Ruins And Ashes : Randewarn Frontier

The epic of Zoxar
A look back

In the beginning there was a scheme. A mysterious buyer in Thomwell was looking for elven relics and a greedy, devious, but unnaturally skilled Orcblood was up to the task.

This orc, Zoxar, took a special ring from the buyer meant to give him access to ancient elven ruins. He was now left with the task of finding one of these ruins to explore. On the search, he found a travelling monk who was on his pilgrimage from sysgrum. This monk knew of some such ruin in the wilderness not far from his home near the base of the Sys mountains. This monk agreed to join the orc on this expedition.

A couple wood elves with some skill were recruited to serve for the wilderness trek. One was found in a brothel, named Nalzara, the other a young friend by circumstance to the first elf, whose name was simply ‘Hazel’. Wood elves are not permitted to abandon their home in the forests near the sys mountains. Both of these elves were delinquents for that reason alone. This unfortunate fact haunts the expedition, as we will soon discover.

Once at their destination, the group found much more than any of them expected. Awesome alien technology from the past that they could only begin to grasp was laid bare before them. But these relics were not unguarded. Gnomish denizens, made mad from some strange corruption had to be dealt with. And dealt with they were.

Unfortunately, the wood elves may have journeyed too close to their own pasts for safety. A ranging party had spotted them in the forest and tracked them to the ruin where they wait outside in ambush.They had intended to return the runaways to their home for the elders to pass judgement on their delinquency. But Nalzara would not be had. As the rain poured down on a scene frozen in time, the knocked arrows of half a dozen rangers aimed at the battleworn party, Nalzara let out a cry of freedom. This startled one of the young rangers, who loosed his arrow into her gut.

As Nalzara fell back down the stair into the ruin, my brave scale-kin brother was slain defending the lives of the others. Zoxar, seizing the opportunity abandoned his hapless helpers to their fate. He fled, stepping over the dying Nalzara, and sought safety in the ruin. None could follow, as only he had a key.

Hazel surrendered to the ambushers. She fell to her knees, defeated and outnumbered. Alas, One of the Ambushers, called Theodys, suffered a conflict of the heart. In an attempt to prevent any further needless deaths, he aided in the captured Hazel’s escape and fled with her to the Dragonborn capitol of Sysgrum nearby.

A tenuous peace treaty was in place between the dragonborn and woodelves, you see. One that guaranteed that none would suffer injury or death at the hands of the other. The incident professed by Theodys and Hazel lays out many infractions of this treaty, from both sides.

It was in the hands of the young diplomat Brax to make this incident right. After considerable political intrigue, war was stayed with a compromise: The surrender of the young Hazel. But, none suspected she had honed her skills in one regard; She could shapeshift. This art is known by only the most hermetic and attuned. In Hazel’s case, a rat she had befriended in Thomwell some time ago, served as her model and focus. Her time spent in sysgrum allowed her the practice she needed.

So, Hazel returned to Sysgrum after an easy escape, to collect her rat friend. Theodys and Brax kept it safe, feeling duty bound to do so. She then returned to her mentor in the wilds for a time, practicing her crafts. But would find herself travelling to Sysgrum to meet her new acquaintances more and more often.

Theodys spent much of his time ranging with a couple dragonkin, now an exile from his home. Few were fond of the company at first, but Theodys had a disarming demeanor and respectable skill, so most were won over in friendship. He and Hazel became as much dragonborn as those born with scales around them. Though Theodys seemed ever burdened with the guilt of Nalzara’s death. You see, it was his arrow that slipped and cut her tale short.

Diplomatic talks continued to foster a timid peace between wood elf and Dragonborn as orc presence began to encroach upon their shared domain. It was at this point that a true green scale dragon appeared to reveal to us the true history of our kind. He went by Tayoth. Many left with him to this promised land, including Brax, to a place for their kin to the south.
It was at this time that Zoxar made a second appearance. This time he had the orc horde at his back. He made short work of the wood elves and remaining dragonborn alike. Theodys died defending his new kin, what few remained.

