Song of the Ages

Yeah, he got us to go into the Deep because of his dreams

I know, I know, those must be some pretty impressive dreams, but I"ll be honest with you, I’d been itching for a good fight for a while so when they started talking about it… well, I didn’t put up much of a fight. Who knows? We might even get lucky and do some good while we’re down there, thinning the ranks of the monsters that are always knocking on our doors.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I blame the ale. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to relax with a good pint of dwarven ale and while it’s not the most potent thing I’ve ever had, this just tastes right. Sort of tastes like home. Mind you, I’m not going to go soft and go back to my old life, pounding on iron so that someone else can go and get themselves killed with it or, worse yet, get themselves killed with it at the orders of some fool noble. I’ve missed the heat of the caves, the thrumming of the mechanics, but what I didn’t miss is just how… well, rigid, everything is. You take orders from him, and he takes orders from someone else and so on until finally we reach some king somewhere. You and I would like to believe that that king has all the knowledge and wisdom in the world, that everything that trickles down to us is part of the greater good, but I’ll be honest with you. In all my travels, I’ve met nobles from many different countries and they’re just like you and me, maybe even worse. Nah, it’s all madness to base your very life on the whims of nobles.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. The others left me to watch over their horses and the dust-ridden magician’s cart while they ran off to get Folgen back. I didn’t want to be left out of any fight, but well… the tavern had a good stock, you know? So, I guess it wasn’t a complete loss staying behind. I got to meet a pair of dwarven merchants that could give as well as they could take, which is as good a compliment as I can give and we got to talking. Reminiscing, boasting, some friendly brawling, you know the drill. When the others came back with our minstrel in tow, I had been able to catch up on much of the kingdom’s gossip and then some. There was some confusion as to what we should do next, but most of them were talking about Sutherland, so I urged them to head north until we came up with a better idea. In retrospect, maybe I should have held them to that original plan instead of being so lax with them.

So, we fought some salamanders on the road, nothing that we couldn’t handle though the magician toasted us along with the creatures for some reason. Nothing we couldn’t handle, but he continues to strike me as very unstable. And this is me saying it, so you can imagine what I mean when I say unstable. Anyway, we got to Sveldheim and, before we continued on to Sutherland, Samuel told the others that he’d dreamed that we should go into the Deep to recover something. I know these surfacers put a lot into their gods and dreams, but surely they’ve at least heard of the Deep before, right? Turns out, they treat those stories of the Deep how we treat their stories of the gods and were convinced that they’d be fine. I know, right? Insulting, it is, but I was aching for a fight and were better to cut loose than down below? Who knows? We might actually survive this.

We traveled under the mountains until we reached Ironforge in all its glory and while part of me wanted to stick around and soak in the dwarven ‘culture’ I’d been missing for so long, we started down. We got supplies, probably not enough, some information and away we went. Almost got killed right out the gate though, as some Umber Hulks burrowed right into us on day one. I told the lot not to look the beasts in the eyes, but you’d think I hadn’t for how often they panicked and ran. Still, we were able to beat the creatures back, so that’s a few less Hulks for the rest of you to deal with, right? It did sober up the others in the group though, as they were beginning to see how much this could be more than they anticipated.

What’s this? A pint for me? Well, if you insist, but it was just a few Hulks.

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Failure
Dax

We were unable to recover any sort of reward from Dagon for his son’s rescue. Fulgin offered to cover his father’s debt. Why would he do that? Was he shaming me for what must appear to him to be an overly greedy attitude? Was he trying to make a point about not trying to collect the debt from Dagon? Was it his way of apologizing for his father’s arrogance? Whatever he was thinking, I can’t help but think that he’s missing the point.

It’s my job, as party treasurer, to make sure we have enough money to keep adventuring. Horses have to be purchased, ferries must be paid, and everyone has to eat. We have a little saving built up. We can go a little longer before we start to starve, but eventually we need income.

A good merchant makes money no matter what the market does. Whether the market is high or low, a merchant finds a way to profit. That’s how adventuring should be. An adventurer needs to find a way come out on top of whatever happens. It was my job to find a way to turn Fulgin’s capture into a profitable event, and I failed. Fulgin’s offer to pay me personally doesn’t help.

