Darksoul

Legnar Umlaut Continuing Contract # 3
Assault on Shadow Moss

Contract: Assault on Shadow Moss
Status: Active

With everyone geared up and ready to head out, we set off for the Kocari Wilds. Looking at the map, the last major town headed their is Ostogar. Which apparently where the first darkspawn started attacking. They was years ago, and they being slowly trying to rebuild back to it original glory. But first, their is the matter of the bandits gathering along the main road. Will see if we can break apart this bandit encampment.

About a little while after we lose sight of Lothering, we spotting a group of figuring heading towards on horse, moving an increasing pace. The group continued with caution towards the group, hoping to a group dealing with the bandit, but alas, it was indeed not the cause. We loss count of the bandits after 15, on horseback! We try to find cover where ever we can (I assume that others had a hard time that I did) in hopes that the bandits will miss us. And is whats a close call. The bandits did a search for us as they approached, but after a couple of minutes they gave up and backed back. This got the group worried about how organized these bandits were. A couple of us headed back to Lothering to attempt in getting info and aid for this, but came back of no support (it seems the Alr opts to leave the bandits alone as long as they them alone. Typical). The group as a rather long discussion on what to do about these rather organized bandits. Spent too time much time on it, and rather that we don’t either info, manpower, or time to deal with this.

Stuck between a uncooperative town and unknown number of organized bandits. Not a good place to be. The decided to wait until nightfall, for skirt around the bandit camp with the cover if the night, but asked to I could scout the bandits’ encampment to gather some intel on them. We’ve managed to sneak past the patrol scouts to get the group moving to Ostogar. Once this was confirmed, I headed my way towards the encampment. As I writing this down, I still can’t believe what I saw. HUNDREDS of tents! With every step I drew closer toward the encampment, the density of bandits grow, at a alarming rate. With me cover rapidly increasingly becoming difficult, I headed toward Ostogar to return to the group (thank the Maker that I wasn’t notice, or I’d either a bandit or dead now). Once back with the group, I’ve informed them on what we are dealing with. Some in the group say that we should focus on destroying they makeshift city and housing but thats just lighting a fire to a beehive, lots of angry bees attacking everything around them. Which spells doom for Ostoagr and Lothering. We elected to deal with this another time (and we all know that at some point those bandit are going to reach a turning point and attack neighboring town. I say it serves the Alr of Lothering right for ignoring this, but the villagers don’t deserve that. Hopefully a plan to deal with this arising soon.). Maybe Ostogar may have some assistance.

Ostogar has definitively seen some better days. It’s seen worst day too, but to isn’t darkspawn ridden. The town was empty. No one was in sight and many of the building were in a state of long term construction, without any noticeable construction. The group heads to the tavern, hoping the someone was there, and there was. The bartender was still operating the tavern and we asked on state of Ostogar. Apparently the supplies to rebuild the town had been getting stolen along the Imperial Highway towards Ostogar (gee I wonder why…), and the village headed south for Southmere for a celebration taking place there. We also asked about any information on the Kocari Wilds and how to find the Shadow Moss. The bartender knew little on anything about the wilds, but did point out a shaman that lived in Southmere that will have an adept knowledge in the wilds. So we continued past Ostogar, informing them that a larger humanoid creature, Tracii, may approach this town looking for us, and please inform her of our location (and please don’t attack/fear her)

