Author Topic: D n D  (Read 3711 times)

Offline Mr.Obvious

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Re: D n D
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2019, 04:10:08 PM »
We got further than this, but I still would have to log that, should I find the time.

The Lost Mine of Phandelver

A D&D story

Darnday, in the third year of Emerald in the century Granite, in the age of Steel.

As always, journal, this is Baern Battlehammer. And I know it has been a while since I last wrote you. Times have been good, since my resignation. Relatively speaking. And the wavering of my faith, the only plague that still besets me after witnessing all those young dwarves die in the battle of Ankh-Dur, became something I need not write about. It stayed with me forever. I need not pen it down, afraid that I might forget. Such a thing would be a blessing. Allas, today my writings are grave and filled dark thoughts, for a different reason entirely. And even as I write, I cannot get the stench of goblin-blood from my skin and cloth. I admit, I have not felt this kind of fear since my days in the Mintarn army.

A few weeks ago,  my cousins, Gundren, Tharden and Nundo Rockseeker, called on me. Gundren was the one to contact me with great news. It seemed they were certain they had a map to the lost mine of Phandelver. Fools gold, a part of me thought. How many hundreds of adventurers hadn't tried to find those buried riches? Mind you, if anyone can do it: it's us dwarves. And if any dwarf can do it; it's one from the clan of Rockseeker.

I love them like brothers. The three of them. But I've never shared in their brash bravery and plain disregard for order, rules and warnings of peril. Still… The gold underneath those heavy slabs of rock and earth called out to me too. Gundren asked me to form a party to escort a wagon, to their base of operations at the Wave Echo Cave. All so that they might start their quest, deep underground. We were to join up with Gundren and his bodyguard and follow them to Phandalin. Along the way, I was free to consider his offer to join my kin.

While before I wondered if I had the courage to join them, I can only pray they have not gone where I cannot follow.

I found them a party, willing to escort the wagon. In Neverwinter, where we left, I met up, by chance with the boy Connor. Scratch that, I've seen the boy grow into a man, just like his father before him. Especially after today, I must call him a man. Sir Connor McFeather. I hope he keeps his strength on him. If so, I'm sure he will one day find the strength to rebuild his ancestral home. He was travelling with his friend, Massimo. A young lad, muscled like a bull, but I fear not quite bright. He has high hopes for the future and a high opinion of himself. I believe he fancies himself a hero. But he has guts, and I applaud him for that. Connor assured me the man was proficient with a bow and a greatsword. A fine weapon that was, handed down by his family for generations. And Connor himself had been training his mastery of javelins and, to my pride, still brandished the great-axe my father had once given to his great-great-great-great-grandfather.

This seemed plenty to me, for such a short trip across the high road and the Triboar trail. But on the night of our departure, while we drank to untold fortune in the local pub, Connor's eye fell on a maiden who seemed most out of place in the dark, comfortable tavern. As he left us to strike words with her, we kept our eyes on the pair. And when she removed her hood, I nearly choked on my ale.
No love is wasted between dwarves and the elvish kind. This is known. And to see one in a place like that…  It caught me by surprise, to say the least.

He asked her to join our table. Because, of course he did. And when she did and she sat down, she looked at us. With a polite smile and great care to keep her belongings safe. Amongst which a huge tome, a short-sword and a long staff. But it was clear she was not at easy. Not in our company. Not in a tavern.

So Connor asked her what she was doing here. And do you know what she said? That she was there 'to learn'. Imagine that? If taverns are such springs for knowledge, I suppose that makes me a very educated dwarf.

Her name was Lourda and I admit I found her behaviour at the table most annoying. I need not have my companions be the pinnacle  of civilisation, like Connor sometimes upholds to be. But she showed little interest in our well-being or comfort, made no effort to hold eye-contact with anyone and tended not to follow our conversations. Nor indeed allow them. Instead it seemed she opted to pose questions unrelated to our merry talk. I found this most disrespectful in the moment. And with eloquent, yet hard to understand, words, she somehow always seemed to knock us out of our comfort-zone. Exactly how she got my cousin to talk of the his plans of entering the lost mine is still beyond me.  

