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Messages - Johan

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In Character Discussions / 07.25.2127 - A Boy with a Key
« on: October 04, 2013, 07:55:53 AM »
Who's that guy??

Out of Character Discussions / Hey!
« on: October 04, 2013, 07:55:09 AM »
Hey you want to play D&D?



In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 30, 2013, 09:26:59 AM »
A great cheer announced that the first game of strength was over: Eswarth had succeed in lifting the pitcher - and Bal-Jhor - high overhead and tipping it for a drink. But Bal-Jhor, with surprising agility for one so large, grabbed Eswarth's forearms and lifted himself in between Eswarth and the ale, deftly intercepting the ale before it got to Eswarth's mouth. It didn't all get into Bal-Jhor's mouth, but some did, and that was enough.

Eswarth emptied the contents of the pitcher on his Chosen Brother, then dropped the pitcher so that it bounced off of Bal-Jhor's head. Bal-Jhor only laughed...he had won this year. The goliath loosed Eswarth's forearms and dropped to the ground, triumphant.

"Another pitcher for my worthy adversary!" Bal-Jhor called. One was already being presented to the centaur, along with the deer leg he had discarded at the start of the contest. Now was time for feasting, and the two Soldiers fell to it while the other gnarcheon who had gambled upon the outcome of the match argued in friendly fashion: some said the bet was off, because Bal-Jhor didn't win by strength, but by guile. Other said Bal-Jhor got the drink first, and that was what the contest was about. Ultimately, there was nothing riding on any of the bets, though, so it was nothing so much as a spirited conversation between the various Soldiers. A conversation to which the two main foci paid no attention whatever...they only ate and drank now.

"Ach!" Exclaimed Shankaria chuckling at the end of the game that Eswarth and Bal-Jhor played. "It's never a win by strength with those two. It's usually guile that decides the winner, and Bal-Jhor has the advantage of vitality this year...poor Eswarth is too spent from his journey here." She turned a wink towards Cailyder. "My rabbit sent him the wrong way a little too late." She said to her sister. "Nerlander even had to take a break and may not be here until the After Meeting."

"We all do what we must for Mahiya." Cailyder observed.

"Ah-norya" Shankaria agreed. The little gnome then turned a somewhat more serious face upon Ashe. Adopting her northwoods language suddenly, she said, "Don' stand there like a statue, Brother." She playfully admonished Ashe. "M' dairnick asked who ye be!" She reached up with her ancient staff and gave Ashe a light rap on the forearm for emphasis.

How comfortable she had become with Ashe in so little time...

In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 24, 2013, 01:09:29 PM »
Eswarth and Bal-Jhor began to play one of their traditional strength-testing games to the roaring laughter of the collected Gnarcheon. In this game, they each tried to wrest the first drink from the pitcher of ale, but not spill any on the ground.

This one started with Eswarth offering the deer leg to Bal-Jhor, using the gift as a ruse to immediately gain the upper hand. Bal-Jhor only smiled at the gift and refused to release the pitcher. Eswarth grinned a slight, knowing grin and dropped the leg to the side.

The huge hands of each combatant gripped the ewer tightly and tried to bring it to their own lips - it was not allowed to bring one's lips to the drink initially - while trying to ensure that the other did not succeed in the same.

Eswarth's legs spread wide as he twisted his great trunk to try to place his elbow between Bal-Jhor's face and the drink, which threatened to spill continuously. Bal-Jhor, for his part worked his great sinews with surprising effectiveness against Eswarth's greater size and stability; the goliath planted his shoulder into Eswarth's chest and twisting, worked his head in between the ale and Eswarth's mouth. Now the game became one where Eswarth worked the pitcher away, preventing it's spilling while Bal-Jhor strained to pull it closer for a drink. Eswarth lifted the pitcher, but Bal-Jhor held tight and was summarily lifted off his feet, which he purposely entangled in Eswarth's legs to regain some leverage against his Chosen Brother.

