Half breeds and a Human

Hunter's Log, excerpt 2

Day 1176

Tower holds secrets. Am sure we have not found all yet. All manner of dead dealt with, as well as their masters.

Met with friendly spirit in tombs. No threat to living, will venture to return relics that he may move on as is natural. Must consult with libraries to learn more. Unacceptable that a noble man exist in such a state.

Returning to capital. Suspect war will be coming, if it has not yet already broken. Will attempt to keep companions neutral, as is fitting for us. Doubt efforts will be successful.

Companions seem aimless. Fortifying tower well and good, but skills put to better use elsewhere. No word from Order, not unusual. Suspect they are keeping low profile during unrest.

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Civil War, And Other Notes

an excerpt from the writings of Parker Hale

“…and in a typical display of impertinent impatience, Gahn demanded to stop in the middle of a running battle to don a shiny, golden set of plate stripped from a corpse, somewhere far below the surface of our holdings. Fortunately, my hasty reconnaissance of the last rooms was of little consequence; the dead were dealt with quickly.

I will not bog this entry down with the minute details of the second half of our ordeal; it is recorded elsewhere. Suffice to say that those damned imprisoned dragon riders, foul undead, cultists, and serpentine beasts all would have spelled doom to lesser individuals, but I serve with exceptional characters. Had I been told two years ago that I would value the opinions of a mismatched set of half-elven killers and duo of dragon-worshiping orcish brothers, I’d have demanded satisfaction on the spot.

Today, I would stand in front of any and say it aloud. With resignation to be sure, but actions matter more than words, I feel. At any rate, the children are safe and I am convinced that Wilford might be something of a liar, given his refusal to inform the others that I was not the one who caused those statues to animate and attack us. His silence is infuriating.

We’re off to Roi; I am long overdue for an audience with Dibrious, the brothers want to spend money in a gaudy fashion no doubt (garish parties, extraplanar whores…I find these to be low entertainments.), and there’s the matter of this dancing throne that we must keep current on. My stomach lurches at the though of civil war…no doubt multiple factions will seek the support of the Church for legitimacy, and by extension the Inquisition.

I am a tool of law, a punisher of the wicked, a righteous enforcer of (-this part is illegible, having been crossed out and re-written a dozen times-) , and devoted to the welfare of the majority. The possibility of unchecked banditry, war, and turmoil are on the doorstep…and I am bound by the natural order of things to stop them dead.

With these major concerns voiced, my thoughts turn to the fortunes of my family….I wonder if there will be any letters for me in the city. Gods know I’ve sent enough parcels off to them. I’m curious to see if young Anson is getting on well at the monastary, and the state of things in the hamlet.

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Three-Fifths Compromise

…an excerpt from the writings of Parker Hale

“…and something will have to be done about Wilford; he’s doing a poor job clearing doors. I suspect his mind’s still on that orgy of sin that he and Gahn partook of during our ill-fated trip to the capital. This dueced civil war that’s brewing just won’t do…I’m glad we’re clear of it for now.

I’m writing this in the small hours of the morning, before we ride hell-for-leather back to the village. Those children are in the keep, we know it to be true. Wilford, Timmourne and myself fought through a crypt to learn this…conversing with the soul of a Dragon Rider, and sending another one straight to Hell: the silver lining in our recent tribulations is that I’ve walked away possessing a very fine new set of arms; the blade of a Dragon Rider that’s afire, and a shield that’ll make up for poor footing on ledges.

Of Wilford and Timmourne, I can only report the most positive of views; all worked exceptionally well as a team. I’m constantly reminded of the longer-lived race’s perspective of calm, preferring instead to sneak about. I say that in a close fight, there’s nothing for it but to smash in the door and take the fight straight to them!!! I fear that one of them sniggered during my ill-fated breaching attempt.

We’ve not seen those two insistent brothers for two days; I pray to the God of Mercy (whomever that is) for their safety…"

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I'm in love with a demon hooker...
And it burns!

Rain patters on the doorstep of the Drenched Wench Inn
Gahn and Wilford step into the cold, wet night as the moon casts light on Gahn’s wide, toothy grin, betraying his menacing silhouette.

“So uh… you met a girl did you?” Wilford asks.
He continues, “You know I met a girl too, she’s-”

SHE HAS WINGS.” Gahn interrupts him, still smiling.

“What are you talking about? Wait, are you talking about the monster brothel?? Oh I bet they have some weird shit in there…” Wilford recalled the previous stop: He stayed at the bar to listen to the townsfolk while Gahn and his brother spoke with the bartender. A moment later and they were gone. He knew where they went and he did not want to follow. Oddly enough Dragh was escorted out rather quickly.

AND A TAIL.” Gahn clarified.

“Oh… kay? Let me guess, was she a dragon?” Wilford rolled his eyes, recalling the several other beings Gahn assumed were dragons in disguise.

