The Pantos Dominion

The Ranger's Journal - Day 21a

I got up the next morning and met Felthion downstairs as he was heading out to the blacksmith’s shop to check on his hammer. Musk, who had been passed out at one of the tables in the far corner the night before, had somehow found his way upstairs. Needing some kind of weapon, I decided to accompany Felthion to the blacksmith. When we arrived at the blacksmith’s shop, Felthion went to discuss the status of his hammer as I looked around his shop. It didn’t take me much time to find a long sword that looked exactly like the one I had. In fact, after looking at it closer, I knew it was my sword. When Felthion came back, I explained to him that this was my sword that had been stolen last night. Felthion approached the blacksmith to inquire about the sword and he admitted that a couple of guys had brought it in late last night to sell it. We explained to the blacksmith that it was my sword that was stolen from me and Felthion offered him 100 gold coins for information about the guys that brought it in for sale. The blacksmith did not hesitate to tell us the descriptions of the two men that mugged me and to tell us that they worked at a rug store over in the market. Felthion paid the man the promised 100 gold coins and threw in five extra gold coins for his troubles. The blacksmith told us to keep the sword and wished us good luck and good day.

We headed back to the inn and explained what we had found about the muggers to the rest of the group and we all started heading over to the market to help me get my things back. To avoid tipping off the men if they saw me approach with my group, I hid off to the side as they came up to the rug shop.

Unfortunately we arrived a bit early and the shop wasn’t open yet but as we waited a hawk swooped down and landed right next to Felthion and squawked and ruffled its feathers. A quick glance at the hawk and we all knew instantly that this was Sykon’s hawk. We told the hawk…or at least tried…to take us to where Sykon was and it spread its wings and flew off to the southeast. We headed off after it and made our way to almost the center of the southern edge of town where the hawk landed on a large warehouse like structure.

The warehouse looked as if it had been abandoned for some time but that it had most likely been used as some sort of workshop and storage. There was a normal door on the front of the building and a larger, wagon sized door as well. After knocking on the door and receiving no answer, Felthion tried the door and the wagon door but both doors seemed to be barred shut from the inside. We went around to the back of the building only to find the back door was also barred shut from the inside. The warehouse did have windows on the second floor and so Felthion lifted Guy up on his shoulders and Guy was able to look in the windows. Seeing that it looked vacant, he carefully opened the window and climbed in, closing it behind him. Felthion went back around to the front of the building and began pounding on the door again as the rest of us moved a bit away in case someone decided to escape out the back door. It was only a matter of minutes before the back door opened and Guy motioned us to come in. Once inside, we closed and re-barred the door. We then went to the front door where Felthion was still needlessly knocking and opened the door and let him in too. Again once inside, we closed and re-barred the door. Guy had said he found no one inside and so we started searching until we came across a trap door in the floor.

Carefully we opened the door and looked down into the darkness. Felthion cast a light spell on his hammer and Biggun and Felthion started climbing down the ladder quickly followed by Guy and then myself at the end. Once through the trap door, I closed it above me and continued down. The smell was strong and it was clear that we had just climbed down into the sewers. On both sides of the sewer tunnels were edges that we could walk along to avoid the smelly, mostly liquid, river that flowed in the middle.

With the light from Felthion’s hammer, I was able to make out some tracks that headed north up the tunnel. With Biggun in the lead, we set off following the tunnel but we only made it about thirty feet before Biggun suddenly jumped back narrowly escaping a set of spears that now protruded out of the wall in front of us. At this point, we decided to have Guy lead and keep a sharp look out for traps as we went. About forty feet further down the tunnel it split off to the west and east as the north tunnel continued onward to the northwest. From the tracks, I could see that the men turned east and we continued on for another forty feet before coming along a narrow tunnel that headed off to the north. Checking, the tracks continued east so we continued on east as well. Another thirty feet and Guy stopped us as he examined and then disarmed a trap before continuing onward. Just as we reached another narrow tunnel that headed off to the north, Guy jumped back as the brick under his feet gave way tilting to throw its occupant into the river in the middle, however there was no river in the middle as there was no middle. The brick had triggered trap doors that opened in just the spot that a lesser skilled person would have slipped and plummeted into. As far as we could see from where we were there was no bottom but even if there was, it would now be covered with this flowing river. As Guy studied the trap, the brick and the trap doors slowly returned to their original positions closing off the endless pit. This trap seemed to take Guy a bit of time to figure out and he had accidently activated it another time while trying to disarm it but he eventually got it disarmed and we started to move on until I noticed that the tracks had turned up this narrow northern tunnel.

This tunnel was considerably smaller and even I had to duck down as we walked but at about forty feet up the tunnel I noticed what looked like secret door on the west side but I could see no way to open it. Guy came over to take a look at the door but he too was unable to find any opening mechanism but he was fairly sure there were no traps attached to it, at least not on this side of the door. As we looked around for some sort of switch, Fethion noticed a small protruding rock and pushed it and the door began to open. Another look on the inside by Guy and he said the door was trap free.