Those watching began to place quick wagers on the outcome of this honored contest, which most all of them had witnessed numerous times before.

Cailyder's soothing voice brought Shankaria's attention away from the struggling titans and she turned happily to the hybsil. "Cailyder!" She cried and rushed in for a hug of her own. "I'm sure you can imagine how glad I am to see you!" She greeted her sister. The little Torqaniq's feet danced while the two embraced. "It's so lovely to see your beauty once again!"

Ashe was perhaps the only other Soldier present to hear the whispered question that Shankaria put to Cailyder: "Did you get my rabbit?" She asked with quiet intensity.

In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 13, 2013, 09:36:33 AM »
"I do in fact have certain people that I'm eager to see." Eswarth rumbled. "But it is typically for them to find me." His human-like torso pivoted towards Ashe and one eyebrow climbed his forehead. "I stand out a bit more in a crowd than they do."

"In the meantime, we eat, and meet!" he continued with a more assertive voice, which carried considerably through the noise of the Gnarcheon about the cook fires. "My fellow soldiers, we have a stranger in our midst! What might this brother, long a resident of Threshold, not have eaten of late, if ever?"

Eswarth certainly had a way of drawing attention. A multitude of voices rose at once in greeting, first of Eswarth and then of his companion.

"Eswarth!" Some voices called.
"Welcome, brothers!" Came from others.
"How is the Slaying of the dead, worthy Ghrunvedling?" Was heard among the calls, as was, "Who is this stranger in our midst? How came he to the Festival?"

All voices were raised nearly in unison; it was uncommon that the Brethren's Cant was heard in so many accents in so small a place and time.

One tiny voice was heard, not above the others, but in an opportune moment between the others: "He is no stranger!" The little voice called out with a lilt of joy and a note of laughter. "He is my guest here, for I invited him!"

From under the belly of a great mastiff came Shankaria, ducking only slightly to get under the huge beast. She stood her full height and smiled up at Eswarth and Ashe. "I'm so glad to see you, Eswarth, and thank you so much for guiding my new friend here!"

Eswarth bowed low...VERY touch foreheads with Shankaria in greeting. Shankaria, for her part, grabbed hold of Eswarth's thick neck so as to ride up to the centaur's height when Eswarth rose again.

He took gentle hold of her affectionately, as a parent holds a toddler. "It is good to see you, little sister." He said. "Though I was already on my leisurely way here when your rabbit sent me in the wrong direction...I've only just arrived, and only by great effort." He playfully admonished Shankaria. "Nerlander is behind me by a day or so. He took down an elk last night, after two days and nights of constant running. I'm sure that he's full now, but he'll be delayed."

He then lifted his voice again, saying, "And in answer to your question, Bal-Jhor, only this week Nerlander and I destroyed a necromancer and his small army of dead up in the Ghoul Swamp! The Slaying continues unabated, to be sure!"

This loud announcement was met with an all-around cheer. The killing of undead was always worthy of celebration; the killing of those who created undead even more so.

"Ah!" Called a deep, gravelly voice back to Eswarth. "Then ye've earned this pitcher!" A goliath rose up from his seated position near the barrels. He was chest-and-head taller than any other Gnarcheon present, excepting Eswarth, who was a head again taller than Bal-Jhor. The goliath held high a sizable pitcher to Eswarth, and Eswarth smiled: not broad, but genuine. The throng had quieted for a moment and Eswarth grabbed a deer leg from one of the tables there.

"Ah, yes, Bal-Jhor." He said gratefully. "You know what thirsty work is the Slaying of the Dead, eh?" He lowered Shankaria to the ground and moved towards Bal-Jhor amidst a new wave of laughter. The Gnarcheon moved aside for Eswarth and the two great Gnarcheon met in a thunderous embrace.

Shankaria had a tear of joy on her cheek as she watched the two Gnarcheon reunite. "It's good to see the boys together again." She said to Ashe.

