Big Head's Journal #1
Worst Night Ever.

You know such a simple plan go into the big scary beacon of death, find proof about blue eyed ghosts, get cool lost tech stuff, get drunk at Pilgrim’s Hill with new comrades and friends and what happens? Suus goes attacking the robots going on about how they are tormentors and stuff, dwarf goes and injuries her hand by smacking the table hard causing us to postpone the trip into the beacon and caused me having to use the damn library that has no info about the ghosts anywhere. NONE! You’d think a town with the United Churches and Temple of AZ AND where nothing but strange and supernatural happening the only info there would be is the supernatural and strange. Maybe I should have stuck with the Sons of Frontier and New Kings. Nah, supernatural needs to be stopped before they get more powerful beside could involve Duncan. And on top of all that now I got my identity discovered by my comrades who may or may not sell me out when I least expect it I don’t know if I can trust them thought my third disguise would have fooled them for sure especially since Suus and Thoorin never saw my special talent but NOPE! GET BITCH SLAPPED AND CHARGED 150 GP FOR NO REASON BY PIG MAN BECAUSE OF “WASTING HIS TIME” OR SOMETHING LIKE I’M SUPPOSE TO TRUST THE MAN WHO’S BEEN SAYING “I’m gonna catch him and turn him in” ALL DAY. Why is it friends anyways friends/people trying to be friends with always want money from you. God might as well invest in hookers as friendship at least getting blown is always on the table with prices. Well I know A) Children are dicks and need to stay locked in their cages. B) Chickens are dicks and the next chicken coop I see it getting fire bombed for fired chicken. C) Sneak everywhere when masked not like I move any slower from regualr walking. D) I now have a constant alibi which is great for me to get away with my stuff. Downside is how much can I away with before Suus decides he’s gonna turn me in is the question. I need to get dirt on these two if they got my secret then I need see if I can get dirt on them. First thing is first blue eyed ghosts, then SOF, then dirt hopefully after all of this hopefully I can get money and get tools to make my job easier. Ugh can’t wait to get back to camp feeling tired after all of this gonna sleep forever.

The Field Journal of Sus Steadyrock

If somebody had told me the circumstances in which I would be writing this entry, I would have called them a fool or a madman. At any rate here I am, and I wonder if maybe I’m the one who’s been a fool.

Despite the many changes in my life, there has always been one reliable constant. The Tormentors, and their horrifying children the Iron Spirits, have bedeviled my people. No good can come of mingling with them. This is known. This is indisputable. And yet here I sit, bruised and stiff but alive in the lair of a Tormentor.

After all of that bloody business with Crog Halfsmile and his gang, I came to Middleborough. It seemed like a good place to lay low for a while until Crog’s boys stopped caring about their oaths of vengeance. Plus, I figured I could make some coin. Bigger towns always have someone causing trouble. As luck would have it, the only posted notices were looking for a Blue Eyed Ghost and some kind of a vigilante going by the rather ridiculous name of “Mr. Big-head”. The ghosts I’ll leave to someone more prepared to deal with that sort of thing. Surely somewhere in this foolishness of “civilization” they’ve got a shaman. The vigilante, though, that one caught my interest. Apparently some kind of three-eyed goblin has been skulking through the shadows and striking fear into the populace. There’s a pretty hefty reward for any kind of information about him, too.

If I hadn’t been half drunk when I found out about the vigilante, I probably wouldn’t have done what I did, but the goblin sitting across from me was clearly passed out drunk. I figured what harm could come of taking just a peak under the bandana he wore on his swollen head. Who ever saw a goblin in a bandana? Destiny truly always attacks from the flank.

Far from being some kind of vigilante, the goblin is question is called Gorgus Hammerthumb. He’s a carpenter, and admittedly not a bad one. Ugly little plug, but that’s not his fault. He came with me when I went to speak to the council to see if I could get any more information about this Mr. Big-head. Along the way, he spun out some crazy tales about the so-called Heroes of Middleborough, and the unlikely things they’ve seen and done. A statue attacking the man it was built to honor? This morning I would have called that outright prevarication. but now I have to admit that I’m just not so sure.

Gorgus and I eventually made our way to the Little Ray of Sunshine caravan, where these “heroes” have been making camp and offering protection for the merchants. Some heroes. They couldn’t even seem to muster up any interest in the fact that an army of greenskins was arming themselves within a defensible location right in the center of their town. But I’d exhausted my leads for Big-head, and the caravan’s owner seemed to be recruiting more talent, so I decided to sign on as a guard, and caretaker for the horses. As an “audition” they squared me off against the most disgusting half-ogre I’ve ever seen. His body is almost completely round. Squeezing through the gaps in the tight white leather, his skin is oily where it doesn’t seem to be made of stone. He calls himself Thoorin, and he’s a coward and a cheat. He’s plenty strong, but still felt the need to wear a set of brass knuckles in his boxing match against me. I would have set Rasher on him, but I choose to fight with honor. Besides, apparently standing off for a minute against the brute was enough to convince the head man that I had what it took, and they gave me the job.

It wasn’t what I expected. Instead of journeying across country stopping attacks by bandits and wild beasts, I went in a company including this Thoorin and a council member for the city, a halfman named Joseph. A strange, stocky woman named Bodil who apparently can sense the activities of the spirits of this place came with us, and despite my reservations and fear that I’d have to protect him at every turn, so did Gorgus.

Shortly after entering we were attacked by giant rats that, when killed, became swarms of smaller rats. This seemed to surprise Joseph, and I confirmed that they were natural rats nests, though certainly not natural rats. Still not sure where they got the materials needed to make their nests, though. They burned handily enough, so hopefully that takes care of the problem.

