Darksoul

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.

View
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.

View
Legnar Umlaut Contract # 3
Assault on Shadow Moss

Contract Start: Assault on Shadow Moss
Mission: Head to the Kocari Wilds, gather Shadow moss, and return to the settlement.
(Due to the fact that I’m now in an agreement with other, I will no longer state the rewards on each contract given from the Archmage)

With the detestation set, I pull out my map see that the wilds will take us you multiple cities, and it does appear to be a long trip. The group decide a trip to Denerim to stock up on supplies and maybe find a blacksmith for the settlement (they REALLY need one!) Ennie did recieve a letter and after reading it, she said she’ll be heading they alone and meet up later. Nothing eventful happen within Denerim. Did have a chance to grab some throwing knives and trail ration to the weeks ahead and the group did find a blacksmith to start shop in the settlement too. Then we head out along the West Rode, first stop Lothering.

And we arrived in Lothering, with no issues. Only two day of travel and no unexpected visitors no sight of darkspawn… (counting this one as a blessing). The group splits in an attempt to gather information about the surrounding area. I head on my own and attempt to use some techniques I haven’t used since I left home, contacting the underground/shadow organization within the town. It seems that my language is similar to theirs, cause I do manage to contact them. “Not looking to get secrets or information about the town, just looking for any developments towards the south that I need to know of,” I say. They gave me info on a group of bandit the or stopping supplies of getting to Ostagar. I bid them thanks and farewell and return to the group to report in. Along the way, I spot a sort of training area. Seeing none of my companions around, a give a couple of minutes to spar. One thing I noticed is, while picking up the sparring sticks, that swinging the heavy swords has increased my arm strength, allowing me to deliver a bigger impact upon my foe (and unfortunately, my current sparring partner). With the added strength in my arms, I should be able to better defend myself against oncoming attack and pin weapons down to line up a more precise strike. (May I should a trainer to properly learn the way with fighting with a blade in each hand.)

Mid afternoon the group meets up and relays all information we gathered, and it’s a lot. Is seems we pick up a good number of tasks, three more to be exact. First is to escort someone to Denerim, this should be simple enough after acquiring the moss. Second is dealing with the bandit camp, not sure on what the condition is on the camp, nor how to deal with it (We will worry about this once we head toward Ostagar). And finally, the local Baron (Duke, mayor, rich nobleman, I don’t care) is offering payment to find and escort a caravan with his children back here safely (he least he care enough about them to pay someone to get them.). So we head out towards the north, with a guild to lead us to the children. The guide’s name is Alenka, servant of the rich sob. She is also an elf too, which probably means she is treated like dirt too, but there is little I can do about this.

Contract: Assault on Shadow Moss
Status: on hold

—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 cast within Orzammar

View
Alalen 9
Alalen's Story

11/25/15

Not long after we set out, we heard a thunderous explosion and arrived on the scene to find a number of darkspawn apparently blown to pieces by a female Tal-Vashoth, who introduced herself as Tracii. She mentioned something about books, and we offered her the opportunity to join us until we returned to Denerim, where I’m told there is at least a passable library. I wouldn’t know. I can read, but most of the writings I’ve seen are in regards to this “Maker” the Chantry is obsessed with, and therefore they do not interest me.

We traveled on, and reached yet another chasm. The terrain in this land is nothing if not interesting some times. There used to be a bridge across, but it had long since collapsed. To make things even more interesting, we were attacked by a group of darkspawn – genlocks, someone said they are called.

We fought and the genlocks pushed Tracii in to the chasm a couple of times – what she was doing trying to stab one of them when she could have used magic, I will never understand. Eventually we killed or routed the creatures and then returned to the task of how to cross the chasm.

Enna and I tied ropes to arrows and shot them in to the bridge sports on the far side. After we attached the ropes to our side, we all started crossing. Most of us made it across without any trouble, but for Sam, him being a large man and wearing around lots of armor, it was not such a smooth affair. He fell down the side of the cliff, but managed to climb back up again.

At this point we decided to make camp for a while in order to rest. Legnar and I decided to go hunting while the mages rested, Sam standing guard over them with Alenka. I’m unsure what Enna was up to. What happened next I do not fully trust my memory of, and have resolved never to drink the water near that camp again as I believe it may have had something to do with it.

Legnar and I left the camp and began following animal tracks. We were successful in finding the creature that made them, but as it appeared to be a hare with antlers, I thought it best to not take it for food, as such a thing is just not natural.