“Wilford. Listen to me, " Gahn grabs Wilford’s arm and brings him uncomfortably close. Wilford winces and squirms. “she’s a succubussssss!

“Oh no.”

“And she gave me her number!” Gahn holds up a scrap of paper upon which a demonic rune dances in the moonlight. “At least I think its a number. Can you read this language?”

“Nope.” Wilford actually couldnt read it, but he recognized the language – it was demonic. Knowing this, he responded.

“You should totally call her up sometime – a succubus only gives you a rune like that if she really, really likes you.”

“Oh good. Do you know anything about succubusses?” Gahn wondered aloud.

“Nope, but I’m looking forward to you finding out” Wilford muttered.

The two continued on to the next brothel, smiling for entirely different reasons.

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Plot Summary

an excerpt from the writings of Parker Hale

“…my faith in the concept of justice quavered for the briefest instance,, when I looked that man in the eyes, reading plain as day that he was the one bringing North Dock whores to a dirty end; but lacking the evidence that would spell his end. As I turned from him in the street, I decided that I would see him dead soon enough.

Understandably, my faith in the concept of justice was restored when my compatriots and I tailed him into a flophouse and destroyed him; quickly and severely. The gratitude shown by the surviving whores was equally appreciated.

The journey from Ciih to Dragonspire Keep uneventful; the brief stop in Roi had a bit more to it. We elected to swallow our pride, and seek that fat, officious, lazy priest and trade our forced apologies and a sack of gold for the services of a priest.

I’ll admit, I positively flinched when I learned that a free-willed, half-elf woodsman was what the church had tried to pass off as a priestly healer. Part of my theological studies (I always hated those) has survived to this day, and remembering that the priests of Irrab might be flightly, but are usually good-hearted. His finding a prime donkey bitch for Wagon influenced my perception of him also, and in no small way.

Gahn and Drahg’s folk are starting to settle around the tower; we’ve brought them additional supplies and aided in the construction of a hall. They’ve been instructed to secure the area more thoroughly, prepare outbuildings, pastures, fields, and scout the surrounding area to nail down areas ripe for exploitation.

I must say, these folk are getting on better than I had thought; they drubbed a small bandit raid some months ago, and everything has proceeded as it should. I still maintain that Hsssk creature is a pet of theirs (I hold this view privately), and that the entire lot would be better off if they’d just drop the concept of societal equality and accept orders from a defined leader, without putting it all to a vote and voicing opinions. Farming and homesteading are basic things, while not without challenges they are far easier to do above ground than below it. We are setting these people up for success, and I aim to subtly nudge them in the right direction at every turn; through logical argument, example, and whatever subtle misdirection I should deem necessary.

Matters will also improve in the spring, when the Order sends a small team of Inquisitors and trainees; it will be useful to have more of my kind here, and they’ll do nicely as a complement to whatever levy of militia this place should raise.

We are headed to back to Freehaven and/or Roi in a short whike; I shall have to post a letter to what is left of my family, as it has been such time that the funds I sent them are surely depleted, and it is possible they will be curious as to where I have been keeping my presence. Not a word from any of them…I wonder if Father has finally shuffled off this mortal coil.

It saddens me to hope that he has.

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Death Beach

an excerpt from the writings of Parker Hale

“…which, I must say, was probably not my finest hour of judgement. Woe is me to have underestimated the voracious deception inherent in the savage aquatic races. The less I have to do with denizens of the deep, the better I say…

…and of course, I let that self-styled “Holy Liberator” in the temple district have a piece of my mind! To stand there and listen to a man deem the working class scum, whilst standing arm in arm with a half-elf! Those egotistical champions of the faith serve only themselves, I say…espousing scripture and sounding trumpets before riding into battle, just asking to be cut down by someone a spear’s throw away, hidden behind a bush.

I have absolutely no respect for the sort of man that will ignore the rules of society. To judge someone based simply on their socio-economic standing is wholly unjust.

We are in Ciih for the time being; several instances of brutal violence bear investigation, and we aim to set one or two right before heading for home."

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Gigantic Progress

excerpt from the writings of Parker Hale

“…and to my complete surprise, Drahg chose to save my life at a non-insignificant risk to his own hide, green as it is. My own personal reservedness prevents a stout hug, but I shall endeavor to be more civil to him. Every day, he and his brother teach me a small lesson in humility. Of course, most days are also graced with another (minor) example as to why my prejudices have evolved into their present state; I am internally conflicted, to say the least.

I should also state aside from my near death (I am blameless), the extermination of the hill giants went superbly. Everyone played their assigned role, and every member has proven their efficacy several times over. If I must mix company, I suppose these are the fellows.

At any rate, I pray that our activities here in the Deep Roads are concluded soon; the dank, cloying dark is no place for any human. And SPEAKING of humans, what is the story on that slip of a girl attached to the old dwarf? She’s seldom present, and always shying off into the darkness. I expect that she has been touched in the head, spending so much time among others not of her kind.

