Darksoul

Alalen 6
Alalen's Story

We traveled on the next morning, reaching another crevasse. There was a lovely fallen tree to serve as a bridge, and a murder of blight crows to harass us the whole way. Legnar ran across like a madman, Sam and Daryel went a-shimmy-ing, while Enna and I laid down covering fire, following at a more normal pace once the others were across.

We eventually made it to the ruins, where we were attacked by three old skeletal creatures. We dispatched one, and the others fell victim to a stroke of fate in the form of a blade trap, though Emory claimed he did it on purpose.

After we search the ruins and found them occupied only by the weak and injured from the aravel, whom we freed and fed, we set off with one of them to guide us along a short cut.

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Sam Holbig 5
Sam's Story

16th of Kingsway, 9:41 Dragon

You know, the thought occurs that, if anyone ever bothers to read this again (myself included), using people’s real names would probably be more useful than nicknaming everyone with snarky placeholders.

Our merry band of adventurers left town before first light, in order to avoid running into Colon the unfortunately-yet-accurately named blacksmith and whatever gaggle of racist halfwits he’d managed to drum up. Elf-girl wolf-bait — whose name is Eshara, apparently — came with us to the edge of the woods, and left us with instructions to find her caravel that I was reasonably certain our two Dalish — that’s Alalen the fighter and Enna the kidney-thief, for those keeping score — would be able to follow. We parted ways, and our group started pushing into the forest while Eshara went back to hide under the Chantry healer’s petticoats. (No, I don’t remember the Chantry healer’s name. Sorry, posterity.)

We had been walking for about five minutes when who should appear from behind the trees but Colon and the aforementioned gaggle of racist halfwits. I vaguely remember something about him saying it would be best if we left town, and us pointing out that we’d already left town, but I may be imagining that. Anyway, the gaggle of halfwits decided to get rowdy, and we had to defend ourselves. Alalen, Legnar (the dwarf who talks too much) and I were prepared to give the lot of them a quick swat on the arse and send them home, but apparently Enna decided she’d had enough of this horseshit and put an arrow through Colon’s brain. The two mages (Emery the human pyromancer and Daryel the elf healer) also defended themselves with lethal force because, as they spent the next hour explaining to Legnar, you can’t pull punches with magic. And in hindsight, I can’t say I blame any of them; Colon and his band of idiots had obviously been waiting for us, which means they had obviously left at least an hour or two before we did, which means he and his motley crew had gathered together and snuck out of town in the middle of the night without our watchmen realizing it. That implies a greater level of malicious forethought (and competence, to be fair) than I’d ascribed to them previously. Still, it’s bad luck that the town’s now without a blacksmith; I may have to see if we can do something about that once all this rage-demon business is concluded.

We walked for a bit longer through the woods, and eventually the Dalish managed to track down what remained of the caravel. It was a right mess, with obvious signs of combat and struggle, but no bodies. Curiously, the only footprints we saw belonged to elves — none to whatever else might have taken them. Sam’s Thinking Cap says there’s three possible reasons for that: one, something came back and painstakingly erased the darkspawns’ footprints while leaving the elves’ intact; two, the elves were taken by something that could float or fly; or three, the elves were taken by other elves. My money’s on the last one, as no creature on Thedas is quite that dumb, and Eshara didn’t say anything about flying darkspawn, but she did mention that the search parties her clan sent out for Grumbleelf McRagepants (whose actual name escapes me — again, sorry, posterity) both disappeared prior to the attack on the caravel.

We spent the rest of the day following the tracks of the elven prisoners, which, surprise surprise, were headed for the ruins. Eventually night fell and we made camp. These cackling jackal-man darkspawn attacked us during the night, but we beat them down without too much trouble. I think Enna climbed a tree to get away from one, and kept shooting it out of the tree as it climbed after her. Clearly these were not the brightest of Thedas’s creatures; who knows, maybe they did think erasing their tracks while leaving the elves’ was a good idea.

Tired. Sleep now. More later.

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Alalen 5
Alalen's Story

9/16/15

Rejoined the group, got caught up on the demon situation. Met Eshara and Legnar. –
I was right, back at the farm. This isn’t good at all. At least the girl survived. Odd to find a dwarf up here on the surface, but more company in dire times is always welcome.