It was in this state that Guthug Frost-Talon challenged Zoxar, ending his reign to the sound of a whimper and a cracking skull.
-Bezzalth, the last scale of Sysgrum

Sloppy Seconds
an exploration of a pillaged ruin

After successfully dominating many of the orc clans by defeating the strange half-orc chieftain Zoxar, the crew explores the area around Sysgrum. This includes the ruin next to the gate from which they emerged. Below is what they find in that ruin.

Low Lit (From the entrance way daylight)
a score of dirt covered stairs lead to a massive open room. It smells of the earth and foliage covers the floors. The east wall was as pile of collapsed rubble but is now cleared to reveal the gate. In the back, an overseers passage can be faintly seen on the marbled stone wall.

Through the passage you enter a smaller room. All is dark and lifeless. This room is marked with the Imperial Sigil on the floor. It would appear to serve as a forum between several rooms. On each of the four otherwise barren marble walls is an overseer’s passage.

West Chamber
Elven inscriptions mark below sockets on a short altar in a small room.
These are all empty.

East Chamber
A small chamber with a table, swept empty.
A Tincture determined to be of Stone Giant Strength hidden out of site. This would have been missed by all eyes but for Boaz’s.

North Chamber
A bed chamber. The stench of rot is suffocating. A large and luxurious bed for a smaller person with its blankets strewn about is pressed against the back wall. A corpse can be seen in the corner leaning back against the wall. Dried blood pools on the floor beneath. Two dead nude gnome women and a dead male gnome litter the floor. The male is headless and wears imperial robes. He rests beside a closed chest.
Inside the chest is a gnome’s head and nothing else.
A bust sits atop a dresser depicting an elven woman, adorned in jewels and regal clothing. Empress Glatnia, Sol’cas recalls. The dresser is empty
Covering much of the walls, deranged writings have been painted in thick strokes. Some words can be made out after some study to be gnomish expletives of anger and jealous cries of desperation. Elsewise, bolts weave through the mutterings in designs vaguely reminiscent of those found on the Gnolls and wild Humans of the frontier.

King Guthug

The grizzled orc’s heavy footsteps sounded across the chamber as the group climbed the stairs. Looking down at her wrist, she thought back to the events that had brought him in her life. He had given her the chance for revenge against the beast that took her younglings, along with many of her clan. She would make sure he would have his chance for revenge against the clan that took his family and left him broken. Her brow furrowed as the events of the last kaumn guk’taul she witnessed played out in her mind. She shook her head loose of the image of Guthug’s body falling to the ground at Karguk’s feet.
Thud…thud…thud. His steps continued to carry around the torch-lit chamber. Sol’cas made several gestures to Boaz. After an unspoken conversation between the two, Sol’cas worked his arms in a delicate pattern and whispered several arcane words. Then he promptly disappeared. His elf friend’s taste for mischief was unparalleled. She could only hope that it didn’t get them all killed. She let her gaze fall on Guthug. He kept his jaw clenched as they ascended the winding stairs. She watched as sweat cascaded down the scars on his arms and legs. His hand was subconsciously drawn to the crudely fashioned figure made of bear fur and fangs on his hip. His thumb worked back and forth along one the canines hanging from the crude figure. After several minutes of taking part in this silent ritual he released the figure, letting it hang from his hip. His face hardened into the look she knew very well. He was ready for the kill. Garathmuk smiled.
After finally ascending the steps, Garathmuk, Boaz, and Dretkag followed as Guthug continued his march into Zoxar’s chamber room. Orcs filled the chamber, with one upon a throne made of books.
“I am Guthug of the Frost Talons. I come to challenge Zoxar to kaumn guk’taul.”
An orc in his prime rose to speak. In a matter of fact manner, he accepted the challenge, confident this elder challenger would fall, just as the others before him did. However, This younger orc’s confidence was merited. His victories over the other chiefs had proven his skill with the sword.
Zoxar weighed his option of weaponry and chose one of two masterful swords. Orcs from around the chamber began to form the ring. As they approached, Guthug produced a small vial. With a sharp intake, he emptied the contents of the container and tossed it away. Garathmuk pushed her way alongside Dretkag and Boaz towards the inner ring. The air was electric as everyone jostled around the fighters.
Guthug loosed his mace from his hip and readied his shield. Zoxar made ready in return. Looking at Zoxar’s armor, Garathmuk sized up Guthug alongside him. Zoxar had the clear advantage. He wore the finest armor she had ever seen, whereas Guthug wore but his pelt. He stood at least half a head over Guthug, and the difference of age in the fighters was soon made apparent. Zoxar easily dodged Guthug’s heavy handed blows, showing off some of the expertise that granted him rule over the clans. First blood soon went to Zoxar, which was immediately followed by the smell of singed hair. Zoxar’s precise cuts left several new opening across Guthug’s ragged skin. However, Guthug’s rebuttal against Zoxar’s shield stopped any momentum he had. Zoxar’s shield arm grotesquely twisted and popped as pain washed over his face. However, Zoxar countered and moved in close to exploit another opening.
“The Greenbones will be no more!” Guthug bellowed.
As the two moved around the ring and exchanged blows, it was obvious Guthug had started gaining momentum. With his back turned to Garathmuk, it appeared Zoxar was fighting some vicious ursine beast. Although at this point, she was sure Zoxar would rather be in that ring with a bear instead of Guthug. Guthug continued viciously swinging his weapon until it connected again with Zoxar’s shield. Zoxar’s leg tensed, the meat of his calf balled up as it tore itself from his heel bone. A muffled “Nnnn…” was heard as the mace struck against Zoxar’s temple. However, To the surprise of everyone, the last skull-crushing blow did not snuff the life from Zoxar. Trying to slide away on his back, Zoxar quietly said, “No” as he watched Guthug raise the mace one more time. The only response was a sickly wet thud.

