Adventure Date: November 25, 2011
Last Updated: January 18, 2012
The Delzimmer Affair – Log 1
Here we were in Delzimmer, oblivious to each other at the time, and virgins in the way of adventuring. Like a chick that pokes through its shell and sees the world for the first time, with nothing more than the wits it was born with to survive. Unfortunately, a few in our band were judged lacking.
We heard many voices yelling down the street. Rushing over, we saw a large, angry mob shouting for lower prices and justice. A troupe of the four different groups of uniformed guards trailed behind the mob. The mob seemed to be made up mostly of lower-class citizens, though several better-dressed people could be seen as well. The mob pushed past the city walls towards the main center of Delzimmer. “Curiosity killed the cat” is what they say! But we kept following, unbeknownst that we would all end up together, as our destinies were beginning to entwine. Except for the moment, two of them would be taking a shortcut to wherever we were going to meet for the first time.
For some odd reason, a beautiful dark elf, Irrstra, started undressing, removing what little clothes she wore to begin with. Maybe she wanted to distract the mob, maybe this was how she got her kicks, we would not know for a long time. This unfortunately attracted the unwanted attention of the guards which were numerous due to the mob situation. Eight guards wearing gold trimmed armor quickly went to surround the naked elf, but a middle aged man going by the name of Clint, with grey hair and steely grey eyes stood between them drawing his great two-handed sword and said “Come on punks, try it if you dare!” And dare they did, the guards started to advance, half paying attention to the tanned grey fellow and half paying attention to the naked dark elf. The older man mumbled a few words and a spray of rainbow colors sprang forth from his hands and weapon and suddenly three of the guards fell down. Alarmed one of the guards blew a whistle and a second patrol came to their help. With the Irrstra coming back to her senses, and Clint seeing that he was now greatly outnumbered, they decided to surrender and laid down their weapons. The guards swarmed them, arrested them and removed them for the area.
Meanwhile, the mob slowed as it approached a town square. A large area in the square has been roped-off and there seemed to be some sort of trial occurring, officiated by a mage in an emerald green robe. A large oaken staff grasped in his right hand and an emblem of a human left hand pointing upward, outlined in blue fire, could be clearly seen over his left breast. Several warriors in leather armor patrolled inside and outside the roped-off area. Their orange sashes, marked with a row of three daggers, stood out and mark them as some sort of city officials. As the mob drew closer to the roped-off area, the orange-sashed warriors moved to intercept. The mage called out to the mob in an angry tone, “Why do you interrupt this hearing?”
Cries of “Justice” and “Unfairness” rang out from the mob. Finally, a spokesperson, a farmer, addressed the cleric. “Kala Aldyn, faithful of Azuth, hear our plea! We need the kala and the nagra to bring justice back to Delzimmer! Belark, Harlhaun, Jathlet, and Olaundran have raised prices sharply to drive out the poorer people and force them into debt-slavery!” Shouts of outrage roared from the crowd. “This cannot be tolerated! We seek justice for all, and we will have it one way or another!” Another voice cried out, “Kala Aldyn, your judgments have always been swift and fair! Help us end this atrocity! Many suffer because of the actions of a few, greedy men and their families!”
At this, the uniformed guards moved to surround the crowd. “Lies!” one guard called out. “It is not our fault the caravans have been attacked! What else can we do?” With that, the guards and the mob begin to exchange verbal barbs and shoves. Aldyn pounded his staff's butt into the ground. “Enough! End this foolishness. I will gather the other kala and we will make a judgment after talking to the different Houses.” The mob murmured. “Now disperse back to your homes and allow us to help you.”
The mob grew quiet for a moment, then several voices shouted out for more to be done, kicking the mob into frenzy. Pushing out, the mob engulfed the guards and began beating them. The nagra moved between the mob and the kala to shield him from harm and quickly moved him away.
