East of Winter

A Word of Caution

To those among my fellow adventures that it may concern. 

At some point I do hope to develop a coherent report concerning my time as an Adventurer, but it seems unnecessary at the moment.  Upon completion of Kali's quest and after getting her family and some her village to safety. A quest I was truly proud to be a part of my vanity requires me to add. Jelder and I returned to finish whomever or whatever was in charge of that gathering horde.  We arrived to find creature in question was already dead. But at least one very powerful caster remained. When we confronted him, he animated the many corpses from the previous night's fighting, and then opened what I believe is called a Gate Spell. Please understand that my knowledge is such areas is extremely limited. Jelder and I killed the remaining bug bear chieftains and eventually dispatched the undead despite their repeated reanimation. Then as it seemed clear something was about to come through the gate, we took cover to see what would come through. A large Demon, with massive pincers and a set of smaller "Human" sized arms stepped through. Though we both had sustained serious injury battling the undead for so long Jelder never hesitated, and he charged the beast from behind, unwilling to allow a demon free run in our world. I attacked with him, and though it was very close run thing, we managed to cut down the creature. Though I have fought some dangerous foes sense becoming an adventurer, never have I seen something that could create a gate spell. So be warned my fellow adventurers, something has stirred some very dangerous foes.


Kindle the Light, Shelter the Light, Preserve the Light, Be the Light
Leading others towards redemption

Dear Meriarder, thank you for taking the chance and making me your first ever Paladin.  I hope to spread joy, love, and redemption in your name.

Dear Abby, thank you for mentioning your mentioning your mentor.  I've made you some relaxing tea.

Dear Sir Kedrum, thanks for beating me up.  I hope you find a reason to smile soon.  Don't forget, redemption is possible.

Dear Jelder, thanks for being the best friend ever!

Dear Finn, thanks for tagging along.

Dispatches from the Edge
message for Cradlishians ... Cradlings? Whatever

This is Heimdall. He is primarily a friendly falcon, but he will nip at you if you do not feed him. He also will not leave until he is fed. It is his way. It's best to just give him what he wants.

I send him to you with news from the waters of Remidon. Mostly the news is that there is no news. We have yet to come across the reanimated hydra or the beast's head. This is a very boring mission. Despite the mind-numbing boredom, my crew and I shall continue to patrol the waters for the duration of the month.

Do not forget to feed Heimdall. It is in your best interest to do this. If you do not present him with a food option, he will seek one out on his own. He prefers eyes.

Good day.

-Fenriss, Admiral of Solaris

Was told there was a Hydra. Was told there were slavers.
The day the hornets nest was kicked.

Mara here.  I've only been at this area for a little while, having fled an oppressive marriage vent mother to see how well the adventuring life goes as Cousin Jelder seems to be doing a lot of good.  Up until my most recent adventure, I thought I had been acclemating well. I mean I had no issues with talking cats or being shrunk to mouse size.  Then I overheard a group talking about a hydra head amd since hydras are dangerous (and i wanted to see fellow Archer Fenriss in battle) I followed along.  It was quuckly determined that this alleged hydra head that may or may not exists could not be located.  So we stopped at pier town and the uber religious makes we want to learn ice spells elf Al mentioned slavers.  Everyone seemed to say yeah there is an army of Orc slavers, lets get them.  I naively believed that we would go slay a bunch of slavers, free some slaves and loot the dead slavers to recoop any expenses spent and get rent money.  There were orcs there, I give the group that much credit.  I'm not sure if they were slavers as i saw no slaves.  Also, all we really did was get teleported by Al, go into a tower, only clesr 2 levels, then run away via teleport after Al made the executive decision that we needed to flee.  So we didn't kill confirmed slavers but we did kill just enough orcs to make them real mad.  Apparently that is what goes for being good and righteous in the frontier.  We should probably fortify Cradle for an upcoming orc army invasion.

Tactical Sex Dungeon
Imaginary Zombie Hydra

Dear Dream Journal,

Aby and I investigated the missing hydra head that was stolen by Xele'tora from the Lodge of the Bear.  We discovered that it was not resurrected as some undead hydra monstrosity as we had feared.  It is in all likelihood being used as a spell component by Abaraxia's bitch mother, but there isn't anything we can do about it.  We visited the pier, Fenriss has her navy…which seemed to appear out of nowhere.  She seems to be enjoying the company of her seamen.

