“What’s wrong with you, Jonathan?”
“Weren’t you to guard the Margrave’s throne room?”
“What’s wrong with that? Seriously, boring and the chance the Margrave needs you is non-existant. You could sleep if the Margrave wouldn’t kill you if he caught you!”
“I heard something,”
“That Vallimorian knight Thannel, he showed up all bloodied. Needed to speak to the Margrave,”
“Well I couldn’t hear much through the door, but he had been attacked by his group,”
“Well, they were criminals!”
“No, that’s just it. There were too groups of criminals, he was attacked by one and saved by the other!”
“The one lead by that barbarian from the north,”
“You know, I heard he’s a king. Incredibly skilled and a powerful leader. Hope he never thinks to attack us!”
“Well, we’re going to need a barbarian King is Sir Thannel is speaking the truth,”
“What do you mean?”
“Thannel told the Margrave that the barbarian group found evidence of a goblin army coming to Straivillin,”
“Good! It’s been too boring here recently! Need a good fight. They’re just stupid gobos anyway,”
“Maybe not. They’re being lead here. There’s something big happening. I couldn’t make too much out, but it sounded like treachery and maybe Iron Cross.”
“You hear anything else?”
“The only other thing I heard about was someone called “The Crimson Emperor”,"
“The Crimson Emperor?”
“Yeah, sounds like trouble, maybe from Morlia or something.”
“Good, can’t wait to kill me some Morlians,”
“Eh, I’m nervous. Sounds like something much more serious is going on,”
“Well, wit’ll be us with this barbarian King. We’ll be fine!”
March 23, 2013 20:20
“What’s wrong with you, Jonathan?”
March 23, 2013 17:04
A human duelist named Mace infiltrated the Black Legion by intentionally getting arrested.
Once in the mine for the mission, he convinced some of his fellow captives to betray the Legion and Sir Thannel. Our party came upon them and defeated them in combat. We kept Mace alive and interrogated him. We gleaned the following information:
- He is an agent of someone calling himself the “Crimson Emperor” who has been using the symbol of Schwarzgate and intends to conquer all of Ratheus.
- Mace did not know the true identity of the “Crimson Emperor.”
- This “Emperor” has Storm Ravens under his command and also claims to have the cooperation of Monaxis the Red.
- The attack on the mine was designed to disrupt Straivylin, giving his forces an opportunity to attack Iron Gate.
- The weapons the goblins were carrying were all supplied by a Vallimorian named Kerebus Maverlin
- Mace’s method of contacting the spy at Iron Gate was to be flashing the sign of the Vox Popouli in a false color. He did not disclose which color, nor did he have the paint on his person. Mace did not survive the interrogation.
March 10, 2013 00:19
The group of soldiers walked down the path through the Bleak Hills. They had planned on taking entering into the lower chambers of the mine as soon as the other group started the attack. They reached their initial objective and hid out of sight while waiting for the signal. The gnoll began breathing hard and giggling to itself. Sir Thannel narrowed his eyes and the gnoll stopped.
“So we’re just waiting for the signal?” Krell asked.
“That’s the plan,” the old knight replied.
“Well, what’s the signal going to be?” Gavin said.
“A howl,” Caleb answered.
The group paused.
“A howl? From where?” Krell said.
“The young prince,” the barbarian, “it’s our battle cry.”
“That’s something,” Mace sneered. Caleb ignored him.
“Norath taught it to Kael. It was a pale winter day, one of the days in the deep frost when the sun was always weak. I was searching for game with my party and we saw Norath and his son on the neighboring mountain peak. They were chasing down a pack of wolves, just the two of them. We readied our bows in case the beasts began to flank the two warriors. Norath raced forward, and sliced the beta’s head from her shoulders. The alpha turned quickly and lunged in rage at my king. His sword was quick and true, cutting the wolf in two. At that moment, Lord Norath howled like the wolves he killed, a powerful and angry sound. During this, our prince was surrounded by the remaining wolves. Hearing his father’s howl, Kael leaped into the air and crushed one of the wolves into the ground, sending blood soaked snow into the air. There, Kael imitated his father, uttering a battle cry laced with blood lust. The power in that song, it effected us even though we were so far away. I felt alive, enraged and powerful. And the wolves, they were cowed immediately and the King and the Prince made cloaks out of their pelts.”
“Well, that was a charming story of father-son bonding” Mace said.
“Indeed it was,” Caleb said.
A heavy silence fell on the group, but it did not last long. A cry, the sound of man howling like a wolf shattered the stillness. It came rolling down from the top mine entrance, and the group heard it. For a moment, something stirred in their hearts, filling them with a sense of victory. Sir Thannel, for a moment, felt like he was holding the flag of New Vallimore as he charged into his foes.
“Alright, men! Here we go!” he yelled.
The group charged towards the lower mine entrance.
March 09, 2013 21:49
Goblins have taken the largest of the iron mines in the Bleak Hills, evidently by coming through passages from the Underdark. Goblins do not normally dwell or travel in the Underdark, so this is curious.
The planning required to take and hold such a large mine is not the sort of thing goblins are usually capable of, even when being led by hobgoblins.
