Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long leggeddy Beasties (A Childs Nightmare)

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We avoided a couple of watchers lurking about as we made our way to the clock tower. We slinked through the door and a torch was lit by Huge. A large open room held a wagon the middle of the room. Huge took the torch to it to check its contents. “WHOA check it out!” I peeked into the wagon to find a maggot infested goblin leg. Stinky and gross and crawlin with a pile of tiny worms in the skin and out. “COOOOL!” As the rest of the guys started checkin rooms Huge and I went to a corner and rummaged through a big pile of junky trash. We found a full potion bottle! That by itself was amazing by itself! Then Huge pulled a stitched up forearm from the pile as big around as a full grown river barrel tuna. It was the biggest arm I have ever seen, but it was not all stinky and rotten like the goblin leg. We gathered back at the wagon to show what we had found individually.

We turned to the wooden stairs that climbed into darkness With Macer in the lead, Huge with the torch and me with my fish hook spear and water barrel lid shield, we lead the way up the stairs. After passin a gap in the stairs Atz and I spotted movement aloft. As we reached the enormous bells Macer was popped in the cheek with a rock from above. Then a bell sounded from the back. The next thing I knew Macer and Huge were headin out hole in the busted up roof to a scuffle of some sort. I ran to help and saw two nasty big goblins thrashin at Macer and Huge. I pushed in behind and poked about at them with my spear. Then I got pelted in the eye with a rock too. It hurt and I felt myself begin to get angry like when my brother ganged up on me. THAT WAS IT! I jammed my fish hook spear in one of them and ripped it back out and planned to do it again until Sam spoke a strange string of words sending a zap of freezin cold into the one I poked and he slumped to the roof. Macer and huge had beat the other off the roof. We took a look at each other checkin out our wounds. I had a mouse under my left eye and Macer had a pair of lumps and scratches, and Dragon took a good knot on his head too. There on the roof Sam immediately swore us all to secrecy form tellin that he had let magic fly for the first time and we all made the special sign and spit, making it official. As we crawled about the roof we spied hundreds of scattered coins of all types, A FORTUNE! Then Kelyn found a battered locked box with a symbol of the Dawnflower on it. He tried the key he found in one of the rooms downstairs and it opened. And inside was a holy symbol. The guys said I could have it and gave me a share of the coins too! When we got back to the ground the clowns decided to set a trap in the door way to the bell tower using the giant stitched arm. At a glance I easily had at least a score and a half worth of gold crowns! It takes my pops a month to get that much after all the stuff he pays for! GEEBLES!!!

With the sun gettin low in the sky the guys let me make another stop at the Dawnflowers temple. We went in, I showed my respect and presented the box and holy symbol to the shiny symbol in the temple and I felt as if she meant it for me. I told her I would fix the box and give it to Mamma. That seemed like the kind and proper thing to do. Huge and I left some more coins and we all left to find our ways home. I walked with Sam and reassured him no one would ever rat him out. We all had too much at stake in doin what we had done this day and none of us could afford to squeal.

The next mornin I took the box to one of the boatwrights and asked him to take the rough off the best he could and I would pay him for it. After I showed him his askin price I left it with him and went back home. I helped Mamma make bread and while rollin the dough, I told Mamma I had dreams of the Dawnflower. I told her I had visited an old small temple with a bright shiny symbol in my dream and I felt so safe and welcome there. After a couple of days of running about with the buddies I felt kinda crumby for tellin Mamma a lie. So when I went home for dinner I asked her if we could walk down to the pier and watch the sun set. She was happy to let my sisters handle the mess after dinner and my Poppa and brothers were too tired to care. When we sat on the pier I told Mamma I had a truth to tell her and told her I was sorry for lyin to her first. With an inquisitive sideways glance she gave me her full attention. Askin for her patience I ran to Poppa’s boat and retrieved the finished box, put the necklace back inside and locked it up. I came back to her with the box in a bag. I told her me and some friends hand ventured into Underbridge to be brave and I knew that was dumb. I told her we went into the clock tower and at that she gasped. I told her after a scuffle with goblins we had found this and I gave her the bag. I told her about visitin the temple on our way to the clock tower, what I had done and how it made me feel as she opened the bag. When the box was uncovered she was speechless. I was ready to change my drawers. I gave her the key. “It’s safe to open it Mamma.” I said trying to smile. She opened the box as I told her about my visit to the temple on our return from the clock tower. She looked at me with watery eyes. I told her I had collected a bunch of money too and showed her how much I had left. She began to laugh a tremblin nervous laugh as tears rolled down her face. She took the money, put it in the box and locked it up all without sayin a word. OH HOW I COULD FEEL THE BEATING I WOULD GET WHEN WE GOT HOME! Then my kind beautiful Mamma turned to me and said as she wiped away the tears calmly. “Lugh…..My brave boy…..thank you for telling me. You are the joy of my life. You will be my hope, you will be my legacy to the Goddess, but you are too young yet. You must be VERY careful; you have a destiny to fulfill. Come let us walk home.” We stood and started to walk and I asked if Poppa was goin to beat me. She stopped, knelt and while looking me in the eyes said. “No, but in time you will be his pupil, he knows you are not like your brothers, there will be no beatings for you.” With that she gave me a long hug. We started walkin back to the house and I asked if she was going to keep the money and the holy symbol and she said she would keep it safe FOR ME until the time was more appropriate for me to have it. I thanked her and told her I had the box refinished as a present for her. She squeezed my hand and wiped a couple of tears away as we walked.

As time went on I would bring Mamma the coins I collected and she would always put them in the box. She spent time teachin me more and more of the Dawnflower, her ways, her interests, and her real name….Sarenrae. She also taught me customs of her people and words and phrases of languages from the south lands. During one of the mid-summer festival times Mamma and I went to the temple together. Mamma and I were the only ones there. She talked with Sarenrae for a long time telling her all about me. Mamma asked her to accept me as one of her own. She asked that I be watched and protected and promised I would faithfully serve her when I came of age. That made me happy and proud. Mamma and I returned home and the next mornin she woke me gave me the money collected over the years and placed the symbol around my neck. After a bite to eat she and I walked through the bizarre and with her help she made sure I was outfitted and ready for my training with Poppa. I guess over all the years I had shopped with Mamma, I never really paid much attention, but a lot of folks know Mamma's name and knows she is devoted to Sarenrae too. I love my Mamma.

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"Today was absolutely insane! First with the gecko pillar and then what happened at the clock tower. While Huge was lighting a torch outside the door I stuck my head in since I could still see. There was just a bunch of rubble, some rooms with broken doors, a cart and some crazy looking stairs leading up. I was hoping to find some loot from unlucky adventurers, but didn't find more than an old blood stain in one of the rooms. Huge found an enormous arm that looked like it was sewn together, and Oona found a neat glass sphere. We started to climb the stairs after we believed we had thoroughly searched the ground floor. There were a couple of spots were the stairs had broken away so we had to climb, but it wasn't too hard. As we made it to the bells Macer let out a yell and said someone threw a rock at him. He was bleeding pretty bad from the wound so I ran up to protect him, but didn't see who had thrown the rock. I think we all believed it was Bags, he must have sneaked in before us and was just being mean, he can be like that sometimes. As I got to the front two little green creatures got up and threw a couple of rocks at me. I was able to dodge one, but the other caught me on the nose, and it really hurt... why are noses so sensitive!? They were actually trying to kill us, that was a really strange feeling. The big kids moved past me to beat the goblins with their wooden swords and I threw a couple of rocks to help out. Luckily it was over pretty quick, but Macer got hit pretty bad a couple of times, and Lugh took a hit too. Macer knocked one off the tower and the other one Sam killed with magic. It was AWESOME! But he made us promise not to tell anyone, he looked pretty shaken up by what he had done, I guess he didn't know he could do that. Oh, the best part though, we found treasure! Once it was all split up we got 20 gold, 20 silver, and 30 copper EACH!! That's the most money I've ever seen! I think Kelyn and the others did something with the giant arm as a prank, but I was too busy playing with my coins to pay attention. we stopped by the shrine again on the way back. Lugh found something and wanted to stop there before we left underbridge. I stayed outside this time, the statue was still glowing and I don't like how bright it is. Once we got home and hid our treasure I was ready for a good sleep. Can't wait to see what we do tomorrow!"

Heh! It's been a few years since I wrote that, and I still remember that day well. There's been a few changes as time has passed. Macer has started training with his father and the city guard so I spend a lot more time at home. I've learned that I'm not truly a dragon in the strictest sense. I'm whats called a Kobold. Most of the texts I've read paint a sad picture of my people, known as weak and cowardly. There are a couple of books though, that speak of another side. That a majority of kobolds are quick and cleaver, good with traps and live in strong clans underground. These books claim that people often encounter kobolds who were outcast from their clan, being to weak or stupid to assist, and that's where the stereotype comes from. Once I learned what I really was I expected Macer's family to reject me, but instead they accepted it and cared for me more as a son, and no longer a pet. That is perhaps my most favored memory, and I work hard to repay their generosity.

I've read a lot since Macer started his training. I really enjoy learning about anatomy, and theories about how one can alter how their body works through concentration as well as chemically. I am amazed at the complexity of blood flow and how terribly easy it can be to disrupt it. I also enjoy watching one of the shop owners make neat things like tindertwigs and smokesticks, sometimes I even run errands for her. Unlike most of the shopkeepers she doesn't mind me coming by and looking around. I keep asking her to teach me how to make those things but she says I'm still to young to learn... adults can be kinda frustrating sometimes, I'm careful, I wouldn't "blow my ear-frills off".

Most of the gang still gets together on occasion when they don't have to study or work, except for the guys from underbridge. They've taken a dark turn, as most do from there. Oh and speaking of guys, I'm sure I'll never understand the humans' desire to couple and their want of unnecessary reproduction. Most of the guys treat Felu, Nina and even Oona differently now, often trying to impress them or what have you. I don't pay attention to their drama. It makes no difference to me, they're all just being silly mammals. *smirk*

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I think they know.

I’ve been careful, and I’ve tried so very hard to hide it from them, but I heard my parents whispering the other night, and I’m sure that they’ve sent for uncle Boris. He’s coming here to Magnimar to take me away to Cheliax for more formal training. All because of that stupid ray of frost thing.

I remember the first time I used it. It was years ago, when I was just a kid; seven or eight at the most, and the gang and I had a big day. We had arranged to meet on the edge of the Dockway, and we headed into Underbridge to visit the shadow clock. I think this might have been the first time we visited the Serenrae shrine at Lugh’s urging. Maybe the surge of magical energy from the shrine had something to do with what happened later; considering my family heritage, I think that is the best I can hope for.

We found our way to the clock, most of us. It occurs to me now that this might have been the start of when our little group started growing apart. Before now, Epher and Bagz had more or less been the instigators of our little adventures, but they and their best buds didn’t show up for the clock. In the years since I’ve seen less and less of them, while those of us who were there have become nearly inseparable. Losing them is one among the many reasons that I don’t want to go to Cheliax. I’ve asked Papa why I can’t just go to the college here in Magnimar, but he says that I require a more specialized type of training. I know that it has to do with the family curse, and my parents are afraid of what I might become without uncle Boris’s strict tutelage; I guess I’m afraid of that too.

Anyway, we got to the clock and found that it had been broken into; the door was ajar. We lit a torch and a couple of candles that we had picked up somewhere, and Birgun as always led the way in. Remember, we were just little kids. The clock tower was huge and dark and scary, I remember the smell of something rotten inside as I held Felu’s hand and crept in. The bunch of us had adopted an informal “buddy system” and paired off to explore. The room Felu and I chose was filled with rubble. The only thing of interest that she and I found was a broken parasol. Somebody found a severed goblin leg in a wagon, and Birgun found an enormous severed arm half buried in a pile of debris. We gathered together again, and foolish children that we were, we climbed the rickety stairs winding around the inside of the tower.

Someone thought they saw something moving on the stairs above us, and we all pretty much determined to go all the way to the top. There were gaps, but Macer and Birgun figured out a way to get past them all and we got up even with the bells. The stairs had a landing there, and an opening led outside where they continued to wind around the outside of the tower. As Macer stepped out onto the outer landing, he cried out. From twenty feet away, I could see the splash of blood from his cheek; someone had hit him with a rock! Birgun shouted, “Goblins! Get ‘em!” and stepped out onto the railless landing, swinging his wooden sword.

Something came over me then. I remember that I was almost in a trance as I released Felu’s hand and started walking forward. My mind was filled with strange images, but I knew that I had to get to where I could see the goblins to help my friends. By the time I got to the opening, Lugh and Oona had joined the battle using improvised spears to poke past Birgun and Macer. Macer was bleeding badly from a cut on his forehead, as Birgun swung his sword again and one of the goblins took a header right off the side of the tower. The symbols in my head became sounds coming out of my mouth, and I gestured and pointed. The remaining goblin (who had apparently been beaten badly by Oona) was struck by a pale ray that came from my hand, and it immediately stiffened, then curled up and frosted over, dead. The other kids turned with wide eyes and stared at me but they couldn’t have been half as surprised as I was. Birgun actually said, “Holy cow, Sam just manifested!” I had tears in my eyes as I replied, “Don’t say that! You guys have to promise not to tell!”

The goblins were dead, and we made our way to the very top of the tower where we found a huge treasure. Well, it seemed huge to us as kids; a few coins and a battered box the goblins couldn’t get open. Once we had climbed back down to the ground, we noticed it was getting late. Someone had mentioned that there were some old women coming to the clock to look for something later that night (I assume that’s where the idea to visit the clock had come from), and we thought it would be funny to rig up a trap to swing the arm that Birgun had found at them when they came in the door. Kelyn did a bang-up job with that, and then we had to run home to be there before dark. Shared hardship and peril makes for lasting friendships I guess.

LOL! "Silly mammals! Don't you know that's just going to get you into trouble!"

So far I *love* the approach! "What do kids in Magnimar do for fun? And what happens as they grow up!"

Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the gang is maturing...

Grand Lodge

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Birgun Ulfgaght
Approaching the tower it was easy to see that it was dark inside. Nina said that she overheard some old ladies talking about getting to finally come here in the night and retrieve something. Her hope was to beat them to the punch and get whatever it was first. Grabbing one of the torches from Macer’s pack I waited for Sam to light it while Vex peered inside. Once the torch was lit, I moved up behind our diminutive dragon and patting him on the head I asked, “what do you see little fella?”

“Doors, stairs and a wagon” he replied. “Otherwise nothing.”

“Well, the wagon probably has what they are looking for so lets be the heroes.” Stepping inside I slowly made my way to the wagon using the light of the torch to push back at the darkness, which was considerable. Lugh followed in my wake and it wasn’t long before our noses were assaulted with the smell of death, or maybe Vex finally farted from that bad food he ate.

When I got to the wagon, I could tell that the smell was coming from there. Looking in the back I saw a tiny green leg. Like if Bags was a kid kinda small. Problem was thats all there was, a leg. Nothing else was attached except for a bunch of really big maggots that were munching away. “Ugh.” I said which brought the others closer. “I hope this isn’t what they are after because its gross.” My body went into one of those icky spasms you get when your ugly friends mother tries to give you a kiss on the cheek or a bug is crawling around in your clothes. Macer wondered how many maggots were there and Lugh told him to count them. It was then that Lugh and I went over to a large pile of rubble to see if something was in there.

The others had spread out around the base of the tower. There were several smaller rooms in the bottom of the tower but it looked like their roofs fell in and all the doors were barely hanging on. Everyone picked a room and began sifting through the rubble and found odds and ends. Lugh and I found the coolest thing though. We found a glass flask with a colored water in it. Kelyn said it was a magical healing potion. I had to trust his word on that, his folks love to do magic tricks, not so much Kelyn. But we also found a really big arm. When Lugh and I first found it, we started a bit but then realized that it was just an arm, no body or nothing. It was bigger than my dads arm by a lot and he’s the biggest man I know next to my uncle that visits on occasion. The arm also looked like it was made or something. There were lots of stitches in it holding it together. The leathers were different colors and it didn’t smell like the green leg in the wagon. After a few minutes I was able to dig it out with Lugh’s help and then picked it up, it was really heavy.

I then ran towards Nina and Felu with the arm yelling, “I found something! Here let me give you a hand.” The girls squealed and ran away and I chased them about for a little bit, but the arm was really heavy. Not to mention Sam and Kelyn were giving me the stink eye. I didn’t chase after Oona, she gets really angry when she is picked on. A wicked grin later I dropped the arm off by door out of the tower. I bet that shop would pay a lot of gold for that arm if they were willing to give us gold for our skeezix parts. By the time I had returned to Lugh, he had found a pipe and some blank parchment.

