The Outcast Kings

The year of Garuum

With the town secure and politics becoming dreary, Waka decided to get

back in touch with wilderness. After spending time hunting and

ensuring balance of nature in the surrounding areas, Waka decided it

was time to visit his old friend Garuum.

Garuum was excited to see his old friend coming to vist. They spent

the nights laughing and eating. The days were long and peaceful with

good good laughter. Garuum and Giles became close so i decided to help

Garuum train his own pet. Garuum was stubborn at first because he

believed he was too powerful and did not need nature, only its meat.

Eventually his loneliness and desire to grow in strength and numbers

overcame his stubborness. He missed having an empire, plus people

wouldn’t listen. Leaving his home, we searched many lands to find the

best pet for Garuum.

We came upon a wolf den under assault by poachers. Rushing to help the

pack, the poachers were killed with a few maimed survivors escaping.

The wolves were thankful and we spent a few nights sharing meat. I

taught Garuum how to be sensitive and one of the mothers and her brood

took to Garuum.

Upon leaving, the mother and her pups followed Garuum back. I stayed

with the den to set up an entanglement trap and bulk up the pack

should the poachers return.

A few weeks later when I returned, Garuum had a few more of his old

people come back to him. Suddenly his little cave was not enough. He

began to expand and I suggested we make allies with our town and help

with mutual protection. Garuum, in his famous words, said ‘good good’.

Over the year his encampment grew to a small village. Denizens and

fauna inhabited this village. Their trade was agricultural and they

sold rare herbs for medicinal purposes.

After my adventure with Garuum, I went to the old stag temple and set

up a saurian shrine. I left a note in druidic in the hopes to

promulgate more dinos within the area and to communicate with my old

home. Maybe I get message?

Now back to dirty town where people talk too much.

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"This Is Home"

Wyn is sitting at a desk by an open window, quill poised in her hand and hovering above a page of a heavy leather bound tome. Her journal is still mostly empty, waiting to be filled with the scratchy and cramped Abyssal handwriting that has covered the previous few pages, the text marching across on straight parallel lines, leaving little to no margins around the edges of the pages. An odd combination of fastidious and messy – chicken scratch strung along perfect lines. She is staring out the window. A quick breath in through the nose followed by a sigh… then she begins to write…

It has been a long time since I last sat down and wrote. It has been such a busy year… but it is important for one to reflect back on their life. This journal is not meant to be a chronicle of my life; it is not intended to be read by any others. It is merely a tool for observation, and perhaps catharsis, when needed. I’ve been almost numb to emotion while working toward taming these wild lands and developing new territory. And am I even sovereign or merely a figurehead? I’ve taken up the position of the “ruling Lady” because a new and weak country benefits from strong and clear leadership, but I cannot do this alone and rely heavily on my companions whom have founded this new “kingdom” with me. And I see them suffer with the new burden of responsibility as well. Krom has been like a pent up owlbear – I feel as though news of a war or impending invasion will be the only thing to cheer him up. He did spend an awful lot of gold on that giant statue of himself. And put it right in front of the castle too! I know it’s not the same as cleaving through mites or taking on bandits, but it seemed to give him some joy, so I let it slide… and I guess the townsfolk seem to like it as well. So why not? A menacing reminder of what’s waiting for you if you dare try to storm the castle. Hmm…
Development of the city has been fast and steady and our economy has been doing well. We have seen new business, infrastructure, amenities, and facilities added to our city. More farm land and residential areas are needed to answer to the demand. It’s all good news for us, but it’s easier said than done to provide for a burgeoning population. I’d have liked to have had a proper temple built but the funds were needed for other projects. Jhod and I settled for a shrine – I’m hoping to have a temple built before too long. (I’ve sent word to the clergy of my temple – the one that was my home and school for much of my life – to come and join this new community and bring services for the dead, and the neonates.)

The populace of Wynnysburg (ugh, regrets…) is quite diverse and I find it fascinating. The kobolds have a very strong presence in this city; we’ve even had a kobold quarter develop in the NW of town, and Draconic is not uncommon to hear even amongst those not native to the tongue. Svetlana had to step down from position as diplomat due to maternal duty, so we’ve had a kobold take up that position too. Not everyone was happy with the decision, but I have faith that our acceptance of all peoples and creatures with a common interest to have a safe and prosperous kingdom will benefit us all in the long run. There are many half-elves and half-orcs, gnomes, halflings, some dwarves, and even the odd full blooded elf have taken up residence. Many more have travelled through or come to visit. Word of new illusion magic and potential for an arcane quarters and maybe even a university had started circling around, drawing in more numbers of people from all classes and backgrounds. When I went to inquire about this with Theod he said he had no idea what I was talking about! I’m never quite sure with that man. I’ve mainly left him to his own devices, and though he complains, he is actually quite a good teacher for the youth being sent to him for basic education. His family even came to visit and they were all over him with praise and affection. It was sweet to see, and made me think of my own family… Mouse also went to go see her brother, and Isa went along with her. Apparently they had their own adventure on the way and back. I’ve yet to get the whole story. It seems that at least half of it has either been lost from memory or sworn to secrecy. Well, maybe one day I’ll get it out of them. They are actually quite entertaining when sauced (but not in harrowing situations or in battle – that’s a different story entirely…). Ah, thoughts of my mother still creep up. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her last. At least three decades? She was old, but not so elderly when she passed. A weak heart. Even though she left me at the temple to be raised, she was still present in my life and came to see me often. She wanted the best for me. After I was born and… and the change happened, she was scared and took me to the clerics to be saved from_ the evil inside_ me. I was barely 12 months old. Tiny horns sprouted and my skin went ashen, my hair grew white, like when one goes through a terrible shock. My hands became more and more rough, clawlike. I still prefer to wear gloves and a hood on a regular basis, though most people have seen me without by now. It would be nice for this city to become a haven of sorts for people like me… I haven’t run into another of my kind at all yet – though 50 years cloistered in a temple wouldn’t make for many encounters with strangers.