That’s when my entire world collapsed out from under me. In the very next room of this gods forsaken place I came face to face with an Iron Spirit, which came at me aggressively, then stopped when Joseph threw himself bodily onto my Raven’s Beak, forcing it to the ground. The monstrous thing, which they are calling 13013, broke off its attack and seemed largely uninterested in me or my companions after that. Then we descended down a hole into another level of this horrible place. There we came upon what I first took to be a woman, working at some kind of glowing window. Upon closer inspection, I saw that she was not a natural being at all. I took her to be a Tormentor, and I did the only thing I could think to do – I attacked her. The rest of the party turned against me, and they knocked me out and tied me up with my own rope. I can’t blame them, I probably would have done the same in their shoes. Now, I’m not so sure that she is a Tormentor. Apparently, she’s a “robot”, whatever that means. But she doesn’t seem malicious. And this place, this Psychosis Beacon, is seemingly no longer being used for whatever foul purpose it was originally designed. It seems we’re just here to loot anything of value. Not quite what I call “heroic” behavior. Still, this group is undoubtedly powerful. Maybe they just need someone to show them how to best apply that strength.

I think our time would be better used finding that vigilante menace and bringing him to justice. Perhaps I can enlist Gorgus’ help. He should be able to understand the mind of a goblin, and he’s proven to know how to handle himself in a fight.

Joseph has just left us, and the others seem to be discussing what to do next. I’ll write more soon, but for now I think it’s best that I pay attention to what’s happening around me.

The good, the bad, the dragon
Anyone want to buy a dragon?

Oh my god it finally happened! I’m finally ahead of duncan! And it was with the help of Jerrard and the caravan! And we even got the dragon alive! What a great day it was…until I learned that we have to wait for someone who wants to buy a giant dragon which mears midle brough has a giant ticking time bomb. Why can’t anything go with no problems in the end. And with how rich the town is its not going anywhere soon. And to top it off imperial legion won’t let arrelius look over something how he’s too low rank and have only top men. I don’t like it they would not even let me know what their plans are if it tries to break free. I need to find someone who wants a dragon and has the disposable income to spend on it. I need to go further than Middleborough but I must not leave cause I know that the dragon will escape. I need someone who has a friend in every town but who?

Leper's Log
Elections, Meetings, and Numbers

At first, I was feeling really confident about the elections but now I’m starting to feel a little uneasy about it. Duncan has a small lead, a 10 to my 7, but with a little digging around I learn there’s a possibility Sons of the Frontiers not only run a smuggling operation, but also back the new kings, a group of outlaws who believe the frontier should be free of the imperial rule. To be honest, it’s a worthy cause to fight for but I feel the way it’s fought is terrible one mustn’t do it through illegal means for it only proves frontier men shouldn’t be left alone, there must be talks. In other news we got thoorin set up to be fixed tomorrow and met with Hexin, a writer interested in the various stories we got of our travels. After a few bites of food and some drinks I proceeded to tell him of ravenmoor and occultic stuff that went on. I also told him about how we freed thoorin from slavers and took him and other slaves up a moutain to the quiet earth monastery. How we managed to beat Eserosa, had evils spirits chase us, and managing to cause an avalanche and surviving said avalanche. Also mentioning what is so far the biggest moment in my life, meeting heavenly mountain who came down from the sky killed thoorin and me arguing with him foir three hours to convince him to bring thoorin back. He seemed quite enamored with our stories cause after we finished he thanked us and said anything that we wanted he could give I mentioned I was running for election and needed help with votes and he said it was done. I swear no amount of gratitude could show how grateful I am about this and now I really need to get to work on that speech I’ve been putting off so much stuff going on so little time. Also I should probably tend to a nagging thought in my head, well more of a nagging problem. Ever since the damn avalanche I’ve been getting equations in my head now numbers dig into my skull everyday almost on repeat. 65, 18, 10, 3, 4 I wonder what they mean? I really fear what they do mean and have a good thought where the answer will lead to eventually but I must know for sure. I wonder how to ask for help on this without actively getting people involved? I guess one place to start would be alchemy seeing as it may put me on a direction to the right place. All I know for sure is this, it gonna be a long summer.

-Joseph Leper
Priest of Joshua, Diplomat for Little Ray of Sunshine

Muthafuckin Mountains

Thoorin think he come to realize things. Thoorin think mountains sucks. All cold and snowy and stuff…take thoorin forever to climb!

And there also lotta mean things in dem! Liver eating vultures…dere be big giant thingies…thoorin not see dem but hear that gerrard got slapped into mountain by one of dey tails…hehe dumbass…

Damn hobgoblin have camps in dem too…fuckin hobgoblin…try to make thoorin slave…thoorin throw ’em off mountain! That what thoorin did, that az kinda vengeance! Still gonna punch next one i see tho.

Den we find temple on top of mountain with yeti sleepin in dere…though thoorin not like be so high…not enough sky…make thoorin tired. Then zombie mountain guy try and make us zombies too…made gerrard head into punching bag heh! good thing gerard have thoorin to put face back on for him. But den dere be big swarm of ghost…things…more dan thoorin count…more dan LAZARUS count…before everything go black.

Had to drop mountain on dem to kill dem…break thoorin new bone! still has bit of bone in thoorin belly! had to dig way out with pot! Den …thoorin looking at yeti when he come out…least yeti nice…help dig up others and give us things for saving dey home.

Cold Mountains and Never Again

Mapping the mountains has been a major annoyance. Our annoying ogre tub of fat decided to walk off on his own and get captured by slave traders. We rescue him in a raid and one of the bastards crawls his way away and runs to their camp. So we run into the high mountains to get away from them even though we could have raided them instead.
Now we have a bunch of useless slaves with us and people who I fight next to are making a racket while yetis sleep in this god-forsaken-temple.