We will be working with a new group of “recruits” from the Black Legion due to the utter size of the quagmire we are tasked with navigating.
Krell and Gavin – Human. Soldiers. Grimy.
Milen – Chaodin? Wizard.
Nork – Gnoll. Why anyone would ever consider a gnoll worth recruiting is beyond me.
Caleb – Human. Barbarian. One of Kale’s people, who seems to worship him.
Mace* – Human. Probably a duelist, given the pistols and rapier.
*He knows a suspicious amount about us all. He has never heard of Rhiannon however.
The goblins are equipped with Vallimorian weapons of a quality far above what they should be able to obtain. At current count we have collected:
4 – Short Spears
6 – Short Swords
1 – Bow & Arrows
1 – Totem Rod*
*This item was newly crafted, but had the skeletal hand/crown symbol of Emperor Verdemere of Schwarzgate. His empire crumbled over 200 years ago, which raises many questions about who is arming these goblins and what the ultimate goal may be. Our task will be to ascertain that information and possibly to exact justice on whomever has orchestrated this plan.
March 09, 2013 20:44
I … traveling with a gnoll for …
While the smell rem … of home, he keeps eyeing my records in a …. way.
It’s mak … uneasy.
I suppose I was lu… to end up with the companions that I …
March 09, 2013 18:58
“Three gingers and a pair of barbarians.”
The dead man’s words keep echoing in my head. This is the first time I’ve thought about how our motley crew must look to everyone else. Before this, I was just going through the motions, but finally I am beginning to emerge from the numbness that has held me since that horrible day…
I wish I could purge those memories from my mind. The flashbacks haunt my dreams less and less but even still, I remember each moment with vivid detail: The smell of spilled blood, the desperate screams of the men as I killed them, the sight of my beautiful Fira, lifeless and broken…
But that is not what I want to record in this journal…
That day that they came for me in the prison, I thought that was the end. But instead Sir Allister Thannel offered me a second chance: To be a member of The Black Legion for two years in order to earn my freedom. So far our missions have been to kill in the name of the Margrave of Straivillin. Seems ironic to me that to redeem myself for the deaths I’ve caused, I need to keep killing…
I have adopted a small black dog who found me on our travels. I have named him Pippin. He is a young pup and not terribly useful in battle, but he is loyal and lovable. The members of my party are a strange bunch. Kael, a barbarian prince, is a human who I mostly find to be obnoxiously proud, but I think his heart is good. Aura is an Ishari elf, who I can only assume is a necromancer, since she denies this so adamantly. Rhiannon, a half elf, I know the least about and I suspect there is more to her than she lets on. I feel the most comfortable with Morghul, a green orc who is the only member of this party who is more monstrous looking than me. He also doesn’t ask me too many questions and has been providing Pippin with bones to enjoy.
It was on one of our missions that I had to faceoff with another Magitec Knight. It was truly a test of all our skills, but in the end we killed him. I’m not sure how I feel about killing him. Strange…
Our new mission is to clear the iron mines which have been overrun by goblins. I have never seen a mine or a goblin before so I don’t even know what to expect.
Look out, goblins from The Underdark. Here comes three gingers and a pair of barbarians.
Raise your weapons……
January 26, 2013 19:40
The little boy ran down the road toward his family’s farm. He needed to tell his father. The late afternoon sun beat down upon him as he ran. He ran past the rows of crops, kicking up dust behind him. The boy’s father saw him coming and started briskly walking towards him. His face was stern.
“Benedict,” the father called when his son was near, “where on Ratheus have you been!?”
“Father…” the boy stammered. He was gasping for air.
“Ben, none of the animals have been tended to today! You know what will happen if we have nothing to offer…”
“Father, they’re gone! The bandits are gone!” the boy exclaimed.
“What do you mean, Ben?”
“I snuck away, father, after milking the cows this morning. I wanted to see if I could get out money back.”
“You what?! Ben, they are killers! They would have hurt you” the father said.
“They won’t hurt us anymore, Father, they’re all dead.”
“I saw it. A group of heroes came. Killed them all.”
“Don’t lie about something like that, Ben.”
“I’m not lying, Father, I swear by the Shining King I’m not.”
“Tell me what you saw”
“Three women, all of them elves of some kind, and a man and an orc!”
“An orc!? Here?”
“It’s ok, Father, they were heroes. They approached the guard and were attacked. But they beat them all, Father. They had magic and swords. And the man, he was so big and strong. He had this giant hammer an howled like a wolf when he fought. They went inside and I could hear them fighting, the man howling. Then the old mill caught fire!”
“Did the bandits make it out?” the Father asked.
“No! They were all killed. They threw Sir Aroogos out the window and then they jumped out too”
“No, Father, they were big heroes. Aroogos was a bad man that hurt us. And they helped each other, the orc couldn’t swim in the river. But the big man helped him. Saved him. Saved them all!”
“I wonder what really happened.”
“I saw it, Father, I really did!”
“I believe you, Benedict. We have to investigate this. I have to go to the Miller’s farm to talk about this. You run inside and talk to your mother. And tend to those animals.”
The little boy smiled and started to run towards the house. He saw a strangely shaped log on the ground and picked it up.
