Ascendancy Forge

Lantfeust's Journal 8

Hi Journal!

We’re underground still, in case you hadn’t noticed, and we found that river again. It’s still full of water. But it was also full of frog men. But it’s okay!! They had a weakness. Blood loss. After we dispatched (I learned that word from Ramis the other day!) them Ramis and I braved the river to do something with the seasl, though I can’t recall what did since I was busy boiling alive in the water. When I finally made it back to shore Aero was standing around poking everyones burns with a stick he found. It was a prety nice stick though.

While resting I spent time regaling the group with Elven Fun Facts! Everyone loved them, except Dixon who smells funny and is mean but it doesn’t matter cause I don’t like her and wish she had drowned in the water or at least bumped her head really hard cause that would’ve shown her. Then we reached a door which attacked Taz and Canter. Then some statues started hitting people, so I hit them back, saving the day.

I have to go now Journal. Ramis just agreed to get off of me (He had tackled me see and wasn’t letting me up) if I promised to stop singing the Elven national anthem, which makes sense, since it takes 4 hours to sing the first section, with the 2nd section being 8 hours of free jazz. We probably don’t have the time. Or the bagpipes.

Good bye for now Journal!

Lantfeust's Journal 7ish

Hi journal!

So we’re still in that cave. I’m kind of bored of caves now. I mean, they just go on forever and ever and ever and I’m sick of it! And we keep getting attacked by gooey things. Which are now dropping from the ceiling. You know where things don’t drop from the ceiling? OUTSIDE!

So I killed some spore thing that became a cloud and then disapeared. I don’t even care anymore what the hell it was doing. Ramis and Aerokii just keep pointing me at things and I just kill them. Then there was a BAT!!!!! But not really. It was less dangerous. I doubt it even carries children away in the dead of the night to be sacrificed to some fell god. It probably just eats them. Where the fun in that?

I nearly killed Ramis. He was so angry he didn’t even give me back my arrow. I mean, sure, he nearly bled out, but still, Elven common courtesy dictates the return of all weapons and weapon-like objects to their owner at the end of battle. It was a dueling law set for by King Spring the Bounciful. Or something like that. He was tired of attaching ropes to the end of al his arrows and knives when fighting the enemy so he put forth the Law of Hey! Give that back dammit!. All races are subjected to it, cause he said so. But the goblins never give our stuf back so they keep having to be punished. The only punishment for breaking the law is, of course, death.

So then we all rested because everyone else was all bloody and tired, except me, but no one ever cares to ask me what I think. We found some dead dwarf and his weapons and everyone crawled all over his bones in order to grab the stuff they liked best. Watching them scavenge his corpse was disgusting. I just sat there, eating the jerkey I found and shaking my head.

After that I choked a bit. Everyone was really helpful trying to save me after the first couple minutes me not being able to breathe. Though they don’t seem to be really good doctors. The new girl actually poked Taz in the eye instead of helping me. Anyway, it turns out I ate a symbol and it’s caught in my throat now. So now, when I open my mouth too wide, acid shoots out of my mouth!!! Ramis said I should keep my motuh shut from now on unless I’m really really certain I want to use my new trick. I did that for as long as I could, but during my night watch I realized I wouldn’t be able to yell to alert anyone, so I went to go ask Ramis if I could talk during watch. But I accidently spit acid on him while he slept as I woke him and he got real mad and woke up everyone else, which was really rude of him because they were sleeping and had had a hard day and he should apoligize to them but when I suggested it he got madder and told me to go to sleep because I wasn’t doing a good job, despite the fact that no one attacked anyone while I was on watch which tells me I did a great job.

Everyone’s ready to go now Journal so I have to go too. I’m sorry I melted some of this page away but I got the hiccups. Ramis says I’m even mroe dangerous with my new pet and that I should stay as far away from him as possible, meaning he trusts me to fight off everyone he can’t see now!!! It’s a great honour!

P.S. Everything tastes like strawberries now. It’s kind of great.

Lantfeust's Journal 6

Hi Journal! It’s me again!