We hand no issues traveling to Southmere, arriving just as the moon came to it’s highest point in the sky (funny, I never even seen the sky before and in four months and a weeks time outside of Orzammar, I seems to enjoy the serenity the a moonlit night gives off). And indeed the village was in the amist of a celebration. The village was cerebrating the groundbreaking of a new barracks and brought out the best that the surround villages had to offer. The village was filled with food tables, tents, and decor (probably the happiest village I’ve seen entering it) but a tasked needed to be done Find the shaman. Well, it didn’t take long for Enna to see booze and head towards it, so Alalen and I accompanied her and attempt to find the shaman within celebration while the others check outskirts of the village. It took 2 glasses for Enna to becoming plastered and she didn’t show signs of stopping. It has gonna to a point she started it filling her waterskin with various amount of wine and meeds. I ‘elected’ on replacing that skin with fresh water on order to sober her up (and she didn’t notice a thing). Luckily Alalen managed to learn that the shaman headed to the wilds some time ago, and is expected back shortly. We’ve informed Sam and Daryel what the shaman is out within the wilds, but Sam wasn’t to keen on that. He seemed little worried for the shaman being out in the wild their own, due to who knows what would happen. So he and Daryel made way towards the wilds to rendezvous with the shaman. In the mean time We would attempt to get any info within the village (and to keep an eye on Enna).

Southmere is just a typical village, complete with and Mayor, Sheriff, blacksmith, and also a knight that took residents here. Most people seem complacent with one other, save to the mayor and knight often butting head over, “who is charge!” Otherwise a peaceful village. Southmere does have it’s share of problems however. Neighboring the wilds draws darkspawn creature toward the village, and the wild are home to a tribal people called the Chasind. They don’t attack the village out of aggression but for warning to stay out of their territory. Also, the shaman is part Chasind (which is probably why they venture out of the wilds. But be a type of diplomat to the village and the tribe, but I’m guessing that the villagers and it’s higher ups don’t see eye to eye with the tribe and shaman. Most commoner don’t like want doesn’t make sense to them.). Along the noise of the celebration, we spot Tracii and a rather large human (about her size, which is huge for a human). Veturius, he introduced himself as, who hails from Tevinter (which is from way in the northeast). We thanked him for escorting Tracii here when the sheriff call everyone to the main tent to for the main speech of the celebration. Everything gather within the tent, even the other members of the group. There was a woman with an appearance of a shaman sitting in the front row, so Sam, Daryel, and even Veturius (Vito for short) may way to approach her (curious on why Veto need to speak to her, or am I just paranoid), while Alalen, Enna, and I stayed toward the back (They didn’t feel comfortable moving to the front of this crowd, and something felt off with the scene). At the front of the tent, the sheriff calmed down the crowd. Standing next to him was the mayor, the knight, and young lady. The Sheriff got everyone attention and was about to speak, until all hell broke loose.

An axe cuts through the fabric in the front of the tent and steps through a large hulking fellow with jaundice skin screaming in a rage. A few more enter the tent within the same manner, with the same appearance and mannerisms and starts swinging wildly into the crown. Everyone in the tent experienced in fighting runs to dispatch these “barbarians”. Things seems like everything was going to be handled, but barbarians just wouldn’t fall from the wounds, even to the point where running them through would not stop them, but this is not the worst of it. I let my guard down after what I believe was a finishing blow, only to be struck on the arm. That’s when I noticed it. All the barbarians had something coated on there blades. It seemed to have the same coloration of their blood. (I do know of some vemons and poisons through my time within Dust Town, but I could not recognize this) The has the calling of some type of poison in the blood and it transferred through an injury, which is now coursing through my veins. I try to clean the wound as best as I can, but I believe I’m only delaying the effects. After the barbarians finally fall, seemingly at the same time, everyone noticed how many were injured with the poisoned weapons, including Sam and Alalen. Then a scream came from outside the tent.

The village was swarming with barbarians everywhere, just attacking where ever there was a noise. The village did have a functioning barracks, so the did have a small militias but couldn’t handle all of the attacker, so the group once again spring into action. Personally, it might to seems to be little selfish, I ran to the aid of a dwarf hunter that has he hands full with a barbarian pinning him down. I focused on disabling the attacker, instead of attempting to outright kill him, it seemed to work, only to leave the dwarf to assist another villager and have the dwarf become struck with the poisoned blade. The attacked start to die down, and everyone started to gather to the inn, which as converted to a makeshift fort. The last of the barbarians were chased away with a couple of fireballs coming from none only that Emmery. (Curious on why he is here). Many people were injured, unknown that they had some type of poison they have been infected with, nor what the poison did. Villager with deep cuts showed the same jaundice color skin surrounded the wound and started to become impulsive. The shaman made it through the battle, unscathed and started to give light on the situation. She confirmed that the attack was made by the Chasind, but not due to hostility. The Chasind they attacked was infected by what the Chasind call the “Amber Rage”, which cause the infected to change to the jaundice color and become more and more aggressive until the point they became what we’ve just saw. A raging beast without fear of death. Also, this “Amber Rage” is indeed contagious when administered to the bloodstream. Death is inevitable once infected. Either you are slain due your actions by others or your heart explodes from it increasingly beating faster.