We have to get these orcs under the sun; out of these damnable caves. You’d THINK that offering this score of societal rejects a livelihood, easy living, and safe living conditions would cause them to JUMP at the offer, but no…..everything must be put to a vote, the elders have no power, and we are wooing every jumped up herb-gatherer and scavenger in order to make this trip agreeable to the majority.

….there’s something to be said for benevolent despots."

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Hunter's Log

Day 926
Have journeyed through old Dwarven Deeproads. No undead sighted since Glasstop. Necromancer remains at large. Unacceptable, will correct on return journey. Half-orcs determined to move their kindred from this place, agree. Is unacceptable for hospitable creatures to live in such a state.

Battled hill giant clan. Agreed to release non-combatants, grudgingly. Suspect dwarf has corrected this decision. Blood not on our hands, outcome satisfactory.

Human improving, still distasteful. Keeping options open. Have studied fighting style extensively, should be able to remove if necessary.

Anticipate hunt of wyvern. May involve deeper travel. Concerned about presence of undead in tunnels. Nothing this sprawling and dark will lack them entirely. Maintain vigilance.

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Teleportin' 2: Draconic Boogaloo

Scrawled quickly in the center of an ale-stained journal page
HOME AT LAST – WE HAVE MADE OUR FAMILY PROUD

On the next page
My brother and I have been blinded to the truth. Our caste is complacent and our leaders are manipulative. The shaman of clan Aurix have shown us the truth, and I will not forget it. We know what we must do – a group of outcasts hides in the deep roads and we must find them and bring them into the light. We will offer them shelter and strength in our tower. We will take root and grow strong.

And we will return.

The next several pages offer a detailed summary of forces encountered – members of clan Charir, Ulhir, and Motrug the defiler, a few notes are marked as important. They read as follows:

  • In the future, do consider the volatility of arcane scripture. Especially when sundering it.
  • This Motrug is too strong to be left alone. We must pursue him before leaving the mountains. Approach with caution and be prepared – he is a cunning foe.

Several pages have been dedicated to the practice of elementary replication of deep roads fortifications – they are basic, but accurate.
We have found the outcast village, and all have starved. Our quest has been for nothing… I fear we may have sealed our fate down here. These poor souls have starved… The text stops, punctuated by the word “Embalmed” circled multiple times This is a decoy. We must press on. These exiles are well prepared.

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Reaching Bilingualism the Hard Way

From the writings of Parker Hale:

“…and just like that we’re off to the great wild mountains, home to lawless orcs, ferocious winged lizards, and the biting cold. Not so much as a ‘Hale, pack a cloak’ from those non-unctuous orcish brothers I travel with. Fine fellows, all of them, except for an accident of birth.

We traveled North through time and space, spending a vast sum of money to be spirited hundreds of miles through the ether, only to wind up on a freezing, jagged mountain face. To make matters even MORE inconvenient, that elf who calls himself a woodsman (in all fairness, he never said mountaineer) selected a cave that held flesh-hungry giants!!! Even duller and more impulsive than most of giant-kind,they fell before us quickly. Here we sit, riding out this storm before traveling to a hive of orcs. In light of this destination, I’ve begun learning Orc. It’s curious, how their language mixes greetings with terms of anatomy and human swear words."

several entries later

“…the Glass Peak; substantially out of the way and filled with hordes of undead. You’d think if eternal, ever wise dragons were going to run roughshod over this stretch of the world, they’d have the common decency to keep things peaceful. Especially if the area in question is one that can be turned to high magic! Heaps of bones, necrotic monsters, and a wicked blue Tusker who had made a pact with the dead. And his giant spider. I spent the engagement hacking my way to the lesser priests, determined to end the lives of at least a few guilty of heresy; the raising of the dead is a crime against the natural order of things. Surprisingly, the rest of my companions agree whole-heartedly. I’m glad we can march in step to that tune, at least.

After a brief rest, we got down to the business of fiddling with high magic again (as if the dwarf REALLY has any interest in it), and tracked that spider-riding bastard to his lair. The drag marks left by the table-sized chunk of Glass Peak made it easy on us. My hatred of endless marching has grown to be as pure as the driven snow, might I add.

The ensuing fight was both hair-raising and just another example of the general ineptitude of this “villain” we face. I will admit that prior experience with this “Murtug” (a horrible name, all consonants just hunting on awkward vowels)should have been enough to finish him. I only wish he’d been dispatched after we drove off his minions, possibly killing him in a moment of weakness. But no, the brothers took Wilford and placed themselves in grave danger, fighting him while exhausted. Another day, I suppose."

(Begin new entry)

“Hmph….we shall have to properly manage this Gahn’s impulsivity, or he’s going to be the death of us. For all their faults, this brood of orcs seems a shade different; they count a human, dwarf, and reptile man among their peers.”

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