. He wasn't accustomed to anyone giving a second thought about half-orcs, let alone him personally. Eventually he relaxed and took comfort knowing that he was doing his part to rid his past of the filthy taint of his orcish blood.

As he wandered about, he spotted a young lad and his sister, whom he remembered from several years before. They weren't quite grown up yet, but the lad already bore the holy symbol of the Shield Maiden and his sister the symbol of Pelor. This made him smile far more brightly than any praise he could have received for being a hero to the people.

Eventually, he came upon a gathering of his old friends, Solaufyn, Tanith, and Flynt.

"Squawk!"

Okay, and Tobias too.

He happily embraced each in turn, noting how much Tanith had continued to grow, and the four shared stories of their time apart.

***

Mortifice wasn't terribly concerned about the dealings of Zilchus, but when he caught word that the Church of the Maiden's Shield in Istivin was in need of aid, he gladly took advantage of the opportunity to depart. Being a priest of some note within the region, Mortifice decided to take it upon himself to investigate what was the matter.


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Tanith hooks Sol around the shoulder.

"I'm going to show you all the best places to eat in town - there's a spot near the border to the garden quarter that makes meat pies so stuffed with pork and onions that you'll eat until it hurts", the big Kordite says excitedly.

Tanith takes a deep breath as he surveys the city's skyline.

"By Kord, it's been so long. I was just a boy when I left to join the army. It feels like a lifetime ago."


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

"We were all just boys, except for Sol here, but war quickly makes boys into men. On a different note, do you know who the general of the watch is?"


Male Grey Elf Bard1/Wizard6/Loremaster4

Solaufyn seemed quite happy to return to the village of Fitela, his appearance now matching the legends that were told of him. He had plenty of cheerful advice and warming compliments for the residents of the village, young and old, inspiring them to be joyous instead of dwelling on the past. His radiant emotions spread throughout the village as the night went on, and he kept many of them entertained with plenty of stories and songs about brave heroes, evil monsters, and budding romances. Solaufyn had just returned from the Fey Lands, and had plenty of stories about them.

***

As Solaufyn did not see himself settling into managing an estate, and did not really know what he would do with a plot of land anyways, he had little reason to go to Istivin. An invitation to teach arcane magic, though, he had to at least give that a try, even if he did not yet know how he would teach it. Humans tended to be overly focused on the concrete methods and results of magic, where Solaufyn was entirely captivated by the art.

"This place seems like it's recovering rather well. Do any of you know where we can enjoy a nice meal? Would you like to join us, High Paymaster?"

Current buff spells:
-Extended mage armor
-endure elements (can hit several party members with this one)
-Extended false life: 1d10 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18 temporary hit points


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Knowledge: Local, Common Knowledge? - 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (10) - 1 = 9

"I was involved with some shady folks back then and had more than my share of scraps with the law, but General of the Watch..."

"Why do you ask?"


Male Grey Elf Bard1/Wizard6/Loremaster4
Tanith 'Kordson' Creed wrote:
"I'm going to show you all the best places to eat in town - there's a spot near the border to the garden quarter that makes meat pies so stuffed with pork and onions that you'll eat until it hurts", the big Kordite says excitedly.

"Until it hurts, you say? It likely won't take much."

KnowLocal 1d20 + 26 ⇒ (8) + 26 = 34: "From what I remember, the General of the Watch was..."


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

"Apparently he or she used to be an adventurer. His/her group apparently found and lost a magical weapon that interests me."


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

The big Kordite squeezes Sol, "That's the spirit! We'll get some meat on your bones yet!"

Tanith casts the elf a surprised glance when he answers Flynt's question confidently.

"I didn't know you'd been inside Istivin's walls before."


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

"Thank you. Sometime while here I would like to see this person."


Male Grey Elf Bard1/Wizard6/Loremaster4
Tanith 'Kordson' Creed wrote:
"I didn't know you'd been inside Istivin's walls before."

"I haven't. I remember that one of the refugees of Godakin Keep mentioned his name once."

He appears rather uncertain about something. "So these meat pies you speak of... how long would I be hurting for?


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

"A few hours maybe", the big Suel answers with a laugh.

"It'll be no worse than that time the gnoll assassin got into our camp and stuck you with that black blade. After that, is the mighty Solaufyn really worried about some fried pork and flatbread."


Male Grey Elf Bard1/Wizard6/Loremaster4
Tanith 'Kordson' Creed wrote:
"It'll be no worse than that time the gnoll assassin got into our camp and stuck you with that black blade. After that, is the mighty Solaufyn really worried about some fried pork and flatbread."

"No worse," Solaufyn responded. "But just as undesirable. Speaking of, I think I have just the right amount of 'meat on my bones,' thank you very much. Now, I wonder if there are any bakeries here. I could certainly enjoy a slice of cherry pie, now that you have given me the thought."