The city! My mind wanders. The city has drawn in many new people, but not all those that arrive are here to do good. We’ve been having to keep a strict guard on any violent or illicit activities going on. Wakka has been doing a good job considering how many people he has to keep watch over and how few he has to work with. He caught a band of miscreants trying to set up shop with dangerous potions. I’m hoping we caught them early enough that none of it managed to trade hands. We’ve also had to be diligent with our security now that the mint and bank are in operation. It’s a risky endeavour but the benefits it will have on the businesses and growth of wealth of our citizens will open up a whole new level of socioeconomic status for many. Having one large pile of gold will attract unwanted attention. Minting our own currency is helping with weeding out counterfeit coins and debasement. I’ve been talking with Oleg and others about the use of bank notes between well established businesses and citizens with large investments in the city. We’re looking into some tamper proof magic to prove authenticity. It’s not always reasonable to physically move large amounts of gold around the city, and there is also risk while doing so. Having a large reserve of gold to borrow was tantamount to our survival through a terrible drought. There is always liquidity risk, but the Wynnisburg coffers are still doing well, if it came down to a situation like that. Another large financial project has been brought up. Chief Sootscale has requested that the kobold lair be developed into a proper city. I’ve been speaking to the others and having meetings with Oleg and Chief Sootscale to see if it’s reasonable for us to help, and how best to go about it. As it stands we have no real military; as the kingdom becomes greater we will likely have to defend ourselves to keep our land. Having the kobolds as close allies is not a bad idea…

I’ve been skirting around a major issue that I have to deal with. The surmounting pressure is getting unbearable. I hadn’t thought about the actualities of ruling a kingdom through. Brevoy is ruled by a consanguineous monarchy. And it looks as though… it’s expected that Wynndom will be the same. That means an heir is a very important role to be filled for fear of a power vacuum if none have familial claims to the throne. And the people of Wynndom have been very clear about the need for one.
And to add fuel to the flames, a charming prince from Varnhold came to visit and create friendly relations between our kingdoms. People flocked to the city when word got out that he was travelling here. Prince Benedict Cumberbatch (just making sure you are all actually reading this) was quite the gentleman while he was here. I’m not accustomed to so much attention, I didn’t know how to react. And all I could think about was the pressure to have children! With my damned bloodline I had never considered having a child and risk them become like me. I’ve been lucky to have fairly subtle changes. And it was also so odd how unaffected the prince was by my deformities. I haven’t spent much time in front of a mirror so I’m not sure what he’s seeing. It’s so embarrassing, I think I’m actually genuinely flattered by all his attention. He swore he would return and I’m actually looking forward to it… what is happening, I haven’t had to cope with anything like this before. Svetlana keeps teasing me that our children can have play dates together, like it’s a done deal and she’s just waiting for the day! I’ve decided it’s a good time to go out and start expanding our territory again. It will be good to go adventuring. Clear the mind. I just need to get out of here for awhile!!

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Much Tree Business. Bring Druid Next Time.
Krom enjoys a good day of cutting things.

Frustrations of glowing lights took me to doubt sharpness of my blade. Any day where I prove less useful than Stage Magician is certainly bad day. Still, I am lucky enough to be alive to record another adventure, and this time things worked little more in my favour.

Before we could go on adventure, Cleric (I suppose she is Queen now. But I will remember her as Cleric) informed us of attacks in night at rural community within kingdom. Without hesitation, we travelled North to investigate. While we do have kingdom to run (or at least others do. I am literally only soldier in army), who else to trust than ourselves?

At first we believed pack of wolves were perhaps invading man’s space and devouring livestock. But attacks on people were quite peculiar… and even more peculiar was fact that attacks were during full moon. We begin to suspect werewolf.

We consider variety of options, including rushing back to get silver weapons. But I inform that silver weapons are not just something you can buy at market. I would know, because I tried. Instead, we hope our brute strength may overcome werewolf’s thick hide and fur. We are stronger than before, now. Perhaps this one will bleed.

At night, travelling merchant draws beast from edge of forest. Hiding behind other side of road (or at least attempting to), we charge out and engage beast straight on. Cleric cast grand spell to disarm beast’s large axe. I charged in and dealt it first cutting blow. Though werewolf still had its claws and jaws, it was not so tough without its weapon. We slayed him.

Sadly, Cleric could not come with us for journey proper. It seems being ruler of land had more responsibilities than I imagined. Could she not hire someone else to deal with ambassadors and annoying demands from her public? And what is all this business about heir? She is Queen! She could just use someone else’s baby. Or go to brothel dancing house and remove need for tedious husbandry.
In any case, we travel West into forest. There is little of note other than trees, which after first hundred you begin to tire of observing. Near midday we come across pool of water, woman peeking out from pond and crowd of equally angry woodsmen arguing about some trees. I could not care less about her trees, since she has more trees than our kingdom has disposable income. However, angry fae make for unpleasant foes.

Eventually, we negotiate for woodsmen to cut elsewhere, and promise water faerie some new trees made from coins. I did not quite understand her request, but my party was eager enough to go for it anyway. We delve deeper into forest, but I do turn my head to look at pond one last time. Tree coins. Ridiculous.
Deeper into forest was dryad, weeping by herself. I do not really wish to hear her problems. I just want tree coins (ridiculous), but party itself insists we help her. Sure. Why not. More adventure for tree coins (stupid). I am tired and wish to look for gold or shinier swords than waste time with tree people. I did not really listen to her pleas, but followed party all same.

