Fate Comes to Call

The deep end of the ocean
Treading water for hours

Gentle reader, after being stuck in the water for what seemed to be several hours, our heroes were fished out of the ocean by the ships crew. After a few moments of quite lively conversation, it turns out that this “initiation ritual” was a superstition amongst ships crews when they passed into the “new world”. Almost everyone in the party was not amused by this “ritual”, but a gift of grog and silver earrings help smooth over ruffled feathers.

The party arrived in port the next day. There were many things to see along the way as the Captain eased his ship into port, all of them giving the hint of perhaps adventures to come. The most pressing thing that the party needed to take care of first however was the disposition of the cargo they had sailed so far to deliver. This turned into a cause of great concern as our heroes were accosted by a pickpocket along the way. Easily dispatched, the party was then greeted by the even more distressing news that the guild that they were to have delivered their goods to had faded away like morning dew in the heat of midsummer. No one seemed to know what had happened to this guild, except that these kinds of things seemed to happen with alarming frequency in this new land.

Falling back to the ship to regroup, the party learned from the guards they had wisely left behind that their cargo was being seen as a possible target by unsavory characters. Now with concerns quickly mounting about how they would sell their cargo and protecting it from theft, the party decided to temporally headquarters at a local inn called “The Wicker Goat” to discuss strategy upon the morning.

And the trampling thereof
Gentle reader, as a new day dawned in the city of Five Port, it seemed to be a fresh brand new beginning. A beginning not just for the day, but for our lives! A new life for myself and for the rest of my companions of the long six month voyage over the storm tossed waters bridging the gap between the old world and the new. A new city waiting to be explored! A new land free from the harsh strictures of the old world! A continent free from the harsh intolerance and deeply ingrained prejudices of the old way of life!

Evidently I was the only one who possessed these viewpoints. Knowing that our share of the merchants haul was going to be considerably less then what we were told in the old world, I set about trying to raise support for a radical idea. An idea as bold as the new world that we had just woken up in. Instead of continuing to blindly follow the merchant who had led us across the sea, I purposed that we form our own adventuring group with everyone that was with us so far as equal partners. That we share the decreased gold that we were to receive to operate our business so that we could all live a more comfortable life while we set about doing whatever quests awaited us in this land. Everyone would be free to come and go as they pleased from our band and everyone would have a vote on what projects to take on.

My idea failed so miserably it pains me to even mention it. Instead of having more say about our lives in this new land we now continue to work for our xenophobic employer who as of this writing has not yet paid us the bribe ahem gold he offered us to stay loyal subjects in his service. It is unsurprising that this man has an ambition about him almost as great as his ego. There is much to be had here in this new land and our employer seems to have the will to get as much of it as he can. Mostly for himself of course.

This minor setback matters little gentle reader! There will be other opportunities by the by and all we need to do is be patient enough to wait for them to materialize. In the meantime adventure awaits!

What is it good for?
Gentle reader, change can be sudden. Change can be swift. Change can take a six month ocean voyage to accomplish and then change suddenly again six times in four days. Such is the fate that has befallen this group of adventurers. Our lives seem very much in flux right now and we may need a moment or two to figure out our new heading.

Good to his word (at last) our merchant commander finalized the deal with a local guild to sell the goods we had hauled across the sea. Even though they seemed distracted by other business, their coin was good and we accepted it gratefully. We returned to the wicker goat and commissioned a great feast to celebrate. While the inn made ready for the occasion, the party headed outside to discuss our future. It is often said amongst my people that the greatest of bad luck can begin at the height of a run of good luck. It is the way of the gods I serve. I fear this may have happened here.

As our employer waxed eloquently about the merits of his service, the others noticed a fire springing up from the dock region of the city. Ever ready to run towards danger, our priest and warrior sprinted towards the disturbance, leaving yours truly to chase after them reluctantly. Our employer wisely retreated to the safety of the inn to think over these new developments with the others.