Ambushed by an apparently racist blacksmith and his posse –
I don’t know this loud mouth or what his problem is, but I’ve no time or patience for his bigotry.

Enna and Emory killed the blacksmith and a few of his compatriots –
Well that was a good deal more lethal than I would have liked, but judging from Enna’s disdain for that blacksmith, he did something profoundly foolish while I was away. And anybody who takes a pitchfork to a circle mage is just asking for trouble. Hopefully the local law enforcement will refrain from doing anything rash before we have a chance to explain the situation, but there is little time to do anything about it now. The rampaging demon takes precedence.

We continued on, discovered a trashed caravan and signs of combat –
At least there appear to be some survivors from this. But we had best find them quickly. The blindest darkspawn in Fereldan could follow this trail, and I doubt these people will fare any better in round two.

Followed the trail of those who departed –
Set up camp at night, at which point a group of darkspawn attacked us and were defeated –
So these are what attacked those farmers. I don’t like them anymore than I do the blight wolves. Although them being foolish enough to announce their presence before attacking was good. Had they had time to reach Daryel before I got out of that tree, that could have been ugly

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Sam Holbig 4
Sam's Story

2nd of Kingsway, 9:41 Dragon

Securing our campsite after the blight wolf attack led to us discovering two important bits of information about the wrecked farm. One, someone had scrawled “Mythal” on the wall of the farmhouse in blood. According to my elf companions, Mythal is the elven god of love, motherhood, and — according to some obscure sources — wreaking bloody-minded vengeance against one’s enemies. I suppose I have to hand it to those elves; whatever else you can say about them, their gods can certainly multitask! Two, there was one other person besides us left alive on the farm: a wounded Dalish girl that one of the others found in a pile of hay in the barn. And what should we find in a bag on her hip but a length of chain that matches the one we’ve been sent to find? Not suspicious at all, no sir.

Anyway, the elf-girl was in a pretty bad way, and though our healer was able to stabilize her he couldn’t get her to wake up again. The thought occurred to us that the healer in the nearby town might do a better job, or at least that the two healers could put their heads together and see what they came up with, so we made plans to head back that way. Come the morning, just before we left, we added another traveler to our merry little band: a dwarf rogue who likes to talk a lot, both out loud in the Trade Tongue, and to himself in what I imagine is some form of dwarvish. Not sure how I feel about the fellow yet, but I can deal with his peculiarities if he proves useful enough.

So we made it back to town, and left the wounded elf to the ministrations of the local Chantry healer. (Well, ultimately we did anyway; there was some shuffling back and forth between the farmhouse and the town with the healer’s apprentice in tow, but for all the good it did we may as well have just brought the elf there from the start.) As the day went on, the townsfolk started to get a mite tense, until eventually an honest-to-Maker torches-and-pitchforks mob showed up outside the Chantry demanding that we hand the elf over for some Ferelden countryside justice. Seems the local blacksmith is a hothead named Colon — and with a name like that I’d be pretty angry myself — who is none-too-happy with elves as a whole; he got in a fight with a band that came through town for a festival a few days back, and now he’s got the town convinced that they’re the ones responsible for all the darkspawn running about. To be honest, the thought crossed my mind at the time that he may well have been right — I’ve heard of stranger things happening. Still, the elf was the only witness we had to the farmhouse massacre, so we told the mob that unless they wanted to burn their own damn Chantry down, they could go home and wait until we had a chance to put some questions to her. The mob dispersed, and later the sheriff (who’s a much more reasonable fellow by my reckoning) came by to apologize for the whole affair. I get the sense that everyone except that fool blacksmith had the good sense to be a little embarrassed by it.

It seems that whatever-it-is that healer did worked, because the elf woke up later that night. She told us that her merry band had a hothead of its own, and that he was the one who got in a fight with Arsehole the Blacksmith. After the elves left town, their leader sent Hothead off to scout and cool his temper a little; apparently he never came back, and soon after the elves got taken prisoner by darkspawn and taken to the ruins we were headed towards. Seems there’s a big demon there now that no one seems to have heard of before. Elf-girl managed to escape with that bit of chain we saw, and apparently that annoyed the demon enough to send the darkspawn after her. One thing led to another, and next thing she knew she was back in the Chantry with a farm full of slaughtered innocents in her wake.

