Warpath's Journal (Vol 1)

A leather-bound journal of an explorer

Category:
book/scroll
Description:

16th of Pharast
At long last, our journey begins; though the road the caravan takes is the road I traveled to Restov. I look to distance myself from my homeland, not return to it. I will ride a bit further and if course does not change, I will lose myself in the south.

The ride is not quiet. A deaf ogre could make us a mile away. There is a vulgar fellow, garbed in dyed cloth and coat with a feathered hat, calling himself Darkie. His breathe stinks of ale and he is loose of tongue. He has made me known as to where he travels. He talks much, but he says little. What troubles me is his companion. She is attractive, and dresses much like the tribes, but her tongue stays sealed behind her lips. The loud and dark one calls her Iolana and the she whispers to a cat.

My past is unclean and I hold my judgment of these two until time shows the path clear.

20th of Pharast
Four days and the merchants continue west. Our goal lies a few miles to the south. Here – far too close to Numeria – we part ways. This merchant’s fort seems well guarded and these armed make me uneasy. A Dark and brooding man with unruly hair and beard announces himself as Kesten Garess. My eye does not leave him as he resumes his duties. These men are not dressed as those that killed my people. Maybe they are more honest than those of my homeland. Time will reveal more to me.

Owners Oleg and Svetlana Leveton introduce themselves. Times must be hard on the frontier. Oleg is gruff of speech and comes across as uncaring and cold. Svetlana’s beauty is hidden behind dirt and grime. She is quiet, but strong of spirit.

A young woman helps Svetlana with the serving of meals. Surely this is no place to raise young without a larger family. Quiet and sweet like Svetlana, the young beauty reveals herself to be Katara, an adventurer who lost her friends to a terrible creature some ten days back. She caught me staring, but she simply smiled and continued to help serve.

I sat with an elderly man with balding brown hair. His garbs were of a simple brown cloth. The kind old man is Jhod Kavken, a traveling cleric of the Patient Hunter. He tells me of a trapper that has become crazed and may have joined with bandits. I take note; we will see this wayward soul set straight. We only just arrived when the Dark One starts shouting for a strong drink. The Witch sits with him, but remains quiet.

Rest is much needed.

22nd of Pharast
Two days of exploring and all we have found is a large nest high in a tree. It appears large enough for an eagle, but I have seen none such birds. A thorn-cloaked river blocks our way forward. The Dark One strips and leaps the thorns and dives into the river. Moments later, the clothes of the drunkard where gone. There are forces here beyond our knowing. We should keep a close eye on our surroundings.

We move up the river and the Witch springs a bear trap with her leg. The thing is clamped tight. I lift the Witch and place her in the pirate’s cart. I wonder why he drags that thing everywhere. He even charges for its use. A coin for everything the man does. He honors nothing he cannot charge a price for. A man that worships coin loses his shirt. Fitting! The Dark One, the young beauty, and I spend the day setting the traps. I take three. They may be of use if time is right. We are took make for Oleg’s come day break.

24th of Pharast
Jhod awoke in a great sweat. He was visited by visions in his sleep. Trees branch out in great antlers and a dark spirit resides in a holy place. He asks that we cleanse the evil from this sacred ground. I will accomplish this for him even if none are with me. We set out once more.

25th of Pharast
A boar is spotted in the woods. The Dark One tells the Witch to make him big so that he may kill the animal. The Witch mutters a few words in a foul tongue and the Dark One is instantly nearly twice my size and his heavy gait moves quicker than before. The boar attempted to flee, but the Dark One routed it. By time I could aid, the boar lay dead at Dark One’s feet. He showed skill with a knife and provided food for a few days.

26th of Pharast
We find a spring feeding the river that has blocked much of our path. It flows fresh and free. It is a good source of clean water and we filled our skins. The trek led us to a man that had long-since died under a pile of heavy logs. It seems to have been a trap of sorts and the rope holding it had been cut. A well-made axe remained in the tree. Who is this and who cut the rope. Breeg was to be hunting humans. Maybe this is his doing. No time for mourning or misspent prayers. I removed the axe and we turned South.

