Dawnreach Campaign: Gimble (11.19.2016)

Jeremy’s Group – 19 Nov 2016

Xante – Blue Dragonborn Ranger (Dakota)
Marcus – Halfling Rogue (Sean)
Dagol – Wood Elf Monk (J.D.)
T’ymm – Bronze Dragonborn Sorcerer (Eric) (POV character)

I began the day after downing a nice, hearty breakfast of three kinds of sausages, eggs, and some wonderful local culinary oddity called Dawn Cider to wash it all down; it was quite refreshing. Dawnreach was the first real town I have ever stayed in for more than a few hours at a time; yet, I have been pulled to this place for some inexplicable reason. I miss the steppes, but at least they have some lovely mountains around here, so it’s not entirely alien to me.

After thanking mighty Crom, I met up with an old friend of mine, Dagol. He is a monk who studied at the monastery up on Mount Criba, and he often would spar with me and with the others in my clan. I can’t help but think that he was going easy on me when he did so…but no matter. He had brought with him a Dragonborn such as myself, but this one was clearly from another tribe. This one called himself Xante, and said that he was a ranger; I suppose that means he keeps to the wilderness. I can respect that. Pity about those garish blue scales, though; bronze looks so much better. He’s a fellow son of the dragons, so I expect he can’t be all bad. Much to my surprise, they had a third with them – a shifty little small one of my prior acquaintance called Marcus. An unrepentant rogue, he and I had met when we found ourselves captives in some petty noble’s fortress – Marcus stood accused of filching some gewgaw from this fop’s court; they took me in as well simply because the silly smoothskins didn’t seem to appreciate the inherent beauty of a dragonson.

In any case…We soon found ourselves assembled in the offices of the local Adventurer’s Guild, the Order of the Dawn, where we had all signed up just the day before. We were officially inducted, and given our marks of office. We were then ushered into a small office where we met with a…unique human called Lance Tuelguine, who didn’t exactly live up to my visions of a refined gentleman who would be sending us out to save lives and undertake heroic deeds. He fell quite short of that ideal, truth be told. He was accompanied by a lesser reptile whom he called Vrin, so I suppose there’s that.

Tuelguine proceeded to hand us a dossier about our first official Guild quest. We were to go to a small temple about an hour outside of town and meet with our client, one Sister Charon. We were then to gather all of the information that we could about the objective: a gnome named Gimble Melbourne. We were instructed to find him, and either bring him back alive, or to bring back his corpse, along with the head of whatever slew him.

Once at the Commonplace Chapel, as it was called, we made inquiries of the guardsmen and acolyte with regards to any unusual happenings in the area, as well as about Melbourne, as we awaited a meeting with the Sister. We also discovered that the place was selling healing potions quite cheaply; as we lacked a proper healer, we all took advantage of the opportunity to stock up. I suspect Marcus “took advantage” in an entirely different way, as he seemed to have potions to spare, but his purse seemed none the lighter. Oh well, no matter.

The locals couldn’t tell us much – really only that the women of the community had been seeing some strangers in the area, and that nobody there really gave a dragon’s whisker if this Melbourne fellow was dead or alive. Many of them seemed to believe that the former was preferable. Word had it that the party he had accompanied into the mountains just days before felt the same way, after he led them on an ill-advised attempt to besiege a fortified orc stronghold and came back with only his magic wand. Perhaps they were responsible for his demise; will have to look into it later.

An acolyte soon brought us to meet with this Charon person, who pointed us in the right direction and sent us on our way. Before doing so, she gave us our target’s description, and advised us that he was often flighty and unpredictable. When she last saw him, she said that the gnome had seemed lost, and was furtive, as if he were looking for something.

We soon found ourselves at the end of a valley, in a remote area leading up into the local mountains. However, this wonderful occasion was not to be, as we were almost immediately set upon by a hungry displacer beast. A sable feline the size of a horse, with long, barbed tentacles and a nasty disposition, as well as the natural ability to appear to be in two places at once. The creature jumped down from its perch and charged us, only to find that we were not about to become an easy meal for it. While our stalwart – or perhaps foolhardy – ranger faced the thing in direct combat, I chose the wiser path, instead, putting out a steady stream of arcane lightning from my fingertips. This had the fortunate side effect of preventing its blurring effect from functioning for much of the fight. Once they had clear targets, the rogue and monk were finally able to use their own weapons to assist the ranger in finishing off the – now slightly crispy – monstrosity. Having dominated the fight, I took its hide for future use; such things can be very useful in the right hands. We then all took our own trophies from it, in recognition of a battle well-fought.

Having no need for extra rations, we then buried it in order to avoid attracting any other nearby predators. The ranger stopped for a moment to leave an odd mark near the site, and then caught up with the rest of us. As the edges of the valley walls closed in on us – so very unlike the wonderfully flat, open steppes of my homeland, where one could run a hundred miles and still see a destination days off in the distance – we happened upon a cave. Some unidentifiable noises and grunts issued forth from within. Our erstwhile treasure hunter signaled us to wait in the shadows, as he scouted out the source of the noise; it turned out to be our quarry – the gnome nobody wanted and his dear, close friend, the goat. The poor creature had no doubt been drafted into his employ, judging by the rope around its neck. However, it accepted its lot in life, and paid precious little attention to its captor.

The gnome himself quickly gave us reason to believe the stories we had been told about his welcome – or, rather, his gift for wearing it out. He spoke to us rapidly, confusedly saying that he wanted to press on into the nearby cave, and something about this bizarre wand that he had recently acquired. He wasn’t quite sure why, as he didn’t even know what the wand did. I asked him to let me examine the device – it was definitely magical, but, oddly, I could not discern exactly what type of magic it held. The design was simple and functional, though inlaid with a number of garish designs that gave me a bit of a headache.