It was during our travels South that I hear mention of Scythe Tree. What is scythe tree, I ask? Lizard Dog explains it is maybe tree with scythes. I deeply consider implications of evolutionary existence.

I did not have to consider long. In darkness of thick woods, I am forced to light my lantern. In flicker of its light I witness gnarly scythe-like tendrils of great tree. Surely, this was scythe tree. I cannot fight with one hand, so I am forced to snuff lantern out and drop it. I blindly charge into tree, unfortunately missing it. I feel one of its sharp branches cut along my forehead. glancing blow, but I am reminded of my immediately danger.

Fortunately, my fellows illuminate forest with fire. tree is burning, and in light of its suffering I can see clearly. My next strikes were exact and deadly. Even tree could feel pain from edge of sword!

We are triumphant, and in debris I take for myself fancy-looking cloak. Stage Magician is adamantly against my wearing it, but I mock him. Nerds don’t get to wear cool things.

It has been long and fruitful journey. We have made new allies and defeated enemies. But as we return to Wynysburg (should be Kromville, personally) we encounter our greatest foe yet: dissidents. This man had nothing nice to say about us, those who run kingdom. For what it’s worth, he made lot of good points. At least about others, not me. But still, who else is expanding territory and forging new allies? Who else is acquiring so much wealth for kingdom? Certainly not dissident.

Frustrated, our party devises plan to destroy Dissident’s reputation. Personally, I would have preferred fabricating civil war in which we win, but Stage Magician’s plan was admittedly decent. I got opportunity to pummel Dissident unconscious. Stage Magician tricks Dissident into falling in love with Cleric. As he rushes towards Queen, I beat him down with pommel of blade. It was easy.

Many people praise me for saving Queen from “assassination”. Nak-kreet even says he will write it in his epic. Fools. It was all fake, and they believed it so quickly. It seems unrest is quieter, but I cannot help but wonder about our actions. We executed Dissident for something he did not do. He was annoying, yes, but innocent.

I am told it is for good of kingdom. I accept this at first, and I sleep well. Maybe Dissident planned to do something evil anyway. But maybe not. I begin to doubt wisdom of Drunk Councillor and Queen with Demonic Horns.
As I write last sentence down, I realize how problematic my allies might be.

Diary of Krom Greyfoot

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Mouse's Log: I Hate Ghosts

At long last we set out on another expedition to learn the lay of the land. And probably conquer it. Or to just alleviate our bordeom. Who knows at this point?

Mikmek was attacked by a giant turtle. I stayed on the shore and tried to hit it with my crossbow. Surprisingly, I didn’t fail spectacularly. Only mildly. Its shell was quite tough, so I didn’t think I’d be able to hurt it anyway. Maybe if I’d jumped into the water and tried my rapier… but I just got some new boots, and they were a little on the pricey side, so I decided that the others could handle it. And I was right. As usual, Krom’s desire to slay mostly-innocent creatures proved useful.

Theod got a rock.

The next day we came across a smelly bog. I got sick. People threw rocks at mushrooms (and Theod). I don’t want to talk about it.

Only slightly more interesting was shortly afterward, when we happened upon a lake. Some lights were spotted on the shore of a small island on the lake at dusk. I wish Wakka had been with us, because he would have undoubtedly claimed the lights were ghosts.

They were. And they were terrifying.

Thankfully Theod managed to convince the ghosts he could have destroyed them with his new pet rock or something. I couldn’t hear too well over Krom’s uncharacteristic whimpering.

Theod also found a knife. I think it’s messing with his head. He’s not his usual cheery self. I don’t like it. So I guess I’ll keep an eye on him and his creepy knife.

I didn’t have fun during this journey at all. I’m glad to be home and bored.

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Mouse's Log: A Drug Worse than Alcohol

We stopped exploring for a while and things were incredibly boring. I must have spent weeks just roaming our tiny settlement and making excuses to chat up whatever handsome elf happened to be passing through. But even successful flirtation gets boring after a while, and I was starting to get a reputation I didn’t want. Eventually our generous horned Queen decided we could take some time to do whatever we wanted (I suspect she was tired of Theod tinkering with his illusions — I know I was, as entertaining as they could be at times), rather than sit around waiting for things to be built. To that, all I can say is long live the queen. So for my “summer vacation” I decided to visit my younger brother, since I’d been away from him for so long. As I was writing the letter, however, a drunken Isa stumbled in and spilled whatever she was drinking all over it. When I explained what I was doing, she apologized and declared she would join me on my journey.

The exchange went something like this:

“I’m writing my brother a letter. I’m going to go visit him.”

“You mean WE’RE going to go visit him!”

“Isa-”

“Here, have some of this!”

“Wait, IsaaaaAAAAATRRRHGGNOWSNLNSMVNOWSBUMEBROTHDNSAADTRGH”

Liquor was promptly poured down my throat. I decided fighting it was futile, and the absinthe was surprisingly good. I was glad to have some company, anyway. Although I was a little bit wary of what would happen. Isa does not have the best track record when it comes to good ideas, after all.

It turns out my fears were warranted. A good deal of my time was spent in a drunken stupor.

We set out at dawn the next day, bags packed with food, weapons, and enough booze to last us a year. My fellow half-elf proposed a celebratory drink to get our adventure started, and against my better judgement I took her up on her offer. That was the end of my sobriety that day; whatever she gave me went straight to my head. I assume we stumbled around like idiots for a while. I vaguely recall someone passing by and asking us if we were okay. I don’t know how I responded but I’m pretty sure it was positively. I remember warm, rough hands. They might have been Isa’s though; I imagine swinging around that sword of hers could give a girl some nasty calluses.