We arrived at the warehouses to find one merrily ablaze. Pressed into service as water bearers, we tried to help douse the flames that seemed be reaching ever higher around us. It should be noted at this time gentle reader that trying to put out a fire in the middle of a running battle is not the wisest course of actions. Our priest almost found that out at the cost of his life.

A group of bandits trying desperately to flee from a battle that it seems had turned against them, attempted to punch through the lines of the defending guards right at our location. They overwhelmed the guards easily and soon only my stalwart companions and I stood between them and the courageous peasants manning the bucket brigade. Our priest fought valiantly, but a fearsome strike from a greatclub laid him low. The warrior protected her now unconscious brother as best she could, and it was all I could do to keep the attackers off of her with my bow.

In the end we triumphed, but only barely. As we tended to the fallen, our employer arrived in a great rage. He was angry and rightfully so that half of his employees ran off for no apparent reason into a battle that we had no reason to be in. Once again we returned to the wicker goat to discuss our future only to arrive to find our feast laid out and ready for us. There we ate in a frosty silence, chewing food we barely tasted for the benefit of the staff who cooked it so we could venture outside to yell at each other some more.

I will not bore you with the details gentle readers, but sharp words were spoken at this meeting. When the smoke had cleared, I was actually the only member of the party to continue to be employed directly by our merchant friend. A complete turn around from the position I had taken just two days before. Change comes to us all I suppose.

As our discussion wound down, we were joined by a mysterious stranger who helped himself to our repast and offered us a deal. Help him he said and great fortune would follow. He seemed to know entirely too much about us and his clearing out of the inn for our talk seemed almost magical in nature. In the end we are all nervous about accepting his offer, but it seems that we will all pause for a day or two to hear it out.
Let us hope that the next few days are more uneventful than the last two.

Deja Vu
All over again
Gentle readers, it seems that sometimes the only thing to do after a six month sea voyage is to clamber aboard another ship barely a week after you have made landfall and sail off once again into the great unknown. More ships biscuit anyone? At least I had a say in where the party was headed this time, unlike some of my companions.

After a few days of careful research after our run in with the mysterious stranger, the party finally decided on a course of action! We were going to explore a marshland somewhere inland near farm country called the Asca marsh. There were rumors of ruins somewhere inside the bog. The thought was that we could do some exploration on our own. Test our mettle while getting our feet wet in the fine art of locating great ruins of long lost civilizations! It also would have the added benefit of getting us out of town and away from our mysterious friend we had suddenly attracted.

But alas! This was not to be. Sometime in the evening, my employer went out and arranged a completely different fate for myself and the rest of my companions in the next few weeks presumedly over dinner at the famed Lucky Star social club. It seems that a delicate matter involving local politics was now paying us enough to become involved in the situation. Time however, was at a premium and we had to board (egads!) another ship of all things and sail away first thing in the morning! There was not even time to gather all of our members together to vote on the matter as one could not be found and the other was feeling the effects of a night of sampling the Wicker Goats “Private Reserve”. (If one were to travel to the Goat, you must be in very good standing with the innkeeper before he will even admit that he has the stuff, so be warned gentle reader!)

With our new path set before us, we sailed away on one of the fastest coastal running sea craft I have ever set foot on. This sleek ship fairly flew through the water as the Captain and his men sailed and rowed her so vigorously! Only our recent much longer sea voyage kept the majority of us from experiencing sea sickness I believe. Our alchemist however quickly turned a very unhealthy shade of green and headed below decks. The poor soul spent many days in utter misery, the poor man.

This swift journey was not without disruption though. Our quest was to be interrupted by sea serpents and monsters from the river! Our party valiantly tried to save this fearless crew from razor sharp claws and fangs of poisonous death ! How did it all turn out? Well, that would be spoiling my next update of course! Until then, safe travels and good health to you all.

From ship to shore
Every day I'm murder hoboin...

My gentle readers, I last left you with our party facing off against waves and waves of poisonous seaweed men and sea serpents. It is truly only by the good graces of the gods themselves that our sleek sea craft was able to get away from them. I fear our voyage put the captain and his men in some peril. Peril that unfortunately cost several of the captains crew their lives.

