Rudi's Notes 11-17-17
7th of Arodus, 7416
A warm breeze carried through the windows of the library, rustling different papers spread across the table that the Viridian Guard had gathered around as they finished planning their next expedition.
“Of course I’m all for troll hunting. But I just mean- well, don’t you think we should ask ”/characters/chied-sootscale" class=“wiki-content-link”>*Chief Sootscale* about them first? I mean, Kilthirka did say trolls approached the Sootscales to help in the attack back in Pharast. We always meant to pay a visit to the Oak Top mine, but haven’t gotten to it. Also, Cassius or Faderean, did you find out who those people were down in that basement? Shouldn’t we worry about Gyronna’s cult just picking up where they left off when we leave to take care of the trolls?"
“With their leader dead I have little fear of the cult returning. Nevertheless we should spread word to be on lookout,” Cassius said.
“Unless that wasn’t actually their leader, or maybe someone related to one of the ones we killed took up the reins… It might have spread further than we think. Convictions can be funny, especially if someone feels wronged.” Rudi said.
“Justice will prevail here. The stench of corruption will draw the righteous. That is, if any rot remains.”
8th of Arodus, 7416
Thunderstorms overnight give way to to clear, sunny skies as the wheels of the Viridian Guard’s well worn wagon turn to the north with much creaking and groaning as Pendersnatch Horsington III and Filbert snorted and huffed their way along the road. They enjoy the waning days of summer, strolling north into the heart of their fledgling kingdom. It’s past noon by the time they see the first signs of the silver mine.
Tools and broken equipment that couldn’t be salvaged were piled along the road leading to the Oak Top. Closer to the entrance, they see an assortment of humans, gnomes, and dwarves milled about, grimy faces peering at the group as they drew closer.
Recognizing who approached, a pair of large kobolds armed with pikes led the group through the mines to the chieftain. As they passed, they saw rough hewn scaffolding bracing the walls, supporting miners that swung picks and shovels. The tunnels more opened then they had been on their previous visit, and more secure. The grunts and cussing of the various races hard at work echoed through the chamber, along with the cracking of stone and moving of earth.
The guards didn’t stop until they had reached the throne room. Comparatively clean, meaning it didn’t smell like a giant had used the underside of the mountain as a latrine, it was still cluttered. Ornate decorations were scattered about with little regard for how they pieced together, with no full set of anything in sight. A chandelier hung from the center of the room, the flames from the candles dancing merrily.
“Welcome,” the chief croaked in broken common, bowing low before Sear. The feathers in his headdress swept forward with him, before being brushed back as he stood up straight again. “What is good?”
“We decided it was past time for a visit, Chief Sootscale. We wanted to see your progress before solving the troll problem the region seems to have.”
“Good. Threatened us,” he said before switching to draconic to better represent himself. “But with my mind and wit, I was able to secure the mine.”
“When was this?”
“Recently, four months ago. We were told we would be destroyed if we didn’t side with them.”
“Chief Sootscale, I’m not entirely sure we can trust you. There should be little doubt that we can handle trolls. They followed your visit with an attack on Valour. And if you had warned us, lives could have been saved.”
“Listen, some of your people were lost. The Sootflecks, they were some of yours that moved to Valour. Trolls killed them while they tried to defend their home. We can fix it, just help us now.” Rudi interjected, trying to smooth things over.
“Yes, perhaps this can be remedied if you share what knowledge you may have.” Cassius said, stepping forward. “Chief Sootscale can hardly be blamed for trying to save his people. If anything, he did an admirable job. In the future any and all threats will be reported. Is that correct?”
“Yes, yes. The Sootscales can be trusted. The trolls have home in the south, led by one smarter than most. Not as smart as a kobold, but maybe- maybe as smart as halflings? It smart because of fae, they give it power.”
“Thank you, Chief Sootscale,” Cassius continued, pushing back the insulted Rudi. “You did a great job in defending your people, but remember, your people are a part of Dun Scaith as well. We will protect you the same as everyone else of these lands, as long as you obey it’s laws and serve.”