So…Ramis made me go in the cave. I didn’t want to but he promised me we could go for ice cream after. I’m going to get rocky road! So we went into the dark and scary cave and found this down machine. Though it didn’t work well so eveyrone jumped off and we were all in a pile at the bottom and it was really fun!

Oh! I nearly forgot! I made a new friend! After that kitten thing slipped on the ice in the ice tower and fell down the stairs, breaking her neck, whereupon we had a traditional elven burial for her (which involved throwing a blanket over her body at the bottom of the stairs and weighting it down with some rocks). I really like the new people though! Even if one of them has bats…Terrible flesh eating, disease carrying, baby eating bats. Doesnt she know that 20 million kids are eaten by bats EVERY SECOND? Maybe I should tell her this next time she wants to use them. I have this wonderful pop up book on the dangers of flying rodents. I have another that teaches about the facts of life that I’m waiting to read to Aero when he’s old enough.

So after we fell down the mine shaft we walked into this tunnel. Then there was screaming, shouting and some crying that sounded like Ramis. When I could finally see what was going on I saw this big squishy thing. Naturally I shot it with arrows. The new girl was trying to do the same thing, but she seemed to be aiming for the ceiling for some reason. Maybe she saw a rogue stalactite. I once heard of a rogue stalactite chasing an elf for 8 miles before it caught him and made him buy cookies from it so it’s troupe could go on a field trip. Or something like that.

So we killed the jello thing and Ramis and Aero wiped themselves down from the encounter. Their pants still smelled kinda bad after but I guess there wasn’t a lot we could do about it. Sometimes you get scared and there’s no shame in your body expressing itself.

Then we found a river. In a cave. With a tree on it. I swear I’m not making this up. Who brings a tree into a cave?! I bet it was gnomes. I hate those little bastards. They’re always laughing at me behind my back. Plus they smell like cabbage. Elves have gone to war for less. You can’t even get into political office if you don’t at least smell like lilacs. We’re very serious about our smells.

We crossed the river next. Well, okay, some of us crossed the river. Some of us decided to molest a tree and some of us decided to take their union mandated break. Regardless, we were asaulted by some smaller gooey things. I decided to attack and kill them. The others decided to do shit all and make me do their work for them. I mean, they had to be doing poorly on purpose. Noone is THAT bad. The new girl didn’t hit once. She actually attacked a rock. I mean, what had that rock ever done to her? I mean, I understand why Taz was so awful, since he actually had to stand to fight. And Ramis wasn’t faced with any rabid ottoman’s, so his heart wasn’t in it. But the new girl has no reason. I wonder if she knows we’re adventuring and trying to kill things? I should have a talk with her. I should learn her name first though…

So I killed the oozes, emphasis on I, and then we ate dinner, which Aero made while we were fighting. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Delicious. I wonder where he found the ingredients though…

Ramis says it’ time to go now Journal. Apparetly we have to tie a rope to Aero and drag him across the river. For an ex-pirate he’s not really ‘water friendly’.

Bye for now journal!

Lantfeust's Journal 5

Hi Journal!

So guess what? In some places in the world it gets cold and white and windy and it’s called WINTER!! Aerokii explained it was a season, but I tried putting some of the snow on my jerkey and it didn’t improve the taste at all.

In the middle of the winter we found a tower!! It went so high! So we did what any good group of adventurers would do, we began smashing the statues out front. Some of the statues didn’t like that though and began attacking back. I got hurt. It was awful. We killed the statues thankfully, though Ramis said they weren’t actually alive…Did he mean they were zombies? Zombie statues?

We entered the tower and it was all covered in ice and slippery and it was really boring. The second floor was MUCH more exciting though. These big ice creatures attacked us, and Aerokii and Taz got hurt real bad! Ramis was awesome though. He just kept thrusting his big mighty weapon into the enemy. Over and over and over. Thrust in, thrust out. He was a thrusting machine.

I killed nearly everyone, even the pesky ones that were hiding downstairs who would have made that floor much more fun but noooo they couldn’t play fair and wait their turn and instead came and attacked us when it was the other guys’ turn. I’m going to write a very stern letter to them in the morning. As soon as I can find my lettering tools.