As a warning to incoming travelers, do not partake in the door’s ritual. Do not drink the water. Do not seek the secrets of the earth.

Another warning. Yetis.

Fucking go home and leave this place. The air sucks and to be honest I’m waaay more annoyed at this adventure than fifty gold will pay for.


The Road so Far pt. 1
Leaving Middleborough and Visions of what's to come

Reposting all the updates I’m putting down on tumblr for you guys to check out as well.

So after managing to discover the evil murder cult located beneath the quiet town of Middleborough, the giant and ancient machine dungeon it was located in, the horrible creature from beyond space & time powering it, and the danger it would cause should the creature escape or the ritual that keeps it dormant fail (and thus garner the murder of innocents) the party managed to do the impossible and save those sacrifices still left and defeat the beast before it could escape. Soon after that Thoorin Blackhorn, Gerrard Karth, Quintis Arelius Aeire, Duncan Yureft, Az-Rasani, and Lazarus S. Brixton were crowned The Heroes of Middleborough and the party (everyone sans Duncan) were granted the rights to delve and salvage the ruin known as The Psychosis Beacon. Duncan meanwhile took his fame and parlayed it into greater local and political fame in the region while downplaying the actions of the rest of the party. Gerrard Karth meanwhile was brought back from the dead soon after with the funds the party acquired as thanks for his sacrifice. Many questions were still left unanswered including what the original purpose of the Beacon, who built it, and what secrets does the mysterious library that the cult managed to acquire hold both for them and the world at large but with time all of that was going to hopefully be answered.

Unfortunately their rest time was short lived and they and the Little Ray of Sunshine caravan they worked for soon departed Middleborough for months on a trading journey throughout the great plains of the frontier, selling off just some of the goods they’d manage to find within along with their own personal goals along the way. Gerrard, now back from the dead was on a mad quest to understand the fleeting memories he retained from his time on The Great Walk, his people’s version of the afterlife. In these he saw a great plain of animals rendered both ordinary and fantastic in this heavenly place and things terrible and nightmarish in scope. Wolves howled his arrival and giant herons caught fish amid reflective rivers and for a moment he felt peace. Unfortunately this didn’t seem to be the lot of his vision as he could see miles away the ghostly remnants of his people, their souls bound in a dark cave and in the crushing embrace of the monstrous claws of a monster he could only assume was hands of Kahjeetohwha, the “Fieand Bear” they had encountered a lifetime ago and that the beast held more than just the treasures it still had in it’s dark cavern. But he wasn’t left to ponder on this long as he saw a massive beast fly over his head with wings like leather, teeth like swords, and breath like fire soaring above his weakened form, wheeling around to strike him before he could lift his blade. Suddenly though his life was saved by a great heron, its beak like 2 greatswords lopping the beast head from its neck like sheers to wool and raining its blood down upon him like holy water, emboldening him like never before. It seemed in death his quest had not so much ended as just begun.

Meanwhile the rest of the party had their own burdens to bear. Rasani, the young half-orc hunter has had to learn what the price one pays to be a hero is, as he deals with the fallout of the Psychosis Beacon including his cold blooded murder of the captured and incapacitated cult leader Janrel after a fit of madness drove him to put a ball of led through the center of her skull. The 17 year old still sees her face in his mind, her brains scattered all across the floor, his pistol smoking in his hand yet his actions not entirely his own. On top of this is her mysterious book The Omina Mutandis that he pocketed in the dark of that foul day and forgot about until days out of town on the open road. He knew it was powerful but the danger likely contained in its pages left him more interested in hiding it than sharing it with his party.

Lazarus on the other hand continued his path to discoveries most likely best left unsolved, the events within the Beacon not only showing his surprising heroism but also illuminating his greatest flaws. Now on the open road and without the prying eyes of all but the most liberal or dogged authorities he was free to indulge in some of his most obtuse and disturbing quandries like what purposes The Psychosis Beacon really served and what could he learn from it himself. Meanwhile in his dreams he was plagued by nagging questions he could not shake, like where that damnable tome of Janrel’s disappeared to and what new answers it might give him to further his rise to academic stardom akin to his professor Ambrose or even some of the other greats he oft found himself reading of like medical biologist Zothabooth, or the much lauded planar scholar Professor Osprey who had traveled the planes and been courted by the angels themselves for his brain. He was a man chained to the beasts of knowledge and fame with his own expectation in hot pursuit, now it was only a question of whether he could manage them all or be consumed by them.

The young legionnaire Quintus though was still dumbfounded by all that had managed to happen to him. In the course of a mere 48 hours he had been conscripted into an investigation with this group of oddballs, discovered a conspiracy over 200 years in the making, seen a madman claw his way out of a living ooze before nearly killing himself by way of tearing off his own face, nearly die to the poisoned claws of a trained assassin, face a monstrous horror from beyond space and time, and literally be transported to the stars themselves to watch his world tilt beneath him, a tiny marble on an endless black sea of stars before crashing back to earth and then having to trudge, broken and barely alive; to his commanding officers through a howling blizzard in order to save his friends still trapped inside that damnable Beacon. Now assigned to watch over this band of fools and madmen by the Governor of this bleeding edge of the frontier he only hoped that things would get at least slightly less exciting or at the very least less horrifying as the thing he saw in that foul pit and the heaving mass of bloodshot eyes and gnashing maws still haunts his dreams to this day.