As we moved into this tunnel that now seemed larger than even the first tunnels we entered, Biggun commented that the stone work for this tunnel is significantly newer than the tunnels that we just left. With the plate wearers in the front, we proceeded westward into this new tunnel for about 35 feet until we reached a right-hand turn and two guards.

Biggun and Felthion squared off with the two guards and pretty much blocked the tunnel but Guy skillfully dodged between them and got behind the guard attacking Biggun. In just a few moments the guard dropped and Biggun turned toward the guard that was attacking Felthion and made a path that I could use to get up into the battle. As I stepped forward, another guard came up behind Guy. Soon the second guard was down and Felthion stepped up to the one attacking Guy and soon all three were dead. We heard someone running up ahead so we moved up and found a room off to the east side where Sykon, alone, was trying to get his hands free from a chair that he was tied to. We took a couple of quick glances on up the hallway but retreated into the room where Sykon was.

Guy cut the ropes binding Sykon and we all asked Sykon what had happened and why he was abducted. Sykon explained that in the past he had had some skirmishes with the thieves’ guild and then explained that he got mixed up with them only to protect his mother and that they didn’t up hold their end of the bargain. Sykon also noted that these thieves were not from the Grinley thieves’ guild and to be very careful with the black swords that the guys were using. In fact, he was surprised that we were all still standing as those swords had been coated with a very potent poison that one small cut could kill you pretty quickly. As he spoke, he checked each of the three thieves and found a vial of poison on each of them. We decided to leave the swords but Felthion decided he wanted to take one. We were all a bit confused as Cleric do not use swords but he indicated that he wanted to present it to a guard as evidence of the wrong doing in the town.

As we exited the sewers, we filled Sykon in on the happenings around town and that we were to meet Fiswyn at the large oak tree just on the north side of town about midday. Sykon headed back to the Inn to pick up his things and rouse Musk from his drunken slumber and said they would meet us at the tree. Biggun set out to retrieve our horses from the stable and Felthion, Guy and I went back to the rug store to see about getting my bow back.

As we approached the market Felthion looked around for a guard but not seeing anyone he began to wave the black sword around and shout that the sword belonged to a thief and that he has the sword now because the thief got what he deserved. Guy and I quickly distanced ourselves from Felthion as we headed for the rug shop.

Just before reaching the rug shop, I darted around behind another vendor and hid from anyone that would be casually looking around from the rug shop. Guy went on up to the rug shop and began looking at the rugs. It became clear quickly that the rugs were all sorts of patterns and quality. These rugs were clearly not made by one person. As Guy looked around, an older lady, presumably the shop owner approached Guy and the two exchange conversations about the rugs. Although I couldn’t hear the conversation, I could tell that Guy was inquiring about a specific rug that was hanging next to him and the shop owner left. A few moments later a young man approached Guy as if to assist him with getting down the rug that Guy had been looking at. I noticed that this was one of the two guys that had stolen my sword and bow and gave Guy a nod.

Within a blink of an eye, Guy was beside the man, most likely with a dagger held to his side, and motioned him to move around to the back of the shop. When they were about half way around the shop, I joined Guy and the young man and it was obvious from his expression that he recognized me as well. I demanded my bow back and he indicated that he had sold it to Leonard, the bower, in the early morning. I told him that I didn’t care if he sold it or not, I wanted it back and he was going to get it for me. With Guy’s dagger in his side, he didn’t hesitate too long before saying that he would need to get some gold coins from the store and then we could go to the bower to get it back. We moved around and entered the small shop and found the other young man that had stolen my things. It was clear that he too recognized me but seeing the dagger at his partner’s side he made no attempts to attack or escape. The first young man went over to a small box and retrieved a coin pouch and he and I set out for Leonard’s shop while Guy and the other remained back at the shop.

At Leonard’s shop, we find my bow and Leonard commented on how fine a bow it was and kindly agreed to sell it for a small 600 gold coins. The young man explained that he didn’t have 600 gold coins and was hoping to get it back for what Leonard had paid him for it earlier but Leonard did not like that deal and was not willing to “sell” it that cheap. Even after I explained that the bow was mine, that this young man had stolen it from me, he still wasn’t willing to part with it so easily. He had a good bow that he felt he bought at a good price and he expected to make a profit. I turned to the young man and said, “Well, maybe that lady at your rug shop can spot you some gold and make you work extra hard to pay her back.” Overhearing me mention the lady at the rug shop, Leonard said he had second thoughts on the issue and if we would pay him what he bought it for, he would give it back. The young man paid him, I got my bow and we headed back to the rug shop. When we got back, I took the rest of the gold coins from the man’s coin pouch and Guy and I left.

Back in the market there was quite a large crowd gathering and it was soon obvious why. Felthion was beating the black sword into the ground and trying to demonstrate what he said would happen to any more thieves that he found. The crowd had grown so large that the town guards had started coming to break up the crowd and find out was causing the scene.