It is at this moment that a gold dwarf stood in his tippy-toes and tried to rally the mob with his eloquence. “My name is Roryn Rockbottom and by Moradin’s Hammer I swear that I will bring justice where injustice was made. Rest assured residents of Delzimmer, I will Right the Wrongs that you have suffered!” A half-orc with hideous scars rolled his eyes and prepared his greatsword and grunted “Rath ready!!!” He knew from the moment he has seen the mob where this was going. From the other side of the mob, came a clear high C soprano voice from a cute little gnome standing three feet tall with violet eyes and golden hair who could only be the bard Lady Antebellum. She was then accompanied by the lute played by a milky white skinned female with reddish hair and green eyes called Leeloo. The two were visually clashing, yet their melody was complementing each other. This did little to calm the crowd however.
As the mob continued to assault the guards, a column of robed wizards approached from side streets and surrounded the mob. As if given an unseen signal, they all began to chant. Mystical energy gathered around them, and before anyone could react, their spell reached its crescendo. A feeling of exhaustion washes over everyone as they collapsed into a heap, deep in a magical sleep. Save one person, Leeloo, who stood alone amidst the slumped bodies of the crowd. Kala Aldyn regarded her as if perplexed. Leeloo gave him a smirk and said “Looks like you wizards are still in need of practice.” Nonetheless, this did not save her from her fate, since the guards, with one swift look from Aldyn, came to arrest her.
The rest awoke in utter darkness, surrounded by dank air and some foul stench. For a moment, they could not imagine how they had come to such a place – then, flashes of their last thoughts skittered to the surface of their mind and their memory returned. Taking stock, they sat up from their prone position on what felt like a wooden bench. Their heads throbbed a little, but otherwise they seemed unharmed. We were now standing barefoot on the cold stone floor, realizing that our possessions were all gone. The only thing we had on was our undergarments. As we moved, chains binding our wrists and ankles to the wall behind us clanged together. Another sound became apparent – nearby groans; we were not alone in our cell and we were the six of us together.
Before we could explore our surroundings further, we heard a cavalcade of footsteps outside our cell. Moments later, our cell door swung open. Torchlight streamed into the cell dazzling our eyes for a moment – a dozen of torches, held by many well-armed men, could be seen near the threshold of our cell. Guards, wearing the various colors and emblems you had seen previously, quickly examined the cell and the shackles holding us. Four elders, three men and a woman, moved to the forefront. Their garbs were much more rich and exotic – their clothes seemed to be made from the finest fabrics and were lined with fur. They also each wore emblems identical to those sported by the guards, but theirs were made with jewels and precious metals. Whoever they were, they were of great import.
An elder, tall, thin, with large dark eyes, addressed us. “I am Master Maraunt of the Harlhauns.” Nodding to each, he continued, “My peers are Master Oldyle of the Belarks, Master Gauthklan of the Olaundrans, and Mistress Elsraea of the Jathlets.” As each is introduced, they noded back to Maraunt in recognition. “Our families control the trade in Delzimmer and maintain proper order. By our authority, you are being held for crimes against the town of Delzimmer.” His deep, strong voice echoed in the cell. “Your punishment is to be held in these cells for the remainder of your lives.”
Our voices yelled out in anger. As we tried to argue our case, Oldyle stepped forward. He was squat, grossly fat, with black hair and a hooked nose. His appearance reminded us briefly of a portly toad. Though he looked soft, his voice carried dynamic energy. “There is nothing you can say or do to convince us otherwise.” His smile was cold. “Though we would be willing to replace your sentence with another.”
Elsraea's hard voice rasped. “We are in need of caravan guards. Recently, there have been more and more raids on caravans traveling between Delzimmer and Luiren.” She began to pace. “The impact on trade has resulted in an increase in price on goods and services, which led to the uprising today.” She turned to face us again. The beauty of her face seemed enhanced by the lines of age that appeared to have been drawn by a masterful artist – they highlighted her intelligence and dark wisdom. “We want you to find the raiders responsible and deal with them in a permanent manner.”
Before we could answer, Gauthklaun, a frail looking man, addressed us. “We are willing to pay you the regular fees for guarding the caravan as well as let you buy whatever equipment you need at normal prices. You will also be provided with horses to ease your travels. You will be paid as soon as you arrive in Beluir, the capital of Luiren, with the caravan intact.”
Maraunt began to speak again. “Your task will be a simple one and you will be paid for your efforts. Provide evidence that you have removed the threat of raiders, and you will be rewarded further. Decide – work for us or rot in this cell.”