The attack came in an area of the world known to be ruled by The Three Sisters. A fearsome coven of Evil sea hags whose only purpose in life is to sow death and destruction on the grandest scale they can imagine. By the luck of the traveler, the potent magic of our employer and the blessings of the Austere Lady were we able to keep their minions away from the ship long enough for the good captain to row us towards freedom. We know not what set them in our path that day, but it will be a great day for us all when this great Evil is laid to rest for the final time.

When the last of these foul beasts lay dead on our deck or trailing far behind in the ships wake could we relax. But we could not rest for long as we all knew that some of us should row the ship to replace the captains fallen men. Many of us took our turns at the oars, while our merchant commander turned his thoughts to crafting powerful magics to counter the sisters foul magery if we needed to face them again. Except for the hard work of rowing the ship, the rest of the voyage was blessedly uneventful.

Arriving at Gonost, our fearless leader quickly arranged for transportation into the nearby Timberway forest where his contact had indicated our target had run to. He can be a cruel taskmaster at times, as he insisted that we travel as swiftly as we could stopping only to water and rest our weary horses. But this single mindedness did pay off, as soon we found fresh leads as to where our target should be hiding out at.

As we prepared to set forth into this icy tundra, we can only hope that the luck and blessings of our Gods remain with us.

Whispers of Death
Why are you guys looking at me like that?

Gentle readers, I pen this missive to you with some delay having had a very trying time of things here in this snow filled forest. The trail of the man we searched for seemed to head towards a remote hunting lodge deep in the Timberway forest.
The going was easy at first setting out from our small hamlet. Our guide was experienced and polite, making our trip quick and relatively painless. Our fearless leader however had picked up a cold somewhere along the way and was quite out of sorts during this whole escapade. If only he had been well in body and spirit, the evil that we faced would have been much less of a threat.
For yes gentle reader, we did face a great Evil out upon the blood soaked snows of Blue rock lodge. It was not the Timberway lions, who were forced to attack us out of sheer hunger and desperation. It was not ourselves even though the foul beast that hounded our back trail did its best to try and drive us insane one by one.
Instead it was a beast so foul and terrible I will not write its name here in fear of naming the dark one to come and try to return from the dead to attack us again. Our competent guide died to this beasts claws and deadly bite along with all who were in the party that preceded us.
Such cursed Evil is a plague upon all good people who tread upon the earth and I hope that all of you gentle readers never have to experence it…
Party members bickering again…
I scrounged for a good hour to bring them all edible berries and roots, would it hurt just once to thank me for this bounty?…
Edit journal later…

By the Gods! We have been placed under a curse most foul! Now I know how it feels to be the hen in a chicken coop when the fox comes to call!