And just when I thought the day could not get weirder, another strange creature appeared in the clearing with us. It was a deer, but instead of the antlers one would expect to find on the sides of its head, this bizarre beast had a single spike growing straight from its forehead. At this point, I declared the hunt a waste of time and shouldered my bow.

I was prepared to walk away and return to camp, when I noticed all of the other animals lining the edges of the clearing, watching us. Legnar had evidently decided that the deer – I know no other name for such a creature, even one as strange as this – was some sort of omen. I can only imagine it was something from Dwarven culture, of which I know very little. I resolved to stand very still, lest I spook any of the animals around us.

Legnar approached the deer to pet it. Every other deer I’ve ever seen would have fled in terror at the sight of something his size moving towards it, but this one stood it’s ground, and actually allowed Legnar to pet it’s nose. It then turned to walk away, looking back as though to tell us to follow. Thinking I must have gone completely mad, I opted to follow Legnar and the one-horned deer.

There must be something to whatever Dwarven legend Legnar was following, because the deer led us to an old tree. In its hollow, we found an old tattered purse containing several coins. Those coins are the main reason I do not discount the entire affair as some sort of fever dream, as they are very much real and I still have a few of them in my purse.

The deer then departed, leaving us – or me, at least – bewildered. Agreeing that we shouldn’t hunt anything in the deer’s forest – though I think for very different reasons – we returned to the camp.

Not far from where we had made camp, Alenka appeared from the forest and offered us a proposition. Rather than return immediately with the Arl’s children, we keep them in the wilderness and hold them for ransom. While I did not like the Arl, and in fact spent the majority of my meeting with him fantasizing about taking his kidneys and giving them to Enna as a gift, I flat out refused to be a part of extorting money from the man by using his children, particularly when I was already being paid to protect them. Killing a man is one thing, going after his family quite another, and I am morally opposed to the latter.

Legnar seemed far more amenable to her plan, but after hearing my objections and reasons for them, he also declined, a gesture for which I was extremely grateful. Alenka seemed slightly dejected, which I found concerning. I resolved to remain watchful of her until we had returned the children safely to Lothering.

When we returned to camp, the mages had finished whatever mysticism they had been doing, and the group was ready to set out. Sam looked at us as one would a madman when we explained why we were empty handed, for which I cannot blame him. we broke camp, and I quietly relayed what Alenka had said. Unsurprisingly, she had offered the same suggestion to Sam, which I was gratified to hear he declined.

View
Sam Holbig 8
Sam's Story

11th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon

Well, it took him long enough, but Azrael eventually got his pointy magic backside back to Aneth Ara and gave us some silver for our troubles. He was less than thrilled that the demon was no longer inhabiting its chain — apparently having it around would have made the magic more potent — but considering the non-existent security surrounding the thing it’s a damn miracle it was even still there to begin with. Our next stop is the Korcarri Wilds, where apparently some kind of rare moss is growing this time of year, and then we’ll be heading to Orlais to get… something… or other… Azrael was a bit non-specific on that part, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out when we reach that point.

After a brief stop in Denerim to pick up some supplies (and to acquire a new asset for the town — apparently the Denerim blacksmith’s apprentice has finished his training, and Aneth Ara could certainly use a new one of those!), we made our way southwest to the town of Lothering. We had only intended this to be another rest stop on our way to the Wilds, but wouldn’t you know it, whenever people gather you tend to get folk who need to have jobs done and fools stabbed in exchange for money. Legnar mentioned something about a bandit camp in the vicinity of Ostagar, between us and the wilds, and Daryel said that there’s a Sister at the local Chantry who needs an escort back to Denerim when we head back over that way. As for Alalen and I, we learned that the children of the local Arl, Neruda, are coming into town from the north, and he wants us and his steward Alenka to go and fetch them. The Arl’s a right bastard to his elf house-servants, by the way. Between that and Legnar’s hang-ups about nobles, I suspect there’s going to be some trouble with the man before we make it out of town; I’m just hoping we have coin in our pocket before everything goes to pot. And there’s something queer about that Alenka woman: apparently she “accidentally” dropped a gold coin while she was leading us to the Arl, and I have a feeling she was waiting to see what we did with it. (Alalen gave it back, upstanding sort that he is.)

Well, we’re heading out to meet Alenka again in about an hour so I’d best quit futzing about with this journal and get my crap together. More later.