Having been manipulated in such a way by unjust and greedy Men, we had no choice but to acquiesce grudgingly, although some of us were probably plotting our escape and revenge already.
Elsraea clapped her hands. Men rushed in and brought us to our knees and held us there. A brazier was brought in by more men and a large, muscular man followed. By the looks of him, he seemed to be a blacksmith. Ordering the coals in the brazier be heated, the smith took out collars and placed them around our necks. Removing red-hot bolts from the brazier, the smith quickly hammered them into the collars, sealing them. Elsraea smiled. “You belong to us now.” Then, the four elders turned to leave with their escort. The guards removed the shackles binding us and brought us to our feet. We were then led to another room, where a quartermaster waited, and showed us to our room.
The sun’s rays blinded us as we stepped out of the compound the next morning. Dawn had just arrived and we were being escorted to the outskirts of town where the caravan awaited. It was comprised of a motley crew – several merchants of varying degrees of wealth, personal guards, and wagons holding a multitude of wares. A hooded man hobbled towards us. He pulled back his hood slightly, showing his face. “Remember,” Olaundrans explained, “we have eyes and ears everywhere. Do not break faith with us. If you do, you will meet your end in a most grisly fashion. Our demand is not overtly onerous. Complete this task, and reap your reward.” Pointing towards a man of about forty, he said, “Avan Astra is the head merchant. He has much experience and will lead the caravan.” Avan Astra was dressed in a gilded, silver breastplate, a white cloak arranged over it. His breeches, tucked into knee-length boots, were of cream-coloured doe-skin. We introduced each other and thus started our new career.
The caravan set out across the sweeping plains towards Luiren. The road traced the outskirts of Lluirwood and the Toadsquat Mountains could be seen clearly to the northeast. The weather was pleasant and warm as we set out for our destination.
The first couple of days were uneventful as far as encounters were concerned. This gave the group a chance to get to know each other a little better, since the more we knew about each other, the longer we would survive. Lady Antebellum also got the opportunity to divine our collars and discovered that there was two magic auras surrounding them, universal and divination. “Well that does it” said Clint “They know our every move.” “Not necessarily” said the gold dwarf “They might just want to make sure that they can track us if we escape”. Rath rebutted “No matter, we come, we kill, we leave, and then we take care of business!”
On the second night, during Irrstra and Clint’s watch, Irrstra heard a faint humming noise and said to Clint “I’ll go investigate this humming noise, stay sharp!” She scouted without noise and found three giant bees droning about near the caravan, but their flight path was taking them away from camp, therefore she thought it best not to alarm anyone at this stage. Her instincts proved right, nothing else happened for the rest of the evening.
This was however not the case the following night. The camp was set upon by 3 dark wolves during Roryn and Leeloo’s rounds. Roryn met their charge like a valiant knight and was bitten twice. Leeloo started screaming that we were under attack trying to wake everyone up, while she moved towards a wounded Roryn, she used her powers of protection to surround Roryn and herself and then cured him with her healing powers. With renewed strength, the paladin of Moradin tried to smite the bigger wolf but his aim failed him. The guards that were close to the caravan started to move ever so slowly to where the battle was occurring. Irrstra, who was the first one to wake up and act, fired her hand crossbow and hit one of the wolves in the flank. Reacting to his pain, the wolf viciously bit Roryn in the thigh as retribution; the other two missing probably startled at the other one’s savagery. Lady Antebellum awoke and started singing a song to inspire her companions. Leeloo was at Roryn’s side still healing is wounds, trying desperately to keep him alive.
Rath came out of his tent in a mad fury yelling “Rath smash!!!” Rushing the nearest wolf and killing it with his great two-handed sword. Roryn tried to focus, but being thrashed about swung too high and missed again. The guards, finally in range, started slashing at the wolves. Clint, shaking off the stiffness in his old bones, finally rushed to aid, only to see the two remaining wolves retreat with great yelping and howling. A few arrows and bolts were fired trying to stop their fleeing but the wolves proved too quick. Inspection of the dead wolf revealed it to be a mighty worg. After the rush of adrenaline subsided, everyone went either back to bed or back to their post. We had survived out first assault; we knew that more were to come.