As the guards approached, Guy headed them off and pointed to another man that was moving through one of the markets and told the guard that this man was causing all the commotion and that Guy had seen him stealing. Most of the guards headed off after the man and the remaining guards began to break up the crowd. Felthion dropped the black sword on the ground and blended in with the crowd moving directly passed the guards as they headed for the center of the now dispersing crowd.

We met back up with Felthion just outside the market and headed on up the street and out of town to meet up with the others. With Grinley not going quite as smoothly as we had hoped, we starting discussing what we would do next. With the encounter with the thieves’ guild, Sykon said he didn’t think we should push our luck by going to the city of Pembroke where we were supposed to find the herbalist that could tell us about the glitter grass and the blacksmith that could improve Biggun’s armor. There was Pembroke castle and more specifically, Topadebt, the man that lived in a water cave just south of Pembroke Castle that was buying Glitter Grass

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The Ranger's Journal - Day 20c

We headed out of the inn and into the alley under Sykon’s window to see what we could find. In the alley there was a passed out man that looked like he had not been sober in days and woman crouching in the corner. Guy approached the woman and asked if she had seen anything regarding people in the alley coming from the window but all the woman would do is look around wildly while saying, “the boys…sneaking underground…always watching…the boys…always watching…always dark…even in the daylight…dark…they will suck at your soul…”. More attempts to get information produced similar response from the woman even after we offered her a few coins for food.

I had picked up the tracks of the four men and so as Guy was turning to follow, the women straight-faced and serious, looked Guy right in the eyes and said, “Efrin will know what to do!” and then went back to her wild looking and chanting. Guy threw here a few copper and told her to go get something to eat as we turned for follow the tracks.

For a while, the four mean, two of which were a heavier, most likely carrying Sykon, were easy to track in the dirt through various twists and turns along back alleys as we headed south toward the keep in the center of town. It was apparent that two fully armored men, Biggun and Felthion, creeping through alleys was a bit strange to the townspeople so we decided that Biggun and Felthion would head back to the inn while Guy and I continued to follow the tracks. As we approached the southern edge of the keep where the main gate was located, the tracks turned down a particularly muddy alley and were sucked up in the mud. As I continued to search around for where the tracks could have went, Guy said that he was going to move on around to the keep’s gate and see if there was any activity over there.

As Guy headed off, I went back to looking for where the tracks would have went and noticed two men watching me, but trying not to be noticed watching me. Keeping an eye on the men, but trying not to let them know I noticed them, I started “searching” more toward where Guy and I had departed while trying to make my way around to the gate to meet back up with Guy. As I glanced back to where the men had been standing, they had disappeared but I quickly found one of the men crouching but walking as if trying to sneak, but I couldn’t find the other. I picked up my pace a bit but heard a sound right behind me. As a whirled around to see what it was, I was face to face with that second man that had disappeared. “Hold on there just a bit, pointy ears!” the man said as his partner came up to join us. “Give me all your money!” he demanded. Slightly stunned that these two were simply thieves wanting my money and not some guild wanting to interrogate me, I looked at the man and told him that I didn’t have any. “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way,” he said. I started to take a few steps back to get into a bit more defensive position and told the man that he wasn’t going to get my money as I reached over my shoulder and drew my sword.

The first attack I easily parried but it was clear that these guys knew what they were doing as the moved into position in front of me and behind me so that I was not able to defend myself very well. I made a small gash in the guy in front me as I tried to step back but their counter strikes were well timed and I couldn’t get another strike in. Bleeding quite badly, I reluctantly handed over my coin pouch and told them to take it and be on their way but now that I was beaten, the coin pouch was not enough and they took my long sword and my bow as well. The bow, which my old ranger master and I had worked so hard to make had to be pried from my hands, but with the little strength I had, that didn’t take much effort.

The two men took their spoils and surprisingly left. I had been sure that they would have finished killing me but that may have brought down more trouble than I was worth if the city guards or my friends ever found me and found out who had done this to me. With all the effort I had left, I pulled myself up and headed for the gate. When I found Guy, I nearly collapsed at his feet but I told him what had happened. He told me to head back to the inn and see Felthion and he would set out to see what he could find. I made sure to take the well-lit roads to try to avoid any more confrontations as I headed back toward the inn. It certainly wasn’t easy, and again I was on the edge of collapsing when I finally made it back and almost fell in the front door. The bartender took one look at me, gasped, and helped me around to the edge of the bar and gave a glass of liquid and told me a drink it. I don’t know what was in the glass but it made me feel a little better and I think my wounds finally stopped bleeding. He handed me a mug of ale and said, “Here, this is on the house, might take some of the pain away, what the heck happened to you anyway? Should I send for one of the town healers?” Now that I was feeling slightly better, I explained to the bartender what had happened but told him that I didn’t need a healer. I told him that I just wanted some rest and that I was heading up to my room. As I started toward the stairs, I heard him say, “Damn thieves guild…getting braver and braver!”

At the top of the stairs I made my way to Felthion’s room and knocked on the door. When he opened his door, he too gasped and as he healed me I explained what had happened. With all my wounds healed, I felt much better, but I still felt tired from the day’s events. I thanked Felthion and then went to my room to go to relax and meditate.