We decided to focus on a problem that we could actually deal with so we ported to Barkhampstead.  We assaulted the manticore tower and discovered a bunch of orc druids in scorpion form being milked for their poison.  We shut down the tactical sex dungeon and set fire to the building.  The gonging alarm sound seemed to originate from this tower.

Sir Milton, Fenriss and…I think there was a human but they all look alike…anyway they proved themselves to be greedy mercenaries and not at all invested in the holy quest of ridding the marches of monsters.  I have given them a black mark in my book of foul deeds and will be sure to watch them for more suspicious activity.

Newly Arrived and already saving a Princess.
(With a Little Help)

Having freshly arrived in Cradle, Brave Blade Ander, had the good fortune to Stumble upon several Heroic adventures setting out to save a blacksmith whom for reasons only confused big folk favored, was off making House calls, in some dangerous country side. Setting forth these brave souls drove a lovely wagon off into the wilderness to the last known position of said Blacksmith.  After a couple brief skirmishes, in which Brave Blade Ander, bravely stayed well back and mocked the our foolish foes party discovered the wagon of our missing blacksmith. In the wagon they discovered a magical blade of light, which our brave heroes trust to Blade Ander as he seemed most fit wield such a weapon. After that they Layed to rest the Blacksmith's brave bodyguard whom had been killed by most cowardly poison. The Party soon followed the trail of the attackers. Laying into the Foes the brave Fighters and Paladin with aid from Ander's new improved sword skills,  soon slew the enemies taking on alive to question. Finding the path to the most villainous lair, our epic Heroes set out once more praying they would be in time to save the blacksmith whom they had discovered was rumored to be a natural daughter of the King. 

The Vile Varmint in question turned out to be a terribly mustached Human, with a shield that constantly made faces at the party. Bravely Abby freed the Princess, while the fighters faced off against  a spiritual weapon. After the melee ensued blows were exchanged, and the enemy was struck down, though the body disappeared before the blow sinister was struck. 

On the way back to town the braver heroes rid the world of a land shark. A good time was had by all, and a great deal coin was made. Now Ander must complete his first song, how I rescued the Princess with some help. What rhymes with princess? 

Bring out your dead

Bring out your dead the law is 
coming and there’s no where left to 
hide, Big black suit is coming down gonna 
clean out from the inside 
People being killed for what they made. 
Taking on more than they can carry away.

Somebody pushed me in a hurricane 
cuz I can’t stand standing still. 
I’ve got a whole shitload of trouble 
but I still ain’t had my fill. 
I've got sin covering my lies. 
Good God I’ve got nothing to hide.

Bring out your dead the law is 
coming and there’s no where left to 
hide, Big black suit is coming down gonna 
clean out from the inside 
People being killed for what they made. 
Taking on more than they can carry away.

Left town a block up not nearly far enough.
I’m not well, it’s unsafe and I think I’ve had too much. 
Gonna push back and make noise today. 
I’m gonna be heard coming in this way. 

Taking fire from behind it’s not safe to be in this land.
Show them the driver, 
show them his gun, it’s in your able hand. 
Gonna be free or dead tonight. 
One foot one fight at a time. 

Bring out your dead the law is 
coming and there’s no where left to 
hide, Big black suit is coming down gonna 
clean out from the inside 
People being killed for what they made. 
Taking on more than they can carry away.

The words flowed through his mind, endlessly repeating themselves. Already,
they were dancing on his grave. Yet the prisoner clung to each verse, 
as if they were the puzzle to his salvation. Bring out your dead.

The man looked as though he had gone through hell itself before landing in this cell.
Little more than a gaunt shadow of an elf, he sat in the center of the prison meditating.
Scars worked their way across his skin, tracing a terrible map in his flesh. His entire
face was masked by a terrible burn, but even the burns could not hide the wicked
grin that stretched across his mouth. Bring out your dead.

He came in good faith. Yet they dare, the prisoner fumed. The voice of his thoughts
dripped with a hatred so complete and explosive that for a second he lost concentration 
on his poem. Bring out your dead.

Imildrak sat there, in the heart of Remidon, accused of crimes against humanity.
His ritual was the only thing that kept him sane, kept him from succumbing to thoughts
of ruin and desecration. There would be time enough. Bring out your dead.

