The first, say, hour of this session, it seemed was spent sorting inventory. It was most Cleric who was in charge of it, but they arrived in the rest stop of Ravenstead after a hard fought fight with the Wood Beholder. It looked like the other players were getting pretty bored, but they managed to swing some deals with the merchants travelling with them, and get some money for their items.
The cook (Jerica) asks if she can keep one of the swords, and Swashbuckler decides to train her to use it. He also suggests Brudder upgrade his trusty pocket knife to a sword as well. He reluctantly agrees, and Jimmi points out he had one that Paris gave him.
The Heroes of Hope were wheeling and dealing in the bar, and overheard the conversations between the NPCs.
Hernandez asks his brother to come over here and tell him what’s on the menu.
Nina asks: “Why, can’t you do it yourself? Why do you need your brother?”
Romel: “Well, it’s because my brother can’t read.”
Tawney: Hahahha!! spits out drink “You can’t read? What are you, a simpleton?” More laughter from the other pirates
Hernandez: “Hey man, that’s not cool. I sent money back so you could go to school to learn to read. You should appreciate that”
Romel: “Yeah I do, but Mama-sita taught me how and she told me when she tried to teach you, you just didn’t listen!”
Brudder: I bet you I can drink more than you!
Keith: Maybe, but you can’t drink faster!
Brudder and Keith have a drinking contest, and of course, Trickster joins in, hammering pint after pint of Buddy Ale, and Frisky Whiskey.
Jerica (the cook): I can’t read either.
Reynolds: What? Hahah. Yeah. Nina gives Reynolds a dirty look and smiles
Tawney: Oh come on. You can’t even read a little bit?
Jerica: Well, I can’t read common. I can read Elvan just fine, but I didn’t think I’d be interacting with people outside the woods so much, so I never really took the time to learn.
Romel: So how do you cook stuff if you can’t read a cookbook?
Jerica: Everytime I needed someone to read, I’d just ask my sister Synergy. Besides that, I just get by on a really good photographic memory.
Jerica: I don’t know. It’s something my fortune teller says, and it caught on.
Francine: Well, at least you can read Elvan, not like Hernandez, who can’t read anything! Haha!!
Paris (to Sara): Yeah, my dad owns a bunch of Inns, and he can probably get you some deals in Ft. Kaylea cause he knows a lot of people there. Like his friend Kunitz is a Blacksmith and he can sell me Iron Ingots for 20 gold instead of the 25 you get at most places. It helps that people want to be friends with you. flips hair.
Francine: Hey Mogenhiden, are we allowed to get wasted? I don’t really remember the rules,and I don’t want to become an ex-cleric. Are we also allowed to take part in carnal urges?
Hernandez: Why Francine, who do you have the urges for? Haha!!
After a bit too much to drink, Keith sees Saru sitting on a table, because there do not seem to be any chairs in the bar.
Keith (the NPC with the sobrero) asked her to take off her coat, to which she replied she didn’t have a coat. He then said “Why don’t you take off your shirt?”
Saru then decides to charm him, and tells him the group would really appreciate it if he slept on the ground, outside. Keith agrees with her, and finds a nice patch of dirt outside the bar to lie down.
While this is going on, there is a commotion outside. Stuff is being thrown out of the wagons! A merchant runs into the bar as the rest of the party goes out the check out what is happening.
They are shocked to find a bunch of forest fairies, dressed in white and light blue robes, are trashing their stuff.
The Cleric is able to understand the language, and Emerson runs out and attempts to translate.
In slyvian, the apparent leader of the fairies asks (ha mee nung tie see hew hung) Emerson: who is responsible for forest guardian’s death
Some of the merchants point to Heroes of Hope.
Jerica, Emerson, Harriette can speak the language.
Asks (un hewa, lea haaw hew hung see suu kei) Emerson: why did you kill forest guardian?
Jerica interrupts and says she can speak the language. She says the way they are saying “Forest Guardian” is a term of endearment that refers to a name. In this case, Foster.
more fairies show up, and the players begin to get very nervous.
(hew cun see pina colata kai pen you!) Jerica: Foster was Pina Colada’s pet.
(nung nung see teuw twa jea keu lew!) Jerica: Ummm…we are very pissed off.
Jerica: (leu nung oui heaw kung um maw wea?)
Head Fairy: Yes, we can speak the tongue of the common human.
