The Happy Muggers

Why am I here?
bluebook

From D’cafnaet’d’s Memoirs

I’m a drow without a home. Thats how it goes when you’ve angered a powerful foe who can hunt you even into the depths of the planet. I have no love for the daylight. I do not care for the people up here. Still, I recognize the need for… acquaintances. Going it alone topside is next to impossible. Especially when people are afraid of the mere sight of one of my kind. How I ended up with this particular group… well, I’m still trying to figure that out.

Despite our general success, and my impression that I can trust everyone, fighting along side them can be frustrating. When facing an enemy, their reaction time is dismal. I’m already into the fight by the time that they’ve finished discussing their strategy. I’ll take speed and a sharp blade over painstaking planning every time.

And the team… if you can call it that. Tarque is a giant of a man, and a big lumbering oaf. Stealth is not easy with him in our number. I will, however, concede that he can take a punch like no other I’ve witnessed. Leeloo, practically a child, and Montiago, no larger than a child… they are more flash than fire. When they hit, they can hit hard. When they hit. I’ve never held in high esteem those that would rather stand away from the fight and strike from a distance. I feel like they throw me off of my game. I can’t concentrate on my strikes while watching out for theirs. Of everyone, the old man, Tortolla, may be the foundation of the team. He shares his healing magicks freely, often in the nick of time. I fear the time when he falls in battle. Without him, the team doesn’t stand a chance.

I’ve considered striking finding new acquaintances. Adventurers on the topside are a copper a dozen. However, since I’ve been with the “Happy Muggers” (good gods, how did that name happen?) each day is interesting to say the least. That holds me here, for now. It’s probably a mistake to stay. After all, rescuing a town is far from the best way to maintain a low profile.

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Hurt

From Leeloo’s journal:

I’m nursing combat wounds for the first time. We’ve been through six fights and this is the first time, but I’d rather it never happen again. It hurts.

We’d decided not to delve deeper into Rivenroar until we were certain we wouldn’t get trapped down there, so we set out to explore the first level. It’s a good thing we did, too, because there seems to be a lot of stuff up here.

We dispatched a party of warriors without too much of a problem, even though Montiago Dillermo got hit a few times by archers and D’cafnaet’d fell down a pit.

In the next room we came across something curious: a large tapestry with a swampland castle on it that shimmered and moved as if you were looking through a window. No sooner did we find this artifact than a strange ooze poured out of it and began to attack us. It was a hardy little fellow; shrugging off many blows, including a Witchfire I gifted him. It even tried to hit me, though the distraction of the burning made its intention obvious enough for me to evade the blow. Worse than that, when it looked like we might be getting the upper hand the thing just split in two like a scrambled egg being shared and kept up the attack.

And just when I managed to off one of those two some spectres appeared out of nowhere and really did hit me with some dread necromancy I have no wish to experience again. D’cafnaet’d did an admirable job felling the spectres, but not before the remaining ooze landed a hit on me, complete with a caustic slime that burned long after the blow. I might have fallen if not for Tortolla’s wondrous healing arts, which I seek to admire from afar from now on.

D’cafnaet’d sliced the tapestry into tiny pieces as soon as the battle was over, and I can’t blame him. But I can’t help but wonder… was that Rhest?

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Spectral Assault
  1. Still in Rivenroar
  2. Don’t want to go down; don’t want to get trapped. Explore the left branch instead.
  3. Killed four mooks, a hobgoblin soldier, and two goblin archers
    1. Montiago leapt through the fray, used Grasping Shadows on the archers, and then got shot and nearly died.
    2. D’cafnaet’d fell down a pit
    3. 100xp
  4. Found a shimmering image of a castle in the swamp
    1. An ooze popped out and attacked
    2. The ooze split in half
    3. Spectres from nowhere hurt us bad
    4. D’cafnaet’d went to 0hp for the second time
    5. D’cafnaet’d is a ghostbuster: killed both the spectres
    6. 130xp
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Tarque adventure Log 1
Into the Fary

From Tarque’s Thoughts

I was not surprised by the slamming of the bar door. Often times many a drunk patrons of the “Happy Mug” would stumble in and out of the bar all hours of the day. The thing that caught my attention was the blood curtalling scream and a thud. As I turned around expecting to have to break up another fight, I saw them. A sworm of goblins rushing into the room. It was time. Time to see what this adventure group could do. Time to get down to busness.