Liberation of Crackhammer Peaks
Down with the Duergar

Dear Dream Journal,

Where one witnesses wickedness one has a duty to eliminate it.  For far too long we have sat idly by while the Duergar slavers in Crackhammer gain strength.  It has weighed on both myself and Abaraxia for some time, today we decided to do something about it.  I assembled a crew of paladins (Abaraxia, Umbriel and Sir Milton).  Along with Runt, the lawful heir to Crackhammer, we set out to deal with the Duergar.

We discovered the main entrance to the Duergar city.  A cleverly concealed door in the mountains led through rough hewn tunnels to an impressive gate adorned with statues of Duergar Deities.  To our surprise, when the massive portal opened the statues came alive and attacked us.  I banished the metal sculpture so we could focus on the smaller stone minions.  The stone golems were susceptible to fire and thus were dispatched very quickly.  When the metal monstrosity returned it was set upon from all sides.  It was healed by fire, however magical weapons were very effective.  It was overwhelmed by force of numbers in the end. 

I summoned an earth elemental from the broken stones of the Duergar's fallen idols.  Before I could properly bind the creature we were ambushed by invisible Duergar who distracted me from my spell.  Luckily I was able to banish the elemental before it went berserk.  While I was busy cleaning up my own mess Abaraxia was smiting the dark dwarves with holy vengeance, Fenriss was unleashing a hail of arrows and Umbriel fought with all the majesty of the fabled angel Icarus.  Sir Milton insisted that I document how well dressed he was for this engagement.  I contributed one fireball to the fray, it was all that was necessary.  One word shall suffice when it is the last word.

We pressed on past the sundered gate and came upon a team of Duergar supervising some subjugated surface humanoids who were loading wagons for them.  Sir Milton snuck ahead and led the charge with much derring do.  Abaraxia held aloft her lantern and revealed the wicked Duergar lurking in the shadows.  I held my righteous indignation in check for fear of the collateral damage and limited myself to rays and bolts.  Runt rampaged in the form of a giant Elk and trampled the usurpers who stole his birthright.  After the Duergar were defeated Runt transformed back into a dwarf and revealed himself as the heir to Crackhammer.  An enslaved dwarf, who I shall refer to as Fitz, volunteered to rally his kinsman to our cause.  I filled my bag of holding with weapons the Duergar forged for the orcs and gave the sack of armaments to Fitz.  We instructed him to distribute the weapons and we would return at dawn the next day.  We rescued two female slaves and took them back to Remidon.  We went shopping, ate a suspiciously decadent meal, slept in a warm bed and then teleported back to Crackhammer by morning.  When we returned to the wreckage of the burnt Duergar wagons we encountered the orcish caravan who came to purchase the weapons.  We made short work of them and re-appropriated their currency.

We fought our way through their defensive and claustrophobic corridors, slaying another Cleric of Daera.  We freed and armed more slaves and incited them to revolt.  They paid dearly for the distraction they caused to the Duergar while we made our way to the forge.  We encountered the mighty forgemaster and his salamander minions stoking the forge.  Sir Milton fought with panache, gracefully jumping from anvil to anvil, taunting the forgemaster and smiting him in turn…and only occassionally being knocked about the room by a gigantic hammer.  Runt took the form of a giant scorpion and restrained our foes.  Balboa, my friendly and not at all berserk earth elemental, distracted one of the salamanders while the party dealt with the other.  I dealt fire to the dwarves and lightning to the salamanders until it smelt of ash and ozone.  In their final moments the wicked shall glimpse the light.  A fleeting vision in the flames will reveal the folly of their dark path.  As they perish they will lament their wickedness and beg in vain for mercy.  Rhollor Rhollor blah blah blah.

Balboa smote the anvils and caved in the walls until the forge was buried in rubble as we escaped.  We rescued 70 souls from the Duergar.  We led them into the wilderness and hid deep in the mountains.  Over the course of several weeks I was able to teleport them all to the safety of Cradle.  The righteous shall be delivered from darkness and shall live their days in the light.    Praise be to Rhollor, the living flame, the sustainer of the righteous and destroyer of the wicked.  Amen.

Would you like to play a game?
It'll be fun!

****Last call!  Entries due by EOD 12/1/17****


Hey everybody!  Let's play a game about our D&D characters.  No not an actual session of D&D.  But rather a silly and irreverent game about our story.  If I finally got my big break and got to make a movie about East of Winter, our amazing West Marches style D&D game, I'd need to cast all of your characters.

