Savage Portland

Cerat's Musings, Part I

I arose today and went to meet with Theldrat Meldorp about his books around the hour of 8 bells. Having no trouble finding the neighbourhood, I arrived at what appeared to be his shoppe, only to find a woman inside with rather a large bag slung over her shoulder. After inquiring as to the location to make certain I was correct, she responded that this was, in point of fact, her shoppe, and furthermore that she had never even heard of Master Theldrat. I most humbly apologized and crossed the street to a tavern where several strangers were breaking their fasts.

Approaching one of the gentlemen, I asked whither the shoppe I was searching for might be and he informed me that I was, in fact, standing across the street from it. By this time, others were noticing the queer actions of the woman inside, and wandering over I attempted to get a passing Half-Elf to run and alert the Watch. The insolent man simply ran around the house to where there had been heard a large ruckus. I pursued him to attempt to send him off for the watch, and wound up descrying a Halfling through the closed window, endeavouring to hide in the shadows under its sill.

Finally, Master Theldrat arrived and we attempted to explain the situation to him. By this point, the woman was sobbing and trying to blame the whole matter on we who had attempted to redress the grievance we saw. But, as soon as a place was cleared in the front of the shoppe, she attempted to steal away into the early morning. One of the men standing near stabbed hear through the shoulder with a dagger, and she was soon lying unconscious in the road. While she was being bound, the Halfling also attempted to escape and was similarly subdued.

As the pair of would-be thieves amoke, a new round of questioning began and more turmoil (and probably a headache on Master Theldrat’s part) ensued. Master Theldrat noticed that a certain key which had been his inheritance was stolen and we questioned the prisoners about it.

We learned from the prisoners that there was a third member of their expedition, a certain Half-Orc named Irontusk. Master Theldrat entreated our group to go after the criminal and we pursued his scent to the docks, where he was descried loading crates onto a boat. Our motley crew gave chase and the Half-Orc bounded away across the wharf.

What followed next was a haze of feathers, fire and battle. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as we pursued the Half-Orc who we assumed held the Master’s precious key. Slipping on boats and jumping gaps between the barges, I managed to land in the boat where he was attempting to escape. Unfortunately, a single smash from the Half-Orc’s club sent stars spinning around my head.

When I came to my senses, the Half-Orc was unconscious on the deck of a borrowed fishing boat. Turij owns a cart, and using it we were able to bring Irontusk back to Master Theldrat’s shoppe. Chained in irons, we questioned the prisoner, who did not have the key on him. Through him, we learned that there is an organisation he works for called the Green Dagger Gang. I have impressed upon our Halfling the need to reclaim his honour by following the Half-Orc to see what leads that may turn up. Sending them off together may not have been a wise decision.

Upon further study of the blank book entrusted to me by my last teacher at the Academie, I have learned that it is indeed already prepared for the recording of magical spells. The ink as well seems to be devoted to this purpose, and so I have to begin another letter of thanks to the old man for such an amazing gift.

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Narn en' Tanans

Aaye,

Mani marte? Sii’, n’at mellonea mainke harma en’ lye, nan’ amin nae lemba ten’ ilnae en’ tug ten’ lema ale’ i’me’a en’ rond lante no’ lye.

Ale’ re en’ esta ar’ poika tuulo’ ‘kshapsae en Aesmarele (aa’ menealle nauva calen ar’ malta) amin deanamnae entulien uin yassen mellonea n’alaquel a’ i’ilm. Er edan en’ Calen-Tincmaegrim nae ba, nan’ koltaur en’ Turij nae sane ten’ kolein i’n’at nelde edan a’ i’yaana ten’ fallanien.

N’alaquel ie’ i’ilm, lye mae ten’ ner harma nan’ utue feuyian gorlianterim. Sii’ amin sinta gorga en’ Gurren, lalai. I’simbe aru simbe en’ i’gorlianterim kware parma en’ tengwa quenta yassen nir’ essaio en’ Calen-Tincmaegrim.