The Grand Opening

After dumping the grizzly remains of the hobgoblins (and giant) in the river, the party makes preparations for the elven village to relocate to the Randewarn frontier. Mama Kira decides she and her people would be more comfortable settling in the delta. There, she could test of the waters of this new alliance while keeping a bit of distance between the elves and Galbin’s goblins.

Before the evacuation commences, the party decides to interrogate Gressa, the former pact agent Mama Kira has locked up in a makeshift cell. Gressa is easily persuaded to to switch allegiances and seems almost excited for a new opportunity (as well as a drink.)

Introductions are made between Mama Kira and Galbin, Kulg, and Calimusk. Guthug insists the elves join the opening ceremony of the grand ‘Hanged Man’ Inn and bring whatever crafts they wish to sell. They agree, and with that, the party departs for Maddiston.

At the halfway mark, Sol’cas insists of summoning an earth elemental from the parallel. He planned to kill to beast and bind its essence in his new found ring. After a 10-minute long ritual, a large angry rock-like creature exhumes itself from the ground and attacks. But the planar being proves no match for the party and is now forever one with the magic of the ring.

The party finally arrives home to see the inn and their home completed. Guthug excitedly begins making preparations for the opening ceremony, a feast, and different games of skill. However, another surprise awaits as well. Gems is in town and he plans to run things from behind the scenes.

At first, Gem’s presence is a minor annoyance. But as they days continue, Boaz notices he has a affinity for Vonda.

The Grand Opening is a great success. Townsfolk eat, drink, and enjoy the merriment of the evening. A prairie boy takes the archery crown, Jack McKantz wins the tough man competition, and Garathmuk manages to consume to most pies. But the night was just getting started.

Fallow suddenly went into labor. Guthug, Garathmuk, and Biliary all attended to her. At the same time, Sage rushes to Sol’cas’s side telling him that the situation with Gems and Vonda has reached a boiling point. Boaz and Sol’cas run to her rescue, only to discover she is covered in blood with dagger in hand. Gems was slain by Vonda’s hand after an attempted rape.