But that seemed to peek her interest. Her pointy ears turned sharper still.  And when she enquired to know more, it was with such passion and vigor that it seemed to enchant my cousin.  I wonder if it was a spell, as she claims to be an acolyte in the art of wizardry. Or perhaps it is just Gundren strange and exotic tastes. This being, I suspect, one of the reasons why he hasn’t settled down yet, with a sturdy dwarf woman; broad of shoulder and thick of beard. I suppose I can see that she possesses what elves and mankind tend to find attractive features; from the fairness of her skin to her slender wrists and impressive height.  But still, Gundren's attraction to such a seemingly fragile doll is beyond me.

She imposed to join us in our trip, talking lengthily about all the forgotten wisdom she could retrieve from within that mine. I did not feel much for it. But I guarded my tongue, waiting for what my comrades might say. Massimo did not object. And Connor was most fervent in allowing her to join our party. He convinced my cousin and his bodyguard, with the charming talk he knew well. Not that my kin needed much convincing. I abstained from speaking on the matter. I know when a cause is decided. I just prayed that she would stick to the knowledge, and leave the minerals and resources to us dwarves.

The next morning, we rose before the sun did and gathered outside the tavern. We took the cart and horse, and a few quick stops later, it was laden with rope, crowbars, pick-axes, rations, torches and more. Anything one might need to excavate a hidden mine, we had with us. This, alas, made things tough for the steed pulling the wagon. I’ve always prided myself for my ability to handle animals, but even I could not make the poor creature pull the cart at a speed sufficient to satisfy my cousin and his trusted companion. All ‘till noon the two of them, the only ones of our party who were on horseback grew more and more aggravated by our slow pace.  And come midday, they decided to ride ahead and trust the wagon to us. This way they could prepare for our arrival and already plan the further steps of our adventure, with the rest of our kin. I found it most unwise to split the party. But we were still heavily guarded, with four warriors. And my cousin had his own bodyguard. And both rode swiftly on their mounts. The chance of them being taken down if they rode on, fast, was small. I guarded my tongue and went along, as I so often did. But what was there to argue on, even. Gundren is not only my kin, but he was also my employer. He outranked me. His will were orders, And you follow orders.

It dawns on me that the claws of military life still hold me in their grip.

The departure did not leave our party in the best of spirits. But the rest of the day passed without any trouble. And in the evening Massimo, Connor and I even felt lively enough to play cards.  The elven girl kept to herself and instead wrote in her impressive tome. Perhaps she has a journal just like you. I asked not. It were not affairs of mine. And when day broke and we started on the second leg of our journey, we felt much better for it. As a dwarf, I prefer the underground. But there is some arcane beauty to the sun climbing over the seas of grass.

It was not yet mid day, this day, when Massimo spotted the flock of crows. The man had insisted to riding the poor animal, worsening it's load and slowing our pace even further.  But he insisted, brandishing his bow and arrow, claiming it would give him a better view of our surroundings; ensuring our safety. And I suppose he had a point. Somewhere, about fifty feet into the plains, there were cadavers of some sort, hidden amongst the thick grass. And if it had not been for him, we might have walked straight past. I would not have started writing you. And I would be still on my way to meet up with Nundo and Tharden; unaware of the grave news I'd have brought with me.

The crows needed not be an ill omen. Perhaps it was simply wildlife; the remains of a deer unfortunate enough to come across a brown bear. But something gnawed deep inside me and made me fearful. In Neverwinter, there had been talk that goblins had made a nest somewhere deep in the Neverwinter Wood. It seemed most unlike for that spawn to dare attack two fearsome, mounted warriors in broad daylight. Amongst whom a dwarf clad in even more impressive armor than myself. They might dare, however, if their numbers had swelled enough; too large to keep their numbers fed on livestock, lone wanderers and untrained farmhands. And we had not encountered much game nor travellers on our quest so far. I feared that if we ventured out into the thick grass, we would find Gundren dead.