In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 12, 2013, 09:20:39 PM »
"I know Maragarn well." Eswarth answered as he craned his neck. "He is most typically found at the Fertility Circle, especially so early in the night." He said. There was not enough of Kossuth's light remaining in the sky for one to see clearly across the Grove to where Eswarth believed the Fertility Circle to be. However, the fires had been lit and they cast sufficient illumination for the sharp-eyed Slayer to discern many of the participants.

"I do not see Maragarn there, though he may be...blocked from my view. Fear not though: he will be here. He has not missed a Festival in all the years that I've known him."

In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 11, 2013, 09:23:59 PM »
It seemed clear to Eswarth that Ashe must know a bit more than most Gnarcheon. He wondered fleetingly who might have informed the elder, but it was only fleetingly; it was not for him to question such things.

At the mention of food, Eswarth realized that he hadn't eaten since before dawn that morning. He was therefore famished and thirsty as well.

"I could eat a whole gazelle." He said. "And a fair sized ale would soothe my parched throat as well." He adjusted his great sword and enormous bow as he moved towards the few small fires that marked the "kitchen".

Eswarth was no fan of small talk, but it occurred to him that he might be able to indirectly glean something from Ashe with a simple quesiton: "Are you looking for anyone in particular tonight?" He scanned over the crowd and noted a number of people he knew, some better than others. "From this height I might be able to find a person or two who you can't see from down there."

In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 11, 2013, 09:10:37 AM »
At the mention of Ashe's given name, Eswarth's eyes narrowed as if in suspicion, and he looked askance at the human. "Clearwater?" He echoed. Eswarth knew from his dealings with the various humans of the wild lands, not to mention of Redstone, that a human's truth was not always the same as THE truth.

On this day, in this place, and with this man's bearing, Eswarth knew immediately the truth of Ashe's claim. Ashe was not a typical celebrant at the Grove of Needles, but given the Blood Tear and Shankaria's call for the Vallenbrush berries, this year was anything but typical.

"Times of great moment, indeed." He rumbled as a slight smile crept into his otherwise serious face. "It is an honor to meet you; I've heard much of your doings though you've been quiet for some years now." He clasped Ashe's hands in the manner that Ashe grasped his; perhaps that was how it was done in Threshold.

"Do you stay through the night?" Eswarth asked, cryptically questioning whether Ashe would be attending the Chankathur's meeting, which would commence after the other celebrants had dispersed. Whether or not Ashe  appreciated that unspoken meaning would be telling to Eswarth: either Ashe's presence here was for the discussion of the Blood Tear and to renew ties, or it was for the deeper currents that now carried the Soldiers of Zebulon forward.

In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 10, 2013, 09:30:00 AM »
Eswarth had only just arrived at the Grove of Needles when he was approached by a brother whom he had never met, though the stranger seemed to know Eswarth, at least by sight and name. As eager as he was to find Shankaria, he turned to regard this human; the truth of the matter was that Eswarth had less of a chance in finding the tiny Torqaniq among the throng of Gnarcheon than he had of finding a specific pine needle in the Grove. As always, it would be for Shankaria to find him.

He looked down at the human and replied as kindly as he could: "You have me at a disadvantage, Revered Brother." He said, his voice rumbling in a deep baritone. "I am Eswarth, called Slayer of the Dead. Who are you?" He held out a huge hand in the manner of the humans he knew.

Think Worf when you think Eswarth

In the first hours of the festival – while Kossuth yet kissed the sky – Shankaria roamed the grounds of the Grove of Needles in a delightful state of euphoria. Gearmund’s touch seemed still to warm her hand, and the remembrance of his gentle kiss could still be felt upon her cheek, though hands of time had passed since they parted earlier that day.

