Adventure log 1: Rats on a sinking ship
Our adventuring party meets at the the Rusty Goblet a well respected, if not somewhat roudy tavern on the waterfront of the City State of Murr. The 11th spring had arrived. An event that was both cause for celebration and fear for the intrepid citizens of Murr. Had they built enough in the off seasons of fall, and winter to subvert the coming floods. For five years now the springs brought rain which caused Lake Korr to swell. Then the summers gave cause for more flooding as the ice sheets melted and the waters of Murr swelled ever more. Unfortunately the waters once risen never went away. As the waters rose, the streets would flood and rats, spiders and dark things would shelter in the shadows of the dryer streets, the people of Murr would talk of abandoning the the City. For most though that was a dream. Murr was situated on an island far from the shore line of the Great lake of Korr. Boats were few. Wood for building them were precious. The shores of Lake Murr were treacherous. The territorial Kuo-Toa made their homes there on the swampy shores. Wintery expeditions had been sent out over the last 5 years, never to heard from again.
So it was that three companions huddle in the Dampness sharing the hearth in the Rusty Goblet. Argus a Gnome Cleric of Gorum the God of Battle. He came to Murr a missionary eager to convert the citizens of Murr to the ways of Gorrum. He was a battle chaplain of the AirShip Corsairus. When the ship ported in Murr to trade for Essentialtanium, a base material that assisted in the flight of the Gnome fleet. Gorum came to Argus in a dream. The citizens of Murr did not know it but they needed Argus. Having not the funds to establish a proper temple he plans to establish a flock and train them in the arts of combat. he is hoping to be ready for the next winter expedition to the the shores of Lake Korr to battle the fearsome Kuo-Toa. He is newly arrived and is staying at the Rusty Goblet. Currently he is sharing a drink with a young Noble of the city named Roya’al Brizbin a self proclaimed Sorcerer who follows the God Nethys. While normally the two enjoy a hearty theological discussion. Today the mood is sullen. Roya’al Brizbin speaks of his Lineage, and how his parents came to serve on the City council after an Illustrious adventuring career in the Northern Waste. “I would like to go back there in the wild lands of my conception, I’m ready, you know. I am. If I had been part of the last expedition I know I would have made it back.” Roya’al was saying when Orchid Lilly Star Blossom sits down next to the duo and pipes in which one of you gentlemen will I bestow upon the honor of buying this laddy a drink. The two of them look upon the Elven Minstrel their somber moods immediately lifting. Roya’al motions to the the waitress, “A honey mead for our little flower here.” Orchid smiles at Roya’al,” My thanks Roy.” Orchid flowed into Murr on foot in the dead of winter. She has been working the Rusty Goblet ever since. Quick with a song, and a story accentuated with the music from her strange iron wood guitar. She is the only one to have arrived in Murr on foot for the better part of 8 years. Roya’al and Argus were enamored by this mysterious elvish woman. For her part she would tell tales of the North. It seems she was well traveled. The three of them had become fast friends. They knew that they had the makings of a chartered adventuring company, they planned on leading an expedition north when Korr froze over once more in the long awaited winter.
The three of them fell deep into the comfort of the conversation of friends. Several people burst into the Rusty Goblet wide eyed and terrified. Screams could be heard from the streets quickly stifled by the closing doors. “The rats” one of the the new patrons yelled they are swarming. The three friends got up in unison and headed towards the door. Fools cried on of the newcomers, don’t go out there it is dangerous. Argus laughed. If there is a battle to be had then I will not shame myself by hiding here while lesser men fight it. Argus lit a torch and headed out while Roy and Orchid with their longer gate were first out into the street.
Orchid took stock of the scene, seeing a woman trying to protect herself and the child from the swarm with one hand while holding a child to her breast with the other, she was screaming with terror. Orchid went straight to this woman brandishing her Iron wood guitar like a club. She swatted at the swarm sending parts of rats flying about.