Finally we come to the oddest man of them all, the holy man known as Thoorin Blackhorn. The half man, half ogre monstrosity with a heart of gold and arms like iron. A refugee from is own homeland of backwater giants more focused on their own dark appetites for the things and flesh (both violent and carnal) he was just happy to be anywhere but home and with the backing of his church of radical worshipers of a god focused as much on revenge as redemption he had hoped to finally find the peace his home had never granted him. And with this journey he seems to have found it thus far, from robbing dog fighting taverns with the caravan master to breaking the skulls of things that shouldn’t be beneath the head of his trusty shovel or his massive hammer Thoorin believes he has found a home like none he has ever had before. Some think that his simplicity protects him from the horrors that seem to plague the rest of the party but for Mr. Blackhorn every new day has been a blessing he never wants to give up and with his long tongue and angry hammer their will be few with the strength even to try.

Thoorin week
lazarus is an idiot

This been busy week for thoorin

thoorin wake up in …what dey call it …lower buroh? eh close enuf. But first thing thoorin hear is dat while thoorin sleep, lazarus get green guy arrested! He get rasani arrested cause of dat book he show thoorin! Thoorin not know why he so scared of book, smell really bad…but dat not scary…not like dat shit dey made thoorin climb out of in other city.

Thoorin wanna hit lazarus over head with shovel for being stoopid. bet den thoorin smell good smells…charlie have good smelling stuff in cup…said to go ask skittlz. Thoorin think that funny name…sound like candy! but not candy…it was very small girl. she give thoorin bag of yummy beans to eat, and sweet things! but she not let thoorin hit lazarus…say she not give thoorin more sweet things if he do. she gave thoorin wierd drink, and told thoorin to ask lazarus how he like tea…yeah dats it! told thoorin to do what lazarus tell him with tea…den when lazarus say to give it, thoorin drink it.

hurr hurr, lazarus face look funny when thoorin do dat! almost as funny as if thoorin hit it! thoorin guess he not hit lazarus yet, lazarus face too funny already.

Thoorin go se big guard guy, thoorin not remember name…it keep making thoorin want cracker. He say rasani need pay lotta gold for not giving him book…we not have that much. but den dere was big sound in sky! birds fall and die, and everybody go cooko! dey say it called skyquake. Mr guard guy say that it make animals go cookoo too…say he let rasani go if rasani catch big ones. thoorin help rasani catch bad animals…even tho he look like mummy.

BUT DEN THOORIN GO TO WEAPONS STORE AN DEY HAS MOST AWSOMEST THING! DEY HAZ THE MOST REVILED!!!! IT THE MOST AWESOME WEAPON THOORIN SEE! …but guy say it way too much for thoorin…he say dat thoorin bring him ded boar, he give thoorin gun…but thoorin promise rasani he not kill boar, mr cracker say he want it still alive…he not let rasani go if thoorin kill it.

it make thoorin sad…and dat thing that happen in thoorin pants when he see the most reviled make it hard to walk back.

but den big vulture show up on way back…so thoorin kill it, he kill it good! make thoorin feel better, he not like those birds…dey not very nice. smaller birds nicer to thoorin. den rasani say dat one of the animals dey want him to get…and lazarus pull out it belly. den thoorin remember dat guy want boar…thoorin have rasani make trophie out of it, and he take it to guy…guy say he give thoorin monies towards the most reviled, but not enoughs to buy it yet.

math guy say dat dere gonna be another blizzard at end of week…they annoying…the white hurt thoorin eyes

den thoorin go after pig! but pig people hit it on head and make it run away before thoorin get to do anything…so he just help bloody ones not be ded and tell dem to see lazarus so he make sure dey stay not ded.

we not find pig, but we get attacked by bats…thoorin not like bats, can’t hit dem with hammer, too small and lots…giles get bit lots …we make bats run away but we have to g back. Den we go hunt water dragon! thoorin not like being in water, but thoorin still go and keep gator man from dying again…glad we not bring giles again.

we take dragon body back and guy give thoorin more money for the most reviled!!!

den summation come back and tell us he wrong….he say it gonna be hoarfrost, not a blizzard. much more fun cause thoorin get to smash heads of wights, and has az purify dem! still make thoorin eyes hurt tho.

we try to go find boar again…but instead find wierd lizard…t try to bite thoorin, thoorin hit in mouth with his hammer…heh heh think thoorin break it face thoorin got it good! it den run away from thoorin, and it keep making thoorin feel funny with it eyes. but thoorin fing it hole and put water in it! it scared and go try to bite rasani, thoorin break it back dis time! it not do funny eye thing now! find some stuff in it hole too!

Den we finally find boar, and it run into gator man, den gator man stab it and make it do to sleep, cuz special stuff on our pointy tings! we ties it up, and makes sure it stay sleeping…den it wake up before we get it in cage…hurr hurr it try to choke gator man…but we hit it til it goes sleepies again. cracker say rasani not in jail when we bring it to him.

den sick guy comes on horse, really bad sicks…like make you zombie sick, den thoorin hit you with hammer and make you go splat. fun for thoorin…but guy not like. dey say it cause dere a rot dragon where he from. cracker say he pay us to make it go away…make sure zombie ded, and make peoples dat not ded stay not ded…and do it before hoarfrost kill people.

thoorin go to place to get things for dragon fight with gator man, he say that guy has monies he can use, like how thoorin has monies, but not actually has monies. thoorin wonder how he has monies, but den it not really matter cuz he help thoorin get THE MOST REVILED!!!! IT IS SO AWESOME! THOORIN HAVE BIG THING IN PANTS, IT MAKE THOORIN HURT! IT SO COOL! THOORIN SURE TO MAKE DRAGON DED WITH AZ GUN IN THOORIN HANDS! THOORIN WANNA GO GET DRAGON NOW! but thoorin haz to wait for dem to finish shoping.

When thoorin gets to farm, he finds lotta zombies, and squishes dere heads with THE MOST REVILED! den he give pumpkin grenade to lazarus to throw at dragon…which keep biting rasani…thoorin wonder why everything want bite him. thootin not care he and THE MOST REVILED get angry as we goes through fires to make dragon hurt. but it run away before thoorin make it ded! thoorin not able to see it and have to let it go…he get it next time.