There was much debate on whether or not we should check out what was dead. We were given a job, after all. And neither Connor nor the elven girl felt much for leaving the comfort and safety of the wagon the road to untold, buried secrets respectively. And besides, even if it were so; the crows were a sure sign that whatever was left out there was not in any state to care that its flesh was torn from its bones. Were it not for Massimo's lust for adventure and sheer enthusiasm, I too might have been swayed. But if it were my kin… I could not go on. And I could not go on, not knowing if it wasn't so. I could not leave Gundren there, the sun blackening what was left of his skin, with his eyes plucked from his skull, like so many young delvers at Ankh-Dur.

We decided Connor and Lourda would guard the wagon, while Massimo and I set out for the flock, and whatever it would bring. However, as steadfast as the intentions of the young warrior were, his footing was not. And he tumbled spectacularly from his horse. I am ashamed to admit that this shook my faith in the lad and so while he tried to recollect himself, I left him behind and advanced to the corpses on my own. Dissapearing into the thicket of the grass.
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.

Atheist Mantis does not pray.

Offline Mr.Obvious

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Re: D n D
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2019, 04:10:20 PM »
My heart truly sank when I saw the horses. My pace quickened outside of my control. Black, shoddy arrows were buried deep into the horses' necks, chests and guts. Four in each. They had been dead for more than half a day. Gundren and his guard had ridden them fast indeed, for there was no mistake that it were their steeds. But not fast enough. I felt the blood drain from my face and it did not even come to me to shout his name. Instead I looked around for him frantically, but could not find his body. Which strangely did little to lift my spirits. What I did find was the container in which he'd kept his map. Which was empty now.

I cannot tell exactly how long I was there. It felt like seconds. And it felt like hours. But sooner or later, I realized I had to move. These black arrows were indeed goblin made. And the way the horses guts and neck were torn and mostly gone, showed they'd been hungry indeed. I needed to tell my friends. I needed to show them what was here. That red, terrible raw flesh… I needed to get out. And I needed to stop imagining my cousin lying somewhere in the same state.

I decided to pull one of the arrows from the horses. I can't recall, in the haze, if I was thinking of collecting them all and offering them to the young warrior, in hopes that his skills with the bow were better than his riding of a horse. Or if I merely needed to show one to them. Prove to them what had happened.

But as soon as I pulled one from the cadaver, it was replaced by another. It swished past me and plunged deep into what remained of the flesh. As I turned, twenty feet, hidden amongst the tall grass, I saw two of the fiends. Mud, blood and horse-gut caked on their demonic faces. They were goblins, of course. Part of a spawn great enough to organize them into wearing weak leather armor and use bow and arrows. These were not lone, wandering goblins.

They laughed their smug little, evil laughs. And why wouldn't they? I had fallen right into their trap. And already the second one was readying his arrow. Faced with the choice of running and giving them a good aim at my back, or charging two foe's and an arrow head-on; I chose the third option. I dug deep and summoned my thaumaturgy to make my voice boom. I figured it would allow me to call my friends to me, stun my foe's momentarily and allow me to stand my ground. Alas, I suppose the shock of what happened to Gundren was still too fresh and painful. I failed critically and didn't manage to produce a sound. Rightfully unimpressed, the goblin let his arrow fly. As it buzzed past my head, my instincts kicked into action. I turned heel and ran towards my travelling companions. But I did not get far before a something jumped up and bit me between two plates in my lower back. I cried out in pain and stumbled. Already the monsters were advancing, giddy to finish me off.  I turned to face them. Perhaps the shot had been a lucky hit, mayhaps this goblin was an expert marksman. I could not take the risk. And if I were to die then and there, I would not shame my clan.    I caught one of the arrows on my shield and roared, waving my hammer fiercely as they approached. Rotten teeth smiling rotten smiles.

