Tuesday, May 10, 2016

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #37 A Year Off to See the World

The continuing solo adventures of Cecelia Darkspruce, Warrior-Priestess of Sif.

34 TriDec 1134 - Slaver City of Roark
Cecelia had slipped out of the north gate of Roark and began a steady ascent in the jagged hills around the town.   She had sufficient standard provisions for a long journey and enough extra supplies, like daggers and bric-a-brac to in a small satchel to trade with whatever friendlies she could encounter, and an extra cloak to stay warm.  A few hundred feet up and the temperate weather of Roark turned into a dry cold.

5 QuaDec, 1134 -  Hyrkania
She reached the first civilization, a small settlement of herders who did not want to trade, but offered the most basic of hospitality. 

10 QuaDec, 1134 - Oxum, Kingdom of Hyrkania
A few more villages like the first appeared until Cecelia finally arrived at Oxum, a trading town.  A day or two there and she found employment on a caravan heading north into Galmar under the alias of Tatiana Goldenrod, half-elf mercenary.  Pay was good to begin with on such a dangerous route, but the discovery that she was a cleric of Wyrmnalian lore allowed her to renegotiate her terms. 

12 of SepDec 1134 -  Dwarven Citadel of Ahzur-Khai
The slow caravan had travelled the plains, forests, and even rivers of Galmar to reach a few Galmar tent cities, but nothing prepared her for the final destination:  The Dwarven Citadel of Ahzur-Khai.  Fun fact:  elves and their half-breeds are banned from conducting business within the citadel's walls.  Cecelia managed to conceal her heritage for about two weeks, until she was discovered and banished to a small collection of hovels where the elven castaways of other caravans were discarded for the duration of their business.  Soon enough, a different caravan heading south hired her for a late Summer journey through Galmar, the Weissmach, and Stronghome. 

1st of DecDec 1134 - Stronghome
The caravan finally arrived in Stronghome, and Cecelia was advised to Winter for a month or so before finally heading back to Marakeikos.  Two months of Halfling cooking and temperate weather along the cost in the midst of a brutal winter around the land did good to raise Cecelia's health and spirits. 

While resting, Cecelia became aware of King Valens' disappearance, as well as the religious power struggles that had plagued Marakeikos over the last year.  Between a healthy fear of slavers, and to avoid the strife, she signed on with a winter caravan using sledges. 

7 DuoDec 1135  - Hermetus
The trails and roads the sled caravan took were hard-packed snow and very fast. 

One night, the caravan camped not to far from a monastery.  The caravan master ordered Cecelia to take a group of guards to visit the monastery and ask if they could spare some hospitality, at least have some of the men warm themselves within sturdy shelter.  The monks appeared to be of a silent order of Akana, and surprisingly offered the group a limited supper of stale bread and vinegary wine, but a tasty type of moldy cheese.  As the men (and Cecelia) warmed their feet by the fire, the monks attacked!  They revealed themselves at giant ants under their cloaks!  Causalities among the guards were great, but Cecelia rallied them to slay the Ant-Monks, temporarily seal a passage leading to tunnels below the earth, and the caravan moved in for a day.  The caravan master claimed most  of the treasures with the abbey, but quickly backed down from Cecelia's demand to keep magic sword she had discovered.  It was not her long-lost Sonya, but it appeared to be equal in enchantment, if not a bit more so (Longsword +2).

22 Duo Dec, 1135  Fort Doom, Vlachia
The caravan got through Hermetus and Vlachia without any further incident, reaching its destination of Fort Doom.  Cecelia would finish the rest of her journey back to Marakeikos alone.

Learning what she had from the others, she avoided traveling at night, making sure to set foot in each village she arrived in. 

5th of Tridec, 1135 Crossing into Marakeikos via Teleorman/Vadevincsky

Unlike her previous solo adventures between the Journey of Mutumbo and her meeting with the Burning Trogs, almost none of this was actually was run by Cecelia's player, Nate.  He had night classes to take and was gone for what appeared to be an eternity.  This and entry #36 clear up a lot of story that was never mentioned, or wasn't written in the journal.  

"Sonya" was Cecelia's +1 Lucksword that she had rolled up when she created her character, after the PHB had been released, but not the GMG, which had details on family heirloom weapons.  Unfortunately for nearly fifteen years of missing memories, the journal does not state what of their personal possessions they had recovered for the slaver's ship, if any.  Add in a yet to be uncovered character sheet, and I decided nearly of year of starvation, beatings, and the harshness of the plains of Galmar should net her a single magic item, her now worn black cloak, and still-ill-fitting suit of ring mail. 

This entry also forced me to solidify the geography of the north and eastern Mer Kasp.  Upon reviewing Cecelia and Gwen's escape from Roark, I determined that Gwen wandered east, into Khaziria, and the eventual port city Seral, while Cecelia travelled northwest into Hyrkania.

Next:  Episode #38:  The Destiny of Lords and Ladies

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