Evil Monolouge practice

Hello there celestial watching over myself and my company, you have seen what I have done but perhaps not why I did it or my opinion on the events! Well I am now speaking to inform you on what has happened thus far. It started out with my landing on this new land, I was excited to see this new world and explore. I however quickly grew tired of my employer, he treated us more as servants than workers. He also constantly calls everybody by incorrect names, either because he purposefully wishes to annoy us or because he actually views us that below him that our names don’t matter, as a side note he is incredibly xenophobic and intolerant of everybody not a white human. At one point I was able to get enough free time to go to the grand Eternal Library as the priest accompanied me. The Priest is a fine fellow, he has an interesting personality and we get along well. While at the library I read up on the various races we may run into and tried to read up on some new spells but it was for not, I could find nothing. During this the Priest found some interesting information, our employer is from a land that was wracked during the shifting land event and never recovered. It is possible he is a lord as he claimed but if its true then it is likely he is lord of little.
Eventually during one of the later dates we spotted a trail of smoke coming from a different Island and everybody else rushed to the cause for whatever damned reasons they want to give. Myself and Hog went to the inn and watched from the rooftop. I had Femur fly around and update me on the events and eventually once it started to die down we left to check it out in person. Once we arrived it appeared that a thief group broke into a warehouse and stole artifacts from the sun church. I summoned the souls of the fallen and spoke with them to learn that they had been payed to raid it. Prior to this it appeared that the others had decided to attack them as well and the Priest had his head bashed in and was close to death. His sister was able to bring him back with their holy power though. I am unsure about the sister, she is a Palidan of the Asture Lady, a goddess of tactics and combat, but she hardly acts it. Besides forming a plan or discussing with others she charged headfirst towards the commotion like a mindless oaf, this is what lead to her brother nearly dying.
Eventually a man known as Red came and offered us a job, simply wait for a guild to visit us and they would have a job for us, but Piggy wouldn’t hear it and instead believed that Red was out to get us. Eventually Hog got a deal from somebody he talked to while fucking some whores to retrieve a signet ring that had been stolen, very likely the same quest the guild was going to offer us. I agreed with this plan however because it was suspiciasly close to a conversation I had been having with Antonio. He had a coin forged by dragons that was a gift from the gods apparently. The coin was obviously magical and I read it for us before suggesting maybe we could go there, however we would likely need to buy passage which would be near impossible. Back to the deal Hog arranged, the reward for this is a seaworthy ship. after a short conversation we agreed on the deal and set out the next morning.
We boarded the fastest ship I’ve ever seen and were on our way. Shortly into the voyage however we were attack by sea monsters. men made of seaweed crawled their way up the ship and attacked the sailers, there was a skirmish and I attempted to help but magic missle did little to them and I can do little with my staff. Suddenly a GIANT creature plunged from the water and landed on the deck causing it to wobble, we attacked it for a little while until eventually the Palidan brought to the edge of human performance by her brother cleaved it in two, she may not follow her gods ideals but she can use her sword quite effectively. As they fought I saw that our doctor was attempting to cower and save face by feigning healing a dead man by dragging him below deck. I called him on this farce and instead found another man that we could try to actually save. I was making some proggress… he however not only hindered me but did more damage than he repaired. When I called him on this with an insult he lost his temper and put a knife to the dying mans throat and made a threat towards both of us, at this moment however to both my benefit and surprise .just as we thought we won more of the seaweed men appeared, but this time they were very large. as the sister charged in the priest brought hog back as he had been pierced through the chest. This caused the “doctor” to stumble and fall down, I attempted to strike him in the head to render him unconscious, but of course my strength failed me as usual and it did little but add a lump to his head. Luckily he thought better of his position and began to apologize profusely and swear to not do it again. viewing the situation I agreed to let him be and continue to work on the dying. It was at this moment however that the doctor drew something from his clothing, stabbed himself with it and he transformed into some kind of monster. logically I was very aghast by this and stumbled away, he kept his wits however and attacked the monsters. eventually we won and then we took the places rowing of the fallen.