Another fairy, Pina Colada, grabs Jimmi and says “You are coming with me!!!” Jimmi resists, The leader stops her. “Pina Colata, stop that!” Pina Colada
Saru says that Foster attacked first. The fairies said people say it was them that fired the first shots. The rest of the party seems to be aware of this fact. Saru says their pet was on the road, and disrupting commerce, and was threatening everyone. The lead Fairy, said she didn’t believe him, and that Foster would never harm anyone that left him alone, and would have eventually gone off the road.
One of the fairies is talking to Emerson inside one of the wagons. Emerson looks sad…
The Cleric goes by, and listens in.
“…and she wanted you to have this. To hope you can forgive her, and remember her. She says she regrets the decision her whole life.” She puts a glowing white necklace with a butterfly piece in Emerson’s hand.
The head fairy continues:
“This is unacceptable. We demand compensation! We demand back the flowers of Foster, so that we may give him a proper sending off, as well as 8 ^3 gold pieces.”
The players wonder why they demand money in this particular way, but do not ask.
Saru tells them they can shove it, and she is not giving back the flowers, nor compensating them with any money. The rest of the group groans because of her lack of diplomatic skills.
The head Fairy then says ""We will be waiting for you when you come back around this way! And we will bring two more Octotrees, these ones bigger and nastier than the one you killed!"
The fairies then leave, en masse.
Emerson looks distraught over what he just heard.
Cleric asks him what’s wrong.
“It’s nothing. Just found out about someone who I used to care a great deal about has passed on.”
“She gave me this as her dying request.”
It is a pendant. It looks to be in the shape of a butterfly.
“You can have it….I don’t have any need for it, and it’s a part of my life I’d rather forget.”
“No idea what it does.”
The adventurers go back into the tavern, and Saru buys a round of drinks for everyone at her table. Hernandez says thanks, and he jokes that she is good wife material. Saru protests, and says “I pillage, I rob, and I fight! Do you think that is good wife material?” Hernandez says “Yes, it’s great wife material, if you’re a pirate.” Saru says “I’ll drink to that!” They ram mugs, and down more buddy ale.
Some of the merchant NPCs talk about her behind her back, and how she has made it harder on them to travel through the forest, because they fear harassment from the fairies. She tells them to shut up, because it is them the fairies will be after and not other merchants.
The pirates, and Francine the jewelcrafter sit at one table, and Hernandez mentions that he doesn’t think Perron (the swashbuckler) is a real pirate, in which Romel agreed. They say there is just something off about him, and he doesn’t really talk in the same accent as they do. The Ransakk pirates don’t say anything.
Aaronis, the Paladin who the pirates got addicted to the Marii Tea, asks if he can leave the group, in which the Cleric agrees, and said he is cured. The Cleric, however, warns him of going back to his addiction, and he will charge to cure him next time.
The group pays for their stay at the Inn, and rest through the night and Emerson takes watch over their carts.
The adventurers wake up, and get ready to leave. Most of the merchants have left already, heading off to parts unknown.
They say goodbye to the innkeeper, and start to head off to Ft. Kaylea. The day seems typical, and they make their way through the Nikhei Forest briskly.
Sara the gardener spots some mud flats, and there are some Glooper snails in them.
Sara says: “Poison Princesses sometimes grow in mud flats in this forest. I have 6 of them in my personal collection, but I was wondering if we could maybe pick a few more. If I get 12 of them, I can sell them for a profit.”
The adventurers agree, and move towards the snails. Swashbuckler is the first to charge into the mud, in which Hernandez says he doesn’t think he’s a really smart fighter, because the mud could’ve been really deep. Swashbuckler made a comment on his lack of reading ability. Dwarf fighter charges in, and between them, they dispatch the Gloopers with ease. Sara is pretty confident they have won this fight, so she walks towards the mud flat even before they finish off the last Glooper. She manages to find 6 Poison Princesses, and asks if she can keep them to try and sell.
They go further into the Nikhei Forest, and run into a bunch of what appears to be large, maroon colored roadrunners, with blue glowing tail feathers. Francine says these birds are Trailspringers, and they are long distance relatives of the Phoenix. Their tails glow because they have magical properties, and are highly valued for the magic items that can be created with them.
