Fellowship of the Shield - Adventure Journal 1

Last updated: April 14, 2008

Liena led the druid and the dwarf through the woods along paths she knew so
well she could follow them with her eyes closed.  The forest was dark under
the thick canopy, and glimpses of the sky above showed only the grey of an
overcast sky.  There was no grumbling from her friends as she stepped up the
pace, hoping to make shelter before the rain started.

They had travelled with the main group of elves for the first day of their
journey from Tangled Trees.  Travelling through Cormanthor, even far from
the dark heart of the wood, was still dangerous, so it was best to travel in
as large a party as possible.  Dark elves, gnolls and worse were starting to
come even this far south in the forest.

About 25 elves (and 1 dwarf) travelled from the elven home on their way to
the Dalelands.  In the group was several members of the High Council and
Wizard's Council, several tradesman, a couple of families and several
warriors to escort them.

One of those on the journey was a young boy named Paeme.  Paeme was eager to
get to the Shieldmeet festival.  This was the first time he had been out of
the forest, not to mention the first time for such a festival.  One moment
he was more excited to see all the different races -- humans, gnomes,
dwarves, halflings.  The next moment he was more excited to see the contests
and performances.  He wanted most to see the storytellers, singers and
entertainers.  His mother smiled warmly and pointed at the small wooden
flute in his pocket.

"This month he says he's going to be a bard," she said. "Last month he was
going to be a famous paladin."

Paeme was not discouraged by her soft laugh, and played a small tune on his
flute that was almost recognizable.  His mother was very proud.

As the group neared the safer southern edge of Cormanthor, Liena, Bella and
C'or split off from the group to make their way to Rauthauvyr's Road where
they were meeting the party from Featherdale.  Before they went their
separate ways, the normally silent dwarf produced three small coloured balls
from his pack.  He handed the juggling balls to Paeme.

"For a while I thought I might get into a different line of work," C'or said
to the small boy gruffly.  "You cold probably use these more than a
wizarding dwarf."

Paeme beamed a smile at him which didn't fade as he watched the three
disappear into the trees.


The fountain in the main square of Blackfeather Bridge contained several
small statues of fantastical water creatures, each spitting water down
dozens of tiny cascading waterwheels.  Each waterwheel turns discs of colour
glass that sparkled in the mist of the fountain, giving a magical glow to
the mechanical marvel.  The local gnome community built this fountain as a
gift to the people of Featherdale years ago in gratitude for the
Featherdarran's unswerving dedication to peace.

As Fare'n approached the square he saw that most of the people we was
guiding to the Shieldmeet festival had already gathered: the gnome admiring
the fountain was probably Metaltwist; the Cormyrian in heraldry-covered
plate armour was Drane; the half-orc could only be the Sembian, Gelth; and
the tall Featherdarran must be Horstag.  Fare'n had picked up Bib the Smith
and his family on the way here, so the group was complete.

As Fare'n introduced everyone, Bib wandered over to admire the Cormyrian's
armour.  The heraldry on his shield and clothes might have indicated he was
from only a minor noble house in Corymr, but Drane held himself as proud as
the King himself.  Bib began to ask him all kinds of questions about
Cormyrian tempering and quenching techniques, but the knight was resued from
having to admit he knew nothing of such things by the smith's wife, Tana.

Bib had small horse and a cart which held many weapons bundled in cloth (as
well as his wife and young daughter) but there was lots of extra room so he
offered to the others that they throw in any extra gear they had.  Fare'n
smiled, happy that they would be able to set a good pace with their packs
light.  They were the last group to leave for Battledale and as it was they
would only just arrive for the opening ceremonies if everything went as


Everything went as planned, at first.  Fare'n's party travelled northwest
along Rauthauvyr's Road towards Battledale.  The sky was overcast but the
rain held off for the better part of the day, and the roads were dry so they
made good time.  As they entered the hills south of the town of Hap, they
had their first choice to make.  Stopping to make camp on this side of the
hills would waste several hours of daylight, but if they continue on there
would be no shelter from the rain until they hamlet on the other side of the

Fare'n decided that time was too pressing, so crossing his fingers against
the rain he pressed on through the hills.  After an hour the rain started.
The weather was warm, but the road soon became slippery and muddy, so they
made poor time.  It was very dark by the time they reached the hamlet on the
far side of the hills.  The sight of the warm lights from the farm houses
was a welcome sight indeed.