It had been good so see her tindaren – her husband – again. It was also good to know that he was yet so close to the Great Hunter and all were aware of the tumultuous times ahead. She would love for him to visit the Grove with her, but he was not allowed. Mahiya suffered only Gnarcheon in this place. Also, Gearmund had his work to do, and Shankaria had hers. Thus, while she had come to the Grove of Needles, the Master had sent Gearmund to Horn Dale by way of Shir Shyrak...some mystery to be explained there, though what exactly none knew as yet.

And now she was surrounded by her brothers and sisters. The first couple of hands of the festival were regularly the same: meeting and greeting, solidifying old friendships and making new acquaintances, introducing new acolytes or apprentices. She knew that while all Gnarcheon would of course have seen the Blood Tear and knew the magnitude of its portent, none knew all. Not even Shankaria knew all that it meant; that knowledge wasn’t even in the palm of Mahiya, Shankaria thought.

Still, even with the specter of troubled times ahead, there was joy at the Festival at the Grove of Needles. In fact, Shankaria noted, some of the more expressive Gnarcheon were already exploring each other’s bodies as part of their individual observances to the Great Cycle. Such was common on this night, but more usually towards mid-of-night. Some, however, just hated to wait. Shankaria smiled and moved on.

The five great bonfires were now completely set up and ready for their lighting. The fires would be lit as Kossuth bade farewell to the celebrants in little more than a hand.

Shankaria made her way towards the “kitchens”. Various Gnarcheon brought with them to the festival foods that might only be found in their native parts of the forest and beyond. These variably delectable morsels were brought to the Festival to share with others who might not have them on a regular basis. Their kitchen, where the sharing would be done, moved about from year to year, but Shanrkaria thought that she could smell an apple cider mulling with spices to the west end of the Grove, so west she went.

Varshya would no doubt have brought some of her elven jams and perhaps some Fey Honey from distant Karyn’Zyth and Gearmund, knowing where Shankaria was bound, had prepared for her to take to the festival a pack full of Big Horn from the far side of the grasslands of the Dale. This meat he had seasoned with his special spices that grow only in those mountains.
The Master had sent Gearmund there for His work, and Gearmund had taken the thoughtful opportunity to spice the meats for Shankaria.

She smiled again at her tindaren’s presence in her mind. Her stomach growled a bit in anticipation.

Out of Character Discussions / 3.5 to Pathfinder
« on: July 09, 2013, 09:17:20 AM »
Just my two cents, because I know that some initial reactions are "...ugh...character conversion...ugh..."

This is translated from the Indian, naturally.

In the case of Jarmok I did a lot of looking at the PF ranger and variants. As we've mentioned a few times, Jarmok ain't your typical ranger in the 3.5 system. I didn't like the Favored Class feature, so I used a variant from the Unearthed Arcana: "Favored Terrain". I didn't want him to be casting spells, so I negotiated a variant for him that he could use "Wild Shape" per the druid ability. I didn't like the two options on "Combat Style", so I traded out for "Fast Movement".

There are other variants that I built into Jarmok his race.

Now, as I move towards PF, I see that the PF ranger has in its level progression both Favored Enemies and Favored Terrain. I still don't like the Favored Enemy...I always forget it!

In any event, the bottom line for me was that I prefer Jarmok built the way that he is, and there was nothing in the PF ranger (or scout...Jarmok is also multi-classing at the moment) that truly appealed to least, not in preference to what he's already got.

Thus, to update Jarmok, all that I need to do is adjust his feats ('cause he would have gotten an extra one in the PF rules), change his skills (because skill points are handled slightly differently), and slightly modify his attack / defense stats.

For Jarmok, it's really not a big deal. I had to do most of this anyway, since he just leveled up.

I'm not saying that it's entirely painless in this case, but I am saying that it's nowhere near as painful as 2.0 to 3.5 was. I expect that not every character would be as easy as Jarmok, but it doesn't have to be something that will make you consider gouging out your eyes.

From what I've seen, most classes have what I would consider to be real improvements in them. I've specifically been looking at the Rogue (which is much awesomer), the sorcerer (lots of betterments), and the wizard (which is a significant enhancement to the 3.5 version). The ranger isn't significantly different, in my opinion (which means, I assume, that they got it pretty close to right in 3.5), and I didn't take so much as a glance at most of the other classes.