After four days of travel, we encountered a bunch of Halflings. We exchanged information with them. They informed us that they had seen a gnoll/goblin/orc war party roaming the area and asked if they could join the caravan to travel in safety. Avan Astra gave his permission and then we set off again.
The road had been gradually turning towards the east. We could now see Lluirwood to the north and Southern Lluirwood to the south of the road. It was near sundown and the caravan was slowing to set up camp. Part of our routine, was to help the caravan guards set up the defensive perimeter each night. As several guards armed with crossbows scanned the area, others dug a breastwork around the camp while the drivers set up picket lines to tie up the horses after they rubbed down.
As the lead driver called for a halt, he pitched over off his seat as an arrow transfixed his heart. “Ambush!” Scrambling to see where the threat was coming from, bowstrings twanged as several members of the caravan, guards, drivers and merchants alike, crumpled to the ground, their bodies pierced through and through by arrows and javelins.
We were suddenly attacked by what seemed to be the goblinoid war party that the Halflings had warned us about. Goblins, orcs and gnolls came at us in waves. Clint was the first to react and started to move at a careful pace. Lady Antebellum started her signing to help us in battle, her soprano voice resonating to every ally within earshot. Irrstra moved into flanking position and hid looking for a target. Roryn, picking up a potion from a dead guard’s body, charged the oncoming wave of goblins, followed by a few guards that were still alive, in a spearhead formation with Roryn in the lead. Again he took the brunt of the attack, getting hit by one goblin but missed by the other two. The lines of orcs and gnolls crept forward, killing more guards with their ranged weapons. Rath, summoning his inner rage by shouting “Gruumsh!!!”, charged the nearest gnoll and decapitated it with one stroke of his greatsword. Leeloo moved rapidly to follow Roryn and the guards and prayed for the protection of everyone surrounding her.
Clint, finally getting closer to the action was able to slice a goblin in half, and continuing his sword-stroke, tried to send another to oblivion, but was unbalanced from his first kill. Irrstra, locating a solitary orc, released her deadly bolt which flew straight into the eyeball of an orc killing him instantly. Lady Antebellum continued her signing and attempted to blind an orc with pyrotechnics but the orc proved too resilient.
Roryn, hefting his dwarven waraxe over his head, brought it down deep into the skull of a goblin, then proceeded to reverse the blade and repeat the procedure to the other goblin standing next to him. Having no more goblins in their way, the guards advanced on the orcs and were able to dispatch one of them.
After this display of skill and deathly swordplay, a fierce roar split the air. A muscular, seven foot tall humanoid, savage in his demeanor, snarled ferociously. His face was heavily scarred, making his appearance even more intimidating. Immediately, the remaining humanoids turned tail and ran towards Lluirwood, losing themselves in the tall grass, except for one poor gnoll who was hit repeatedly by arrows and bolts during his withdrawal. Leeloo tended to everyone’s wounds with great compassion in her eyes, after this big assault. Then the dead bodies were inspected and looted. Roryn returned the position to Avan Astra, and declared that he had taken it to help in the battle. Avan was thankful for his honesty. The camp was cleaned up and everyone discussed the outcome of the battle, and discovered that the Halflings were no where to be found! A few suspicions were thrown in the air and then everyone went to get a good night’s rest.
On the fifth day, the caravan approached a small rustic town near midday. A small sign with halfling script could be seen by the side of the road. Duvik`s Pass. As the caravan drew nearer to Duvik’s Pass, we saw that something was wrong in the town right away. The few townspeople we saw, moved with difficulty and seemed to be covered in blistering sores. The moment the caravan was spotted, a halfling woman hobbled over towards the caravan, but stopped a spear’s length away.
“Do not come any closer!” her voice wheezed weakly. “We have been struck by a plague. Please, help us! Many of the townsfolk are at the mines and we don’t know how they fare. Please, find them and let them know what is happening!” The halfling woman collapsed, her body strained beyond belief. Another halfling, a youth, approached and gently cradled her head. “The mines are 2 hours south of here by foot. The trails are clearly marked. Our healer is with the miners. Please help.” With that, the youth hooked his arms under the halfling woman’s arms and began dragging her into a nearby home.