Looking at everything we had found, there was a small silver key that Kelyn had discovered. Looking about the only choice left was up. So with grins on all our faces we started up the stairs. We had heard stories that people had tried to go up here in the past but they kept falling and dying. Probably because they are big fat adults. Kids don’t have those problems. So Macer went first with me second holding the torch out and Lugh close behind with his home made spear and shield. The rest fell in behind us with Sam and the girls at the back.

The stairs were a little rickety, and they swayed a little bit if we all bunched up so we made sure no one stood on the same stair as anyone else. That seemed the smartest thing to do. We climbed and climbed and climbed. There were even a couple of parts where the stairs were missing, probably from the fat adult breaking them and falling. So Macer used the metal spike things in his bag and with the hammer he had pounded hand holds for us to cross the gaps. While we waited for him to do that, Lugh and I practiced at spitting and sucking it back up. Lugh beat me this time though.

Eventually we made it all the way up to the top where the bells were. They were HUGE and there was four of them. All of a sudden I heard Macer yell out in pain and grabbed at his face. When I asked what happened he said that someone had thrown a rock at him. That bastard Bags probably did it. He and Epher were here and ahead of us. Those jerks. That could have caused Macer to fall, or worse knock some of us off the edge if Macer had fallen. Moving out onto the landing I saw that the stairs moved to the outside of the tower and continued up. Except I was shocked when I didn’t see Epher or Bags but two really skinny goblins! “Crap!” I yelled, “there’s goblins up here.”

They were really small and probably only stood as high as my belly. They were really scrawny though and had really big heads. So I ran up to one and took a swing with my sword while yelling at them, “You foul creatures are going to die for that!” Macer and Lugh followed suit but the little green skins were pretty hard to hit. Using rocks they had found they bashed Macer and Lugh pretty good, but they managed to keep their feet. I then cracked one good over the head with my sword and I saw its eyes roll about in its sockets. Macer then followed suit and hit him in the knees and the goblin fell off the tower. SPLAT! Lugh had stuck the other goblin really good and then a blast of really cold air went past all of us and hit the goblin in the chest. It clutched at its chest and fell over backward, his chest showing signs of frostbite I think. We all turned and saw Sam standing there looking pleased and scared all in one face. Thats when Lugh shouted, “YOU MANIFESTED!” To which Sam screamed back at all of us, “Don’t tell my parents!”

It was then that we noticed that we were all standing on some of the same pieces of wood and quickly made our way up a little more and into a room where there was a lot of dead pigeons, well, just the bones. There was also a battered chest with a LOT of coins in it. There was also another small wooden box that they couldn’t open and it had the symbol of Sarenhay on it. Kelyn gave the box and the key to Lugh and he opened it to find a really nice looking necklace of a woman with wings and a halo holding her arms out wide. We continued looking and found our way up to the roof were I found another key made of iron with a pigs head on it. Don’t know what that led to but I kept it anyway. I also grabbed a pigeon bone to keep as a trophy. A goblin bone would probably get me in trouble. Macer drank the potion we found and sure enough the cuts on his face disappeared. WOW! We need to find lots of those.

It took a long time but we were able to get the chest and the coins down to the bottom. We only spilled a few of them, but we think we found them all and put them back in. Spending a long time, we huddled over the chest and tried to make sure everyone got the same amount of coins. Lugh said he just wanted the box, but I told him that he should take the coins as well. Everyone nodded and so he got some of them as well. When we got ready to leave the girls thought that we should leave the arm as it might lead back to us if I tried to sell it. So with Kelyns advice we built a funny trap to scare the old ladies that were going to come here. Running outside we picked up the remains of the dead goblin and put it in the hand of the huge arm. We then closed its hand into a fist, sort of, and then rigged it up to fall from above the door when someone came in. Too bad we can’t watch, it was getting late and we had to get home.

Before we split up though, we stopped off at the abandoned temple of Sarenhay and Lugh was going to leave the box. Then he started talking to someone that I couldn’t see and turned to us and said he was going to keep the necklace and the box. Even though I don’t worship Sarenhay, I left a silver coin at the altar. We just found a LOT of coins so I could do that easily enough.

Once that was done we all made our way out of Underbridge and split off to go home. I was probably going to get a whipping from mom for being so late.


Many years have passed and I have continued to grow. I now stand a few fists shorter than my dad and I can look my mother in the eyes. I even have a pretty good beard now as well. Felu said that I looked like a man now and some of the others have tried to grow one but apparently Ulfen don’t have any trouble doing so. I wonder a lot about the lands my parents are from. I find myself wanting to ask my father if I could go with him on one of his trips, but mother wants me here. I have a little sister now as well. She is about eight years old and looks just like mom. I gave her my old goblin killing wooden sword and she runs around the house with it swinging wildly. She has even managed to break a few pots in the house. Mom though doesn’t scold her like she did me. In fact, I even get in some trouble when it happens and have to help clean it up.

I still hang out with the same kids I always have. Although I don’t see much of Epher, Edwin, Arryn and Bags. The girls though still hang out with us. I now understand why Sam and Kelyn liked Felu and Nina so much. I have “learned” to appreciate the other sex. But I have never been interested in Felu or Nina in that way, they are to much like adopted sisters, and thinking of them in any other way is creepy. In the end its okay, they have lots of other pretty girl friends I get to meet and I enjoy looking at them in that way.

Nina and Felu’s families hold a lot of parties and we are always invited. I clean up as best I can and go, although in the end its just our gang hanging out in the back. I’m still bigger than any of the others although Lugh is pretty damn big as well. He is more broad where I am taller. Macer is also pretty big but unfortunately Vex hasn’t grown much. I’ve heard dragons live a really long time, so I guess its going to take a really long time for him to grow. Oona has grown into a beautiful young woman but her family gives me the creeps, and Oona has also gotten to be pretty strong. Atz has grown as well, but he’s not much bigger than Vex. I occasionally see him talking to someone that isn’t there, but I know his grandfathers death all those years ago hit him hard. So if thats what he does to cope, I am cool with that. Kelyn is still Kelyn. Grown up and pretty damn sneaky and still hates his family.

I have gotten pretty good at cooking over the years. Mom has me making dinner more and more. Rabbit stew is one of my best. I have learned how to make a pretty good garlic gravy for it. Course if the potatoes are not in season the stew is a little lackluster on filling the belly. Bread can only go so far. I have even learned how to scrimshaw. Its become something I do with my mom on those rainy days instead of hanging out with my friends. She doesn’t do any scrimshawing, but she does a lot of knitting and she helps me with Ulfen patterns and such. Again I find myself thinking back on my homeland. I’m just going to have to get up the courage to ask my mother to let me go.

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I think the scariest part of this tale is that Useplanb is hitting me far too close to home -- I was "requisitioned" to start helping in the kitchen when I was 9, and by the time I was 12 I was responsible for planning and cooking for 6, every night of the week.

Some families just get lucky, have a kid who can cook, and BOOM! The parents never have to cook again.

Now if only I could get MY son to start cooking...

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It was a quiet, grabber-free walk to the Clock Tower. When we arrived, the scavenger hunt was on. Birgun found body parts and maggots, Nina and I turned up an iron key; we win. There was an actual healing potion and the arm of Birgun's is a large, stitched-together construct. He spent some time chasing people with it. Soon bored, we decided to climb the stairs. They went round inside the tower to the bell level before continuing outside. As I neared the exit, the large guys up front were yelling about rocks and goblins. Others started pie-facing their way to the excitement, while I took a more measured and empty-handed approach. There were sticks swinging, goblins screaming, even Oona cracked one of those huge heads. It was chaotic, and kids were actually bleeding, but everything stopped when Sam killed one with a Ray of Frost. He'd just become a Sorcerer, and was less than pleased with life; join the club. Then we noticed the roof was covered with coins and frenzy ensued. We are rich and I have a new plan forming. There were many broken things, but a box survived. It has the image of Sarenrae and seems to be the same wood as Lugh's temple. My key opened it to show a real holy symbol, and we let Lugh keep them. Macer was really bleeding, so Lugh gave him the potion from downstairs. The flesh grew back together like nothing ever happened; I am impressed. We scrambled down, jingling like warriors, with the intent of leaving before the women Nina overheard arrived. Birgun stopped us. He decided to use his monster arm to scare anyone following us instead of selling it(and probably getting the wrong kind of attention). We thought about it and I rigged it to swing out when the door opened. Birgun stuffed goblin parts in the hand to make it nastier. We ran for the light, with a quick stop at the other light so Lugh could thank the Lady for the neat presents(and maybe for making the goblins real small). I remembered to use my spell to clean all the dirt and blood, so maybe we only get in trouble for being a little late. After hurried byes, I ran home to hide my fortune and get ready for our next adventure.

It's been several years since the Tower, things have changed. We played, had adventures, got in and out of trouble. With time, girls turn into women and boys grow taller. It's difficult to hold a simple conversation. To Father's disgust, that b&!$$ Magic continues to elude me. I use any errand or excuse to move around the city, slip my leash. I've met some unsavory types, but they might as well be older brothers. I take all the risks and get very little for the effort. I don't think much of this current arrangement as a career choice, but might not have to worry about that. The sibs have ALL been on me about my upcoming boat ride. When I wiggle my fingers, things tend to open rather than explode(much less cleanup). So Father plans to ship me to family in Taldor to find me a purpose. He went to great lengths to bring his family to Magnimar and escape that degenerate snakepit whose only claim to fame are things that happened centuries ago. Now he sends me back there because I lack his magic.

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At Nina's request the guys agree to go to the Shadow Clock that afternoon.

Epher gets in trouble because his mom finds out about the Gecko foray by Arryn's big mouth. Epher is sent to his room the rest of the day and his mom takes Arryn to his home in Underbridge and tells his mom to keep her kid away from her's. A real nice lady, NOT.
Mean while, Epher is fuming mad. Not only does Birgun find the cool spider and get's to be the hero, again. But now the gang is going on another adventure without him. He vows to be better than Birgun some day. He never tells the guys the real story of why he didn't show up to the clock tower, he says his mom made him stay home and do chores.

Enough of him back to the story...

Felu is the only one late to the party. While the rest meet up and decide to head off for the tower, Lugh asks if they will stop by the Old Temple of Sarenrae. The group agrees and off they go. There is a meeting of sorts for Lugh and Sarenrae then they leave. That's when Felu catches up to them (unknown to her) with a couple of "Snatchers" in tow. But when she is greeted by the gang of kids near the old temple the Snatchers stop their chase and go looking for either more help or easier prey.

Nina had heard a couple of women talking about the Shadow Clock and only remembered it when the kids were eating ice cream. She had always marveled at the boys ability to come up with adventures and wanted to come up with one herself. So she did and was quite pleased when the boys agreed. this also became a turning point for both her and Felu. again enough of that....

The group arrived at the shadow clock without attracting any attention. Bad Dice rolls. They cautiously approached the doors and moved in. Finding a couple of cool items that could be what the other lady's might be looking for but decided to go to the stairs and search higher up.

Let's just say that Xaneesha was not the first disciple to try and move into Magnamar. Bested by instead of enslaving the Scarecrow made for a vacuum that Xaneesha will fill soon enough. After the fight though the Scarecrow hid in the ocean for a bit but not before cornering a few goblin in his tower. One of which tried to escape and found death. the other two stayed high in the tower afraid to come down and were all but starved when some pink skins (little ones at that) started coming up the stairs. Time to eat!!

The group of kids made their way to the bells before being attacked by the goblins. The goblins tried to keep some distance from the pink skins, all they had were rocks to throw but the kids closed the distance fast. Now the goblins used large rocks not to throw but to beat the kids with. It was fun to watch kids doing sub-dual damage while taking real damage but then some of the kids with weapons, wood maybe but weapons non the less, started doing real damage to the goblins. The kids won and one did magic. oops

The goblins had found a chest on the roof and bashed and smashed it open, only to have it full of useless (to them) coins, not food, and another box that they couldn't get to open. The owner of said box had died recently and she had lost the key on the first level (found by Kelyn) along with her Sihedron necklace (not found) at least not by our little hero's. BWA HA HA

So the hero's got the loot and the precious box along with some other cool items even a silver "Hogs Head" Key. They left a great surprise for the next persons to enter the tower, through the doors that is, and went to the temple again. And again Lugh was able to get something out of it, a connection of sorts.

I also liked what Sam had to say about the power in this temple prompting a power that lies within him. Good job.

The write ups have all been great to get a feel for how each of you see what's going on. Next week the gang is 8-ish years older. They have grown, they have still stayed together some more than others. Felu, Nina and Oona have become close and have had many parties that included the guys (sometimes). Some of the guys they've become more fond of and others they've introduced to their girl friends. Even Epher has been to a few of the parties but not Arryn, Edwan or Baga. They can still be found around town or in Underbridge but they aren't close to anyone any more, well maybe Epher is still their friend.

Felu, Nina and Oona all have parents that would like them to be more Lady like and aloof, not act so "common". Oona in particular has many problems at home and has become very dependent on Felu and Nina for support and very independent of her parents. And being as beautiful as she is gets her into a lot of difficult situations. Many jealousies have spread many rumors that have made it even harder for Oona to cope, or make friends. It's good she has the ones she does.

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My friends and I grew in stature and character as the years past, some of us more than others. Between what my Mamma had taught me and what my dad was goin to teach me I had to learn to walk a thin line between bein a peace keeper and a bruiser. More than once we had run-ins with other groups of kids as we grew up. I found myself in the middle tryin to resolve disagreements and worse until I learned the same could be done from afar with a few well timed words followed by a warnin. That usually seemed to be enough to solve the issue however I noticed some of our band was always at the center of the controversy tryin to instigate or aggravate those tense moments. As time went on they broke away from us more, choosing to spend their time with some of the very kids we would butt heads with. In my opinion a poor choice but that is what life is about…choices. They tried hard to recruit our girls and to their credit, even though they were lured by the rough and tumbled boys, they chose to remain with us. After all we weren’t wimbly-wusses ourselves and some were blessed with as much money and looks if not more than the rough-housers could offer. I am happy they made that decision. They have all grown into attractive young ladies and deserve far better. Besides I know their parents would not approve. It has taken many years for some of the parents to accept all of us into their families, starting from scratch with those guys would not go well. My Pops was right about most of them but has come to accept those that remain, even Dragon, although he does take great delight in teasin him mercilessly.

As I said, Nina, Oona, and Felu had….”matured” and it did not go unnoticed. To most of us they were friends, sister-like, but others pursued them includin my brothers! They dealt with it in an appropriate fashion, most of the time, and I was big enough now to set my brothers straight. I had my heart stolen by a beautiful red head named Autumn, tall and lithe, whose father was a caravan merchant sending wares to all corners of the world. There was a brief courtship and many moon lit boat rides until her father sent her off to an arranged marriage in a distant land. It took a while to break her spell over me until I realized there were so many more to pursue!

My friends and I spent our time in youthful pursuits, for the most part, and a coin or two was earned or found in the process. Then came the talk of schoolin for the others, plans for their future were bein laid by their parents. Everyone knew I had chosen my path years ago. Some would stay in Magnimar, and about half of us would travel afar for our schoolin. It was during a celebration at one of their homes in Naos that we finally spoke of it aloud. We all resolved to return to Magnimar upon the completion of our trainin to reunite and reestablish our bonds. Later in that same month Poppa told me he needed more help on the boat and since I was old enough and big enough, I was expected to work with him from now on.

Grand Lodge

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Posted for the player who plays Atz.

Atz Harrigfuss
It was soooo big! The clock tower was even more bigger standing in front of it than I had ever thought. I really couldn’t believe we were actually going in side of this place. But we did and it was cool and scary and freaky all wrapped together. We all went inside and it was dark and stinky. Luckily somebody brought a torch. Inside was this horrible smell of dead stuff and dust. Everything was holey and broken up with piles of junk and rubble everywhere and in all the rooms. We found a small leg in the wagon and Huge found a gia-normous arm in a pile of rubble. We poked around a bit and then we decided to climb up the stairs that ran around the inside of the tower up to the top. We climbed up and up and a couple of times I thought I saw some dark shadowy thing watching us from above and a couple of other thought so too.

It seemed like it took forever but as we finally reached the top, rocks came in a hit some of the party like Macer. I couldn’t see everything going on because of my shortness but as it turned out Macer and Sam got the best of two goblins and one fell off the roof! When I finally got on the roof there was feathers everywhere and some coins! I had never seen so much money! We each took some and Kelyn got a cool necklace out of a box he opened with the key he found, it looked kinda holy. It was getting late so we left the tower after we went down all those rickety stairs and walkways. We decided to take the necklace to a church to be looked at by a priest.

While we were there Lugh decided to leave some money on the religious statue and funny thing is, something told me to too! I was almost like my grandfather was saying it to me but not. Anyway, I left some silver pieces from the goblins at the base of the statue like Lugh did. After that we had to get home before we all got into trouble. I have to find somewhere to hide my money.

