Pathfinder: The New Age of Haven

Episode 37: We are surgeonslol

LAST TIME ON PATHFINDER

We killed a bunch of things and rescued the fair maiden paladin. We went back to the keep to recouperate and have a breather. Avin did things. He buried Paulinus in a nice-ish place. We decide that he probably had inappropriate love for Baylen.

While we hang in the town, chilling, Baylen is making sure the fires aren’t spreading, Ianthe is helping to heal people, Charlotte is drinking herself into a stupor and Avin is sorting through the golem remains.

Baylen Cartwright gathers up some of the more solid chunks of iron from the cannon, and asks Charlotte if she can reforge it to his specifications so that he can craft a second boomstick. She helps but is too drunk to do much at all other than helping him smelt.

Avin makes something cool.

Avin shows the thing to baylen.

Avin Catson: “How’s this look?”

Baylen eyes the mysteriously crafted thing, and slowly nods.

Baylen: “That’ll do.”

Avin Catson mentions to Ianthe and Charlotte that we’ll be needing their aid in a while.

Charlotte eyes Avin suspiciously. “What are you doing?”

Ianthe: “Not quite sure how I’ll be helpful with anything metal… But if you tell me what to do, I’ll try to help.”

Avin: “As you know, Baylen’s hand has been damaged… slightly.”

Baylen holds up his pretty dang mangled hand. Charlotte wrinkles her nose in disgust.

Avin: “See, it was burned before and now it’s burned AND mauled. So, after discussing various options we decided on creating him a new one.”

Ianthe: “I am sorry my skills were not good enough to help you more, Baylen.” She bows at Baylen.

Avin holds up an item that looks exactly like a hand, but completely solid metal.

Ianthe: “Hmmm, isn’t that quite heavy?”

Avin: “Right now yes, but once we attach it to baylen’s arm at the wrist and activate it’ll work exactly like a new hand… except with a few slight differences. The problem is that his old, now useless hand is still there.”

Baylen: “I’d rather not bleed out, see.”

A smile spreads slowly across Charlotte’s face.

Charlotte: “Please be going where I think this is going.”

Avin: “So… Ianthe, you’ll need to make sure he’s not dying, Charlotte, you already know what we need you to do.”

Ianthe: “…. are you really suggesting Charlotte cutting off his hand?!”

Charlotte: “I could cauterise it too…”

Ianthe mutters something about bloody crazy humans in Celestial.

Baylen: “Seems a bit extreme, but… Ahh. I’ve never told you my family’s motto.”

Ianthe Eir: “Fine. I’ll help. If for nothing else, to make sure Baylen is still alive…. I guess he’s still somewhat useful member of this adventure company.”

Avin Catson raises his eyebrow slightly.

Ianthe Eir shakes her head and continues muttering slightly rude words about damn crazy men in Celestial.

Avin Catson: “If anything this should make him stronger.”

Charlotte draws her axe and holds a hand out to shake Baylen’s non-mangled hand.

Baylen grins madly and says something in a strange language. “Victoriam, Quocumque Modo”.

Charlotte: “You’ve got balls.”

Baylen: “Victory, at any cost.”

Avin whispers to Ianthe in Celestial “it’s rude to talk about people when they can’t understand you.”

Ianthe smiles at Avin…“Sorry, a bad habit when I get annoyed.”

Charlotte: “So, shall we get a block or something?”

Ianthe: “Right. Lets get this thing over with, you absolutely crazy people.”

Ianthe readies her most powerful healing spell just in case and positions herself next to Baylen and out of the way of Charlotte’s axe swinging.

Avin uses prestidigitation to clean what’s left of baylen’s hand/wrist and the chopping block.

Charlotte tries three times to cut the hand off but misses twice. Third time’s a charm, as they say.

Avin kneels down and presses the wrist of the metal hand against baylen’s stump and starts to say a few magic words. It writhes and becomes his hand, completely controlled him by cold to the touch.

The keep has been ravaged by the siege. We are invited to rest in her personal quarters. We all sit around his study high up in one of the towers. We relax for the first time in hours.

Avin asks about the wall. “Is it a literal wall?”

He explains that it is indeed a literal wall a hundred feet high. It seperates the entire peninsula. Other wildlings can’t get past it. It has fallen into a bit of disrepair.

Avin: “Have the orcs made attack attempts before?”

No, they have not apparently. They make small unorganised attacks, but nothing of this magnitude. Nothing so organised.

“Does the wall have any safe areas?”

He thinks for a moment as he takes a bite from his mutton. “You know, there are some magical defenses but that was mostly the scribes’ job. He looked into it but it was a last resort defense mechanism.” He tries to remember. “There was this magical aura that would be fuelled on crystal containers. Oh and the key.” He gets up from the table as shower devours her fifth leg of mutton and downs a tankard from her second keg. The paladin pushes past and grabs a box. He brings it to Avin. "This was very important to everyone stationed at the wall.

Avin opens the box and finds a necklace with a strange crystal on it. It’s blueish and transparent. It does not seem familiar. Avin detects that it has magical capabilities but it has been drained. Avin tells us about it.

The paladin remembers it was called something to do with “Breath.” Everyone needed to keep the breath. If you were found without that amulet, you’d be disciplined.

He asks why we are going to the wall.

We mention there were issues in Iskillien. He recognises the name. Baylen tells him about the treacherous court mage.

Are we on a mission from the King?

Ianthe nods.

The paladin says, “That explains a lot. What is your plan?”

Baylen and Avin send a message back to the King with magic: “King Iskillien. Orcs to the north. Dornari in civil war, king dead. Army tied up. We need reinforcements, as many as possible. Thanks much.”

We sit and wait for a response.

Baylen recieves a response: “Understood. Me and the Queen of Solvana are sailing north right now. We know of the death of the king Will stabilize situation and bring-”

We either head to the wall where there are orcs or head to the city where there is a war. If we end the war, we can get reinforcements from the city to take to the wall.

Ianthe and Baylen vote for the city first.

Avin sends a message to Ursula: “On mission, please check phoenix and company property. How are things in the city? Reply in 25 words or less
Will talk properly when back.”

Avin gets a response “Hello can you hear me? Okay I will check on it but it seems Baylen’s officer has things well in hand. Will check for you.”

Charlotte shows wisdom for the first time. “I agree that going to the city is the best course of action. We don’t want to be caught in the middle of two armies.”