I think the next few days were similar, because I remember having to take a day to recover from drinking so we could find out where we were. It appeared that the gods favoured us on our journey, as somehow we ended up right where we needed to be… and ahead of schedule.

I don’t even know.

In any case, we stopped for a while in an old stomping ground of mine. I got caught up on all the local gossip and Isa visited every tavern in the small town. It was a fun night, full of laughter, merriment, and, of course, booze. In a stroke of luck, however, we didn’t even have to pay for our drinks. One of my old flames had come into possession of the tavern we decided to visit and he took quite the shine to Isa. “Can’t let my old sweetheart an’ ’er pretty little friend go thirsty now, can I?”

I made sure he was tipped very handsomely.

Soon after, we were back on our way. Shenanigans occurred. I think. I don’t remember very well. (And there are some things I’d rather NOT remember. Isa is not nearly as pretty when she’s hungover.)

Eventually we reached the town in which my brother had settled. I, at least, was sober when we met with him. He hasn’t changed much, aside from gaining a little bit of muscle. (He’s still prettier than I am, the bastard. Figures he’d get the bulk of mother’s elven genes.)

He and Isa seemed to get along quite well, for the most part. I think she even sobered up for a while, which I’m thankful for, since Aron was a little bit uncomfortable with her rambunctiousness.

We spent a few days catching up with what we were doing in our lives. Aron’s been working as a merchant with a friend of his. Very innocuous. He was somewhat surprised to learn that I’ve become the leader of a spy network (hah!) in a kingdom I helped found. He was even more surprised when Isa told him she was the councilor.

“You decided to make her councilor?”

“Yeah.”

“Is she… sober enough to do her job?”

“Never.”

“I know like everyone Mouse. Everyone. ‘Cause we drink together ’n’ stuff.”

I was then asked why she was calling me Mouse.

Once we had gotten the pleasantries out of the way, the three of us decided to have some fun. Isa even managed to convince Aron to drink. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. In fact,

[ The next few pages have been torn out of the book; there are still visibly torn edges, and a few other pages are slightly crumpled. Some ink is smeared. ]

(Note to self: try to remember what else we got up to and write it all down when Aron isn’t around. His embarrassment is cute, but I really don’t want this book to be destroyed.)

When it was finally time to leave, Aron made sure to pack our empty bags full of bread and dried meat. I felt a little bit bad, taking food from my struggling little brother, but he assured me that the townsfolk kept him well fed, and mother and father would be back from their travels within the month. He wouldn’t starve. So we reluctantly accepted.

On the way home, we were once again sidetracked. We happened to pass by that senile bastard of a potion merchant’s little cabin. Since Isa has demonstrated on multiple occasions that she is skilled at the art of rock-pitching, I convinced her to break his windows. Being yelled at has never been so satisfying.

The second misadventure on our journey home happened as we passed the Mites’ tree. In a fit of drunken silliness, Isa insisted we investigate it. I told her we already had. She said we hadn’t and ran off to go look. I followed, hoping to stop her from going back in and falling to her death. Unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough, and even worse, I was just drunk enough to stumble in after her. Gracefully, of course. As if I move in any other manner.

As soon as we tumbled (gracefully!) into the tree, we came upon a small group of mites. It would seem that in the few months we’ve been away, they have begun to repopulate. I feel as if I should be alarmed at how quickly their population has grown, but I’ve heard nothing of any sort of disturbance involving mites, so I think it’s safe to say that nothing will come of this. Still, I should inform the others just in case (but maybe keep Mikmek in the dark. I don’t want to agitate him).

I digress. They looked like they were going to attack us, but Isa drew her “Jingle Sword” and waved it around a bit. I think they were impressed with the gentle tinkling noises of the bell attached to the end of it. But it wouldn’t keep their attention forever, so thinking quickly (and not particularly clearly), I offered them the bottle I’d been drinking from a few minutes ago. In retrospect, I think that’s what caused the whole mess. But it didn’t matter, because shortly afterward everything became a blur. Then Theod showed up. It seems he… acquired a horse while we were gone? It wasn’t quite the large, graceful white stallion a man with his… tendency for flamboyance would be thought to have, but it was enough to get us all home.

Apparently its name is Stan. Weird.

Anyhow, Theod informed us that when he found us, we were dancing and singing merrily (and loudly, and badly; that’s how he found us) in the mites’ tree. When he jumped in to “rescue” us we were apparently ranting and raving about being gods. He put on a very unflatteringly squeaky voice that I’m guessing was for emphasis when he told us what sort of thing we had been saying:

“NO. YOU CAN’T DO THIS. WE’RE… GODS. WE’RE THE GODS! OUR PEOPLE NEEEEEEEED US!”

I’m pretty sure Isa said that. One hundred percent. It was definitely her. No doubt.

So thanks to Theod, we’re back home and all caught up on everything that’s happened while we were away. I do believe I’ve had enough alcohol to last me a lifetime — my head is still pounding, even as I write. I can see why Isa is so taken with her liquor, though. It certainly helps keep some of my less pleasant thoughts at bay, but I think I should lay off the stuff for a while. I have important duties to attend to, after all.

… Scratch that. I can hear Isa calling me.


After a few days of detoxing, I decided to go back to my routine of wandering around and seeing what I could pick up from people. I was surprised at how much our little town had grown in the weeks Isa and I were away, but I think it’s fantastic. I have more faces to learn and buildings to inspect, so I figured it should keep me entertained for a while at least.

I was right. There are many interesting new people coming in and out of our town.