Naturally the village completely freak out once hearing about this. (Believe me, I would to after hearing that I probably dead soon…. and I never gotten a clue on the whereabouts of Valddok and Belbara. I’ll probably never see them again) The knight immediately demanded the execution of all the people who were injured by the attack. (Surprise, Surprise). Those who had no loved one caught in the mess jumped to the knight side, while everyone else started to defend the infected. The Shaman did calm people down again by stating that their a clue that can be created, and she only need one more ingredient…..Shadow Moss!

The village starts to argue with one other about the no chance to get the shadow moss. If by some chance their some were acquired, it maybe to late. If the cure was created in time it may not work. And the excuse kept piling up, to the point where half the village were split on the decision to execute the infected. The group, along with Vito, talked to the mayor about the situation. We agreed that the group would venture out into the wilds in search for the shadow moss, asking if you can hold up the infected and delay the knight with enacting his plan. He agreed, along with the sheriff, whose son was among the infected, and started to move them to the old barracks. The shaman approached us, stated that she could help delay the effects of the rage for some time, up only for a couple days. She did notice that Sam, Alalen, and I were also showing signs of the rage and gave each three vials. The stated that by taking one of these, will stave off the for 24 hours. I quickly downed my. (It tasted awful, but I did feel my mind becoming less clouded) She also gave if instructions on how to find the Shadow Moss (thank the Maker, cause we wouldn’t know where to start looking). Tracii and Daryel elected in staying back in the village to help the others, where ever they can.

So with that being said…

Contract: Assault on Shadow Moss
Addendum: Time limit added to due serve effects to entire village and one self
Time Limit: 60 hours

—For those who are reading this book, These are the adventures of Legnar Umlaut. They are contract summaries that he has taken along the course of journey to find his missing sibling. Please note, everything within these brackets, ( ), are his personal thoughts the matter.

If found, please return this book to the Umlaut caste within Orzammar

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Alalen 13
Alalen's Story

Talked with the town shaman, left on her mission to find the shadowmoss –
Complete your current nigh-impossible mission with increased urgency or go homicidally insane and die… great options there. Life in Fereldan is just grand some times.

At least we’ve got the assistance of a new face, what with Emory is refusing to help us…

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Sam Holbig 12
Sam's Story

20th of Wintermarch, 9:42 Dragon

As it turns out, stopping in Ostagar was more or less a waste of time, as everyone who was worth talking to had apparently decided to just forget about the whole bandit thing for a while and head to the next town over for a festival of some sort. Apparently there was a medicine woman there who could help us track down some shadow moss, so it was in our best interests to head over, as well. So, we hopped back on our horses and headed out that way, and soon found ourselves in a big open field full of food tents, games, and general revelry. Enna wandered off pretty early on to sample the brewer’s wares, and seemed to be enjoying herself. Me, I wasn’t in much of a festive mood; a little too distracted by the bandits and our moss hunt to feel like partying, to be honest.

In an effort to try and make some forward progress, the lads and I tried to track down this medicine woman and ask her help in finding our moss. We were told she was already out in the wilds somewhere, so we decided to go looking for her — but we had to be careful, the locals warned, because there are tribals out there in the wilds, and they don’t take kindly to Northerners like us poking around in their lands. (The medicine woman apparently has some tribal blood in her, so the wild folk are more willing to play nice with her.) We kept an eye out, but didn’t see much of anything — medicine woman or tribal — and elected to head back before it got too dark.