Eller vithel nae ure sambe quanta en’ lingian rothlanne’ ar’ n’taurn poldora talan amin lante imya. Lova handasse. E’ n’alaquel en’ i’sambe nae olin marde corian a’ sambe kwarian mahalma en’ malda, nan’ aiya, i’mahalma nae ilanwa. Lekmee nyarian en’ i’lirva en’ i’ilm nae eller vithel.

Lye tampe n’alaquel ie’ i’yaana ten’ utuneian i’edanea ten’ sinta en’ essaio e’ i’parma, nan’ ron dine. Lye kele menlyea ten’ mae sintar e’ i’tal. Amin aute pelennor en’ cirya nan’ ilutue ai’er en’ sinta, san’ aute kaim fallan ten’ lanta imya i’talan en’ amin.

Vanya sulie.

Tanans Adihanr


Hail,

What happened? Well, the others sold our loot, but I stayed behind because I was not in any condition for adventuring after the chandelier fell on us.

With a day’s rest and Aesmarele’s spells (May your ways be green and golden) I was able to accompany my friends back to the mansion. One of the Green Daggers was dead, but we borrowed Turij’s cart to carry the other three to the temple for healing.

Back at the mansion, we searched for more treasure but ran into a lot of nasty spiders. I know what Gurren does not like now, haha. The room next to the spiders had a ledger containing many names of the Green Dagger Gang.

There was also a big room full of hanging sheets and a weak floor which I fell through. Stupid. In the back of the room was a secret corridor leading to a room with a grand golden throne, but alas, the throne was fake. There was also a letter telling of the sickness of the house.

We stopped back by the temple to question the men about the names in the book, but they were silent. We then split up to investigate other areas of the city. I went to the docks but did not find any information, then went to get sleep and heal from my fall through the floor.

Fair winds.

Tanans Adihanr

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Fare the well, my faithful friends.
In which Aesmarele says her goodbyes.

It has been an interesting time among you all, but I have been called by the Shining Light to another path, one that requires me to stay on here at the temple. Part of my new duties will provide me an opportunity to research the dream that we shared. I pray to the Shining One that you all shall be safe in your actions, whatever they may be. Please stop by the temple whenever you have need of its services or if you just want to chat.

There is a young acolyte here with whom I’ve shared our current journeys. Once thought a savage, he was called by the Shining Light to leave his land and come to ours. However, his heart is too free to be confined to the temple. He is on an errand at the moment, but I will send him to you on his return.

May the Shining Light of Pelor brighten your darkest times,

~Aesmarele Innersol

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Cerat's Musings, Part the Next

After meeting with Lady Vanderboren at her residence, we traveled to the vault to assist in retrieving our payment. Accompanying us on this journey was the Acolyte that Aesmarele mentioned in her letter.

Once in the basement of the castle, we were shown to a short hallway. Lady Vanderboren fitted her signet ring into a socket on the door and the whole area glowed momentarily with a faint blue light. The door opened easily enough, but inside was an Iron Cobra. The construct only managed to inject venom into one of us, and after it was defeated we proceeded to search the room for the treasure that we all assumed to be there.

A recessed switch was found in one of three identical pillars in the room, and inside were seven images of monsters, each with more eyes than the last. Throughout the whole vault area was the same eight-pointed star symbol. This room had it in the ceiling, with a red ray pointing to the entrance.

We sat around trying to push what seemed to be some kind of lock around the room and trying to puzzle out some meaning from the riddle. Finally, our halfling decided to try his hand at picking the mechanism and several hours later, we had access to the inner rooms.

Lady Vanderboren inspected the contents of the vault, and was dismayed to find merely a few silvers in each coffer but the last. In that hold were two ledgers showing numerous accounts owing debts to the Vanderboren house which had never been collected. Additionally, there was enough gold and gems for her to pay us what was due from our last mission.

Asking upstairs, the clerk in charge of the castle told us that no one could possibly have gotten in or out of the vault without the proper signet ring. He looked up the records and it seems that a Vanthis Vanderboren had signed his way in a few times over the previous weeks. Since no other person had accessed the vault, this must be where the money from the other coffers has gone.