A strange flying thing appears!

As we study it, the paladin says he remembers that this was the emergency system used to travel between the fort and the wall. He’s never seen it used (successfully).

Avin wants to go to the wall with Charlotte. Baylen wants to go to the city. Baylen decides Ianthe should come to the wall too. She reluctantly agrees.

Baylen: “Charlotte and Avin, at least, should go to the wall. Charlotte to kill orcs and keep them from killing Avin, and Avin can fix it. Ianthe, they might need you. I’ll take everyone else – and the cart, and head to the city, and get reinforcements for the keep. And the wall itself.”

AND SO IT WAS DECIDED

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Episode 36: Explosions!

AND WE’RE BACK

We decide to fight the silly defenses. The golem is a nerd.

Horlamin sends two villagers to their death by accident. He also tells children a story while the adults fight for their lives.

The golem dies in a fiery explosion after Charlotte makes the final blow. No one of importance was lost.

Avin gathers some scrap metal.

Baylen sways where he stands, and holsters his pistol.

“And that,” Horlamin says as he hears the explosion, “means we are safe.”

Baylen limps towards the exit. “Damn golems.”

Ianthe collapses down on the floor, all weary and sighs.

Horlamin: “And this is what I do. I summon creatures like this Lantern Archon here. He can make funny lights.”

Avin is examining the golem for anything of worth.

Ianthe: “I really hope this damned place does not have any more surprises.”

Baylen Cartwright sits on the grass outside the crypt.

Avin carries Paulinus out of the crypt and very few people were sad about it.

We decide to rest before moving on.

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Episode 35: Charlotte KS's Baylen

Back on the scene:

The army guys don’t know where the orcs came from. They’re still a bit confuzzled. Only some people escaped, led to safety by the guard captain. There are still survivors in the keep.

As we are being debriefed, we see that the castle has taken quite a pounding.

Baylen: “Sudden charge from nowhere… Cannons… These orcs are too well organized.”

Horlamin says something about the bravery of the leutenant.

Baylen studies the defenses and notices that it’s a bit rundown. The leutenant insists that they hadn’t expected any attack.

One of the soldiers runs up to the leutenant and explains that he finds no trace of the guard captain and suggests that they might have made it to the crypt. Maybe orcs followed? He would appreciate it if we went and checked it out.

Ianthe: “Hmmm… I think we might find more information on the situation there anyways.”

Charlotte: “Let’s go kill motherfuckers.”

Baylen: “Let’s do this.”

Ianthe sighs and rubs her shoulders tiredly, and grabs her staff tighter, ready to go.

AND SO THEY WENT

We see a lot of footprints outside: many orcs and many men. Into the crypts we descend.

Avin gives money to Polinus and loudly thanks him for helping. Ianthe heals Horlamin a little.

There is a humming of energy, clanging of weapons, grunting of orcs and the dripping of water.

Charlotte readies her weapon and leads the way. Horlamin summons Karl and Baylen stealths.

Charlotte spots a coffin in the first room.

Baylen Cartwright slips up to the door, peering into the room. There are wrecked coffins everywhere.

Charlotte isn’t the stealthiest. Everyone is okay except for her. Combat woo.

We smush the orcs.

The captain of the guard asks where the army was in a terrible Scottish accent.

Baylen: “Well, ‘Left’, sure. They went to a better place.”

Horlamin: “The orcs have been dealt with and their army scattered. WE ARE THE ARMY!”

Ianthe lifts her eyebrow at the whole “to a better place” statement but doesn’t say anything.

Horlamin: “See that large woman over there? She’s quite strong. It took eight orcs to even wake her up.”

Ianthe: “Don’t even ask how….” She mutters silently in Celestial.

Horlamin: “Then she smashed them all over the head.”

He knew about the defenses from a previous thing so that’s where they came from. He thinks the crypts are dangeous. It doesn’t feel pure anymore. He asks us to be ready just in case something happens when he drops the shield.

As the shield fades, there is an ominous rumble. The paladin looks suddenly very old and weary. We notice that there is a pile of villager corpses in a corner, while the survivors huddle in the middle.

We all wonder for a moment who could be pulling the orcs’ strings. Horlamin explains that we are heading towards the wall to fight against the orc invasion and to find out who is behind it. The captain of the guard agrees that this is a good idea because orcs suck.

Avin had some information that he had researched before they left. He found an old agreement between the first king of Iskilien and the other rulers where it references the wall. It said that Dornari would stand for the manning of the wall, Iskilien would be responsible for the magic-, the rest of the document is unreadable through dampness and age. But luckily thanks to cross-referencing and badgering old librarians and court nobles, Avin found more books referencing the wall. Unfortunately it was all just wankery about how brilliant it was, no real details other than saying how the defences were impenetrable forever and a quote “As long as men draw breath on the wall, its defences will hold”. Oh, and its green.
Another book claimed it was purple in the sunset, but it also claimed it could fly so Avin wasnt too sure about that. Avin found references to “Energy containers of glass” that supposedly were important for the wall.
No mention of what they were or what they were for though.

The fountain turns into a nasty clockwork thing. “Orcs detected.”

NEXT TIME ON PATHFINDER

Will our spunky heroes survive the battle against the clockwork golem monster thing?

Will Charlotte and Ianthe ever hook up?

Find out next time on, Pathfinder.

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Episode 34: One liners everywhere...

THE SLAUGHTER CONTINUES

In the course of the fight, wolves rip an orc apart, limb by limb, Charlotte cuts an orc from groin to cheek and a cannon misfires and kills its operators.

The guards are pretty surprised by the army being decimated by five adventurers in about a minute and a half.

36 Confirmed kills.

Orc leader loot: +1 cure moderate wounds, +1 full plate, +1 spikes, +1 guisarme, javelins(4), amulet of natural armor +1, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1, 200 gp

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Episode 33: Orcs are super friendly

And we’re back motherfuckers!

The scene opens on Morcastle and the Phoenix Risen inn and boozery, present day. The door opens and in strides Karin Brown. She looks around the common room and gets a nod from the barkeep as she meets his gaze. She sits down at the bar and puts her masterwork broadsword down next to her.

“Hows business, Finch?” Karin asks, absent mindedly and holds up one finger, ordering a cup.

“Overbearing, as usual.” Finch mutters as he goes about pouring her drink. “Water still?” She nods “You are quite boring.”