So the game is to leave a comment below about which actor or actress would play your character.  Is there someone in Hollywood, past or present, who looks a lot like your character? (ya know with the proper makeup/body modifications/prosthetics to actually look like a Tiefling or a Kenku or a Lizard folk)  Bonus points for telling me what Wardrobe would need to pull off their current look.

Everyone who leaves such a comment is rewarded with one Inspiration.  The best comment (as judged by me laugh ) will win one Reroll.  You can reroll any one of your dice.  You can make me reroll any one of my dice.  You could even let/make another character reroll a dice.  So go for the gold; that reroll just might save your life.

Rhollor Quest
Star of the Morning

Dear Dream Journal,

The time had come in my spiritual journey to take the next step.  The first of my disciples was prepared to be embraced by the warmth of Rhollor.  Abaraxia has expressed her desire to worship Rhollor for some time.  She was forced to affirm this choice three more times before we were ready to begin.  Once to her mentor along the path of Tritherion.  Once to Cicada, and once to myself.  Thus satisfied that she was serious about this endeavor I contacted Rhollortron, the mouth of Rhollor.  We asked it 5 questions.

Will Rhollor accept the worship of this paladin? – Maybe

Will you grant us visions of a quest to prove her worthiness? – One

Will you grant us a boon on this quest? – Perhaps

Does it please Rhollor for Remidon to control the Eastern Marches? – Irrellevent

Is Remidon a lawful influence? – unclear

True to its word Rhollortron granted Abaraxia one vision of her quest.  The meaning was to clear, she was to slay the succubus/dream bandit  that works for her mother.  It was heavily implied that she had a day to complete this task.  As both good and bad luck would have it the dwarven brewer from the lodge of the bear was taken into the temple for healing at this time.  He was attacked by a shadowy yet comely figure at the lodge.  Suspecting the succubus was involved we traveled to the lodge to investigate.  We discovered the hydra head was missing.  Abaraxia found a nail fragment from the assailant's talon.  I used it to scry on the Succubus and found her in the sunless citadel.  We watched her plane shift from the lower tunnels in the bowels below the citadel.

I teleported us to the sunless citadel, and brazenly contacted the succubus via a contact other plane spell.  She agreed to meet us that day, but was infuriatingly non specific about the hour.  She also seemed annoyingly pleased with herself.  While waiting for her we encountered and dispatched some hell hounds and discovered a secret alcove with the tomb of a paladin of Pelor.  We dispatched the golem tomb guardians with cold hard steel.  Yes, I condescended to use a sword, and was surprisingly good at it.

We discovered a suit of armor, a shield and a sword with sun iconography.  Abby donned the gear and was granted a vision by the spirit of the Pelorian Paladin.  When the time comes you will have to make a choice.  Wrath or Mercy.  You will know the moment when it comes.

Around this time we heard the succubus calling us to the room at the top of the well.  I let Abaraxia pilot the disc and carry us both up the well.  The succubus had brought help, an imp and a snake bearded fiend.  The imp failed to catch us in its net trap, I failed to banish Snake Beard.  I dispatched the imp with cantrips while Abaraxia banished Snake Beard to the bottom of the well.  Harry Turtledove thunder gunned Snake Beard on his long climb back to the top, while Abaraxia dealt with the succubus one on one.  The succubus was irritatingly smug even in her defeat.  Peloradin beseeched Aby to be merciful and not slay the succubus.  I beseeched Rhollortron to block the dream bandit from re-entering the material plane.  Abaraxia smote the succubus and completed her quest.  Dedicating her life and service to the everburning flame of Rhollor.  As it was foretold in the chronicles of flame "The fifth angel shall blow his trumpet and a star will fall from heaven to earth.  Both life and death will be her dominion.  The keys of light and darkness shall be hers to command."

As the elation and adrenaline wore off I was haunted by what the Rhollortron said to me.  Remidon's influence is irrellevant.  I thought I was doing Rhollor's work by advancing the goals of Remidon.  Clearly Rhollor has bigger plans for me.  I must do more, push myself to the limits.  The work of my hands and mind will bring glory to Rhollor.  My talent shall no longer be buried in the sand, I intend to pay it back…with interest.


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