27th of Pharast
Exploring has led us to a shallow part in the river and we cross over. Before us was a destroyed barrier of sorts. Three bodies laid next to one another, each missing its head. Rocks were placed where their heads should be. I heard the laughing of children as a mass of tangled vines rose before us. The one called Katara shrieked and yelled “ That’s it… the thing that killed my friends.” She ran followed by the Witch and the Dark One.

As I stood there, the mound did not move. A trick maybe? I did not know so I tempted fate and threw coin before me and offered my remedy that a creature might show itself. A small, butterfly-winged dragon appeared and swept up the coins. A cat-sized fey with the upper body of a waifish humanoid and the lower body of a cricket requested the tonic.

The shiny-eyed dragon flew up making elaborate loops and whirls and announced his name to be Pervilash. The cricket=woman named herself Tyg-Titter-Tug. They did not agree with my name and decided to call me “Mr. Biggunse.” I speak the tongue of fey folk and talked long with them in their words. They admitted to taking things from the people I am with and wished to return it to me in reward for being such “great sports.” I followed them to their nest. It is the large nest we found near a week past. They bid me rest under the safety of their home and returned the Dark One’s clothing and ivory hair pins they say belongs to the pretty girl in our care.

They announced that they witnessed the death of Katara’s friends and were responsible for conducting a “biggense fumeral,” as the stones were left as evidence to. They seem kind enough. I will rest here for the night and follow the others to Oleg’s in the morn.

29th of Pharast
I returned to Oleg’s alone and no worse than before. I bore gifts for those who lost belongings along our travel. I tried to return the Dark One’s clothes and he accused me of theft. Before I could claim innocence, he drew blade. I have seen this before. He cares not my speech and wished for my blood as atonement. I dropped his garb and drew my blades as well. His words fell on deaf ears as he swung. One blade stung and the other flew wide. His Witch muttered a few words in her tongue and I felt my defenses weaken. I swung back with hardy blow and the Dark One fell. The Witch stretched out her hand towards me and flames sprung forth at me. I made quick and the fires did little more than singe. I stepped back and sheathed my blades. My fight was not with the Witch and the Dark One lay fallen. Katara climbed the table and stretched a hand towards the Dark One. Maybe she wished to know if he lived. Matters not to me as his intent for my death was clear. The Dark One rose again, blades in hand. I drew my axes in reply. He accused me yet again and I put my tomahawk away to pull out Katara’s hairpins. She claimed that they were lost long before we arrived and I offered to be placed in irons to help ease present tensions. The Dark One asked to be placed in irons as well until the truth could be revealed.

30th of Pharast
After a restful sleep, tempers cooled and I expressed great want to hunt the boar called Tuskgutter. The morning served us well in our effort. With gathered food and strength, we left under the mid-day sun. We arrived in the area formerly plagued by traps. Each set about their own shelter and my friends paid us visit. Tyg-Titter-Tut and Pervilash became known the others. The creatures told us of where the Temple of the Elk was to be found and that the creature Tuskgutter was even further south. The body we had found was true to be the Trapper Breeg and it was this fey-dragon that saw to his end. Pervilash claimed it a prank gone wrong. As no proof holds his words false, he is to be trusted. The cricket-lady asked for a song and the Dark One belched out a tune about drink, ships, and women. It was not unpleasing, yet still Tyg-Titter-Tut spoke praise of the Dark One’s ability. They will stay with us the night.

2nd of Gozran
We found a spring that was pungent to smell. Two frogs seemed to grow large in this murky water. The Dark One hurled himself at the creatures and sunk to his shoulders in the stagnant waters. He managed to slay the beasts as my arrows did not hold true to their flight. The day belonged to the Dark One.

3rd of Gozran
We stumbled upon a ruin. Large moss covered boulders and a carved pool flooded with algae. A cliff face branched out in the seeming facade of a deer’s antlers, framing the cavernous entrance. We had found the Lost Temple of the Elk. At the warning of Jhod’s visions, we readied ourselves for battle. I approached the entrance to the cave. A bear charged out and dug a claw in me. I planted both axes in the grizzly creature and it turned its full fury towards me. I know not what happened as I lie on the cold stone. When I awoke, the area was a little brighter. Full of color. The one I have called witch bandaged my wounds. For this, I will learn her name. The Dark One dove into the pool, clear of growth. Katara suggested that I take a dip in the pool as well. The women helped me lower into the refreshing waters. My wounds began to close and strength returned to my soul.