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Time has passed for me like the growing of shadows, quietly and with the promise of darkness. Has it been four years, or six? I have no way of knowing.

I used to journal often, but anything I ever wrote tended to disappear. At first I thought it was the servants silently mooning about, but now I have come to think otherwise. Truth of it is, I have to write something otherwise I will lose my mind. Where I live is as much of a home as an animated corpse is a living body. When I am lucky, I can sneak out with Nina or Felu. They are who I trust to keep the pages of my journal, such as it is. I tried trusting the Boys, but they collectively have no common sense and everything I gave them ended up shredded and rotting in Vex's "treasure horde." Boys, need more be said.

But since I have come to age, things have changed. Everyone at home looks at me expectantly. Silently. It is as if I have caught some plague and they are waiting for me to die, or worse yet, transform. Father is NEVER around anymore. At least, I never see him. There are all sorts of clues that he is actually here more than ever. It started with my bedroom mirror disappearing. Then my silver hairbrush set. Now I can't even find silver in my coin purse. Sharp implements of any kind are in short supply. I confront the staff, but they just quietly look away pretending they didn't hear a thing. I've even tried talking to Momma about it, but she just gets this glazed look in her eyes, like she can't even understand the words I am saying. It is like she is gone, or trapped deep inside her own head. Needless to say, it is all freaking me out badly.

But over the last few days, it has turned nasty. My food tastes off. There seems to be some metallic, coppery, aftertaste to almost everything the servants give me. Even the bread looks off-color anymore. I have my suspicions as to what is really going on, but I don't dare breath a word of it. All that I know is that I am STARVING. If it weren't for Nina and the Boys, I would be forced to eat that stuff. Who knows what would happen to me then. That stinky ol' "dragon" Vexarious has proven to me his worth though. He is the very best at sneaking food into me when I can't get out. Although, he has a very broad definition as to what food is. Sometimes, I have been sick for days. I guess we take what we can get.

But it can't go on like this for much longer. I find myself sleeping in the day all the time now. Not because I am more tired than usual, or because I have some dark need to. It is because there is something about the quality of the darkness at home. The shadows have a weight to them now. Sounds are muted at night. Everything is off. Wrong.

If I am lucky, and one of the servants forgets to lock a door at night (or I break the lock and blame it on one of them), I then steal my way outside and it is all gone. The world quietly and quickly tilts back to normal. I can't stay here much longer. My house is not home anymore, not that it ever was. I can't even keep my stuff there much anymore. I am going to see if the gang can help me steal away the last of my things. And then, I will run too. Because, if I stay much longer, I will end up like Momma. Or worse, I could end up like Father.

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Macer Dorn–

Wow! Our second adventure was even better than the first!

We snuck into the big clock tower and started searching for whatever it was that Nina thought would be there. (She didn't know, but said we would know when we found it.)

We found piles of stinky, rotten things ... even a shriveled, maggoty leg!!! It was gross but cool.

Huge found the biggest, sewn-together arm we had ever seen. It looked like something from one of the golems from the Golem Works. Kelyn found a key, and some of the others found trinkets and discarded items that they kept.

We eventually got bored and started climbing the rickety stairs. I went first because I wasn't scared of the swaying structure. I figured it had been there for a long time and wouldn't fall just 'cause we were walking on it. Huge followed behind me holding a torch so I could see, and the others followed him. About half way up I had to stop to fix a broken spot in the stairs. I still had the bag from the bridge tower, so I used the metal spikes and the little hammer to make handholds and footholds so we could cross the damaged part.

After that we went clear up to the big bells at the top. We were looking at the bells when a rock came flying out of the darkness and hit me in the face! Ouch! It really hurt, but I didn't want to cry in front of the girls, so I made myself be tough and got mad instead. Huge was sure that it was Baga and Epher messin' with us, so he ran past me and yelled for them to quit being jerks.

I followed him and we both emerged outside onto a narrow wooden path that led up to the very top of the roof of the tower. It was here that we found it wasn't the other boys throwing the rocks, it was two real GOBLINS!!!

They were scrawny and ugly with big heads and nasty teeth. They kept throwing rocks until they ran out, and then they picked up bigger rocks and tried to whack us with them. I got hit again, but Huge got a good lick in with his wooden sword, and then I came up behind the goblin and swung my wooden sword as hard as I could and whacked it again. It shrieked and stumbled back, its feet scrabbling for grip on the edge of tower. The loose rocks and debris slid out from under it and it slipped over the edge, howling and screaming as it fell. I got as close as I could to the edge and looked down just in time to see it splat and bounce on the pavers below. (I swear, with the gods as my witness that I thought goblins could fly! ... they can't!)

I turned to see how my friends were doing with the other goblin just in time to hear Sam yell out something I didn't understand and suddenly a burst of cold energy hit the goblin and it frosted over and fell back, dead as could be! We all cheered, but Sam just stood there looking scared.

After the shock of the battle with real goblins passed, we discovered a bunch of "loot" on the roof. There was a ton of real money! There were all kinds of coins and a locked box that Kelyn or someone finally got open using the key he found downstairs. We were rich! (Well, at least for kids...)

We divided up the treasures and carried everything back downstairs. We started to leave, but some of the boys decided we shouldn't take the big arm with us. I thought it was cool, but got out voted and watched as Kelyn and Birgun tied it up with the leftover splattered goblin parts to swing out and hit whoever opened the door to the tower.

We snuck away, chuckling at the thought of some poor adult getting whacked by our trap.

We stopped at the little shrine again for Lugh, and some of the kids went inside. I'm not sure why they keep going there. I think the glowy statue is kind of creepy.

We eventually went home and Vex and I hid our new loot under his bedding. He really did have a dragon hoard to sleep on now!

Tonight the kids had to rescue Oona from her (Vampire) father. It was mostly story driven and I'll let them tell it through their eyes. The gang has split up and will return as first level characters. Then we start on a grand adventure as they reunite as friends and become entreaged with a current problem involving goblins.

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I saw the Lady’s Light this morning, and just caught sight of the Irespan on the horizon. After three years, it is good to be coming home. Boris has insisted that I return to Egorian to finish my apprenticeship with him, but as always I have other priorities. The stinging of the tattooists’ needle on my back and right arm has faded, but the pain of the flogging Boris gave me when he found out has not. I believe that it truly saddens him that I continue to defy my heritage, but he has never shown any overt feelings of that sort; he is too bound up in the twisted notions of duty and right that the Chelaxian hierarchy imposes to allow anything that could be interpreted as weakness to cross his features.

As the city of Magnimar creeps over the horizon, I cannot help but think of the last days I spent there. I was fifteen, and my friends and I had our greatest adventure on the night of Oona’s going away party. I remember the scratchiness of my fine new clothes as I stood in her family’s grand ballroom, trying not to look too foolish in front of the assembled aristocracy of Magnimar. Actually, I didn’t care about looking foolish to them; I didn’t want to look foolish to Felu. Today we stand together in the bow of the ship bringing us home, and my arm falls naturally about her waist. As before, the adventure we had endured brought us together in an unexpected way, even as our group of friends was torn apart and scattered to the four winds.

The party was impressive; at least a hundred of the city’s elite had assembled to honor Oona’s family on the occasion, and we were gathered in the grand ballroom of their estate. The atmosphere was simultaneously gay and oppressive as Oona’s father glowered across the room at our little group of friends. I could tell that instead of being happy, Oona was quite literally on the edge of being frightened to death; she was pale and withdrawn, trying to put on a happy face and failing utterly, almost a mirror image of her withdrawn and distracted mother. Oona’s mood was affecting all of us, but Nina and Felu especially. I wondered what the problem was.

After speaking with Oona, Birgun and Lugh waved at the rest of us and headed for the entryway, having had enough of the patron’s glaring attention, I suppose. I managed to lure Felu away from Nina and Oona and onto the dance floor, where she expressed a desire to leave the party. My heart leapt in my chest as I quickly agreed, and hand in hand we waved to the others and made our own exit. We halted briefly by the sweeping staircase just inside the main entrance to the house, and my heart slammed back to the bottom of my chest as Felu mumbled that perhaps we should wait for the others. I blurted, “but I thought we were…” She looked at me in bewilderment for a moment and then said, “Wait, you thought we were…” But then her eyes lit up and she smiled at me in a way I had never seen before, and my heart leapt again as she squeezed my hand. I said, “Don’t worry, they’re right behind us,” (as indeed, they all seemed to be coming out of the ballroom at the far end of the hall) and I tipped the doorman a silver piece as we stepped out into the cool night.

Just down the street I could see Lugh, Kelyn and Birgun walking down the street. Birgun was limping, and they were carrying several bags; we hurried to catch up. As we came to the Usher’s Hall, the rest of the gang caught up and we took stock: Oona was running away from home! She had sent Birgun and Lugh to fetch her belongings and meet her outside the house! She said that she had to get to Lugh’s favorite shrine down Underbridge to wait for the morning tide change so that she could take ship to Absolom. Lugh even volunteered to go with her (I suppose it wasn’t that unusual that he should feel protective, after all Felu and I seemed to have come to an understanding).

We made our way down the incline, and just as we turned under the bridge, we were jumped by two sword-wielding thugs. I stepped in front of Felu, and tried to hold my walking stick in a threatening manner as Macer said, “we don’t want any trouble.” Birgun pre-empted any further conversation as he drew his dagger and slashed at the closest ruffian; the fight was on. It was a blur for me; I hit one with my trifling Ray of Frost while Macer, Birgun and Lugh waded in. Nina tried to slip around one side and got stabbed for her trouble just as a deafening roar buffeted the side of my head; Felu had drawn a weapon I could only describe then as a “boom stick.” The fight ended shortly thereafter with a horribly wounded Birgun sitting astride one of the hoodlums, stabbing the body repeatedly and cursing with tears streaming down his cheeks. I gently pulled him off and told him that his assailant was dead and the fight was over. Somewhere in there, I remember that Oona had shouted, “You fools, my father is a vampire and now he will drink the blood of us all!” As those words finally registered, we headed off to the shrine to try and treat our comrades’ wounds.

The shrine was dark as we entered but the familiar glow from the statue of Serenrae soon flooded the small room; this time it felt different to me, as though I were not entirely welcome there. Everyone who was hurt claimed to be feeling better shortly, and we settled down to wait out the night.

I must have fallen asleep, as Felu and I started awake at the same time, her head coming off my shoulder. Both doors to the shrine where rattling and shaking as though about to be torn off their hinges. We rose to our feet as the front doors were torn open to reveal Oona’s father; I can still see his face twisted in animalistic rage, hear him snarling something in a language I couldn’t understand, and feel paralysis grip my limbs… and just as suddenly he was gone. Oona was still with us, we were all unharmed, it was almost as though the apparition had never been there. The first rays of dawn were slanting under the Irespan as a huge shadow fled into the clock tower where we had fought the goblins years before, and we were safe.

In the following days Oona and Lugh took ship for Absalom, Birgun announced his plans to sail north to discover his homeland, and my Uncle Boris arrived from Cheliax to take me away. I thought that was the last I would see of Felu, but as Boris and I boarded our own ship south, she was there. Not just to see me off at the pier; she had her own bags packed, and announced that she was coming with me-- she thought that she could learn more about her pistols and gunpowder in Cheliax than in Magnimar. I was glad to have a companion along, and she more than anything or anyone else helped me to withstand the “training” of Boris. I know he hates her because her presence kept him from breaking me to his will, but he is prevented (or afraid) of interfering with us too much. For that alone I will love her forever.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

so is this completely brewed at home or are you using canned ingredients (i.e. published adventures) to supplement it:) just curious, sounds fun so far:)
and you can PM me if you don't want to air such plans on the thread:)

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I love home brew. I try to have the group drive the story. We feed off each other. I have an outline in my head and I write it in note form so I don't forget aspects that I feel important. The rest is very fluid. I read the posts and emails, I talk with them to get a feel for what they are motivated by ect... We've said before that if you think you know what is suppose to happen with this group goes a completely different way. LOL

Like herding cats

I mapped Oona's entire house knowing they only needed to use a few rooms. I'm glad I did because it helped me understanding how the house works. The staff and rooms all have a flow. This place was made to entertain and impress and it does that with aces.

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For as long as I can remember my life had been planned for me. My childhood was difficult but made easier by my two best girlfriends. We were all three different and not exactly welcome by other little girls or other families for that matter. There was a group of boys that took to us without a word of our differences.

We stayed friends for years. Playing in our neighborhood at first then spreading our wings (that's funny because one of the boys had a dragon with real wings) and for a long time I had a crush on Macer. I think he liked me too. We'd play damsel in distress for hours and he always held me tight when he'd finally slay my captor, the dragon. I laugh now at how perfect it all seemed. Life isn't perfect, I'm not perfect.

As I grew older most of my childhood friends stayed the same and even their parents accepted me for what but mostly who I was. I always felt welcome by Lugh's mom but his dad was guarded, I felt he was tolerant of me. Until a couple days after Oona's "PARTY"!!! Everything changed. Now I was welcome in Lugh's home even by his father, who now touch holds my hand when he greets me. I think that was a big step for him. I did notice Lugh's mom give him an approving look the first time he took my hand. More to the point and I'll get to more detail later, is the opposite way Sam's parents treated me. A lot less welcome.

The strange and yet funny thing that happened that night, the night of Oona's "PARTY", was, well, how do I start?. Things just didn't work out between Macer and I. Not as the couple I had thought we'd become. Don't get me wrong we still got along, there was no breakup of any kind. We just stopped playing house. Smile - We (the girls and I) all talked about our relationships with the guys, our crushes, interests, forays. While Oona liked the guys, she didn't "Like" the guys, Nina and I did. Early on She had a huge crush on Epher but it never went anywhere, he would somehow spoil it with his moody ways.

I think at some point I dated them all, at least I thought I did. Sometimes what I thought was a date turned out to be just hanging out. Oh well, I told the girls it was a date. What was I talking about, oh yeah, I remember. Oona's party.

It's funny because now that I look back on the events leading up to the party I can see more clearly Sam's attentions of me but until that night they had all flown completely over my head.

At some point during the night of the Party, Oona told Nina and I that she was going to run away from her family (Nina and I both understood completely, we actually wondered why it took this long, her parents were creepy. This coming from a Drow and a Tiefling) and she needed our help. Right after she told us that and I mean seconds, Sam grabbed my arm and asked me to dance. He must of known that the minstrels were playing one of my favorite tunes and I couldn't resist. During our dance (silly me how could I have forgotten Oona) I remembered Oona and her escape plan. I asked Sam if we could leave the dance and he looked at me strangely, he had a big grin on his face and said sure let's get out of here and off we went. Sam seemed to be in a hurry as we walked down the grand hall towards the front doors. I stopped him at the foot of the double self supporting stairways leading to the second floor and Oona's room.

We should wait for the others, I said and Sam's face looked sad and he all but pouted. I gave him a sideways glance and he said, "I thought". And I interrruped him and said, "You mean". He said"Yeah". "Oh" I said. My heart warmed and I saw him in a new and completely different way. And it was "good". I reached down and held his hand and he held mine.

He said they're right behind us, we should leave, they'll catch us soon enough. I pulled us so the stairs blocked any view someone my have of us. Kissed him and said we'll see how this works soon enough but tonight we need to help Oona. I left the house all warm and cuddly. Why tonight, Oona you're such a pain. LOL And I love you for it.

We walked at a rapid pace to the Ushers Hall. On the way we caught up to Lugh, Kelyn and Huge. The others were behind us. I could hear Nina and Oona, Vex and Macer, and Atz coming our way.

"Run" Oona shouted. "We need to go to Lugh's temple" Lugh said it's not mine it is dedicated to Sarenrae". "Yeah, we know that now run" Shouted Oona. Off we ran right into a briggin ambush.

They swung wildly shouting at us to give up our money.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Lint wrote:

I love home brew. I try to have the group drive the story. We feed off each other. I have an outline in my head and I write it in note form so I don't forget aspects that I feel important. The rest is very fluid. I read the posts and emails, I talk with them to get a feel for what they are motivated by ect... We've said before that if you think you know what is suppose to happen with this group goes a completely different way. LOL

Like herding cats

i loved that commercial!

that sounds awesome Lint!
if you had been my DM instead of my older brothers growing up i might not have taken a 17 year break (as long as you let me make a dwarven ranger that is, which you know wasn't allowed in previous iterations before 3rd ed) actually the picture of Harsk in the CRB was 90% why i switched to pathfinder from 3.5 ed:)

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You can be whatever you want. I figure that helps you develop, both you as a player and the character too.

I don't care how strong the party is or how many levels they have. I have even run characters from different game systems. We all know what they are capable of, so I don't let the system dectate.

To quote a favorite movie "It's more of a guide line really!"

Heck the guys continue to complain about my bad guys - the Demonic, invisible, ninja, monk, teleporting orangutans. I don't see the problem.