After everyone got back on their feet we found this wonderful platform. It let us jump real high in the air! Even higher than I can normally jump. It led us to this room with beds and desk and furniture. Ramis doesn’t like furniture for some reason. Maybe as a child he was touched in a bad by a rogue credenza. Either way, he trashed this desk we found. Thankfully the didn’t destroy his new spear that he ound right then. He only burned some papers, and they couldn’t have been too important or else whoever left them there would’ve fire-proofed them.

On the next level of the tower we fought Winter. It was big and hairy and smelled like a pine forest. Rather refreshing really. We stabbed it and slashed it and pierced it till it died. Same as always.

Then we found a giant dragon egg! With no dragon…But it had sapphires instead!!! Which Taz told me would not taste good. So I didn’t eat them. When I licked them I did notice that they had a minty taste. If it licks good why wouldn’t it taste good? Oh well. Maybe I’ll put one in Aerokii’s mouth and make him swallow it while he’s sleeping. If he gets the runs I wont eat one.

Ramis is looking at me all serious like. Something about holding up the party. Which is silly because Taz is here with me. I’m writing this on his back after all.

Bye for now Journal!

Lantfeust's Journal 3

Dear Journal,

What an awful day. It started out so good. Had a dragon, was going to kill some gobbos. What could go wrong? Apparently everything. We engaged the enemy, I think. I don’t know if engage is the proper term for what we did. How about this, we pranced about while the enemy was nearby. Sure, I was pretty awesome, but the rest…Ramis just sat around, not helping the priest with a death wish out at all. And it was like no one but me could see there were enemies hitting the dragon. My dragon! Oh! There was a second dragon! The second one was less friendly however. He had an…icy demeanor, to say the least. I’m beginning to wonder if sticking with these people is really going to keep me alive. We just…seem so useless together. Maybe some sort of group trust sesson. We can fall into each others arms and I let the ones I don’t like fall. Either way, if we keep this up, enough of us will die that the problem will be solved.

I need to go now journal. That jerkey I found isn’t sitting well.

Rescue, Inc. is bankrupt

As the party returns to the woods several hours after the battle, Kobbiskemsko glides in. He counts heads in a deliberate fashion:

“Well, I see you did not actually LOSE anyone. I guess I have yet to come to grips with the tactics of such a mixed group. Or perhaps you are not a group at all? You certainly do not exhibit the cohesion I would expect of a battle team.”

Lantfeust is eating a piece of jerky of dubious origin. Kobbiskemsko casually plucks a few pinecones from a nearby tree and whips them at Lant’s head. “Annoying, no? Having pointy things thrown at you while eating is off-putting. The object of this little exercise was for you to stop them from throwing things at me.”

K strolls around the camp in full lecture mode and gestures at each of you in turn; “Elf, your archery is impressive. I have full confidence that you were making the best of your ability in defending me. Thank you. As a scout, however, you are about as sharp as goblin guts. Getting killed is not such an effective scouting tool.” He continues on to Flandre. “Your magic is impressive, but I wonder at your tactics. You spent considerable energy preventing the escape of hobgoblins instead of preventing the placement of spears in my elegant hide. Yet, when the opportunity to pursue those hobgoblins presented itself, you were delayed by your choice of totem. Perhaps you should choose an alternate form that is not delayed by multitudinous hairballs whenever there is a lull in the fighting.” Ramis is next to receive the dragon’s attention. He picks up Ramis’s spear and makes a few experimental jabs with it, reaching for a tree several feet away. He nods to himself as he returns the spear to Ramis’s side. “An effective weapon for keeping enemies at bay. I do not think it had the reach for over-river operations, however. Perhaps I needed to make myself clearer. Your goal was to keep the tribe away from ME, not you. With that armor and weaponry, I would expect rear-area security to be a waste of your training.” He gestures at Taz. “Yon scampering gadfly is better suited to policing your flanks. If he can not handle a goblin or two, you need better friends.” With that he stops in front of Aerokii.