once we got to land we found a tavern and once we got a private room we had some fun smoking something called Pipeweed that the doctor monster had. The next morning I awoke early and attempted to finally pry into my staff and see what it can do…. I was met with something disturbing however. It called out in my mind for power and sacrifice, that night when I finally contacted my master he simply stated the staff was a gift and a test, which unsettled me further. It was soon that we were back on the road, but I had been forced to buy clothing and a horse from my own purse as I am now a partner not an employee. the following few days I was seated upon a horse for longer than the rest of my life combined. When we finally broke for camp and to rest the horses I webbed the trees to reduce the paths in for intruders. This however did not stop a lone hunter from peacefully approaching and asking to warm himself by our fire. Hog the man he is of course mad false and veiled threats that the hunter shrugged off, this did not please hog so he shot a small fireball at the man, the hunter then scared as he was stumbled off cursing us under his breath. This enraged Hog even further as he jumped on his horse to catch up to the man, he attacked him once more and the hunter finally defended himself with a thrown dagger and Anotonie shot him down with a bow. I could not believe this, he was an innocent man that simply wanted to warm himself and they killed him in cold blood and then burn him in the fire the next morning. I was half tempted to raise the man to extract revenge but thought better of it as it would draw attention and cause Hog to think he was smart and correct to kill him in the first place.
As we arrived in the next hamlet we hired a tracker to lead us further and somebody to watch our horses while we were out. We hiked out early the next morning and remained on the road for a few days. one night as I was on watch we were attacked by the animals of the land known as timber lions, they took us by surprise, pouncing on me dealing great damage. I panicked, fell back, screamed for help and created clones to cause it harder to attack me. This did not stop the beast however, it clawed one of the clones down before delivering a terrible bite to my neck. it punctured my neck destroying it and sending me to the afterlife…. but for some odd reason as I saw the skeleton hand and scale of Thalratas to send me to my earned afterlife I saw the doors open and I was snapped back to life in a flash of light. I was terrified and fled to the back of the cave reaching at my own throat. I found knotts of scars already formed at my neck and realized I had been chosen by the gods for some purpose. Knowing this I rejoined the fight, the doctor had lobbed something at one of the lions causing it to explode half of its muzzle and it began to flee before I hit it with magic missle defeating it right at the edge of my range. the palidan felled another of the lions and I turned to the final remaining lion putting it down with another lucky missle. the priest did his duty and rushed to heal everybody that had been hurt during the fight, I commend him for this but also curse him for allowing me to fall even though I know there was little he could do. We elected to move the bodies away from our cave and I was able to stay there without anybody suspecting anything other than when I was gathering some of it’s claws. In reality I did that and then followed a plan I had been pondering. Although not a spell I was able to focus some undead power into it’s wounds and they healed, it was ugly and not great but the wound closed! I then thought about raising it and using it as a mount, a fine idea to me but I feel I should conceal my abilities for as long as I can, hopefully by that time I have gained their trust and befriended them enough they do not immediately judge and forsake me. we continued marching ahead until we realized there was an unnatural silence in the air and we found a horrific site.
A man sitting at a tree being buried my the falling snow. Our guide informed us in his emotional state that this was a friend of his and a fellow guide. I inspected the body and found his ears had been pierced by a dagger and a human bite mark on this shoulder. I suggested the palidan check the area with the guide, partially to make sure we were safe but mostly to get him away as I spoke to his dead friend. However when I cast the spell all I heard in my head was madness causing me to break it, woe to me for not putting the peices together at the point! from this point Antonio began to loose his wits and constantly peering over his shoulder. We eventually made it to the hunting tavern to find it boarded and in disarray. We found little outside but the inside was horrendous! blood smeared on walls, fingernail clawmarks on the floor, and lumps in the bed. I thought there was nothing about a body that could unsettle me at this point but I was wrong. In the bed was a slightly bloated body that had been half cannibalized, I immediately lost all that was in my stomach. the palidan was able to tell there was an evil presence in the other room but we wished to investigate to no avail. as we were doing this she went outside and we heard a scream, I was just able to see a burst of flame. and then both she and duck were on the ground. the priest quickly repaired her burnt flesh and gave a justified kick to the head to duck. we dragged him away and convinced hog to burn the whole place burn. we watched anxiously until sudddenly a humanoid creature burst forward and attack, we slaid it and when I inspected it I finally realized what was going on, a Wendigo! I never thought I would face one and never wished to, this one was in the midst of transforming but I relized a full blown one was following us. We tried to