The First Frontier

A Quick Jot (Jin Adventure Log # 2)

I wonder what everyone would think of me if they knew I kept a diary? No matter, they’ll never find out.

The others finally found out about what I really am today. They seemed to take it in good humor for the most part, although they were understandably shocked. I made it clear to them that I had only deceived them because people tended to react badly to knowing that I was a changeling. Just as I was searching for a way to let them know I meant no harm, Asher pointed out that if I meant ill I could’ve killed them all any time I was alone on watch — so I must not mean them ill! I was glad for his wisdom. I explained that I had always identified myself as human despite what I really am. The matter was dropped after that, much to my relief.

This brings to mind a growing problem — the fact tha it will become increasingly hard to hide my true nature from others as my control over my shapeshifting abilities increases. The changes will become more physically pronounced and thus more obvious. Maybe I should by a hooded cloak to shade my features like those dark wandering travelers use. Wouldn’t such a thing make me MORE suspicious, not less? What I need is a good excuse … hmmmm. I know! I’ll say that I’m sick, and that the sickness is some sort of rare magical ailment that is slowly transforming me in strange and arcane ways….

Anyhow, aside from that we’ve made some serious progress investigating this castle! We fought some sort of evil undead creatures when we went back in that cast some sort of horrible poisonous gas at us but with my sword, Luke’s mental powers, and Face Smasha’s spells (not to mention some timely arrows from Pip and Sibarys) we took them down easily enough. We also came upon an old kitchen which had, among other things,a door with rags stuffed all around it such that it was totally blocked off. In my infinite wisdom I suggested we remove one of the rags (you know, I just haaaaaaad to know what was being blocked off) and what should pop out but a swarm of fire beetles! They were horrible. We killed one swarm, then another came, and another! We quickly stoppered up the door and slaughtered the bugs with torches I passed out. A search of the room yielded an amazingly valuable pot of infinite food! The thing literally just keeps popping out tasty stew, every time you stir it! It’s got to be the best magical item ever! Sibarys said it was worth at least 12000 gold though, so we may very well choose to sell it. Asher immediately coveted it but can any one of us really lay claim to such a treasure?

Lastly we came upon a strange library with a talking wardrobe against the back wall! It was some sort of dubious trick! I seem to recall hearing of such things referred to as Mimics. In any case, this thing wasn’t a real wardrobe and as soon as Face Smasha got close, it attacked, grabbed, and almost killed him in a few seconds. I moved into position and slashed it and then the others quickly overwhelmed it with ease, but whew — things almost got bad there! We should be more careful as we explore further. Incidentally, I fully support the continued presence of Face Smasha in the front ranks. It seems to be where he’s best suited and if anything should go wrong Luke has told me he could have another orc here in a matter of days. Better him than me, says I! He’s the perfect point man!

That’s all for now!

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Naked Blind Disco Barbarian Flees Oozes. Film at 11.

Dear Adella,
What a strange couple of days we’ve had. We reached the temple the kobolds told us of. We hired several of them to care for the horses while we investigated the temple. One of the first things we found was a room with a large pool in it. It looked disgusting. We were able to determine that there were oozes in the water. But they did not appear to notice us, so we left them alone and continued on.

Well the next room had some sort of invisible fungal creatures in it. We spent several minutes locating and dispatching the little terrors. Lukeused an ability that allowed him to see these creatures, so we decided to go back and deal with the oozes. Jin removed most of his clothing and gear, and used a club, to avoid permanent damage to his gear. I attached a torch to a ten foot pole and was using it to burn the oozes. Well the oozes did not like this plan. And they had more power than we thought. Jin was affected with Glitterdust and Colorspray from the oozes. Luke destroyed two of them easily, but two others were immune to fire. We started hacking those to bits when a swarm of oozlings attacked. It was very disgusting. Luke has been working on culturing one of the orc clerics. The poor sod was enveloped with the greasy remains from the oozlings. It made him greasier than normal.