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The Ranger's Journal - Day 20b

Draug was only supposed to grab the boy’s leg and trip him but he tackled the boy and knocked him unconscious. Since we were only about a block from the inn, Biggun ran back and got Felthion and Fiswyn and brought them back to us. Felthion healed the boy and cast some sort of truth spell on him and then started asking him a bunch of questions. We noticed that we were starting to draw quite a crowd and the boy was clearly being stubborn about revealing any information and so we decided we needed to take this to a more private spot outside of town. The boy was reluctant to go anywhere so Felthion picked him up and carried him until we were just outside of town

At a large oak tree just north of town Felthion began questioning the boy again and told him that he would remain in our custody and become our slave until he gave us the information we wanted to know. Still looking unaffected by the threats, Guy pulls out one of his daggers and his sharpening stone and begins to sharpen it. The boy says that our threats do not bother him because he as seen a lot worse already.

Taking a different approach, Biggun offers him five gold coins for the information on who is having us followed. This loosened the boy’s tongue a little and he told us that McGregor wanted us followed but didn’t say why. He just wanted a report on what we were doing in town. He said McGregor was a real jerk and is part of some guild but he didn’t know any more than that. With that, Biggun paid the boy and let him go back into town. Not convinced that he was telling everything, Fiswyn turned invisible and set off following the boy while the rest of us returned to the inn. With all the town people that had gathered around before mumbling about the boy being attacked by a wolf, I thought it best that Draug stay out of town and I set him loose in the woods for the night.

At the inn, we all sat down and had a few drinks and dinner while we waited for Fiswyn to come back. Sykon said that he had some things to do in his room and headed upstairs. After a while, Biggun decided that waiting for the bar maid to bring refills was taking too long and headed up to sit at the bar. While he was there a strange looking man came in, went up to the bar next to Biggun, ordered a drink, spoke briefly to Biggun, slammed down his drink and then left. Shortly afterwards, Biggun came over to the table to tell us that the man that visited him was Fiswyn and that he had some news but couldn’t be seen talking to us so we were supposed to send someone to meet him after dark back at the large oak tree just north of town.

As we waited for the sun to finish setting we all had a few more drinks. Suddenly Guy looked a little upset about something, downed his drink and went up to the bar to get a refill. When Guy came back, he said that he overheard a man at the bar talking to the bartender about someone roughing up the kids in the neighborhood. Guy said the man also asked the bartender if “he had anything” but the bartender replied that things had been slow but that he should have something next week. With that reply, the man had left the inn. Guy also noted that the man had a gray streak of hair in his otherwise black hair and that the bartender had called him Kern.

When the sun finally set, Guy and I left the inn and making sure no one could follow us, we quietly headed out of town to the large oak tree where Fiswyn was waiting for us. After Guy had relayed the information that we had heard, Fiswyn told us about what had happened when he had left to follow the boy. The boy had met up with some of his friends and that they had celebrated his new found wealth and bought them all some food to eat. Shortly afterward the boy met up with a man with a gray streak in his hair, Kern, he now knew. After a brief discussion and what appeared to be some sort of verbal discipline Kern was giving the boy, the boy took the rest of his gold coins out of his pocket and gave them to Kern and then headed off into the crowd. Fiswyn, thinking this might be the man that was having us followed, began following the man but after a while Fiswyn lost him in the alleys. As Fiswyn was heading back to the inn he was approached by Kern and three other guys. They took Fiswyn to a more secluded place and then asked him if he was with our party, what we were doing in town, and what we wanted with the boy. Fiswyn had apparently given the man the right answers, including that he was not with our party, and so the men had let him go. As the men had started away, Kern turned back and said, “Oh, and I am not McGregor, and if you happen to see McGregor, you tell him to leave my boys alone.” Then he turned back around and disappeared into the crowd. Fiswyn, knowing that he was being watched and that there was something about our party that was of interest to these men, thought it best not to be seen with us again so he headed down another alley and when he was sure no one could see him, he disguised himself as the man we saw in the bar earlier so that he could come and let us know what had happened and why we would not see him around. He also said he had found another inn to stay in where he could earn a little extra coin and that he would meet us here again tomorrow around midday.

Guy and I left Fiswyn and moved quietly back in town and back to the inn. By now the inn had gotten quite busy with a wide assortment of individuals. We saw elves, gnomes, humans, dwarves and even some men from the same race as the Scandar brothers. After letting the party know we were back and that we would explain things in private later, I headed over to the table of elves and tried to start up a conversation but it became clear that these elves were not the talkative type and so I headed back to the table with my friends.

Later on that night all of us headed up to the rooms except Musk who was passed out at a table in the far corner. We had not seen Sykon since earlier that day, so I decided to go tell Sykon about the latest information we had. After repeated knocks on the door with no answer, I checked the door and it was not locked. I cautiously opened the door and looked in but Sykon was nowhere in sight. There were a few things lying out of place like there may have been a small struggle and Sykon’s spell book was laying open on the floor near the table. Knowing that Sykon wouldn’t have intentionally left his spell book lying around like that, I reclosed the door and went to gather the group.