BUT, the transition shouldn't be bad at all, and the mechanics seem to be largely identical to 3.5.

Game Log / Session 25b - Traitors Betrayed
« on: July 08, 2013, 01:26:10 PM »
Play Date: June 28, 2013
Players: Phin (Sayer) and Johan (Jarmok)

Qwydeon Albyr Fehy VY. 237 (June 2)

Arrests were made, and interrogation rooms were put at Sayer’s disposal.

Room 1: Argen McKenzie – Royal Courier Master
Room 2: Sargent Farkus – Captain of the guard in Kurr (although how a Sargent is a Captain, I don’t know…)
Room 3: Friedrick Fitzsimmons – Headmaster to the Royal Scribes in Kurr
Room 4: a revolving cast, including Sabine (Royal Herald), Mila (Royal Herald), Davis Allister (15 year-old Courrier)

Of these sets of people, Sayer and Jarmok question first Argen McKenzie, whose family has now been rescued, and who is also a loyal Kurr citizen (unlike Farkus). We expected that he would be most helpful, and he did not disappoint.

From Argen we learned:

Farkus is the principal player in Argen’s coercion. He approached Argen just over a month ago, and suggested that Argen re-route certain mail that would come to him from a certain Herald (Mila). Argen’s first response was one of resistance, but Farkus abducted Argen’s family, and on threat of their life Argen complied.

There is nothing else that Argen knows.

From Davis we learned:

Davis presented as a very nervous kid. He indicated that Farkus is the principal player in Davis’ involvement. Farkus paid Davis a gold to watch Argen to see what he was doing when he received letters from Mila. Davis would follow Argen, and tell Farkus what was going on (which was nothing of note, really). Farkus paid well, and promised protection. Davis just wanted to go home to mommy.

With these things known, we went to question Friedrick Fitzsimmons:

Fitzsimmons claimed to be completely at a loss about how any of the mis-directions took place. It must, says he, have been Mila. When questioned about how he decided upon which Herald would deliver which letters, he claimed that it was random. He hired her out of the goodness of his heart, to help family (who had been after him for some time to help her out of the slums where she was apparently working).

We covered our mouths and coughed…*bullshit*…but we had no proof.

We went to talk to Farkus:

The past-Sargent Farkus was completely chained up in his little room, with a yoke behind his neck, and his arms and feet chained to this yoke. He was not going anywhere.

When asked what he knew about Friedrick Fitzsimmons, Farkus claimed to know nothing.

When asked about his role with regards to the Threshold Councilors, he stated that he delivered the councilors to Threshold, and that’s it. He was actually pretty smarmy about it, too.

It was clear that he was more than happy to maintain his innocence and not give up his allies.

Jarmok took two shadewolf claws from out of his bags. These particular claws (long, and black as they were) he had recovered from the ambush site. These he put on the table, and said that he had recovered them from the ambush site. A tinge of fear entered Farkus’ eyes. Jarmok then told Farkus that Jarmok KNEW that Farkus was there, up on the hill, while the ambush was going on. Farkus began to sweat…it was clear that he knew that there was evidence that would send him to his death.

Farkus then wanted to know what might he be awarded if he chose to cooperate. Sayer told him that only Arch-Duke Corwynn could determine that, but that Farkus would most likely hang for his treason.

We then intimated that it might be that they could instead release him, along with the rumor that Farkus was now aiding the Arch-Duke, and in this way Farkus might instead be killed by Shadow Riders.

Farkus remained defiant; he didn’t appreciate the difference between dying at the hands of the government of Kurr or dying at the hands of shadow riders. Jarmok planted more than one seed about what death by shadow rider looked like. Farkus listened.

Sayer and Jarmok left Farkus to think about what he’d like his death to look like.