Melbourne went on to say that he was on some sort of grand quest of his own, and that he felt inexorably drawn to something within. He refused to leave without satisfying his curiosity, so we had no alternative but to follow him. Par for the course, he led us right to a large, very well-fed ogre which was greedily stripping a massive thigh bone of all its meat in record time. While it was distracted, the rogue took it upon himself to sneak past the creature and let fly an arrow in order to distract it. It was, for him, the shot of a lifetime, as the great dumb beast keeled over after a single shot to the heart. If I had had doubts about this little one’s skills before, they were gone after that.

Now that the monstrous guardian had fallen, our new companion found himself at the goal of his own quest – An obelisk that someone had apparently left in the cave. No sooner had the half-pint touched it (why do they always have to DO that without taking  any precautions?!?), than a bright light issued forth from it. Most of us were able to shield our eyes from it in time, but it seems that Melbourne and Xante did not, earning themselves somewhat scrambled brains for their carelessness. Our ranger recovered quickly enough, and, for the gnome, it was hard to tell the difference anyway.

Our quarry satisfied  – if suddenly somehow even MORE talkative and annoying (something about seals and destiny and all sorts of nonsense that we couldn’t make heads nor tails out of) – we turned around to leave the cavern. Naturally enough, it was simply that easy. A trio of robed figures blocking the way out. It was clear that these silent figures would brook no argument, as they simply closed ranks when we began to leave the cave. Once we were halfway there, their apparent leader drew a fine sword from its scabbard, and his two companions promptly teleported to flanking positions at our sides. The ranger moved to intercept the leader; the monk prepared himself and then turned to face one of the subordinates, leaving the last obstruction to myself and the small ones.

I took up a tactical position where I could hit all of the enemies with my spells as the fracas began. Xante started it off by closing with his chosen enemy; the enemy promptly responded by causing his blade to glow with some sort of eldritch green flame. I’ll have to take a good look at that one later. They went back and forth for a while, but our ranger eventually prevailed, albeit considerably worse for wear.

Dagol, meanwhile, had leaped halfway across the room in a single bound (how DOES he do that?!), aiming a solid flying kick at his mage’s hidden face. While his blow struck true, the mage simply shook it off and laughed. As this seemed like the strongest of the threats facing us, I redirected my ancestral wrath in his direction. He didn’t seem to appreciate that quite so much. Out of curiosity, I attempted to use the wand against our foe at one point; it summoned a small clockwork creature, who agreed to help us fight only after I promised to pay it for doing so. The modron, as I would later discover its species to be, charged into battle and landed a blow, only to get blown to smithereens for its trouble. Thanks in part to that distraction, the monk and I were able to finish off the enemy soon thereafter.

Meanwhile, the small ones were…well, I really couldn’t say for certain what in Crom’s name they were doing. First, they somehow got caught up in a sleep spell (presumably thanks to the surviving mage) which would have put our monk down for the count, were it not for his elven heritage. It did, however, put our dear rogue down for the count until we could spare a moment to wake him up.

Meanwhile, the mage turned his attention to our dear Mr. Melbourne, who promptly started chanting and casting in some bizarre fashion with which I was unfamiliar. I figured I’d ask him about it if we survived. He first threw some sort of fire spell at the enemy, who retaliated with his own magical attacks. His next spell seemed to do nothing but cover himself and the sleeping gnome in a swarm of butterflies, causing his opponent to laugh, and miss with his next attack. As we had finished off our mage, I ran over and slapped Marcus out of his reverie. The gnome then ponied up another spell, which…called in more butterflies. This was beginning to get just a little bit silly. Another miss from the now-frightened mage who had just seen his two allies fall, and Melbourne tried one last time. Surprisingly, it worked! The enemy was struck full-on by a glorious, crackling column of lightning.

It was at this point that our final remaining enemy decided that caution was the better part of valor, and so he teleported nearer to the way out and made a run for it. Fortunately, I had one last spell up my sleeve, and brought him down with one final masterwork stroke of lightning. As it happened, he survived, but barely, so we tied him up, patched him up, and took a brief rest before heading back to the chapel.

The monk claimed the odd sword for his own, as  the rest of us claimed our foes’ enchanted cloaks – it turned out that they provided the wearer with Darkvision; the monk did not need this, so we decided that it was all fair enough. The leader also had some gemstones, which the others shared. I had the wand and the beast’s hide, so we felt that that, too, was fair. With our captive now bound and gagged, we walked him along with us. Perhaps the Guild has a bounty on his head, or would be able to get some useful information out of him…?

When we returned to the chapel, we were greeted mostly with despair once they noticed that their favorite gnome had survived. Oddly enough, the people there claimed to have no knowledge of anyone called Sister Charon or anything like that. Puzzled, we returned to the Guild with our treasures, our quarry, and our captive. Teguin met us there, paid us our bonus, took away our captive, and got us settled in to our shared bunks as we finished our first day as members of he Guild. I spoke with the Guild craftsmen about the displacer hide I had brought back, and they told me they could certainly use it to make a nice cloak in my size – but that it would take several weeks to do so. I agreed, and traded them the strange wand as payment; I figured, if the blasted thing was as unreliable as its prior master, I wanted nothing to do with it. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I earned my keep that night Identifying magical gear for a number of Guildies, my own party included, before I turned in for the night.

I wonder what will happen tomorrow…?

Melkhavin T’ymm of Clan Melkhavin
Order of the Dawn
19th of Elevensies, in the 16th year of Crom’s Third Turn