When I told Biggun, he and I headed back into the room to double check that no one was there and then went down to the bartender to ask if he had seen Sykon leave or anything else suspicious. He told us that he saw Sykon go upstairs but never saw him come down and that he didn’t remember anyone else going up to the rooms since then either but the bar had gotten quite busy. So we headed back up to Sykon’s room to look around.

Guy said there was an odd smell in the room; he had recognized it, but that he just couldn’t place it at the moment. With a little more investigating, we found a small piece of wire under Sykon’s spell book that Guy believes to be a garrote, we found a small broken ceramic ball under the window that appears to be some sort of device used to stun or subdue a person or group of people and we found some evidence that it was several people, possibly four, that headed out the window carrying Sykon.

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The Ranger's Journal - Day 20a

We got up the next morning and set out to find the livery where we could buy horses to make the journey to Pembroke. The livery had a nice supply of mares and stallions and I quickly made friends with a young fair-sized black stallion. We each purchased our own horse and riding gear and decided we wouldn’t need the pack mule anymore and sold it. Since Biggun already had the horse from Stumpy, he offered it up to Musk, who was a little short on gold, and bought himself a nice pony. While we were there finishing our business a small group of Legionnaire guards came into the livery, glanced at us and went on about their business. It was a bit tense for a moment but it appeared that the news of our “encounter” in Leona had not made it to Grinley yet, or at least not to these guards.

Fiswyn went off to find a gemologist to sell the remaining gems we had collected and Felthion accompanied him. Biggun, Sykon and Guy headed back to the inn and I set out to find the leather working shop.

At the leatherworking shop, I talked to the leather worker and got a few prices on some upgraded leather but through it all it wasn’t worth the price for the minor benefits that I would get from it. At this time it was late afternoon so I left the leatherworking shop and head back to the inn, tomorrow I would seek out the fletcher to see what he may have.

When I arrived back at the inn I joined the group at a table and had a few drinks. Biggun was telling the group that he had noticed that some people had been following us. We decided we needed to find out what this was about so Sykon, Musk, Guy, Biggun and I headed out of the inn and headed up the road as if to head out of town while Felthion and Fiswyn stayed behind. Sure enough, we were being followed and as we exited town the person following us stopped and tried to make himself look busy along the side of the road. As expected, he had no plans to leave the “safety” of the city, so Guy took one side of the road and I with Draug took the other side and we quietly moved down the alley ways to intercept him as the rest of the gang headed back into the city in full view. As the guy turned to follow the other three back to the inn, I waited until he was just about to me and I stepped out in front of him. Startled, he turned around and started to run but stopped suddenly when Guy came out from the alley in front of him. Looking around quickly he turned and attempted to run to another alley but Draug was on him in a heartbeat.

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The Ranger's Journal - Day 19

Shortly before midday, Grinley came into view and we soon entered town from the north side. Just a little ways down the main street we came to an inn, had a few drinks and arranged rooms for the night.

Felthion wanted to find the blacksmith to work on his hammer, so he set out into the city. It wasn’t long before he came back and indicated that it would be a couple of days before the hammer was finished.

We finished off the day in the inn; getting settled in our rooms, having dinner and then drinking the evening away.

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The Ranger's Journal - Day 18

As the sun rose, we broke camp and headed on down the road toward Grinley. By our best estimate we thought we should get there by about noon tomorrow. Although the sun was hot, the day’s journey was quiet and uneventful. We camped again just off the road with the usual watches but all was quiet.

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The Ranger's Journal - Day 17

In the morning, we had our breakfast, renewed our spells and set off down the road. About midafternoon, we saw what looked like a group of five large warriors escorting what appeared to be a huge creature carrying a large house on its back. Since we really didn’t want any confrontation with the Arad Legion or other guard like people, we quickly ducked off the road and hid as the caravan approached. Soon we could clearly make out the five warriors as each being between seven and eight feet tall with four arms and a bluish gray fur. The large creature behind them looked to be something the size of a huge wooly elephant with long white fur and a dog like face instead of a typical trunk. On its back was a huge set of cabinets and drawers and small gnome driver in an outlandish cloak full of pockets wearing a small hat with a feather sticking out.

Seeing that this looked like a traveling merchant, we stepped out of our hiding place and back on the road. When the gnome saw us, he called out to his caravan to stop and as it did, he pulled a lever next to him and began walking down a series of stairs as they unfolded from his seat all the way down to the ground. When the gnome reached the ground, he exclaimed that he was called Ympe and that he was a traveling entrepreneur and this was his “Wandering Emporium and Magical Menagerie”. Taking the whole site in, we asked about his caravan and he told us that his guards were the Scandar Brothers and that the large beast behind him was a Bansik of the north. “But let’s get down to business shall we, what would you guys be interested in?” he said.

