Tuesday, January 5, 2016

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #21: Gwen's Journey

From the hasty journal of Gwendalyn Lorax, lone surivivor of the Far East Burning Trogs:

21st of TriDec, Parts Unknown
I am now the only one of the Trogs that are known alive.  Marek died by his own fire - he aged himself - or was aged - his mind gave out on him.  Brother Thomas died by large lizards in the forests that were chased out by the fires.  I sailed down a rocky hill on two small shields. Some old blind man saw me,but I snuck away.

I wandered for days -scratched and bloody - I came into a town found an inn and was able to get a bath and a room.  I do not know where Cecelia is .  I do not know where Zorin and Janus and Whitey are.  I hope they are alive.  I was able to find a light robe to replace my rags.

Inn is called Ye Olde Singing Golden Horde.  Bartender is J'orell.  I ask about jobs.  I need money.  J'orell is nice to me.   People listen to my story and buy me drinks.  They tell me about an evil witch that wandered into town.

I ended up in Khaziria.    Kabulah comes back with an associate.  He has brother Danelsior.  They want me to find Needa.  Find Blacksmith - they want me to deliver a package they will give me 25 gold and a halfling Ramsah to deliver a packge and a map.  I'm very drunk.  I miss Mitgan.

Terval Sit has ears like me.  Godfrey the Great has breakfast, grain but no berries?  Strange.  Small metal box with a key lock.  I go to buy scimitar.  Godfrey wants to haggle, but they laugh at him.

Hugh the blacksmith - healing potion in lock box - does not work on daughter.  Needs something stronger.  We go to desiccated holy temple to get cure all water.    Find a statue of a man with a bull's head and axe.   Save the girl

Great celebration....

13th QuadDec City of Seral, Khaziria or Hyrkania
Sold axe,we got a lot of money for it. Probably not as much  as it was worth, but we needed to liquidate.

26th of QuadDec
 Leave Seral for home. We found passage on a boat out of this land.  This was a much better boat ride than the time we were with the slavers!

3rd of HepDec,  Mirros,  Kingdom of Marakeikos.
Arrive at Debie’s Mighty Singing Keg.  We found Janus, Whitey, and Corina, Zorin!   I get a new signet ring and we order a new banner.

6th of HepDec,  Celsior, Kingdom of Marakeikos
Home Sweet Home!

The Slavers Series nearly killed off a few characters, forced another to run away, and nearly broke Gwendalyn the druid psychologically.  I decided to use Gwen's player's entry in the journal to sort of cover the PTSD she had been experiencing.    Yet, alone in a distant land, she pulled her up by the bootstraps, found a mission in life, new friends (and a protege), and a chance not to sulk in the corner.    Turvel Sit (half-elf mage) and Godfrey the Great (Charlatan!) were the replacement characters for Brother Thomas and Marek.    Gwen could easily handle the mission (some d20 adventure, I suppose that's lost from my mind), but with two low power 1st level characters fumbling around her, her confidence could easily grow.

Gwen's player, Kelley, was ready to write her druid off, and had brought Ramsa, a mute halfling fighter, to the table.   I denied her the chance to start fresh, rather setting up the story to provide a poor halfling fighter as her reward/bodyguard.  Yes, the first mentor/protege relationship in the campaign was a bit strange.  

Couple additional notes:  Plot is very simple, if you can't translate Gwen-write.  After wandering the distant lands around the slaver city of Roarke, Gwen stumbled into town, and used her story and good looks to gain charity from the villagers.    She was hired to visit a nearby town with a locked box for the local Blacksmith.  She was paid more money than she had been seen in weeks, and given a halfling(!) as payment.  Ramsa the halfling did not verbally protest this arrangement.  Terval and Godfrey agree to travel with her, because that is what adventurers do.  

They arrive in the other village and find the blacksmith. His daughter is very ill, and the potion inside the box is supposed to cure her.  It does not.  

The only other alternative is to travel to an desecrated temple and and find some cure-all water in it.   Somehow Gwen's storytelling misses the epic fight between the bull statue and the party, but the good guys (barely) win, the girl is healed, and there is great celebration.

Gwen sold the magic items for passage on a ship (with her new friends) from Seral back to Mirros.  When she made it the Trogs' old watering hole in town,  Zorin and Company were plotting their next move.   The disappearance of the party travelling to Linnard shook their confidence to the core, despite their heroics in retaking Frandor's Keep. 

But that... is for our next story.

Next:  #22 The Redrock Cohort

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