View
Legnar Umlaut Contract # 2
Despite all their Rage

Contract Start: Despite all their Rage
Mission: Find possessed elven scout and remove the demon. Return chain to the Archmage
Reward: Coinage

We decided to rest up for the night and head out at first light of the ruins. Azshara offers herself as a guide to the edge forest and give us a path to the ruins. We make it to the forest with no issues and Azshara tells us the path the caravan took and where to head from there. We’ve only made it into a couple of meters away from sight of the edge of the forest until trouble starts. But is was unexpected, instead of a dark­spawned creature, or something like that, it was the townsfolk. About a dozen of them, lead by the blacksmith, all wield some form of weaponry and all with blood-lust within their eyes. They would be no way to talk down this crowd without a fight, so I will attempt to pull my punches against them and hopefully the group will follow up. Well, I did spring into action first and landed a blow onto blacksmith, which caught him off guard. But as I looked up at him, I saw an arrow flying through his eye socket and ending lodged in a nearby tree. The shot came from our elven archer, Enne. (not the best of way to show elves to be bad luck) Not saying the blacksmith didn’t deserved his fate, but the townsfolk needed to be persuaded to leave. Alalen, the weapons expert, followed up after the blacksmith fell, engaging a group of townsfolk with the flat side of his blade. Shortly after that, the townsfolk started to retaliate, then hell breaks lose. Emmeric, the circle mage, let’s a fireball lose and incinerate about half of the
crowd…..

After a couple of minutes, the ….. survivors….. of the group either retreats, is treated for their wounds, or ….. Blown Away By The Wind!!! I’m start it question if accepting the contract is one worth while. I have a code that gotten me through living within the Deeproads and one is those rules are to NOT TAKING HUMANOIDS LIFE, unless there is a strong reason. I can understand the blacksmith and let that one slide, seeing that he maybe the major cause of elven discrimination within the town, but the townsfolk were suffering with mob mentality. With their leader gone the rest should have retreated with a little show of force. I voice my concerns with the group and apologized for the lack of warning, stating Emmery as a explosive nature about him. That aside, it did send the message across that I traveling with a powerful team.

We continued out the path finding the caravan shortly after, and without any more trouble. We scouted around the caravan and discovered the site of the battle, and it seems like all the elven were taken to the ruins, as Azshara said. It was getting close to sundown, decide to make camp and set up the night watch. That didn’t last too long, shortly after we spotted a half­dozen creature approaching the campsite. The creatures seem like bi­pedaled dark­spawned wolfs, and starting rushing at us with claws at the ready. The battle did take it toll on us, but Daryel as able to recover most of our wounds, and (hopefully quiet) night rest should have us ready in the morning. But first the corpses must be disposed of first, which once the creatures were slain, that transformed into their true form. Elves from the caravan, with the same marking as Azshara. Their blood wasn’t corrupted by darkspawn taint, but I left the decision up to the elves on what to do with them. On a side note, I’m getting used to fighting these new swords I picked up after leaving Orzammar and can now slip my slashes between hide or armor with ease. I’m also, getting used to the environment and feeling a spring in my step, allowing me to faster and react quicker. I wonder if my brother and sister felt the same thing after leaving Orzammar.

Luckily, the rest of the night was quiet and left shortly after sunrise. No sign of any other transforms elves along the way. The next we came across happens to be a chasm, stretching beyond me sight to loop around. A moss­cover tree did cover for a makeshift bridge to cross over. Until a flock of crows circling around overhead. Closer inspection of the crows, we’ve discovered that they were darkspawn tainted and assumed that they would strike us at the most convenient opportunity. Like across the tree. For some reason, Emmeric wasn’t himself today and unresponsive, sense him begin the logical choice for dealing with the crows, so a plan have to be made. Regrettable, no plan was being discussed (not one I liked anyway) and I quickly acted upon my own plan. Run across the tree towards the other side, hopefully causing the crows to focus on me, and letting the other safely cross the tree. It worked, kinda…. Once across the tree I realized an error within my plan, I couldn’t afford the time to tend to my wounds, and Doloren was in the other side… Luckily I was able to avoid many hits and those that did struck my vigor allowed me to hold until help arrive from the others. The crows that came down was quickly dispatched, once everyone made to the other side and we started again to the ruins.