Okay, time for old Sam to put his thinking cap on. This chain we’re after was supposed to be binding a rage demon, right? The sort that, I don’t know, might possess a pissed-off elf scout with a bone to pick against human bigots? And then together, the two of them might start slaughtering random farmers and leaving the names of angry elf gods scrawled in blood on the walls, mightn’t they? I realize I’m jumping to conclusions, but it’s not hard for me to figure out a likely chain of events here. Speaking of chains, we’re still getting paid to get our hands on the damn thing, and now we’ve got even more reason to head out to those ruins; elf-girl wants us to save her band, and pretty much everyone agrees that rage-elf-demon-pants and his darkspawn will wipe out the town if we let them be. Looks like our trip is about to get a bit more exciting….

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Legnar Umlaut Contract # 1
Contract Completed

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

Contract Completed

Reward: Free stay at the tavern until the end of the festival with meals included. Free mead on main festival night. (I much rather coin for my work, but I’ll use this time to rest and relax before moving forward trying to find brother and sister)

Nothing wrong with a little R&R and I’ve at this trek for a good four months now with very little knowledge nor lead on where to go next. The Festival in Vintner is not unlike the drunken get together in the Deep Road, just a lot of less fighting. Did notice a group of elves get onto a scrape with the local blacksmith, but couldn’t tell (nor care) what was the issue. The mead and ale was flowing well throughout the night. Stay a couple of days after the festival and I felt like I stay in one place for too long. Left at first light headed to the capital city in Ferelden, Denerim.

Passed by a farm on the outskirt of Vintner, but noticed that it had been destroyed since walking into town, decided to take path through farmstead for possible people needing assistance (and possible rewards). Turns out is was attacked recently and the problem was taken of by a group of adventures, that greeted me, WITH A NOTCHED BOW TO MY BACK!!!! Turns out they believe that I was a shady figure that cause the problem. (Can’t blame them)

With the confusion behind was I discovered that they also came the farmstead in these condition, only with a few dark spawned wolfs within the area. So they introduced themselves, five in total, but I’ve only meet three due to a problem that soon arose. First the one who approached me at arrow point, an archer: couldn’t tell the race, she was keeping her face hidden. (a good number were actually). Her companions often jokes about her affinity of kidneys and collecting them. The next who approach, and diffused situation, is a human and looks like the front lines of the group, wielding a rather large spear and shield combo with a generous amount of armor. A guardian so to speak. The last was another hooded male with the clothing of a non-­combatant with no visible weapon, save for his walking staff. I assume he to be a mage of some kind, perhaps their healer. Mainly because he come with telling for a problem there are currently having with a elven girl, which that found in the aftermath of slaying the wolves, not responding to his treatment.

I offered to lead them to Vintner and bring her to the local chantrey and see if they can assist her their. The group was… not ecstatic with the idea (I don’t know why) but compromised in with one people accompanying me to see if chantrey could offer a hand with her case. Once back in town, the air felt different and uneasy about something. We made it to the chantrey, explained the situation and they offer a scribe to assess her condition, so we rode back to the farm. The scribe couldn’t believe the state of the farm seeing that is was an active farm a couple of weeks ago but quickly started examining the girl. Here I met the other two members of this group. Another hooded male with a good amount of weaponry on him. Probably an all round combat expert. And the other of a human male with the obvious marking of a circle mage. The scribe determined that there is little that they can do here and need to return the the chantrey for proper care, and that the girl was safe to be moved. So back to Vintner……AGAIN…..