Guthug’s (and it was definitely orcish) is born a healthy female. To celebrate, he tries to find another female to impregnate. Gressa looks like a good option, but he fails to seal the deal. With a shrug, he heads back to Garathmuk to cap off the night.

Boaz spends the night comforting Vonda. He refuses to let her take the blame for this. What problems could this cause the party in the future?

Sol’cas finally breaths a sigh of relieve and unpacks his favorite elven wine. He pours himself a glass and notices Aramil finally arrive to the festivities. He happily gives her a tour of Maddiston before also showing her his private chambers. The two immediately click and become somewhat inseparable.

With ‘The Hanged Man’ open for business, Boaz and Guthug decide to survey the surrounding areas and begin mapping out Randewarn. Besides a few gnolls and angry birds (which are easily dispatched) no immediate threats are found. Sol’cas works with Calimusk to construct a platform for his crystal ball. He can know see anything within a couple miles of his tower.

Finally, Guthug seems set on heading through the northern gate. There, he plans to show his strength and accumulate a following of orcs underneath his own banner. Will he become the next great orcish warlord? Only time will tell. 1396910427995.jpg

Might & Magic
Undead, Hobgoblins, and Spellcasters

The ruin belonged to a gatekeeper. Mama Kira’s Grandfather, in fact. He was not entirely at his best. The millennia spent exposed to corruption turned him into a maddened puppet of his own twisted will. He was locked someplace between worlds, his preserved but lifeless corpse serving as an anchor to this world. What sorcery remained in his mind was used to dramatic effect against the party as they entered his domain. Removing the corrupting energies at their source, muting the creature’s damning incantations, and beating the corpse to a fine pulp ended the terror.

Once cleared of their former keeper, the chambers were explored to find writings and blueprints meant to innovate the mining methods of the empire, and a magically enhanced ring meant to control the terran elementals paramount to said method.

While they were undetected sneaking into the ruin and from, they decided to summon the elven elders of the enclave to tell them of their findings. The ruin would provide a suitable hold out in case of a hobgoblin incursion.

Mama Kira revealed that she held a survivor from those who came first. This survivor spoke of her Pact issued mission. To survey lands near the gate for future outpost placements. Avoid elven incursion. She presented this agent, Gressa, to the crowd. While this gave many attendants pause, Sol’cas was able to state their defense well. Perhaps it was desperation. Perhaps it was the persuasive talents of Sol’cas. In either case, the crowd ultimately decided to trust the party. They were then led to see what Sol’cas professed to have unearthed in the ruin.

On their way to the ruin, a strange blot appeared on the eastern horizon. An approaching giant accompanied by a retinue of hobgoblin soldiers, was seen. The party, Mama Kira, Dorl’coust, Soveliss, Thamior, and Mama Kira’s personal guards met the approaching force on the bridge above the gate. The rest of the town took refuge in the ruin.

A rather confident and well spoken hobgoblin by the name Varr addressed all in attendance. Despite Mama Kira’s diplomacy, he took an oppressive kind of control over the conversation. First forgiving the enclave for rejecting his ships, then insisting on a trade agreement between the enclave and his new dominion. He then took claim of Soveliss for the night as he considered his exact terms and gave the town an opportunity to consider his ‘proposal’. Mama Kira interjected, offering herself in Soveliss’ stead. Varr accepted.

Up until that point, all remained quiet and complicit. But Sol’cas found himself unable to abide one of his kind subjected to what would await Mama Kira. Despite Boaz’s measured disapproval of rash action here, Sol’cas unleashed the chaotic destruction of the Parallel upon the retinue. As Varr and his personal guard looked back in dismay and confusion, Boaz was used to seeing such strangeness in present company. He loosed two arrows into Varr’s chest. The exceptionally heavy armor slowed much of the impact, but ribs were still scraped.

Guthug changed the hobgoblin leader, now confused and surprised by the arrows in his chest. To the surprise of all, Varr’s guards unleashed A storm of elements, fire and ice, upon all at the bridge. Mama Kira and Guthug were out of range of their destruction. Boaz and Sol’cas withstood and avoided the chaos with supernatural reflexes and resistance. All others died in a fervent display of immolation and decimation.