We then summoned Herald Mila.

Mila told us a few pieces of the puzzle, which we had surmised, but for which we needed to be sure. Namely:

Fitzsimmons hired her as an apprentice scribe

She delivered a total of four letters to Argen (that’s the number that went missing, and she was quite surprised that Fitzsimmons summoned her for that purpose)

There really isn’t enough work to warrant both Sabine and Mila for the duties.

We then went back to Farkus, to see how he felt his stew was being cooked.

Farkus seemed to be on the verge of wetting his pants now, and he crumbled. In fact, we could barely get him to stop talking!

Fitzsimmons is the leader of the Kurr traitors (and his reach is *very* long)

Fitzsimmons recruited Farkus about 8 or 9 months ago

Farkus doesn’t know any other names of people involved in these plots (other than the one soldier who we took prisoner from the warehouse: Jerret O’Kenney

In response to where we might find more shadow rider activity in Kurr, Farkus told us to look along the lake, in sewers, underground….be on the lookout for shadows on roofs of buildings

Fitzsimmons arranged the ambush of the priests and councilors

Farkus was met at the ambush site by Vervishkuk (though Farkus did not know the creature’s name).

Farkus brought no soldiers back from the ambush site…they all died there.

With this, we again visited Fitzsommons, but he’s still claiming to be a devout man of the City State of Kurr. Farkus, Fitzsimmons tells us, is a lying so-and-so.

Sayer reported these findings to Arch-Duke Corwynn, and then we departed to Friedrick Fitzsommons’ house in the city. We brought two firbolgs, a handful of soldiers, and some meat (Jarmok was hungry…all this talking works up a man’s appetite).

At Fitzsimmons’ house we found two things of interest:
A scroll that bears runic writings in the Dark Speech language (this is damning all by itself)
A secret sub-floor compartment that contained numerous correspondences with shadow rider cells in cities throughout the realm. These communications also implicated many other Scribe Headmasters in the various cities of the west.

Fitzie is officially sealed in the proverbial gibbet.

We turned these bits of evidence over to Corwynn, and then went to confront Fitzsimmons again.

Although he realized that his game had come to an end, he was unrepentant, and remained aloof.
He informed Sayer that his own reach was much longer than Sayer’s was, though he did congratulate Sayer on a game well played. His parting words to Sayer were: “You will have no idea when the end will come. The light will simply go out.”

When we at last re-joined Corwynn, the Arch-Duke was in close and quiet conversation with a cloaked individual. Corwynn invited Sayer into the conversation. The cloaked figure turned out to be an elder elf, who Corwynn addressed by the honorific “Uncle” and named him “Levin the Hawk”!


Game Log / Session 25: On the Trail of Traitors
« on: June 28, 2013, 12:30:33 PM »
No worries, mate! Sorry I wasn't more timely.

General Info / Chasm
« on: June 27, 2013, 06:50:27 PM »
A map of the chasm

Game Log / Session 25: On the Trail of Traitors
« on: June 27, 2013, 11:59:37 AM »
[Reference to Session 14 Part 2]
[Reference to ICD “Following the Trail]

Play Date: March 8, 2013

Players: Phin (Sayer) and Johan (Jarmok)

Duthash Gyth Basque VY. 237 (May 29)

Jarmok followed the Arch-Duke Corwynn Vallensun into Sayer’s spacious rooms. The return trip to Kurr was exhilarating at the start, but knowing that the eventual end of it was in the city made Jarmok less than happy to be making it.

Still, he needed to be in Kurr just now, and the sooner they could get this investigation underway (and over with), the sooner the company would be back to Threshold.

The charge for the two men: track down the traitors who abetted Sargent Farkus in handing the priests and councilors to the Shadow Riders. But leave Farkus alone; Corwynn would deal with him.

Question: how do letters get from Corwynn to Sayer (when they do, that is)?