Roya’al seeing a halfling boldly fighting off the rats, stomping on one here and kicking another there to ill affect, Roya’al startect conjuring bolts of lightning damaging several rats in the swarm, who decided to leave off the halfling and attack the new threat.
Argus seeing his friends engaged with the rats spotted a man rolling on the ground covered in the swarm and his own blood, Argus charged the rats batting them away from the man with the flat edge of his great sword.the rats flowed from the prone man and swarmed Argus.
Orchid after having saved the woman and child saw them dart into the Rusty Goblet. All around her the Citizens of Murr were fighting off the rat swarm. Orchid saw another man battling the the rats with a broom. The rats were on his back, his broom flowing up the handle onto his arms. Orchid put her guitar away and drew two daggers expertly skewering slicing and dicing the rats from his back, and off the broom.
Roya’al was attacked by the swarm that had been confronting the halfling and was bleeding from several bites when suddenly the rats burst around him burst with an electrical charge. Smoking furs and burnt meat filled the air as the swarm that was attacking him fell dead all around him.
Argus was now rolling upon the ground. The rats had gotten into his clothing and was biting and scratching him as they got under his armour. The gnome was rolling around squishing the now trapped rats. He could hear their bodies crack and feel the bodies burst under his weight.
Orchid watched the man she had just saved go running into the alley.
Then in an instant the rats were no longer a swarm. They ran back to the the dark places and alleyways forsaking the light once more. All around, a moment of silence descended upon the city, cut short by a hysterical cry from the Alley the panicked man had just fled into. Like a well oiled machine the the trio of heroes bolted together towards the dark alley the barrowtone screams were coming from. Orchid, and Roya’al stopped short noticing that the screaming man was held fast in a giant web his feet frozen in a running motion. Argus not realizing the situation found himself stuck in the same web. Roya’al back tracked picking up Argus’s dropped torch while Orchid got the giant spiders attention by grazing it with a dagger. Royal went to his friends aids burning the the web around him then helped the terrorized man in the same manner. The man fled from the alley. The spider attacked Argus who now was brandishing his great sword targeting the spider. The spider lunged at Argus with its dripping mandibles and got a mouth full of nothing as they scraped off his armour. Then Argus maneuvered in for a good swing missing the spider. Orcha threw another dagger which got caught in the web. Roya’al burned away more of the web. The spider lunged at Argus again but was off balance by a now unstable web. Argus swung again slicing open the spider's abdomen. Orchid watched, on gaining empathy for the giant arachnid. The spider not liking the pain gave up its will to fight and fled to the rooftop of the building as Argus sliced at it again. “Stop it is hurt yelled Orchid” The gnome called out torch to Roya’al who tossed him the torch. Argus clenched the torch with his teeth, and still full of battle lust climbed up after the spider. The rooftop being slate was slick with spider blood and rain almost slipped on the roof but regained his footing and watched the spider disappear down the chimney. Argus ran to the chimney and tossed the torch down after the spider. A barely audible scream came out of the chimney. Argus made haste off the roof and burst into the house whose occupants had just fled, and found the spider still smoldering in the fireplace. A man popped his head into the doorway while asking if it was safe. “Indeed it is blessed be to Goram”. The man thanked Argus for his heroic deed.
Back in the street a small crowd of people surrounded the trio cheering their selfless deeds. Orchid looked at Argus a sad smile on her face, “You did not have to kill the spider” Argus looked at her seriously, Like fun I didn’t. At which point their voices were drowned out by the crowd. “What shall we call you, heroes of the Storm”. Roya’al looked to his companions who nodded for him to speak. “We be the Pathfinders” A cheer went up all around them. Thank the gods for the Pathfinders, the Heroes of the Storm. Slowly the crowd calmed. Then murmurs started going up as the the citizens went from elated to be saved to angry that they had to be. Soon the crowd swelled into a mob seeking answers. Too the Korrum they shouted. What will the Prince and Council do to protect us. The Angry mob headed to the Korrum.