“Yes well.” She drinks it down in one. “Things have quietened down since the gang left. Theres nothing to do here.”

Finch nods “Just how I like it. Altough business has taken a dive since charlotte left.”

“I dont think she even paid for any of her drinks.” Finch suddenly realizes “Oh well. Boss’s booze.”

They sit there in silence for a moment before Karin announces, “I have my duties here, I know, but I do wish I could go with them. Instead of playing guard here… Who would even try to hurt this business? Those people are heroes in this kingdom.”

Finch merely shrugs “Jovask is still out there you know.” He spits into a cup and polishes it. “Last I heard, Sarah disappeared. She was the trump card to that whole situation.”

“Heard?” Karin smirks “You hear more than most. Do you know where she went?”

Finch shrugs “She was gone by the time they left the city. Boss didn’t mention her. Mr Cartwright might have plans for that. He always seems to do.”

Karin nods slowly. “That man is destined for greatness. I can feel it.”

Finch grins “Ah, the oath sworn follower. Yeah I didnt figure Cartwright for the romantic type.”

Karin screws up her face and shakes her head.

Karin sits in silence for a moment, staring at Finchs information gathering in action. His informants showing up for drinks, slipping notes under their mugs as Finch cleans up. Seems he has this spy network all sorted out.

Finch finally speaks up. “I know Ianthe is missed atleast. We even have those pilgrims stopping by here now and then, hoping to catch her.”

Karin nods. “That oracle sure has made a reputation around here.”

“I think the half-man is the least battle tested of the gang.” Finch remarks.

Karin shakes her head. “I’ve seen him in battle, its very…chaotic. He will do fine.” Finch looks confused for a moment, Karin merely mentions, “He’s fond of eagles.”

Karin stares outside, looking at the guardsmen patrolling and daydreaming of adventure. “Oh.” She remarks without enthusiasm. “Looks like its going to rain.”

MEANWHILE

On the outskirts of a Dornari village. The rain is pouring down on a gang of adventurers huddled together in some foliage.

We approached the burning village warily and, thanks to Paulinus’s advanced scouting, we managed to avoid the orc patrols on the roads. We stashed the horse and wagon close by and out of the way.

Paulinus insisted on scouting the village and seeing what was going on, and before anyone could protest, he was off. Twenty minutes later, he arrives back, sliding into the foliage and shaking the rain from his short blonde hair. “It’s bad…”

SCENE START

Avin and Ianthe survey the fire and the extent of the damage. We cannot see much from where we are, merely the smoking of fire being put out by the rain. The damage we can see if mostly on the big keep near the village. It looks like it has been pummelled by something.

“Bad how?” Asks Avin.

“Orcs?” Asks Horlamin.

Paulinus confirms. “Lot’s.”

Charlotte suggests we leave the fire to the rain and hunt orcs instead.

“They have set up camp in the town. Burned everything…” He pants.
Paulinus grabs Charlotte to stop her from getting up “No yo-” He quickly let’s go as he realizes what he’s doing “- You can’t. There’s way too many.”

“There’s no such thing as ‘too many’.” She responds.

Horlamin casts Mage Armour and Baylen makes sure his pistols are loaded.

Paulinus caresses his shrines. “Maker… You cannot be serious.”

Ianthe Eir mutters quietly in Celestial, “I always knew these people were crazy”, sighs and grabs her staff tighter.

We hear a loud explosion roll through the air and fade off into the distance. Seems to have originated from the village square.

Avin Catson casts Mage armor on himself and checks to make sure he has all his equipment.

Charlotte: “I think that’s our cue to storm in and see what’s what.”

Avin: “What weapons are they using to siege the keep?”

Paulinus: “Canons. The blighters have cannons. At least two.”

Baylen: “Fantastic. Let’s go procure us a couple of cannons.”

Horlamin: “Really, I suspect these are no ordinary orcs.”

Ianthe: “Just… oh nevermind, you won’t listen to me anyways. Just remember my powers to heal have limits too. I would still suggest caution and sneaking instead of running into a huge group of orcs.”

Paulinus nods “They seem better organized than normal orcs..”

Ianthe: “I’m pretty sure you can still stab them to your hearts content.”

Baylen: “I wouldn’t worry too much about healing. If one of us gets hit by a cannonball, just worry about finding enough to bury us.”

Avin can’t remember anything saying orcs ever used cannons in their sieging. Hell, they rarely bothered with siege either way.

Horlamin: “So, someone is using Orcs for their own nefarious purposes.”

Avin comments on this, regardless of if anyone is listening to him.

Charlotte: “So….let’s go release these cannons from their possession? Preferably by removing some heads from some shoulders?”

Horlamin: “I think it would be to our benefit to find out who are leading these orcs. And how they are even able to lead the orcs. Karl, I think you should stay out of this one.”

Karl: “But… Massster, I like eating orcs.”

Horlamin: “Alright, let’s stop a siege!” Charlotte raises her axe in agreement.

Avin reconizes from his knowledge that the weakest part of a cannon is the barrel. If you even dent it slightly, it’s ruined.

Paulinus sighs and checks his gear “I have a bad feeling about this.”

Baylen: “Avin, they must be keeping the powder near the cannons. Feel like I should remind you how flammable that stuff is. It is very flammable.”

Avin nods. “Does anyone mind if I teach the orcs why fire safety is important if I get the chance?”

Paulinus shrugs.

Horlamin: “By all means!”

Ianthe: “Just try not to blow up the whole village. It gets messy.”

Horlamin: “Now, let’s head out. I want to sleep under a roof tonight.”

Charlotte: “Agreed!”

Horlamin: “Maybe even get a warm lunch inside by the fire instead of all these stale rations. Lead the way, Paulinus!”

Baylen: “Let’s see if we can open up a dialogue.”

Horlamin: “With orcs? Are you serious?”

Baylen: “No, it- Forget it. ’Let’s see if we can blow them all the hell up.’ Better?”

“Alright, but don’t say I didnt warn you.” Paulinus sets off, showing the safest way to approach.

Baylen: “If we can get close enough, we should start this off by detonating their powder. A fireball would do the trick.”

Ianthe mutters quietly about crazy people and follows cautiously.

Baylen: “You say that, but you’re still travelling with us. Who’s the crazy one there?” He grins.