Once again, no trouble the rest of the way to the ruins. We all prepare before entering the ruins, expecting a rather large fight. One the never came. We carefully followed the main entryway of the ruin, leading down a flight of stair. Simple tripwire trap at the bottom. The room following the stairs a number of skeletons arose, but unfortunately caused one to trip the trap. The trap was rather old and didn’t properly function, causing the mechanism to fall on top of the remaining skeletons. We’ve found the missing elven, most just beaten and taken captive, and we preceded to secure the area. The leader of the elves told us that we were so late, the the only people that were here is just us, and the demon has massed an army of transformed elves and for headed to Vintner. Accoradly to him the army left nearly a day ago, which means they are nearly in town. Luckily one of the elvens scouts was not badly injured and knows a path back that only takes less than a day of travel, hopefully minimizing the damage to the town.

After securing ruins (finding nothing to reseal the demon) and treating the elves, we’ve hurried back towards Vintner. The scout move pretty fast and clears obstacles with ease, but I was able keep up with him, ( I may be a dwarf, but I have the agility of these elves. Just not the speed or grace) leaving the path for others to follow. We made to Vintner early next day to see the town in a panic, with dozen of transformed elves attacking townsfolk. Luckily Azshara, told the Warden that something like this was coming, and he prepared a small militia to lessen the damage to the town and stave off some of the elves. In the middle of town we see him, the leader, standing over eight feet tall fighting another humanoid of the same build. As we gotten closer, the other was a Qunari holding back the demon and being supported by a dwarf, but that fight didn’t last too long, seeing the demon was only toying with them. The demon calls upon his strength strike at the ground causing a shockwave, throwing the qunari and dwarf off their feet and unable to continue. We charge in with weapons at the ready. We did attempt remove the demon possessing the elf, but all the chain did was weaken the demon. Unfortunately we had to strike down the elf, banishing the demon back to them realm (another life lost due to this demon of Rage). With the Rage demon gone all of the transformed elves returned to their original form, free from the taint, but the town however did not suffer the same fate.

Vintner was in shambles. The only structures standing was the inn/tavern, town hall, and the chantrey. Supplies were low and no one with experience was round to rebuild the town. Spirits and morale was low, but their was a silver lining to this dark cloud: not a single life of the townsfolk were lost within the battle. The group mention a new town with plenty of supplies, but are in a desperate need of hands. So the town decided to uproot and move to the new town. The caravan of elves return at the end of the day, and the town actually welcomed them (such a quick turn around). The elven offered their assistance in picking up on town and travel with them on the journey. With the spirits of the town lifted, I sought out the qunari and his dwarf companion. As is turns out that the qunari isn’t a qunari but a Tal Vashoth, a qunari that did not accept the or abandon the Qun, and he wasn’t traveling with just the dwarf but a sizeable group. Finally, the dwarf was the leader of this group (curious of who is the leader of the current group I’m with). We shared a couple of pints together celebrating the victory over the Rage demon and we’ve ask each other about life on the surface (unfortunately, he a left a couple of years before brother and sister, so no leads there). The last thing I recall was the group gathering up to head for some well earned rest.

The next morning started……ok. Face first on the stairs with my mug still on hand (lacking the Ale filled it with), good start. As I started to compose myself, I noticed the the dwarf and his companions already left and the town was ready to start the long journey. The group will
also be traveling with them, because the Archmage, Azrael, is stationed there. About a hour
before everyone where to set off I offered to travel out and scout ahead of make sure the path would be safe. An elf from the caravan, the one that guided us back to town, offered to accompany me. Nothing exciting happened and the others caught up. Along the journey we were to pass close to Denerim. The group stop the caravan of a rest as we entered Denerim for supplies, info, and a Grey Warden to authenticate the group handing over the chain to Azrael. I went to retrieve the Grey Warden with Sam; the elves (Alalen, Doloern, and Anna) with the elven caravan leader (called a Keeper) headed to the Alienage; Emmeric report to the Circle about the finding and then he decided to stay to further has studies. After we got everything situated we restart the journey to the new town. The elves were speaking about something that occurred at the Alienage. Apparently the town hold all elves within the district and there is a disease that has overtaken the district nothing can be ( or is, sounding like more elven discrimination) done about it ( also, it appears that this Alienage is a place to dump unwanted problems or sites within Denerim. More nobles abusing there power). They were speaking of raising of army and taking the Alienage by force but it seems all talk currently, nothing being done about it.