“A priest. Why am I not surprised that the one person who appears to have the wisdom to grasp the situation is a priest? You have no wings, yet you flew into the fray. You have no scales, yet you interposed yourself between me and danger. You have no frightening visage, yet you killed with a look. Finally, you have not wronged Eisedesche, yet you suffered her wrath.” Kobbiskemsko shakes out a fold in one of his wings and a small object falls into his hand. “These were enchanted for me when I was was but a wyrmling. They are backed with some of my own scales, which is why they are so resplendent. My innate magic surpassed them long ago, but they should serve you well in focusing your will against enemies.” He tosses a pair of gloves to Aerokii and the glint of firelight can be seen on small coppery scales.

“My purpose was served. I thank you for finishing the bugbears while I dealt with Eisedesche and I apologize to those of you who suffered her blast. She is a vindictive beast. Though I have earned her wrath deservedly, hurting others out of spite toward me is petty and I should have realized she would do it. Had I known you just wanted to know where the prisoners were being taken, I would have waited until now to inform you of their location. I mistakenly believed you were trying to effect their rescue. Oh well, such is the misunderstanding to be expected in a new relationship. Elf, might you have anymore of that jerky? It smells delicious.”


After the battle at Hanson’s ferry, the group, sans Finkle, continued on to Rimevale. Along the way, they were assaulted by a swarm of gibberlings. Though the gibberlings were fought off, Jelvo suffered greatly from his injuries. Closemouthed for most of the rest of the journey, he seemed to reach a decision when the wagons were offloaded onto the Rimevale docks. Jelvo gathered the party together and paid the 100 gold bonus for the safe arrival of all of his carts. He then brought forth a scroll tube from a pack and looked each of the party members in the eye before continuing.

“Inside this tube is a pipe-dream. Years ago… decades ago, I served as part of the Vesperin border guard. We were mostly just keeping an eye on any activity from Mulmaster, but there were plenty of goblin tribes in the area to keep us on our toes. Our scouts had picked up signs of a large goblin raiding party so we gathered several patrols together for a raid. There were 37 of us. We found the goblins after six days of tracking. They were dead. We did not spend a lot of time wondering what had killed them. Dead goblin is a good goblin as far as we were concerned. Unfortunately, what killed them felt the same way about us.

Now, we were veteran troopers and we had scouts out. One of those scouts was a disciple of Silvanus. Oddest human I have ever met. The man was no more a druid than I was. He was a pickpocket and a drunk when we went into town. But out in the woods, he changed. He claimed he could talk to the trees. Most of us thought he was a little touched, but he did seem to know when something was amiss. Anyway, the day after we found the goblins, he goes berserk. He comes sprinting back to the main body of troops screaming at us to form up and prepare to attack. He gave us about a half minute’s warning. It saved us.

A Vaasan Warlock Knight and his minions hit us hard. Half of us were dead in seconds. Only the warning allowed us to close to battle with any chance. I slew two of the Vaasans myself, but that crazy Silvanite was fury incarnate. He never wavered in his pursuit of the Warlock Knight. He took a spear in the back while trying to bury a fifth dagger into the Knight, but he bought us time. There were four of us alive when Finkle got behind the Knight and slipped a blade under his helmet. Two died within the hour from Vaasan poison.

Finkle and I walked out of the mountains a month later laden down with everything we could carry. It was enough to buy a few wagons and mules and stock them with all of the merchandise we knew was needed in the mountain towns. For twenty years we have been making this run. But we always saw this as a means to an end, not our calling.

That Warlock Knight was after something in those mountains. Every year when we got back to Calaunt, we would scour the libraries trying to figure out what there was in those mountains to draw the attention of a Warlock Knight. We finally discovered what he was after.”

Jelvo shook his head in disgust and continued in a rueful tone.

“Research. He was after the scrolls of Draigdurroch. We lost 35 soldiers for the ambition of a warlock. Draigdurroch was a dwarven warlock who thought he had found a new path to power. A century ago, he took over an abandoned watchtower in the mountains to conduct his studies. It is not known what he discovered, as he was never heard from again. Finkle and I were going to venture to the tower and find out, but it always seemed to be a project for next year. I think we both had realized we were getting too old for such an adventure. This last run has convinced me. With Finkle dead and me hobbled, the tower of Draigdurroch is someone else’s adventure. You have the mettle to undertake the trip. I give over the maps we made to you.

