Undertakings of a Hazardous Nature

September 1 - Vi

William is actually not that bad, for a necromancer. I mean…is it really so bad to try and bring the person you love most in the world back to life? Plus, he’s easy on the eyes. I managed to talk him down, reminding him that Felicia, as a paladin, might not want to come back to life after all this time, and telling him Enzo is dead by the hand of the guy that William hired to steal the sword from him, and oh by the way, there’s smoke rising from the general direction of Thorton’s Mill and Maria is probably in danger, so we should go figure out what’s going on. Now we’re making haste back to town, with a sorcerer ally and a whole lot of new and interesting experiences for our troubles. He’s done some sort of spell or something so that we can move faster, but I’m starting to get nervous. Halgrim’s giving me a ride on his shoulders, so I’ve got a great view of the fires as we approach town, and things do not look good. Oops, we’re nearly there; we’ve started to run into refugees. Guess I ought to get down and get ready to save people!

Later that night When we rounded the corner into the square, I thought my heart was going to drop into my feet. I was hoping he would assume I died, or would figure out I had survived and decide I wasn’t worth the trouble to find, but once again I underestimated my stupid, sadistic brother, and there he was, setting the town on fire in some dumb quest to find me and get back what he figured I owed him for the raid going bad (and probably beat the shit out of me for good measure). I’m not ashamed to say that when I first saw him I turned and ran. I have a number of scars to give testament to the tender manner in which my mother’s son raised me after she died. You’d run too.

But then I remembered (well, was reminded) that I had a number of allies with me, including a huge guy and an archer…so we turned around and fought them. Halgrim is so awesome. He killed Kelson twice! William freaked out when Maria said he would have to stand trial, and he brought all the dead bandits back as some sort of zombies. V. disappointing, as I really thought we were getting to be friends. Anyway, once they rebuild the tavern I am going to steal Halgrim the biggest tankard of ale I can carry. Wonder if I can roll out a keg without anyone noticing?

After the fires were all out and the wounded were tended to I went into the Moonsong Temple and wept and prayed in gratitude and thankfulness and guilt for what must have been hours. I do feel awful about the whole town being set on fire by people who were looking for me, but on the other hand…it wasn’t my fault, and I’ll do what I can to help rebuild. In the meantime, I’m still in Thorton’s Mill, but with more gold in my pockets than I’ve ever seen before in my life. What’s more, I get to keep it. Granted I have to split it with the others, but the rest is mine, to do with as I see fit, and now that Kelson is dead, no one is going to take it from me. I have a handful of allies who don’t expect me to do anything disgusting for my fair share of the loot (I might even call them friends, in that case), and we have a keep that Aratir assures me will be rat-free soon enough (just in case, I’m going to look for a cat). Under the circumstances, I find it really difficult to be anything other than jubilant. First thing I am going to do with the keep is make the most glorious shrine to Sehanine the world has ever seen!

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September 1st
Monumental Victory!

Today has been an eventful day that shall be remembered in the region for decades to come!

We found William and as I feared he was attempting to use necromancy to “resurrect” Felicia. Apparently he procured corpses from that black-hearted bastard Sandra Cot from Fallcrest. We were able to talk William down from his insanity for a while, his desire to assist Thorton’s Mill (we had noticed black smoke rising from it just prior to confronting William) overpowering any other emotions for the time being.

When we arrived in Thorton’s Mill, we found Kelson and his band of River Rats causing destruction and mayhem. Apparently Vi is his half-sister, and he didn’t take kindly to her joining up with me. Vi tried to run (I had though her braver than that! Pity.), which was wholly unnecessary as we dispatched him with a vengeance. I wonder if I can collect the bounty from my sister…. Regardless, once William learned that he would be tried for the death of Enzo and his crimes of necromancy, our temporary alliance shattered as he raised some of the dead River Rats again to fight for him. We ended up sending William to the Raven Queen as well that day, and are now considered heroes of Thorton’s Mill!

As a very nice bonus, we now have free reign of the Keep that William previously occupied…

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August 31 - Vi

Hooray, I am no longer Aratir! I still can’t look him in the eye, though. Note to self: unknown potions should be left well alone in the future. We finally found the end of the damn keep, and stumbled upon the group of brigands Halgrim was looking for (though it took the rest of us to point this out to him). He is now wearing their unconscious leader tied across his chest like a sash. It would be hilarious if it weren’t also a little scary. Halgrim has an odd little code that he lives by, and keeps insisting that he can’t just kill the guy, he has to bring him to justice and THEN kill him. Since he’s enormous, I figure he can do what he wants.

I’ve managed to get myself on knock-out duty: every time the guy moves, I knock him over the head again. We’re going to have a rest before we try to get to William, which I support, as this gives me more opportunities to knock the bandit out. It’s loads of fun!

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August 31st
Halgrim's Vengeance has been Meted

Near the end of the day, we discovered a group of brigands who were camping out near the back entrance to the keep. Upon sighting them, Halgrim went into a fury and we summarily decimated them. Apparently these outlaws were the people he was seeking. I’ll need to remember to make sure Halgrim stays happy in my employ; I don’t want to be on the business end of his axe.