When we got back to town, we found that apparently this elusive healer had slipped by without any of us knowing and made it back already; she was sitting in the big main tent, waiting for the town sheriff to give his festival-opening schpiel. It was a bit annoying that none of us had managed to spot her, but to be honest I’d half-expected that she’d get in trouble somehow and we’d have to go fight off more darkspawn and rescue her, so at least we wouldn’t have to deal with that. (Turns out I was celebrating a bit prematurely there, but more on that in a moment.) More happily, we also found out that apparently Tracii had finally woken up and made her way down here, and had brought a human fighting-man with her. Perhaps he’ll end up roped into all this questing nonsense, as seems to be the trend for this party. Incidentally, I wonder how he and Tracii made it past the bandits? Neither of them strike me as the sneaking type, and I doubt they fought their way past with just the two of them. Maybe they got lucky?

Anyway. We went into the tent to go find the medicine woman, and arrived just as the sheriff was starting his speech. Or trying to, anyway — the man had barely opened his mouth when we heard screams and howls from outside, and then a trio of jaundiced-looking wildmen cut their way into the tent with axes. Because of course they did. We managed to take them down, but the bastards took a cussedly long time to die; even with blades and arrows stuck through them, they refused to fall until their bodies shut down from shock. They managed to get some good hits in on us, too. I know Legnar got cut, and one of them managed to stick an axe in me before dying. It looks like there’s something nasty on their blades as well, which I imagine can’t be good for us. Now we DEFINITELY have to go talk to the medicine woman — just as soon as we’ve finished murdering our way through a few more frothing berserkers. No rest for the weary, I suppose.

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Alalen 12
Alalen's Story

1/20/15

-Met the innkeeper in Ostogar and then traveled South

Arrived in town, explored the festival until the event at night. –
Nice festival, though I can’t say I like these crowds. At least there are some elven faces. This performer seems like a fine fellow.

Fought off the Rager assault –
Big, ugly, and_berserking_ men. Just what this festival needed. I knew this tent was going to be trouble, but I thought it would come from the people IN it!

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Sam Holbig 11
Sam's Story

6th of Wintermarch, 9:42 Dragon

Our trip back to Lothering was quiet. I chatted a bit with Tom Sharpeyes — he’s apparently in much the same boat I am, looking for adventure and silver in any place that isn’t Ostwick — and briefly talked with the knight, Sir Korben. Apparently he and Alenka were in on this “fake a kidnapping of the Arl’s children” plot, though they never bothered to inform old Tom. Seems they mostly just want better pay and a change of scenery (a familiar story by now, hey?), and someone in the group finally hit on the idea that having them simply come back to Aneth Ara with us might be a less trousers-on-head way of going about getting that. So we dropped the kids off with the Arl, got paid, and then… ergh… decided to head on to the Korcari Wilds, doing something about the bandit camp that’s troubling Ostagar on the way.

… Hold on, I need another drink.

All right, so, here’s the gist of it. I don’t quite remember how he figured this out, but Legnar informed us that the bandit camp that’s causing all the trouble was a lot bigger than we had thought, say around 100 men or so. No small obstacle, to be sure. So we spent the next Maker-knows-how-long arguing about the best way to deal with the problem, and whether we even WANTED to deal with the problem right now. Ultimately, the issue seemed to boil down to the fact that no one with the manpower to try and stamp out the bandits could be arsed to go out there and chase ‘em down, and vice-versa. Eventually we settled on the plan of skirting around the bandit camp for now, with Legnar sneaking in to see if there was anything we could do about them.