Ianthe laughs. “I guess you need someone to patch you up and sweet talk people!”

Avin: “And to patch up collateral damage.”

AND SO WE WENT

When we arrive, there are a lot of orcs surrounding a cannon that looks like it has exploded. It explains the explosion we heard."

Avin casts shield on himself and Ianthe casts Bless on us. Charlotte readies her axe.

There are barrels in a nearby tent.

Baylen whispers to Avin. “Try and peg an orc with a fireball while it’s carrying to the cannon. Once you’ve done that, we charge while they’re freaking out about everything exploding.”

Combat begins and we fuck shit up. Not so much in the good way but we’re pulling it back.

We all sit down half way through and have a picnic with the orcs while we wait for next week.

Oh and this happens:

Avin flies up 15 feet further, asking Ser to perform the tactic he’d discussed with him. He casts wall of fire as Ser casts silent image. The silent image takes the effect of a MASSIVE dragon breathing fire at the wall of fire.

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Episode 32: We make a friend!

IT is the dusk of day five of travel as we finish dealing with the mantidrake. The few remaining bandit ambushers have long since scattered back into their dense forest. The more savage night time forest is waking up now as the cloak of darkness descends.

Horlamin finally wakes up and wonders what all the noise is about.

Charlotte is feeling like a badass because, y’know, practically single-handedly destroying things.

Ianthe informs Horlamin that he missed a great fight, but agrees that shut-eye is important. On that subject, where should we sleep tonight?

Ianthe wonders how the doll protected us from the Mantidrake, and Charlotte suggests that it may have been the repungent smell. Ianthe agrees. Horlamin decides it is druidic.

Avin is chilling in the cart with Ser, keeping an eye out for trouble, while the rest of us chat about this doll. Well. All but Charlotte, since she is avoiding the revolting thing.

Horlamin and Ianthe sets up camp. Charlotte sets up her tent and passes out pretty quickly. Growing big takes a lot out of a woman.

Avin naps for two hours so that he can help keep watch.

Horlamin: “How long until we are by the wall?”

Ianthe Eir: “I’m just hoping we get out of this forest soon. Not really thrilled about meeting another Mantidrake on our way.”

Avin crafts while Ser keeps an eye out for danger. Horlamin goes to sleep after getting water from our dispenser (Ianthe).

Ser notices a few of the nocturnal beasts come close to the camp but they stay away due to the wall, or maybe because the corpse of the mantidrake nearby. Either way the corpse receives a lot of attention throughout the night as packs of animals fight over it until its all been taken. A feast for the natives.

The rest of the night passes without incident …

Day 6! We break camp at first light of dawn (as close as we can tell from inside this forest anyways) and get back on the road. Charlotte chooses to walk alongside the cart to stretch her legs. Her axe is held ready. Ianthe apparently wants a bath. She rides in the cart and hums to herself.

Horlamin: “Alright, let’s move out. The sooner we get to the wall, the sooner we can get home.”

Another sunny day in the forest as the old road stretches and winds through the forest. Avin plays with the small bead in his hand for a few seconds before returning his gaze to the surroundings. After an hour or so of travel Ser and Avin see something ahead. There are bodies lying in the road.

Ser communicates this via telepathy and then turns invisible and flies up and ahead to try to check for attackers nearby. Charlotte holds her axe tightly as she approaches, preparing for an ambush. Ianthe squeezes her staff and climbs down from the cart, reading herself for a fight just in case. Karl peers into the woods. He sees nothing nearby. Ser can’t see anything either. They both report this back to their masters.

Charlotte sees that the Orc bodies have been pierced by arrows and looted. She informs the party and then kneels by one to inspect it. By the smell, they have been dead for at least a day. She notices something stuck under the orc, and carefully inspects it. She uses her axe to move the corpse. The body flips over and reveals a torn piece of parchment, which she picks up and unfolds, shouting back to the party that she found something.

Charlotte sees what appears to be half of some kiind of map. Something is written on it too, but its in orcish.

Charlotte: “Can anyone read Orcish?”

Avin raises his hand absent mindedly.

Charlotte takes it back to the cart and hands it to Avin. “Some kind of map?”

Avin looks it over. Avin sees that it is indeed a map of some kind, leading to what is described to be “Strategic resources”. It doesnt say where it is, but it does say that “Ur-Ok” has the other half.

Avin relays this information back to the group while Charlotte goes to look at the corpses again. The first one doesnt have anything seemingly around it, however the third has something clenched in its hand, something out of parchment. Charlotte eases it from his hand. As Charlotte wrenches the thing from the orcs hand, a slight sizzling noise is heard before a moment later the area is bathed in an explosion. She is fine.

As this happens Horlamin studies the map and realises that splitting it in two is a clever ploy to protect valuable information from falling into the wrong hands. Ianthe rushes to check on Charlotte, scolding her for being careless. Charlotte shrugs.

As soon as the explosion clears we hear a booming sound coming through the forest: “You didnt think you could leave my forest before seeing my hospitality did you?” Charlotte readies her axe. “You have my thanks for dealing with that beast, however.” The voice booms from another direction. “It has been a pain in our sides for quite some time. So as a token of my gratitude I will allow you to leave this forest unharmed, as long as you leave your wagon and horses.”

Charlotte likes having something to chill on so is defiant. “Scared you’ll lose if you fight us?”

“Yes. Very much so. I am no match for the likes of you, however I will win if it comes to that.”

Ianthe Eir: “Ah, so your… manticore wasn’t that hospitality?”

Horlamin: “To who are we speaking?”

Charlotte: “Bring it on, bitch.”

Avin sighs and casts mage armour on himself.

The voice booms from another direciton. “You have the honor of being in the court of King Palinus the Green. I have no interest in wasting more resources or manpower on this conflict, so I urge you to take me up on my offer. It is not unreasonable.”

Charlotte: “Fight me like a man. I’l fuck you up mate.” Charlotte continues to provoke the voice while everyone else is assessing the situation.

Horlamin: “Be that as it may, we will not simply leave our cart and horses to a voice from the woods.”

Ianthe remembers Palinus the green was a historical figure known for his robin-hood like qualities. He took from everyone and, the legends say, he gave to the poor. It’s disputed if this was fact or merely romanticised, however it was a popular tale back in the day.

Avin assertains that the voices are being reflected off of a series of tubes. Wooden from the sounds of it. Ser tells everyone.