“When I grow up, I want to be big and strong like that man!” the little boy said to himself as he started to swing the log like a great hammer.
January 26, 2013 05:59
We were successful in eliminating the bandits. While the taking of lives is not something I relish doing, particularly at the command of another, I was able to feel justified in removing the threat that these humans posed to their kin. They had amassed a considerable amount of goods from the townsfolk and apparently had no inclination of ceasing. Their leader, a Magitech user, intended to use these people to strike against his former owner. It was a fight that I feel would have been better suited between the two humans, rather than forcing us to become involved. It won’t be my duty to question orders for two more years, still it felt good to watch the pompous ass fry.
The Margrave “rewarded” (the rune is shifted at an angle as Giant has no equivalent inflection) us with time to relax in his town. Aside from making contact with an interesting Keeper of the Faith, most of my time was spent in the keep’s library.
I wasn’t able to find much to further my own studies, but I was able to learn a bit about the history of the humans in the area. They truly are a savage race.
The Ishari girl, a fellow conscript, also lost herself among the books. She worries me. I understand magic better than some, but hers is unsettling. As one of the Tribe, I don’t fear the unknown. Neither, though, am I comfortable with it. She hasn’t shown us malice, but I cannot say with any certainty that she won’t in the future.
Such is the life I have chosen, one of constant vigilance and scrutiny.
January 25, 2013 03:03
The first mission of “The Black Legion” is finished, and our sundry company has completed the assigned objective without permanent harm. Our foes were far less fortunate, as part of our ordered task was to collect the left ear of each of the bandits.
We were ambushed upon entering the Iron Forest. The collection of creatures that rose to attack us was quite odd, consisting of dwarves, humans, elisani elves, a mog and a giant bullfrog. They were clad in poor quality equipment and fought feverishly. I was very nearly mortally wounded, but with the vigor of danger in my veins I slayed the coward who had been harrying me through the trees. The orc, Morghul, is a healer and was able to restore me to health. After the defeat of that first group of bandits, I noticed the faintest wisp of smoke in the sky and was able to determine the direction of their primary encampment.
They had occupied a disused sawmill and the surrounding area. We were forced to meet our foe on a bridge before being able to fight our way inside. To our shock, they had engaged the services of a black dragon wyrmling, which we had to dispatch. There were a total of 21 of these ragtag bandits in and around the building and we eventually fought our way to the top floor. There, we encountered a man in magitech armor who we later learned was Sir Argus, who once served the Margrave. Upon our ascent of the stairs, Sir Argus remarked, “three gingers and a pair of barbarians. Is that how little the Margrave thinks of me?” His underestimation of our abilities soon became apparent. He was slain by Salena, in her own suit of magitech, but during the melee an oil lamp tumbled over and the sawmill began to burn. I’m sure you realize the extreme flammability of the contents of a sawmill, so you’ll appreciate the peril inherent in our situation. We were forced to leap from the window and land in the river. All of us were able to do so, with the exception of the orc. He has evidently never been in a river and immediately began to drown. One wonders how they bathe. Thankfully, the northlander swims well and he was able to pull our healer to safety.
Once we brought the ears and Argus’ body back to Margrave Stravis, he mocked the fallen knight and explained that he had stripped Argus of his title and lands as punishment for complaining about his constant border patrol assignments. The Margrave is vindictive and expects his people to follow every order and be grateful for it, which I find disquieting. Perhaps it is just due to my love of knowledge, which can never be gained in such a rigid system.
You know how I always loved pursuing the knowledge that was forbidden for the sole pleasure of knowing it. It led me many places, and cost me the most precious jewel of my life. Now I seek that knowledge with a heavier heart. Your face will be seared into my very soul for eternity, and I will not rest until I undo the grievous harm I have wrought.
Until we meet again…
January 02, 2013 17:20
“Did you see them?”
“The adventurers that came through yesterday?”
“No, who were they?”
“I do not know. There were six of them. Two humans, an elf and half elf, a shifter and bloody orc!”
“An orc? Here?”
“Yeah! He was big, covered in scars and he wore the pelt of a black Lion! I’d never seen an orc before, scary looking!”
“Wow, what of the others?”
“The half elf was a bard and laughing about this and that. The other one, the true elf, she was from the mountains, wearing robes and had a book on her back. Her hair was the color of a copper piece. And there was a shifter girl, pretty little thing, but she was in this hulking armor. It looked like magitech!”
“Magitech?! Really? Shinning King save us if they were here for evil”
“No, that’s just it, they were following this human solider. Older guy, Vallimorian Knight. He seemed to be in charge. They met with the Margrave. I heard they’re working for him; killing the bandits that have been preying on us”
“That’s good anyway. But let’s hope they stay focused on threats to Black Cross, and nothing else. What of the last one? The human?”
“He was a barbarian from the north. He didn’t look like what I’d expect; he was tall, handsome, and even though he wasn’t as big as the orc, I knew he could kill everyone in this tavern with his bare hands. He gave off this air of nobility, and sorrow. And hope. It was strange,”
“Did you get his name?”
“Yeah. ‘Kael’ "