Rasani's Log, Entry 5
or, Everything's Fair with Money and Pride?

I remember why I don’t like big groups of people now, it seems to bring out the worst in us all when we are condensed into a small area. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself during the whole affair, but it’s definitely something I don’t seek out. I finished my last entry with the assumption that we would make our trades over the course of a few days, and be back on the road, I was mistaken. It appears we will be encamped here for some time, but at the very least, we will be able to apply our trades, hock whatever wares we have left, and more importantly, resupply.
We set up the wagons at Charlie’s house, which consisted of two decommissioned Sleeper Wagons and a Chuck Wagon. It was better than expected, and if necessary, we could probably repair the wagons for cheaper than buying them. After getting settled, Charlie essentially kicked us out to explore the city. It’s a really charming little town, Adobe housing and people moving back and forth through their daily lives, with everything possessing a weathered and hard feel to it, but still welcoming. I wasn’t wrong to make this my first stop in the frontier. The first thing on my list of things to do was to go find some tobacco. I ran out in Jaddah Yafif, and after last week, it seemed like a good idea to restock. I picked up a couple of pouches for my pipe, and a few cigars for going out in the field. After wandering the city for a bit, I managed to track down the second thing on my list, employment for my stay here. One “Scaled Badger” tavern was willing to hire me on as a cook. I wasn’t needed right away, so I could explore the fair this week, and make money next week, seemed like a good deal to me.
After securing some income, I went wandering again, this time it placed me in front of what looked like the most durable and defended building in the city, at roughly the same time as Thoorin oddly enough. The building in question was “The Quartermaster’s Surplus”, and it was definitely the most heavily armed building in the region, probably even including the imperial forts that dotted the roads. The building was filled with weapons of every type, some of which I’ve never seen before or even considered weapons. I made my purchase quickly, but decided to hang around and watch the confusion on the Quartermaster’s metal face as Thoorin bought, of all things, several shovels, one of which folds up. We browsed the wares for a bit, most of which we couldn’t hope to afford for a good long time.
While Thoorin was haggling for his… weapons, Lazarus joined us, apparently looking for a backup weapon as well after making his purchase of a medical kit for the caravan. He asked about firearms, being Calvin, that isn’t terribly surprising. Quartermaster went rummaging through the back and pulled forth the beautiful but no doubt unholy fusion of death known as the “Axe-musket”. I wanted one right then and there, until I heard the price. It would have to wait for now, but I get the sneaking suspicion that our entire staff will be sporting these in due time, judging by the way Lazarus and Thoorin’s eyes lit up, much like mine. Quartermaster put the weapon away, but he began discussing armor, one particular set of Calvish infantry armor caught Lazarus’s attention, and in the course of examining the armor, he made an off the cuff remark about Octavinas, which didn’t set well with Quartermaster, who was adorned in Octavian heraldry and design. He left in a hurry, and Thoorin and I followed at our own pace after we were done looking.
That evening, the fair started in earnest under the still very bright golden clouds floating along in a sea of pitch black sky.The streets were littered with games, food, merchants selling wares, trinkets, and the sights and sounds of a town overloaded with people trying to take it all in. Thoorin and I waded through the crowds, I followed him mostly because he seemed to part the people far easier than his short frame would suggest, it was probably the smell. The first place he went was directly toward the nearest and most pungent food stand. He ordered something that consisted of a large hollowed out roll filled with what I assume was meat. It also came with several sauces. Two of which he dumped into the meat slurry, the last one, Octavian Fish Paste by the smell of it, he tossed over his shoulder hitting some poor bugger in the back of the head several yards away. His next destination was some game of strength farther down the road. He won with ease on his second attempt, and was given a stiff parchment crown for his trouble.
A few minutes later, Lazarus spotting us somehow, comes over to us, beer in hand, grumbling about some trivia game that’s been rigged. In his anger, he starts mumbling the answers. when he’s done, I walk over to the booth and place my copper down on the table. Lazarus was correct with his answers, and because of that, I make back all the money I spent today, plus a little more. Thoorin walks up as I walk away, and answers all the questions, including the ones Lazarus got wrong, and walks away with 25 gold. Lazarus is fuming at this point, and I’m pretty sure he’ll catch fire if he gets any angrier. Thoorin drags him away from the taunting of the quiz-giver, and we are on our relatively merry way.
We come across another interesting game, a test of accuracy. I haven’t done much at this point, so I put my copper on the table and see what I can do. Lazarus is taunted into playing by the gamesman, and Thoorin is just having fun at this point. We’re each given three wooden balls, and the target is a large vase on a platform surrounded by smaller and closer vases. I test my throw on one of the smaller ones near the center vase, and it hits the back edge and bounces out. I throw again, this time giving it some backspin and make it into the large vase right before Lazarus’s shot, with Thoorin’s ball sinking in moments later. The gamesman is stunned, apparently it’s odd for three people to beat his game in such a short amount of time. Inside the vase is our prize, a tadpole roughly the size of a large housecat. apparently it will grow to the size of a horse eventually. I’m worried about what Lazarus will do to it, and I haven’t the skill to raise an animal, so we gave it to Thoorin to raise and care for. He immediately begins feeding it from the soggy bread-meat-sauce-thing.
Some time later, We found ourselves sitting off to the side on a bench, Thoorin and myself munching on our respective snacks, and Lazarus grumbling into the vase that held “Jaque”. The fair was still in full swing, and we were seated across from a set of cages filled with exotic animals. I was curious to see what forms of beasts would let themselves be captured alive so easily, but I was more concerned about keeping an eye on Lazarus. It was possible that his foul mood had clouded his judgement more than usual. I was snapped from my thoughts when I heard the sound of creaking metal over the murmur of the crowd. Thoorin stopped stuffing his face with his slurry, so I guess he heard it as well. Out of one of the cages comes this squat, bipedal toad thing with eyes each about as large as its head. The bystanders scrambled, and I had my bow drawn and ready in moments. Luckily, I forgot to leave it back at Charlie’s, but it didn’t turn out to be useful.
Thoorin and I moved to take down the creature before it could hurt anyone, but it never even tried to harm any of the fairgoers. From it’s perch on a food cart, he saw us approach slowly. I had an arrow notched and waiting for it to turn aggressive, but it never did. It did use what I would assume to be his natural defense, a searing light from it’s eyes. The owner was momentarily blinded, while Thoorin and I managed to cover our eyes just in time to save them. Even in his state, the owner asked us not to kill his creature, one he called a Cave Toad. Thoorin walks over to the creature and places his hand on it’s head.