“Let’s just move on.” Charlotte suggests. “This guy is too chicken to face us.”

Horlamin: “I think you are just trying to scare us away for some easy loot, and using a historical name to make it sound plausible.” Horlamin tells the voice that we will not leave our things behind and will fight if provoked. Charlotte mumbles something about wanting to fight anyway.

Ianthe tries diplomacy and offers to take the man to the next village.

“You…” The speech falters for a moment. “You speak with such kindness. Why? I am trying to rob you of your posessions.”

Ianthe: “Ah, well. I can see you have at least done some help to our cause…” She waves her hand towards the dead orcs. “We’re on our way to the Wall.”

“You are heading to the wall? So…you seek to stop this orc menace?”

Ianthe Eir: “Indeed we do. Ah… if you don’t mind… would you happen to have any recent info about what’s been going on? We’ve been travelling for the past 6 days.”

“Hmm… Well in that case…” The voice seems to consider our offer.

A moment later, a man jumps down from a nearby tree, covered in leaves and branches. He lands with a flourish “I, shall join you!” He bows to Ianthe.

Ianthe bows to the man "Pleasure to make acquaintance . " She looks at the other group members, silently asking their opinion about this new addition. Charlotte sighs loudly, glaring at the man and putting her axe away grudgingly.

“You may call me Paulinis, its a silly name but im sticking with it.” He grins.

Ianthe and Ser introduce themselves.

Charlotte gets up in the guys face and says, “I kill for fun. Bear that in mind.” Then she storms over to the cart and settles in the back, her eyes fixed on the weirdo.

The man stares at Charlotte and at Ianthe. “Not one for forgivness is she?”

Ianthe Eir: “I think that means approval from our axe lady too. Shall we get a move on? You definitely do not want to piss her off. Or touch her alcohol.”

Charlotte coincidentally has a tankard in hand and is drinking from it.

“Noted” He throws off his disguise. “Well, you have my bow and my…tricks. For good or bad, I will follow you.”

Horlamin makes a joke about his age.

The man smiles wide at the short gnome “Surely you know I am not him, you cannot be that da-” He laughs. “Oh very clever. You almost got me. You. I like you.”

Horlamin booms out in laughter so deep it’s hard to imagine it coming from a gnome.

We get back on the road, with Paulinus the Trickster as our new companion. Avin is still keeping an eye on things.

Avin sees nothing out of the ordinary. Paulinus also is a big help in finding dangers in the road and a few short-cuts to get out of the forest quicker. He also regales us of how he and his gang of bandits have been taking out many orcs that have been passing through. However after the last attack on us, the bandits all lost their nerve and some went off on their own and the others just left for home. Paulinus also brags about his own genius and skill with the bow. But his main point of pride is his mechanical and alchemical skills.

Ianthe: “Have you ever seen an old lady around here in the woods?” She describes the lady they met outside the forest. Paulinus can’t remember seeing anyone by that description.

Horlamin asks him about the doll.

Paulinus picks it up and sniffs, pokes and licks it before handing it back. “Smells, and tastes, foul. Looks like some druid stuff.”

Horlamin: “That’s what I said. Safe to keep or throw it away?” Paulinus shrugs.

We set up camp for the night.

Horlamin is getting quite used to setting up camp by now and is done after a few minutes. Avin sleeps for two hours whilst everyone else is getting stuff ready, telling them not to worry about the fire.

Paulinus explains that we are now out of the immediate DANGER ZONE and that Dornari has always had a good control on their lands. Better the closer we get.

Ianthe Eir does the usual stuffs of camp setting and getting everyone wet (“err, I mean….. watered up?”).

Paulinus jumps up a tree and offers to take first watch.

After the snooze Avin wakes up and plops the bead down in the centre of the campsite, saying a few words as it springs to life as a log fire. Avin explains to paulinus that he’ll be awake all night after two hours and also about the campfire wall spell.

The night passes by without incident as Paulinus keeps a watchful eye until AVin gets up and then he too gets some sleep. He admires Avin’s resourcefulness and quips that it would be a shame to injure such a fellow scholar of the arts, before he saunters off to sleep in a place where he can defend Ianthe if needed.

Day 7 breaks brighter than the last few days, as we are now leaving the dense forest for the open plains of Dornari. We make good time now out in the open and the winds coming in from the sea have resumed. The smell of salty sea opens our nasal passages. We travel uneventfully for a day. Paulinus notes that it’s weird not having run into patrols yet.

We set up camp in record time in the flat, open terrains.

Charlotte and Avin hear some hushed words being exchanged on the perimeter of the camp, between Paulinus and some unknown men. “No, these people are my companions now. They are under my protection.” – The other men object until Paulinus pulls out something from his cloak, you can’t hear what, but the men mumble harshly before seemingly scampering off. “And dont come back.” Paulinus mutters as he gets back on watch, checking over his shoulder to see if someone heard him.

Charlotte eyes him suspiciously. Paulinus meets Charlottes eyes and stares back seriously before climbing back up the tree, wordlessly.

Day 8 breaks. The morning is bleak and dreary as the storms roll in.

Ianthe Eir mutters rude words about the rain in celestial and goes to hide in the cart. We break camp in the pouring rain and get on the muddy road.
Charlotte pulls a hood over her head and walks alongside the cart. Paulinus makes a quip about how rain washes away sins, so somebody here must have sinned a whole lot. Charlotte mumbles something that includes the words “shut” “up” “or” “else”.

Ianthe Eir: “Well, I just now want to get to the damn inn and in a hot bath!” She sneezes.

“Do not worry, Ianthe. Crossroads Keep has a tavern with baths and the greatest mead this side of Haven. I can taste it now.” Paulinus reasures her. He makes a point to not agitate the dour Charlotte by instead referencing things she might enjoy, like mead. Charlotte seems to walk with a little more purpose.

The day’s travel passes without incident and we make camp just half a day away from the crossroads. The rain doesn’t seem to be letting up. Our watch rotations work out and we rest a night in peace and wetness.

Day 9

The rain has let off and has given way to an overcast day. As we break camp Paulinus leaps down from his tree and rushes over to Ianthe. “Ianthe! It’s bad.”

Ianthe Eir: “What’s going on?”

“Crossroads Keep… Is burning.”

DUN DUN DUUUUUUN

That’s it until next time!