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Tanith squeezes the elf's slim upper arm.

"I don't know about that. I think you could stand to put on some muscle - you're skin and bones! You're up early most days, you should join me on the morrow for a run and some bodyweight exercises."

"Bakeries? Well there was one place I used to filch cream pies from when I was a pup. I wonder if they're still around."


High Paymaster Randos walks over to your group, giving everyone a perfunctory nod. "Well, it was pleasant to meet the heroes of Fitela. Good luck on your upcoming endeavors, whatever they might be. Remember that the temple of Zilchus is always available to tend to your needs, especially if they involve an investment."
He then leans in a bit closer to make sure the stevedores unloading the cargo don't overhear him. "I have heard through the grapevine that you might be coming into some property. Zilchus always rewards those who help themselves, but I doubt you'll have much luck in Istivin. It is sadly not the same place it once was." Randos shakes his head in concern and shrugs, "But what can be done? We must make the best of what we are given. The people of Fitela certainly have done that," and quickly adds, "with a good bit of help from you, of course!"


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Tanith glances at the closing city walls.

"What do you mean? It looks the same to me?", he asks. "The giant didn't do much damage at all to the city."


The High Paymaster raises an eyebrow at Tanith's question. "Well, that's the interesting thing, isn't it? I hear that when our soldiers first arrived, they found the city empty, untouched, with no sign of King Galmoor or his retinue. Where did they go? Why did they go? Nobody knows."


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

"Perhaps the giants just got bored and left", the big Suel says with a laugh.

"What of the people? Were they able to evacuate before the Earl abandoned them to the giants?"

Osirion

Randos shrugs, "Perhaps."

"Most of the commoners were able to flee, although there are always some among the poor who can't dodge a slowly moving boulder. A lot of soldiers died protecting them. A lot of important knights who would have been quite helpful in the retaking of the country."


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Tanith glances at the Paymaster, a little less mirthful.

"Then they died for a worthy cause and should be remembered as heroes."


Male

Boris snuffles loudly as if punctuating the Suel's words.

Tanith laughs and pats his shaggy companion on the neck.


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

"That is the way of war. But in any case, now what?"

Osirion

Tanith 'Kordson' Creed wrote:

Tanith glances at the Paymaster, a little less mirthful.

"Then they died for a worthy cause and should be remembered as heroes."

The High Paymaster nods in agreement, "Yes, of course, of course. Their deeds for their countrymen will be recorded in the God's ledger books."

The workers seemed to have finished loading their goods onto the waiting wagons. With that he turns to all of you and gives a short bow. "Well, may Zilchus bless your transactions and find your life profitable when you appear before him." His assistants help him back onto the boat, which slips its moorings and heads back down the river.


Male Half-orc Oracle 11
Tanith wrote:

"Then they died for a worthy cause and should be remembered as heroes."[/Q]

"Indeed. It is a noble thing to protect those who cannot so easily defend themselves. Still, these circumstances do seem quite curious."


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

"And may you grow stronger with each passing day", Tanith replies to the Paymaster as he takes his leave.

***

"We get inside and we see to those meat pies Sol is so anxious about", the big Kordite laughs in response to Flynt. "Your cooking's great Flynt but there's nothing quite like comfort food from home."

The Suel nods at Mort's comment.

"It's the duty of the strong to protect the weak."

"It is a bit strange. I'm sure we'll learn more about what the giants were up to once we get inside."


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

"Well if I had better foodstuffs to work with.. Meatpies sound really good right now."


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Tanith grins widely, "That's what I like to hear. There's a man that knows how to eat!"


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

"Yea, who doesn't like meatpies? Even Tobias likes them. I bet that giant bear of yours likes them too. Wait, why do you have a giant bear following you?"


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Tanith looks at Flynt strangely for a moment as if not sure what he was asking and then follows his gaze to the massive bear tromping alongside him.

"Oh, that's Boris", the big Kordite says casually. "I ran into him in the Otywood after that business with the mutated dwarves. He's a fine wrestler and helps me out with my training."

Boris grunts loudly at the mention of wrestling and Tanith punches the beast affectionately.


Male Trapper/Guide 5 HP: 44/44; AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15; Fort: +7, Ref: +8, Will: +2; Init: +5, Perception +11

"So he's your personal trainer. Now I've heard everything. Well glad to have him along in any case."


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

"You could say that."

"Kord's holy teachings say that, 'A man whose strength is never tested can never grow.' I figure with old Boris as my partner I'll be able to grow plenty", he says with another laugh.


Male Half-orc Oracle 11

"Well the food was fun, but I'm afraid I have some business to attend to."

Mortifice couldn't keep the news about the Maiden's Shield out of his mind. It didn't sound urgent, but he had a tendency to worry.