One of them kept smiling even when it's head flew up in the air, disconnected from it's shoulders.  It had happened in a blur. And before I knew full well what had happened, Massimo stood between me and our foes. His greatsword in hand, dripping with goblin blood. His tall stature combined with it's fellow spawn, now headless, crumpling to the ground was enough to make the second goblin back up and reconsider. Moving out of the greatsword's reach, it let out a terrible shriek. No sooner had it ended or two more of the buggers came charging from treelines of the forest, flanking Massimo and myself. We evaded the incoming arrows and newfound courage, after seeing the actions of the man that would be a hero, I rushed forth towards the two new foes. The pain in my back nearly forgotten. I figured Massimo would be able to stand his ground against this one goblin, and after his mad dash to save me; I could not allow him to be struck by one of their arrows.

I've been told by surface-dwellers of all kinds that it is a terrible sight to behold; watching a small mountain of metal known as an armored dwarf charging at you in rage.

As I ran, and the goblins froze in confusion and dread, something flew past my head once again. A few times too many already, for one day. But at least this time, it was one of Connor's javelins. And not an enemy arrow. It landed next to the closest one's feet. I did not turn to look for the young, noble Connor. But I was grateful for his assistance. Even if he had missed, it threw the goblins off guard, allowing for my opening. Swinging my hammer, I finally managed to land a hit, shattering one of the goblin's arm by the elbow. While it didn't go down, it staggered and its days of lining up an arrow were surely over. Its comrade, however, also dropped its bow and arrow and lunged for me with a crooked dagger while the wounded one pulled one of its own.

I could not tell what had happened, Connor would later inform me that Lourda had cast some kind of spell. When I asked Lourda after the battle, she only smiled as a reply. Whatever it was, however, it kept the healthy one from lashing out a deadly blow. The second one raked my armor with its blade but did not penetrate it. From the corner of my eye I could see Massimo and his goblin dancing in attempt to hit one another and I thought I could see the elf rushing towards him. Perhaps she and Connor had decided so much, for he was still with me, even if I could not see him. Another javelin rushed through the air, making the goblins jump to avoid it. The healthy one must have had a moment of clarity, and decided this was a battle it could not survive and thus turned and ran. I remember shouting 'Coward!'. But it clearly did not bother him as he made for the treeline. Meanwhile I still had a wounded but dangerous vile, little monster on my hands. It ducked under a rage-filled swing of my hammer and plunged forth, aiming its dagger at me. I don't believe his blade would have pierced my armor this time either. But we'll never know. Connor's third and final javelin finally came through. It caught the vile beast straight in the chest and pinned it to the ground.

With the tide of battle turning in our favour, and in the thick of sweat, blood and iron, I had to make a call. I could see the cowardly goblin disappearing behind a bush. I feared it might call in more of its kin. But the young hero was still trading blows with the other goblin. Metal met metal and swings were evaded one after another. Lourda approached him rapidly, however, and thus my choice was settled. I rushed for the tree-line wondering if I could take my hand-axe and manage to throw it successfully, in order to split the already deformed head into two. When I saw it raise its bow, which I had not even noticed it had picked up again, I realized I would not be able to. And with Connor having thrown his last spear, I had no hope for back-up. I raised my hand and uttered a spell I had memorized a while ago; Sacred Flame. Luckily, both bush and goblin were lit aflame. The monsters' shrieks as it died still ring in my ears. Even now.

When I turned back to my companions, I saw Connor pulling his spear from the dead goblin. Both Lourda and Massimo were on the last living one; somehow having managed to kick it to the ground. Only the Gods know what possessed the green monster, backed into a corner like that. Turned to its most basic of wicked instincts it jumped up, just as Massimo held his great-sword overhead, ready to cleave him in two, and sank its teeth straight in the young man's groin.