The cleric is an interesting being. I’m the only one who speaks Orcish, so I have spoken to him at length. Not that it mattes much. He is about as bright as a granite wall.

Anyway, when the oozling swarm was destroyed, all that was left were two oozes that were immune to fire. I decided that I had enough of this, so I drew Galavrata and leaped to attack. I knew I would land in the water, but was not overly concerned about it. With one stroke, I finished off both oozes, just as I rocked splashed into the water. Which was actually a mild acid. I immediately pushed off the bottom and jumped out. I was immediately drenched with water from a create water spell. So no lasting harm was done. But I am still remembering
everyone’s face as I leapt into the pool, swinging my sword.

As we continued on, we found a blade trap, using the old ways. We disarmed the traps the same way, with a portable ram. There was a certain amount of satisfaction in working with my hands that way. Brutish, but fun.
I will write more as we continue our explorations.
Omar.

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Dear Edithe

Dear Edithe,

Kobolds are strange things! They trade in glories much like humans and are uncharacteristically obedient when presented with such treasure. Mayhaps there be a curse upon their kind, forever doomed to the charm of gold.

The other travelers seemed to be frightened today as we stepped into a seeeeeecret lair, so I did the same. There were some markings on the walls that reminded me of the old oaks and of the pendants the kobolds seemed to adore. Have you heard of little lizard-like creatures frequenting the glades? My memory doesn’t serve me well.

Luke continues to confuse me. He dresses as a knight, but he is a master of the arcane; I have yet to see him utter a single incantation or wave a single gesture. Creatures around him seem to simply evaporate. I’ll be sure to check his armor tonight.

Omar was today’s hero! Seldom does a man dive into the impossible and emerge, but he did just that. If he keeps this up, I might have to write a tale honoring such a character!

I also found some shiny beads – I hope it arrives intact and in its original form!

(Player share – 1 GP)

Sybaris

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Commission Report, the year of our Lord 548, Entry3

To My Most Grandiose and Unwavering King,


The Kobolds are proving to be honorable, if self serving. The proposed location for the embassy, however, is proving two things. First, that the Kobolds aren’t stupid, they won’t even enter the place, and with good reason. Second, we’ll know if they’re really committed to peace if they can clean this place up. I’m happier fighting the invisible fungal growth here than having to face down cleaning the mold off of these walls.


Omar is proving to be the bravest of us all. I thought for certain our end was near when Jin ran screaming from the hordes of slimes erupting from a bizarre green fluid filled pool. While Omar proved unable to tread Acid, he saved us from death by external digestion. A most unpleasant process to witness.


The Orcs here are proving quite pliable and may be usable as well, though where treaties and negotiation may prove useful with the Kobolds I am finding more direct methods necessary to bring the Orcs to heel.


Your most obedient servant,


L.L.

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A letter Home (Jin Adventure Log # 1)

Dear Wren,

I hope this letter finds you well. I realized it has been some time since I last wrote, and much has happened. I know you will be anxious to hear all about it, so I will tell you a little now and more when I write next.

First of all I should tell you that we made it through the ring gate without incident. It’s been just about the only quiet bit of travel (if you can call it such) that I’ve experienced these last few months. A pop, a bang, and it was done. Thousands of miles in one moment! If I wasn’t so terrified of coming out with my arse where my head ought to be I’d have been more awestruck, but it was incredible.

In any case our first weeks in Westedge have been filled with activity. We’ve killed nigh on thirty gnolls, helped a local apothecary gather ingredients, and saved the town from an orc army that was sure to threaten it. We even set free an entire village of kobolds that the orcs were keeping as slaves! Unfortunately during our campaign against the orcs dear Ayelen was killed. His death shocked us all as it was brutally swift and violent. He was much loved, and will be missed. Needless to say we slaughtered the creatures that did him in and sent his body back to his family where it belongs. I suppose death must be a part of an adventurer’s life, but I still cannot help thinking that but for a bit of luck it could easily be MY dead body being sent back to our tribe …. It’s a sobering thought.