"I'm going to go to church. See you all tomorrow."


Male Grey Elf Bard1/Wizard6/Loremaster4
Flynt wrote:
"Yea, who doesn't like meatpies? Even Tobias likes them. I bet that giant bear of yours likes them too..."

"Not you, too!" Solaufyn replies.

"Well, perhaps we will be fortunate, and the meat-pie establishment also offers berry pies. The availability of meat pies implies that there is a bakery around somewhere.

Mortifice wrote:
"I'm going to go to church. See you all tomorrow."

"What's this? No meat pies for you, Mortifice? Perhaps instead you'll find heaven in a slice of cherry pie. Are you coming?"

Osirion

Especially this early in the morning, the small village of Istivin Crossing is not much to look at. Set on the north banks of the Davish River, the center of the village is made up only of a few warehouses and a large blockhouse. The walls of the city of Istivin are easy to spot about 10 miles to the north.

A small, wooden shrine to Obd-Hai and Fharlanghn sits next to the river, made entirely of river stones, and decorated with cuttings from many flowering trees. A common sight in many parts of Sterich, locals stop here before travelling on the river, asking the gods' blessings on their journey.

Despite recent rebuilding after the war, many of the structures here are sagging with age, and everything has a very "worn-in" look about it. Moss or ivy covers many walls, and pavement stones have been worn smooth by the passing of countless feet. A large inn known as the "Laughing Trout" sits on the central green, catering mainly to the river trade. Although the inn's recent whitewashing makes it look fairly presentable, there are the tell-tale signs of old damage from the war. Next to the inn is an attached, large stable, and many wagons are parked outside, waiting to carry goods to and from the capital. Outside the center of the town are a few private houses where the dockworkers live with their families.

Anyone who can make a DC 15 Knowledge (local) or (history) check:
Istivin Crossing is actually the oldest settlement in Sterich, and was the capital before it was decided that Istivin proper would be more defensible. It also has a bad reputation of being haunted, stemming from a bloody incident which occured nearly 200 years ago. A group of miners from the headwaters went on strike against their heavy-handed foreman, an old orc-fighter (as opposed to an old orc fighter) named Brellis Krelont. To minimize the disruption in ore shipments, Krelont agreed to a meeting with the miners at Istivin Crossing. When the miners arrived, Krelont's thugs murdered them and buried their bodies in a mass grave. Krelont reported that he sent the miners packing and that the threat of strike had been quelled by his get-tough policies. He was later awarded with the Wardenship of the Marchlands by the king of Keoland for his efficiency in handling the strike and defending against raids.


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8
Solaufyn Ithilnelle wrote:
"What's this? No meat pies for you, Mortifice? Perhaps instead you'll find heaven in a slice of cherry pie. Are you coming?"

"It sounds like the man has business to see to. There's nothing wrong with that. We'll have to share a meal another day then."

Is nobody out and about in town?

Osirion

Tanith 'Kordson' Creed wrote:
Is nobody out and about in town?

Sure, there are some folks going about their various early morning activities: heading into fields, getting fishing gear ready to fish on the river, tending to cattle grazing about in nearby fields or pens, etc.


Male Half-orc Oracle 11

"Cherry pie? Oh, twist my arm. I suppose I can spend a few more hours with some old friends before getting down to business."


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Tanith moves about town greeting the locals and wishing Kord's blessing of strength for them and their livestock. While doing so he tries to learn what he can about the nearby going-ons. He also takes the opportunity to flirt with a few farmers's daughters.

Diplomacy to Gather Info - 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (20) + 14 = 34


Male Grey Elf Bard1/Wizard6/Loremaster4

Solaufyn points out the Laughing Trout.

"Though we do not know about their pie offerings, I admit I would not mind staying there for an hour or so. I could see this place as a useful waypoint for teleportation, and perhaps we can learn a bit more about the state of the city?"

I figure, spending an hour or so there is enough to go from "Viewed once" to "Seen casually" on the teleport familiarity scale.

Osirion

Tanith 'Kordson' Creed wrote:

Tanith moves about town greeting the locals and wishing Kord's blessing of strength for them and their livestock. While doing so he tries to learn what he can about the nearby going-ons. He also takes the opportunity to flirt with a few farmers's daughters.

Diplomacy to Gather Info - 1d20+14

What does everyone else want to do while Tanith takes 1d4 hours flirting with the locals?


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 6 | 46/67 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +0, AC 17 [touch 17, FF 13], Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Perception +2
Resources:
Blessing 4/5 | 1st: Divine Favor x2, Remove Fear, Bless 2nd: Shield Other, Bull's Strength | Fervor 3/3 | Smites 3/5 | Action Points 5/8

Hey, there's legitimate information gathering going on here!

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