    Corwynn dictates letters to the Herald Sabine (a long-time presence in the court, and friend to Sayer)
    Sabine hands the written letters to the Royal Scribes. The letters that had been missing, but have since been found, were transcribed by three different scribes: Dacodah, Calico, and two letters by a scribe named Peitor.
    Transcribed letters are sealed by the Headmaster (Friedrick Fitzsimmons), and delivered to the Royal Couriers for delivery to their final destination

o   The seals on royal communications are all the same; there is no way that these particular letters would have been picked out from the other royal communications based upon the seal

The Royal Courier Master is a fellow named Argen McKenzie.

Sabine confirmed that there were four letters that had been sent to Sayer; all of these have been recovered.

Sayer begins the investigation in the Royal Military Reports – it would be wise to know what Sargent Farkus’ reports stated. Sayer requested all Military Reports submitted since May 3rd to ensure that: 1) We got the reports that we were actually looking for, and 2) it would remain inobvious which specific reports were being sought. It is believed that Sargent Farkus’ report would have been submitted between May 12 and May 15

    Ambush: May 8
    Convoy should have arrived in Threshold on May 9th
    Therefore, Convoy would have left Kurr on May 5th, or thereabouts.
    Soldiers should have returned to Kurr on May 11th, or thereabouts (the soldiers, devoid of the encumbrance of the priests and councilors, should have been able to travel somewhat faster).

The balance of this day was spent by Sayer sorting through the Military reports, though nothing of interest was gleaned from them.

Farkus’ report states:
    No specific soldiers’ names from the escort, only that he grabbed 20 men, and upon their return these 20 men were left at Kelvin’s Bridge (a day south of Kurr, as the road enters the Great Forest).
    Priests and councilors were delivered to Threshold safely

Return Reports

Duthash Gyth Aryor VY. 237 (May 30):

Today, Sayer decides, we shall visit the Courier Master, and start to track down Farkus’ known friends and allies.

Nothing of import was learned at the Courier’s Post, though two suspicious things did transpire:

The Courier Master (Argen McKenzie) got a bit nervous at the mention of Threshold.

As Sayer and Jarmok took their leave of the Courier’s Power, the departing companions were eyed suspiciously by a young courier.

The two spoke with Corwynn’s Firbolg guards (recently met by Jarmok):
None of the four (Mirak, Bjornin, Varhuk, and Sven…all of the clan Azgaard) know much about Farkus. The Sargent keeps a small circle of associates, but is frequently seen with a younger courier…a lad named “Davis”. By the description of Davis, this seems to be the courier who eyed Sayer and Jarmok earlier.

Sayer and Jarmok head for Kelvin’s Bridge (a small town on the edge of The Great Forest) by way of carriage. Perhaps some answers will be found there.

Dinner finds us staying at an inn called the Pearl Pheasant, and dining with councilman Gabriel McGarrit. Gabriel tells us that he recalls the contingent passing through, en-route to Threshold, but he knows nothing of the returning soldiers.

Session 25a: Further Down the Trail of Traitors
Play Date: March 22, 2013
Players: Phin (Sayer) and Johan (Jarmok)

Qwydeon Albyr Voldyn (June 1):

Sayer and Jarmok hatch a plan: From Kelvin’s Bridge, they will send a letter from Sayer to the Arch Duke. If any foulplay should happen from Kelvin’s Bridge, we may well be able to find who intercepted and misdirected the letters. Of note in this plan is that there is but one Courier Stop between Kelvin’s Bridge and Threshold, that being Xuad’Tarn and there is only one courier who runs between Xuad’Tarn and Threshold (Nodgrin). Thus, messages must have been mis-directed no later than Kelvin’s Bridge.

Visit the Courier’s Master in Kelvin’s Bridge – a man named Thomas Madrin.
Thomas set to his task directly, and Sayer’s letter seems to be summarily under way. No apparent issues here.