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Episode 31: Old women are fucking weird...

We break camp early in the morning and load up the wagon for further travel. Day two of our journey has started. Baylen packs up his stuff, and then hops up onto the cart. Avin sits on the cart and has Ser keep an eye out for bads and stuff that is not goods. Charlotte is already lounging on the cart, ale in hand. Ianthe climbs on the back of the cart, setting down to relax and keep an on the back of the road just in case. Charlotte at one point notices a wolfpack on a ridge to the east watching us, but they dart off after a few miles. Clearly looking for easier prey. Ser and Avin notices the wolf too, but they also see a curious shifting of wind on the tree tops to the north and east, far in the distance. Thanks to the flat lands there is no danger of anything sneaking up on us. All is good. Charlotte guards the camp all night and the only thing that happens is a weird gust of wind blowing over the nearby tree tops.

The next morning, we set off again. Charlotte tries to sleep but doesn’t manage. Baylen notices ships on the horizon to the west. They seem to be going south from the north. Baylen thinks they may be coming from Dornari. Avin and Ser also see those ships. However Baylen sees that the flags are indeed flying the Dornari flags, but also one of independent mercenary companies. We cross the large bridge over a steep river, almost like a fjord. The bridge seems ancient and is in a bad way. It’s in no danger of falling just yet, but it’s doing its best to. Several hundred feet down, the roaring fjord sweeps out towards the sea. The sides are rough and steep. Looking to the east and west it seems like the land split apart hundreds of years ago. We travel until dusk takes us. We make camp. The forest lands is starting. The density of the shrubbery and trees are increasing by every mile.

First part of the night goes smoothly. Baylen does not notice anything out of the ordinary. Avin notices an increase in fauna noise and activity, but nothing threatening to our camp. The night passes without incident. On the following morning, Charlotte keeps her eye on the wilderness pretty well, seeing a few animals scatter well before the cart reaches them ahead. Avin however sees a person approach on the road well before Charlotte does. Avin sees that its an old lady with a big backpack and a walking stick. The last passerby we saw was before the bridge. Ianthe suggests asking her about stuff, while Baylen thinks Avin should use his voodoo hoodoo on her.

As she approaches, Avin does a thing where he detects magic with boop lvl 3 and he detects that it’s entirely natural. No artificial preservatives in this old lady As the lady approaches she smiles and states, “My..what a lovely song, young lady. That warms my wrinkled old heart.” As she looks up at the cart towards Ianthe, she smiles sweetly but weary.

Baylen has his tricorn hat pulled down over his eyes enough to shade them, but not enough to block his sight of most of the elderly lady. Baylen does not trust, it seems. The lady looks you all over carefully, like she is enjoying our company.

“Thank you, grandmother.” Ianthe smiles at the lady. “Could you tell us any news about what’s going on over there? We need to travel a long way and it would be nice to be prepared” Says Ianthe.
Ser Rainbowdance Bubblegum Princess continues to keep an eye out for things and stuff. Avin does so too, but has ser fly up to get a faerie-dragon-eye-view. The faery eye dragon view reveals a startling sight: A forest to the north as far as the eye can see, going intoi hilly terrain.

“Oh yes, I have seen much my child. As for news, I am afraid i am quite out of touch with the world. That’s why I’m travelling.” She smiles “While im still young.” She laughs gently.

Avin continues looking around whilst addressing the woman. “This forest, how is travelling through it?”

She turns to Avin with a smile “It has seen better days, like most things. But I am sure you can handle it. You look very strong.” She looks Avin up and down. “And you look like you have a great head on you.”

Avin has a telepathic argument with Ser.

“Its important to never stop learning. Never stop seeing the full picture. Got that, young man?” She tries to be stern but a slight smile creeps onto her face and she laughs softly at Avin’s reaction. “I do not want to keep you youngsters. You still have a long journey ahead of you I think.” She adjusts her backpack. “However..” She looks up at Ianthe. “Could you perhaps spare some food for an old, weary lady? I seem to have miscalculated for my trip, and these old legs are not very good for hunting game.” She laughs softly.

Ianthe hands her two days worth of rations and Avin uses magic to lighten her load.

She grabs them and thanks Ianthe profusely. “Bless you, bless you both. Please, let me give you something in return for your kindness.” She puts down her backpack and starts going through it. She removes several odd items while mumbling to herself. A broken mirror, a shoe, a length of string, five identical boxes of something rattling before finally pulling out a smelly doll wrapped entirely out of some kind of weed, and doused in some kind of liquid. The smell is strong. She presents it to Ianthe “Here. This will protect you on your journeys.” She quickly packs up her stuff and moves on with a slight wave. “I wish you best of luck, youngsters. And do not give up hope.” She marches down the road somewhat faster now, due to the easier load.

Avin and Ianthe examine the doll. It is old and smelly. Also creepy and doesn’t seem to have any magic on it. Ianthe decides to keep it. Dusk arrives and we make camp. Baylen scavenges some berries and we all eat really well. During the night, the watch goes by smoothly despite annoying pixie dragons. Some small animals skirt the camp but do not dare to approach. Ianthe doesn’t recognise the specific meaning of the doll but she does remember seeing and reading about local superstitious beliefs that such dolls were divine in nature and could protect against evil. Popular with peasants and the rural folk. Off in the distance, Avin hears a sudden gust of wind and a flock of birds taking flight. Miles and miles away. The dead quiet of the night making it possible to hear this.

And off we pop into the forest of death. This couldn’t possibly go wrong.

The morning breaks and with it we now see the forest ahead of us. It is dense and very big and scary. We make it into the forest without incident and Baylen stays awake because he don’t wanna miss a thing, And he doesn’t.

Avin looks around and sees that these trees seem different than the other trees in this region. This forest doesn’t seem like it’s been introduced here naturally. Someone might have spurred the growth of this forest on hundreds of years ago. Avin remembers that the history of this continent isn’t very well documented but he does remember mention of ancient ruins being discovered here in these kingdoms. Signs of an older civilization that had fallen long before people returned to this continent. Maybe the old civilization caused this forest to grow?
But why?
And how?