As their business was concluded, Chief Sootscale held his sheathed dagger out to Cassius, who did the same, the pair swapping daggers once more. Ritual complete, he clapped his scaly hands together and a feast was brought out. They languish around a table in an odd assortment of chairs, mismatched and dinged. The food is bad, simultaneously undercooked and burned.
Rudi raised a brass goblet, filled with wine that tasted more like vinegar, and took in each member at the table in turn. “To the bravery of the Sootflecks that helped protect the friendship and prosperity of all Scaithians! To the death of the trolls that seek to sunder that! To Dun Scaith!”
9th of Arodus, 7416
Before leaving, the Viridian Guard is brought on a brief tour. The operation is haphazard, using equipment little better than what was spotted on their way into town. They’re introduced briefly to the foreman, a beardless dwarf. His cat eyes peered at the group down his snoutlike nose, with fangs protruding from the end. Despite his disconcerting appearance, the kobolds loved him.
“An emissary from Restov is here to see you,” she said, her one good eye trained on Sear.
She led the group to the library, where they spotted the man, draped in ornate robes and dripping with jewelry. There is a traditional sword of the swordlords resting at his hip, the pommel ending in an orb. Cassius scowls as he sees him, while the man smiles and bows as they approach.
“My cousin *Weyrmund*… forget any of your belongings, you may want to count your fingers after you shake is hand. And take his words with some skepticism, we called him Wormtongue as children…”
“Lord Sear, it is a pleasure to meet you finally,” Weyrmund said. “And your… council as well it seems. I bear a message from Restov.” He held out a scroll in his bejewelled hand, the parchment bearing the seal of the Sword Lords. “You’ll find that my lords are pleased. Though a part of Brevoy, Restov is a free city. Not an Empire. They are heartened to see you following suit, and would be even more pleased to hear that you would continue to follow…”
Sear unrolled the note and found a charter for clearing the trolls that had been disrupting the region. Proof of their removal would gain them 2,000 gold personally, and a sum of 40,000 gold for the kingdom.
“The Sword Lords would be more then happy to send troops themselves, but they are worried about giving certain entities the wrong idea as these lands are still very much contested. However, this will make it possible for further peace later.”
“We will be cleansing the trolls ourselves, under the banner of Dun Scaith,” Cassius said.
“Oh, you misunderstand cousin. We only seek to further peace.”
Sear rolls up the charter, before slipping it into a pocket, before enjoying further small talk with the Surtovan, with talk of Weyrmund taking *Cassius*’ room.
“It’s quite alright, I’ll stay with Rudi.”
“Oh… no yeah, ok. Well I’ll have to move some stuff, and it will be a little tight since I’m living in that closet ..”
Cassius changed his mind after hearing that, choosing to stay at the inn instead. Shortly after, Weyrmund leaves after Rudi kept mispronouncing his name.
10th of Arodus, 7416
As the next day dawned, the Viridian Guard rolled from Valour on the South Road with little fanfare as usual, though more urgency than their previous departure. The road quickly gave way to a trail, the regions to the south far less developed, slowing their progress slightly.
Still, after several hours, they make a quick stop at Beldame’s, and handed her the few rattlecaps they had managed to save.
“More should be growing in the Mud Bowl… we didn’t take them all,” Rudi said, taking the 300 gold coins. “Just be careful, those are poisonous I guess. And hey, have you heard anything about trolls in the area?”
“I’ve heard rumors about a host of trolls in dwarven ruins, but know little else except of their existence to the south,” Beldame said. Armed with slightly more information, Rudi walked back out, and the Viridian Guard continued south past the eerie lights on Candelmere lake, until they make it to the Mirk River. The Lizard Folk are happy to see the group.
“No. We sensed the blood in the water, and scouts found the bodies of those creatures… I talked to the Gods about them-”
“No, the real gods. Those creatures are of the salt waters. Why are they here? What are they doing? Or is it, what did you do?” He asked without accusation, merely curiosity.
“Yizzik, please watch the waterways. It could be important,” Sear said. Afterwards another meal was brought out, and for the second time they feasted with the Lizard Folk, though this one was more modest.
“To the bravery of the Lizard Folk that died in battle in the Candelmere!” Rudi said, holding up his jack once more in a toast. “To Yizzik and his people’s efforts in protecting the friendship and prosperity of all Scaithians! To the death of the… fish people that seek to sunder that! To Dun Scaith!”