I found myself is this town for a third time in one day, and I started to noticed the looks that everyone is giving to us. Unsure if those looking are intend for me, the group, or the unconscious girl I couldn’t tell, but the air felt heavier still and I something was going to happen soon. Once in the chantrey, I discovered why the hooded members of the group were hooded. They were elves. (Not that I cared, but they did) I have notice a discrimination between elves and humans, and is gotten worse the farther I traveled east. I assure them that it didn’t concern me what race they were and I completely despised people looking down on others based on their race, caste, clan, or noble standing. The rest of the day went mostly uneventful, just a explanation why the group is traveling together, a proper introduction to myself, how and why was my travels lead me out here, and it turns out that they may need someone of my skillset. They explained that they are send in search for a magic chain which housed a demon within chain. Odd thing it, they may have found the chain already! Only trouble is the mage and healer can’t sense any magical properties within the chain and they only lead is the eleven girl which they found with the chain in hand. And so we wait……

During the down time nearing twilight, the town started problematic, to the point where the blacksmith created a mob and started demanding the chantrey to give up the elves. They believed that the elven are the cause for the misfortune at the farm and that they have been causing problems ever since the festival. Sam, the guardian, tried to defuse the crowd only to the blacksmith counter back, claiming the he wasn’t at the festival and the group isn’t allowed to be trusted. I step into the conservation and started to speak my mind. Seen that I’ve done a service for the town and couple days ago, some members to the mob started to sway into our direction. The warden of the town shows up and calm the mob further down and with that the healer, Daryel, step out a reveals himself as an elf asking the mob, “If you believe that the elven girl is responsible for the misfortunes, then let her speak for herself! But for now she is currently injured and healing up at the moment!” And with that speech the blacksmith lost the favor of the mob and everyone started to clear out and head home. As the mob dissipated, I thought is was it for a little recon on the blacksmith. Seeing that he was the inciter of the mob, I grew suspicious that he has a motive in the elven girl. Mainly for the fact that the group never said anything about the farm and he was the one who brought it up. I shadowed him back to his shop and waited till he was asleep to have a closer look. A simple lock on the window, easy enough to slip in undetected. After entering the shop I found nothing pertaining to the elven nor anything involving him with the farm. Just a bad blood with elves. (Each day, i find more and more discrimination against elves, has it always been like this?)

Once I head back to the chantrey, I found the warden, Tolden, it speaking with the group. He apologizes for the blacksmith and the rest of the town. As I was trying to catch Tolden
attention, the elven girl starts stirring and waken in a panic. She introduces herself as Azshara and she escaped from captivity from an old set of ruin within the forest. The warden states that many adventures head to the ruin, looking for it’s secrets, but nothing ever turns up in those quest and the adventures leave disappointed. So this is a recent thing that is happening. Azahara explain that she was with the group of elves that partook in the festival, until the incident with the blacksmith. Their caravan left shortly after, but on of the main scouts took off after the fight in a rage. Not wanting to leave the scout, they sent many scouts to search for him. None returned. The next day the caravan was assaulted by creatures and took the survivors from the attack into the ruins and she escaped from their, grabbing the chain that Daryel currently has. After a quick investigation about the chain, we discovered that the chain was holding a demon of rage within itself and it seems to have found a way out and possess the enraged scout.

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Alalen 4
Alalen's Story

10/2/15

I’m decided to do some scouting the of nearby countryside, as well as hunting in the area for additional supplies. Parted company with the rest of the group with plans to rejoin in town in a few days time.

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Sam Holbig 3
Sam's Story

19th of August, 9:41 Dragon

Returning our share of the stolen goods went better than I expected. No one was thrilled to be getting back so little of what they’d lost, of course, but everyone handled it with a decent amount of grace, and we at least got a little bit of silver for our trouble. That other crew with the dwarf and the Tal-Vashoth invited me to join them; I don’t want to commit to anything just yet, so I left them with a non-answer and the hope that next time we meet, it will be on friendly terms. (Still, I have promised the dead guard’s widow to “take care” of the one that did the deed, so I suspect the Tal-Vashoth and I will be having a reckoning at some point.)

On the way back to the separatist village, we joined up with a Circle-and-Templar caravan that happened to be going to the same place; needless to say, it didn’t take a scholar to figure out they were friends of Babyface’s. When we got back, I found that the two Dalish had been hard at work whipping the volunteer militia into shape. Good for them — this town needs a bit more backbone if it’s going to last more than a fortnight. I was about to start putting the volunteers through the old Wall Guard paces myself when the Circle mage — who, it turns out, is an elf and Babyface’s brother — came out with a proposition for us. Seems he’s got the idea in his head that there’s a way to kill archdemons without sacrificing the life of a Grey Warden to do it. All he needs to do is gather these artifacts that are scattered around Thedas, and do some kind of mystical mumbo-jumbo to them, and he’s oh-so-certain that it will work because he’s done his reading and….