Just the journey ran towards its end, we come to a chasm stretching across the land. Doloern give a unique signal which people on the other side respond to and shift the earth across the chasm, creating a bridge. Just a little further I see the town, and is rather large of what I was expecting. Smaller than Vintner, but with a huge supply cache awaiting for building structures. Just not enough hands nor experience a town. The group asked about Azrael, while the new settlers familiarize themselves with the new setting. It appears the Archmage has left for his own adventure and asked the group to await for him, seeing that he shouldn’t be gone long (another chance to rest up before continuing my own search….hooray…). I did noticed that that town did have an abundant amount of weaponry, but most of it was in a state of disrepair. I asked why the blacksmith fixed this (they had all the supplies and tools needed). Turns out that didn’t had a blacksmith (and Ennie killed that last one we meet). I knew enough of keep me weapons in great condition, and repair them when they break (thankyou for that brother), so I offer my knowledge to anyone willing to learn to start fixing and maintaining these weapons (I can’t make a sword, but I can least fix one). AFTER A WHOLE WEEK, AZRAEL FINALLY ARRIVES!!!! A WHOLE WEEK!!! Seven day lost staying at the nowhere town, doing no process on finding my lost brother and sister. Once Azrael settles in the group (FINALLY) sees him. He does the standard, “Thank you for find “X” and dealing with “Y”, blah blah, and give out the reward, thus ending this contract.

Contract Complete
Reward: 140 Silver pieces. (Wow, a rather generous reward. This with last me for a solid month! AND probably afford to buy few throwing weapons that I’ve be lacking since leaving Orzammar).

The payment was well worth the wait, the week and a half I lost will be made up in no time with this payment, so I can’t let this time be wasted. If my things already prepared, I said my goodbyes and good luck to the group and started to head off. Or so I thought. Azrael stopped me for asking him a couple of questions. The standard Who, What, and Why questions. I told the wizard my story mentioned the I would start heading out soon. There was a luck of ground to cover, and only one me. Plus, I still had no lead on my siblings whereabouts. Azrael mentioned, " Yes their is only one of you, but what of theirs more. I travel across the country, seeking knowledge. Was to say for me asking a couple questions about the people your looking for. All I ask it to journey with this group in the request I send them on. Of course, you will be compensated on the task I send you on." This was an interest deal. I would have, from what it would appear to be a steady income (depending on the task), a group to travel with (I do miss running with Vograg and the others. Though this group need to grow on me a bit), and extra pair of feet in the ground searching from my brother and sister. So I accepted.

With that, the Archmage gave the group there next task. South to Ostagar, there is a large section of the wild-lands, named the Kocari Wilds. There is a moss the grows within those wild that has a unique property that may aid the Archmage’s research. The moss, Shadow Moss, has just started its harvesting season. He also tell as about another task that will take us out of Ferelden. The other task is going to take great deal of time, and we may lose the change to gather the moss, so we decide to head to gather the moss first.

—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 cast within Orzammar

View
Alalen 8
Alalen's Story

11/11/15

Eventually, our employer returned, paid us, and sent us off on another mission. Fetch some kind of “shadowmoss” from the Wilds. It had been many seasons since I’d seen the south, so I was actually looking forward to it.

After a quick stop in Denerim for more supplies, including more rope and a blacksmith for our town, we set off south, intending to stop off at the city of Lothering. We spent some time talking with the patrons of a tavern, and discovered a number of tasks we could assist with, hopefully for ample reward.

Sam and I discovered the local baron, or duke, or whatever these fools call their idiot leader, needed someone to escort his children down from the north, where they had been staying. When we went to visit, the steward, a lady named Alenka, bade us enter. She dropped a gold coin, which I of course returned to her. Her reaction to it was a bit peculiar, to say the least. But any issues I might have had with her were quickly overshadowed by the Arl, as he introduced himself. I am well aware of how humans treat elves in these cities, and it is one of the main reasons I avoid them, but to have to watch it happen was infuriating. I spent the rest of the meeting letting Sam do the talking, lest I decide to stab the pompous ass. Verbally or physically, I’m still unsure which.

When we rejoined with the others, we found that Legnar had learned of an enormous bandit encampment to the south, which would likely be a problem for us in the coming days. Daryel also told of that there was a sister at the local Chantry that needed to be escorted to Denerim, which seemed an ideal task for when we returned. We all decided to follow through on the Arl’s task first, as it was more time critical, and we set off to join Alenka near the woods to the north.