The road is now little more than a dirt trail. Our wagon makes its way slowly through the forest as it gets darker and gloomier. No amount of john woo will save us. Charlotte sees something twitch in the bushes. The forest seems quite again. She draws her axe. No one else sees anything. Avin takes another look. The bush twitches again. Charlotte goes to poke it with her axe and a small beast leaps out onto the road. It takes one look at Charlotte and then runs away. The forest is quiet again as the sound of the deer dashing away diminishes. As they move onwards through the forest of certain death, Charlotte sees another bush twitch. She complains loudly about it. Ser turns invisible and goes to investigate. Ser stealths close to the bush and sees only a bush. However, there seems to be a few armed men standing nearby with weapons ready. At least the bush is clear. They look like scallywagging ruffians that are up to no good. They are eyeing our cart with hungry eyes
And a moment later, they strike. Baylen pulls out his rooty tooty point and shooty and the warcries of one of the ambushers is silenced as his body is riddled with bullets and goes down. The leader steps out and orders the attack ahead. He sets his sight on Baylen and aims his bow. Action scene go!

Charlotte fucks the leader up and the mass of tentacles fuck up some other guys. So basically, we are winning the shit out of this fight because we are awesome.

But then we hear a loud roar. A large creature swoops over the battlefield. Avin identifies the creature from a distance as a manticore, however…it’s curious…it has a dragon’s head instead of a lion’s. It breathes fire on us. Everyone who matters is okay. Baylen is burny.

Charlotte goes big and tries to hit it but it’s too high up. We think that the weird doll affects it somehow. It makes us all a bit burny, especially Charlotte, but she don’t give a fuck. Avin makes Charlotte fly and she fucks that motherfucker up. When she is done with it, it is lying in a pool of its own blood, dead.

Avin sees now that it’s not a manticore but a mantidragon. A result of magical experiments. It’s fiercely territorial and the likely explanation is that it was simply defending or hunting in what it considered ITS territory. Sounds of battle attracting it. Baylen’s guns likely attracted it from far away.

Ianthe heals us all a little.

Bandits: studded leather, buckler, composite longbow (+1 Str) with 20 arrows, rapier, sap.

Bandit Leader: potion of invisibility; Other Gear 1 chain shirt, +1 spiked chain, masterwork composite longbow (1 Str) with 20 arrows, sap, cloak of resistance +1, disguise kit, silk rope, smokestick, thieves’ tools .

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Episode 30: An expected journey
The journey to the wall begins

Our heroes prepare for the journey by buying all they need of food and supplies. They also prepare their horse and cart for the occasion and soon they are off.

After a days uneventful travel they make camp by the side of the swamp. The nice cool breeze coming in from the vast stretching coast to the west makes all their troubles seem so far away.

Suddenly they hear a shriek. Ser Princess Bubblegum(Avins new familiar) scouts that a man and a woman are being accosted by orcs! The heroes leap into action!

Shortly after dispatching the foul cretins with deft tactics and cunning magics and saving the family, they interrogate the captured orc. Using very scary tactics™ Baylen Cartwright and Avin Catson manage to learn that the leader of the orcs is called “Urg’Nok” and is closer to the wall area. They let him go. This will not backfire at all.

The saved couple, Lenia and Ottar, bury their dog who died valiantly defending them. They join our heroes around their campfire for the night before heading off towards Morcastle in the morning. Baylen Cartwright tells the party what the orc said – That he mentioned The Wall, that his boss is located in Urg’Nok, and that this was only the forward party. Then he tells the two travellers to inform his Majesty the King of this once they reach Morcastle.

The party rests up for the night and prepare to continue their journey in the morning. They steel themselves for a no doubt rough journey closer to the orc menace.

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Episode 29: In Which We Have A Barbecue

After we hear a loud bang, panic starts and it spreads forward as people flee from the main gates. The guards run to the King. As the last of the people pass us, we hear shouts of “ORCS! ORCS AT THE GATE!”

The King asks us to help again. So we guess that we should. Because orcs are dicks and stuff.

Baylen has his pistol already in his hand. “Sure, we can lend a hand.”

Charlotte draws her axe. “Let’s go.”

Avin flexes his fingers, stretching his arms above his head. “No problem, just don’t blame me for any collateral damage.”

And so they went. We arrive at the main gate and see that it is closed, but there has been fighting. There are bodies of orcs and guardsmen lying around. There is a scuffle on the walls. As soon as we arrive on the scene, a guardsmen approaches and says that the orcs have broken into the gate house. We need to stop them from opening the gate.

Avin looks at Charlotte who is prepared to kick it down. But she doesn’t do so well. In that moment, a female soldier runs up to Baylen and salutes. She tells him that she heard a scuffle and took down some orcs on the way here. She wants further orders. Baylen Cartwright nods to the soldier. “Fall in, we could use a hand. The rest of the company seems to have fallen behind.” Random soldier has joined the party! Charlotte kicks the door again. It was super effective! The door comes off the hinges, pushing the barricades open as she does so. There are stuff and things. Inside are three orcs. “ROLL FOR INITIATIVE.” They say, apparently.

We beat the shit out of those mofos.

The other room is empty. Charlotte knocks on the last door. When there is no answer, she kicks it down. An arrow shoots out! The arrow swishes past Charlotte with a twist of her head, landing harmlessly in the floor in front of Baylen. Inside stands a very nervous young guardsman with a bow

“I’m sorry, I-”

“Watch where you’re aiming.” Charlotte snaps.

“Do you have any clue what went down here? Where did all these orcs come from?” Says Ianthe.

“I’m sorry! Are..Are they dead? Did you kill them all? They just appeared out of nowhere…everyone was at the celebrations..”

We spot the lever and ask about it. “Does that open the gate?”

“Yes..that..that’s the lever for the gate. Don’t open it! " He gestures out one of the taller windows and when Charlotte takes a look she sees that this room is overlooking the entry of the gates. The space between the two portcullis gates. Outside she can see a horde of orcs waiting impatiently while being peppered by arrows, rocks and various missiles. Charlotte curses and tells the group what she sees.

“Hey Avin, you could probably thin the crowd out with a couple fireballs.” Baylen suggests. Charlotte thinks we should just open the gates and kill everything.
Ianthe Eir: "They’d have more room to run in and slaughter the citizens that are too stup… erm, stubborn to run away.”

Baylen Cartwright: “Opening the gates is probably not the wisest. We could, um.. If you /really want to/, get out through the window. Also a bad idea.”