Well, as it turned out, Legnar’s sources had been wrong about the size of the bandit camp. It wasn’t 100 men, it was 200 at least, along with various hangers-on. That’s not a bandit camp, that’s a bloody army! How the hell are that many cutpurses supporting themselves on nought but silver taken from hapless travelers?! And how the hell did the locals let the problem get so bad in the first place? As it happened, the berth we were giving the camp to avoid the patrols wasn’t nearly enough, and we had a number of close calls that evening with bandit patrols. Patrols! Proper fucking patrols! The fucking Lothering guard are less concerned about securing their fucking perimeter! Anyway, we somehow managed to avoid getting in a fight with any of the bandits; much rock-throwing was involved. Ultimately Legnar caught up with us (and because it was so dark, the whole thing was a mite more tense than it needed to be, but that’s just gravy at this point) and told us that there was basically nothing we could do to make the bandit camp any easier to attack. So we kept walking to Ostagar, and after convincing them we weren’t bandits ourselves, found that the whole place is a shambles because the bandits keep nicking all their supplies, and Denerim can’t be bothered to deal with the problem, and now we’re stuck in the arse-end of nowhere with a bunch of losers and a bandit infestation that’s only going to get worse and no good way to get reinforcements and—-

Gah. GAH. This whole situation reeks worse than wet nuggalope shite, and it’s making my head hurt. I need ale. Or something to stab. Possibly both.

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Legnar Umlaut Contract # 4
Where the Rich things are

Contract Start: Where the Rich things are

Mission: Find missing children and return them safely to the town Baron.
Reward: Coinage

We traveled toward the forest north of Lothering, under the guidance of Alenka, and nothing of interest happen until we discover a flash within the trees. The group moves to investigate. Upon our arrival, there were about seven dark-spawned wolfs surrounding a qunari. We rush to aid the qunari, but as we approached it started making hand gestures and shortly after, BAM!!! another flash of light and the wolfs were down. The qunari introduces herself as Tracii, which by the way is another tal-vashoth (are their qunari in this world), another spellcaster in search for knowledge within a certain library . Apparently, she had lost her way and is unsure on way the library is. Since the group is traveling through the country, we offer companionship with her quest as we explore Ferelden. Thus we continued north. To another chasm…… (I lived under a mountain all my life, and I haven’t seen this many chasm in such a short amount of time.

This one did had a bridge. Had is the key word here. Something cut down the bridge, and guessing is was the dark-spawned the attacked us from behind. Gen-locks and couple of wolfs, these are the more intellect of the dark-spawn creatures that this group as handled before, and they came with tactics too! Cutting the bridge and pushing down the chasm for a quick kill. Nothing I haven;t seen before, but the others not to much. A couple of friend went over the cliff side but didn’t fall, our newest member being one of them, but lucky enough no major injuries. We finished the locks started the arduous task of crossing the chasm, but did make to over and repaired the bridge so we don’t have the same problem again. After a little time traveling Alenka called to a rest.

We setup a small area to prepare a meal, split up to gather meat from hunting. I decided to go with Alalen while the other stayed behind. Hunting was….. strange. The first animal we came across was a one-horned deer, and not like was missing a horn. One horn smack in the middle of is head. Alalen and I agreed to not kill the beast and decide to feed it with one of the trail rations on my person. We were about to leave, the (deer-icorn, unideer?) leap off, then looked at us as if it wanted us to follow it. So we did. The deericorn lead us to a hidden gen with all types of creature that I haven’t see before. Then the deericorn lead us to a log and hidden in the log was three gold coins!!! (not bad for doing nature a favor. I split my finding with Alalen) We headed back to the group, with no kill to be had, but Alenka approached us before to gotten to the rest of the group, with a proposition. She claims that the Alr (the proper name is the baron of the town) is withholding a large amount of money and barely throwing a few scraps for the safe arrival for his children. She claims that he should pay tenfold for this job and suggest in delaying in returning the kid to him for a bit of time. (Now I’m completely for making a corrupt nobleman sweat, but I have to honor the group if they wish to not follow this extreme plan). Alalen, quickly declined the plan, see that he follows an elven faith that has deep ties with family. I left my opinion open, awaiting to see if anyone was for this….plan. Once Alenka was turned down, she noticed that we didn’t have any game from the hunt and set off on her own.