Two of my favorite quotes are
"Life is to important to take seriously!"
"Life's a game, play"

The first one is from Oscar Wilde but my grandfather gave it to me and I always thought he had come up with it. He was a kind and wonderful man.

Grand Lodge

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Birgun Ulfgaght
I was invited, as was all of us, to go to Oona’s going away party. Like many of the others, we were apprehensive to go, but only because of her parents. They just creep me the hell out as a whole. Can’t put my finger on it but her mom is nuts and her father just has this calm menace that flows off him like a stale tasting perfume. Regardless of how I felt about her family, Oona has always been pretty stand up and other than having breasts, she’s one of the guys. Same could be said of Felu and Nina, but I wouldn’t say that in front of Sam or Kelyn.

The party was a lavish affair and there was a large number of people there. Her mother was in rare form, vapid and odd. Her father continued with that malevolence that I can’t put my finger on and it didn’t matter when you looked at him, he was always looking back as if he knew you were going to look at him. After a while it turned into our typical party attendance with our group near the food and/or each other and just passing the time with idle chatter. Oona came over and there was a look in her eyes that caused me to pause, a sort of feral fear. Something an animal does when it knows its cornered.

She asked me to go up to her room and get her bags and then meet her at the Usher’s Hall. When I asked why, she just said that she had to get out of here. Forever. Considering how I feel about her parents I just nodded and said okay. With that I excused myself from the others and made my way from the party to the grand stairs at the front of the house. Just as I was reaching the stairs I found Lugh in step behind me. It looked like he was using me departure as a reason to leave. I quickly told him what Oona had told me and asked if he would help me get her bags. I admit I was afraid her “bags” would be a trunk or something similar and Lugh would definitely be needed. When I got to her room I found the door locked. Lugh checked a door next to Oona’s room just in case there was another way in and immediately closed the door, shaking his head that it wasn’t the way in. He suggested getting Kelyn to help with the lock and I agreed.

I decided to pass the time looking at some of the books in a near by bookcase when I unconsciously found my hand in my belt pouch fingering the boars head key I had found all those years ago in the Shadow Clock. I had never found a use for the key and had kept it for sentimental reasons. I pulled the key out of my pouch and stared at the lock for a few seconds before I thought, why not? Sticking the key in the door I was surprised when I heard the door unlock. Quickly moving inside and closing the door behind me I had to wait until I could see anything since the room was dark. When I could finally look about I only found one bag, and it wasn’t packed correctly. There was nothing in it she was going to need if she was in fact running away. So I began looking about her room and grabbing anything I would take if I was the one leaving. About half way through I was surprised when Kelyn and Lugh entered inside. Kelyn looked a little miffed about having left the party and more importantly, Nina. Lugh told him what we were doing and soon we were all finding things to add. Using an empty pillow case we added what would no longer fit inside her backpack.

Kelyn suggested leaving through the windows and dropping down to avoid anyone seeing us. Both Lugh and Kelyn climbed down easy enough, I tried to drop down and twisted my ankle something fierce. In time we made it to Usher’s Hall and only had to wait a short while before everyone arrived. I explained to Oona that there wasn’t enough money so I had added what I had to it and hoped it would be enough. She only absently nodded her thanks and said that we had to keep going. When we all looked at her and said “we?” she said that her father would hunt her down and we had to leave Magnimar. Thats when Lugh suggested we head to his gods temple in Underbridge and figure out the next step there.

Along the way to Underbridge a couple of street thugs jumped us. Our fancy clothes and preoccupied thoughts allowed their little ambush to even succeed. Drawing my dagger and yelling “Like Hells you are!” I leapt at the closest man. He managed to stab me rather deep with his short sword but my repeated strikes with the dagger, as well as the others, dropped him. I had to be forceably pulled off his corpse by Sam as I ranted at his interruption while helping my friends and continued to stab the dead man. I seem to remember hearing the word, vampire which caused the others to stop what they were doing. Soon though we were all moving again, Macer helping me along as I was bleeding badly.

After arriving at the temple I collapsed in the corner and tried to bind my wounds using my new shirt. Oddly enough the wounds seemed to stop bleeding by the time I had removed my vest and shirt. Thats when Oona explained that she thought her dad was a vampire. Some evil sorcerer that used his magics to become immortal. His power and influence had allowed him to worm his way into the politics of Magnimar and his influence was far and wide. I didn’t really understand to much of what she said, the loss of blood was making my head swim and I just wanted to sleep. I must have fallen asleep because I awoke to the cries of alarm from the others as someone tried to break down the door to the temple. By the time I was able to get to my feet the door had been ripped open and there stood Oona’s father. I tried to move forward to interpose myself between him and her but he said just a few words and I found myself frozen in place unable to move, and then he was gone. Looking about I saw that all of us had been held in place some how but Oona was still with us. I still don’t know what happened, but the power of Sarenrae seemed to keep us safe. Before I left I knelt and gave thanks to Sarenrae for her intervention.

I had explained to my mother everything that had happened that night. I didn’t look to bad, as Kelyn had done his magics that cleaned the blood from my clothes and my wounds had closed while I had slept somehow. Mother listened and never once did she seem angry or shocked at what I told her, she just stared at me intently. I told her that the others talked about leaving, that Lugh talked about going to the deserts of the south and Oona would accompany him as far as Absalom. Sam mentioned that his uncle was coming to take him somewhere. Even Kelyn mentioned heading to Taldor for some reason. I then asked if she would allow me to go north to see our homeland and she agreed. A week later I boarded a longboat piloted by a trusted Ulfen my family hires when he is in port and set sail to the Lands of the Linnorm Kings.


Several years later I believe I have finally stopped growing. I now stand as tall as my uncle Gwelrwar and maybe a tad taller than my father. The weight and muscle came from working in the copper mines alongside the dwarves. Dwarves are a hardy and sturdy lot that appreciate hard work and craftsmanship. Our family copper mines are exclusively mined by dwarves and my uncle. My father was always more business savvy and even though he spent his time working the mines in his youth as well, he was better at selling the ores for substantial profits. My grandfather was the original figurehead of the mines but he had died many years before my birth in a collapse.

I spent my days working the mines and the evenings drinking with Gwelrwar and the dwarves. It was during this time that I learned of Gorum and his teachings. My uncle was a follower of Gorum as were some of the dwarves. On the weekends the larger mine pits were turned into small brawling arenas, and it was here that I learned to take a proper beating. The group of fighters was easily almost a hundred men and women, and they would meet to challenge each other in hand to hand combat. No tempers were ever lost, no pride was ever stung, it was just combat in its purest form. After a few years of this my body had become hard like the iron of Our Lord and it wasn’t long before I was one of the top fighters. I was easily one of the top five, but there were some hard ass bastards in that group, and two of them were women. I began to wonder if this is where my father met my mother and that the story I was told in my youth was true, to a point.

Eventually though my father said that it was time for me to return home. It wasn’t until he said home and meant Magnimar that I realized that for me it was home. As much as I was an Ulfen, these lands were not my true home and these people were not my childhood friends that I had many adventures with. The Ulfen had always accepted me and as I had learned while in Kalsgard, were very accepting of any race, even half-orcs. I heard there was an island chain ruled by a powerful Ulfen woman named Estrid along with the linnorm she subdued to claim the title of king. That sounds like a woman I would love to meet.

But in the end I didn’t feel totally ready to return to my home as my journey wasn’t complete. I had always felt there was a purpose to my life beyond learning where I came from. I had learned as much as I could about the Lord in Iron. Learned the tales of warriors in his name doing great deeds, and that someday I hoped to be spoken of by others in great reverence for my deeds. But what I had become wasn’t where I had to be. So I convinced my father that I would return to Magnimar within one year and in that time I was going to travel on foot and alone until I learned what I had to become.

As a gift for my work in the mines the dwarves crafted an impressive suit of spiked banded mail armor for me to wear. The patterns etched into the armor showed a seamless blend of Ulfen and Dwarven designs. The armor matched in scope the look and feel of most Ulfen armors and yet stood apart by the obvious dwarven craftsmanship. My father and uncle gave me a master forged great sword with the stamp and seal of Gorum on the blade near the pommel. Spending a fair amount of gold I equipped myself as best I could and headed out from Kalsgard to the east.

My journey took me through the frozen lands of Irrisen where I continued to follow the great Kodar mountains to the south. This path took me through the Realm of the Mammoth Lords where I eventually came upon a strange man using the magics of the wilds to stop a large group of orcs from capturing some animals. He was in dire need of help and seeing that he was outnumbered I could honor Gorum in glorious battle against difficult odds. My initial assault killed two of the orcs before they realized there was a new player in the game and their leader turned to face the new threat. It was then that I noticed that he too wore a great symbol of Gorum from his neck. Noticing mine about my neck he grinned a wicked evil grin, one that reminded me of Oona’s father after he had tore the doors off the small temple those many years ago, and saluted. The other orcs backed away and stopped their assault on the little man to watch what was about to unfold between their leader and I. Nodding to him I raised the great sword and charged. When it was over the orc had lost his head, and I had lost a few teeth and my top two fingers from my left hand. Not to mention quite a few broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder, a broken nose, and my right eye had swollen shut. With the death of their leader the orcs lost their stomach to fight, although it did take a little more convincing before they ran off.

The little man introduced himself as Arypp, and that he was a Shoanti and a Druid. He tended my wounds and freed the creatures the orcs had trapped. Arypp explained that the orcs from the south came into these lands to capture animals for food and battle and that he just couldn’t abide that behavior. In all my years in Magnimar, I had seen a few Shoanti warriors fight in the Serpent’s Run and even met a few that had become accustomed to city life within Magnimar. Arypp was yet another exception to the rule. He stood no taller than I had in my youth when I had entered the Gecko piling of the Irespan. He was festooned with Shoanti tattoos and was bald as many of their warriors often do but was very personable and . . . well . . . small. For several months he taught me the ways of the wilds and of his people. Arypp was an outcast of the Sklar-Quah, and he left with no malice towards his peoples. His calling was nature and its protection and we spent many nights debating the merits of Gorum and Gozreh. I suppose I would have throttled anyone else, but his demeanor was his greatest quality. He became a fast friend and one I will always miss, but it was this new friend that brought my mind back to my old friends and a desire to return home.

For a few months more we journeyed together through the Hold of Belkzen towards Varisia, and over the Kodar Mountains. From there we parted ways with Arypp retuning back to where we had met while I followed the rivers south east along the Storval Plateau. Using my new found abilities I was able to avoid the dangers on the plateau and eventually made it to a little town called Turtleback Ferry where I booked passage to Magnimar with the small amount of money I had remaining. It will be good to see my mother and sister again.

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Macer and I were invited to a party today. It was Oona's "going away" party, and I was glad the rest of there too because her house can be kinda creepy. None of us really knew where she was going away to, but she's always been pretty quiet about her home life.

We left in a hurry, Oona said she needed to get out, to run away or something bad would happen to her. I can't say I was surprised to hear that, the way her father's attention was fixed on us , even though there had to be close to a hundred people in the room. That point was explained later... in a way.

She needed to get somewhere safe, Lugh said he was planning on sailing south and they could catch a ship in the morning, but in the meantime we headed to the shrine in Underbridge thinking no none would look for us there. A couple of thugs tried to jump us on the way, I guess a group of kids in party attire looks like easy pickings. They were wrong and they lost their lives to the mistake. Once blood was drawn I threw a dart into one, then moved to help Oona and Huge surround the other. I put a pretty deep gash in his arm with my knife, but Huge took him to the ground before I could get another jab in. Oona kicked the downed man, yelling something along the lines of -You fools, my father is a vampire and he's going to kill us all!- I didn't rally understand what that meant at the time, however, the urgency/panic in her voice, coupled with how weird her father is, was reason enough for me to feel a certain tension and fear. I moved to help dispatch the remaining thug. This time my knife struck deep into his side and a cold thought entered my mind; if my blade had struck a couple of inches left it would have cut a major artery and he would have bled out much faster. The thought sent yet another cold shiver down my spine, although, I felt that if ever in a similar situation I would aim those couple of inches left. The thug fell and I retrieved my dart from his body before we continued to the shrine.

I can't say I was pleased to hear Oona explain what her father was, but we did feel safer in the shrine. After the adrenalin dump from the fight I was ready to get some sleep, so I found a corner to lean against and shut my eyes. A terrible racket woke me not long after, and both the front and rear doors were shaking something awful. The front door burst open to reveal Oona's father. We all huddled together and he said something that made my limbs freeze in place. There was a moment of sheer terror, then a bright light, then nothing, and he was gone. Lugh said we were safe and Oona's dad wouldn't be bothering us or our families for a long time. I don't really know what happened but I have a feeling Lugh's god is the reason we're all still alive.

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Within the next few weeks a number of people left Magnimar. Lugh and Oona sailed south, Sam and Felu went to Cheliax for training, and Huge went north to learn of his people. Some of us stayed in Magnimar but we didn't get together nearly as often as we had, too busy with training or jobs.

It's been a few more years now and I finally convinced the shop owner, Gwen, to teach me a little bit about alchemy. Working at the shop I have gotten much better at working with people too and I can usually get them to like me well enough, if not just tolerate me. When I'm not helping Gwen in her shop I continue my studies in language, control over one's self, and the anatomy of humanoids and beasts alike. Though I do enjoy the books, I had an urge to get some "first hand" experience with how bodies work. Besides should I get into deadly combat again I should think it would be best if I dispatched my enemies as efficiently as possible, and this would certainly help.

I knew there were goblins in the Underbridge sewers so that's where I would go to conduct these "first hand" studies. On a number of occasions I will wait out near an entrance till I hear a group of goblins pass by. Though they can be stealthy they often become bored moving slowly and start to heckle each other so following them is fairly easy if you're patient. I'll wait for a couple to wander off from the group and then take them by surprise. I try to keep one alive to preform live tests on, but they are a stupid, unreasonable race and I am usually forced to dispatch them. Regardless I feel I have a decent idea on how they work from the bodies I've carefully dissected. Always remembering to take meticulous notes, with a sketch here and there. Sure there's probably a book already written on goblin physiology, but the first hand experience was simply... more. I have taken fewer trips down there as of late, goblin activity seams to be on the rise, not to mention the other horrors in the sewers; it can be a very dangerous place.

On a brighter note, I've heard rumors that some of my friends are returning to Magnimar. I am excited to know how they have fared these last few years and what grand adventures the have to tell.

Awesome. Working into tomorrow's game nicely. I need to contact Kelyn to see what he's been up to. See you all tomorrow.

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Thankfully the guys made the thugs regret attacking us. Oona nervously shouted at the dieing men that her father was a vampire and would kill us all as if they were purposely delaying her/our escape. With that announcement we ran even harder for Sarenrae's temple.

We had to have been a sight to any onlookers but we didn't care. We ran as fast as we could and were out of breath when we arrived. We went in all hurt and bloodied, locked the back door and checked the front to make sure it was locked too. It wasn't long before we noticed the wounds we had taken from the thugs were starting to heal. Unfortunately the excitement started to wain and sleep fell heavy on us, especially the wounded. I noticed Felu resting against Sam and felt my own personal need to be comforted. Without a care as to what anyone thought, I nesseled into Kelyn's arms. If this was my last night I wanted him to know that I cared for him. Not a word was spoken, he just held me tight.

I must have dozed off because I was shaken awake and there was a loud banging on both the front and back doors. Everyone was preparing for the worst when the front doors burst open and Oona's father was standing even larger as he demanded Oona's departure. We were all ready for a fight, then he spoke a few words and we froze. I really don't know what happened after that. He was there then he wasn't. Lugh said that he had left and wouldn't bother any of us for a long time.

Oona wasn't as sure and wanted to be as far as she could from Magnimar as soon as possible. Arrangements were made and Kelyn took me home.

I woke early the next morning and after a brief synopsis to my mother, who thought I'd been drinking and was making up horrible stories. I got very frustrated and upset that she wouldn't believe me so I ran out of the house not knowing where I was going. I ended up at Kelyn's house and was told by Kelyn's mom that he had already left for Taldor. Taldor? But that's a long way away. I'll never see him again. I thought.

It took me over a month before I finally found him at a bizzar in the capitol city but I found him. And he's been teaching me new art's, one might say.

It's been years now and Kelyn and I have decided to go back to Magnimar. We'll face whatever we need to. I hope to see the gang, I have no idea what has happened with any of my old friends.

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“C’mon booy!” was the worst thing Poppa would say right before he let you have it. It was just the way he said it, like he was ashamed you were his child and didn’t want to know your name! It sounded like he was unhappy, disappointed, and angry and it was your fault! Pops was a strong man with a solid chest, back and arms, big arms and shoulders, and when he grabbed you with his hands his intent was instantly apparent. I had just come to the kitchen when he called me from the doorway. I had just washed and dressed, and hadn’t eaten yet, but that was probably best at this point. I walked by Mamma, she stopped me, fixed my bed head, gave me a kiss and sent me on my way. As I walked out the door I was gripped with fear, the kind of fear that said I wasn’t coming back, at least not the same as I left, if at all. Was that Mammas way of sayin goodbye?