View
Sam Holbig 7
Sam's Story

28th of Harvestmere, 9:41 Dragon

With the Dalish scout guiding us, we made good time through the forest heading back to the village. Vintiver, that’s what it’s called! Maker above, not even forty yet and I’m going senile already. Anyway, there was a small encounter with a large spider, but we made short work of it and soon found ourselves back in the village.

Obviously, having had several hours’ head start, Harralan and his elves-turned-darkspawn had managed to beat us to Vintiver, but the townsfolk were doing… not too badly, to be honest. A decent number of them at least knew to stick the bad guy with the sharp bit, which is more than I can say for the folk in the separatist village when they were first starting out. (I learned later that Tyriel decided to call that place something like “Aneth Ara,” which is apparently elvish for “my safe place.” Seems as good a name as any to me.) The town’s sheriff, Tauril Dale, was also holding his own quite well, and who should we see when we arrive but our old friends — the dwarf, the Tal-Vashoth, the tree-shaped elf, the human mage, and their two buddies — squaring off against Demon-Harralan himself. Between them all they were doing a fine job of keeping most of the townfolk alive, though the town itself was in a bad way and getting worse. And then as soon as we run up, Harralan lets out this nasty wave of fire that knocks everyone fighting him on their arses, showing us all that he means business.

Well, that seemed a good a cue as any, so Alalen, Legnar and myself charged into the fray while Enna and Daryel held back and peppered the demon with arrows and magic. (Emery cast his firey weapons spell on us, but I think he must have gotten distracted or something, because I’m fairly certain I didn’t see any flame blasts hit Harralan after that.) The demon put up a decent fight, and let out another one of those fire-waves at one point, but that didn’t stop us from literally beating the hell out of him. Ultimately our attacks must have proven too much for the demon to bear, because it shot out of Harralan’s body like a bolt, leaving nothing but a dead, naked elf on the ground with my spear buried in his junk. (Which can’t have been either of our finest moments, let me tell you.) It must have been the demon’s magic that was keeping the others as darkspawn, because when it fled, they all turned back into confused-looking elves.

So the town was saved… in a manner of speaking. The townsfolk were mostly fine, but Vintiver itself was wrecked beyond saving — and it figures that I’d finally remember the damn place’s name just in time for it to disappear from the map! There was little point in any of them staying, and Alalen managed to convince Tauril that he and his folk could do worse than pulling up roots and starting over at Aneth Ara. We spent the rest of the day salvaging what could be salvaged and honoring the dead, and the rest of the night celebrating being alive. I confess I had a bit too much ale for my own good; I vaguely remember challenging the Tal-Vashoth to a street fight and getting turned down, and I’m pretty sure Enna tried to steal one of my kidneys while we were both too deep in our cups. (I gave her a quick jab in the backside with my spear the next morning, so we’re all squared away.) The Dalish we’d left behind on our dash to Vintiver also arrived in the night to pick up their living and their dead, and we convinced them to travel with us a while until we hit Aneth Ara.

The trip back was mostly uneventful. We swung by Denerim, picked up a Grey Wardens representative so we could be damn sure they knew where this chain was going, and I hear our elven party members took the caravel’s lorekeeper to take a look at the quarantined alienages. We got back to Aneth Ara by means of a summoned rock bridge — a fancy trick that, not going to lie — and left the folk formerly of Vintiver to get settled while we tracked down Azrael. Wouldn’t you know it, the bastard’s not here! We’ll have to wait for him to get back from some manner of Circle business before we can properly get paid and get on with this amulet business. (I chatted a while with the Grey Warden during the trip, and apparently this whole scheme has some basis in actual practice and isn’t as trousers-on-head as I’d originally feared, so that’s a comfort at least.) Still, it feels good to have this trek finished and behind us, and I admit I’m actually looking forward to seeing where that crazy wizard sends us next.

View
Alalen 7
Alalen's Story

10/14/15

Halfway back to Vintiver, we were ambushed by an enormous damned spider. We dispatched it as quickly as possible and immediately set off again.

When we arrived back in town, the whole place was under assault by the rage demon and his army of darkspawn. I slightly regret that Enna and Emory offed their blacksmith and a few other able-bodied fighters, as they would have been useful, but it’s too late for that. Only thing we can do now is fight with what we have.