During the last battle with the orcs, while attacking their stronghold, I was able to bring down the orc leader. He had a mighty greatsword which I took as my just reward for slaying him. What a sword it is, Wren! If only you could see the intricate runes of power that cover it, or feel the pulsating hum of it’s magicks as I swing it at my foe. It is powerful indeed.

After we freed them the Kobolds offered us the ‘gift’ of an ‘abandoned’ temple to use as a base. Of course the temple wasn’t really abandoned, and it wasn’t really a gift at all as they wanted us to clear it out of undead for them. We’ve just begun that task and already we were almost all killed by horrible slimes and invisible mushroom creatures. It’s not pleasant, but I have faith that eventually we will triumph and carry off much ancient treasure from this place.

Incidentally, I’ve traveled with this company long enough that I think it may be time I told the secret that only you and I know. The one about who I am, what I can do. They’re bound to notice it soon enough. I’ve begun to get better at changing, Wren — I can turn my fingers to claws or make my jaw longer and my teeth larger. I’ve even managed to vastly increase my muscle size! It’s a marvelous feeling, being stronger and tougher just because you will it to be so. I am proud of what I am becoming, even if I don’t quite understand it myself. The problem is that it’s starting to become so damn obvious.

I shall pick a good time to show them what I really am, and we shall see if they’re the true friends I hope they are. I think they’ll stand by me, even when they find out that I’m not like them.

How are things at home? How’s your father? How’s the tribe? There are ugly rumors that the costs of grain and livestock are going up and tensions are rising between the old world nations. Are they true? Out here we hear everything second and third hand. Please write me back and let me know how things are going.

Much love,

Jin

P.S. If you saw me now you wouldn’t recognize me at all. I’ve CHANGED! I can’t wait to show you.

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Trusting trap building slaves to build your fort is bad...

Dear Adella,
I had to separate from the team to assist one of the guard patrols. Turned out to be a false need, but ill came of it. Aylen Olyffe fell when the team attacked a band of orcs that had heavy support. I arrived with the guard patrol at the end. The guards took Aylen’s body and possessions to be sent to his next of kin. We then continued on. Sybaris caught up with us soon after. He was sent to join our team in our efforts to map and secure this area.

The kobold slaves of the orcs asked for our assistance. It seemed that the orcs were using the kobold to build a stronghold. They also were keeping kobold young hostage there. So they led us to this fortress in the making. Foolish orcs built into the side of a mountain. But the kobolds already had positions above the fortress. So, while Jin and Luke prepared for a frontal assault, the rest of us snuck up to be with the kobolds so we could assault from the rear.

That was the plan anyway. A rock that I was stepping on during the climb came loose. And sure enough on of the orc archers heard the noise and spotted me. So we had to begin the assault early. I did not even get into my armor.

Asher used his spells to make the ground sharp. Several orcs running out of the towers to attack us regretted that move as their legs were cut up. Jin climbed up one of the towers, while we fired arrows from above. Then several of the orcs got clever. They jumped from the upper windows and managed to avoid the spiked ground surrounding thier tower. Since they were going to attack the kobolds we were trying to rescue, I used a spell to safely drop into the fortress, even without armor, and moved to assault them. Asher also sent help, in the form of a dire wolf. Rather amusing to see the kobolds run away from the orcs, then have a dire wolf charge around the corner. The orcs were not happy. The capitulated quickly after that.

Not that it saved them.
Jin was deep into one of the towers, fighting orcs. And the kobolds, as soon as Asher released his spike spells, ran up to the towers and tore them down. They must have prepared something in advance, because it did not take them long to do this.

One thing that came out of all of this is the magical greatsword Jin found. It resembles mine. Same make style and everything. It looks like my beliefs about the sword being switched is true. Although why the sword I made would be switched with a magic sword is beyond me. I’m going to have to research these swords in further detail.

My love to you, dear sister. Be safe.
Omar.