Poppa would take us to the dock house to deliver his punishment. It was best to receive and not resist or act tough because his blows would increase with severity and my older brothers had been punched for such disobedient acts. I resigned myself to be satisfied with an open handed beating. He was ahead of me and carried his sea bag for a day of fishing. He stepped with purpose and called a second time “C’mon!!” I hurried to his side walking with my head up looking straight ahead. Not a word was said in the early morning misty fog. There was little movement in the streets this early and you could hear Poppas sandals on the street. As we neared the dock house, on my side of the street, I headed for the door. “Wha ere ya doin booy?” He had started down the pier and the sound of his steps changed to the wood of the pier as he started to disappear into the fog. Again I quickly ran to his side, confused. It was foggy maybe he was just gonna beat me on the pier or the boat. My brothers we sleeping at the pier. He kicked Hathred hard and yelled “GETTOP YA WARTHLASS GOATS!” and threw his sea bag at Dromicus pinning him to the pier column he was leaning against. I could lift his bag but carrying it very far is not something I would be able to do very easily it is very heavy. “You two cast us off-en go do you-er Mamma’s biddin, an so halp may ef shay says ya gave herr any guff Ayl gutchya both!” Poppa got in the boat and my brothers pushed me, gave me Poppas bag mumbling threats and insults as I boarded. I rowed my best with Poppa scared to death at what was to come! We rowed out of the fog into a star filled premornin sky. After a long bit of rowin Poppa hoisted the sail and sat patiently waitin for the sun and wind. I sat quietly at my oar.

“Ya know…ya’d be a great halp on th’boat. Ya wark harrd” I sneaked a sideways glance at Poppa. He still looked disturbed. I was still unsure of what was happenin. “You-er Mamma says you-er a bright booy. Ay know tha’s true. Ay know ya always do you-er best at whatever you-er asked, en tha’s good, makes you-er Poppa prroud. You-er a good lad Lugh.” It was if he was tryin to talk himself out of beatin me, and it made me feel worse! “You-er Ma is always right, All the Gods halp meh but shays always rright. So I’m ta teach ya ta fight proper en you’ll learn th’ways of her Dawnflower.” I turned to look at him less fearful with a question in my eyes as the breeze took the sail and the boat began to creak forward. “Alright Lugh les’bear south.” I boated my oar and manned the tiller sailing south for most of the day.

Pops had me steer the boat into an inlet with a water fall inland. We anchored Poppas boat and took the rowboat into a sand covered beach. He had it filled with two large bags, his sea bag, his shield and spear. “Make a fire en ayl do th’rest.” His voice and actions were more relaxed than I had seen him short of a night out with his old soldier buddies. He seemed to be happier now than I had ever seen him. I gathered enough to make a good fire and Pops made a sturdy lean-to. I started the fire with his tools and we sat and ate a bit before we spoke again. That is when he told me he would tell me a secret if I could keep it. With a mouth full of Mamma’s food I shook my wide eyed head yes. He threw a fist sized bag at me and told me to open it. I put my food on a blanket and opened the bag. “HOLY LIGHT POPS!” I looked at him after swallowing with a wide open mouth. The bag was filled with pearls. That was one of the few times I saw a true smile on his face. “Those ere the stars for you-er Mamma’s silk gown.” The promise he had always made to her. “Fish doon’t buy th’needs of nine children en her stars lad, en they woon’t getcha ta seminary either. Come mornin yull fetcher own!” he said with a grin. “What are you sayin Poppa?” I asked. “Daft you-er not Lugh, Mamma en I ere sendin ya ta the Dawnflower ta be a clergyman.” he said less enthusiastically. “What?...When?...Where?” I asked. “Shay said after next summer festival, its leagues south ta th’land of Osirion where you-er Mamma trained.” He explained. “MAMMA?” I asked. With a giggle and a scowl he said “Wull yaa booy, this phalanx sergeant would no-have taken up with a camp whorre.” Dumbfounded I asked “SERGEANT?” With that he began to tell of battles and a life of adventure he had with a group of folks after he left the army and one of them was Mamma! Wow! He went on to tell me how he felt about the idea of me being a clergyman of Sarenrae. It wasn’t his favorite idea, but he respected Mamma’s wishes, especially with her children. He told me he would teach me the old way of the spear and shield. The way not taught by many anymore, because it is a battle field style unfit for civilized people. I had until I was to leave to learn it and he said I would have to practice it daily while I was away in order to be good at it. He said we would practice and exercise here, and here only and that none of this was to be known by my brothers or sisters. We would spend two days of a three day fishing trip doing that and one full, hard day fishing every week until I was to leave.

The next morning Poppa swore me to absolute secrecy. The tide was out, we walked inland toward the falls, out of sight of the shore and off the main stream of the inlet we pulled oysters and collected pearls in a very strange, deep tidal pool packed with plants, oysters and colorful fish. Poppa said this was his secret passed to him by the old fisherman who taught him his ways. Poppa said he finally had enough to pay for Mammas fine gown and over time I would get enough to pay my way for seminary too. We got home very late that night but it was the best time I had ever had with Poppa. I finally felt like Poppa new, and appreciated who I was, and I was happy to be trusted with his greatest secret and stories. My life was about to change in the most exciting way! Before we reached the house he asked me “So ya wanna tell whatcha been doin in Underbridge Lugh?” I stopped and looked at him in the eye and said “No?” He smiled and said “Fairr enoof, jus doon’t disappoint Desma booy, ya woon’t liket!”

We had many long fishing trips, I learned how to wield a shield and spear. Pops said if I kept practicing I would be every bit as good as him with time. He was capable of amazin things with a shield and spear and he shared them all with me. I also collected many a pearl in Poppas secret tidal pool; we swapped many of them to be sure to get the right ones for Mamma’s gown. He would give it to her on the night before the Summer Festival. It wasn’t far off now.

Upon my return of what was to be my last outing with Poppa, I was excited to attend a party at Oona’s home. It would be an elaborate affair so I enlisted the help of my sisters. They dressed me in some of my older brothers tunic, kilt, and stockings, and Poppa made sure his families kilt badge and dirk were worn properly. “Tha woos you-er Grrand-dads booy, wearr em wuth prride!” I escaped from my Mamma who insisted on feedin me without eating and raced to Oona’s estate. I found my friends and made for the food. I was fillin my belly by the kitchen with Atz when Oona’s father made his rounds. Nothin about him is comfortin, and I’m not his daughter! I avoided him and that’s when I saw Huge headed out, and Felu and Sam were nowhere to be found. I thought it best none of go anywhere alone on this night as Oona’s father was givin us all “the eye.” As I caught up with Huge he informed me Oona wanted to leave, as in forever and she wanted him to get her bags from her room and meet her elsewhere. That made sense. So we walked up to her room. I opened one of two doors as quietly as possible, there in was a grown woman in all her naked glory facing away from me. I quickly closed the door and told Huge it wasn’t her room. We tried the second door and found it locked. I thought it best we ask Kelyn for his help and returned to the party and grabbed him by the arm and led him to the door. Kelyn found it unlocked? I entered slowly and there was Huge packing her bags. He said she hadn’t packed like someone leaving home forever, so we all pitched in trying to pack a girls bag. Kelyn led the way and we climbed down to the yard and made haste for the House of Ushers. We all met there, but Oona was deathly afraid that her father would spare no effort to track her down and that none of us would be safe with our families. So I suggested we make for the Old Light in Underbridge, no one would think to look for us there! Oona wasn’t convinced and she was right in more ways than one.

We were near the temple when we were jumped by two of the hooligans my parents always warned me about. I told them they would be better served to let us pass however they disagreed. They were quick and wiley. I was cut twice, once rather deep. I don’t think they knew we were running in fear already, and they were between us and safety. A few of us were wounded but we all made it to the temple. I don’t know that the others could have taken the punishment Huge and I did, but as we rested in the old temple our wounds healed. I then heard Oona speak of her father as a vampire! Unsure of what should be done I approached the Dawnflower and prayed for guidance. When I opened my eyes I found another holy symbol upon the alter. Just then the temple shook and the doors burst open. I grabbed the holy symbol and turned to Oona. In the door was her father his visage was unlike what we had witnessed at the party. He had changed to the very likeness of rage and spoke in a tongue unfamiliar to me. The others were frozen in place as I placed the symbol around Oona’s neck. Then it was evident we had been betrayed by one of our own. Oona was right her only hope was to escape and with the tide. As soon as the first light of dawn broke on the horizon many of us knew our time in Magnimar was limited and we decided to split up and head our separate ways. I took Oona to my house and told my parents what happened. Mamma packed us some food and I grabbed my gear. She hugged and kissed me and told me to remember what she told me. I walked to the road and looked back at Mamma one last time. My Pops and older brothers saw us to a boat heading south. My Brothers razzed me some until my Pops pushed them aside and put out his hand. We locked arms and he looked in my eyes and said “Gave ya wha Gorrum gave me booy, keep safe!” With that he walked away. Oona and I boarded our boat and I watched My Pops and brothers head for their boat. He never looked.


I look forward to our return. Oona and I have grown in our travels. I started my life in service to Sarenrae in Absalom at the Temple of the Shining Star learnin the use of the scimitar, healing, the Kelish and Osiriani languages. I set Oona up and worked for her room and board within the protection of the church. We would meet after my studies at the Mark, the world’s largest sundial and explored the safer parts of Absalom. We traveled as escorts with the Dawnflowers paladins to the Lambent Citadel in the city of Solku in Katapesh to deliver weapons and stayed on to help train civilian levees. While there we performed a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Sleeping Dove. From Solku we traveled north to Osirson. First we stopped off at the the Temple of the Twin Suns is located on the temple hill of the city of Ipeq. Dedicated to Sarenrae it is the most beautiful edifice in the city. Its jeweled towers shine with an inner light even after the sun sets. We travel by boat on the river sphinx to Sothis where I studied the texts and philosophy at the Temple of the Eternal Sun, the chief temple of Sarenrae in Sothis. From Sothis I joined another pilgrimage to the Everlight Oasis in Zelshabbar in the Kelesh Empire. It was on this pilgrimage I used Poppa’s training in earnest for the first time. My style of fighting garnered attention from the Dawnflower’s Inquisition, and upon our return I was sent to Merab, Thuvia to the Temple of the Redeeming Sun. Here I was instructed in the arts of the enemy and learned how to root them out. I returned to Absalom with a renewed appreciation of Oona’s concerns for her safety and will have to be vigilant for her sake.

We left Absalom travelling to Taldor to find Kelyn in Cassomir. Then up rivers north and east across to the Dwarven city of Highhelm in the Five King Moutains. From Highhelm to Kerse in Druma from there we sailed to Tamran in Nimrathas. More river rides and a mountain trek to Korvosa. We now find ourselves a few short days from Magnimar our home. I will be happy to get home, the years have made me strong and I have so much to share with my friends and family. Oona will need to be careful and I now have some idea how to address it.

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captain yesterday wrote:

so is this completely brewed at home or are you using canned ingredients (i.e. published adventures) to supplement it:) just curious, sounds fun so far:)

and you can PM me if you don't want to air such plans on the thread:)

While this has been home brewed so far, I will use parts from other modules. I'm new to Pathfinder and have been reading everything I can, to get an overall feel for this world. There is so many rich ideas and modules ready for adding to this story. The guys have already drifted closely to many modules I've read. It will be easy to bring premade stories into my own story. As you can see from the journals these guys just need a little push here and there and you have a great game that feeds off itself.

This is all "fluff" but is so important. We all have a common background we can build from now.

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I remember when we had adventures; they were fun and sometimes exciting. Lately, everything seems to be stress and drama. Case in point, Oona's coming out party. An entire evening being scrutinized by adults I don't know. Could have stayed home, I know all the characters. I'd cleaned up the best I could, but still felt like a tramp that had wandered into the gala. The cherry on top was Oona's father in all his creepy splendor. Joined the girls and their glow allowed me to fade into the background. Was starting to enjoy the show when someone started yanking my arm. As it wasn't the ladies, I ignored it, but Lugh was painfully insistent. He dragged me through the house saying a door needed to be opened. Since his meathooks were quite functional, I assumed locks were involved(never go anywhere without my keys). Lugh led the way upstairs(a first) and pointed to a door. Tried the handle, it turned easily, and I got a confused look from Lugh. We entered to find Birgun trashing an opulent hall. Turns out, this is Oona's bedroom(the bed is bigger than my whole room) and he was packing her bags. When I mentioned servants, they said she was leaving and we were the porters. Checked the patio and rigged sheets for the short drop to the yard. Birgun fell poorly while Lugh and I climbed down. Started back for the house as Felu and Sam came out, saying the others were close behind. Gathered at the Hall of Ushers with no plan. then Lugh said nobody would find us at his temple; off to Underbridge. Along the way, we picked up a couple of thugs looking for an easy score. Despite warnings, they rushed in and things got serious. Blows were traded, blood was spilled, and I leapt around heroically without hitting anything(real stuff of legends here). We stumbled to the shrine and secured ourselves inside. Tended and bound a nasty slash on Nina's side(could Fate make me look MORE incompetent?) and settled down to catch our breath. The place had a warm aura, and those with injuries spoke of real healing. I used my small talents to remove the traces of combat, and we drifted off in the comforting light. Crashing blows on the doors brought me back to find Nina in my arms; my first thought was that some rude locals needed a good thrashing for such insolence. Then, the front door burst open to reveal Oona's father, his rage-twisted features promising a slow, painful death. He spoke magic that froze us in place, all faded to darkness. A short(?) time later, we woke to find everyone intact, and the monster was gone. Lugh said the Lady had sent it away and it was safe for us to leave. Quickly returned to our neighborhoods, and after seeing Nina safely home, crept back to my room. Life is looking much better.

I was rousted by my brothers, and packed my few belongings under Father's dark gaze. Marched to the East Gates where I was handed over to a caravan master heading for the East; seems I missed my chance to pull an Oona. I believe Mother will understand, but do not think Nina will take this well. I truly hate that man and his damned pride. many long weeks were spent learning about people, the real world, and how to keep the pointy ends of things from ending up inside of me. Too soon, we crossed into Taldor and reached Oppara. Life here is what I suspected; snobbish morons hell-bent on civilizing a country bumpkin. I can't understand a people who chose to live the "glory" of the distant past instead of making their own way. I play along and find every chance to slip away and meet all the wrong kind of people.

Was starting to think I had a plan when it happened. I was crossing the bazaar on some errands; the clouds parted, a beam of sunlight shone down, and there she stood. Nina had come to keep me company so that I wouldn't be bored. In that moment, the weight of the past vanished like smoke. I know she fled a smothering family, but that is past and of no matter. Time flew by as we learned and Nina developed real talent for the arcane. She made life interesting, and I kept her out of serious trouble. The day finally came when it was time to leave. The sour faces and endless gossip mean nothing, but life is too short to waste. Nina found a captain skilled at running the blockade, and I arranged working passage to Magnimar. While the only family I need stands by my side, it will be good to find old friends and have more adventures.

Grand Lodge

Posted for the player who plays Atz.

Atz Harrigfuss
So there we were, in a grand ball room of an ancestral mansion mingling with other guests who were there like us for Oona’s going away party. A going away party that would turn out to be more of a coming out affair, and not in a traditional sense. The evening started out fine with drinks and hors devours and good conversation and then it got weird. I overheard that Oona was not leaving as her parents had planned. She was leaving for her own reasons. Quietly and as unobtrusively as possible, we slipped out of the party and by the creepy watchful eye of her father who fortunately for us was “conducting” business with a few distinguished guests in his study. Few by few we made our way to the designated gathering spot, the temple. Once we all were accounted for, Oona disclosed her motive for disobeying her father’s plan. We learned that night that her father is really a vampire and a powerful one at that. Suddenly, there was a pounding on the doors of the temple. I remembered they burst open and then a bright blinding light and then darkness. Most of us awoke on the floor. We were safe, but I felt different, almost like I was electrically charged inside. Kind of like a lightning bug, but one who hasn’t released his luminescence ability, it’s there I can feel it. I just don’t know how to release it or what exactly it will do.

The party brushed our selves off. We said our good-byes and I headed home. I hope we all cross paths again someday.

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"We were safe, but I felt different, almost like I was electrically charged inside. Kind of like a lightning bug, but one who hasn’t released his luminescence ability, it’s there I can feel it. I just don’t know how to release it or what exactly it will do."


Thats what girls do to me, but...err...! All I can imagine is me sayin something like that to my Pops whose blank vacant stare is savagely interrupted by a swat to my face, followed by, "Ef ya donno know bay now booy, I canno halp ya!"