Harralan, as I later found out the poor demon-possessed elf was named, fought hard, but was ultimately dispatched. This freed the other elves from his curse, though we had to make it clear to some of the villagers that killing them off in their confused state was not acceptable.

The town itself being doomed, I suggested they join us and return to Aneth Ara. The place could use more people who have some idea of how to survive on their own. The rest of the night was spent packing whatever survived, followed by excessive drinking. Sam and Enna are an amusing pair of drunks, as their antics border on hazardous for the unwary. Glad that Tal-vashoth declined Sam’s request for a brawl. There has been far too much fighting this day.

The next morning, we all set off on a largely uneventful trip home. Enna seemed to be feeling the effects of previous night’s revelry, as she spent the first day laid out in the back of a wagon, moaning and heaving.

When we finally reached Denerim, we separated from the caravan to enter the city. We collected one of the Grey Wardens to supervise the transfer of the chain we acquired from Harralan, and Enna and I took the lorekeeper with us to inspect the Alienage. The guards there were as woefully unhelpful as ever, but they did at least allow us to speak to a few elves inside. The Lorekeeper seemed to recognize the malady that had afflicted our city-bound bretheren, though I cannot recall what he said had caused it. Perhaps Enna paid better attention?

We then returned to Aneth Ara. The magic bridge is a nice touch, and certainly beats the disorienting after effects of the magic cloud thing they had used before.

Azrael was, of course, absent… Blasted mage. Well, I suppose the time spent training the residents of the town was not wasted, as they showed much more promise than they have in the past.

View
Sam Holbig 6
Sam's Story

30th of Kingsway, 9:41 Dragon

Our path to the ruins was taking us deeper into the forest when we damn near fell over the edge of a 100-foot deep crevasse with a raging river at the bottom of it. Do those normally show up in forests? The only way across was by a fallen tree that conveniently served as a bridge. Of course, those of us who weren’t elves weren’t looking forward to making that trip, and as we were weighing our options, somebody did something to startle a whole bunch of crows out of the nearby trees. These crows started circling ominously over the tree-bridge, and most of us, having experienced enough of this kind of horse crap in our lives to tell what was coming next, were seriously considering killing the whole damn flock and getting things over and done with before trying to make the crossing. Only Legnar Talks-Too-Much suggested that perhaps we should just try to cross; he reasoned that, if we didn’t attack the crows, there was a chance they wouldn’t attack us, but if we tried to kill them they’d definitely attack. (For a fellow who seems to have dealt with blighted creatures before, he doesn’t seem to have thought the logic of that through terribly well, in my opinion….)

Well, the rest of us weren’t having that, so the elves and the mages started blasting crows out of the sky. They started swarming, naturally, and Legnar decided to keep the crows distracted by running across the tree-bridge at a dead sprint, making all kinds of noise and ruckus in the process. Talky little man’s got some serious balls, I’ll give him that. Our ranged fighters gave him some cover while the rest of us made our way across, albeit with much more care and much less speed; my bear-hug-and-shimmy method was probably the least dignified way of getting over the bridge, if I’m being honest. Eventually we all made it across without too many of us taking beaks in the back, though I think Daryel might be having nightmares about birds and bridges for a while yet.

More forest, more walking, and eventually we found ourselves in a narrow valley leading straight to the mouth of the ruins. (I’m still not entirely convinced this terrain is natural, and Alalen backs me up on that.) We made our way down the first set of stairs, and found an antechamber with some decidedly half-arsed defenses: a rusty old blade trap with a tripwire so obvious even I managed to see it, and a trio of decrepit old skeletons. I managed to take down one of the bonewalkers, and Emery managed to trigger the trap in such a way that the swinging blade took out the other two. (He claims this was intentional. I’m not so sure, myself.) The antechamber led to a hallway, which led to some dungeon cells, which held about a dozen beaten-up Dalish prisoners — the remnants of Eshara’s caravel. Apparently Mr. Got-Possessed-By-A-Demon — Harralan, that’s the bastard’s name! — had already turned the others into darkspawn and was on his way back to take out his frustrations on the village. Most of the Dalish were in too bad a way to do much, but one of their scouts agreed to take us back by another path, which will hopefully shave enough time off the trip that we’ll make it back before Harralan destroys everything.

… Hmm. If there’s another, quicker path, I wonder if Eshara knew about it? And if she did, I wonder why she didn’t bother to tell us? Might have to be having words with her about that, if we make it through this.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.