We returned to camp and discovered the Alenka has been asking the entire group one by one about her proposal. Most of the group members immediately declined the proposal (not surprising) but not Enna. We it over, trying to see if it was worth trying to convince the group, but decided the group would be to stubborn to change they decision. Alenka returned to the camp, with a sizable kill too…. we had our meal a set of toward the meeting point. During the final trek toward the meeting point, just before night night sky was upon us, a couple of blighted birds swooped down on us. Nothing that the ranged combatant couldn’t handle. Nevertheless, this is not a good sign on what is to come.

Nightfall arrives as the group arrives at a turned over carriage with the scene of a battle. Multiple bodies are around the area (some that drew Sam’s attention) and trail of tracks headed towards the forest, we expected the worst. I search the carriage, finding confirmation that it is the carriage we are meeting up with (as well a hefty coin purse for the Alr. Which he won’t be missing soon). The observation was made that there as no bodies of children was found, and the group quickly made off into the forest, following the trails. The trail lead to a dried on riverbed emptied out towards a cliff side, two survivors of the guard party between an approaching band of Genlocks and the children up on a hilltop. The guards are outnumbers 3 to 1 and ill equipped of handle the oncoming attack, so naturally, the group moves to intercepts the Genlocks.

Sam, Alenka, and I bolt through the riverbed, while Alalen and Enna start firing arrows across it, Alalen approaching the riverbed hoping to cross it shortly after. Tracii, however, seems to starting gestures of something and shortly collapsed unconscious where she stood. We intercepted the Gen-locks, halting there advance to soon discovers a pack a blighted wolf that flank form the back of the hill in a direct attack toward the children (I know, I said that these Gen-locks have tactic last time we fought them, but this take intelligence. Which is starting to worry me). Luckily, Alalen headed directly towards the wolves. Even so, the was still a number of Darkspawn to deal with, and the were slowly advance towards the children. We did not falter and drove the blighted creatures to the grave. As a matter of fact, the children actually stood there ground! After the battle was done, I was told that the young lass was an aspiring mage! She cast some…thing (magic is still estrange to me. Plus, I thought that came from Tracii) then pass out shortly after. Also, apparently the young lad brandish a sword and lunged in front of Alalen, striking a formidable blow onto one of the blighted wolves. If these children continue on these path, may just maybe, their could be an inspiring noble for the town of Lothering (or at least a handful for the current Alr).

With the battle over, we started to breath easily. Sam also knew one of the guards with the kids. Apparently, their are old militia buddies of their hometown. So we geared up a made way toward the carriage and started the way back to Lothering. Along the way, Alenka as very persistence in taking multiple “rest” throughout the return trip with the aid of the other guard (not Sam’s old buddy) Apparently, the guard, or knight Sir Korben, was in on the delaying the children from getting back to the Alr (making him sweat it out) and is the reason why the children aren’t back on schedule, making the Alr find and third party. Alenka often looked toward Enna and I for support within this matter, but their was no way to change the mind of our fellow member (without show of force. Which I’ll never do to friend. Side note: Am I really considering this group my friends?). We questioned Alenka and Sir Korben on why are they doing this, discovered that their are tried of working under the Alr. The planed on using the gold received to move any from Lothering and start anew. We offered a different solution. To come to the small town, Aneta Ara (that the original group started). I gave the coin purse I found in carriage as incentive, and the accepted. They rest of the trip was uneventfully (finally) and head to the Alr manor.

Contract Complete
Reward: One gold from the Alr, three gold from the hunting trip split with Alalen, two new settlers for Aneta Ara, and one new adventure to the group.

Overall, this contract started to seem like a standard retrieve and return contract, but is became another form of corrupt nobles throwing their so called “weight” around. These time someone attempted to push back, be it the wrong way, but still an attempt. Still gold as been acquired and a new member for the group. Who is still unconscious (strange the young lass was up a about after a couple of hours after her magic episode. Why hasn’t Tracii). We look to Daryel for a reason, but he doesn’t understand either. So our best bet was to leave Tracii within the local Chantry (So much for our new member, hopefully she will be recovered be the time we return). Now is time to start heading toward our original destination, The Kocari Wilds!