It was at this moment Lazarus decided to join us. Unfortunately, he wanders into the light from the toad, and is immediately blinded as well. This does not stop him from trying to defeat the “vile monster that dares to assault the eyes of a Calvin”. I began to worry about his sanity when two things became apparent. One, he was still throwing bombs, and two, his last bomb was talking more than him. With the frog well in hand, I walked over to Lazarus, who was babbling something about the queen. I noticed something coming out of his ears at an alarming rate. I did the only thing I could think to do, I hit him in the face with a frying pan. I was intending to subdue him, so I could get a closer look at his injuries, but I won’t deny, hitting the chatty Calvin, especially with a large, dense piece of metal, was just too gratifying to pass up.
He reacted badly to my bedside manner, and started mixing another bomb. I hit him again before he could finish, and he slumped to the ground. I wasn’t a medical professional or healer in any sense of the word, but he did have something leaking from his ears, and Thoorin was busy with the frog. I tore some reags I found laying about, and stuffed them in his ears. At the very least, it would curb the fluid’s escape, whatever it was.We dragged Lazarus back to Charlie’s to make sure he wasn’t going to die from whatever the hell he did to himself. I could only assist so much as Thoorin began his rituals. They were fascinating to watch, but I can’t figure out why so much of that green slime is needed.
After about an hour, Lazarus emerged from the back room. He stood triumphant, while covered in green slime and tribal inks, and unfortunately for us all, nothing else. He immediately demanded to know what happened, and where his pants were. I could barely contain the laughter, Thoorin didn’t. Katarina, who was reading from a book looked up at the scene, and immediately buried her head farther in the book, muttering “I don’t want to know”. I managed to point to the pile of things we stripped from Lazarus, most of it being potions and vials and other things of that sort. He gathered them up and walked out of the room. Apparently, Charlie found it funny too, I could hear his laughter from the next room over.
Some time later, Lazarus returned, His flesh pink, but free of ink and goo. Thankfully, he was wearing pants. He continues right past a fresh wave of barely contained laughter, and closes himself in one of the rooms. I decide this is as good of time as any to get some sleep and head back to my cot. The door won’t budge though. Apparently Lazarus barricaded the door with a large mirror in an attempt to perform surgery on himself. He wouldn’t open the door until Cree basically chased him out. I stash my things, and a few moments later, Lazarus returns, apparently, his second option was to take up residence in the female quarters, Charlie kicked him out, and tossed him back into the room with us.
Later that night, I hadn’t really gotten any sleep, but the evening was still young. Most everyone had left the camp to go somewhere. I saw them all leaving, but I kind of wanted a break from the crowds at that point. About ten minutes after everyone else left, Lazarus bolts upright, and begins getting ready. Thoorin had mentioned what happened to his brain, so I threw on my shirt and pants, grabbed some basics out of my pack, and followed him, mostly to make sure he didn’t do something drastic or stupid. Since neither one of us knew where the rest of the camp had gone, Lazarus just started marching off in a direction. as we got closer to the city proper, I began noticing a distinct trail the others were leaving, and Lazarus wasn’t following it. I stopped him and pointed him in the right direction.
The path led us to a large tavern, which was surrounded by other caravan wagons and could be heard and seen from at least 150 yards in any direction. We walked in to see pretty much everyone from camp sitting at a table with three people I don’t recognize. I grab a chair and sit down, and order a coffee from a passing barmaid. The three people are introduced as The Mayor of Middleborough, The Commander of Tartarus Point, and a minor head and cleric of the Church of Joshua. Apparently, these are some of our backers. The conversation goes well, even with my direct, and Lazarus’s tactless introduction. We discuss the fair in more detail, I learn of a few new things to keep in mind, and I’ve learned that clerics have very good luck when it comes to cards.
It was about this time when something rather unbelievable happened. I heard a familiar voice boasting over the din of the crowd. It couldn’t have been, he bolted off into the desert a week ago, there was no chance that he survived that long, unless he was that tough, or that stupidly lucky. But sure enough, looking in the direction of the booming voice, I saw Gerrard sitting there. He looked a little worse for wear, like he had been chewed on by the Great Beast himself, but he was alive, and still had the spear he grabbed from the ruins. He saw us, and made his way over. We swapped stories on how we got there, and apparently I wasn’t far off with the “chewed on” expression. He was only alive because of his ability to ignore grievous wounds when necessary. He was actually rather lucky, apparently a whore cart came by and picked him up, healed him back to stable, and took him to Middleborough. the trip cost him about 12 gold though, a bill which he dropped onto the caravan. There was a discussion on whether or not we actually wanted him back. Lazarus was steadfast in his refusal, Thoorin wasn’t really happy to have him back, but he really didn’t care. Charlie didn’t care and Katarina wasn’t a decision making crew member anyway.
So, the decision came down to me, the unofficial employee and freeloader. I ran over the facts in my head. He has already saved my life on one occasion, so I owe him for that. He is a violently effective combatant, and apparently tough enough to survive the frontier alone and injured. However, he is the direct cause of the most dangerous direct threat to the caravan, and he caused it against the wishes of the rest of the crew and through his own stupidity. A threat, which drove us off course, nearly killed me, and put us in the path of Blackbeak, Death’s Stranger, and an assortment of other highly lethal things. The best thing to come out of that was the discovery of an Umbral Road, but I don’t plan on mentioning that wherever there are possible prying ears. Even with the Fieand Bear incident, there was only one conclusion.
With the final decision in my hands, I allowed him back, but before I did, I pulled out my frying pan and hit him squarely in the face, with a warning to not do something that moronic ever again. I’ve been getting some good mileage out of that thing lately, but none of it for cooking. he reset his broken nose and agreed. After which, the small cleric broke out her deck of cards again, and we began to play a hand of Caravan. The end of the game revealed something else about the purpose of the game, which I didn’t know before, it is often used to tell the player’s fortune. I ended last, tied with Gerrard, with a fortune I honestly sort have expected. It was “Your travel will be difficult, and your trials many, but the rewards that await you are great.”
After the game ended, we parted ways and headed back to Charlie’s. Not much had changed in the long run, we have a new pet and an old idiot. Most of us have some new gear. Most importantly to me, I have something at this fair to look forward to. during the conversation, I heard of a nomad tradition in this area taking place in a few days. It was a hunt. the game was a stag. It’s a ritual to one of the tribesman deities, but that doesn’t really concern me. What does is the large pot to be won by whoever brings back the stag first. It’s a chance for me to test my skills, and also get some funding for the caravan. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. I’ll probably have to be at my best though, I’ll be against locals who know the terrain, and against hunters with far more experience under their collective belts than I. This will truly be a test of skill, and I don’t intend to fail. It’s been a long time since I have been this excited for a hunt. Maybe it’s the area, with it’s ever present smell of danger. Who can say