Swashbuckler says to let’s go ahead and kill them. The Dwarf Fighter and Swashbuckler again, charge in first, but something is wrong. The first bird attacks Dwarf Fighter, but the rest of them instantly attack Swashbuckler. With a combination of pecks, fire, and electricity attacks, Swashbuckler goes down! The Cleric and Sorceress are too far away to help, and the Sorceress decided to turn invisible so she has time to figure out what is going on. The Cleric and Fighter do what they can to try and kill these deadly birds, and eventually succeed, when the oversized roadrunners seem to run out of magic and resort to pecking.
Luckily, no one died, and they continue on their journey. Keith, Brudder, and Rogue (Melnor) stay in the back of the cart, recovering from their hangovers.
The trees of the Nikhei Forest eventually turn into sand dunes, and as they stand on the edge of the forest, Keith speaks…
This is a great desert that stretches beyond the eye can see to the east. The people of Caitonia and the Sacchrin Imperium all come from the east, the heart of civilization. It is where our ancestors came when we got tired of continuous war with the giants. Unfortunately, some of the giants followed us, and we had to kill them off. People call this the Nephilim War.
The winds keep blowing west. They say in about 200 years, the sands will reach the town of Hope and turn most of the Nikhei Forest into a desert. They say nothing can stop it, except maybe the Boa River.
Well, at least maybe it will wipe out all those stupid centipedes. Oh gods, I hate bugs!
We got to be careful crossing this patch. There are a lot of dust storms, giant Sandstriders, and Guardians.
A bunch of Fastcows approach the caravan, taunting them. They are small cows the size of a large hog. Emerson says not to worry, they are seldom hostile, and just enjoy seeing what mischief they can cause. Suddenly a cat that resembles the fastcows, lunges out and grabs one, killing it almost instantly.
Good gods! What was that???
That, my friend, is a Meownix, more commonly referred to as the Acridian Copycat. Look at how similar it looks to a Fastcow. And it takes advantage of this to score it’s next meal.
Francine: Aww, poor cow.
Tawney: haha, serves them right for taunting us.
On the way, they see these humanoid looking things that look like skeletons, walking in groups of 4.
Hey, don’t horses usually go crazy when they see the undead?
Yes. But those aren’t undead creatures, but rather automations from a war fought long ago. They are made of almost pure Tritanium. The armor I could make if I got my hands on Tritanium. But those things are very dangerous, and best avoided.
The adventurers move further along into the heart of the Acridian Expanse, and there is a sandstorm that blows between them and their way to Ft. Kaylea.
They notice a little house to the side of the road, and decide to approach it and ask for shelter. The house seems run down, and has a bunch of Fastcow skins hanging outside as well as a bunch of Fastcows in the pen. Beside the house, there is a run down cart with a missing wheel. The sign out front says “Fur, Meat, and Bones”.
As they approach the door, people seem to be arguing inside…
Mandy: Daddy, you promised! It’s never going to get not-busy enough for you to take me!
Dundee: Mandy, I have work to do, and this order is going to give the family a lot of money. I’m not going to just up and leave here so you can go jaunting on some vacation.
Mandy: I’ve already been stuck here for more than a year! I can’t take this anymore! There is nothing to do and I am not normal!
Dundee: I said I’d take you after this next batch gets completed. You have to be patient dear.
Daria: Mandy, please listen to your father. We need this next batch so we can fix a few things around here.
Mandy: I’ve had enough and I think I’ll go crazy if I spend another minute here.
she bursts out of the front door.
Dundee (following): Mandy, listen to me. If I finish this next batch, we’ll have more money to spend in Fort Kaylea.
Cleric interrupts their conversation and says hello.
They ask for shelter, and the father agrees, sending their horses and carts to the barn, along with most of their travel companions, including Rogue. Dundee says he can accommodated some of them in the house, but the rest will have to stay in the barn. Cleric, Fighter, Swashbuckler, and Sorceress enter the house.
Dundee asks his wife Daria to get them some tea. A few moments later, the room is filled with the smell of the red Royal Tea so well known to people of this region.
The adventurers drink it without checking for any poisons because they trust the fellow.
Dundee introduces himself, and says him and his wife have been out here a long time, and they breed, sell, and raise Fastcows. They make leather out of them, and make a pretty good profit. However, Mandy, their daughter is bored and wants to see the world.