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Hmmmp -_-

I don’t know why, but I have been so grumpy lately. I have this unquenchable thirst to punch Dax and Fulgan, but usually I can get it under control. This past week though, I just had to really fight not stabbing them in the throat with my poison dagger. I’ve also had this really strange obsession with skulls. It may have led me to chop the head off this poor amateur who kidnapped Fulgan. I mean, I probably should have let him go with a few less fingers, but I really shouldn’t have sliced his head off.

Who am I kidding..that kid totally deserved. I’m teaching them to not take jobs unless they are 100% sure they can handle the response. Look at that, teaching the impressionable ones. Huh, I guess I could be a teacher. Haha.

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It turns out smugglers deal in many things

After we disposed the old baron, we stuck in town long enough for the feast. Not the best feast I’ve ever been to, but by far much better than the fair I’ve had since the war. While we feasted and drank, our group decided to track down a shipment of silver that the old baron had smuggled out of the region in hopes of finding out who his associates were.

What? No, we couldn’t just ask him since he died. Remember? And apparently he was one of those kinds who plays things close to his chest. Didn’t keep his guards in the loop any more than he had to. So, yeah, we had to track down the shipment.

We stomped a small group of bandits on our way here, but I think wasting this much breath on them is more than they were worth… though they did have an owlbear that they drove into us. That was fun, but we had it more than a little outnumbered. Anyways, we got into town and the others started planning, searching and scheming. Turns out they found a local warehouse used by the smugglers and slipped in over night to check it out. They say they found the ore, but didn’t take it. I guess we follow it then? I don’t know. I mostly spent my time here, drinking swill so foul that I’m sure I can piss a better brew, but the company was more to my liking than most places I’ve been before. A friendly pat on the back and a fist to the jaw to make you feel welcome, you know what I mean?

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Shouting about bones in the warehouse
Dax

Ledgers are great. From the ledger in the warehouse we learned these useful facts:

1. We’re on the trail of the silver ore.
2. The silver ore smuggling operation is choked up because of lacked of funds.
3. The silver ore is headed to Stillwater in Cana
4. Someone is smuggling gunpowder to Redmeadow in Hamil
5. Someone else is smuggling bones to Bayacre in Sutherland
6. There must be an active necromancer in Sutherland (according to our new friend Kels, that’s what the bones mean)

Isn’t it great to know things?

We were planning to hunt down Bradley’s co-conspirator, but I’m not sure that’s so important. Some person has agreed to buy stolen ore. They might not even know it’s stolen. Now that the new Baron is in charge in Redford, the ore will stop flowing. There’s no great good to be done, or wrong to avenge, or even an ongoing problem to stop (or money to be made). However, it looks like there’s a necromancer in Bayacre. A necromancer cannot be up to any good. There’s a good chance we can find someone who will pay top him. We’ll find people who need to be saved. Bayacre is the right place for our little band to go. I’m beginning to see that our band doesn’t just run on Gold. We need intrigue to keep Yoon interested. Apparently Fulgen requires our actions to have some sort of poetic justice. As treasurer of our band, it is my responsibility to make sure the band has what it needs to keep doing whatever it is that we do. Therefore, I must insist that we divert to Bayacre immediately. It’s what’s best for the party.

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Today is a good day
Dax

For the first time in a long time, I have no outstanding jobs. We didn’t actually get paid, but the job is done. Our purses are full. My accounts are current. I’m getting the hang of this new mercenary lifestyle. I feel like my new life has finally begun. It’s time to go have more adventures.

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A Letter From Fulgen

Dear Father,

I have to admit you were right. I guess people are mostly motivated by greed and power. I’m still not coming home.

- Arge

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Well, after that I ended up thumping a baron for a baron.

Yeah, you heard me. Me, of all people, doing something for a noble. Turns out these people I’ve fallen in with were framed for killing a baron by his captain of the guard, all so he could take that title for himself. I can remember thinking like that, that titles and such meant something, but at the end of the day, he was as dead with his title as he would have been without it.

What? Oh, yeah. Guess I am getting ahead of myself.

So my new friends were framed by the new baron, but apparently they knew who should be the baron, who was the son of the former baron… you know what, you ask them about all that. I’m confusing myself with all these barons. Long story short, we had a gangly kid that would be the baron if we could out the old one. They gathered up some soldiers, but those troops left actually raiding the baron’s manor up to us.

Early in the morning, even before the rooster thinks about crowing, we sneaked up and tried climbing the fence. Turns out that was a mistake, and not just because we ended up attracting the guards with the scrambling and thumping we were making. Turns out the fence’s main gate wasn’t even locked, so we didn’t even have to go over in the first place. It being open was a good thing, cause we had to run in and subdue the guards. I think they sounded the alarm though, since there were more waiting for us- with mages too!- when we entered the house.