4th of Gozran
I traded my horse to the Dark One to gain his support to continue south before returning. Eager for payment, he agreed. The forest south of the temple indeed held the prize I was looking for. The Tuskgutter! It fell under our blades. Unwanted, the Dark One aided. Remembering that he saved me by defeating the bear a day ago, I do not accuse him. He claimed the meat and I claimed the creature’s head. At first light, we will journey back to Oleg’s.

6th of Gozran
After two days of journey, we are seen back to Oleg’s unharmed. For the boar’s head, I claimed the full prize at the cost of future reward. A heavy price, but worth the effort. Jhod was eager of the news of the temple and is soon to head there himself. He has offered his healing to us freely. We plan to hunt on the morrow as supplies are low.

7th of Gozran
The day was well spent. Hunting proved useful, providing each of us a week’s worth of rations.

9th of Gozran
We have come to an area where the thorn protected river joins with a river where horribly shrieking birds are nesting. The only good is this area holds a shallow ford in the rivers allowing easy crossing. We made camp far away from the birds or we may not sleep at all.

The Dark One has been uneasy. His temper is less settled without hard drink and little better with. The Whispering One speaks in the Dark’s ear when she believes no one is listening. I hear what she has to say though. The Dark One seeks only gold and the Whispering One moves only to serve his purpose. She may have laid a healing hand on me, but there is a darkness within her. They spoke of leaving to join up with the one that is called the Stag Lord. Katara has done no wrong and deserves better company. I, however, have my own sins to atone for. I will not let harm come to Katara after what I have witnessed to my own blood. Leave if they must; no evil shall befall her.

Nightfall was deep upon us and the Whispering One moved with the shadows. The Dark One was less quite, but Katara held fast to sleep. The two gathered their portion of camp and the Dark One began to move towards Katara and her belongings. I rose and readied my axe. The Dark One saw me and began to draw his blade.

“There is unfinished business between you and I,” he rumbled in a low gruff voice.

The Whispering One placed a hand to him. “He will fall in due time. Now is not the time Reginald. Come, We will leave them to the dangers of the wilds.” Her dark eyes rested on Katara for a moment. If not for startling Katara, I would have gouged the witch’s evil eyes from her head. The Dark One replaced his half-drawn blade and grudgingly left the area. I held watch through the night, fearing their return.

10th of Gozran
Morning light revealed to Katara the two had gone. She questioned me as to where they went. I beckon her eat and all I tell her is that they are gone.

“The bad people will not harm you White Swan. Not anymore.”

Katara asked me who White Swan was. My thoughts must have been loud as I did not recall saying that name. I held back tear and rage as I told her of my people. I told of my beloved little sister and what the bad people had done to her; people like the Dark One. I dared not follow the others, but it was foolhardy not to know where they went. I tracked their movements west. They continued beyond the edge of our travels the day before. Then Katara and I made clear marks to the south, should they try and follow. The bear traps would work well for a trap in the underbrush. We made tracks that led further past the traps before we turned to the east. I made every effort to disguise our tracks. We camped before entering new land.

11th of Gozran
Shortly into our day, a body floated by in the river, face down. I looked at Katara and saw her desire. I dove into the river to retrieve the body. It had life yet in it, as it was still warm. The water was cool and refreshing. Katara drew the water out of the man with her magic. Strange magic she holds, but her heart is kind. The man coughed as air replaced the water in his lungs. He said he had come to these lands with others, but none were found. I took this rare opportunity to bath in the river and fill our skins. We charted the area with our new friend, Nix Holystone. We camped a little more than a stone’s throw from the abandoned Oaktop Silver Mine. We intend to explore the mine on the morrow.