I ran into Mikmek shortly after resuming my daily rounds. It seems he was picking up the slack while I was away and patrolling the city. Aww. Maybe I’ll appoint him leader of a team of spies, assuming Wyn lets me put a proper network together. I really should bring that up with her, but she’s so busy all the time. Still, there’s a prince involved now, so I don’t mind waiting a little longer. Her lovelife is much more interesting anyhow.

(Note to self: dig up more info on this prince. Only the best for my friend our Queen.)

Anyway, back to Mikmek. He informed me of all the things I had missed, and gave me a grand tour of the new portions of the city. He seems thrilled about the Kobold village, and with good reason. I’m excited about it too. I’m excited for almost everything we’ve planned out, and what we’ve built. It’s finally starting to seem like a kingdom rather than just some half-assed collection of houses. I will admit that I kind of miss the intimacy of a smaller town. Seeing my brother and some old friends again has reminded me of how much I like knowing everyone (and all their habits and haunts).

I’ve also realized how much I hate gaudy statues. I sincerely hope Krom isn’t actually proud of that monstrosity.

For the most part, our city has been pretty peaceful. There are the usual arguments among our party, but that’s to be expected. I don’t think Krom and Theod will ever get along, and I don’t think Isa and alcohol will ever NOT get along. Outside of our little group, however, things have also been relatively calm. Although there was that one little bump with the ‘brewers.’ While making my usual rounds one night, I overheard some men muttering something about selling potions. Now, having spent much time around Theod, I like to think I know what most potion brewers are like — the genuine ones, anyway. These men seemed shady, so I tailed them for a while. As I suspected, their concoctions were far from normal. I decided to tip Wakka off about them, and apparently he did a magnificent job of cutting the problem off at the source. I like Wakka. I just wish I could understand him better, though I think he is improving in speaking Common. I’ve picked up a little bit of Draconic myself, since it’s become such a common language around here. Maybe I should arrange something with Wakka. He can teach me, I can teach him? I’ll have to figure out how to ask first, though. I don’t trust my translator.

Speaking of my translator, his illusions are getting slightly less ridiculous and slightly more entertaining. His strange exploding light displays are nice. I think his visiting family was a little bit too proud of it, though. They seem… pleasant, if not a little smothering. I’m a little bit jealous. A little bit of motherly affection can go a long way, but I suppose when all one is concerned about it how she appears to others, certain things must be sacrificed.

[ The next page and a half has been filled with increasingly messy notes, and what little was legible has been scratched out entirely. ]

I suppose I shouldn’t dwell on it. I’m a spymaster in a kingdom of my own founding (sort of). I’ve got more important things to worry about. More glorious things. More glorious things that can only be achieved through the shadows. Which means I won’t get recognized for my accomplishments.

… I miss traveling.

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Theod's Log - One Year Later...

Similar to my last entry in this journal, my time has been monopolized to the point at which taking the time to write about every mindless act of foolishness and argumentation brought about by our merry band of idiots.

I don’t quite know what to say of myself over the past year, since Wyn essentially locked us all within the gates of Wynnys or whatever. I’ve done my best to keep the city together as Magister. The unfortunate thing about being automatically elected Magister is that, beyond my own inexperience, the fact that any students I DO receive are inbred yokels incapable of breathing with their mouths closed. I still remember the time I asked one student to close his mouth for a few seconds, only for him to nearly suffocate. How am I expected to create a magical academy with such plebeians? Regardless, I press on.

Much to my humiliation, I’ve resorted to spending my time teaching children simple mathematics, grammar, what science I know, etc. I have become a glorified babysitter. I’m sure my siblings take great pleasure whenever they scry my activities. This is not what I left the academy for. I intended to show the world that magic is meant for those of intellect and cunning, not for pyromaniacs and glory-hounds (e.g. my family). I’m not actually fulfilling my goals by tending to children and simpletons.

Speaking of simpletons, I’m becoming quite irritated with our “Glorious General” Krom. Statues of him line dot the town. I can’t believe his misplaced vanity. NONE OF US have really done anything worthy of a statue. The townsfolk seem to buy into the idea that Krom is some kind of war hero, but I’m fairly certain the man knows nothing of military tactics. The Kobolds are especially fond of his gaudy statues, perhaps to the point of worship. I ought to talk to Mouse about investigating whether or not Krom is inadvertently inspiring some kind of dangerous cult of personality. Krom cannot know about such an investigation, I couldn’t stomach being subjected to another cacophonous ballad inflating his ego.

What else is there to say? A few months ago, I was idly experimenting with the potential applications of Color Spray. This led to some silly rumours spreading that I was making some grand announcement of a new form of illusory magic. It took months before the slew of persons arriving slowed, each seeking to uncover some new form of arcane theory. I guess it was nice to speak with individuals capable of literacy and magical competence for a change, especially those interested in illusions. I guess I inadvertently invented a variation of Color Spray capable of creating amusing light displays? Anything to please the masses, I guess. It’s nice to receive some adoration for a change. On the other hand, Krom is forcing me to use my innovation to spice up his parades and poetry readings. a doodle of Krom being eating by a large bird can be seen on the margins of the page

The town’s growth continues to surprise me. We now have a bank, a mint, a pier, a market… still no actual facilities for which I could properly teach the arcane arts (the makeshift classroom by the stables is still undergoing repairs after that horse kicked its hoof through the wall. We seem to attract plenty of races. Half-breeds, kobolds, halfings, dwarves, etc. We don’t see many gnomes for some reason. Peculiar. Mikmek and Chief Sootscale have petitioned the creation of a Kobold district within the city. I already used my “colour works” to entertain a kobold festival, so there is certainly enough of a demographic to support such a request. To be perfectly honest, I’m not a fan of this proposal. I have nothing against kobolds, but frankly the sound of hissing and screeching I am subjected to already is enough as it is. Furthermore, I’m beginning to suspect that Mikmek is much more cunning and ruthless than we let on. Mikmek is already running around with his kobold secret police. Isa and Mouse are still under the impression that he is, quote, a “cute wittle babby.” The previous statement was then punctuated with vomit being projected across the room onto an unsuspecting elf. I’m not going to lie, it was quite amusing.