—For those who are reading this book, These are the adventures of Legnar Umlaut. They are contract summaries that he has taken along the course of journey to find his missing sibling. Please note, everything within these brackets, ( ), are his personal thoughts the matter.

If found, please return this book to the Umlaut caste within Orzammar

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Alalen 11
Alalen's Story

1/6/16

We discovered that not only did Sam know one of the guards from his brigade, but that guard was also in on Alenka’s schemeing. We managed to convince them that if they were after a new start, we could offer them a better option than trying to extort the Arl. They agreed to join us in traveling to Aneta Ara when we returned.

We then brought the children and a still unconscious Tracii back to Lothering. The Arl paid us, and we left Tracii at the chantry, as none of us could figure out what else to do with her, and thought it best we not try to sneak past the bandits to the south with a catatonic talvashoth in tow.

We resupplyed and left. While on the road, I spotted a group of armed men riding towards us on the road. We left the road, and then realized there were even more bandits in the hills with us. We rushed back to Lothering, where our warnings of the bandit activity fell on deaf ears. We left again under cover of darkness, this time actually sneaking around the camp.

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Sam Holbig 10
Sam's Story

9th of Haring, 9:41 Dragon

First, a quick apology: it’s been a long day and I’m tired, so some of this may be a bit muddled.

After taking our rest, we elected to keep traveling through the night, since we were on a pretty tight schedule and didn’t want to keep the Arl’s children waiting. Of course, there’s a reason most right-thinking people don’t generally do this, and we were soon beset by the inevitable darkspawn as we made our way through the woods. This time it was a pair of blighted eagles swooping out of the darkness; luckily, the mages soon had the area lit up bright as day, and we quickly dispatched the annoying birds.

We made it through the rest of the night and the next day without significant incident, and around sunset we found ourselves at the children’s carriage. To the surprise of absolutely no one, it had been raided by darkspawn. We found a couple of dead guards, but the children themselves (and the rest of the party) seemed to have fled elsewhere. This was a bit of a shock, though: among the dead guards I saw old Burl Magven from the Ostwick garrison! I wonder what brought him out here? He had naught on him but his clothes, gear, and a small purse of silver; I took the silver to send back to his family, and gave him something like a field burial with the rest.

Of course, we couldn’t tarry long there, as the children and what was left of their guard was clearly still wandering around somewhere. We followed the tracks, and eventually came to a hill near a dried-up riverbed, where a knight and one last guard were protecting the kids against an approaching horde of darkspawn. Poor bloody idiot was only armed with a crossbow — powerful, sure, but not the best thing for crowd control. Luckily, we arrived just in the nick of time; we managed to intercept the darkspawn horde before it reached them, and even spotted and took down a pack of blight wolves that were trying to outflank the group. Even the kids got in on the action! The young lad is a reasonably-deft hand with a sword (if a bit short on common sense, seeing as how he thought it prudent to go charging a blight wolf instead of hiding behind Alalen), and apparently the girl is a mage, though she fainted after only one spell. Can’t blame her for that, really — hell, Tracii did the same thing (our only casualty in the fight), so apparently it’s just a mage thing.

Once the shouting was over, we regrouped with the children and their one remaining guard. And surprise surprise, it turns out Mr. Crossbow is a familiar face as well — it’s my old garrison mate Tom Sharpeyes! I’ll have to ask what brought him and Burl out here, once we’ve knocked back a few ales.

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Alalen 10
Alalen's Story

12/9/15

Having already rested, we decided to continue on through the night, as we were on a somewhat tight schedule to meet with the children’s existing escort. In hindsight, this was perhaps not the best decision, as the forest at night belongs to darkspawn.

We were attacked by a pair of blighted owls – or maybe eagles. It’s hard to tell what something was before the Blight took hold of it. In any case we killed them and continued on.