12th of Gozran
We happened upon a mine. Our new friend saw something and darted into the shrubs around the mine. Instinct told me to do the same. Katara tripped trying to follow. The noise alerted something in the cave. A yelp filled the air. I drew weapon for what may exit. A lizard creature appeared. No more than knee high, it called out to talk with us. Nix must have recognized the creature and began talking in a strange tongue. Nix told us to follow as the scaled creature entered the dark of the entrance. Dimly lit, we followed, still at the ready for what may jump out at us. Snakes are crafty and these creatures appear some distant kin. One scaled in black scolded the one we followed. Some dispute came of me bearing weapons, or so Nix told me. Reluctantly, I put my axes away. Nix and the Black Chief spoke in the strange tongue while I made known my surroundings. Nix relayed that we could help these beings by returning an ivory idol, a statue of some reptile god. We agree and head north.
Bodies litter the ground, reptile and fey, in what must have been months of battle. The little blue creatures, Mites, were our quarry. A dead tree towered atop a lone hill. A door hidden among its roots. Prepared for war, I knocked, kicking the door down. Falling back, ready for what was to come, nothing happened. I lit a torch and cautiously entered. Katara and Nix followed. Our decent came to a choice in the path.
“When in doubt, go right.” Nix said with smile and a wink.
Right indeed. The first opening we came across was a breeding ground for giant centipedes. Foul, dangerous vermin. A lone mite was feeding three of these overgrown bugs. Thunder echoed through the opening as a burst of fire swallowed the mite and kissed the centipedes. I followed the amazing feat of magics with brutal intention. My axe fell on of the vermin, but I swung the torch all too brash, breaking the wood and snuffing the flame. We were in complete darkness. Katara saved us, by creating light as Nix and I slayed the last two abominations of nature. I lit another torched and moved towards the purpose of destroying this breeding chamber. No more giants would crawl out of this den.
Further in, we discover mites tormenting a kobold. This time, we had advantage. I rushed felling one. Nix hit the mites around me with one of his magic orbs. Another one dropped and the others fled, two across a ravine and one down another hallway. Good to know what my allies are capable of. We released the kobold from his binds and Katara revived it. Gracious, it was eager to help us. We tracked the one down a corridor to a workshop of sorts. Here, one set upon us a contraption similar to a miniature catapult. A trickster’s trinket more than a weapon. These three were a trifle nuisance. We made short work of them and moved on. Crossing the ravine proved a painful annoyance. Some handholds were rigged to let go. I faltered, but managed to hang on. The kobold, who I was trying to carry across, fell 20 feet to the bottom. A giant centipede wiggled out of the vines looking for an easy meal. One was not to be had of our new friend. The creature pulled me down. At least it had to fight me to get at the kobold. Instead, it turned on Nix and Katara. I threw tomahawks to keep it from harming her. Nix and Katara managed just as well. We dropped the thing before real harm could be done. I carried the kobold up the ravine and Katara revived it once more.
Once across, we entered the mites’ main lair. One larger mite mounted atop a large tick ordered the other six around as we entered. I charged the vermin reaching deep inside for a fierce war cry. Amidst my roar, the only one word came to bear… “SPOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!” It would have to do as we battled the creatures. All fell before us. I bore the weight of combat taking all the wounds of our side. We found a number of kobold sized spears, a sack of coins, the kobold’s totem, and a war map. Nix mixes an elixir and reads the strange markings on the map. One column marked “Us” listed kobold statue, spears, and coins. The other column labeled “Them” listed magic dust, coins, and shiny human ring. Katara believes this ring may be Svetlana’s missing wedding ring. Nix finds this an agreeable course of action.
At camp, Nix scribbled a few notes referencing a series of books, sharing a title.
The Lord of the Round Finger Jewelry
-Friendship of the Band
-the Tower and the Other Tower
-the Comeback of the Ruling Man