As you can no doubt tell from my tone, I think his plan stinks worse than Orlais cheese and has about as many holes in it. And it’s not just me, either; apparently neither the Circle nor the Grey Wardens themselves (who have the most to gain from such a thing, I might add) are willing to provide Mageyface with any support until he’s got more concrete proof. It doesn’t help that the first part of the puzzle is a chain that’s apparently ALREADY being used to keep a demon tied down. Not the sort of thing you want to go messing with based on some spellslinger’s half-baked theory! The whole thing strikes me as being irresponsibly reckless at best, downright insane at worst — and to be honest, I’m not entirely convinced that Mageyface isn’t some secret cultist with an evil scheme to destroy the world hidden up his sleeve. (That last part’s hopefully just paranoia on my part; it seems the local Grey Wardens have heard of him, and in an “oh, that crazy mage” sort of way, not a “this is a madman who needs to be put down” sort of way.) Still, the mage’s coin is good, and we decided we were willing to play along, if only to bring in the Grey Wardens and do this whole thing properly.

So, the Denerim mage, the Dalish, and I — along with a new face, an elf healer we picked up in the village — made our way south to where the chain was located. Word is that it was being kept in a Warden’s keep, which… may be ruined, now? That part wasn’t quite made clear, which is worry number one. Worry number two is, as we were getting close to the keep, we happened upon a farm that had been infested with blight wolves, whose house had been torn open by some horrible beast with great, nasty claws. I’m thinking a werewolf, myself. Needless to say, none of this is helping to convince me that this new quest of ours is a good idea….

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Alalen 3
Alalen's Story

8/19/15

Met Daryel
A healer, excellent. Given the propensity for injuries in this little town, his services will be most beneficial. And if his connections in nearby villages can help with establishing trade routes, so much the better.

Began training the villagers –
LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS!
A few hours later –
Okay shit let’s use sticks before Daryel gets overworked. A couple of these people may show some potential, but the rest can’t tell which ends of the blade go where.

Met with the circle mage about the main quest line.
I don’t fully trust this circle mage, but then I never do. His talisman idea may be insane, but it is at least worth looking into, once we verify his story with the local Grey Wardens garrison.
Met with the grey wardens in the capital –
Having verified the mage’s story, I am increasingly convinced that he is insane. But at least he appears to be genuine. Still potentially dangerous, but at least not malicious.

Found murdered farmers –
Whatever did this was big and vicious. I had best stay close to Emory and Daryel. The last thing we need is one of these things getting the drop on them.

Fought blight wolves –
Disgusting creatures… A shame we allowed the last one to escape. But they are too small to have been the ones to kill the farmer, which means there is something else out here.

Searched the house, found writing in blood alluding to the Elven God of vengeance –
Oh yeah, that can’t be good…

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Sam Holbig 2
Sam's Story

5th of August, 9:41 Dragon

In exchange for us not introducing their guts to steel and open air, those two ambushers agreed to bring us to their base and their leader. They took us to this great big chasm outside the city, where a dagger-faced elf mage cast some spell that whisked us across to the other side in a puff of smoke. Now, the fact that the only ways back involved another magic trip or a long walk along the chasm edge set my whiskers a-twitching. I expected an ambush or a double-cross, but so far these folk seem to be relatively honest. We were brought to this… well, calling it a “village” is frankly giving too much credit, “pile of tents and huts” is more like it. Anyway, we were taken to the largest and least shitty-looking of the huts, and out comes the leader of this rabble: a blond, baby-faced elf who seems to have come to Denerim from elsewhere, as we suspected. We chatted for a while, and on the face of it his motives seem noble enough: the point of all this was to create a place for city elves to go to get away from the awful conditions in the Denerim alienage. Still, there’s the little detail that elf-boy and his friends stole a whole bunch of stuff to build their little haven, and left a whole bunch of pissed-off merchants back in Denerim as a result. We suggested that perhaps he and his lads might gather the bits they didn’t need together to give back as a peace offering, while we went to go track down our wayward warehouse guard, who was apparently patrolling somewhere outside the camp.