Atz needs to let it out quick, or else he'll pop lick a tick!

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The night of Oona's party was the last time I saw several of my friends. With the passing years since then, it all seems like a dream to me. The party in their mansion ... Oona's strange parents ... leaving the house and being attacked by the thugs ... seeking shelter in the abandoned shrine ... the crashing attack of her father seeking to enter the shrine ... all of those things blur together in my memories now. The one thing that I'll never forget from that night is how it brought our group of friends even closer, creating a bond between us that seemed to mark the very day we ceased being children and became young adults.

Many of our group went separate ways soon after that night. At first I was jealous of all of them and their travels to lands far from Magnimar, but I soon found myself busy with my own life and the new challenges as I trained with the city guard.

By that time, I knew that Vex wasn't a real dragon despite all of my childhood wishes to the contrary. He was a kobold, and that meant he wasn't welcome in some circles of our society. To me though, he was still my most-trusted friend. The hours we had spent together in our youth created a connection between us that wouldn't be broken by society's disapproving stare. Vex also was growing up and finding his own way. He would be gone for days at a time, but always seemed to return to tell me of his latest "adventures."

My days were filled with a physical training regimen that pushed my young body to grow in strength and toughness. I awoke early in the morning to exercise with the other new recruits, and then we were trained in combat using various weapons and styles. As our training progressed, we were paired with city guard patrols to accompany them on their daily duties around Magnimar. I had always known there was a seedy side to the city, but the patrols opened my eyes and brought the fact home to me. I saw parts of the city where we had played as children in a whole new light as a young adult. It's probably a good thing my parents didn't ever find out the extent of our youthful adventures into Underbridge and the surrounding areas.

I worked hard and continually improved my combat skills until I could hold my own with most of the guardsmen. Eventually, during the course of my training, I caught the eye of a benefactor who supported the functions of the local government and offices in Magnimar. Garin Tullows is a man of means with connections throughout Magnimar and the surrounding area. He saw some potential in me beyond a life in the city guard, and with my father's blessing, invited me to train with some of his personal men-at-arms at one of his properties near Magnimar. This was a great honor and I was eager to learn from these men who had traveled throughout the lands and experienced more of the world than my own family and friends.

My training became more specialized as I was taught how to ride a warhorse into battle. I practiced in heavy armor each day until it no longer hindered me or tired me quickly. The men who trained me pushed me harder than ever before. They were professionals who treated me fairly, but spared no lesson and pulled no punches when I failed to do as they instructed. I wore many bruises and cuts during this time as a constant reminder that failure in a real battle could have fatal results.

The years since my friends left passed quickly. I have been so busy training, that I have had little time for anything else. However, I have reached a place and an age where I can now begin to choose my own path in life. Vex and I have recently had a little time to spend together again, and it is good for us both. We often reminisce about our previous adventures and wonder what has become of the others from our group.

I have heard rumors that some of them may be returning to Magnimar. I hope it is true.

Tonight was the reunion of the group. The ones that were away all arrived at different times of the day but they did all show up on the same day. After the reunion of families the group started collecting each other and the celebration got bigger and bigger as the night moved on. They started small in one bar and as they moved from bar to bar they'd pick up more of the guys and gals. Eventually they all ended up in the Dockway district at the Captain's Club. Usually a place reserved for high paying ships captains only. The bouncers were turning the roudy group away when Leruu "Whitelips" herself waved them in. It was the shear happiness of the group that won her over. They were already feeling no pain and were paying customers. Besides they (the guys) were easy on the eyes, if you get my meaning. The fact that the girls they were with were total knockouts too didn't hurt any. Every one had a great time telling their stories. They decided to go goblin hunting in the morning for old time sake. Vex and Macer had made mention of a rising goblin problem and Macer knew they could make some fast cash while running together once more.

They agreed to meet at the gates after breakfast and go from there. Sam talked to a representative of "The Lost Coast Trading Company" and made a deal to escort a wagon train to the halfway point from Magnimar to Standpoint.

Within an hour after they left Magnimar they were ambushed by goblins and a mage (sorcerer). They won the fight and that's where we stopped the game for tonight. Lots of good roll playing, the write ups should be fun.

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Lugh MæGethlyn wrote:

"We were safe, but I felt different, almost like I was electrically charged inside. Kind of like a lightning bug, but one who hasn’t released his luminescence ability, it’s there I can feel it. I just don’t know how to release it or what exactly it will do."


Thats what girls do to me, but...err...! All I can imagine is me sayin something like that to my Pops whose blank vacant stare is savagely interrupted by a swat to my face, followed by, "Ef ya donno know bay now booy, I canno halp ya!"

Atz needs to let it out quick, or else he'll pop lick a tick!

There was no end of abuse directed to Atz's player for that quip.

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It was a bitter sweet feeling as we neared Magnimar's harbour. I wanted to see the city that I had grown up in but wasn't ready to face my parents. I think Kelyn felt the same way. When the ship docked we went straight to Lugh's house and were greeted by his mom who made us stay for breakfast. She was happy to see us and talked about Lugh leaving to study as a follower of Sarenrae. That seemed like the thing Lugh would do. After breakfast we went to see if any of our friends were still around. It was so different and yet the city was so familiar. I held Kelyn's hand and said let's just get a room for tonight. I'm not ready for family just yet. He agreed but wanted to see if anyone was still around so off we went to find our friends.

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Well the rumors turned out to be true, my friends had indeed returned. In fact they ALL returned on the same day! If that doesn't qualify as fate I'm not sure what would. We all gathered up and went to a tavern to drink, tell each other our stories, and be happy in general. I must say everyone has grown quite a bit, even Atz is taller than me by a few inches. Birgun on the other hand really took growing to heart, he now stands just under 7ft tall!

Once our tales were told Macer explained about the increase of goblin activity, how a couple of supply wagons had been hit, and how we might find some work looking into it. Everyone agreed that would be a good way to earn some coin and have an adventure together, just like old times. So we made a plan to meet up the next morning and track some honest work down.

After meeting up the next morning we headed for one of the supply centers and got a job escorting a couple of wagons to the inn halfway to Sandpoint. We would also get a bonus of 8gp per set of goblin ears, and more if we got solid information about whats pushing all the raids lately. Well some local ruffians tried to take the job from under us claiming something about protection this or that. I was expecting things to get ugly and my tail instinctively reached for one of my hidden knives, however, Birgun stepped forward, hand on his massive sword, and said "Look now, we've been hired to guard these wagons. So .... OFF!" I must say he was quite persuasive as they retreated rather quickly, with a few none to polite glares and gestures. We may yet have trouble from them but I don't think it will be while we are all together.

I rode with Macer on the back of his warhorse, Hickory, and kept an eye on the sides of the road while Macer watched ahead. We weren't a full hour down the road when Macer yelled "Goblins!" and charged ahead. I was preoccupied trying to stay on the charging warhorse before I could properly react, and got an arrow in my side due to my lack of vigilance. Macer had charged a central group of 5 goblins on the main road and had already slain one, unfortunately there were more goblins on either side of the road as well. I decided I needed to get off the horse and fight these buggers on my terms. So I drank an elixir and rolled off the far side of Hickory, planting me well hidden in the taller grass by the side of the road. I drew a dart from under one of my wings and threw it at one of the closer goblins. It struck deep into his heart and he fell dead before he could utter a sound. Macer had cut down another already, so I went to assist Birgun next. Looks like three were trying to get away from him and he was pushing it in his heavy armor to keep up with them. He cut one clean in two as I got there, wielding his greatsword with terrifying ease. I tumbled behind one of the other, very distracted, goblins and inserted my dagger in his foramen magnum severing his spinal cord and instantly killing him. My studies are certainly paying off. Not as... explosively impressive as Birgun's gory display, but just as effective. The next goblin fared as well as the first in preventing Birgun's sword from slashing clean through him, which is to say, poorly. I found myself laughing with Birgun as I wiped bits of goblin from my person, that sword of his seems to throw viscera rather far and I'll have to be more mindful not to stand in the 'spray zone'.

The rest of the group had dispatched the other goblins and Sam had enchanted a half-elf sorcerer who was working with the goblins. He had begun getting information from her then dragged her back to Magnimar on the horse he had rented. He would be able to catch up to the slow wagons soon enough so we continued to the inn after remembering to collect the goblins' ears.

There is fate, and there is synchronicity. It stretches the bounds of reason to find that after traveling north, south, and east six of us arrived back in Magnimar on the same day on three different ships. Felu and I disembarked late in the day and immediately went to visit my parents, we spent a couple of hours catching up (and catching them up on events in Boris' household in Egorian. My tattoos met with some disapproval from my mother, but by the set of her mouth I could tell that the lash marks upset her more. I don't envy Boris the tongue lashing he will receive from her on their next meeting.

Macer and Vex came by around 7 and we went for a drink. As we were walking through Dockway, Felu made an abrupt course change into an unfamiliar tavern, where we saw Nina and Kelyn at the bar. I chilled Nina's wine glass from across the room, and she turned with a wide-eyed look; when her eyes lit on Felu, the hypersonic squealing caused every male with half a mile to cover his ears. Long story short, we went bar-hopping and collecting the old gang as we went. Eventually we wound up at the Captain's Club, and Macer gathered us into a plan to do a little goblin bounty hunting; Felu and I readily agreed as the trip from Cheliax had nearly bankrupted us.

The next morning we met up and presented ourselves at the Lost Coast trading Company, and I managed to talk the proprietor into hiring us to escort a small caravan of wagons to the inn on the road to Sandpoint. Eight gold per goblin dispatched, and more for information on why the attacks were happening. As the wagons arrived, it seemed that some local thugs had appointed themselves as protection for the train, and as I was marshaling my thoughts on how to discourage them, Huge stepped up and told them to "p!$$ off!" Remarkably (or not) they did, and we rode out.

Less than an hour from the gates we ran smack into an ambush, I found out when I was hit by three arrows in the initial barrage. Luckily the little beasts didn't finish the job, and I was able to drink a healing draught (I think I may have been gypped, the potion didn't seem to have much effect). As the fight developed, it became clear that the leader was a half-elf caster of some sort; I gathered my wits and tried a charm spell, and for a wonder it worked! A quick follow up with a grease spell slowed two more of the goblins, and the fight was over soon thereafter. Felu and I then returned to Magnimar to deliver our captive for interrogation, and we will catch the group up farther along the road...

But it was a lot more fun. Not so boring and trivial as Sam made it out to be. The reunion was spectacular, he did mention that we all arrived the same day. How cool is that? The quick and funny way Huge dismissed the thugs trying to weasel their way to our new jobs. Then the goblin attack almost killed a couple of the party right at first during their ambush. The troupe all rallied after the first onslot. And Sam's charm spell was magnificent and couldn't come at a better time. My Sam is so humble, Not! He made sure I had seen his handy work, looking at me quite pleased with himself. It was good and I told him so at the time. What a ham.

I'll admit I was more than a little worried when I saw fifteen goblins jump out of the grass surrounding us but the guys aren't kids any more they're men and I mean they're big men. They made pudding out of those goblins. It all made me very proud of the troupe. I feel confident too.

We did take the prisoner back and we learned quite a bit of information. I am sure Sam's cleverness will bring us a good reward.

No one mentioned. Me at Oona's party. I was there too. I saw her father aways glaring at us. He didn't like us. We were bugs to him pests that kept Oona from becoming what he wanted. another slave like his wife, a pawn to place as he saw fit.

I saw them all leave, I thought they were leaving with him because Oona and he left at the same time along with some major players in Magnimar's powerful elite. My mother and father often hosted party's for the same people. It's important to keep them in good graces. Nina's and Felu's parents did the same. The other fools never understood the importance of political maneuvering. I did.

When I discovered that the group of my childhood friends left with Oona and not her father, I saw my opportunity to get in good with a powerful ally. I waited for him to return in the ballroom for the right moment. Her father came to me rather ticked off and asked where she was. I asked why and he said it was time for her to earn her keep. I told him I didn't know where she was but I did know who she was with. He looked at me and said tell me everything you know boy.

It gets a bit scetchy after that my memory has some lapses. I remember two dead men that talked to him in the street. But not much after that, other than seeing my friends all froze except Oona and Lugh. They were difficult to see because they were so bright. I know her father was not pleased with the whole group. We left without Oona but her father promised me to teach me in the arts. I didn't know at that time what he meant but I do now. Be careful what you wish for, sometimes the price is very high....... but power is wonderful.

Grand Lodge

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Birgun Ulfgaght
Turtleback Ferry was a quaint enough town to wait in. Finding that the next river barge heading to Magnimar was a few days out I went ahead and booked a room at The Turtle’s Parlor and spent my evenings over at Bottoms Up, their only tavern. The tavern is run by halflings and on my first night there I was surprised to see a curiously familiar face. Atz Harrigfuss walked in and we both did the double take before we realized who the other one was. Turns out he has family in Turtleback Ferry and was in town to visit his great uncle, Kavik. Over the years Atz had begun developing powers that manifested from his late grandfather. Others in his family had similar abilities and he had come here for advice and training. I’m glad my old friend got the guidance he needed and that his odd behaviors weren’t coping issues but real oracle powers.

We spent the next week on the barge to Magnimar discussing what we had done over the years, the people we had met and of course the days spent as kids. The voyage was relaxing enough but I could feel that tug that all true Gorumites feel when their skills were not being tested. Hopefully that urge would be scratched soon enough.

When I could finally see Magnimar in the distance I found myself becoming more anxious and excited at finally being home after such a long journey of self discovery. The sights of the myriad of sails, colorful flags and pennants blowing in the wind. The smells of the salt air overpowering any latent smell of the marshes. The sounds of the fishermen and seamen barking orders and hawking their wares. I found myself arriving home. I turned to see Atz standing next to me, both of us entranced by the vision of it all. “Nice to be home,” Atz said. All I could do was slowly nod while smiling.

When we finally docked, I helped Atz carry some of his goods back to his home in the Dockway. I stayed for a few minutes talking with his family, but their desire was to talk with Atz and I didn’t want to delay their family reunion any more that I wanted to delay my own. Telling Atz, “I’ll come by tomorrow to see if you want to get together and look any of the others up.” With that I turned and made my way up to the Naos district and my home.

The home looked no different from when I had left three years ago. I did stutter as I stopped at the door, not knowing if I should knock before entering. Fate decided for me as I suddenly heard a squealing girls voice, “Birgun!” Turning around I saw my younger sister running towards me. I barely had enough time to set my sword down before she did her best to engulf me in a bear hug. My younger sister, who was now eleven years old, stood a little over five feet tall and looked so much like our mother. After setting her back down she took me in where my mother had a more reserved, but equal reaction to my sister. Father was not at home as he was returning from Kalsgard with more copper and should be home within the month.

I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon telling tales of my journey from Kalsgard. While my sister made a sour face when I showed them my left hand and the loss of a few finger tips my mother just shook her head and smiled. She definitely noticed my holy symbol I wore, but made no mention of it. I began wondering again if my parents really had met in those pits all those years ago. As I was finishing up dinner and helping to clean the dishes I heard multiple knocks on the front door. As I got closer I could hear drunken laughter and shushing voices. When I opened the door I found Macer standing at the door with Kelyn right next to him with Nina, Felu, Sam and Vex behind both of them. Macer and Kelyn’s eyes shot wide when they saw me. “Birgun?” Macer asked. “Holy cow you really ‘are’ huge.” Both Nina and Felu gave a squeal as I had to duck through the door to step outside and was immediately bear hug mauled by the two of them. “Come out drinking with us!” the girls yelled. I wasn’t even able to respond before I heard my mothers voice from behind laughing and telling me to go out with my friends.

Falling in step with the others I told them that Atz had arrived this morning with me and so we made our way their first before going to see if Lugh was back as well. Falling in step, I turned and smiled to Vex and asked, “How’s the treasure hoard coming?” He gave me a small wicked little grin and I started when I thought to myself, “there’s that grin again.” He had that same evil little grin that Oona’s father and that orc gave me. Then he laughed and the moment was over. Even though the girls prattled on like old ladies but at a much more rapid pace, I could see that both Sam and Kelyn had developed more than just friendships with them. “Good for them,” I thought. Both Kelyn and Sam were cool with their families and both Nina and Felu could use a good man in their lives. We arrived at Atz’s family house a little after ‘too late to come knocking.’ The girls though seemed to make our late arrival palatable and soon Atz was with the rest of us as we went to Lugh’s home.