It could be your death, it could be an uneventful trip into the woods. There is no way to tell. I expect there is much adventure to be had up here. The border patrol is always in need of help. Those who can take the bull by the horns are never out of demand. Life in the wild is always an adventure. Perhaps that is why Finkle and I never ventured to the tower. The promise of adventure was better that the reality. If we got there and the place was empty, we would be crushed. You have nothing invested so it may be worth the trip for you. Regardless, I wish you luck. Let me know if you do find something there. And now, it is time to part ways. Good luck.”

Lantfeust's Journal 3

I only have a minute Journal. We got attacked by some REALLY loud monkeys. The lumberjack man fell to them and so did the dragon man. Then the monkeys started eating their flesh. I don’t think they enjoyed Jelvo’s scales though. Probably broke their teeth. The ugly short kitten man hurt the yelling man and the lumberjack. I’m not a master of social interaction outside of the Elven lands but those actions stike me as ungood and unhealthy to the relationships he has with the ones he hurt. Or maybe I’m wrong. More research is needed. I killed a whole bunch of the enemies though! So go me! I REALLY need to help the rest with their tactics though. They have a lot to learn. We’re entering a city now. New smells and sounds already! Bye Journal!

Lantfeust's Journal 2

Hi Journal! Did you miss me? Everyone is sleeping now so I thought I’d catch you up on what has happened.

First of all, I got off the ferry. I no longer like ferry’s because no one likes the people on them and I like to be liked. Though I did meet a short person with a new smell after the ferry ride. His name is Taz. We’re friends.

OH! I forgot about the fish. There was this fish, see, and it told me to go to the cave. I didn’t know where the cave was though so I told it to go back and ask for directions. It then turned into a turtle and swam away. I miss the turtle. But not the fish. The fish was scary. Jevlo told us where the cave was though, so we thought we’d go there and chase the goblins and save everyone and be heroes and get treasure and have everyone tell us what a good job we did.

After deciding not to remove the forest problem, we entered it. We found goblins and stuff there real fast! I think they were waiting for us. But I showed them. Thanks to all my training I killed pretty much everything. I just wish my friends had been more help. When I was done most were just lying about all lazy.

I finally went into the cave, hoping the axe an could help out my fallen friends, but found out they were just as badly hurt! Is no one here as competent as I am against goblins? Maybe I should lecture on tactics and how to kill them. I bet they’d all benefit a lot from my experience and thank me. I’ll write up some tactics diagrams later!

After dragging in the bodies and burying the dead guy (I had to do most of it alone cause everyone else was too busy bleeding and passing out) we went BACK across the ferry!!! Isn’t that silly? I mean, we just spent a whole lot of time getting to this side of the lack and now we go back to that side? I’ll never understand the other races. They’re so wasteful. They should follow the old Elven proverb, “Waste not, Have more stuff.”

So now we rest and then take the wagons further and get paid. I hope they all do better tomorrow, I’d hate for my new friends to die like all my others tend to do.

Sleep time! Bye Journal!

P.S. Sorry for burning you on the fire. I was trying to dry the parts of you that were wet.

Recap and Epilogue

The intrepid adventurers have to this point survived rockfalls, bloodhawks and fractious mules, only to be set upon by a Hobgoblin raiding party. Needing to secure the ferry to have any hope of completing their mission, the party mounted a two-pronged assault. Lantfeust, accompanied by Jelvo Rath’s muleskinner, Finkle, bravely set out across Hanson’s lake while the rest of the party entered the caves behind the falls. Supported by crossbow fire from across the lake, Lantfeust and Finkle soon discovered the folly of the ferry and made like river otters on a hot summer day—diving into and out of the icy snowmelt lake. Though greiviously wounded, Lant and Finkle managed to reach the other side and drive the Hobgoblin archers off to seek reinforcements.