11th of Arodus, 7416
Ferried the rest of the way across the Mirk River, the Viridian Guard continued their journey south. With little clues about where the trolls might reside, they journeyed to the area they battled the drake and start looking for signs of the trolls.
12th of Arodus, 7416
While they explored, Hydrastis spent the better part of the day before in a futile search for tracks, and continued doggedly as the sun rose again. She found no traces of the trolls, but does spot dragon tracks, and seemingly larger ones at that. They pressed onwards, feeling suddenly insecure.
A blue draconic form crashed through the treetops before slamming into the ground next to Rudi. It had a smaller head than the drake, and had only wings instead of arms. It’s tail snapped in the air, ending in a needle like tip that dripped with fluid, before whipping forward and piercing Rudi. The halfling screamed and stabbed the tail with his trident instinctively as the creature went to pull it back, roaring at the annoyance of the burning weapon.
The wyvern snatched the halfling up in it’s jaws then, pulling him from Thlayli’s back as it’s tail snapped forward again, flapping it’s wings so it could rake Rudi with the razorlike talons on it’s feet.
Glod clutched his warhammer and called on Torag to mend the halfling’s wounds, while Sear coated Rudi in arcane grease. A pair of air elementals appeared next to the wyvern and distracted the beast, as Hydrastis finished her spell. The wind from the Wyvern’s wings blew the elven woman’s cloak behind her, her hair streaming back. The eyeless sockets of her Stag’s helm were trained on the beast as drew her bow, loosing an arrow that slipped between the wyvern’s scales, sinking further and further into the creature’s chest until the arrow head rested just next to its beating heart. The beast shrieked in agony as it flapped its wings, blood raining onto the ground below.
Rudi dropped to the ground, his own blood spilling to the ground to mingle with the wyvern’s in the mud. He crab walked backwards, gasping for breath as the tail snapped forward and skewered him one more time. Cassius rode past once on Mandarb, thrusting his lance into the creature, pushing it back, before slowing to a canter and spinning his steed once more.
It’s prey slipped from its grasp, and with enemies closing in while it’s life slipped away, the wyvern lifted itself into the air. Hydrastis fired another arrow, but it was Sear’s fireball exploding into the beast that sent it crashing back through the trees.
On the forest floor, Rudi pitched forward, veins black and bulging, his breath crackling in his lungs. Glod asks Torag to slow the poison, while Hydrastis pulled off his chainmail and packed the multiple wounds with poultices. Once he’s stabilized, Hydrastis is able to track the wyvern to it’s lair and pillage it’s horde.
13th of Arodus, 7416
With Rudi still mending, they load him into the back of the wagon and continue to explore the region, finishing mapping out the forest.
14th of Arodus, 7416
The weather continued to hold as they mapped the forest, sunny and warm in the latter days of summer. With the sun dipping over the horizon, Hydrastis barely spots a hill through the forest with an irregular shape to it. It was hidden amongst the scrub brush in the rocks, but with her falconine eyes, she can spot the deliberateness of the arrangement.
They debate the next course of action, but decide to head up the next day. Setting up camp in a rocky alcove, they wait for a new day to begin their assault.
15th of Arodus, 7416
At first light, Hydrastis led the way towards the structure, spotting the troll tracks coming and going easily this close to their home. They follow the trail up, hugging a steep cliff face to avoid the sheer drop off the other. Near the top, at the end of the narrow trail, a stone structure jutted out. Brush was piled up around it, while a rough hewn door, once finely carved, was now burst free of its hinges, propped up with the bronze fasteners hanging limply on the door’s side.
Faderean snuck forward from the rest of the group, carefully avoiding rocks and rubble as he crept towards an arrow slit on the wall. Inside, two trolls sat amongst the ruins with two large, houndlike beasts on either side. One of them raised it’s head, sniffing the air and growling, until one of the trolls yelled and cuffed it on the head. Reporting back, the Guard devised a plan that relied on guile for a change.