I admit, when the blood’s pumping and the rage is on me, I tend to see some strange things. Red haze, enemies mocking me, stuff like that… but this fight was weird. At one point I went invisible, the guards I was thumping went invisible, my own axe itself went invisible! Maybe those mushrooms I found the night before weren’t good after all. Anyways, we fought our way to the baron’s chambers, who was waiting for us with sword and shield at the ready. From what the others have told me, the baron was a bastard and not even a nice one, but I have to admit some respect for a man who meets a challenge head on like that. It didn’t hurt him either that he knew a thing or two about swordplay, though that did hurt me a bit. I ran up, screaming and swinging, we traded a few blows and though I’d like to say I killed him, I hit the ground before he did.

When I woke up, the others said the baron was dead, long live the baron, yadda yadda yadda. All I knew was I ached, both from the beating I had taken as well as from fighting like that. It has been a while since I’ve had to really push myself in battle and, I hate to admit it, but I think I’ve gone a bit soft since I came back from the wilds. I’ve got to toughen up, get back in touch with the bear… oh, is that tankard for me? Thankee, sir. To your health!

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Void
Wyllo

I killed Renhart Bradley.

I think that I made myself believe it was an accident, but the truth is, when the time came, I knew what I was doing. I’m not half bad (re: I’m actually very good) with my bow—or a fair few of my other weapons, but the instant he tried to run, I think survival mode kicked in. I think I killed Bradley on purpose.

I know I did.

We found Pontus Mengis in a cranberry farm. We managed to safely transport him from said farm and to Lorentzian, where I couldn’t find Scratch—but then again, Scratch is only around when he wants to be found, considering that he ended up getting our attention using alternate methods—and we helped Squishy get some new clothes so that he could fall into his Baron role. The thing is, by having him on our side, I think we managed to clear up a little bit of what’s happening in Lorentzian, but we didn’t stay very long to find out how far we could test our limits. We got back to Redford with a contingent of guards, and when morning came (it was such an ungodly hour—whose idea was that? I was not on my game and I think I ran into the fence more than once before realizing there was a door), we got into where Bradley was hiding and met up with guards. A lot of guards. Yoon and I took care of a good few. I killed a wizard and maimed a couple of others, and when I remembered how much we wanted Bradley alive, I really did try to honor keeping him that way.

The thing is, nobody runs from me. The thing is, nobody fucks around with Yoon, and when he jumped out through the window and I aimed a clear shot, I think I did all of it on purpose.

I’m afraid of what that means. Maybe I’m not, though. I feel like my life hasn’t been in my hands for too long, so maybe this was me giving back.

At any rate, Renhart Bradley is dead. I don’t feel guilty about it.

PS Did I mention we were looking for a baron’s son? That’s who Pontus is. I think he owes us some gold. We also trashed his mansion though, so for now, I’ll call it even.

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A letter to the new Baron (draft)
Dax

From: The Secure Courier Service of Dax Krirgug et al

To: Pontus Erin Mengis, Baron of Redford

Seven weeks ago, we accepted a job from your father the late Lord Aldren Mengis to deliver a message to Pleasant Grove and return with a response to Redford. The payment agreed upon was 10 Gold, 5 Gold of which was paid in advance. The rigors of travel were such that the venture was immediately unprofitable, so unbearable were the expenses of traveling such a distance. We had faith that the late Lord Aldren Mangis would assist us in repairing the debts we incurred in his service. We were greatly saddened by the Baron’s passing, but the particular circumstances of his death put us in great danger. Through intense effort and great personal expense we identified Aldren Mangis’s next of kin, delivered the response from the The Lord Baron of Union and Pleasant Grove, provided safe escort to the heir to the barony first to Lorenzian and then to Redford, and finally assisted in ousting the pretender Bradley. All of this we have done without promise of payment, through efforts that we have funded ourselves, for the sake of the people of Redford and in service of Justice and for the security of the great state of Cana. We hope that the new Baron of Redford will find sufficient gratitude for the service that we have performed for himself, for his father, and for the people of Redford to alleviate the financial burden we have incurred during the execution of this task.

With the highest respect,

Dax Krirgug
Treasurer and founding member of (what the hell do we call ourselves?)

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