I spoke up and asked him if he had any leather armor for sell and his eyes lit up, “Yes! Yes! Right this way”, he said as he motioned us over to the side of the large beast and pulled lever and turned a crank connected to the cabinets on its back. As he did so, a cabinet opened and a rack of leather armor came out presenting a number of different leather pieces. Ympe took down a nice leather chest piece and explained that for a mere 8000 gold coins that I could own this incredibly tough leather from the hot lands of the south or that for 15000 gold coins I could have another chest armor that provided substantial protection in both hot and cold weather. Seeing that these pieces were well out of my price range I quickly told Ympe that I would have to check back with him at a later time. “Very well,” he said and handed me a small coin. “Take this coin and speak to it whenever you are ready and I will let you know where I am or when I will be nearby.”

Biggun then asked about plate armor, preferable dwarven. With another lever and couple of more cranks, the leather armor rack disappeared and a new rack came out showing several pieces of plate armor. I didn’t catch all that he said but I did hear that a particular piece of enchanted armor was on special for only 48000 gold coins. There was also another piece that Biggun was practically drooling over that I believe was made from adamantine but was also just outside of Biggun’s gold supply.

Seeing that he was getting nowhere, Ympe said that he had the perfect thing for an adventuring group such as us, magic darts; and with another lever and a couple of cranks, a rack of magic darts came out of the cabinet. He explained that he had a wide assortment of preloaded magic darts that we simply throw at our target to release the spell that was placed inside. He had everything from healing spells to fireball spells and even some blank darts that we could load ourselves for only 2000 gold coins each. After discussing the reusability of the darts, “as long as they didn’t break”, we again decided that this was out of our price range. Not wanting to lose a sale, he offered us the earlier prototypes that he had for only 500 gold coins each but we had to pass on them as well.

Finally we asked him what he might have in the form of jewelry, maybe rings. Again Ympe’s eyes lit up as he went over to another set of levers and cranks and produced a huge display of rings. After a bit of negotiation, we were able to get Ympe to come down to 800 gold coins from 2000 on a particular ring of protection.

After a short discussion among ourselves, we decided to see if Ympe would be interested in buying some of the gems that we had accumulated. We showed Ympe our black gem, some blue gems and some of the star shaped red gems and through the negotiations we came out few gems lighter but with a new ring of protection. We also showed Ympe the glitter grass that we had and although he was interested in buying it, he told us that he was heading the wrong direction and that we should seek out a guy down south that was looking for glimmer grass. Ympe said that the man, Topadebt he thought was his name, was in a water cave just south of Pembroke Castle.

Felthion approached Ympe and demonstrated his magical snake staff to Ympe and asked what he would offer for it. He told Felthion that he could go as high as 8500 gold coins but that was all he could offer. Since that was not quite what Felthion was looking for and seeing Biggun nearly to tears over not getting his armor, Ympe offered to trade the adamantine dwarven armor for the staff but Felthion still didn’t want to close the deal. Fiswyn had wondered over and had tried to start a conversation with one of the Scandar brothers but another Scandar, named Laoneth, told Fiswyn that his comrade did not speak common and wouldn’t be able understand him. Laoneth and Fiswyn talked briefly while the rest of us finished up with our trading with Ympe. Ympe handed us a few more of his “communication” coins, packed up and headed on up the road.

All and all we just ended up purchasing the one ring of protection which we gave to Biggun because with his fighting style he typically gets the most banged up each time (and hopefully to take his mind off the armor).

The night came and we made camp and set the usual watches. Other than a bit of rain and a traveling merchant heading down the road in the middle of the night, during Fiswyn’s watch, the night passed quietly.

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The Ranger's Journal - Day 16b

Biggun and Sykon took off after the Inquisitor and the rest of the party followed after them. As we approached the camp we saw the Inquisitor talking to what appeared to be an undead of some sort with a large wolf on his other side. The undead disappeared almost immediately and Sykon wasted no time in launching a fireball at the Inquisitor and the large wolf. Biggun charged toward the Inquisitor just as Sykon’s fireball dissipated after taking out a tent on the side of the camp. When Biggun was about thirty feet from the Inquisitor, a huge blast caused the ground to explode all around him as he ran. As Biggun reached the Inquisitor the large wolf jumped in and bit a pretty beat up Biggun and he dropped to the ground unconscious.

While we all stood stunned for that brief second the Inquisitor yelled, “We can continue this, but if we do, I will kill you all!” Felthion spoke up and said that we did not want to continue and asked if he could check on Biggun. The Inquisitor, his name was Sang, told us that he would let us go and that we could rescue our fallen comrade if we agreed to do a task for him in the future. Felthion agreed with little hesitation and rushed to Biggun. As Felthion cast his heal spells, Sang turned and appeared to say something to the air next to him and the wight appeared again out thin air. Sang spoke to it in an odd language and it nodded gravely and disappeared again.