Screaming in great panic and with a high pitched voice, Massimo dropped his sword and tried his best to pry the ugly, misshapen head from between his legs. Two nights before he had been making lewd jokes, not to the approval of neither Connor nor me, about a head in exactly in that position. But I don't think he appreciated the irony in that moment.

I rushed towards him, as did the young noble and the lady elf. And I'm ashamed to admit, and thus hesitant to write down, that it took us far too long to remove the goblin from young Massimo's stones. Perhaps if he stopped flailing around like a madman it would have been easier.  But even with my hand-axe at the ready and Connor trying to jab him with his spear, it took everyone in our party two swings, (and three from my part), before lady Lourda was finally able to cut it severly with her short-sword. With a terrible growl and a streak of goblin blood spraying from its neck onto the green grass, the goblin was finally removed from between Massimo's legs. Wounded and outnumbered, the pitiful creature tried to drag itself away in vain.

But the entire ordeal had left me in a rage most unfamiliar to me. And perhaps, like the hunter eating the heart of its prey, I had taken a streak of their cruelty inside me. If any of our party spoke its tongue, we would have questioned it. And perhaps, I feel, I would have tortured it, to find out what happened to Gundren. But none of us would be able to understand a word of what this creature could convey. So instead I took my time and slowly closed the gap between the small monster and myself. The desperation in its eyes was clear. And I knew it was still present even when I could not see it, as I planted my foot in the small of its back and kept him pinned to the ground. It's disproportionate arms flailed impotently as I raised my warhammer. And with one blow, I exploded its head like an overripe melon.

I do not know if the gods approve. I do not even know if the gods care one way or another.

But I know it felt good.

Though such a rush of adrenaline comes at a great cost. It didn't take long before the pain in my back reminded me of the fact that I was wounded. And as my eye fell on the young here, his hands on his groin and tears in his eyes, I was reminded that I was not the only one.

Connor helped me to sit down and gave me a javelin to clench between my teeth as Lourda pulled the arrow from my wound. I must admit: Perhaps there is something to soft hands and slender wrists. She tended to Massimo's wounds too. Though I will not jape about that.
Even though I am a cleric an proficient in the art of healing, Massimo did not allow me close. Nor did I insist. But as Lourda regaled moments ago: All in all, the goblin's teeth never sank deep too deep into the young man's armor. And Massimo was glad to find no permanent damage was inflicted. I spent my time looking over the corpses as Connor collected his javelins. I found no clues. I found naught but ten copper pieces. Lourda found one of the daggers, vile things though they were, still in good enough shape to keep on her, in these dangerous times. Massimo contented himself with soothing his wound.

This is where I leave you for now, journal. The elven girl is preparing a broth for us that will allow the young hero and me to rest and regain our strength in an hour's time. And she is near finished. Connor and her shall keep watch. I hope that that is all they will do. As I have seen Connor's glances aimed at the elven maiden. I also pray that when I wake, we can find a lead to find my cousin and save him from these monsters. I wish I didn't need to rest. But the others are right. I will not save Gundren… I will not save anyone… Not if we are not at full strength. Otherwise, all I'd be doing is allowing my fellow warriors to fall prey to a horde of goblin scum.

Dead or alive, I can not and I will not face Tharden and Nundo without him.
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.

Atheist Mantis does not pray.

Offline Cavebear

Re: D n D
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2019, 04:25:04 PM »
It was fun. But we didn't get too far before one of our party had to quit and go to his gf irl.
Hoping to finish this game with this group. But I don't want to do this on a weekly basis or anything.
A lot of bickering and looking things up, though. I think it may be best to have someone who has experience play in your first game.
We're going to see when the five of us can get together again. Apparently we still have about 95% of the story to go.

Meanwhile, I feel like logging the story. But that's stupid, right? It's a half-predetermined story anyways.

But I like my character, Baern Battlehammer.

Great name!  Beats the heck out of Lightpaw Laplander...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!