Saru asks for water to give to their friends in the barn, and horses, and the mother helps her. Romel then comments on Hernandez is right, she IS good wife material!
Inside, Dundee says he sees that there are two clerics in this party, and decides he wants them to take her to see the rest of South Caitonia. He will give them 500 gold right now to take her to Ft. Kaylea, and 500 to take her to see Chantelle, and another 500 when they eventually decide to go to Stormfrost.
The party mulls over it, and Swashbuckler fights hard to not take her. He is extremely pissed off that he almost died because of the Centipedes, got tangled up due to the Wood Beholder, and almost died again fighting off those oversized turkeys in the Nikhei Forest, so he decides he is going to be a git because he is in a bad mood.
Eventually, the party decides to take her, much to the chagrin of Swashbuckler.
Hernandez and Tawney come into the house, and say the sandstorm appears to be over and they can probably head to the fort now. Plus, it stinks in the barn. The rest of the party head out of the house, and after checking to see where the sandstorm is headed, decide to embark, once again, to Ft. Kaylea. The father thanks them, and says she is an excellent seamstress,and can pay her own way. Mandy replies and says it’s because she had nothing else to do. He gives the party 4 fastcow leathers, and gives Mandy the same, in case she needs the money for some reason.
The adventurers head off once again, and as they approach Ft. Kaylea, Richard gives them a bit of a history lesson.
Do you guys know why Ft. Kaylea was built? Because it is the King’s last stand in case Caitonia City gets overrun. It is out in the middle of the desert, with no water for miles and miles. The only water available come from underground springs inside the city gates.
Water has some value here. It’s not rare or anything, but don’t be wasting it, or people get agitated.
Keith: It’s also home to the Ft. Kaylea Archives. The King’s spy network keeps records of everybody it can. Everybody here probably has a file on them somewhere in the great library.
Ft. Kaylea can be a dangerous place, and the guards really don’t care about anybody. Most of them are here as either punishment for something they did, or are just so disagreeable or incompetent that there is no other place for them in the kingdom. Ft. Kaylea is a dead end job……..It’s also where I grew up. the group laughs at this Don’t go into the back alleys. Stay on the main Merchant Road .
Jerica and Sara protest.
“Aww!” “Um…but there are some really good shops back in the alleys.”
Emerson: “Then don’t explore the back alleys alone, and try and bring weapons with you if you want to visit the shops back there. And definitely avoid it after sundown.”
“Good advice. You should listen to this man.”
Emerson then raises his voice a little.
“Ok, fellows. I’m not about to leave our carts unattended, so before you all go off galavanting to parts unknown, I’ve set up a schedule where some of us will watch the carts while the rest can go on their merry way and explore the city. Hernandez, Romel, Tawney, and Brudder are on the first watch”
Hernandez: "Hey man, I’d like to kick it with Reynolds and Nina. Can you put them with us?
Emerson: Ok, if you want to pull guard duty with them, then I can arrange that.
Romel: sigh Why do we get first watch?
Emerson: Well, do you guys like to shop or party in the taverns? If you want to be stuck on watch during the night while everyone else is having a good time, that can be arranged…
Romel, Nina: “No! No! We’ll take first watch”
Francine: I’ll take watch with the first group please.
Emerson: Ok, second watch will be Keith, Brudder, Jerica, and Sara
Sara: Ok, that’s fine. We don’t really like to party too much anyways.
Jerica: We can probably get our shopping done earlier too.
Emerson: Last watch will be me, Richard, and Jimmi.
Emerson then turns to Fighter, Rogue, Swashbuckler, Sorceress, and Cleric.
That will let you guys go explore the city without having to worry about having our stuff stolen. Good luck with your meeting with Hawkthorn.
They enter the gates of Ft. Kaylea, and many people seem to know Emerson as they approach and say hello. A man in a red apron approaches the caravan, and greets Emerson.
Hey guys, this is Kunitz. He and I go way back, and we’re brothers in blacksmithing.
Pleased to meet you!
Paris: Hi Kunitz!
Kunitz: Hi dear. You look as ravishing as ever! How is dad?
Paris “He’s good, but busy.” “Guys, if you ever need more Iron Ingots, Kunitz can get you a deal on them.”
Emerson takes off with to his friend Kunitz.
When they round the corner, they also notice a sign. It says, in bold letters:
“We Reserve The Right To Punish Magic Casters Severely.”