Moments later, when all the violence had settled, Varr was fished from the river by Glot’num. After a desperate attempt to flee Guthug’s wrath, he was shot through while dangling from the side of the bridge. The crew attempted to revive him, but he was drowned.

Some time was spent commemorating the dead. Most effort was put toward preparing the gate for use by creating a channel for the water to flow around. Mara Kira was resigned to trust the party, in hopes that they would have some place to settle for her kin. Unfortunately, R’corendel was lost to the hobgoblin war machine.

Southern Forward
The elven enclave

The party was met with a surprise emerging from the portal. They were underwater, being tugged by the currents behind them. After some struggle, a soggy orc, human, and elf were pulled from the river by two helpful, if not a little drug addled elves, Thamior and Soveliss. Glot’num and Sage found their own way to shore.

As the confusion began to clear, the party realized they were in an elven port enclave that specialized in crafting exotic works of stone and elfsteel from nearby quarries. Their matriarch, Mama Kira, is perhaps the oldest elf any in the party have ever seen. She treated her new guests with cold regards and proceeded to interrogate them in seclusion.

After some questioning, it was revealed to the group that they were not the first to pass through way of their submerged gate. Those that came before were carried weapons and had on their bodies the black feathers that marked them as agents of the Pact. They drowned before they were found. Mama Kira claims to be familiar with the Pact, and holds misgivings about the old empire as well. She gives very little ground to the group, allowing them to stay for the night and depart by whatever means possible in the morning.

The most exceptional discovery is that the hobgoblin war hordes of the east have made a bold move on the City of Glass, completely overtaking the trade metropolis. In doing so they now rule the most prominent port and trade center of the R’Corendel. The city is some three days journey with pack beasts over land from the elven enclave. No gobbles have made their way to the elves yet. The effects are felt nonetheless, leaving the elves with no means of trade or protection.

The young, curious, and oft skittish Aramil, who is granddaughter to Mama Kira, shows some interest in the group. As do their rescuers, Thamior and Soveliss. More so than any Dorl’coust, an elf lacking in both good looks or charm, presents himself as adamant to interact in productive ways with the outsiders.

Despite Mama Kira’s misgivings, the enclave reflects the influences of the old empire. Aramil wears a necklace charm that is in fact a runecrafting battery. The enclave itself was founded around the gate from which the party emerged (despite it being repurposed as a foundation for a bridge) and too holds a ruin, sealed by magic passable only by an overseer ring. The party concludes that this could be a secure place to survive a hobgoblin assault. Mama Kira is not keen on the idea, and the elves are particularly fearful of the place because of the uneasy aura surrounding it.

However, this will not deter the party’s need to explore…

Once more through the breach...
After the raid

There were mixed feelings among the denizens of the Bone Delta after successfully defending the raid. Many felt relief and pride for the success. Many expressed loss for those that could not share in that success. The notion of losing kin over a trinket did not sit well with some. Alas, much was gained. Further, as made clear by Sol’cas, a great threat was removed from the vantage of the best possible grounds. How this event will settle in the days to come, it cannot be known.

Boaz and Sol’cas spent some time settling and healing the heroic blackscale drake who took the full force of the Gnoll leader’s grisly weapon. He was affectionately dubbed “Manglemaw”. In the following days, Manglemaw spent his time just outside the westward entrance, keeping closer than the other drakes.

After several days, the lumberers, miners, and others were back to their tasks. The newly acquired water staffs were left with Callimusk, but for one, which Sol’cas decided to keep. The initial intention for coming back to the Delta, before an unfortunate distraction, was to use the gate to return to the promenade to investigate further.

Upon entering the gate in the early morning, the scene was significantly different than before. They were affronted immediately by the bright desert sun. The cloud of corruption that hung over this place had cleared. All that remained were the stinking extraplanar corpses that littered the ruined promenade.