In the interim, the rest of the party had entered the caves only to be attacked by a giant crustacean. Narrowly avoiding the ignominy of being eaten by outsized fishbait, they immediately stumbled into the abandoned undead guardians of a makeshift necromancer’s lair. Unlike the massive mudbug, the walking dead were re-dispatched with speed and elan. The spelunking splinter of the party wasted no time mounting a frontal assault on the rear of the sleeping hobgoblin troop. Most of the rank and file shuffled off this mortal coil with nary a “What the fuck was that?!” A good thing that was, for the commander awoke and turned the tide of battle. Had he not been robbed of much of his command in the first moment of battle, this recap would certainly be scribed in dethek runes. A tribute to his militaristic kin, the commander rallied what force he had left and came within a spear thrust or two from winning the day.

The battle outside the cave was diametrically opposite in style but identical in result. Where the cave presented shoulder to shoulder melee, the fight in the woods was a series of mad dashes from ineffective cover to worse under a hail of projectiles. Cowardice and indecision shaped this battle more than derring-do. Jelvo, gimpy and old, steadily plodded forward, not hitting anything of note only to finally reach the leader of the goblins and fall bleeding at his feet. Finkle, following the example of his employer, understood the folly of a missile exchange of dagger versus crossbow. Sadly, the toll taken charging to close to melee was too much and Finkle bled his last upon the leaf-strewn forest floor. The newcomer to the party was likewise caught in no-halfling’s land as he initially charged but turned back to help the apparently hard-pressed Lantfeust. The decision nearly cost him his life. While Lantfeust quickly dispatched the goblin rabble, Taz ran afoul of a goblin hex and ended up blind and bleeding behind a pine tree. Lantfeust employed his bow to great effect, but the wily goblin hexer kept ducking behind his ally. Having exhausted his meat shield, the hexer brought forth an obscuring cloud as he tried to move to his next defensive position. Upon seeing Jelvo, Finkle and Taz fall, Lantfeust succomed to his self-preservation instinct and retreated to take stock of the situation. His inventory: three dying allies and an enemy hidden from his bow. With no other options, Lantfeust charged forward and drew his falchion. Jelvo and Taz could only bleed in silent prayer as Lantfeust went toe-to-toe with his equally ineffective melee opponent. It took two underwhelming cuts to take down the fragile hexer, but it was enough to save Taz and Jelvo.

The battle in the cave was also taking its toll. Only the fact that the combatants were armed with healing powers and better training saved them from total slaughter. Only Flandre escaped spending a portion of the battle re-packing her own entrails. The others were all down at some point, but the teamwork prevailed and the commander finally fell.

The wounded were all assembled in the cave and the slain foes were thrown into the river. Jelvo insisted that Finkle be buried among the stones and a cairn was hastily formed for that purpose. Jelvo kept Finkle’s possessions except for his suit of leather armor. “I’m getting too old for this battle shit. Besides, I already have good armor. You’ll get more use from this.” What salvageable equipment the goblins carried was loaded on Jelvo’s wagons after the prime items were claimed by the victors. Not surprisingly, the leaders of the goblins were best equipped. The hobgoblin commander sported a suit of black iron scale of obvious magical nature. His bedroll was also imbued with magic. The goblin leader was shod in magic boots likely taken from a slain dryad. The commander also had a key that opened the ornate chest next to his bunk. Inside was 500 silver coins and 50 gold along with a tiny pouch full of resuduum. There were also a few maps of the area and a letter. The letter gave Jelvo and Colin MacFirth both cause for concern. In neat dethek script, the missive set out the commander’s orders:

“Harlan, recruit sufficient forces to interdict the ferry below the falls. Do not waste veteran troops. Round up a tribe of our fractious counsins and point them in the right direction. Drive home the importance of NOT DESTROYING THE FERRY. Waylay the first few groups and then leave the little ones there to hold the ferry. I, of course, have TOTAL confidence that they can do so once you have left. Any slaves you can capture, the better. If I have not returned from the north when you arrive, head for the base. Good hunting.”

s/ Sven

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