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August 30 - Vi

Being a boy is so strange. My center of gravity is all wrong, I don’t like the way clothes fit, and I know too many things about Aratir that really ought to be learned only after being treated to dinner and a play. I can’t look at him without blushing anymore. It’s so awkward.

Lucy and the others are really excited about turning this keep into Dawnstrider Headquarters once we’ve ousted William…I just hope they have some plan to get rid of the rats, ghosts, mold, rotting foodstuffs, and other ancient, unpleasant debris. Seriously, who’s been living here? I grew up in a street gang, surrounded by illiterate, high-functioning alcoholic sadists who could barely tie their own shoes, and they were STILL tidier than this.

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August 30th
Undead Don't Smell Very Good

After camping out after clearing out the rat infestation, we explored deeper into the halls of the Keep. And to our pleasant surprise, we found varieties of undead instead of more rats. I fear this means that William has gone off the deep end and is attempting to use necromancy to bring Felicia back from the dead. In the course of our undead murder spree, we came upon a dragonborn ghost who still had full use of all his senses. Apparently this keep was formerly a dragonborn outpost during the great war between Arkhosia and Bael Turath. This greatly excites me, as I’ve had ample opportunity over the years to read about Turathian tactics and strategies during the war, but this keep’s library might afford me the opportunity to learn more about the Arkhosian side of the conflict.

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August 29 - Vi

WTF I HAVE TURNED INTO ARATIR. THIS WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.

Besides that, there are about a frillion rats in this stupid keep. I hate everything.

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August 29th
On the Topic of Keep Storming

So the whole potion-ambush plan didn’t quite go as anticipated, and we’ve now had philosophical talks about urination that I wish had never been uttered in the history of the universe… Anyways, we decided to got to plan B, which was to storm the Keep. We didn’t get very far however, as a large colony of voracious rats occupied the first set of rooms we encountered. It’s very hard to hit rats with edged weapons, and so we had quite a go of it. I think the bard’s been scared for life.

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August 28th
Success!

The Dawnstriders are off to an excellent start, thanks to my superb leadership. We’ve collected 6 scorpion tails and 6 lbs of Kobold Bones. As we were making our way out of the forest, we happened upon an apparent highway robbery. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to show how grand our company is (plus the fact that I have a distinct dislike for brigands) we jumped to rescue of the victim, who was already unconscious on the ground. Halgrim did some kind of crazy mountain jumping maneuver and literally cleared a section of the woods with his axe! Can I pick an excellent company member or what?! One of the brigands claimed to be Thuran, the leader of a bandit outfit that’s been plaguing the area. With our assistance, he left on Raven’s wings.

The man said his name was Enzo – he’s the leader of the church of Sehanine back at the Mill and gave us a reward for rescuing him. This was all well and good, but we find out once we get to town that he is not Enzo, but Thuran! The real Enzo had been killed, and the entire town was in a commotion about it. We quickly gave Thuran Raven’s wings, and told Maria the shopkeep what had occurred.

Turns out Maria used to be an adventurer herself and Enzo had been a fellow company member. Their other companions were a paladin named Felicia Gilcrest, who had passed away during their last adventure, and a sorcerer named William Dorland who had been Felicia’s lover. It was rumored that he’s been skulking about in the Fastormel Ruins lately. Thuran/Enzo had Felicia’s sword in his possession, and now Maria worries that William has turned to dark magic in his heartache.

We found some extra polymorph potions on Thuran/Enzo. We will use one tomorrow to create an ambush for William when he comes for the sword.

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August 27 - Vi

On our way back to town from collecting Kobold bones for Maria and giant scorpion tales for Mrs. Canterford (some people have the weirdest hobbies), we stumbled upon Thuran and his bunch of bandits, and Enzo. Except, as we discovered later, he wasn’t Enzo, he was Thuran! AND, as we discovered even later, he killed Enzo! Am most displeased! No one kills a cleric of my god and gets away with it!

Despite his obvious guilt, Thuran keeps insisting that he never meant to kill Enzo; he was only hired to steal a sword from him. Enzo’s best friend is in a right state. Thuran apparently tried to bribe him to keep Enzo away from the temple while he was stealing said sword (keeping up with all this?), but instead he got pissing drunk at the tavern, as everyone with half a brain would have guessed he would do. I hope, mostly, that he doesn’t do anything…irreversible, though a small part of me is just angry enough to wish he would.

Maria thinks that her ex adventuring partner, William Dorland, hired Thuran to take the sword so he could use it to bring back Felicia, his girlfriend the paladin, from the dead. Must admit, that’s sort of sweet. Anyway, Maria promised us scads of money if we bring William to justice, so that’s our new goal. We have the world’s best plan, all hinging on me, and tomorrow we’ll put it into action. In the meantime, Halgrim is waiting around to dispatch Thuran with his very large axe. I’m not sure exactly why this has to be done at dawn, but I’m not going to argue with the huge guy.

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