14th of Gozran
I asked Nix to question Mikmek, our dragonling friend, of Sootscale and Tartuk. My gut aches over these two. Again Nix took the strange words of the creature. Many words were spoken, and little knowledge gained. Tribesmen look to a warrior for strength and a shaman for wisdom. These two were at odds within the Sootscale.
Nakpik did not greet us when we returned. The new post told us that Nakpik had been sacrificed by Tartuk to grant us favor with their god. Erastil and Gozreh may share favor, but a dragon god does not guide me! Sootscale had his kobolds gathered at the King Seat. Nix spoke the strange words as patience left me. Tartuk showed from behind the curtain of furs. Before I could cut him down, Nix toss him the idol. Ka-BOOM! Ears rang and eyes blurred as the idol erupted in strange magics. Nix had done this before with the mites. And again rang another blast and Tartuk vanished. Could this Nix be so powerful to leave no trace of the victim behind? I know not, but Tartuk is gone. A collection of writings told the misfortunes of Tartuk and a former life. Nix knows these strange marks and his secrets are many. Sootscale was glad to be rid of the traitor kobold and swore oath to us.

15th of Gozran
The heavens rumbled as a jagged bolt of light struck the sky, then cracked in two. Tears fell from burdened clouds of mournful grey. I could feel the waters whispering to me as it slid down my chin, falling back to the ground. The river moved with renewed strength. I could not swim across this time.

‘Nettle’s Crossing
Toll 5 Copper
Ring Bell For Service’

Ropes were all that were left. I placed my pieces at the sign and moved slowly onto the ropes. The dead walked the water and bid us warning. It wants the Stag Lord’s body to be thrown into the river to suffer as the figure had before. We left, daring not to cross.

16th of Gozran
A large tree had been struck down from heaven’s wrath. Its roots bared items useful to Nix, but nothing more.

18th of Gozran
We found the hut of the misplaced hermit, Bokken. His friendly ramblings revealed little other than he want fang berries and his brother dead.

19th of Gozran
After weeks away, we returned to Oleg’s. Svetlana had much happiness seeing her wedding ring once more. We made report to Kesten. The Kobold alliance came with much relief.

A deep breath let out, “One less threat in these lands. Let us hope it is not replaced by another.”

27th of Gozran
We mapped the northern edge of these lands with nothing more than scribbles on Katara’s map. Time had come for the armor I asked for to be at Oleg’s. Waiting on us was also a chest containing gold. A letter made mention of no longer reporting the Sootscales as a threat.

30th of Gozran
We began to explore the westbound edge of this land. Amidst a patch of blackberries, a burial marker with no name, once honored and now forgotten. I prayed for this spirit to be known in the Great Hunting grounds.

3rd of Desnus
Our travels have yielded little of note. It is a welcome rest, but too long of a slumber makes the body stiff. A great marsh spreads far to the west. We pass by them. We are not meant for those lands anyway.

4th of Desnus
A talking bush startled us. The voice claimed to be a mercenary, but would not quiet its mouth about its exploits. I have never heard of a Wade bush. I doubt it has done all it has said it has. How can a bush move, much less kill so much without being set ablaze? It asked to join us. The last sword-for-hire that traveled with us hurt our progress and still leaves a stink about us. I was silent as Nix and Katara agreed. To my surprise, a child stepped out. He spoke with the words of a man and his face bore the scars of a rough life. Truly he had seen battle, but what was his capability? He boasted of what he could do, but words do not measure actions. Time will be his true test.

5th of Desnus
We came across a stocky, muscular mammal, its snarling lips revealing a mouth full of yellow teeth. Before any could act, Wade leapt from Katara’s horse into a tree. The first sign of battle and he flees. Nix took careful aim and dropped the thylacine with a single bolt. Wade climbed out of the tree, griping that the beast was right where he wanted it until we went and mess everything up. I tire of his constant talking.

Our day was be filled with an interesting twist, the stagnant Skunk river was near dammed by branches, debris and even bodies. This water supply is not only poisoned by the sulfur that leaks out the spring, but these bodies breed disease and decay. A serpentine creature laid on a small sandy island, bathing in the sun. Nix and Wade both let bolts fly killing the creature before it had a chance to act. I spotted another just under the water ready to ambush any that tried to cross makeshift ford. Leaping to the island, the creature broke under the weight of my axe. I began claiming Oleg’s trophies while Nix searched the bodies of the river. We used this area to cross and continue our journey.