Rasani's Log, Entry 4
or, The Time Tested and True Art of Running Away?

After a week of running for our lives from one fire to the next, we finally seem to have hit a bit of relatively good fortune. We were still running off the momentum of exploring the, as we named them, Blackbeak Peaks, but we were still in a very bad spot. Our remaining provisions would last us a week, all of our trade goods were in ashes, and the caravan coffers had been emptied thanks to Gaius. To his very little credit, the junk he purchased seems to be somewhat valuable to the right buyers, and even better, we were set to arrive in Middleborough in time for the Boroughs’ Fair, where every merchant, trader, and tradesman in the immediate area would come out of their respective hovels and gather in one place. My original plan for coming out this far was to sign up for a Huntsman or Border Patrol job at this fair, but that idea seems less inviting at this point. Partially because I would rather not be in the same place forever, and partially because it’s much easier to avoid some of the things out here when you’re always on the move.
Returning to the issue of Gaius, there was an annoyed me trying to save some piece of him from a very angry Thoorin. He had pilfered most of Thoorin’s money, which apparently was stolen in the first place, as well as my most devastating weapon. we found him hiding under his bed in the Fortune Teller’s wagon. I convinced Thoorin to not have his “discussion” here, as we were inches away from one Saltuk Cree lying on the operating table. When he blubbered out why he betrayed the trust of both the angry, seemingly unkillable man and myself, I couldn’t take him seriously. He traded our things for the “lost technology” of a glass container of vril and a broken mechanized breastplate. Admittedly, they were interesting finds, but his insistence on keeping them and trying to repair them, even after all that has happened left a sour taste in my mouth. Just to be sure he hadn’t been fooled by a slick merchant, I grabbed the glass container and Gaius and escorted him over to Ambrose, leaving Thoorin and a momentarily distracted Lazarus squabbling over the now missing container.
Ambrose was going over the caravan map when I approached, making the changes we discovered to it. I set the container down in front of him and asked if he knew anything about it. Apparently, there are collectors who will pay through the nose to get their hands on some of this stuff, like Gaius. Also, according to the mad ranting of Lazarus, vrill itself can be a valuable and potent component in alchemy compounds. At the very least, we have a way to recover our losses, at least partially. I gave Gaius until we reach the Boroughs to prove to me we should keep the junk he found, instead of trading it to get the caravan running again. He immediately took the stuff and ran off. After listening to the storyteller spin a tale I haven’t heard before, I went to my own cot for some much needed rest.
I awoke to the early morning sounds of something hacking and wheezing in the Fortune Teller’s wagon. I assumed that Gaius had done something to release some ancient toxin from the devices. I arrived and knocked on the door. Thoorin, whom the sound must have also awoken, was less patient and walked straight in. We saw Lazarus laying on his cot, swollen like a filled waterskin, and beginning to turn a shade of green. Thoorin recognized his affliction immediately, the Black Death. Apparently, Blackbeak the vulture decided to leave Lazarus a parting gift where his liver used to be. I’ve seen the effects of the accursed disease, there was a small outbreak in Agrippa several years before my family settled in there. The mass grave filled with soot and ash was the only place I never felt the need to explore growing up. I immediately left the wagon, intent on getting as far out of the camp as possible. The last caravan scout was lost somewhere in the desert, so there was an empty spot available. With Cree back on his feet, we rode out ahead, intent on getting out of these accursed mountains. Sometime after midday, I could hear the sound of pounding steel echoing off the cliffs. When I traced the sound back to it’s source, I saw four giants gathered around the mouth of a cave, forging armor and weapons far too large to be any use to one of us. After meeting with Cree, we agreed to leave the giants to their work, and I helped guide the caravan safely around them.
Our first day out of the newly named Blackbeak Peaks was blessedly quiet. We were on the edge of the badlands known as the Spiked Brace, and we didn’t see anything as we mapped out the area while passing through. In fact, the only thing we ran across the entire day happened that evening around the fires. Off in the distance, an owl was hunting for it’s prey, making soft hooting noises every so often. By the sound of it, it had to be a Great Horned Owl, which is a bit odd in these parts, as they prefer forested regions. I was content to leave it in peace so I could focus on the meal before me, which tasted strongly of sugar and had the consistency of minty, fibrous, woody fabric. We were lucky enough to nearly gain a day in rations with our harvest of sugar moss, but there is only so much that can be done with one ingredient. The hooting of the birds seemed to send Lazarus off the deep end for a moment, as cries of “Damnable pheasants, I’ll baste all of you with FIRE! and HATRED!” and “Birds are death on wings!” Thoorin, amused by this, mimicked Blackbeak’s piercing cry with disturbing accuracy in the direction of the wagon. The metal clanging of Lazarus’s equipment told of how effective it was.
During the next day’s journey, we happened across probably the most welcoming sight I’ve seen in days, a grassy plain, filled with flowering and fruit bearing plants. It was such a shock, especially since the map we had claimed we should be on the edge of the famous badlands known as The Spiked Brace. Even though it was the dead of winter, I could still pick out various berry plants, melon vines, and a host of other edibles. Although the more I traveled this paradise, the more I wondered why it was so pristine. My answer came about three hours later, when I happened across another giant, this one silvered with spots of brown, and leaking vrill from a gash in it’s chest. I returned to the caravan to warn of the giant, but things didn’t add up. vril is used, apparently, for mechanical devices. It generally isn’t considered directly useful for living beings. I led a group of Thoorin, Ambrose, and Lazarus back to where I encountered the thing. Lazarus apparently had come across something like this in his studies, because he immediately pulled a notebook out and began scribbling furiously. He then handed me a note, of which I have included here:

“A primitive type of golem crafted from stone, sinew, and organic plant matter and powered by a mysterious vril mixture. In addition it was first discovered by one Lazarus S. Brixton. Nobleman of Calva, who prefers Honey in his tea.

<<< Latest Missive from Calva to Rasani. Tiberolith and You”

Aside from the misguided attempt at glory, he also would occasionally mutter things about The Clockwork Forest. We nearly had to drag him away from the giant Tiberolith before he finally came to his senses, and followed us back under his own power.
The next day found us in the desert, which is closer to what we expected. the odd thing about this desert was the color of the sand, it was an ashen gray. It wasn’t just a top layer of ash, the sand was that color for at least the first few inches down. as unsettling as that was, it wasn’t the most terrifying thing that I found that day. No, the giant circling the base of the ashen monolithic mesa had to be it. The giant was larger than the ones at the forge, but not as large as the Tiberolith, and was covered in a multitude of boils and pustules, and the giant itself was almost as gray as the desert. It was circling the mesa, never getting more than a few yards away. As i sat and watched, a gargoyle, who blended in perfectly with the stone, leaped from the mesa and made either a bid for freedom, or an attack on the giant, I couldn’t really tell which. It doesn’t matter much, as the misshapen giant saw it, and swung it’s tree-sized mace, and knocked it back into the mesa, where it proceeded to pummel the stone creature into pebbles. This answered two very important things for me. One, I’m not going anywhere near that behemoth, and two, I no longer wonder why the desert is the color of stone. Once again, I return to the wagons and warn them of the danger, and once again, we skirt around it.
While on scouting deep in the badlands proper, I came across another wagon heading North, painted on the side were depictions of minstrels playing heavy drums and large pipes, with the words “Thog’s Bloodfury Minstrels: Traditional Orcish Music and Entertainment” emblazoned in red in both Orcish and Imperial Basic. Since this is the second thing in a week and a half that I’ve come across and they haven’t tried to kill anyone immediately, I decided to ride closer and investigate. It was probably not the best idea, considering the Frontier as a whole, but they didn’t shoot me on sight, and even with a crossbow trained on me, we managed to have a pleasent conversation. Looking back, the driver of the lead wagon, who’s name I can’t recall asking for, was testing me for the entire first part of the conversation, making sure I was a legitimate caravan scout rather than a target finder for bandits. I unknowingly blundered through every carefully worded trap with my usual oblivious honesty, for once proving itself as an asset. They were also headed to Middleborough for the fair, and would have been open for trading wares, if we had the cash, the trade goods, or the merchant to haggle with them. Parting ways, I headed back to the campsite and settled in to another story told by the entertainer.
The next morning was an interesting sight, every single cloud in the sky was a bright as the sun itself. I’ve never seen anything like this, but had some trouble looking directly at it. Thoorin was far worse off than I. Apparently, his kind and Orcs share a weakness to intense light. Which made the already permanent squint on his face far worse. I don’t think he even left his wagon. The extra visibility was useful for finding Middleborough, as it made it far easier to spot the tent city that had sprung up around the small town. The smell of non-mossy or hard tack food could be smelled for a mile in every direction, with the noise of the crowd and the bazaar not far off. As I write this, we are still securing the wagons to sit here for the next few days, and I haven’t had the chance to do anything else, but I will make sure to pay Gaius a visit, and probably pick up some tobacco while I’m here. Also, I have a decision to make. Do I want to stay here or continue on the road with these loons. My head says there is only one good choice, that staying here is the best option, the safest. But I’ve already made up my mind. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but it has. I guess it’s the human half speaking, but I don’t think I can stay here. Well, there’s still a long road ahead, I hope I don’t grow to regret this.


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