It was too dark and rainy to see, but Fare'n knew that the Cormanthor woods
were just beyond these cozy houses.  In the edges of those woods lurked many
things -- both beasts and men -- that could make this journey dangerous.
Though he had travelled much in these parts, he felt better knowing that a
few more escorts would be joining them in the inn ahead.

The party made there way into the small inn in the hamlet.  It was just a
large farmhouse, really, not intented to house so many travellers at once.
But with Shieldmeet upon them, the owners had made every corner available to
guests.  The inn wasn't too full now, as most of those heading to Shieldmeet
had already passed through.  But those particular guests that Fare'n was
hoping to find were in the common room.

Liena, Bella and C'or introduced themselves quickly to the rest of the
party, but then the innkeeper's wife wisked them all off to various rooms
where they could dry off from the last few hours of travelling.

One by one the adventurers each came back into the common room where a large
warm fire was roaring.  The sounds of the rain pounding on the roof faded to
the crackling of the bright flames.  Fare'n came down and joined Liena in
some happy conversation.  Metaltwist came in soon after and sat near the
dwarf C'or, talking about how he was soaked to the bone, and how hard could
it be to make a simple device that was light enough to be carried when it
was not needed, but could protected the bearer from such a downpour...
Horstag came in afterwards with Gelth, but while Horstag pulled up a chair
near the others, the half-orc sat a bit apart.  Drane was the last to come
down, and he just stood in the doorway of the common room.  They all sat in
silence for a few minutes, absorbing the warmth from the hearth, exhausted
but content.


Drane stood in the doorway of the common room, obviously uncomfortable in
this casual setting.  He was drier, but not quite yet recovered from the
bedraggled first impressions he felt he gave when he arrived at the inn.

He stood up a little taller and said in a strong but soft voice, "Good night
good people.  Find warmth in the fire that you can store in your heart to
fend off the night's coldness.  Find hope in that warmth that tomorrow will
be a clear day.  I bid you good night."

He bowed his head slightly and backed gracefully from the common room.


"Wait" says Horstag, before Drane heads off to bed.

"We need a name. When my Uncle Horstag travelled with a group of companions,
they were known as the Ironguard Company. We need something similiar.
Something to inspire fear in any foes we encounter on this journey, yet
something that will make us stand out and cause the crowds to cheer when we
arrive in Battledale for the Shieldmeet."

"I say we should be known as the 'Dale Brigade'. Does anyone else have any
suggestions? We can take a vote."

[Opens the floor to suggestions. After all suggestions are in and a vote is
held for the group name, Horstag says goodnight and goes to bed.]

[If no one else makes any suggestion, Horstag says "The 'Dale Brigade' it is
then!" He will use this name to introduce the group whenever they meet
anyone on the road or as a battle cry in combat.]


Still chuckling over Fare'n's last jest, Liena removed her leather booted 
feet from the common room table and sat up, turning as Drane said good 
night to the troupe.  She had just raised a hand to wave him farewell as 
Horstag got up and said his piece.  She agreed with him that a name would 
be a good talisman against the dark forces they would likely meet on their 
journey.  She did not agree, however, with the one he had chosen.

"Well," she said lightly "I agree with the sentiment, but not the choice in 
name.  Dale Brigade seems to me far too simple for such a complex group of 
people -- "  At this she eyed the half orc sitting apart from the rest of 
the company. "-- and doesn't give any mention of those of us from the 
forest.  Oh, I know, I know," she raised her hand to forestall the comments 
she knew were coming, "I was born in the Dales.  But I've spent so long in 
Cormanthor that it feels more like home to me, and I'm sure Bella and C'or 
feel similarly.  Still, perhaps it is more fitting to name ourselves after 
our goal or maybe even the place of our gathering."