One sorry creature remained. A bloated toad like creature with a distended belly stupidly attacked the heroes. He was easily put to rest. But, during the fight, Guthug’s newly acquired weapon exploded the creature’s stomach, causing its contents, an abundance of Corrupted Batteries, to erupt outward. It could be concluded that the Demons here were desperately ingesting these batteries in place of their lost source of nourishment. When the batteries were more scarce, they were being wrested from the guts of the other.

The heroes concluded their inspection of the promenade at the same place they faced the bartering Glabrezu torturer, whose corpse yet remained. After a thorough investigation of the area in the light of day, the party managed to find a thousand year old hatch. Therein, several pure batteries were found, as well as the dusty remains of some unfortunate holed up elves and a few manual excerpts on the creation and testing of batteries.

With this, the party returned home though the gate.

Founding Maddiston
Defenses tested.

The council of Nasae was, at first, an unnatural fit. The setting was made awkward for some by the location, being held directly under the hanging post of the late Fyrn Guyron. The musty smells of death, dog, orc, elf, whore and man clashed in the enclosed space. But, the issues at hand and the hopes for relief after the night’s trying events eventually distracted the council.

After some deliberation, more questions were raised than answers. But, the role of Boaz as mayor, the name of the town, “Maddiston”, and the council member status of those present was established and settled. It is clear that running the town, even as small as it is, will be a monumental undertaking. Dragons and extra planar beings may just be the prefered dilemma.

As if by some divine grace, the party found the seeds of destruction once sewn had broke soil and a slayable challenge presented itself. Messengers met on the road to the Bone Delta delivered urgent news before collapsing. Hordes of gnolls set up camp near the keep with clear intentions of slaughter. The mysterious drakes were keeping scouts at bay, but the threat was imminent.

Antlers, Garathmuk, Sol’cas, Galbin, and Guthug prepared makeshift defenses to reinforce the keep as Boaz scouted ahead to where the gnolls were waiting. It was determined that at least three separate tribes of distinct gnolls, each with their own water staff, had joined together, led by a single powerful entity. This otherwise mundane looking gnoll emanated a great energy and influence and was paired with a vicious and large creature that seemed some mix between a demon and a hyena.

As night fell. The gnoll forces fell upon the keep. The assault was initiated by some kind of telepathic communication. It was made clear in the minds of everyone present that this powerful gnoll was interested in one thing. He was there for the water staff that the party had recently taken from the pack of gnolls nipping from Romondo’s goat herd.

An eldritch blast from on high declared to the gnolls that there was no intention of returning the staff. With that, the assault began.

After considerable violence, many lumberers, miners, goblins, and drakes lay dead. But, all of the gnolls were slain. The soil of the Bone Delta relishes in their blood. From the carnage, the party, and the town gained a few powerful relics. Each of the three gnoll tribes had its own Water Staff with Batteries and corrupted batteries to power them. In addition, a powerful and dangerous weapon is now in the hands of Guthug. Wielded by a capable warrior, this morningstar consists of three loosely tied skulls that each affect the target in a different and devastating way.

The fate of Maddiston, and Randewarne rests in the hands of its protectors and benefactors. What will be their next move?

Trail of blood

Engem ‘Gems’ Groth was a man of his word, it seems. For their cooperation with the white dragon in Ashenfeld, a package was delivered to the heroes. It contained an old journal of a Gnomish Parallis miner. With that, there were four Runestones. These are a new form of runecasting that the party had never seen or heard of that can provide significant enchantments to those who hold them.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck soon after. Nasae, the elven architect commissioned for the Inn, was raped and murdered late into the night. The event was presumably fairly quick as ruckus was ignored by those in the camp. The grisly scene was first happened upon by Gramdam. Shortly after, with some consideration, he brought the situation to Guthug, Boaz, and Sol’cas before anyone else.

With the skills of seasoned investigators, hunters, and interrogators, the heroes were able to track and incarcerate the offender before breakfast. As word of the heinous tragedy began to spread, members of this makeshift community pulled together on a couple simultaneous projects. First, Nasae’s remains were prepared a traditional High Elven funeral ceremony. Second, the elven carpenters erected Gallows under the instructions of MaKantz. These elves, in all their hundreds of years of life had never found cause to erect gallows. Jack knew the gist.