From here the companions split up for a bit:
Sayer sets back to Kurr in his carriage.
Jarmok set to the forest to see if he can find a rendezvous point that a person might meet with Shadow Riders at. The idea being that if letters are misdirected just before getting to Kelvin’s Bridge, the traitor would want to meet with Shadow Riders, who would presumably be out in the rolling plains. A site along the forest’s edge would be needed.

No luck here either.

Jamok catches up to Sayer and they proceed back to Kurr.

About 1 hand south of Kurr, Jarmok espies a little-used trail that makes the hair on the back of his neck stand up. This trail appears to have been last used about two weeks ago…which happens to be when the last communication from the Arch-Duke to Sayer would have been misdirected.

Follow the trail about a mile to a trampled clearing that has all the ear-marks of a traitor’s rendezvous point: torch sconce in a tree, tracks entering the clearing from multiple directions, and Shadewolf tracks!

This appears to be our point of misdirection.

Sayer heads into Kurr to bait a hook, while Jarmok remains hidden in the trees near the meeting point.

Sayer dictates a letter of urgency to be sent to Julius Hawkhaven in Threshold. The communication indicates that we have two priests to return to Threshold with the members of the Protectorate: one Darion of Kossuth (a Flame Dancer), and one Marken Vallensun of Paladine (the Arch-Duke Corwynn’s own nephew). The letter is dictated, and delivered to the scribes…then, we wait.

Near mid-night Jarmok spies a man leading a horse towards the meeting spot. The man bears a torch, and as he leads an aged stallion to the clearing, Jarmok can see that the man himself is middle-aged.

Jarmok shoots the man in the leg before he can get to the clearing.

Jarmok quickly extinguishes the torch and takes the man into custody, forcing him to walk on a punctured leg back to Kurr.

Jarmok hands the man over to the Firbolgs, indicating that Sayer will want to be shortly interrogating him.

Qwydeon Albyr Fehy (June 2) – the wee hours:

Sayer is found in a room with the man that Jarmok caught: it is Argen McKenzie – the Courier Master! Sayer is smooth, and works Argen with a combination of diplomacy and intimidation and we find:

    Sargent Farkus is forcing Argus to participate in this treason – Farkus and his allies are apparently holding Argus’ family against Argen’s cooperation.
    The mis-direction of these communications starts with Fitzsimmons
    Revisit (in great detail) the Royal Communications chain of events:
    Typical flow of Royal Communications:

o   Arch-Duke dictates to Sabine
o   Sabine passes letters to the Royal Scribes
o   Royal Scribes transcribe letters, and pass them along to the Headmaster (Friedrick Fitzsimmons).
o   Fitzsimmons seals letters, and his assistant, Portia, delivers them to Royal Palace Courier Durgin.
o   Durgin brings them to the Royal Couriers for delivery throughout the realm.

Argen tells that in the case of “communications of special interest”, this chain of events was not followed!! In recent months, Fitzsimmons was delivering these communications to a page named Mila to be delivered to one Argen.

Argen’s task was to bring whatever letters he had received to the clearing, and place a torch in the sconce and wait for people to show up to receive them. He is aware that he is delivering letters to Shadow Riders…he says that Shadow Riders are in the city even now.

Argen says that his family is being kept on the lake front, in a warehouse of Markel’s Holdings & Deliveries (Markels are a wealthy trade / shipping family).

As the sun rises, Sayer and Jarmok are updating the Arch-Duke as to their findings.

Question Mila – she seems to be a pawn of Fitzsimmons, who is a cousin of hers, though she bears him no love.

Today’s task is to rescue Argen’s family. For this, Arch-Duke Corwynn introduces us to Darian the Flame Dancer. Darian will help us in this endeavor.

The rescue goes well. The three companions are able to infiltrate the warehouse, finding a handful of Shadow Riders on duty there as well as a few City Guards.

In all, with some minor injury to the Companions, the Shadow Riders are all killed, one City Guard is captured alive, a smuggling operation is discovered, and the McKenzie family is rescued.

Not bad for a day’s work!

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