Remembering the stories of Lugh’s father I thought it best that I knock on the door. Hopefully my size would deter any anger at such a late hour. His father did open the door and even though he initially looked upset his demeanor changed when he saw us. “Booyo!” was all he yelled over his shoulder. Before he turned to go back into the house he noticed my holy symbol and smiled. “Yer goot good taste der booyo,” and he slapped my arm. By then Lugh had showed up and boy was he a lot tanner than before, even his hair was bleached from the sun. Looks of surprise around at our changes in appearance aside, the initial reunion went quickly. When he learned we were going out he yelled for Oona. I gave him a surprised look and raised an eyebrow and he quickly, but subtly shook his head no. I swear every dog in Magnimar heard the squeal from the girls when Oona came to the door. As we walked to find a tavern I could see that Lugh was taking a very protective stance and was within arms reach of her the whole night. She still wore the Sarenrae pendant Lugh gave her all those years ago and I got the impression that Lugh was still going to protect her from her father if needed.

We settled on the Captain’s Club for our tavern of the evening. The initial door staff was not going to allow us to enter until the owner, Leruu Whitelips allowed us in. Not sure why, but this was a rather upscale tavern for the likes of us. We received a few odd stares from others in the tavern but when Macer bought a round of drinks for everyone, the establishment quickly turned friendly. We spent almost four hours talking about everything and anything. At one point, I swore I laughed so hard that I thought I cracked a rib. With our talks winding down, the general question of ‘what grand adventure were we going to have’ came up. Vex mentioned issues with goblins in the sewers growing, but the girls wrinkled their noses at that. Macer heard that goblin attacks on the Lost Coast road were increasing and that several caravans were needing help. Everyone seemed to mull that over and the lot of us found ourselves nodding at that prospect. Since we decided to leave in the morning I decided to call it an evening and stumble on home for some rest.

In the morning we met by the gate near the Lost Coast road and learned that the Lost Coast Trading Co. was the caravan company that was having the problems. Sam talked with the owners and agreed on escorting a caravan to the way point between Magnimar and Sandpoint. Along the way if we were to learn anything about what was going on we would get paid extra. All this on top of a bounty for goblin ears. Just as we were getting ready to leave the town with the caravan, a group of punk thugs on horses rode up and said that ‘they’ were the ones that was going to escort the caravan. Looking to Lugh he gave me a smirk and nodded his head in their direction. So I walked up to their leader and told him, “I don’t think you understand. You’re not escorting anyone, so piss off!” The leader visibly blanched and I could hear the snicker from some of our group behind me. Trying to save face he scowled but rode off. When I turned around several of the group were outright laughing as I walked up to Lugh and said, “I remember thugs being meaner . . . and bigger.” With that Lugh busted out laughing.

We began our walk out of town with most of my time spent talking with Lugh that I wasn’t aware that his father was a follower of Gorum. After an hour of walking along the wagon train we were suddenly jumped by a large group of goblins. Those little bastards are sneaky and we were immediately surrounded. Before I could even pinpoint one of the little green skins I had already had an arrow sticking in my arm. Macer had ridden forward with Vex and was laying into the small band in front of us while all the others were engaging a group to our right. Only Felu and her pistol engaged the group on our left. Drawing my sword I moved forward but the little buggers backed off and kept shooting. So I had to run in amongst them to prevent their constant falling back and thats when they leapt onto me in rabid fashion. I cursed their luck at penetrating my armor with their tiny knives while laughing, but with two swings of my sword and the sudden appearance of Vex the remaining three goblins fell, in wonderful gory fashion.

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It was nice to see the Magnimar come into view and grow as we approached. Our boat anchored in the harbor late in the day and I convinced the Captain to let Oona and I accompany the shore party. We parted company ashore, they to the harbor master and Oona and I to my family home. Oona was dressed in traditional Osiriani attire with a veil to be safe and I was dressed for battle with religious symbols in sight. As we walked up the stairs of my home my younger brothers called out and Mamma and my sister Cara met us at the top. Mamma was wiping her hands and Cara stood in the door. I stood for a moment peerin at her through the eye slit in my helmet. “May I help you sir?” Mamma said. As I removed my helmet, I said “I missed you cookin Mamma.” Then the celebration started. My Poppa even hugged me! My older brothers were nicer and the younger siblings hugged and climbed me like a tree. The girls took Oona off to their room with giggles and an unendin stream of questions. I stayed with my parents and brothers and surrendered to the same fate. We ate and shared stories. I gave Mamma a pair of pearl earrings to go with the gown Poppa gave her made with pearls I had collected before I left that were set in rose gold by jewelers in Sothis. To my Pops I presented a sailors sun-stone from the Solku Quarry. Oona handed out the gifts to my siblings consisting of clothes and minor pieces of jewelry. I spoke at length with my parents tellin them of my travels, learning, and adventures. I expressed my thanks to them both and retired to my bed.

The next day saw a wonderful reunion with my former co-conspirators. In an instance of divine inspiration we had all returned home on the same day. That simply doesn’t happen by accident with a group this size without it! I felt at home and slightly awkward at the same time as we had all grown, and changed in our own ways. Huge was still…FRIGGIN HUGE, Sam was covered in body art, the ladies…well, enough said, and though many were slightly bigger versions of their younger selves, all had matured in the good graces of their patrons. We dashed from my home to the Captain’s Club and somehow got in. We laughed and shared our lives while separated and laid plans for the future. It was a fine homecomin!

The following day we met at the east gate and signed on for caravan duty with the Lost Coast Road Tradin Company. A peck of swarthy bruisers tried to muscle in on our work and Huge punked them with a well time P!$$-OFF and at that we began our first job. Not an hour out of the city we were ambushed by a tribe of goblins casting flights of arrows. I took one to the leg and charged into the fight. The little buggers are quick and I struggled to land solid blows. Then one broke and ran to its doom. I pinned it to the ground with a javelin and made sure the leader didn’t attempt escape. It appeared Sam had worked his charms on her and escorted her back to Magnimar after a brief conversation. Dragon collected the ears of the filthy creatures and we set off to complete our first job. This is easy duty! I mustn't let my guard down and keep vigilant as I am still weary of the chance meeting with Oona's father, and our betrayer.

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A flood of memories as the ship entered the harbor. Nina had a worried look, then turned to me and smiled. I brought her close, and knew our decision to return was right. As we tied off, I thanked the captain for an exciting voyage. He welcomed us to sail with him anytime; though I'm sure that was directed more to Nina, as is only right. Walking through Dockway, Lugh's was the first stop. The door opened, and we were suddenly at table, being fed piles of breakfast and answering countless questions from his mother and the girls. For a moment I was seven again. They talked of Lugh"s progress and travels, but were unsure when he would return. It only took a few hours to get back to the door, with many promises to return. Went up the road to check with Atz's family, and found he had also arrived this morning, by river. His family gracefully allowed us a few minutes to catch up. He spoke of travelling with Birgun(another stop) and was pretty sure Macer and Vex were still in town. Returned him home with plans to gather everyone when things calmed down. Walked uptown, and Nina said we should get a roof over our heads. Cleaned up and rested, it is good to have a bed that doesn't pitch and roll on its own. Was at the bar later to pick up current gossip and events when Nina pointed to her now-frosted glass. Turned to find Felu,followed by Sam(with his usual smirk), Macer, and Vex. Took over a large table and spent some time talking, laughing, and welcoming each other back. Some were still missing, and there was talk of even more arrivals. A New Quest!, the gang must be reunited. We started of and eventually found that all the travelers had returned the same day(I'm sure many of the group will speak of divine intervention). Sam had acquired a lot of ink(and scars) while Felu moved beside him with uncanny grace and confidence. Oona had truly bloomed, but still hasn't lost that hunted look as she stands close by the hard, tanned Lugh. Birgun has simply not stopped growing. While Macer has been bludgeoned into a likely candidate for the guard, Vex remains much the same, except for a gaze that reminds me of a butcher sizing up his next cut of meat. Atz also remains much as I remember, but now carries a presence much more than the memory of his grandfather. I stop and look at Nina, who has given me my best years. This is what I've always been searching for, we are home.

We search for a proper venue to celebrate, and the girls lead us to the Captain's Club. It's reputation gives me pause, but with a few words from inside, the large gentlemen make a path for us past the large crowd out front. Inside, even Leruu gave us a smile and nod of welcome. Luckily, I had been drinking way too much to be concerned for our very lives. Hours passed, gold and drink flowed(much nicer crowd then) as everyone tried to catch up. Could almost see a group of laughing kids around that table, but talk turned to the present and the growing Goblin menace. Caravans sounded better than sewers, so we decide to meet at the gates in the morning. Returned to our rooms to rest and prepare for tomorrow.

An early start to pick up a few road supplies(why is everything so LOUD? and BRIGHT? and who put an ANVIL in my backpack?) and met the gang at Lost Coast. Apparently, some loudmouths tried to take our job, but HUGE and Lugh saw them off. It's nice to have large friends to take care of these things. Set off in the wagons, with a few riding horses. Must remember to follow Felu's lead and rent us a couple at the waypoint, way more style than bouncing along with the trade goods. Not an hour out, and we start sprouting arrows like shabby plumage. A group of goblins, led by a couple talls, rises from the tall grass in a fair ambush. Group piles in hacking and slashing, aided by fire and well placed pistol shots. Sam charmed a sorceress and moved her out of harms way. The nimble green bugs are finished off, and we clean up and bind our many wounds. Felu and Sam ride his new friend back to town for questioning, and will quickly rejoin us as the wagons continue north. Seems we have found something that will pay the bills for now, more glorious deeds will surely follow.

The rumors were true!

Our friends had come back. By some stroke of luck or fate or whatever, they arrived on different ships on the same day.

When Vex and I first got word of their return, we went and gathered them all and spent the evening telling new tales and retelling old tales at the Captain's Club. We had all grown up, some of us more than others... Huge had lived up to his nickname and now towered over all of us. The girls had changed as well. They had all grown into beautiful young ladies, but it's still hard for me to think of them other than as my sisters. Felu had traveled with Sam, and now they were a couple. Also, Nina and Kelyn had traveled together and seemed close. Oona and Lugh had spent time together, but they appear to be friends rather than lovers.

Regardless, it was great to see them all again after our years apart. I laughed more than I had in the past year that night. The talk at the table eventually turned to future plans, and it seems that they were all at a place where their futures were wide open.

I had recently learned of goblin troubles between Magnimar and Sandpoint and had heard there was money to be made eliminating the goblins. Considering our childhood adventures in the clock tower, this seemed to be a natural choice. When I told them, they all thought this would be a good opportunity for our gang to have another adventure and earn some coin.

We met the next morning at the Lost Coast Trading Company and were hired to guard a shipment heading to Sandpoint. There was a brief moment where some local thugs tried to take our place to guard the wagons, but Huge moved up and told them to "pi$$ off!" The look on the thugs' faces was priceless and I couldn't help myself as I burst out in laughter. The thugs scowled at us, but realized they were outnumbered and slunk away to find easier prey.

It didn't take long for us to find the goblin problems soon after leaving the city. I noticed a group of them standing on the road in front of us just as several arrows flew by and into the group. I saw Sam get plunked hard, but didn't have time to see how he fared as I spurred Hickory forward and cut down the goblin closest to me. Vex jumped off from the back of my horse and went after another group of goblins that appeared on the side of the road. Combat was quick and easy for me as the goblins put up little fight against an opponent on a horse. Some of the others were not as lucky and took some wounds. Sam looked to have the worst injuries, but produced a healing potion from his backpack and looked better after drinking the liquid.

Sam had also used his magic to capture a female who was leading the goblins. (Why would humans associate with the nasty creatures??!!) We agreed that Sam and Felu would take her back to town for questioning by the City Guard while the rest of us stayed with the wagons. They've been gone for a while now, but should return shortly.

Tonight Sam and Felu caught up to the wagons and friends during the seventh hour of the day, with one hour left of travel until they would camp for the night. During the first watch Birgun spotted a female on a horse and another group of wagons a short way behind her. She explained that she was not with the other wagons and asked to share the camp for the night. Birgun agreed and introduced her to Lugh, he was on first watch with Birgun. Birgun then walked out to greet the other wagons. At first he was going to invite them to join up for the night then he recognized that the guards of these wagons were just like the thugs that tried to take over the wagons he and the troupe were protecting. He told the team master that it would be best if they made camp just outside of his own because Birgun didn't want to wake his people. Agreeing to this the wagon master halted his wagons and started making camp.

That's when Birgun recognized one of the thugs, Baga. He walked over to Baga and introduced himself and Baga was excited to see him. They talked a while and Birgun invited Baga for breakfast in the morning.

The next morning several of the troupe recognized the female rider as being associated with an assassins guild from Magnimar. No one said a thing to her and she was off early in the morning. Baga had come for breakfast and was surprised to see all the gang together. He was especially surprised to see Oona. He had thought that she had gone away with her parents and possibly Epher. Epher had vanished the same time as Oona and her parents so he assumed that they were together. He said goodbye to the gang as his wagons would be later moving out but told Birgun that he would see them at the halfway point and have several drinks catching up with everyone.

That same day at some point several of the troupe spotted goblins far off the road and watched for an attack as they rode on. When they got close the Halfway Inn Birgun, Macer, Vex, Kelyn, Nina, Oona and Lugh all turned around to meet the other wagons in case of a goblin attack. No goblins were spotted and they all arrived at the Inn safely. Once there Baga introduced five girls that were on their way to Sandpoint to a House called the Pixie's Kitten. Baga set up a table for the sixteen of them the troupe and he and the Kittens. All was going fine, one of the Kittens knew Felu and everyone was catching up. Then some of the other wagon thugs headed towards the table. Cursing and rambling on about why were all the whores at this table and that they should be spread around and not kept to such a few. This exchange got out of hand quickly. But was dealt with without real violence. Barely. Back to everyone drinking and having a good time.

At night the goblin attack came. While every one (well almost everyone) was sleeping an mob of goblins and a few Orcs set upon the Inn and it's stables.....

we're almost done but not quite so until next week....let the write ups begin.

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Felu and I escorted the mage back to Magnimar, and “introduced” her to the proprietor of the Lost Coast Trading Company, and then stayed long enough to assist in their polite interrogation; she was ultimately turned over to the city guard, and we were paid well for the information she provided about the raids. Riding out once again, we caught our compatriots as they were making camp for the night.

There was another caravan nearby, watched over by some of the same thugs that Birgun had discouraged from guarding our charges earlier. Our old friend Baga was with them, and spoke with us that evening; he also came by for breakfast the next morning. I was a bit surprised at how friendly he seemed; I had always thought him to be rather cool toward us since he and Epher had separated from the group when we were kids. He let us know that part of their “cargo” were five ladies heading to Sandpoint to take up employment at the Pixie’s Kitten; not something of interest to me or Kelyn, but Macer, Birgun and Lugh perked up noticeably at the announcement.

The remainder of the trip to the Half-Way Inn was uneventful; some of us spotted some goblins along the way, but they didn’t attack and we were reluctant to hare off after them. Most of the group went back to assist Baga’s caravan just in case, but Felu and I stayed at the Inn to guard our caravan. Once the others arrived, it turned out that Felu was acquainted with one of the prostitutes, and all of the girls came to sit with Baga and our group. Baga’s compatriots were less than thrilled with that, and two of them approached us in a menacing manner, with one making rude comments regarding all the ladies at our table; before hostilities could commence in earnest, I charmed the loudmouth and politely asked him to reconsider his remarks. I was almost too late; Macer rose to take exception, Kelyn rose to guard Nina; the other thug made a grab for me (he missed) and Felu rose and (oh gods no) pointed her pistol at him; the other thugs rose to come to their companions’ aid… It certainly looked as though the afternoon was going to get very bloody very quickly. Then the charmed loudmouth started stammering apologies, and the wind quickly went out of the other thugs' sails; Kelyn seemed a bit disappointed (Nina stage-whispering, “that’s a much better trick than chilling a wine glass” didn’t help there), but I thought that Oona was going to be the one to sour the truce—she looked ready to kill someone. We told her quietly that if she was truly offended, it would be simple to make an overture to the loudmouth to get him alone, and then just beat the snot out of him.

That night, I awoke to the smell of smoke; the room was filled with it and I could hear the roar of flames downstairs. I couldn’t wake Felu, so I ran and opened the window, dragging her to the fresher air. I then gathered our gear and slung it out. There were figures moving about the yard, one of them being Birgun; I shouted for him to catch Felu as I lowered her out the window. At that moment, a gigantic orc swung a mace at Birgun’s head, and he decided he had better things to do than help me with my girl. I can’t say that I blame him. I held Felu’s wrists, and lowered her as far as I safely could and let her drop, then leapt out myself. Horses were screaming (the stables were in flames as well as the Inn proper), and there were goblins running everywhere and chanting some sort of nonsense. I gathered Felu and our gear (don’t tell her that I had to strain a bit with her weight, she won’t take that well), and headed away from the burning buildings. Placing her with a group of other refugees, I returned to see if Birgun needed help with the orc.