Vathis is the name of Lady Vanderboren’s missing brother, long presumed by her to be dead. It seems that he was never the same after their parents passed away, and he may have fallen in with the wrong crowd. He found a woman somewhere who had a reputation as a pickpocket, and after staying at the Vanderboren residence for a time, left for the Azure District.

Traveling to the Azure District, we looked around for some of the brothels Vanthis was known to frequent. One of the serving wenches remembered someone matching the description we gave, but hadn’t seen him in a while. Another person was able to tell us that his associate was one Brissa Santos, a well known pickpocket in Shadowshore.

It seems that neither Vanthis nor Santos has been seen in the Azure District for some time. We may need to dig some more into Vanthis’ past to find out who he fell in with during the time after his parents’ death. It seems that he was working on a plantation, presumably in the Sunrise District, shortly before it, and his change from the brother Lady Vanderboren knew as a child may have started there.

And, of course, there’s always more bars and brothels that we can search.

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On Courts and Justice

A man was brought to trial for several crimes, including the suspicion of murder in a small colony. None who testified saw this man actually kill anyone, and all only knew him by association with a new and ruthless gang of which the village had just been cleansed. One of the deceased was questioned, only to find that she did not know her attacker. The man would say nothing in his defense, save that he would fight back from beyond the grave at those who passed justice upon him.

Two arguments were made for how to try the man: in the colony under their own rule so as to get the matter settled quickly, or on the mainland so as to get the man a fairer trial than the settlers would divulge.

Is it wise to pass judgement on the man on the strength of his associations with an illicit group? When lacking direct evidence for a great crime, is not defending one’s innocence the same as admitting one’s guilt? Is it wise to sentence him more harshly than normal in order to not drain the resources of the village?

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Belongings of a Dead Race

A group of adventurers wandered through the ruins of a long-dead and all-but-forgotten race. In the innermost hall of a temple, a guardian stood who looked into the heart of each companion. In one it found utter chaos, and utter honesty. In another, greed. In yet a third, goodwill towards his fellow man. The guardian asked the travellers what they would do with the items found in the temple. They would be useful to the travellers’ home city, and the group reasoned that the dead had no need any more of these treasures. Yet surely the dead’s belongings they still were.

The guardian eventually decided that the group could be trusted with the temple’s treasure. They returned to their city heroes for their efforts and were praised for the treasure they returned with. Though they did it for the good of the living, still their action was wrong in some eyes. The things of the dead still belong to the dead, and the guardian’s sacrifice of the treasures should not be belittled.

It happened that some weeks hence, this same group was travelling near the forest. Straight out of myth walked a few of the race whose ancestors had left behind the treasures this group had so recently gathered. With the rightful owners now no longer a legend, the taking of treasures from an ancient temple can be viewed in a new light.

Where now does fault lie for what surely now could be considered theft?

Not knowing what had become of the race, was the Guardian correct in assuming the treasures had no living rightful owner?

Is the group absolved by the guardian’s trust in them?

Should the owners have paid more attention to their treasures and better cleaned out their cities? Do they forfeit a claim of ownership by not enforcing it, or are our laws in place to protect even those who will not help themselves?

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Oh piddle.

[For the original document crafted by the hand of Dinaer, see http://cat.pdx.edu/%7ehunner/dinaer.pdf . Transcription of document follows here.]

Sure seemed like things were going well for a while. Had a great time with my new ring from Z, though I’ve only begin to scratch the surface of all the uses it could be put to. Oh yes, and that fang that was buried under all the other items had some worth to it after all, granting the tenacious grapple of a Tendriculos to anyone who knows how to unlock its secret. It also seemed to complement my ring’s purpose of purloining palatial pieces of prosperity by making the possessor more acutely aware when opportunities would present themselves. How do I know this? I learned that if one replaced a tooth from their mouth with the fang, it would endue these powers to the owner. And naturally I obliged, given how it befits my agenda. Being stuck on a ship with peasants did not give me much of a chance at practicing my new-found aptitude for pilfering, (not that I was previously inept, of course) but I did get a chance at wrestling a beast of twice my size.