decide on a plan and eventually decided against antonio and headed back into the forest where the guide knew of a defensible spot.. We travelled untill we found a skeleton frozen in place pointing in the opposite direction, clearly a fear tactic… and it worked. our guide and anotonio immediately fled and the priest stopped antonio. Suddenly a blur past and a pale phantom flame sat in it’s place, our guide gone. as we stood perplexed a soft thud sounded until we noticed it was a head! I hate to admit it but I did flee to the womans side clutching to her, hoping her strength enough to hold me if the beast decided to grab me as well. we kept going forward looking for the area our guide described but we could not find it, and settled for a spot and a large fire, I was able to sleep most of the night before being awoken by drops of liquid, eventually we realized it was limbs and intestines in the trees, I was able to collect myself enough to sleep. others may not be aware but the warmth of blood is a good way to combat the chill so I slept not as for from the puddles as the others. Luckily I was able to sleep just enough to regain my magical ability before we marched. A few hours later we found the spot and began to clear the area, the madness at this point was currently on the palidan and effected everybody but myself. we worked on clearing a patch of land of rocks and gathered wood for a great fire and two smaller ones. Why the Wendigo let us do all of this without attacking I will never know but it was enough. during the break I went through of another with of my plans knowing we could use any advantage we could get, I channeled a bit of my own magical power into the staff and that was what it wanted. It’s response was as unpleasing as always, it demanded more and I could sense little else besides the sudden appearance of a silver stud at the top. when me and Antonio went tot the edge of the forest to place lights the Wendigo suddenly appeared and snatched me up, carried me a great distance and bit a gaping wound into me! As with all combat I panicked once more and fell to instinct as the others could not see what I was about to do, luckily it worked well this time. I was able to land my hand onto its arm and stole a large portion of life force. even after refiling my own life i felt a great deal of extra power which I would surely need. If this was any other creature that damage and the terribly withered arm would be a death sentence, this was a wendigo however and it quickly began to mend back together. Everybody but my dear friend the priest was too busy casting spells to protect themselves to bother to aid me. however right before the priest could help the wendigo let go and burst in the other direction grabbing antonio. I responded in kind and cast all of my protective spells knowing I would need them. As soon as I was finished Antonio was not free and the priest was grabbed, I saw that Antonios magic missile failed and realized it had shield protecting it. I had little else i could do so I attempted to dispel the shield, not only did I succeed but it also caused the pale flame trail to disappear as well. The paladin attempted to get the cowering Hogthorpe to help but all he agreed to was to shoot flame if we were able to lure it closer. Luckily the wendigo dashed towards him momently later laying her low and then putting a great wound into duck who had been doing who knows what up to this point the coward that he is. As I got closer there was a clear oppurtunity but I was unsure of taking it, it was a long shot against something thiis fast and would possibly be life threatening to the people caught in it but I took the chance. I caught the wendigo in a web! the flame from the campfire quickly catching the web ablaze. it kept the wendigo in place as the paladin removed its head, the fire burnt at duck and I just stood and watched it burn. In honest I would not mind if both he and Hog burnt as a consequence but paladin saved hog and the priest healed duck repeatedly causing him to regain conciousness just to be burnt out of it once more until antonio was able to free him. once the flame burn out we inspected the corpse and found two magical items on it, one a necklace the other leather armor. I worked on both and discovered they both provide protection. Antonio apparently did not believe me and demanded to be allowed to repeat what I just done to verify what I said. The next morning when I awoke I discovered the power I put into the staff was permanently lost to me! This was cause of concern for obvious reasons. I am now unsure how to approach the staff as it must yield great power eventually but it has no immediate rewards, I don’t know how much power it requires from me, and it is a permanent handicap to me until that point.We travelled for a while the next day and I felt a twinge of madness touch my mind and a twinge of hunger despite just eating. It was at this point I remembered the bite, me and nearly everybody else in the group are cursed to become windigos ourselves. I immediately pulled the priest aside to fill him in and ask if he could break it but alas he cannot. when we got back Antonio also figured it out and was telling the others, he also accused me of not telling anybody else what we were fighting and what was happening, that is until I reminded him loud enough for everybody to hear that he too knew about everything and that seemed to shut him up quickly. It is at this moment that I fear I must return to reality as I feel another bout of hunger assaulting me that I must ward off.