The culprit of the murder, a miner named Galder, was hung at sundown near the foundation of the Inn. Hours after, Jallenomen performed the funeral rites and nearly the entire town was present to see.

The next morning, Gramdam stumbled upon another corpse. This time, it was the remains of a dear friend. Fyrn Guyron hung from the rafters of his cabin. His home was tidied, his affairs were in order, and Dog was left with a full food bowl outside. Fyrn was given a traditional Ashenfeld burial ceremony as Gramdam spoke of him to the townsfolk, who had worked with him in this new world for some time now.

Once all was said and done, there was some obvious concerns that needed addressed. Who would make the rules? Who would enforce them? Will the town finally be named?! For these and other concerns, a council has been formed, dubbed the Council of Nasae. The first council meeting will occur the evening after Fyrn’s funeral.

Elbow Grease

Much needed doing. And, while Boaz, Guthug, and Sol’cas were eager to explore further the frontier and the imposing mysteries thereabout, they all agreed some focus and reflection on what was at hand would serve best.

Guthug was quite determined to finish that inn. And he was willing to put the flesh into it once time permitted. His capabilities in hauling, hammering, and doing all laborious tasks one could imagine inexhaustibly were enough to leave most agape. It also inspired others to try and keep up. The inn now holds frame and form. It is mere weeks, maybe less, from a finished product.

What was particularly surprising was Billiary’s involvement. Despite the business being a direct competition to his own, and despite the obvious bad blood between he and the orc, Billliary went out of his way to provide food and booze in abundance to Guthug and others. This created a kind of awkward tension between the two lovers of Fallo. Fallo herself was always around during these exchanges, but always in the distance. Guthug accepted the hospitality with trepidation. He’s not sure how this is to be taken. But, he’s not about to turn down catered ale.

Sol’cas worked diligently on Glatnum. He was mostly in isolation, but sometimes shared space with Callimusk in Glat’nos chambers. Though rigorous study and experimentation he was able to better master his commands of the construct. He is confident that he can be set it to only listen to only Sol’cas, or whomever Sol’cas designates.

But, through the latter ends of his research, he discovered something disturbing. Glatnum was beginning to malfunction. Through more study, Sol’cas was able to deduce that the Battery powering Glatnum was corrupted. This probably occurred with exposure to the lightning from the Promenade. Following this realization, he quickly identified and designated the batteries he was carrying as corrupted as well. While they showed little visible sign of corruption testing and close observation revealed the truth. This was very likely a crisis averted and time well spent.

Boaz saw a particular need. There was a budding town full of armed folk with little to no marksmanship skill. That couldn’t stand. He decided to set up targets facing the camps and start showing any with the interest how to improve their marksmanship. Everyone from Billiary and Fallo to Romando (who claimed to only be polishing his already exemplary skills) to an assortment of skulking goblins, closely overseen by Galbin gathered to participate in the training over several weeks.

This lessons were highly effective. While those many participating are by no means ‘skilled’ they are now at least proficient. This training would have consumed the supply of precious ammunition quickly, but as luck would have it, a couple elven carpenters were seasoned fletchers, so bolts and arrows were delivered in abundance as lumberers returned by special request the correct materials for arrows to be made.

The Prairie Boys were natural students. While their skill was already exemplary in this company, Boaz’s lessons honed them. While showing gratitude is not a strong suit for cocky teens, they were quite visibly grateful.

This activity served to ease some of the tensions building up in the town. Further, Boaz is becoming something of a figurehead, seen with the same level of authority as Gramdam, Brarbuar (The contract dwarf running the mines), and even Fyrn.

Throughout this period, Vonda seemed to let her guard down quite a bi. She was no longer playing coy with Boaz or being subtle about her interest in him. They took many lunches together. They also began sharing a tent. Boaz prefered the rugged natural utility of his campsite and while Vonda made a show of dissatisfaction, once the tent flaps closed she was all smiles.


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