We encountered a swimming reptile of some sort with a long neck and wide back on the second day. I was seized by crazy notion of wrestling this monster to the black depths with the aid of the power given by my fang, and it was just crazy enough to work. So by taking a flying leap from the ship onto it’s back I was able to gain a purchase and grapple it. A few hard squeezes and a few more arrows from my compatriots on the ship brought it down. Shu tried to replicate my tactics, but I suspect he didn’t know about my unnatural advantage, as he overestimated his own strength and was unable to keep hold of the monster (I must have made it look easy, heh). Luck, I love my fang.

My antics obviously caught the eye of Leamette, our local sorcerer turned divine-following-something-or-other who is of the rebellious sort and a kindred spirit with myself in the ways of walking the edge, doing the daring, and experiencing the new and exciting. But the commonality otherwise is fairly limited; Rather than deliberate on the mysteries of the universe and the gods, she would spend time talking of petty nothings (as she did for hours on end for the rest of the voyage up in the ‘nest). Also, she has little interest in wealth. She left a large inheritance behind for the adventuring life, not realizing that most of us live this way only so that we may gain access to a life of the manner that she left behind. Anyway, there is evidence that she still carries a bit of that wealth wherever she goes, but I wasn’t about to stoop to the immoral standards needed to access it (if you know what I mean), at least not then, and who knows what my chances will be now that I’m a dwarf.

Yes, a curse-ed dwarf. I make my living by the silence of my step and fleetness of foot; by the gracefulness of my movements and sharpness of mind. And now I’m a smegging dwarf. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

With the Blue Nixie sighted and dusk falling, we decided to let the crew have their rest while we scouted the wreck for anything interesting. The island was inhabited by anthropomorphic cat beings who spoke in a strange language that Shu also spoke. He garnered that there was something evil on the wrecked ship, and if we would rid them of it then they would aid us in the coming siege. Shu is quite the diplomat is he not?

We were rowing to the wreck when another of those long-necked reptiles attacked us. It quickly became apparent that it was only the little pet of the true menace that the cat-people despised. The whole party was badly stricken with weakness, and then the evilness showed itself as some fish-like druidic being from beneath the water. From that point on everything seemed to go awry. Fighting in the tiny vessel that was our skiff put us on a decidedly uneven ground, and the fish-thing could deal massively dangerous wounds by it’s combined attacks. With us trying to find some effective means of quelling it, Mathias had to work especially hard to keep us together, and thus the fish-thing’s pet knew that targeting Mathias would hinder us even more. Mathias fell, but our magically-sapped strength was returned. Too late, it seemed. We were badly worn, and even Gurren was hunched under his wounds. In a last-ditch attempt, I attempted to grapple it from an invisible position, but it was covered by free action and struck me down.

I came to, so we had prevailed after all (seconds after I fell, even) but I had already perished. I was thankfully resurrected, but unfortunately as a dwarf, which is how I’ve come to be in the state I am now. To start all over again, learning the length of my stride and reach of my arms; it’s such a burden with even the small change from being human to a similarly-sized half-orc. But to go from a half-orc to this is almost indescribable. This smegging tort is a malfeasance against nature and [writing here is rough, scratched out, and unreadable].

Bah, Short, loud, gruff, inarticulate in limb (though thankfully not in word), I’m going to have to work to regain my previous skills. And of course people judge my skill by what they see. I was happy to lend my shoulder, working to restore the Blue Nixie, but to have the expectation placed on me to enjoy work simply because I was now a dwarf was an oft-repeated knell ringing empty in my ears. “Here, lend your broad shoulders” or “dwarves are good at this, right?” was heard more than once while working on the ship. Dwarf, my foot!

And to compound matters, my precious fang was missing from the mouth of my previous body, but Shu and Gurren profess to know nothing about it’s whereabouts. It’s not as simple as it just disappearing, so it looks like I’ll have some investigating to do before I trace it down again, where ever it is.

It’s late, the candle burns low, and we are in for a hasty return to meet the pirate invasion if they have not yet already come. To the cot I go!

~Dinaer

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