Wondering how this would turn out the Pathfinders flowed with the crowd sludging through the water logged street, into the Korrum a large open spaced area outside the cities seat of law. The crowd got ugly. We are trapped here. We must leave the city. The watch cannot protect us. We can’t leave, there are not enough boats. Kuo-Toa patrol the shores. What will be done. What will be done. A fanfare broke out over their voices four city guardsmen and a herald made their way through the mob to a central podium. From all around the fanfare burst forth again.The mob settled down anxious to hear the heralds pronouncement. The Herald announces that Prince Gailem and his council will be issuing charters to those of the right armament and metal to go forth and explore and or clear the ruins of 3 nearby cities of fell inhabitants, thus paving the way to expand the influence of Murr and rekindle the Greatness of the Gailem Empire. Applicants will be received In the Korru. On the morrow after breaking our night fast. Further more we will also be accepting the name of people wishing to settle the cleared cities thus starting a new life within the empire on the shores of Lake Korr. The way forward will not be an easy one. How ever we sincerely believe the the great people of Murr will be up the task. The crown wishes to further incentivise the good people of Murr by further offering all who embark fourth as settlers including those who inhabit the dungeons of Murr a clean slate. Debts shall be baught up by the crown and forgiven. A cheer rose up from the Mob. Hope was once more in the air. More than a few Dwarves stomped their feet and stalked off.
Later on back at the Rusty Goblet the Pathfinders found themselves discussing their Immediate future. “We must get a charter” Argus was saying again. The sooner the better. “We don’t even know which cities they want explored yet”, piped in Orchid. “What if the inhabitants are peaceful?” “You heard the Herald, we are to clear the ruins of fel inhabitants, you know, if any”, Argus countered back he continued,. “ When you thought it was just the Kuo-Tao you had no problem with it Orchid” That was different Argus, and you know it. You know the trouble I had with them on my way through.” Roya’al had been strangely quiet. A harold walked into the the Rusty Goblet and ordered a drink. Argus got up and stood to one side of him while Orchid stood on the other side. “Tymone” Argus says to the bar keep. Argus nods to the Harold, “His drinks are on me.” Argus climbs up on the stool next to the Herald the Herald thanks him. “Hello stranger, my name is Harry.” he extends his hand to Argus. Hello I am Argus cleric of Gorum, and these are my friends”, he nods over to Orchid, “Orchid then he points to, and Roya’al Brizban, we are the Pathfinder’s Heroes of the storm.” Harry looks closer at Roya’al, My lord s? It is an honor to drink with such fine men. Argus says, The honor is mine good sir” say I was wondering .What more do you know about the Ruined cities that are to be cleared and the charters.” The Herald looks at the three of them. “Well there are two Potential sites on the North bank. Then there is one site to the south that is a definite must, that one is called Durham once the Gateway to the south. Many charters will be issued to companies of the right caliber. I’ve heard far and wide of the exploits of the Pathfinder”s deeds today. This should put your company far and ahead of the competition. The Pathfinder’s should have choice of assignments though being that Lord Roya’al is one of your number. I would act quickly, for boats are in short supply. I’m sure our lords will send many companies out. After exchanging a few more pleasantries Argus and Orchid bid Harry the Harold farewell and rejoined Roya’al back at the hearth.
“Talk about picking the right friends” Argus proclaimed directing his comment at Roya’al, “did you hear Harry he said we were in” Roy you got to introduce us to your parents.” Roya’al broke his silence, “I know, but it is not that easy.” My parents are good people, but they can be” sigh “difficult” I will meet you back here later.” Roya’al got up and disappeared through the Rusty Goblets doorway.