She thought for a minute, her head tilted to one side.  Then, "How about 
the Shieldmeet Travellers?  Perhaps the Battledale Companions?"  She 
laughed lightly, "Or mayhap someone more eloquent than I can come up with 
something better?"

[If people are continuing to put out potential names, Liena stays to vote 
on whatever names people come up with [will there be a separate turn for 
the voting?], otherwise she says -- "Whatever suits the most is fine with 
me -- decide among yourselves.  I'm off to bed"]

"Get some sleep, good people.  You will need your strength for the pace 
I'll set on the morrow."  As a wave of groans swept over the company, she 
added, with a grin at Fare'n  "But I do promise to keep you dry", teasing 
him one last time for the sodden state in which his part of the company had 
arrived.  With a smile and a small wave, she ascends to her room to sleep, 
chuckling all the way.


While making his way over to Liena, Fare'n picks up a mandolin hung on the
wall of the establishment.  He gently tunes the instrument as he relays the
latest Sembian joke to Liena, for those who over hear it is about how many
tax collectors of Sembia are required to get the money off a farmer.

"While I find the Shieldmeet Travelers warmly agreeable, I would say that
the others might find it too minstrel like. As an alternative to this
suggestion, I pull from a oft quoted - in the houses of my kind - legend
about a band of adventurers made up of various races the term Fellowship,
The 'Shieldmeet Fellowship' or perhaps 'The Fellowship of the Dale', or
maybe even 'The Fellowship of the Shield'", Fare'n offers to the rest.  But
before anyone can comment on his suggestions he adds, "But to truely be an
adventuring company we should make up a charter.  What should the split of
all profits be?  How are bonuses determined, if there are any?  These are
the hard questions that have ruined more than the fair share of companies.
While we do not have to do this tonight, I would say that we should think
about setting down some comapny rules if we are to be a company of so many
strangers.  I trust Leina with my life as I have traveled these woods with
her on several occasions.  But do we all feel the same?  Perhaps it is not
wise of me to voice this... ."  Fare'n falls silent, looking between Gelth
and C'or.

[Fare'n will vote if there is one.]

Smiling at Liena's statement Fare'n replies, "it's not like a shower would
do you any harm."  Realizing what he said was potentially a dangerous
statement to make, Fare'n darts under the table, peeking out to see what
Liena looses his way.

[Once everyone is making off to bed, Fare'n plays a lamenting ballad about a
man who goes off in search of a gift to give the father of his love in hopes
that he will allow their marriage and how this task takes him away
adventuring for many years where he learns the valour of Illmater the
Eternal Sufferer, when he returns he finds that she is wed to another, he
moves away and opens an inn with his amased wealth.  The husband of his love
comes into his inn wounded by robbers on the road.  In the end he aids the
man with the powers of his god.  One must be true to one's gods goes the


"Hmm," Metaltwist begins, rambling at C'or but
obviously mostly talking to himself, "the problem with
the Portable and Easy To Carry Rain Stopping Device
(working title, of course, I'm sure I'll come up with
something much better eventually, once I'm able to
properly get a design and see what I'm trying to do)
is that stopping rain requires a good solid blocking
system, but of course for it to be portable it needs
to be easily collapsable, and really if I'm ever going
to be able to lug something like that around (I'm
already so laden down with stuff I start with the
huffing and the puffing only minutes after setting out
I'm almost looking forward to needing to break into my
rations so I can lighten some of my load) it is going
to have to be umm... umm... 

"Where was I?  Oh, right, load.  Light!  It needs to
be light, and collapsable so that I can fit it into my
pocket when the weather gets better..."

[Er, I guess at this point some kind of skill check
needs to be done to determine whether or not a
solution pops into his head.]