Sear tied himself to a piece of rope, handing the other end to Glod, while he stepped off the cliff and cast levitate. Using an illusion spell, he crafted an image of a bridge leading towards him, while Faderean kicked the door free from the frame. It crashed against the floor, dust soaring into the air before sifting through the streams of early morning light, revealing the troll’s shocked faces to Sear. The room was quickly filled with an explosion, gouts of fire licking against the stone as a fireball crashed into the room.
The troll’s houndlike creatures bayed and bounded through the opening, with the trolls immediately behind. One of the hounds charged straight at Sear, gnashing it’s teeth as it stepped through the illusory bridge, before the howling turned to a sharp yelp of surprise before crashing into the rocks below. One of the trolls skidded to a stop at the edge of the cliff, roaring in frustration and anger at the sorcerer who hovered just out of reach.
The creature spun to join it’s brethren in attacking Cassius, the cavalier having stepped forward onto the landing outside the entrance, when Glod climbed from the shadows calling on Torag. He made a fist with an outstretched hand, then let it drop back to his side. With a rumble, the rocks at the troll’s feet gave way. The monster roared and scrambled to catch solid footing before plunging from view. It’s roar was cut off by a sickening crunch of snapping bones and falling rocks.
“Did you see that?” Glod called even as Cassius threw his shield up to block the grasping claws of the remaining troll. Cassius swung his longsword in retaliation, spraying viscous blood across the stones. As he readied for his next attack, the troll’s wound was already closing.Rudi threw himself forward, stabbing upwards into the troll’s neck as he hunched and readied to spring towards the cavalier he faced. With a gurgle, he dropped to the ground.
“Yeah, I saw it, we were all standing right here!” Rudi called, wiping blood from his face. Past the doorway, Faderean kicked at the remaining trollhound that ripped at his leg, trying to pull him to the ground, freeing himself long enough to step back and fire his crossbow. Despite it sinking into it’s shoulder, the troll hound lunged forward once more,, and Faderean stepped back once more only to bump into the rocks behind him. Cursing to himself, he pulled the trigger on his crossbow, and the bolt buried itself into the trolls bulging neck and silenced it.
“Well make sure you put it in your diary, or journal or whatever the fuck it is!”
From inside, the group could hear more of the denizens stirring, the call of trolls, the barking of trollhounds that were loosed.
“How the hell do you know about that? Are you going through my- shiiit!” Rudi yelled. He was running towards the entrance that had been vacated by the door, only to be greeted by the slavering jaws of another trollhound. It snapped sharpened teeth at Rudi, pulling him to the ground before looming over the small man. A beam of fire burned the trollhound as it tried to maul Rudi, serving as a reminder for Glod of the battle that still raged. The dwarf threw his dwarven hammer, crunching into it’s face just to have the weapon appear back in his outstretched hand.
Cassius kicked the trollhound off of Rudi, and with a downwards thrust silenced it, just as a second fireball hissed over his crouched form, careening through the doorway and crashed into the room. The blast illuminated two more trolls, casting long shadows on the inner chamber. Two fire elementals appeared, as if born from the flames as *Hydrastis*’ spell completed. She nocked an arrow and loosed at the trolls inside, while Cassius maneuvered around the inside wall, peering through the slit in his visor, sword and shield readied before him.
Faderean cranked back his crossbow hastily, lining up a shot, only to have the mechanism misfire in his ear, leaving his ears ringing and grasping the side of his head.
Climbing back to his feet, Rudi stepped forward to join Cassius in fighting the trolls. He threw all his weight behind his trident as he drove it into the troll’s leg before ripping it free. After the battle with the wyvern, and the new wounds he had sustained, his trident dipped in his hands. The pair of trolls turned to look at him, and slashed at him with taloned fingers, turning exposed flesh to bloodied ribbons.
Hydrastis and Faderean fired through the doorway, while Glod channeled his divine energies to heal Rudi from behind. The halfling made his stand, refusing to give ground to the hulking beasts. Making a desperate attempt to kill at least one with a shocking grasp spell, lighting arced down his burning trident, only to have it ripped from his mind as the other trolls massive hand caught him across the side of his head.
Sear, bobbing off the edge of the cliff, fired one last fireball into the room, forcing Rudi and Cassius to cover their eyes as the trolls were wreathed in flame, leaving the pair of trolls writhing around the ground as Sear’s anger consumed them.