I got within spell range just as the orc went down, narrowly missing Atz as her fell, so I began amusing myself by blasting passing goblins with my acid splash spell. Someone was on the top floor of the Inn rescuing other occupants via a rope; everything was very confused. I saw another orc being engaged by Macer, Atz and Oona, so I greased his mace; that fight should end quickly now…

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We continued on, discussing the encounter and keeping an eye out for the next. It was a quiet, beautiful day no matter how hard we scanned the surrounding area. It was obvious the decrepit wagons weren't making the Inn today, so a good layover spot was found to set up camp. The extra supplies may pay off, the tent will be handy if the weather turns. While settling in, a lone woman and another caravan showed up from the direction of Magnimar. HUGE allowed the woman to stay near us, but had the caravan set up back across the road. He didn't like their look, their escort looked the riff-raff he had run off earlier. To prove him right, Bags turned out to be one of them. He joined us for breakfast; was surprised to see us together, but downright spooked to find Oona. Epher went missing the same time and he had made assumptions. While he seemed happy to sit and talk, I hope the information doesn't come back to bite us. The woman had left before light, and a few remembered her being connected to the shady side of Magnimar. We set off well before the other wagons, either their late arrival or general incompetence. A few hours later, many goblins were spotted a ways back from the road. They only watched, so I made a sign with some chalk; might alert the following wagons. We took ours within sight of the inn, and most turned back in case the goblins went for Baga's group. Found them unmolested(no ears today) and returned to the inn. We were discussing our next step, when Bags entered with a small group of women. They are five working girls headed to Sandpoint, and seem to favor his company. Can't say much for their taste, but a little good should come his way considering bunch he's fallen in with. It was a nice gathering until a handful of drovers from the other wagons barged in. Seemed miffed that all the women were with us, and we better start sharing the "whores". A few calming words were tried by our side while I tried to decide which tongue to remove first. Looked like things might get interesting, then the loudest one started apologizing while another grabbed at Sam. Huge covered his tasty beverage and calmly stated that he would hate to have to beat them all to death. The man does have an interesting brand of witty repartee. The loudmouths considered his point while skulking away; have to keep an eye out for their attempt to get even. Looks like the plan is to continue to Sandpoint escorting the "ladies" and look into some info Felu heard about a local family.

As usual, somebody forgot to clear our plan with the Fates. Nina woke me to a smoke-filled room and the sounds of a developing disaster. This seemed rather over the top for the wagon lowbrows, but a quick exit took priority. Carried the gear to a window Nina was opening, and moved to check the hall. Heard Lugh and others clearing rooms, but the inferno ascending the stairs said it was time to leave. We hopped down, gathered gear, and followed to the stable. As the goblins were too drunk on the fire to pose a real threat, started releasing horses trapped in their stalls. Heard sounds of combat nearby, but it seemed over when the last horse was freed. Horns are sounding and the bugs are heading away from the inn. Now if I can just find my pants, it's time to start the pursuit.

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We nursed our wounded which took a fair amount of time. As we set out along the Lost Coast Road our wagon team handler suggested we set a camp for the night as pushing into the halfway point would see us arrive well after dark. Relying on his experience and wisdom, the fact we had friends trying to catch us and that an ambush along the road would be to the Goblins advantage we made camp in the early evening and awaited Sam and Felu’s arrival. Huge and I checked the wounded to avoid complications and we all sat down for a bite to eat. Another Caravan made camp with us and come to find out they had heard of the exchange of words between our group and the toughs who tried to take our work. They were or had mutual friends and that was a brief moment of discomfort until we realized Bags was one of their number. All was good as we reminisced of old times. Bags made mention of Epher, at which point I queried him on his whereabouts and any history of his travels while we had been away. I was probably abit too strong in my questioning but Epher had made his decision and I wanted the information. All was quickly smoothed out from that point on. I prepared my spot by the wagon and bad Oona stay close. I performed my dusk devotions and drifted into a calm sleep.

I woke to the smell of food and Bags making his way to it. We would leave before his crew and head out for the payday at the half way point. Less than half a days ride we were on schedule to arrive before midday: that is until we were apprised of the fact we had been set upon by another goblin ambush however no attack was forthcoming and we passed without incident. Afterward the majority of our gang returned to the road, backtracking to provide support for Bags caravan. We arrived at the spot, met the caravan and no sign of the ambushers. As we travelled Bags mentioned the Inn sheltered a handful of working girls headed to Sandpoint. I aired my disgust for his not sharing said information the night before as it may have affected my decision for escort his wagons. At this point for a wholly unexplained reason, Oona gut punched me…she doesn’t hit like a girl…for the record. We reached our destination and headed to the Inn for relaxation. Within we found Sam and Felu with all the working girls at the same table. I started wondering how bad this was going to be for me. I didn’t wait long, Oona passed by with a dour sideways glance, a turn looking me in the eye, and gestured me to our seats with that uncomfortable smile that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. All was going as it should, Bags joined us and all was convivial until one of Bags guards expressed his displeasure with our group “Hows come you fella’s is hoggin up all the whores?” It became instantly and uncomfortably silent. A quick glance about the table saw some of the working girls uncomfortable, and the women folk of our group visibly outraged. This was going to end in blood and I had the feeling my assistance would not be required. I could see the muscles tense, knuckles whiten, and people preparing to stand as two of the buffoons approached Sam. Sam explained the error of guards ways suggesting apologies were in order. Macer stood and made a rather poignant offer to defend our ladies honor. Then It became obvious the rest of Bags guards were willing to join the fray. Suddenly one of the guards Sam was addressing grabbed at him, Felu launched from her chair and drew her pistol, Kelyn bound between their two groups sword in hand. Vex was no wear to be seen (discomforting!). Atz took a defensive posture too. All the while Oona, Huge and I kept our seats. Huge raised his voice to the two that approached Sam warning them not to spill his drink because he would hate to beat them all to death, which they took to heart. I sat back in my seat and gave their comrades a scowl and stern warning and the steam seemed to vent right out of them too. As the tension came to a crescendo it was burst by our words and Sam’s quick wit. Suddenly apologies were handed out all around and specifically to our girls. To which Oona rose from her seat leaning in over the table with that wicked smile and asked as if to confirm “So you don’t want to dance?” I lightly took her at the elbow and quietly asked her to take her seat. She is a stunning beauty who is very wickedly deceptive in her dispensation of justice. At times she must be softly tempered with patience and reason. Thankfully all was forgiven. I spent the remainder of the day getting my arse kicked in games of battle board with Huge and sparring against Macer with my spear and shield. After dinner and a few more drinks I spoke with one of the more attractive girls. Alas, I was too tired and filled with wine to leave any more of a good impression upon her. Her name is Amerillea….I think? I would like to know her on a more professional basis….err….I mean as an information source of course. Such resources are extremely under-utilized and underestimated. And who knows, a roll in clean sheets with a perfumed woman now and again is never a bad thing right? BUT HOLY LIGHTS…NOT A WORD TO OONA! Anyway I politely excused myself and retired for the night….well that was the plan.

I awoke to a coughing fit when I realized our room was filled with smoke. I opened the window and threw our bags to the ground below, dressed modestly, kicked at Oona, grabbed my blades and warned the others on our floor door by door of the fire. Bags and two of the girls would not wake so I rolled them from their window. Oona had followed and together we leapt from the second story of the Inn to relative safety. There we could see goblins dancing about in the dark chanting their disturbing fire dances. I spied Macer heading away, sword in hand, around a corner and we started out after him. Rounding the corner we saw the horse barns aflame with horses baying and screaming for freedom. I hurried to the barn releasing them as I entered. Some of them needed relief from the flames so I dowsed them with the gift of water, a divine favor that served us so well in the desert. I find myself in the raging inferno of the horse barn, good and sorely angry! The goblins recall has been sounded and they have skittered off laughing into the dark. I will have my satisfaction, there will be a payback.

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Kelyn wrote:
Now if I can just find my pants, it's time to start the pursuit.

A real warrior doesn't need pants to hunt goblins! :-P

Grand Lodge

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Birgun Ulfgaght
The wagon caravan moved at a leisurely pace for me which was good. It felt good to be in the wilds again, even if it was just a country road in the plains east of Magnimar. Again I spent most of my time talking with the others who walked and kept pace with the wagons and their slow gait. Eventually Sam and Felu caught back up with the caravan about the time we were ready to stop. We reached a point along the road that most caravans use to rest at rather than pushing to the halfway point between Sandpoint and Magnimar where there is an inn.

We went about setting up camp and Lugh and I moved through the group making sure the wounds suffered earlier in the day were cleaned and redressed. Sam’s tattooed, shirtless body had taken a beating and I let him know that “women loved scars on men.” He just gave me a blank look, turned to look at Felu who was nodding. “See?” I said, “they dig em.” I know Sam wouldn’t openly worship Gorum, but you never know. Scars are the story of your martial prowess. When you meet that grizzled old guy covered in scars, you know he’s been around and learned how to fight.

Lugh and I took first watch for the caravan and picked opposite sides of the camp to watch for any more approaching goblins. The only noise was the small pops of wood from the low kept campfires, the occasional snort from one of the horses and general snoring. I heard goblins can see in the dark, if that’s true they can see and hear us. Even trying to be quiet, the caravan is pretty loud in the cool night air. I began hearing the sound of a large group coming up the road heading in our same direction. As they got closer I could see it was another caravan so I used a small blessing from Gorum to cast light on my swords pommel and moved up to great them.

At the front of the caravan was a woman who dismounted and greeted me. Even in the light of the minor spell I could see she was somewhat attractive, and had that look to her that spoke of martial proficiency. She introduced herself as Kiara and asked if she could rest by our fires. I pointed to where she could drop her bedroll and introduced myself, “Birgun, and sure. Just try not to wake anyone as they just got off to sleep.” As she began removing the saddle from her horse I asked if they had encountered any goblins. She shook her head but did say she had seen the aftermath of our earlier encounter. She mentioned that she was looking for someone but I didn’t recognize the name so I shrugged and told her I didn’t know of them.

As she finished getting her horse taken care of I moved up to the caravan and discovered that they were ‘protected’ by people who looked like the scarni scum that tried to take over our offer of protection. I pointed to an area a distance away from ours as I didn’t want any trouble and told them to set up there. Their late arrival would likely piss off those trying to rest and I wanted to minimize any noise. Thats when I saw that a member of their group was a half-orc who was looking at me. Then it hit me, “By Torag’s beard! Bags!” That response was all he needed to produce an ear to ear grin and he came over to give me a warriors hand shake and hug. We talked for a bit with him giving me a rundown of the others of our old gang that he knew of. I was surprised to learn that Epher had left Magnimar at the same time as Oona did. I was also surprised to learn that Oona’s family had also left as well. Bag’s figured that Oona and Epher had run off together and I laughed telling him, “That didn’t happen.” When he looked at me quizzically I told him I would tell him in the morning and invited him to come over for a quick breakfast of trail rations, as the others would want to see him as well.

In the morning I did my prayers to Gorum and finished with a breakfast and more stories. We started a little later than the caravan wanted but the inn was only four hours down the road. Bags was going to be leaving later than us so we agreed to buy a round for him when he arrived as more stories would have to be told. The rest of the trip though was uneventful, although we did spot a large group of goblins, all they did was watch. Once the inn was in sight Lugh and I had discussed heading back to meet up with Bag’s caravan in case they were the target. Everyone went along accept Felu and Sam who continued on to the inn. As it turns out the goblins allowed this caravan to also pass unmolested, possibly because of our arrival. Along the way Bags mentioned that he knew there was a group of “working women” on their way to Sandpoint and they were probably staying at the inn. Lugh took great interest in that news and was immediately punched in the stomach by Oona for his ‘outburst.’ Laughing at Lugh’s discomfort and lack of air, I commented that I bet Felu would have the women wrapped around her finger when we arrived. When we arrived at the inn we found Sam, Felu and five women sitting together and chatting.

The evening went by comfortably with plenty of drink and conversation. The only ‘stain’ on the evening was when some of Bag’s scarni thugs came in loudly questioned, “why do you got all the whores?” I inwardly cringed at that comment and kept my seat as things began to escalate. Macer did his part by defending the honor of the women, both ours and the actual “working women,” and asked for them to ‘rethink their approach.” These scarni aren’t to bright. In Gorum’s name we outnumbered them three to one, as there were sixteen of us sitting together. Kelyn stood quickly and in one fluid motion had drawn his rapier and moved to stand between the scarni and Nina. With an almost imperceptive movement, Sam made a quick motion with his hands and muttered something in an unknown language. Suddenly the loud mouth seemed to calm down and gained a look of sadness. He seemed to try and apologize for his actions, but another of the scarni stepped up and reached out to grab at Sam. He missed but noticed the sudden appearance of Felu’s bang stick pointing at his head. Things were rapidly beginning to spiral into bloodshed so I just put my hand over my newly delivered ale and said, “I would sure hate for you guys to knock over my ale and cause me to beat you all to death.” The statement was true and factual as there was no glory to be found here in Gorum’s name. The man visibly blanched and his eyes grew as he suddenly noticed how many of us there were. The other three men sighed as the newly bold scarni began stammering and backing up. The original blow hard again began apologizing and trying to leave the inn. Oona in all her disturbing beauty had stood and with a petulant look that immediately switched to an evil grin (again, there is that grin) said, “So we aren’t going to dance?” Which was answered with more stammering and apologies. Just before the scarni reached the door I yelled out without looking at them, “that sound you hear is your dick shriveling.” Which then brought the tension of the room to laughter instead of violence as everyone within earshot began laughing. Through grinning tusks, Bag’s said that he had heard from some other scarni that they had been intimidated by a big man the previous morning and now he was sure he knew who did it. I grinned at that and again turned to Lugh, “I remembered them being meaner.” “And bigger,” Lugh finished.

We rounded out the evening with several games of siege and learned that quite a few of us were talented in thinking out long term strategies. I had grown to love the game while in Linnorm Lands when I would play against my uncle and some of the other fighters. It was a simple enough game to learn but a difficult one to master. Learning how to sacrifice a great piece for a win further in the game was something I was still learning. I even spent some time out in the yard practicing with Macer and Lugh. Despite my size they are every bit as strong as I am and admittedly, my size meant I was generally easier to land a hit on. I went to bed that evening with a smile on my face and a full belly and soul.

I awoke on the other hand to darkness, smoke and shouting. My roommate Atz had just woken me up by yelling, “FIRE!” Generally a word you don’t want to hear when in a wooden building. By the amount of smoke in the room already and the glow coming from the hall as Atz had opened the door the window was going to be our only escape. Thankfully, months of preparation had taught me to bundle my armor up for hasty departures when awakened suddenly. So I grabbed my armor and sundry bits of gear and tossed it out the window. As I turned to grab my backpack I heard the armor hit and the sound was not armor hitting ground, but armor hitting a person. Grimacing at the apology I was going to have to make I turned to yell at Atz only to find him already climbing out the window. Grabbing up my great sword I cast light on the pommel again and hurdled through the window oblivious to the danger of the height. Unlike all those years ago leaving Oona’s bedroom I landed on my feet. I also found impaled on the spikes of my armor and squashed underneath it the body of a now dead goblin. I imagined that somewhere Gorum was laughing at that luck.

I then heard Sam’s strained voice for my help as he was trying to lower an unconscious Felu to the ground. I then heard Atz asking for help and when I turned I saw a rather stout looking orc bearing down on Atz. Gravity or killing monster? “Sorry Sam, let her drop! The fall won’t kill her but this orc will kill Atz!” was all I could say as I moved to engage the orc. I heard Sam scream “she’ll kill me if she finds out I did this!” and began laughing as I hit the unsuspecting orc in the upper shoulder and leaving a nasty deep gash in his thick hide. He turned and in rapid succession slammed his rather large mace into me multiple times before I could attempt to counter. Damn he was fast. Finding all the glory I had wanted in combat I laid into him with all I had but before I could finish him off an arrow hit him right between his eyes driving deep into neck. As the orc slowly fell, I turned to see Kiara on the upper most floor holding a bow. Dropping my sword I told her to jump and that I would catch her. She moved into the darkness and yelled for me to head to the stables, as the horses needed my help more than she did. Taking her advice I moved around the burning inn to find a burning stable. Cursing the goblins and apparently orcs, I ran forward to aid the others.

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Anyone knows that it is proper and acceptable to release trapped horses from a burning stable during a goblin attack while clad only in ones smallclothes, but to dash off into the night after the little bugs without a basic ensemble is just gauche.

Scarab Sages

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Especially with this bunch of pretty boys. I mean, have you looked at them?

While I am quite positive you were not referring to Huge or myself, I would gladly concur that the remainder or our gang could be considered handsome to interested parties. At least compared to others of our lot,I am what most would consider a scratch above average and that's IF I've bathed and borrowed a new tunic after a good nights sleep in a feather bed! I'm more of the rough and ready type. However I am quite amazed at the stunning nature and resounding beauty of our fairer lady members. That was not foreseen in our youth.

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