It didn’t take us long before we found yet another trashed caravan, the sights of which I’m getting distinctly tired of. We searched it, finding little of use. Sam apparently recognized one of the dead guards from his old garrison, and took the man’s ouch of coins to send back home.

We didn’t find the children, which was a good sign, as were the tracks leading away from the destroyed carriage. We followed them to a dried up river bed. On the other side, two surviving guards defended the children we were supposed to be protecting from a small horde of darkspawn. They were woefully ill-equipped to handle that many opponents, but thus far they had performed quite well.

Half of us dashed across the horse to get between the darkspawn and the besieged guards. Tracii made some gestures, and then just dropped unconcious. I spotted a pair of blight wolves flanking the group to attack the children, and interposed myself between them. At this point, the young boy showed remarkable courage, and a complete lack of judgement, and rushed past me to attack the wolves himself. I was able to intervene before he got more than a scratch. His sister did something, and then also passed out.

We eventually managed to deal with all of the darkspawn.

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Sam Holbig 9
Sam's Story

25th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon

Well, this has been an exciting trip so far. We met Alenka and started making our way north, but were barely out of sight of Lothering when we heard an almighty “BANG” come from somewhere up ahead of us. We arrived just in time to see a great big Tal-Vashoth setting fire to some darkspawn with her magic. (She says she’s a “she,” at any rate. Me, I almost have to take her word for it. And yes, for those of you keeping score at home, that’s TWO Tal-Vashoth and no actual bloody Qunari as of yet, not that I’m complaining.) The Tal-Vashoth introduced herself as Tracii, and mentioned something about looking for a library or somesuch out here. Naturally, we offered her a place in the party, since Emery seems to have gotten bored and wandered off more-or-less permanently at this point.

With that bit of excitement out of the way, we started making our way north again, only to get stopped by ANOTHER BLOODY CHASM. For Maker’s sake, where do all these damn things come from? And why don’t they label them on the fucking map, it’s not like they spring up overnight! (Then again, maybe the mapmakers just got sick of drawing holes in the ground all over the damn place!) This particular bloody chasm had a bridge over it once, but that’s gone now for whatever reason, because of course it is. Also, a pack of darkspawn — genlocks, I think they’re called? — tried to ambush us and collectively push us into the chasm while we were trying to figure out how to get across. I think Tracii might have gone over once, and a couple of the others came close, but mostly we just stabbed the annoying bastards until they ran away or stopped twitching.

Eventually we hit upon the brilliant idea of stringing a couple of ropes across the chasm via archery and gymnastics, and using that as a bridge to get across. The others, being some combination of lightly-equipped and nimble, made it across with no trouble. I am… neither of those things, shall we say, so there was a lot of bumping and cursing and a bit of falling down a cliff face on my part before I made it to the other side. Not my finest moment, to be sure, but at least I got there in the end. (In hindsight, I should have tied one of those ropes around myself, both for support and so that we’d have it with us for the next leg of the journey. Oh well, that’ll be a lesson for the next time we inevitably encounter another fucking chasm we have to get across.)

We were all pretty worn out by this point, so Alenka suggested we set up camp. She and I stood guard while Alalen and Legnar went to go find food, and Daryel and Tracii did… magic… things. (I don’t even remember at this point what Enna was up to. Maybe she helped with the hunting? Or went off to find more kidneys?) While we were on watch, Alenka suggested that perhaps the good Arl isn’t being as generous as he could be with his money, and that by setting up a fake “ransom” for his kids we could rack up a bit more coin from this errand he has us running. Well, I’m no fan of the man, but breaking a contract with an employer is a sure-fire way to stop getting contracts in the future, and I told Alenka I was having none of that. I couldn’t tell whether she was unhappy about that or not; maybe this was another of her tests? I hear she made the same offer to everyone else in the group, and from what I can gather no one took her up on it, which I’m perfectly fine with.

Also, Alalen and Legnar mentioned something about finding a one-horned deer in a magic sylvan glen. They may be on drugs. I’ll worry about that later.

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