Dungeons & Dragons 5e Homebrew Campaign
5th April 2022
|Characters:||Fayd – Half Orc Barbarian|
Gunnar Orcsson – Half Orc Barbarian
Jaraziah Grimm – Human Cleric
Iivan – Drow Rogue
Balasar Aurumingis – Dragonborn Sorcerer
Luther – Half Elf Bard
Navarro – Half Elf Paladin
Tad Hemlock – Halfling Bard (Retired)
Tianzi – Half Elf Sorlock (Retired)
The party woke in Hammerbeard’s barracks, Gunnar could hear the distant shouts of Hammerbeard and others rousing the garrison. The big orc was feeling the lingering after effects of a night drinking with Madame Yasmin, while waiting for young Grimm to finish his voyage of discovery with some of Yasmin’s girls. He grinned at the memory but the thought died still born as he remembered Fayd’s confused warnings about watchers and priests. Moving around the barracks Gunnar found Luther and Navarro strapping on their gear. “Where’s Fayd?” asked the Paladin before Gunnar could greet him. Gunnar paused, Fayd’s cot was a mess but the younger half orc was no where to be found “Hunting rabbits again?” he offered doubtfully. Fearful for their companion they searched the compound but found no sign of Fayd, eventually finding one of the night watchmen they learned the young orc had been seen safe and well leaving for the town earlier that morning. Relieved that Fayd appeared not to be in any immediate danger they joined the troops in the mess for breakfast, Gunnar and Luther feeling distinctly out of place among the discipline and organised chaos while Navarro appeared to revel in it – taking time to lecture Luther on the finer points of military training while they ate….whether the half elf wanted to learn or not.
Eventually the trio left the rest of the party and made their way into town, it was still early and the usually bustling main square was oddly quiet as townsfolk began setting up stalls or going about their business. As they passed the monolith they saw Fayd walk out of the tavern and waved him over, the young orc appeared to have been in a fight and was visibly shaken. Retiring to the inn for second breakfast the group listened to Fayd relay his dreams, in which he had seen a huge battle between the tribes and a demonic host around a towering walled metropolis. The wild orc was convinced this was a real event from the past (as proved by his own injuries) and may have been a vision of the Nearith Empire’s fall, more disturbingly he was certain that history was about to repeat itself. Agreeing they needed to explore this further the party decided, reluctantly, to seek help from a local scholar and assosiate of the Everwatch Knights named Amberclad who lived on the edge of town. Delaying long enough to meet with Webster the town Mayor to discuss any additional job opportunities the party were pleased to have been gifted a small house to use as a base of operations while in Yukon, though upon further investigation the building appeared unfurnished – a state of affairs Luther was not about to accept, demanding that their new servant purchase a bed for him immediately, the others deciding their bedrolls would serve perfectly well in the meantime.
On arriving at Amberclad’s home Navarro refused to approach, leaving Luther to lead the group the final few yards. The hut’s door was soon opened to a short and bookish looking human. What followed was a confusing stream of conciousness and outlandish behaviour as Luther began to realise why Navarro refused to have anything to do with the strange man. Between the stream of tangential and half verbalised thoughts that poured endlessly from the small man, Luther gleaned that his mother’s book was written in an ancient script, and that Amberclad clearly had some seriously strange fetishes even for an extreme bibliophile. The scholar seemed to have knowledge of Fayd’s condition too, warning the party the young orc would soon turn insane and kill them all, but delivered this dire message in the same tone of voice as his off hand comments on the weather. Bracing himself for the worse Gunnar questioned the man about his map, being told it was in fact two maps and a key…confirming some of what he had already learnt but leaving him with more questions than answers, he resolved to ask Grimm as the key to the riddle might be found in the City of Libraries which the young cleric had mentioned. Navarro finally and grudgingly tolerated the man’s incessant spiel long enough to discern the location of an outpost that may be linked to the Nearith Empire that Don Fiore had been set to investigate. The Paladin seemed to find this news a welcome relief and clearly believed that Fayd’s visions of doom would be swiftly resolved if his master was already investigating them.