Roya’al was excited about the proclamation, however he was nervous about seeing his parents about this. Last time they discussed his leaving on the winter expedition his parents had forbidden it. They had told him that he was not ready, and that they had prepared him for bigger and better things. Throwing his life away on the annual winter expedition was a foolish waste of his talent. Since then Roya’al had trained very hard. he knew he was ready, he just needed the chance. He would take this one if his parents agreed or not. The family had a little skiff, one of the few private boats in Murr, and Roya’al was prepared to steal it if necesary. He decided he was going to Durham no matter what they said.
With his new resolve Roya’al entered his family home. There he was met by their manservant Jeeves. Who greeted Roya’al politely, “are my parents about Jeeves?” “Yes my lord they are. They sent word to me to have you brought to the silver room as soon as you arrived. Indeed we thought to send Timmy out to find you.” “Well Jeeves I am here, I will go to the Silver room wish me luck Jeeves” “I assure you my lord you do not need it”
The silver room was just that silver. The walls were a translucent pearl color, while the furnishings the frames of wall hangings, and the candle holders were all silver. Roya’als parent stood in unison when they saw him enter and beconed him closer. There was a map on the silver table before them. His mother smiled at him and stated his name “Roya’al” His father in his uncanny way finished his mother statement with a proclamation, “It is time” “Roya’al’s heart leapt. How do you mean.?” He asked. His mother started, we heard about your heroic exploits on the water front” his father finished, “and we are pleased” His father starts “We wish to” his mother finishes “sponsor the pathfinders on an” they both speak in unison “expedition to the ruins of Durham.” His mother starts, “We have spoken to Prince Gailem” his father continues “and he agrees that you and your pathfinders would be the perfect candidates for this expedition.” They both speak, We are having Jorrum drawing up the contract as we speak. What do you think?” Roya’al was near speechless. This was his hope his wish. He had longed for adventure for so long. He did not believe his parents would ever deem him worthy and suddenly he was. “This is good”, Roya’al said,”I will bring the Pathfinders to you.”” No need” said his mother, “we will send Timmy” said his father, “In the meantime we would like for you to review this map” Roya’al’s mother rang a bell and Jeeves arrived, and was asked to have Timmy sent to collect the pathfinders from the Rusty Goblet.
Back at the Rusty Goblet Arugus and Orchid had met up with the bold Halfling they had assisted earlier and recruited him as the newest member of the Pathfinders. They were drinking a round of ails when this Man Boy, but not a Halfling thing came up to them introducing himself as Timmy a Brizbin runner/ messenger, and that he had been charged with the task of bringing the Pathfinders to the Brizbin house. After answering a few questions Argus, Orchid and Stiles followed Timmy. Whose long gate belied his tiny stature. As the party walked up hill to the Bribin Manor the streets dried up.
At the Brizbin house the Pathfinders were reunited in the Silver room. Introductions were made. An offer rendered to the Pathfinders. The Lords Brizbin would sponsor the company's charter In exchange the Pathfinders would exploring, the Durham site, and clear it for safe settlement. As part of the charter the company and the sponsors would recieve a 26,000 acre land grant and the titles there in. The land grant would be subject to a 50/50 split with the sponsors. The Pathfinders split would be subject to division amongst the companies charter as they saw fit. This offer would be extended up until Lake Korr froze over. If settlement of Durham is not possible by then then the offer would be revoked. Any treasure gained within the timeframe afore mentioned would be subject to a 50/50 split with the sponsors. The Pathfinders split would be subject to division amongst the companies charter as they saw fit The sponsors will provide a means of transport,. Supplies, and essential gear and other essential yet reasonable resources, including additional personnel needed to complete the objectives of the charter.