7th of Desnus
A marsh lies in the middle of the forest. Two well-worn buildings jut from within these stagnant waters. As we approach, a boggard and its slurk appeared from the ruins. The boggard commanded us to stop. Unusual for such a hostile creature. Nix attempted to talk to the creature and Katara had seen that it was hurt. Wade evaded my attempt to grab him, so I returned to the horses. Hopefully the half-man does not make this worse for Katara. By my axe, no harm will come to her from those that travel with us. Wade called out to me to bring the tatzlwyrm heads. I know not his reasoning, but I did as ask. Katara and Nix seemed to be awaiting the trophies and the boggard croaked, what I gather is a laugh. He croaked out “Snake die. Snake die.” So, he does speak a few words in the Common tongue. Nix told me that we have free passage through Garuum’s kingdom.

9th of Desnus
Return to Oleg’s. Great tales will be spun and woven together over the heads we have brought him. Our time here is short as the wilderness calls us back.

14th of Desnus
We found the fabled fangberries Bokken spoke of. The patch is over grown with brambles, and spiders have nestled in the thicket. We began to pick berries. Fools us all! The spiders we neglected as we trampled their webs, swarmed over us. Nix used a magic stick and flames spread forth. The spiders retracted as the briars caught fire. But as such, the berries we were after were in danger of the flames. Katara weaved here magics and wet the flames with a splash of water that cracked like a whip. I foolishly swung my axe into the thick of the swarm to no effect. Engulfed in spiders, flames rose up from behind me. I turned. The magic stick laid on the ground and Wade pointed at Nix. I do not believe Nix was behind the attack, but I have no proof. Katara was afflicted by the spiders’ poison. I could not cure her, but I did what I could to aid in her healing. Nix provided a tonic and searched her coin purse for payment. Almost a kind gesture, but the aid was well received.

15th of Desnus
Yelping came from a hunter’s pit. We eased forward, but the ground gave way. Nix managed to jump to safety, but his horse, Katara, and I were once again in harm’s way. The thylacine was mad with hunger and Katara had not fully healed from the spiders. She fell quickly. I made myself the target and matched the fierceness of the crazed beast. Today, the gods favored me. I slung one end of my rope around Katara’s chest and climbed out of the pit, only to pull Katara out after I had secured stable footing. There was no way to pull Nix’s horse out of the pit. I did the deed. The beast did not suffer.

18th of Desnus
We returned to Bokken to deliver him his prize and set off to Oleg’s. I foresee it will be an uneventful endeavor.

20th of Desnus
Death and rot took hold of a forest clearing. The cause is a dead unicorn, desecrated and left for dead, its horn broken and missing. Katara inspected the creature. There are no visible wounds and its eyes are milked over, blind at the time of death. The entire area feels me with unease. There is evil magic at foot here. Those who did this shall pay for destroying such a sacred creature. I built a funeral pyre and commended the poor creature’s spirit back to the gods that gave it breath. The Spirit Father is in all things and gives us breathe. The Earth Mother gave birth to us; she nourishes us; that which we put into the ground shall return to us. May the ashes of this sacred creature be spread across the winds and replenish the lands.

23rd of Desnus
A troll blocked our path. Wade yelled for evasive maneuvers and jumped past a tree. I attacked the creature that the others may go unnoticed. The foul beast hit hard. Vision blurred and for a moment I thought there to be a second troll. I fell at the creature’s feet. I know not what happened next, save that I awoke in Katara’s hands. Truly a gifted healer.

25th of Desnus
We avoided a fort set on a hill and overlooking a great lake to continue our exploring of the southern borders of our charge.

31st of Desnus
Oleg’s Trading Post. The worn sign has become a familiar landmark in this vast land. A place of refuge against the wilds beyond the walls. And these peoples I journey with, varied as they are, have become family to me. Nix Holystone acts as one of formal education and elegant speech no matter the challenge before us. Katara Hakoda, the young, sweet girl that I have taken as my charge. I believe her older than she appears; her knowledge and abilities exceeds one so young. And then there is Wade… At times annoying and devilishly cunning at others. When he place a broad-brimmed straw hat on the dead troll and sent it afloat in a row boat, I swore it must have been fever from my injuries. He began singing a festive tune in a foreign tongue as the creature floated away. Different as they may be, they are my tribe and I must do right by them.