After a couple of heal spells, Biggun awoke and stumbled to his feet. Now that Biggun was ok, the questions started flying:

  • “What was going to happen to Moor? “ – “The blacksmith is out of my hands.”
  • “What about Beld and the Arad Legion?” – “Provided you complete my task, I will not speak of this little ‘disagreement’ with the Arad Legion.
  • “What task do you need us to do?” – “I will let you know the details when the time comes.”
  • “How will we find you then? – “You will not need to find me as I will have no problems finding you.”

And with that last statement, he turned and walked away.

With our business concluded, for now, we turned and headed back down the road to where Moor and the townsfolk were discussing the events that just happened. Moor was telling the townsfolk that he regretted what had happened and that he never meant for it or wanted it to come to this. He said that in order to protect the town it was necessary for him to leave. The leather worker told Moor that he would see to the cleanup efforts and do everything he could to keep the events quiet.

As Moor started to ride away, Felthion stopped Moor and asked him what all this was about. Moor said he was sorry that we got involved but was thankful for the help we provided. Moor explained that he was once a Captain in the Royal Arad Legion, just like Beld was. He was on guard duty at the castle when an assassination attempt was made on the King. Although Moor was unaware of the scheme, the attempt was made by some of the men that served under Moor. Because of that, Moor was accused and found guilty of treason against the king and was sentenced to death. Before he could be executed, Moor escaped and went into hiding and had been a blacksmith in Leona since.

Sykon proposed to Moor that we band together and work to clear Moor’s name for the crime he did not commit but Moor said that it would only bring us more harm than good. We bid him farewell and he headed out the west side of town and disappeared.

Our original plan had been to go to Grinley and then to venture further south to Pembroke in search of a herbalist that could help us with the Glitter Grass, however with the latest turn of events, we were not sure this was the best course of action now, after all, Grinley is the main stronghold for the Royal Arad Legion that we just attacked. Sykon and Felthion were putting together an argument to continue to rid the west of orcs and goblins but the rest of the group wanted to take our chances with our original plan and find out as much as we could about the glitter grass.

We gathered our things and set out southward toward Grinley. Just outside of town, we stopped for a moment and checked our wounds and Felthion healed some of us to make the trip a little easier. The rest of the day went by without incident and we decided to make camp for the night a little off the road. As usual, I took first watch and Fiswyn took the second watch but the night passed peacefully.

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The Ranger's Journal - Day 16a

I got up with the sun rising and started gathering my things. We were planning on leaving Leona this morning and heading toward Grinley.

I headed out and up the street toward the leather working shop just to check out what he might have available before we headed out of town. As I approached the shop I saw our party over by the stables and headed over to meet up with them.

Felthion was somewhat agitated and I soon understood that Beld had taken someone prisoner and was torturing him. To Felthion, this was not the proper behavior of a captain of the Royal Arad Legion and follower of Heironeous. Guy and Biggun were a little disturbed by the behavior as well and the three of them were adamant that we find out just who Beld had taken prisoner.

A plan was put together that Fiswyn would cast an invisibility spell on Guy and then Guy would sneak into the camp and look into the tents to find the prisoner. Felthion would go into the camp and talk to the guards to distract them while Fiswyn used his Ghost Sound to add to the distraction. The rest of us would just stay back in the stables in case there was any trouble. From inside the stables, it was impossible to see what was going on in Beld’s camp so I quickly and quietly climbed up on the roof of the stables and peered over the ridge to watch.

As planned Felthion went over to the guards and began talking to the guards while a pack of dogs outside of town began to bark and howl. Suddenly Beld burst out of one of the tents and started barking orders. Although I still could not see Guy anywhere, I knew we were done and began heading down the side of stable roof. Just before climbing down, I saw Moor’s apprentice sitting on horseback behind the Blacksmith’s shop with two additional horses. Moor’s apprentice was the runner that Beld had sent to Pembroke so we knew he had returned. Then Guy appeared out of nowhere knocking on the front door of the blacksmith’s house. I waved my arms and got Guy’s attention and motioned for him to go around the back just as I saw Moor, in full battle plate, and the farm boy come into view behind the blacksmith shop. Moor and the farm boy walked over to the apprentice, each took the reins of one of the unoccupied horses and mounted.

I dropped down off the roof and ducked into the stables. Guy came back to the stables and told us that we all needed to get out of town quickly and that something was about to go down between Beld and Moor in the street.

As we were heading out of the stables into the road, we saw Beld and three guards coming down the road headed for the blacksmith. Moor, his apprentice and the farm boy came riding out from behind the blacksmith headed down the road away from where Beld was coming but Beld yelled at Moor that he could not get away this time and Moor and his companions reined in and turned around to face Beld.

As the three guards rushed Moor and his companions, Felthion ran down the road toward Beld yelling to stop and that no blood needed to be shed today. Musk, seeing a battle starting, ran down the road after Felthion swinging his great axe. Ah, this was great; the half-orc was going to get himself killed.

Moor pulled out a large hammer and held it up high. As he muttered some sort of incantation, the hammer grew cold and took on a bluish color as the moisture in the air surrounding it solidified and formed ice covering it completely. As Moor swung his ice hammer at one of the guards, the farm boy, clearing panicking, heeled his horse and galloped off between the shops while Moor’s apprentice drew his sword and prepared to charge one of the guards.