While Navarro sought help from a local mystic, Durham Potts, in identifying the enchanments on the blade he had aquired Gunnar decided it might be useful to cultivate some contacts with the local criminal element, reasoning that they might know more about the comings and goings of a pair of piratically inclined goblins than the city watch. Having spoken with Madame Jasmine at some length the previous night it seemed likely that Big Billy would be a good place to start, so he and Fayd wandered to the outskirts of town check out his new tavern. Scanning the throng Gunnar was relieved that he saw no evidence of his erstwhile shipmates, and noting the rogue’d cheeks of Billy’s guards decided it would be safe enough to investigate further. Billy was sat in the same spot they’d seen from the wagons the previous day smoking a large pipe and eyeing the crowds around him, the orcs made their way to the bar and ordered 3 mugs of ale before carrying them out to Billy. Gunnar approached and offered one of the mugs to the huge ogre as cover for an opportunity to sign to Billy that he wished to talk. The ogre ignored the cant, and spoke directly to the orcs bidding them join him. Wary of saying too much before he understood the machinations of the local syndicate Gunnar was more guarded than perhaps he might have been in seeking some work from the ogre, eventually though Billy suggested he and Fayd find out who had set watch on the monolith and why to prove they could be relied on. An offer Gunnar was happy to accept as the massive ogre seemed to have found Fayd’s mere presence an annoyance, taking their leave of the ogre Gunnar decided to employ an alias for the time being – the orc being of somewhat limited imagination he gave his name as Navarro and Fayd’s as Iivan – though as Billy then gave his own name as Steve he suspected it might not have been the most effective misdirection…
Returning to the others Gunnar explained what they’d been asked to do, though not his reasons for doing it. Navarro immediately offered his assistance and began to head towards one of the watchers, Fayd showing unexpectedly quick thinking in diverting the Paladin before the obvlivious knight blew their cover entirely. Seeing the social ineptidude displayed by his companions Luther offered to help charm the information out of one of the monolith watchers in the main square, an offer Gunnar was happy to accept. Retreating to the tavern for privacy Luther transformed himself into a beautiful elven maiden, his new visage was identical to the one he’d used during the fight by the lake a few days earlier. Gunnar watched the bard sashay across the square and strike up a conversation with the nearest sentinel. Luther, or Louisa as he introduced himself as, found the mark to be a tougher nut to crack than he’d been expecting. Subtley casting a charm on them however, Louisa was able to ascertain that the watch was being conducted on the orders of a man named Silwind, the owner of the Bits and Bobs shop, though the man was unable to explain what the vigil was for beyond being told that something good was expected to come by the monolith. Having obtained all the information he could Louisa then offered to meet the man for drinks, and perhaps more in the tavern later before returning to the group.
The interior of Bits and Bobs was an trove of equipment and goods of all kinds, while Luther and the others browsed the store Gunnar made his way to the counter and struck up a conversation with Silwind himself. Glancing across Fayd wondered at Gunnar, he had never shown much inclination for idle talk or gossip before, he also noticed both Silwind and Gunnars hands were in constant motion, and their tense expressions did not seem to tally with the banal small talk he could hear. “Get the fuck out of my shop!” grated Silwind suddenly, Fayd tensed reflexively expecting a violent response from his friend – but Gunnar merely shrugged and walked back outside without another word. Fayd caught up with him waiting outside and asked what had happened. Gunnar explained the hand signs were a way to for criminals to communicate without attracting attention but that after delivering his warning to Silwind that Billy was looking into his activities the apparent storekeep had grown angry. In truth Gunnar was surprised the man hadn’t wanted to know more, back in Fontia a certain amount of intergang intruige was an expected element of the criminal underworld and information was valued, particularly in turf wars, and it seemed obvious to Gunnar that this Silwind and Billy were working for different factions. Seeing no way to leverage Billy’s interest any further Gunnar resigned himself and paid for a young local lad to carry a message from “Navarro” to “Steve” that Silwind was behind the watch and that they were waiting for something and to bring any reply to the tavern.
After some time Gunnar’s messenger returned, somewhat dishevelled and bruised but able to deliver the ogre’s message that Gunnar should not have treated him like a bitch by sending a messenger. Irritated and chagrained at the treatment of the child and what that said to his own standing in the ogre’s eyes Gunnar decided the only way to salvage the situation was a show of strength and immediately rose from the table to confront Billy directly. Fearing for their companion’s sanity as well as his safety Luther and Fayd scrambled up to follow the orc as he shouldered his way through the crowds to the door. Quickly striding to the ramshackle tavern outside town that served as Billy’s base of operations Gunnar led the group into the crowd drinking and bartering outside. Heedless of the danger and hoping this display of bravado would demonstrate to Billy that he was useful and a potentially valuable asset, Gunnar sat himself across from the smoking ogre.
“I didn’t tell you to sit” he growled at Gunnar “get out of here”. Gunnar bit out a “fuck off” in reply, but before he could continue time seemed to slow, at least for Gunnar as Billy, apparently unaffected by this sudden sluggishness sprang from his ersatz throne and delivered a flurry of devastating blows to the orc. The staccato rap of Billy’s blurred fists impacting on Gunnar’s heavily muscled torso was so fast the individual blows could barely be picked out, save the last crushing uppercut that launched the massive barbarian fully off his feet and sailing back to crash into Fayd and Luther bleeding and barely conscious. Looking up at Billy Fayd saw the ogre had already resumed his seat and was again holding his pipe, the sudden explosion of violence gone as fast as a summer storm “Get him out of here Dogboy” the ogre commanded. Fayd struggled to help Gunnar stay on his feet and hauled the dazed orc away from the ogre, trying to ignore Gunnar’s slurred claims that he had almost had the ogre…clearly the blows to his friend’s head had been harder than he’d thought. Lingering only long enough to ensure Billy was aware that he, Luther was in no way connected with those two orcs he too took his leave, quickly catching up with his staggering companions “so exactly how many people do you plan on pissing off today?” he bit out, but neither orc made a reply.
Reaching the comparative safetly of their new house Gunnar crawled his way into his bedroll to recover while the others began packing for their journey South on the morrow. As the battered orc regained some of his wits he realised he’d made a mistake in challenging the ogre like that in front of his own men, and had left Billy little choice but to retaliate. Still, he reflected – he was alive and bruises would heal so he’d have opportunity to try again in future – though he may need to prepare himself before risking another fight with the ogre, as the last time he’d been hurt this badly it had been at the hands of an undead dragon…and unlike that fight this time he had no trophies to show for his efforts beyond his bruises.