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The Season of Kobolds

Edithe,

Have you ever heard of kobolds? They, like humans, also keep to rules and stories. Just today they struck an agreement to become allies. What narratives they weave! They do things with purpose, as if each were his or her own part, all commanded by some master script.

I arrived today to meet up with some humans. A timely ally always arrives to great fanfare; I took to some scraggly cliffs and shot through an enemy! There were others too, a man who conjured the blood of his foes with his blade, a knight who rode his steed through the thicket only to seemingly laugh at everyone, even a swordsman who betrayed the ground. All of this to save a few kobold children – how dramatic!

They promise good things in the future. I’ll do the same. Take care of Euadne for me!

Sybaris

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Commission Report, the year of our Lord 548, Entry 2

To My Most Magnanimous and Powerful King,


Time has revealed to us that this area is ripe with magic. The Kobolds, for their small size, are proficient armorers and surprisingly willing to fight for their freedom considering their diminutive size.


I would be suspicious of their motives had they not made an effort to trick us into doing free work liberating the area of not only Orcs, but other monstrosities as well. Thankfully they understand the value of barter and we have come to an agreement for exchange of services. We will also be able to secure a foot hold here.


A defensible position and trading outpost from which trade can benefit our home. The Kobolds are not to be crossed though. They seem happy to work at odds against anyone that would enslave them. In fact we watched their hatchlings, barely old enough for the mines, as they tore down buildings with the Orcs still in them.


If not for their talents as smiths and craftsmen then their mischievous cunning might bring about the need for their destruction.


Many thanks for your anticipation of our needs for additional help managing the Orc problem. His talents with the bow are remarkable. I surely saw one of them run fully through by an arrow. Indeed leaving a whole clear out the other side.


Thank you for the letter from my daughter Persephone. Let her know that I am well and enjoying the sun and beach here exploring the great new frontier. Tell her I will write to her soon and that the life here is easy. I must go as my good friend is collecting several ears for the stew. And I do love the corn here.


Your devoted servant,


L.L.

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The Olyffe Tradition
A tale of caution for world weary elves

Prurience feeds detail. In the artisan world, we know it to be the cool fire of moonlight, the well from which we draw inspiration. But we must be mindful to temper the mind, for only a honed spirit may yield a honed blade. As timeless as this wisdom may be, even we elves find ourselves in a momentary relapse.

Prurience cast the dark shadow which fell upon the Olyffe Tradition. It perverted the heir to our longstanding tradition with the humans, driving the line out of our community and West into the forbidden world. And for what gain? To be slain by monsters, fighting age old enemies of eons long past.

Today, we mourn not for a lost bretheren, but for the mortal condition, the imperfect mind. We will learn, as we always do, for we have not only lost one of our own, but we have gained an important lesson.

And henceforth, we high elves shall find comfort and wisdom in solitude once again, as we did for eons past.

As Corellon watches.

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Commission Report, the year of our Lord 548

To my almighty and most benevolent King,


I fear your desire to seek a more favorable habitat will be a trying one in these lands. The warring between factions of Gnolls, Orcs, and Kobolds has reached new levels of depravity. Apparently the Orcs have taken slavery to a new level by employing magical enchantment against the Kobolds.


What disturbs me is not that the Orcs would resort to these methods, or that they represent any more of a threat than the Orc’s general wanton destruction. What disturbs me is that it is beyond their methods of manufacture.


Oh, certainly the occasional Orc wizard exists, but to see it on the scale that we have seen is unlikely in the extreme. Instead I fear someone far more cunning is behind this most recent endeavor. An actual intelligence guiding these brutes will likely spell even more trouble for developing in this forsaken land.


We continue in our efforts to cull the primitive beasts, and may secure some long term stability with the Kobolds, if only to use them as a buffer against the worst from that quarter. We have suffered our first loss today, and we solemnly bury one of your most devoted servants. Giant predators are an equal threat to man and man beast alike and Aylen fell protecting us from their horrific claws.


I have not heard word from my family, I trust I have performed my duties to your satisfaction and that they remain safe from harm.


Your dutiful servant,


L.L.

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