Entourage

Six Underground
Therren

Waiting out the winter season has been difficult, and doubly so for my new companions. The Paladin Salopard and his charge Etoila aren’t used to the hardships of adverse weather and hunger, having come from a noble’s court. Hunger is setting in and the burden of finding extra food has fallen to me. Etoila spends most of her days wrapped up close to the fire complaining of the cold, while Salopard and Joral are so short they practically get buried in the snow drifts. I’ve tried to teach Torr how to use the crossbow we found, but his skill is poor with it, and his unwillingness to eat the dragon meat has sapped his strength and made him unfit to venture outdoors. The weather looks like it might finally be breaking though; perhaps we’ll be able to push onwards soon.

We’ve finally emerged from the Gowdai Mountains. It’s nice to see trees again, and not feel so open and exposed to attack when travelling.

Attacked while eating breakfast. Enemies poured through the bush and immediately set upon us. Etoila was knocked into the fire and burned…I’m not sure how badly at this point, but Salopard is looking after her. Joral and I took a look at the bags our foes were carrying and a found them filled with dismembered Halfling bodies. Joral asked me to tell the others. He had a crazy look in his eyes at the sight of the starnge tatooes on our slain enemy’s faces and kept talking about collecting his trophy, so I’ll leave him be for a while.

We’re on the move again. We encountered a live Halfling while gathering our strength after our encounter who was able to direct us to the closest settlement. There has apparently been a war going on in these parts, but both sides have joined forces to eliminate a bigger threat. We were asked by a Lord Brunkly to investigate where our attackers from the previous day might have been travelling as they suspect that they might have had an alternate way into the mountain keep they have under siege. We left Torr behind in the army camp because he was unfit to travel with us. Etoila tells me she saw him late at night towards the end of our stay in the Gowdai’s, overcome by hunger, searching through the scraps of rancid dragon meat that remained, and is sure that is the cause. We’ve just found the entrance of a cave they want us explored. I hate to be in enclosed spaces, but the pay is too good to turn down.

We’ve been travelling through the caves for what seems like hours and have encountered some hostiles along the way. Etoila was obviously rattled by getting knocked into the fire a few days ago, and has shown her inexperience while exploring this cave. She’s been extremely tentative and been on the receiving end of a lot of solid blows; she should be thankful her father invested in such a sturdy set of armor for her. Salopard has been trying to give her pointers with the blade, but I’m not even sure if I’ve seen him lift his own sword since we left the Gowdai’s. Torr has returned to us though. He was able to track us to the cave entrance and follow the marks Salopard has been carving in the stone to guide our way back. Unfortunately, Etoila has been stricken with filth fever. Fortunately, I’ve come across this in my travels, and should be able to help her providing we’re able to get some rest soon.

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Snow Day
Here, There Be Dragons

Excerpts from Joral’s Journal

Snow continued to fall as we trailed the Goblins deeper into the wilds. We knew they were out there somewhere but couldn’t find any firm evidence of where. The elf Therren seems a competent enough tracker – but they continue to evade us. The spirits are silent and refuse to give my any guidance.

...

We camp under a Wayward pine, grateful the scant shelter. Snow continues to fall, it’s now up to my neck now. Etoila is still cheerful, despite it being freezing. Torr seems toasty warm in his fur. Food is running out.

...

Finally a break! The goblins got lazy and left a trail – and was fresh! We quickly followed it and were lead to the base of derelict keep with (best of all) a dead goblin lying across the path. He seems like he was half eaten and was running away from the keep. Wonderful! Following the maxim that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” we figured we could cosy up to these fellow goblin hunters and maybe even get a meal and some shelter out of it.

Etoila covered our rear as we headed in. There was no door, just a broken down section of the wall that lead to a staircase. We heard a loud CRACK as we entered, but couldn’t figure out what it was. We came upon a set of double doors with torch light coming from underneath. Salopard lead the way, hoping to use his silvered tongue to avoid bloodshed. We knocked. No response. So we opened the door…

sally

I don’t remember what happened next. I’ve been told that on the other side of the door were two flaming beetles and two orcs. They were clearly NOT friendly, and proceeded to attack. Salopard tells me that two axes flew at me, one striking me deeply in the neck. THEN the beetles blew flaming spit at us. I dropped. Apparently I was lucky to survive. Salopard laid his life giving hands on me, and I felt light return to my eyes.

Tor, despite what they’d done to me, didn’t consider these foes ‘worthy’ and so waded into battle half-heartily. (I must say, even half-heartily that man is a beast! I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side.) Therren, quick as lightning, fired arrows at them.

I called upon my Spirit, whose very presence bolstered my moral. With our team ready for battle we made quick work of them. We took a short rest to lick our wounds and burn marks. I was also feeling mischievous, so I played a joke on Torr. I (shh!) drew some Bahamut defacing pictures on the hide of the orc, hoping to enrage the Avenger into using his ‘big sword’ next time. I don’t think he caught on. <snicker>

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A tower in the foothills, an outpost in the mountains

Entering the foothills of the Gowdai, the Entourage encountered a rundown tower guarding the entrance into the main pass. The tower was a remnant from some long-dead empire who guarded against incursions from the pass. Nothing much has come out of the Gowdai mountains in centuries, so why anyone would guard the pass in anyone’s guess.

The adventurers found that the tower, now barely three stories tall when it had once been much taller, was filled with goblins. After a long and annoying and battle, the goblins were easily overcome. Several goblins escaped up the pass into the mountains, and the adventurers pursued them.

GM’s Epilogue:

While they had hoped to hunt down the rest of the goblins, and proceed across the mountains, things did not go quite as planned. The goblins set many incompetent ambushes, sure of themselves because they had the advantage of numbers and knowledge of the terrain. Nevertheless, the adventures easily overcame the simple traps the goblins laid, and took a heavy toll on the goblin numbers. With the weather turning cold, the adventures pressed on across the endless Gowdai mountains, frustrated by their inability to finish off the increasingly desperate goblins. When would these mountains start to end?

When an early snowfall hit the mountains in mid-Fall, the adventures became very worried about their dwindling food supplies and their ability to get out of the mountains before Winter set in and made travel dangerous and even more difficult. After two solid days of snow, the adventures picked up the an odd goblin trail, heading in a straight line with no attempt to conceal their passing. Without no where else to go, the adventures followed the trail…

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