More Monolouge

Ah, interesting, I thought this a simple illusion of my cursed mind but it appears I have returned. Since this appears it will be a regular thing now I suppose I will continue telling the story. Where did I leave off…. Ah yes! We were traveling back to town but were ambushed during the night by some lady. she refered to the forest as her realm and had some evil looking beasts with her. She was cryptic wither her language either through her own ignorance or on purpose. I realized that she was speaking about us when she said stuff about vile and darkness and quickly put Antonio to work speaking since he was not cursed. I awoke the others, and in my haste I even awoke the oafish doctor which nearly led to us being attacked since he does not know when to shut his useless mouth. I am not sure if he intentionally works against the good of the group or is simply that dull but he has proven himself a hindrance. Once the negotiations were done Antonio had to surrender his dagger which the beast quickly ate, the screech of metal as it was chewed was ghastly. The woman then called down a ice block with something inside of it and instructed us to put it in the fire and to make sure we were out of her territory before it’s affects wore off. We wisely decided to finish sleeping before we tossed it into the flames and a peculiar cloud formed above us and flew off against the wind in the opposite direction of where we were going. A slight argument broke out but we eventually agreed to follow it. We traveled most of the day before we saw a giant storm ahead of us that should not manifest this time of the year. As we watched a giant bolt of lightning struck the mountain causing it to collapse on itself. we thought maybe to travel to it and I had Femur fly up to give a general time it would take to walk there. For some odd reason Femur decided to quip that I had forgotten about him, I guess I’ll have to remember to buy him some bird seed or something next time were in town. It turned out the mountain would likely taken a few days travel, but during that time the priest had prayed and learned south was a better location for us. we eventually headed back the direction we were going before and were greeted by the beast again. They did something before the beast threw up something and Antonio fiddled with it for a while before finally figuring out what to do with it. Once they activated it a giant snow storm erupted and I was nearly frozen to the core. once we pulled ourselves from the snow we found ourselves just outside of the hunting hamlet. Once inside we went to Old Man Green for something that I no longer remember. After that we went to see the mayor to fill him in on what happened and he seemed eager to get us out…. and I can’t really blame him. Once again the quack doctor couldn’t keep his mouth shut and nearly ruined us. Our mounts were ready to go once we got to the gate and Juliana made a hilarious attempt to make her horned horse allow her brother to ride it as well. We rode south until we hit a wandering gypsies camp that Antonio knew. he left us outside as he went to talk and I saw hunger in my groups eyes and distanced myself and prepared spells. Luckily I was saved once Antonio returned allowing us access to the camp. We were frisked for weapons but luckily left me with my staff. We ended up at a clearing with a soup kettle in the middle that caused great suspicion in me as it actually smelled delicious. I tried warning other subtley but they ignored me and went to feast on it as I watched in intrest. Antonio left once more to talk to the leader and in the meantime I started to work on a new scroll and took notice that many of the people were staring at me before I recalled the nature of white ravens. Duck for all of his insults based on whores left to find one immediately after he finished eating. We were then told that the woman running this camp could remove our curses but it would cost us… It turned out the witch wanted two of my onyx and to finish my staff. Once I agreed I placed my hand on her crystal ball and it sucked my onyx into it. She then informed me that there is some spirit or entity that is watching me wanting me to progress with my trials and it was the one that requested the staff part of the deal. That night I snuck into forest as my curse was now broken and began to focus on pouring my own magical ability into the staff until finally a giant silver scythe formed at the head of it. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN, HOW WILL I EXPLAIN IT FIND OUT NEXT TIME ON SPEAKING WITH THE NECRO!

The Hunger Games
D&D edition

Gentle reader, there are times when traveling in a group can be a good thing. Banding together to face a common foe or for companionship upon the road for instance can be very helpful to your journey. There can be a dark side to this however, as you may increase your risk of catching a fever from one of your companions, or be forced to delay when their wagon gets stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere.

What happened to me my friends was much, much worse. The Evil creature that we had faced in the forest had left us one last “gift” if you will. A deadly affliction that caused my traveling partners to have a great unceasing hunger for living flesh. Only my employer and I were unaffected by this curse, and as the days drew on I feared that we would be set upon and devoured by our own party members.

Fate and the assistance of the Gods it seems did save us all from complete disaster.

A powerful authority figure of undetermined but strongly magical strength approached our camp at night as we attempted to return to Blue Rock Ridge. She had sensed the growing seeds of Evil starting to consume my companions and was determined to eradicate them before they could manifest themselves fully. By the grace of my skill at wordsmithing did I convince her to let us pass. In the end though, she did more than let us go. The magic she called upon to aid us not only shortened our return to town, but it also turned aside the means for the cure for my companions.