The town itself has remained relatively safe. The odd wolf and bandit attacks have caused some concern, but if there’s anything my cohorts are good at its swiftly and violently killing the Divine’s creations. We have been experiencing dry conditions, culminating in a drought and a forest fire. We were able to overcome both issues relatively easily, the latter being resolved with some clever application of Obscuring Mist. Conditions have improved recently, apparently because our druid appealed to the ghosts or something.

We’ve been getting a few interesting visitors recently. A Prince came to visit our idyllic domain. I oddly knew nothing about him, his lands, or his lineage. I never got to inquire precisely where he was from, as one of his court mages seemed determined to intercept me with conversation on magical theory (my bane, I know; how could I resist such succor?). He seemed quite smitten with Wyn, horns and all. His entourage brought much business to the town, so how could I object? Hopefully a beneficial pact of friendship arises from such dealings.
Oh, a shop selling jerky opened. Pretty tasty jerky, if I dare say.

Speaking of visitors, my horrid family came to visit. They feigned interest in my exploits and mocked me with insincere praise. My father said he has “always been proud of me,” but I know better, the cruel bastard. They then used their magic to build a park. Lousy show-offs. I was happy when they ceased hugging me and left, fake tears filling their eyes. I hate them.

Svetlana gave birth to a wonderful baby boy! Dimitri, his name is. Cute kid. She held me hold the dear boy. I saw a lot of myself in the boy. Handsomeness, mostly. I pray the child grows into a healthy young man with a bright future. Not much more to say on that topic.

An issue arose involving Isa and Mouse going missing. I was sent to go look for them, seeing how Wyn is running the cities day-to-day affairs, Wahka is busy routing out insurrection, and Krom was posing for the ninth painting that week. I found them, drunk, in the Mite’s tree lair and… to be frank, I’d care not to say more of what happened. That was a silly happenstance and no one must know of it.

Not much else to say of the last year, really. I guess, in retrospect, the ‘academy’ has been doing reasonably well. Lessons on illusory magic seem to be well-received. I still am often forced to care for children and those with subpar intellect, but I’m at least finding myself attached to the children. Our experiment is quickly becoming a runaway success, but I am concerned with the growing kobold presence. I hope it is not prejudiced of me to be weary of our scaly allies. The group has decided to go out on an extended mission of exploration beyond our territory. Perhaps we’ll find great riches, new allies, valuable land, or (almost certainly) a lot of shenanigans and misery. I am glad to get a chance to escape the city. Despite my caring for my students, I prefer living free of restraints as they exist in responsibility to the city. It will be nice to be free of such commitment, at least for a little while.

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The Ballad of Krom Greyfoot
Composed by Nak-kreet

It is the seventh moon, and dragons dark
As all the nightliest of skies fly by.
My saviour, legend of the lands and sea,
Enjoys the rarest opportunity.
Imprisoned, cast in stone, the mighty glare
Of Krom the Grey, of Krom the Fleetest Foot,
Now watches all the kingdom from the hill.

What wondrous gift to Wynnysburg, a man
Worth tens of thousands, men, kobold alike,
I smile and offer praise to Krom the Grey
But humbly, Krom rejects and calmly says,
”Stop it, you’re embarrassing me. Go away.”
And never once was I so moved again
By any creature’s words, since Krom the Grey’s.

With naught a war nor dire insurgency,
The master swordsman Krom is worse for wear.
No blood to wet the appetite of steel,
No flesh in dying quivers shakes his sword.
The general, the big man Krom the Grey
Grows tired of sedentary life today.

The Kingdom grows, but not so Krom the Grey.
And now the world he knew is out of reach.
The walls of safety stretch beyond his sight,
The homesickness invades the heart of Krom.
How so he ails for battle once again,
To throw away responsibility
”It’s not like that you stupid Iguana,
I just hate sitting around.”

An apathy ensnares the heart of Krom.
His world is not as simple as it was.
A General without an army is
A King without a castle and a throne.
But Wynnis still is small, for all its girth,
A standing army has no place in peace
Or so it’s told to Krom the Grey once more.

”To Hell with this. I go alone.”
I hear my saviour grunt within his room,
In which I enter stealthily each night.
”I need to fight.”
I peek from underneath the bed and see
The empty bottles covering his desk.

And with a sense of urgency, I chase
The Fleetest Foot the city’s night.
No guards will wander through such alleys black
But Krom the Grey is blind to every shade.
The rage within his heart and clouded mind,
And liquid in his blood to wretch the breath,
Has stumbled him to dangerous avenues.

It’s not until the shining morning’s rays
Does Krom awake from miserable repose.
I waited for him, in his cell, at jail.
A tooth or two, perhaps a bone misplaced,
And eyes of newfound colour unbefit
For Krom the Grey and Krom the Fleetest Feet.

It’s not the first, and never was the last,
For seven moons did pass, and now the Grey
Is faced with unrelenting tyrrany.
The walls he sewn, the kingdom fit inside,
Are not a palace to his glory, but
Prison walls to separate his soul
And leave the body rotting down inside.

”Lizard Dog,”
He spoke to me, a first in many moons,
”Am I still great?”
I told him fairly, all great men do share
Descent into the deepest of despair.
”But they crawl out of it.”
At least, the ones who prove their title’s worth.