2nd of Sarenith
We returned to the southern fort. We planned to climb the west wall after nightfall, to take the fort by surprise. The surprise was turned on us as shallow graves gave up the dead in them. As corpse after corpse rose, bandits gathered on the ramparts to watch us battle. One by one, they gathered on the wall and took aim on us. Arrows from above and corpses from below, this night lost. I managed to claim the lives of a few and lost my tomahawks in the process. Katara conjured a giant orb of water and sent the final undead back to their graves. This attack is lost. We shall return to take the fort another night.

3rd of Sarenith
Heavy injuries forced us to return to Oleg’s to restock and lick our wounds. Routed and on the brink of defeat, if the bandits had dared follow, we may not have lived the night.

8th of Sarenith
We returned to the fort. Nix used the magic dust from the mite tree to change his appearance to that of our attackers. I feigned his captive and we approached the main gate. Katara and Wade headed to the south wall to climb in behind the bandits as we drew their attention to the north gate. We held brief conversation with a bandit lieutenant. Our ruse seemed to work and we were allowed in the gate. But the moment we stepped inside, the bandits attacked. We were ready for such. Nix released me and took aim on the big one. I turned my blade against one and fell him in a single blow. The lesser of the men fell quickly and I looked and saw a man lurking in the shadows. This bandit I recognized, the one that raped my sister and murdered my people. He released a great beast. Bear and owl combined into a defiler of nature, the creature tore into one of the bandits. This thing served no master and killed for the blood. I could not take on the tattooed man as I desired, for this fell beast threatened all. I was left little choice but to attack the beast head on. We traded blow after brutal blow when an arrow bore deep into my side. I looked up to see a tall man dressed in leather gloves and his chest left bare. On his head, he wears a helmet fashioned after the skull of a stag. This must be the Stag Lord. I may have been able to take this demon bear in single combat, but not with a pest buzzing around. Arrow, beak, and claw took their toll on my bruised and broken body. Withdraw to live or stay to die, I had no choice. I fled around a wall to drink a healing tonic. As I began to feel strength return to me, I saw the owlbear chase after Nix, tossing bombs over his shoulder as he raced through the fort’s front gate. Then, the Stag Lord stepped into view and an arrow pierced me. My eyes felt… heavy. Once again, I awoke to Katara’s lovely face. I was to protect her, but she has always been there when I have fallen. Battle stirred me to my senses. The Stag Lord is all that is left and Nix, Wade, and the lieutenant were standing against the man in combat. I ran full power at the man and buried my axe deep. Katara conjured another orb of water, but the bandit dodged and it was, much to my dismay, Wade that struck the final blow. I sank to the ground and breathed relief. A search of the fort revealed much: trade goods, jewels, trinkets of war, all shall be put to a good cause, though to what end has yet been revealed to us.

The lieutenant introduced himself as Akiros and he admitted that the life of a bandit was not for him. He wished to leave this life behind him and so we allowed him to journey with us back to Oleg’s.

9th of Sarenith
We flung the Stag Lords body into the waters of Nettles Crossing. A corpse rose from the waters to drag the dead down.

11th of Sarenith
Once back at Oleg’s Trading Post, Kesten took custody of Falgrim Sneeg. A grin stretched Kesten’s face as he escorted the captive beyond the walls and out of sight. Falgrim pleaded us not to let Kesten take him. If his crimes cost Kesten his station, then no man could stay what was to come. Oleg, Svetlana, and the others were pleased to see us. Our return began talks of a celebration. The Stolen Lands had been liberated from the bandit influence and word was sent to Restov. Svetlana prepared a great meal and we ate ‘til our eyes grew heavy. A rare indulgence. Surely Erastil could forgive such after the trials we have been through.

Once the pages of this book were filled, Warpath moved on to recording the adventures of this party in another. See Warpath’s Journal Vol 2 to read the continued account of this party from Warpath’s perspective.

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Warpath

Warpath's Journal (Vol 1)

Kingmaker Adventure Path KingDavid5808