D’cafnaet’d was brash and reckless, both aspects I did not like in a person. Recklessness can get you killed. It can get the team killed. For the most part the group moved well together, as if each member were an extention of my body. A third arm to strike at my unsespecting foe.

The goblins that rushed in didn’t expect anyone would fight back. They are dead because they didn’t.

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Tortolla's Reflections 2
Curious little redhead

From Tortolla’s Reflections

She’s worried. She has been since that goblin we captured informed us of the raiders home in the Witchwood. Her family lives in the Witchwood, in the eastern reaches closer to Brindol. Even after we discovered they were safe, she’s still worried.

I remember the constant fear of losing the ones you loved. The Red Hand’s rampage was an ever present terror in my own youth. Now poor Leeloo has to face that same fear. Fear that at any moment, her home will be ransacked, her family murdered. Nobody should be subject to this.

And yet, she’s also incredibly determined. Even though she’s a small girl, she’s kept up with the likes of Tarque traveling all this way. She has a sense of great curiosity and wonder that drives her forward, keeps pushing her onward. Its quite obvious that she’s fey-touched. That mixture of arcane mystery and unleashed power. A formidable combination for a warlock.

Her natural curiosity and a connection with the Fey… She has great events ahead of her. But what manner of greatness has yet to be seen. While nature’s spirits may obey the great cycle and protection of life, the Fey are fickle and unpredictable. Their motives change faster than a river. I wonder if she knows the power she’s playing with.

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Tracking

From Leeloo’s journal:

The goblin was quick to talk, although he still felt the need to lie about the marauders’ origins. “The mountains” he said, but it was obvious he was scared of being the one who ratted out his friends.

Not as if it mattered what he said: a horde of goblins isn’t hard to track.

But before I went galavanting off to make sure my family was safe, out little group caught the attention of Lord Eoffram Troyas, a member of the Brindol City Council. He had no men to spare, he explained, but he wanted to know where this horde had come from.

I wanted to know, too: if they passed through the Witchwood then my family might have been caught in their path. Troyas’ generous offer of a reward was nice– I need some money to continue the search for Father– but my favorite part was that it got all these others to come along.

We followed the trail of devastation that the army left as it marched on Brindol. They did indeed come out of the Witchwood, but more westerly; Mother and the Twins were safe. A sigh of relief, but now instead of bringing allies along as I find information for my own purposes, I find myself honor-bound to stay along for the duration as we discover the genesis of this attack.

This morning we crested a ridge and saw a ruin in the valley below; Montiago identified it as Rivenroar while I was still searching my memory for the name; the gnome will keep me on my feet, I see. Good.

But Rivenroar is long-abandoned. Why, then, is there smoke rising from its tower? We’ll have to find out.

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Into the Witchwood
  • Spoogi the goblin surrendered, so we questioned him
    • Sinruth is the baddie
    • Attack Came from the north
  • City Guard came, was impressed by our feats, took us to Lord Eoffram Troyas.
  • Met Troyas; Troyas explained that people were abducted at random
  • Army heading toward the Witchwood
  • No one going to get them  
  • got hired to follow the army home, find the hobgoblin lair, save the people, and kill the army
    • Andrew given a fancy defensive hammer
  • Rested
  • Set out in the morning, saw Spoogi dead on the city wall
  • Hard trek to the forest following the tracks
  • Not by Leeloo’s house
  • Found a ruin – Rivenroar, formerly a mausoleum
    • no more surrounding castle; worn away by time
  • Sent D’cafnaet’d ahead; he got shot
  • Two goblin archers, two hobgoblin warriors
  • Battle ensues
    • Trap: two torches spit fire at each other while slowly moving toward us
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Tortolla's Reflections 1
Seeking balance in chaos

From Tortolla’s Reflections

In all my many years Aegis has shown me the power, majesty, and mystery of nature’s course. In all things the spirits are active, from the smallest insect to the greatest mountain. But this… This is hard to accept as just another cycle in nature…

I’ve seen my fair share of violence and destruction before in the world. Wolves hunting their prey. Bears savaging a hunter in defense. The tides of the rain seasons breaking down and washing away entire villages. But all these things lead to a greater end. A rebirthing, a continuation of the cycle back to another spirit, another life. Everything sacrificing for another, so that another may live.