At the time however, we knew not of this boon to our travel. Returning to town, I informed the mayor of the fate of his guide and the dangers that may still lie in the forest. At first he would not believe me, but the sight of my companions and the dark hunger lurking in their eyes convinced him that we should leave immediately. It took my best diplomatic efforts to gain some small provisions and our horses before we were escorted to the gates. I don’t blame the man in the end, although I doubt that we would ever be welcome back there again.

The best bet that we knew of for salvation lie many days hard ride back to the city of Gnost where we didn’t have any idea of where to look for aid. I did not like our chances to make it to the city gates in time however. Not without casualties.
That is why it was a great relief to see a familiar circle of wagons camped out near a crossroads a full days ride away from Blue Rock Ridge. While the music being played and the faces within were familiar, they were also brothers and sisters I had never met before. I could only hope that my peoples traditions on this side of the world held as strongly as they did in the old world.

The Traveling People
Oh! Was that gold yours? Sorry about that.
The history of my people is a long and cursed one. Long before the old world was settled in the last Age did the traveling people wander across the lands. Our oldest legends speak of a time before the breaking of the world when the traveling people had a land of their own. However the name and location and indeed even the time of this event have faded into the mists of oblivion. One thing that we do know is that my people did not cause the breaking of the world as many accuse us of doing so long ago. From our perspective, far to many “enlightened” races and other humans are frightened by a people whose oral (and now written) history stretches back beyond the time of when even the Elves and Dwarves made their first hesitant steps upon the world. Our power is primordial, our legacy tainted by the cruel whims of the vain and fickle God we serve. The power of our curses are legend amongst all the sentient races, including the Dragons and Giants in the clouds. Until my people find the end of the road and the songs and stories that live there will they ever travel onwards.

For this we have been persecuted without mercy throughout our long history. “Hang a Gypsy. Hang him high. Hang him so your luck will not run dry.” is just one of many popular sentiments that still exist against my people. We are seen as thugs, thieves, murderers, con men, liars, cheats, swindlers, and several types of plague bearing banditry or worse. But yet we are tolerated in almost all the small backwoods communities that we travel through on our endless journey. We bring tales and songs of the outside world, news of places both far away and very near. Goods to sell and barter. Crafting and mending services. The list goes on. It is always a source of amusement to most caravan masters to watch the struggle a village elder or alderman goes through as he or she weighs the cost of letting the caravan into their town versus forcing us to pass out of fear and superstition that precedes our arrival.

Much of this unease with my people comes from the shall we say “relaxed” manner we have about ourselves and our possessions. When the caravan is the source of your light and life, individual possessions are meaningless. If I put my hammer down and am not using it, why should I be troubled if one of my sisters or brothers picks it up? Obviously their need is greater than mine at this time. All work goes to protect and care for the caravan. It is useless folly to label things as “mine” or “yours”. The fact that a great number of my people view relationships the same way can also make the more narrow minded uncomfortable. There may be a woman or women that I favor. That however does not allow me to claim them as my own. Fate and destiny both rule and shadow our very lives. Bringing new blood into the circle of our caravan by joining with outsiders is always a top priority. We will always welcome new children into the circle, but we do not lure them away or steal them as the folk tales say. Repopulation of our caravans are mostly done in a far more “conventional” manner. Refugees , street rats, and unwanted children are always welcome to the circle.

I do not wish to portray the caravan as a perfect utopia however. Disagreements exist. Spite, envy, hatred, anger, all of this still exists in our circle. However we have learned by and large as a people that we cannot allow petty disagreements to fracture our caravan. We are all that we have and to strike out against a brother or sister or wagon master is the fastest way to bring the true doom upon us all. There are always other caravans, other groups of brothers and sisters that we will meet that you can join if the need to leave us is great enough or if differences cannot be resolved.

All in all, the life of the traveling people is a harsh and wearying one. Yet my people combat this by attempting to live life to its fullest in every waking moment. Such lust for life and everything it has to offer can be troubling to most of you, but for my people it is quite simply all that we can do.
Author Unknown.
Tale told as recited by Jodas a Wagonmaster


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