The Green Dragon sails its third moon tonight,
For once, it’s I whose woken in my sleep.
”Get up you stupid bard lizard.”
The splash of water frightens me awake.
”We’re going. Get your gear.”
He throws me clothes. Not clothes… an armour suit.
Was this the work that drove him to the smith?

We ride before the sunrise, quietly.
I dare not ask what madness molds his mind.
But as we stop upon a canyon steep,
He pushes in my hands paper and ink.
”You can write and play lute,
You must draw too. Draw maps.”

It was the first of times I did not feel
The lust for blood or hunger for a kill.
Did Krom the Grey, and Krom the Fleet of Foot,
Find something new to satiate his thirst?

The kingdom grew; the city walls were thin.
As Krom explained, defences were in need.
One’s territory posed a passive deed,
To shape the land could help protect his kin.
Besides, it was a good excuse to leave
The walls behind him, riding out with speed
And live the wilderness once more, and now
To challenge it, and beat it into shape.

”How’s that for the act of a great man?”
He asked me of his strategy. Indeed,
Distractions were an able way to hide
The haunts of one’s mentality. But then,
I wonder still under the seventh moon
If Krom the Grey, and Krom the Fleet of Foot,
Can keep his sights upon cartography.
Or will addiction shape his life with death?

to be continued…
Ballad of Krom Greyfoot

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Wyn's Log "Please Take Me Home"

I was glad to have what I believed to be a respite from the bureaucratic responsibilities of developing our fledgling town-cum-kingdom. It’s been feeling a bit ridiculous taking on the ruling position and some have even begun using the title “Queen” for me. Queen of our half built castle and some cold and hungry colonists. All the most reason to really sit down and get things going. Our choices and judgements no longer affect just our crew anymore (what a terrifying thought in hindsight…). But for a couple days we ventured out to see where we could potentially keep expanding to, and where to best avoid if possible. It was of the latter that we came upon…

First we started down south from our town, following along the river. There were bluffs covered thick with nettles for most of the way but we did find a small path winding down along a cliff face leading to a fishing pool. It seemed calm enough – until MikMek decided to go for a swim and came back with a huge snapping turtle at his heels. (While this encounter itself wasn’t very pertinent to the place we shall avoid for a long time, what we found after played an important part in our escape.) The turtle’s shell provided some protection from our attacks but in the end it wasn’t much trouble for Krom to get some arrows into it while Isa grappled it in the shallow water. Theod had conjured up some sort of hideous illusion to distract the beast but I’m still not sure what exactly it was supposed to be… we had him put his magic to good use and sense for anything arcane in the waters. Something did resonate so we sent Mikmek to take a dive into the pool and see what he could find. He retrieved a blue gem – upon closer inspection we realized it was an elemental stone. It would summon a water elemental if broken or crushed. Theod hung onto it for us.

The next day we ventured further and came upon… well, I just remembered that there were actually two places we will likely never return to, at least for as long as possible… We came upon a mire so foul that we could barely approach it. The fetor would likely knock a man out if one were to attempt to cross through the roiling mud. Even at our distance I felt nauseous. Enormous fungi shot up into the sky from the noxious earth. We stood and watched for a moment and I could have sworn there was movement. Isa and Krom both attempted to throw a rock at the closest mushrooms but both stones missed. Theod had had enough and turned and left. I followed quickly after, and soon the others did as well.

Our third day shirking real responsibility brought us to a large and clear lake (Lake Candlemere) with an island at its centre. There was a tall tower on the island so we thought it would be a good place to investigate. We spent the day building a raft to get us there. At night during watch I spotted some eerie glowing lights dancing about the shoreline on the island. I bet if Wakka had been there he would tell us they were ghosts…

The following morning we set out on our makeshift raft for the island in the lake. Somehow we made it without any complications. It was pleasant even. The small island was covered in unwelcoming brambles and nettles with no clear path to guide us. Mikmek lead the way slashing through the growth as we circled the crumbling black tower looking for an entrance – there was none. It was a foreboding place that got the best of all of us but Theod. I think that almost made it even worse for me, it just didn’t seem right to feel so on edge and see the wizard completely composed. Another magic detection spell lead us to a collapsed wall on the north side of the tower. Some digging exposed a wicked looking black blade. I couldn’t resist a good dagger and bent to pick it up, but once it was in my hand I felt instantly weakened. I was reluctant to give it to Theod but I didn’t have much choice. I knew the blade was rejecting my true nature. He seemed fine when holding the dagger but I would be keeping an eye on him for any strange changes that may occur. We had taken too much time already and the light was beginning to fade. We decided to just get back to our raft and leave immediately but it was too late. Our path was block by one of those glowing balls of light we had seen during the night. It moved to stop us from passing it, so Krom – BEING EVER THE CALM AND RATIONAL THINKERTELLS IT TO FUCK OFF. Clearly that was the wrong thing to do so we engage in battle. Mikmek ended up getting a few shocks but when it turned to attack me it found its magic impotent due to my resistance to such energy. It looked alarmed at this revelation so I decided now would be a good time to really take advantage of my fiendish ancestry and communicated through the occult with the spirit. I tried to bluff that I was invincible, but it’s actually quite a bit harder to do when connecting directly mind to mind. It was still wary and told us to leave immediately. I asked if we really could just leave – of course the catch was one of use would have to stay behind to be dinner, which I conveyed to the others. In an act of desperation I brought up the stone we had found. Theod pulled out the gem and held it up, claiming it contained an angel within. His bluff worked better than mine. It stopped as if in thought for awhile, but then others showed up. We backed away a bit as the lights grouped together, buzzing in agitation. I had the message sent loud and clear, thundering through my head. LEAVE NOW. We made a mad dash for the raft and braved the trip over the lake in the dark. I have no desire to return to those ruins in the near future, and I’m sure we won’t have been forgotten about if we ever do return.