But seeing the violence and destruction the intelligent races bring down upon one another is entirely different. Brindol’s Townspeople left wounded- several dead or dying. Their houses burned and smashed, and now we find that several townsfolk were taken directly from the city to Gods know where… Such acts of rampant savagery shake my very core.

And yet…

Perhaps this is part of a greater cycle. Perhaps these events will lead to a rebirth, another chance for life to begin anew. During the conflict earlier I noticed a sense of ease from Aegis that, while not unusual, did seem to radiate out into myself and my companions more strongly before. It bound us together, gave us the will to fight on. Stronger than before.

I’ve sensed this same calm before. When he has talked of the great deeds of nature’s guardians and servants. Of those that serve the spirit’s will, that bring balance and order to the chaos of the world. Aegis must know something he is not sharing with me. Perhaps in time, he’ll see fit to tell me…

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Attacked
Leeloo Bluebook, Sessions 1 & 2

From Leeloo’s journal:

Brindol was attacked today. Sieged might be a better word. I was in the Happy Mug at the time, nursing a cider and talking with an interesting human about the forest and the spirits, when some hobgoblins rushed in and started slaughtering people. The Happy Mug is kind of a backwater, but it was full this afternoon and the hobgoblins made a few kills before I was even on my feet.

Most people run from danger, which I guess is appropriate. Why did I run toward it?

The human– Tortolla is his name– ran toward it, too. His turtle spirit is helpful in this situations, he had said, and I got to witness that first hand. Tortolla’s goliath friend Tarque was helpful, too: he ran straight into the melee and kept the hobgoblins close as he sliced them up.

I was busy dodging a flaming torch from a goblin, who I felled in response. In the back, a gnomish mage named Montiago and I were protecting those people who had escaped the first onslaught as they cowered behind the bar. Up front, Tortolla and a drow named D’cafnaet’d were keeping the onslaught as far away as they could.

Once we were all into the fight we made quick work of them, but too many lost their lives before we got there. And once we had the bar safe we looked outside and found that our job was far from over; the whole town was under attack.

Outside, more goblins needed killing. It’s odd, this business of killing. I know full well that these creatures are vile, that their purpose here today was to sack and pillage, to burn and destroy and despoil. And I know that if I had not killed them they would have killed me. I know that, yet still there is that old mix of power and regret as I let loose the fury of the fey and strike them down. They are a life no less natural than those I protect, twisted and fallen as they may be. And I remember every time I see the last breath escape their lips as they crumple to the ground.

But damn can it be satisfying to watch them crumple. An ogre outside the bar gave us an amazing amount of trouble. Bigger than Tarque, he soaked up blow after blow before I finally brought forth the witchfire and watched him finally fall. A crossbowman who actually managed to loose a bolt toward me– ineptly, it turned out– was similarly satisfying to fell. But now, writing it here, I find that their deaths feel hollow, somehow; like putting it in words makes it seem less real; like bragging makes them into a story when they deserve a life better lived, less violent and less abruptly ended.

We all deserve better, I think, but I am quite sure that we cannot all have it. I intend, however, to obtain that better life for myself, my family, and maybe these new comrades I have found today. But now we have to question a little turncoat of a goblin to determine if we are to pursue the horde or prepare for another assault.

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Taking It Outside
The Happy Muggers Strike Back
  • Having fortified the Happy Mug, the PCs venture outside
  • And fight Yogurt the Ogre, with his friends the crossbowmen and some shady guy.
  • Then they fight some General guy and some warriors and yet more crossbowmen.
  • Spoogi surrenders before we kill him.
  • There’s more, and Ben should fill it out.
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