The four members of the company. Discussed the terms, then signed the charter after concerns as to what type of creatures would be cleared from the Durham site were expressed and agreed upon by Orchid.” I will not be a part of exterminating peaceful creatures.” Each member received gifts from the Brizbin sponsors as a show of good faith. Argus received a cloak of fiery vanishing. Roya’al received a staff of Ghost Touch. Orchid received goggles of decipher languages. Stiles received the ownership of the vessel they would use to reach Durham. They all received Ion Torches. The Bizbin Lords informed the Pathfinders that other parties had been interested in exploring the Durham site, and might pose a problem. One in particular another member of the Princes council a lord Aldelphus Ironforge of the Bartertongue Dwarves. Was angry that the charter had been awarded to the Brizbin Lords. He swore that their pup of a boy did not possess the skill or the metal to get the job done. Prince Gailem was not swayed though. The truth though is the Durham site was too far away from Murr, and they suspect that Prince Gailem does not trust the Dwarves to settle Durham under the Gailem banner.
The rest of the evening merchants and craftsmen came and went from the Brizbin manor. By morning the party was ready to depart to the former southern Gateway of the former Gailem empire. Stiles proved to be adept at his craft. The sail barge made a swift and uneventful 5 day voyage. At one point in the journey they had lost sight of land for 2 and a half days. Then in the distance the southern shores of Korr could be seen in the distance. At first is was the Distant aspect of land. Then as they got closer two ice caped mountain ranges could be made out one to the north, and one too the south. Then a structure could be made out connecting the two shores between the mountain. At this point Stiles started to show signs of nervousness. “Something is wrong, their should be a current. He checked his compass and his map repeatedly. That night he checked and rechecked the stars. The next morning he informed the party that they were on course. That day the structure got bigger and bigger, and yet bigger sill. Then it was Orchid who realized that the massive structure they were approaching was some sort of a Dam. As they continued onward Distant islands were spotted by Argus. Stiles said there are not supposed to be islands here, then Roya’al said those look like beaver lodges. Stile’s eyes lit up. with recognition. “They are.beaver lodges, and that massive structure to the south is a beavers dam. Where did the lumber come from asked Roya’al. I don’t know said Stiles maybe the ruins of the Durhams..Orchid stared off into the foothills of the mountains in Awe, Look old growth forests. True as the day is long there were forests on either bank of the lake. Something to see the from this distance meant the trees were huge. Roya’al whispered there is a fortune in lumber alone to be had here. Stiles whistled in agreement. I am going to give the lodges a wide birth stiles said and try to get closer to the the dam. As they approached the dam whole trees could be seen plastered into the dam. The Dam was rose at least 100 feet above the water. Roya’al said now we know why the waters keep rising. yeah, There was a huge water fall here where the dam is.5 years ago said Stiles. In the waters to the West towers of the old city of Durham jutted out of the water. On the East bank there were ruins on the shore that ran up the sides of the snow capped mountains. On the West bank there was a glacier melting out of the West side glaciers were yet more towers. As they got closer to the Dam Argus shouted look and pointed to toward the dam. Up on the very top was a very large beaver dragging a tree with his powerful head in to place. It stopped to look at the little boat and sent out an alarm type noise that could be heard echoing across the waters. Stiles said “Close enough.” Argus said “I’ve fended off dragons from the airship Corsairus, I know what it takes to take care of these beasts, and I am telling you we don’t have what it takes.” Orchid argued, “we need to get to the East shore and set up a base camp.” Stiles said no way we don’t have the time. Off in the distance Three of the large mammals dove into the water at the base of the dam. Roya’al said, “By Nethys are they fast.” “Guys we got to get out of here while we still have a good lead. We must let the council know the cause of the flooding. If we can make it back we will be heroes.” Stiles was already turning the boat around. The Dire beaver 3 of them were gaining on them fast. By the time the barge was turned around the beavers had closed half the distance again. Yet now that they were heading north the beavers were gaining on them much more slowly. The party worked hard under the command of Stiles to get every ounce of speed the could out of the barge. Eventually the Dire Beavers gave up pursuit. On the long uneventful Journey the Pathfinders discussed their next course of action, and plans for their return. To the Lost cities of East and West Durham.