Avin casts fly on himself because he is a bauws. Ser Rainbowdance Bubblegum Princess turns invisible and starts casting grease on the ground that the orcs are standing on. Avin casts fireball on the areas hit by grease. Shouts of “oh the humanity!” can be heard from the crowd of orcs. Avin finishes off by casting wall of fire behind the orcs before they try to flee.

The orcs slip around in the grease that appears suddenly and alarms a few of them, but they refuse to run out of stubborn orc pride. This changes quickly as the first fireball detonates, incinerating the first few lines of orcs as the grease catches fire. Before the other orcs can react the next fireballs hit and cause more devastation among their ranks. And as they retreat the flame wall hits the retreating orcs, causing yet more havoc among them. The orcs entirely break as they flail around on fire, bash feebly against the gates or just throw their weapons up at the archers on the walls. But a few moments later the orcs have all either died or routed.

We have saved the day because we are cool. Well. Avin did. But the rest of us helped. Within moments the cheers of victory erupt from the walls and all around. A few guardsmen charge into the building and makes sure its secure. Many more arrive to check on the fallen and wounded, and they congratulate we on being the heroes they heard we were.

As we leave the building, the ragged and exhausted defenders nearby let out a cheer for us.

Ianthe Eir: “We really should find out what in the hells was this attack about.”

One guardsman shouts out to the immediate area about what we have done. And we receive a roar of applause, even from the staggered wounded leaning on each other.

Baylen holsters his pistol. “And another problem solved with fire. That makes, what. All of them so far?”

Avin is floating slightly still, but after several minutes have passed starts to slowly drift downwards and continues on walking without breaking stride.

People wonder how this happened. As the King sees us, he organises another cheer for the Heroes of Morcastle. Everyone cheers and has a good time.

“Sire, has Morcastle had any problems with orcs before this? I’m a bit baffled about the random attack.” Asks Ianthe.

Horhand : “Not since the days of my father, and his before him. We have had magical wards in place at the great wall for…” He stops as it dawns on him. “Without the traitor court wizard..” he spits. "The wards have gone unmaintained…The orcs could be rampaging around my kingdom as we speak.”

Baylen asks if he wants us to track down orcs. Ianthe suggests hiring a new court wizard.

Horhand ponders “If the wall is breached, that would be a bigger problem… Wizards aren’t exactly plentiful in my kingdom. At least not ones with the abilities needed to serve the realm.. Heroes of Morcastle.” He announces finally to us and the people around. “I am sorry to take advantage of your services so soon again, but I fear we must. I need you to head to the wall, as soon as you can. Find out the situation in that place. Help if you can, but get me a report on the situation either way. The wall is run by an alliance of cities along this coast, so not hearing word from it is alarming…”

Ianthe: “As you wish, your majesty.”

“Would it be possible to leave tomorrow at dawn? There are a few things that need tying up here before we depart.” Asks Avin.

Horhand : “Of course. No sense sending you off unprepared. The trip is long and through rough terrain. I will dispatch troops to make sure the major locations around the realm is safe. And send word from the alliance.”

Ianthe Eir: “Maybe a cart with the horses to pull it would be great help.”

Horhand: “Take your time to prepare for the journey, but not too long. The fastest way should be the old northern road and then strike east past the mountains. I also heard tales from my father about rangers braving the wilderness to get to the wall through the great forest.”

Ianthe sighs, and looks at her fellow adventurers… “Without Halion, I’m not sure any of us have the means to navigate through the forest. At least without any maps.”

Horhand explains that the roads aren’t in a good condition. He gives us 5000gp to prepare for the journey. We begin to prepare.

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Episode 28: Morcastle Knights

In the course of a couple hours, martial law is put into effect in the city. Everyone seems kind of happy that the King is back. The city seemed to be clear and most of the necromancers have been arrested. Frantic information has been coming and going, and people are healing our wounds and shit. The king promises us all of the loot and gives us all official titles of “Ser” or “Lady”. We are all knighted which is pretty cool. The king announces that there will be a ceremony in a while.

Horlamin reminds the King of his involvement and how he defended Ianthe. He spends the next couple of days looking over finances and sloppy paperwork and look into various matters.

Baylen on arriving back speaks with the King about getting some kind of approval to carry firearms. The King is okay with this.

Charlotte immediately orders alcohol and then goes to get drunk/grieve/pick a fight. Following/failing that, she throws herself into Blacksmithing and as an axe for hire.

Ianthe is slightly lost and is still trying to find something to keep her busy so she doesn’t think about the unfortunate death of Rukh. She wants access to the library. She has free rein of the castle so she is able to do whatever she wants.

Fox starts a thieves ring.

Avin speaks to the King regarding access to the wizard tower and then addresses the group. "I have something that should be addressed before we go our own ways for a few days. We’ve been through a lot, some of us have fought a dragon, crazy wizards and kobolds. All of us have fought necromancers, lackeys and a demon. We named the company after me: “The Avingers”… I don’t think any of us meant that as a permanent name. Both us and our name have been driven through the mud and back again, Descended into fire and emerged stronger than before. That is why I have decided to call a vote for a new name. Baylen and I have spoken and thought to suggest ‘Company of the Rising Phoenix’, or ‘Phoenix Company’) for short. Chosen not simply because I like fire and the Phoenix is essentially a giant flaming bird but because of our descent and rise in such a short time, the name will cement our rebirth. What do you say?" Avin finds a note about the crystal and he researches it, and finds out that the crystal is similar. There are notches on it which seem to correspond to some kind of numerical order. When he puts them together, he feels that they are connected. The closer they are, the more powerful he can he feel it. He can actually pinpoint that this aura is still there when they are apart, just faint. The aura has seven directions pointing all across. One points directly to the other. Everyone seems to be okay with this. He opens an inn that we use as a HQ.

Sarah reveals her background and everyone is stunned into silence. Sarah is going to attempt to get access to the wizard’s room and library looking for clues to who planted the recording device, looking around for other such devices and then, with help from the group she’d introduce the King and kingdom to the use of invention… Pushing the idea of invention and the economic, sociological and how much he’ll be loved if he embraces the Inventor as the Kingdom’s patron… or even his own. Sarah is going to try to research making some super light weight armour for herself and Ianthe, focusing on things that could be woven into cloth or some collection of spells that could be made permanent to bolster the protective qualities towards those of leather or studded leather.

There is awesome times at the celebration then there was a random loud noise.

Dun dun dun…

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