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Worst. Excursion. Ever.
Krom's Diary

What disappointing travels. No gold, no treasure but for magical trinkets and evil daggers. I no holy man for sure, but knife in Theod’s possession is disturbing. Not just because he is most likely to stab me in sleep. Not sure why. Just feels scary. Hopefully no one notices fright.

On first day, we travel through canyons. At first we find nothing, but I stumble and coin falls from pouch. As I pick it up, my low eyes spot new path. We travel path to hidden pool. Mikmek, poor Lizard Dog, wishes to jump in. But out comes large reptilian beast. Or was it just turtle? It was unusually large, but so is virtually everything we find in lands.

While rest of party swarms around monster to protect Lizard Dog, I stay back and prepare my new arrows. They are made to kill animals, after all. It would be terrible waste not to use them. Sure enough, few arrows pierced beast’s shell and it was slain. We found some trinket. It was magic, so Theod took it of course. He cannot keep dirty, nerdy hands off magic trinkets.

Not much of fight. I consider advantages and disadvantages in smacking Stage Magician around bit.

The next day was of little improvement. Large fungus grew all around sickly bog. My company could hardly stand smell, but I managed. I thought I saw something move in distance and tried to throw stone near it. I end up nearly hitting Stage Magician. I miss two good chances…

We did not explore place very well. Smell was too strong and rest of party protested to leave. shame, I thought maybe there could be treasure in disgusting pool. But Theod likely would not agree to pinch nose and dive in.

On following day, we discover lake with island and tower in middle. No bridges, but there is plenty of wood around and I suggest building raft. Party agrees, but since most of them are useless I end up building nearly whole thing myself. It is tiring, and I slept through night. I end up skipping watch. I wish I was told about glowing lights on island before we went there. I never would have gone.

Sure enough, island felt scary. I want off, but we keep moving inland. Tower is extremely old and ruinous. Even for adventuring, it did not feel safe. We also found ornate but gaudily sickly dagger. Cleric did not feel good holding it, so she passed it to Theod (of course…). Look on face was strange. Maybe scary, but Stage Magician is never scary.

Glowing lights that chase you are. We encounter whispy ghosts as we leave. I cannot strike it, and I find it difficult to wield sword through strange fear. I want to run, but before I can Theod bluffs about magical trinket. He calls it Angel Stone. It is blue, you stupid man. But it works on ghosts anyway (Note: Ghosts cannot perceive colour) and we escape.

All in all, bad adventure. I do not want to admit Theod helped, but he did. I must become more fearless. I was too weak.

Diary of Krom Greyfoot

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Theod's Log - I FOUND A KNIFE

It’s good to get out of the city town village amalgamation of huts I currently am forced to call home. We started with some exploration of canyons south of our settlement. As per standard operating procedure, we laid eyes on a majestic creature of nature and decided the most noble course of action would be to slaughter it mercilessly. We saw a large turtle and decided making a stew of it would be the kindest thing. To be frank, I feel as if my talents are being quite wasted in these endeavors. There’s no pride to be won in sparing my finite patience on weaving a tapestry of tricks, lies, and phantasms to give a reptile a headache. As such, I decided to have some fun. I blasted the creature with light and began to think about a potential new kind of shoe. Thinking of reptiles, I decided to call it… a “gator.” Perhaps it could be a squeaky shoe, I don’t know I was bored. Needless to say, we killed the pitiable beast. One curious find from this encounter was a magic stone. Upon closer inspection, Wyn and I (but I did most the of the work) discovered that it was a stone capable of summoning a water elemental! Surely such a object will be invaluable in upcoming adventures.

The next day…

We uncovered a bog. An eerie place, really. Still feel sick thinking about it. I don’t know quite what was in the air. I lost focus early into our journey into the swamp, as I began to feel quite ill. I believe others were sick as well, but I did not pay attention. I believe I heard someone mention seeing mushrooms moving in the distance? I guess the others were more ill than I. Eventually, they grew delirious and began throwing rocks at random (many of them in my direction, actually). I grew frustrated and left. I guess the others followed soon after. Another day saved by a grumpy wizard with a headache.

The next day…

Travelling even further south, we sighted an isolated island within the river playing host to an old ruin. Seemed like a reasonable enough thing to do. Seeing no way across the river, we decided to build a raft. Realizing I’d do little to help (I skipped the lecture on raft construction), and given Krom’s refusal of even token gestures of assistance, I sat idly by. That didn’t stop him from again grumbling about my uselessness again, but I digress (note to self: add more sand to Krom’s underpants [note within a note: discover if the brute even WEARS underpants]). We’ll set off for the island in the morning.

The next day…

Sun up. According to plan. Boat ride. Felt good. Others saw lights. Whatever.

Went to island. Boat ride good. Party spooked. Felt great. Not a care. Found some magic. Cool knife. Wyn didn’t think so. Felt sick. I took it. Liked the knife.

Met a ghost. Didn’t like Magic Missile. Wanted to eat us. We objected. More ghosts came. They sought compromise. Still like living. Said elemental stone held angel. Ghosts bought it. They backed off. We escaped. I kept knife. Day was good.

(*as a note for the previous entry, my mental state seems to be questionable. Current theory suggests that, as I was the only one doing much to harm the spectres of the island, the phantasms may have been trying to affect my mind in a substantial way. Perhaps they desired me to indiscriminately stab and murder my cohorts? In such light, I guess I was fortunate enough to remain the master of my mental faculties and forge enough of a plan to get everyone off of the island unmolested).

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