Well, as it turns out, our wayward warehouse guard managed to find that other team that was ahead of us. Seems they were after the bounty on these stolen goods as well. They had a dwarf, an elf, a human mage, and a great big fuck-off Tal-Vashoth — which is a Qunari that’s not a Qunari, if you’re not confused enough already — all armed to the teeth and battle-hardened, by the looks of things. Naturally Mr. Guard, displaying the same amazing lack of tactical sense as the rest of his buddies, decided to pick a fight with this scary lot, and took the Tal-Vashoth’s mace to the melon for his trouble. We managed to chase them off, but the guard was already dead and gone by the time we made it to him. Oof, not looking forward to having that conversation with his wife and kid. Well, obviously we couldn’t just leave him there for the crows, so we cleaned him up, wrapped him in my bedroll, and took him back to the camp.

So, we get back to the camp, and we see that all the elves and elf-friends are running around in a tizzy. Turns out that other group took all their supplies and started heading back to town, and none of baby-face’s boys were able to stop ‘em, because apparently they can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag. They had horses for us to borrow, though, so we rode out after the other group, and managed to catch them as they were making their way along the chasm. (Still not sure how they managed to get so far ahead of us, since they only had the Tal-Vashoth dragging that big old wagon all by himself. Magic, I suppose?)

Now, at this point, we could have tried to pick a fight with the other group; they were wounded (or should have been — again, mage), and we could outflank them, but if anyone screwed up the supply cart might have gone over into the chasm, and then nobody would’ve won. And frankly… why bother? After all, this group’s done nothing but try to return stolen goods to their rightful owners. A day ago, we were doing literally the exact same thing. And yes, the situation’s more complicated than that — when isn’t it? — but it would have been hypocritical, petty, and frankly damn stupid to risk losing everything in a fight on that cliff face. So we had a chat, like civilized folk, and decided to split the goods up. They get their share of the bounty, and we get ours. The two Dalish are going to take their share of the goods back to the elf-friends, while me and the mage will ensure everyone gets paid. After that… well, we’ll have to see. Like I said, conditions in the Denerim alienage are nasty, and apparently there’s a sickness in there that they need medicine to treat. And it seems that baby-face and his elf-friends need some serious whipping into shape if they’re actually going to make this plan of theirs work. Looks like we won’t be wanting for things to do if we decide to stick around here for a while.

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Alalen 2
Alalen's Stort

8/5/15

After traversing the ravine via magic –
Well. That was disorienting, but undoubtedly useful. I was not looking forward to having to climb down and then back up the other side.

Upon entering the village –
By the gods, these men had but a matter of days but they have already manged to use all of the lumber they stole. Even if the village is crude, that they were able to build it so quickly is nevertheless impressive. Unfortunately, it is going to make recovering the lumber master’s stock… Problematic… But first let us see to meeting their leader and finding some answers. After that, we need to find the missing guard. If all of these men have the same manner in greeting strangers, it is only a matter of time before they make enemies out of a less forgiving group.

After meeting with Orlegolas Bloom –
Finally, some of my fellow elves have freed themselves from the alienages. That some of the humans from the city have joined them is surprising, but not unwelcome. But why did they have to steal everything they did to do it?! Have they any idea of the problems they have caused for themselves?! They will not be free of the rules of the city when the authorities hunt them!
Argh! I will have to deal with them later. For the moment, finding the guard takes precedence, before this mess gets any worse.

After the fight and the guard’s death –
offers prayers to Dirthamen for the slain guard and his wife and daughter
This explains the reports of another group ahead of us. My fears have been confirmed, the others seeking this group of thieves have reached them first, and are not inclined to avoid casualties. Now we are going to have to explain to a little girl back in the city why her father won’t be coming home.

After returning to the ransacked camp –
Does no one in this little village know how to fight? 4 adventurers were able to rob over 50 armed men and make off with the remaining supplies. Once there is time, I’m going to have to have word with these men. Stolen goods or no, they need to be taught how to defend themselves and their possessions. For now, we need to catch up with the mercenaries. If the villagers can be the ones to return the stolen goods, it may go a long way towards establishing more amiable relations with the city.

Returned to town, brought back a share of the supplies –
At least we were able to recover some of the supplies. It would probably be better for the town if they had been the ones to return them, but this will have to suffice.

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