And then, only Ehlonna knows why, Sykon cast a magic missile on the guard that Moor had hit. I knew he didn’t like Beld, but did he have to pull us into this battle. All hell had now broken loose and we were now in a battle against the Royal Arad Legion.

Knowing that we were now committed, Biggun took off down the road and charged Beld but missed. As Beld turned and slashed at Biggun, Musk put a chink in Beld’s armor with his Great Axe.

With all three guards trying to fight Moor, he appeared to be holding his own as he dropped the first of them and turned toward the second. Moor’s apprentice charged on his horse toward one of the two remaining guards attacking Moor but just before he got there, he slipped and fell off his horse.

Two new guards appeared from between the buildings on the south side of the road running toward Biggun and Musk. Draug ran after one of them and tripped him as he was getting to Biggun and I shot the other one as Fiswyn joined in shooting arrows at Beld and Guy, running in from behind the guards, attacked.

By this time Felthion had figured out that no one was listening to his pleas to stop fighting. He threw the magic staff to the ground and yelled, “May God have mercy on our souls!! Snake!” As the staff hit the ground it turned into a large python and slithered toward the guard that Draug had tripped.

Sykon launched a flaming sphere on top of the guard that Moor was now attacking. As two more guards running in from between the buildings on the north side of the road closed in on Biggun, Musk, Felthion and the snake, Beld swept in with his sword and disarmed Biggun. Now surrounded by four guards and Beld things were not looking good. Felthion grabbed Musk as he muttered a spell and the muscles in Musk’s arms and legs grew larger. With his new strength Musk swung his great axe and hit Beld square in the chest as Biggun swept down, grabbed his axe and came up with a mighty swing. Beld gasped, grabbed the amulet around his neck, cried out “Heironeous!” and then vanished.

A second flaming sphere appeared on one of the new guards that came in from the north as the guard that Moor and the first sphere hit crumpled. Hearing Beld’s cry, three more guards came running in from the camp behind us and I was forced to draw my long sword and Fiswyn to draw his rapier. As one of three guards squared off with me and another on Fiswyn, two more wizards, twins to Sykon, appeared and the third guard, now confused on which wizard to attack, charged the closet one.

With the snake killing the guard that Draug had tripped, Draug returned to me and attacked the guard that had squared off with me. Biggun, Musk, Felthion and Guy, along with the flaming sphere, finished off the other three guards that had rushed to Beld’s aid as three more guards came running in from the south east to join the three that were still fighting Moor and his apprentice. As Moor dropped the last of the original three guards and turned toward the two that had come up from behind and the three new guards that had just arrived from the south east, Felthion threw Biggun a quick heal and then Biggun, Felthion and Guy headed down to help Moor while Musk came back to help Sykon with the guard that had squared off against one of his other images.

A few seconds later and the three guards that had come up behind us lay dead. Musk and Fiswyn started running down to where Biggun, Felthion and Guy were helping Moor and I sheathed my long sword and picked up my bow again. Now with all our attention on the last five guards, it didn’t take very long for us to finish them off.

As the last of the guards fell, we noticed another member of the Royal Arad Legion standing off to the side watching. This man was not another guard; this man was the Grand Inquisitor. With a disgusted look on his face, he turned and walked casually back up to the camp.

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The Ranger's Journal - Day 15

Again the day came and went without notice. At the end of the day, I circled around the farm and came up to it as if I was coming from Leona. I found Joffre working in his garden and approached him to ask how things were going. To his surprise and relief, the boars had not come back. Although it was clear he didn’t want to admit it, he accepted our solution to his problem and vowed to show the animals the respect they deserved and to only hunt when necessary.

I left Joffre and headed back to the forest toward the lake and the island. When I arrived on the island, I could feel a sense of peace and happiness that was not there before. I explained to the boars that the problem had been taken care of but you could tell they already knew and although they didn’t speak, I could feel their thanks.

Having accomplished our task, Fiswyn and I headed back for Leona. Finally having an opportunity to talk, I told Fiswyn about my conversation with the townsman in the Happy Halfling the other night when we had arrived into town and that the townsman seemed to speak for everyone when he said that they didn’t like Captain Beld being around and that Moor could take care of any goblins or orcs that tried to attack the town. Fiswyn seemed to agree that there was something about Moor beyond just being a blacksmith and told me about a full set of plate armor that he had seen in Moor’s house when he went to talk to the farm boy.

Fiswyn also told me what he had learned that night when he talked to the farm boy. We knew that the farmers were farming the glitter grass but the farm boy had told Fiswyn that the insects were necessary to make the glitter grass and that they had to continually feed the bugs with pigs and other livestock to keep the bugs from attacking the farmers. When the grass was harvested, it was taken to the Wandering Mule where the owner would collect it and presumably ferry it out of the valley to the west. After that, the boy had indicated that he needed to get back to work and left.

When we got back to town, we headed for the Happy Halfling to get some drinks and relaxation.

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