Roryn and Leeloo wanted to help the small town and after a brief discussion were able to convince the group as well. The problem would be to convince Avan Astra! Logic prevailed however, since if we were successful, then it would be known that his caravan helped to save the town, and this would be good for business. He would not send any guards with us because of the loss of so many during the last assault, but he knew we could go nowhere else with these collars still. He would wait for our return. The six of made our way toward the mine.
The frost-rimed ground was littered with tools, picks and shovels, some of which protruded from soft banks of snow. A single darkened shaft lead into the depths of the mine ahead. The dirt path, beneath its wooden support structure, was covered with stone debris, a few pieces of which occasionally glinted with the slightest hint of ore. No light issued forth from the tunnel. Burned-out torches were strewn across the floor, their brackets torn from the shaft walls. Behind us, the worn road lead back to Duvik`s Pass. Aside from the quiet whistling of the wind, complete silence filled the small clearing.
We went in carrying some torches as light source. The tunnel opened into a small, roughly rectangular chamber. Scattered chunks of silver ore surrounded an overturned pair of wooden carts. The lower half of what appeared to be a human body jutted out from beneath one of the cart`s edges. It showed no signs of movement.
Irrstra heard some noise in the room to our left, she motioned to let us know, drew her hand-crossbow, then disappeared into the shadows. Lady Antebellum and Clint moved to be in better position in case of a fight and Leeloo invoked her divine powers to Bless her allies. Roryn and Rath went to inspect and lift the carts to make sure no trap were about. In the process Roryn was splashed by some of the dead body’s plagued flesh.
Irrstra, moving silently, slowly and still hidden, discovered what the source of the noise was; a few kobolds were in a large, square room which housed a long wooden table, with a bench on either side. On top of the tables lay a number of wooden bowls, some overturned, and eating utensils. In the southeast corner of the room, a small stew-pot steamed over a fireplace carved into the floor. A pungent odor hung in the air.
Lady Antebellum and Clint continued their advance, once in range our veteran casted his color spray to disable the kobolds and was able to affect one, but unfortunately he also affected his unseen dark elf companion, who fell to the ground unconscious for most of the battle “Oh well” Clint thought, “At least she still has her clothes on!” The rest of the kobolds, upon seeing this magical force, retreated through a hallway on the north side. Leeloo worked her defensive magic again and casted Shield of Faith on Roryn and said to him “Maybe now you will get hit less hopefully!” Then Leeloo, Roryn and Rath hurried to join in the action.
As they fled, Clint was able to take down one of the kobolds with his massive swing, and cleave another on the return swing. The remaining kobold continued their retreat into a long, narrow room lined with shelves loaded with foodstuffs and supplies. Heavy burlap sacks were piled atop one another in the nearby corner of the chamber. A few had been torn open, leaving spills of oats and flour along the floor. Large crates blocked our view and prevented us from seeing the full length of the room. As we regrouped, Leeloo casted more defensive spells, a Guidance on Roryn, a Resistance on Lady Antebellum. The three males decided to go forth to kill the rest of the kobolds. Roryn went in first, followed by Clint, then Rath. But the half-orc wanted to try an unorthodox way to get to the kobolds and tries to go through the crates rather than go around, thus making on crate fall and making a bag of flower explode in the room, reducing visibility to nothing. Poor little Lady Antebellum who was going in next lost her sense of direction and ran into a wall.
The kobolds by then had retreated to the far end of this long room. After dodging crates and flour, Roryn and Clint were finally upon them. As Clint approached, a dire weasel poked its head out of a barrel and bit him in the thigh. The cowering kobolds, shaking in the corner, all missed their attacks; one even hit himself in the face! Roryn and Clint killed off one kobold each, but our gold dwarf friend was hit by spores from the postules when he hit his plagued kobolds. The weasel than took a bite out of Rath, spitting out the taste of nastiness right away. Lady Antebellum, seeing how the dire weasel was causing havoc, sung a lullaby that put both the weasel and Roryn to sleep.
After waking up both Roryn and Irrstra, the weasel was disposed of quickly while it still slept. The last kobold was tied up with rope and Leeloo tended to all the wounds.