[If Metaltwist stumbles across a solution, he will
dedicate the rest of the night to building and
fine-tuning the Portable and Easy To Carry Rain
Stopping Device, likely falling asleep atop his tools.
 Otherwise he'll eventually wander upstairs mumbling
to himself trying in vain to come up with a solution]

[If prompted about what name he wants, Metaltwist
answers "What?  Er, name?  Metaltwist, hello!  Oh, for
us!  Well, how about 'Sopping Wet Group of Mostly
Strangers?'  No?  Well, that was just a working titley
anyway, I'm sure I can come up with something better
once we've been out and about for a while.  I'm sure
that whatever you guys come up with is fine.  Now,
let's see... it has to be collapsable so I can fit it
in my pocket, or maybe tie it to my pack or something,
so I'm going to have to figure out some kind of hinge
system, where am I going to find hinges at this time
of night..."]


Speaking of course, only to Metaltwist

"Why that's brilliant ... a device to keep you dry "
looks down at his sopping wet self "great idea ... 
pity about the name though.  Let's see, the crux of
the problem would be to create a device which is light
enough to carry", but large enough to shield oneself
from even the most horizontal of rain ... hmm, tough
problem.  Should be dependant on, say the angular
velocity of the rain, the ability of the shield like
substance to withstand pressure and the muscle
strength of your average ...", casts around
desperately looking for something to draw on "hmm,
something that looks like, well, that table", C'Or
says as he watches Liena toss something liquid at
Fae'rn in response to his jest ... " Look, that was
perfect.  Good shape, easy to hide under, relatively
water proof ...".  Wanders over, tries to pick it up. 
Table does not move.  Tries again.  Table once again,
fails to move. "a little heavy perhaps.  Perfect for
the half-orc I suppose .... Hmmm, let me think about
this ..."

[And more of the same.  C'Or happily sits in a corner
with Metaltwist, bandying words akin to 'tensile
strength', 'angular momentum' and 'muscle load' as
long as necessary. Barely noticing anyone else

[End result, if feeling tired, go to bed] 


"Huh, A name, If- if ya' want to put f-f-fear into yer enemies, 
give'em s-s-something to fear.  Fellowship of the A-A-Arm Rippers 
or s-s-some such.  However, I don't see that in-in-inspiring a 
welcoming attitude from those that we're trying to p-p-pertect. "
[not being used to public speaking, other than threats (he was a bouncer at one time), 
Gelth tends to stutter.]
"A more a-a-appropriate name wo'be someting defensive vs o-o-offensive. 
As suggested F-F-Fellowship o' the Sheild or Band o' Brothers.  
G-Given the assortment of.....of....of.... peoples that we are, 
Fellowship of the Motley Crue w-w-would be moe apt."
[Gelth of course is joking, but I don't think anybody will quite get Orc humour.  
Mixed with human, it makes for an even less understandable jest.]
"A-A-As far as splittin' up the earnings/takings of our q-q-quests, 
an e'en split should prevent squabbles as else we're f-f-forced to 
judge whose contributions are the most valuable.  
Over time, if we're to thrive, o-o-our contributions should e'en out, 
if not so 'n every encounter.  Whoever controls the funds sh-sh-should 
be trustworthy and be mathematical wise."
[Gelth is used to either outright hostility or being ignored.  
If no one talks to hiim, he heads up to bed, at least happy 
that no one has been outright rude, yet.  Gelth's cross to bear 
is a low self-esteem, sensitive and a short temper, kinda like an Orc.]


Sitting apart from the rest of the crowd, Bella savours a fine glass of
wine... okay, drinks down a cup of plonk might be a better description, but
she enjoys deciphering the variety of flavours.  "Does anyone else taste a
bit of Artemisia in this wine?" she asks to no one in particular, and
decides she better call it a night after one glass, you can never be too
careful with Wormwood...

[assuming no one bothers to answer her question, Bella quietly slips off to

[perhaps tomorrow morning we should take a vote for the name, not sure Bella
has any preference, but I would favour "Fellowship of the Shield"]

Enter your vote today!  A new poll has been created for the 
Featherdale group:

What should we call our adventuring 

  o Fellowship of the Shield 
  o Fellowship of the Dale 
  o Shieldmeet Fellowship 
  o Battledale Champions 
  o Dale Brigade 

And the winner is ... Fellowship of the Shield!!!!