Saturday, December 12, 2009

28 Kythorn 1479

Wow. Just wow.

I just spent half the night getting drunk with a lonely old dragon. (Well, ok he was getting drunk, I don't feel safe getting drunk, since Aprilane seems to maybe be the um...friendly kind of drunk)

Keep was HUGE (well, ok, duh) and a genuine keep, not a tarted up cave or something. K'lenth had it made special - he said it was designed by Fenster Wockle - I mean wow, that's what 600 years ago? And it had all sorts of fancy tapestries and carpets - and invisible servants and the finest in food and wine and orc ale (well, at least it's better than Lannen's...).

K'lenth wanted to talk and talk and talk - and being some 650 years old, he's got plenty of interesting stories. More to the point, though, he wanted a favor - it seems that as he's getting older, he's finding it difficult to see the writing in his ledgers. So, we did our best to try angd fit reading glasses for a dragon. I have NO idea if this will work, but then, that is the problem of the Waterdeep artisans.

That's the other thing - K'lenth wants us to take a message to Eldreth, seems K'lenth wants to talk to him.

Weird. Everything keeps tying back to him.

27 Kythorn 1479

Early this morning we spotted a smoke plume at a distance - Aprilane scouted it out and found a small walled town, half encircled by campfires? Anyway, the town had a big banner of a stylized blue dragon and the usual toll set-up. The usual bribe set-up it appeared at first - until the tolltaker noted down the bribe on her sheet - in a column marked "bribe" and filed away that payment. Organized corruption, amazing.

Anyway, we asked around Dragonwatch (which this is and yes the rumors are obvious nonsense) and to start with they said that they had been on good terms with Lord K'lenth up until a few days ago when the kobold army showed up outta nowhere, said K'lenth was upset that they were stealing from him and fork over 10,000 gold pieces in 3 days.

Yeah, right.

Gnf and I hit the tavern for better information on who was in on this - some soldiers had tried to take on the kobolds but they'd been either the dragon breathing lighting or the dragon breathing acid or some sort of strange machine that threw lightning - depending on who you asked.... They seemed the usual sort of scared and confused so we headed off toward the mayor's - the obvious inside man - and he said this was totally unlike Lord K'lenth, everything was carefully regimented, they go up to his castle once a month with the taxes and stay out of his hunting grounds the rest of the time - or else they're fair game. He seemed straight with us and wished someone could see what was going on in those camps, but he couldn't have it, it was too risky and he absolutely forbade us from scouting.

Lyra came from the barracks to report that those burns were ACID and that's a green dragon. Hm. But some of them were lightning - which is blue. Hm, hm. She said she thought she'd seen a big machine in one camp from the rooftop. While we were sharing our information we heard the oh-so-charming noise of a mob banging on the mayor's doors and insisting he fix everything and call in adventurer's to kill Lord K'lenth. Yeah, right. We figured that made it a good time to scout the camps.

Gnf sent his serpent in towards the machine and tried to describe it back to me. Max and Aprilane snuck around the main camps to find the, where the guy running the show is. They found it. A green dragon, pretending to be blue - and not even full-grown.

A long tiring fight - we found the machine and our plan to take it fast without getting hurt failed utterly - they managed to get a shot off with that sucker nailed us all - nearly taking poor Gnf down. But we took it and took the time to rest up while I tinkered with it a bit so they couldn't EVER put that sucker to work again - since the town had sent it's soldiers out again and it was clear that they could handle mere kobolds.

Then the dragon in the woods decided he'd had enough and challenged us to come in and fight him or he'd overfly the town with his breath. So we trudge in and see a sinuous figure wavery back in the trees....only it's just canvas, I yelled that out, even though I couldn't see where the bastard really was and he threw some kind of minor paralysis or something, meant I could barely move. He tried to talk his way out of it, but ha! they don't fall for me (um, usually) they're not gonna fall for HIM. We got him and then the trees starting shaking and bending in the wind - the intermittent, patterned wind - the kind of wind made by great big huge wings beating right over your head.

Lord K'linth sorta flicked the green away with a finger (right, 10? 20? foot long and he flicks it away? with ONE finger) and muttered "a green" in that same sorta disgusted voice the villagers always used about goblins. Anyway, he said he was pleased, well done, he'd expect us at his keep for a feast tomorrow. (Oh good, the giant dragon wants us to come for dinner)

At least we get to sleep first.

26 Kythorn 1479

Oddly quiet traveling - there is no one and I do mean no one, coming up the road from the other direction. It's prime caravan season, on the main caravan route, with portals malfunctioning and everything going by cart - and no one?

Possible answer though unlikely - the other day Ugrun pointed out over the Starpeaks, where there was a thunderstorm rolling up, typical for the time of year. It was miles and miles away, but there was a big - and I mean really big and really big even at that distance - blue winged shape swirling about the lightning bolts.

I wonder if that means that we're anywhere near Dragonwatch - and if those ridiculous rumors about them paying off the dragon with spare travelers are quite so ridiculous.

On the bright side, I am managing to fend off Aprilane nicely and Ugrun hasn't even hit me yet. This may work out yet.

23 Kythorn 1479

Dead. I am so dead. Beyond dead.

I cannot believe this. Barmaids know better. Merchant's daughters know better. Innocent village maidens in a small village hell and gone from ANYTHING besides a nice big orc and goblin filled forest know better. NO ONE takes my flirting seriously. It's ridiculous, it's impossible. Who could imagine for a second that anyone could mean anything as outlandish as what I come up with? Who in their right mind would believe me on anything anyway?

Oh, but NO. First thing this morning Aprilane comes over with a poultice for my neck - which was sore as all hell, so good - but she'd made it SPECIAL. With special herbs and stuff, that she was telling me about while she was blushing and patting my shoulder and standing close and all.

Aprilane. Who doesn't want anyone to stand within 5 feet of her. And blushing. And special treatment. So bad. And then I catch Ugrun's eye - and it's on fire. Bad enough Aprilane, is buying my bullshit (how can ANYONE believe...) but Ugrun wants her for himself - which I am all in favor of, I just don't want him to kill me to achieve it. All I have to do now is push the two together - with him too proud to say anything and her...well, she's buying my flirting, so enough said.

Well, if she's THAT innocent, at least I shouldn't have to worry about, pressing. Shame to skip the kissing, but it's just not worth the risk. At least the rest of the day was quiet.

22 Kythorn 1479

Ugh. So much for easy. Woke up a little early for watch, feeling something off...I put it down to the stew until I looked around. The camp was crawling with giant ants. I couldn't spot Allyson at first - she and Lyra were lying a bit off, where they'd been patrolling and both asleep. We figured out later they'd been drugged. The ants were busily picking up the gold and trundling it down into the hill. JUST the gold, very odd. They had a few warrior types, but they seemed content to let us be so long as we let them have the gold....or until Max got tired of not seeing what was going on and used a lovely bolt of divine light. Lit up the area nicely and maybe Aprilane appreciated it, since she couldn't really see either, but it certainly pissed the ants off but good. We fought off the warrior types while the drones scurried off underground. Then we checked out the damage - 2/3 of the gold down the hill and some sweet-smelling stuff all over the gold - just the gold, not the iron, not the wagons. Which likely explains the drugging - give whoever time to coat the stuff. There were footprints too, so we know it's some person, not some monster at least.

While we stood there scratching our...heads trying to decide what to do, the ants launched flying warriors. THOSE were nasty, had some kind of acidic spit or something. Still, in the end, they're only bugs. That decided us to head on down into the anthill. A steep slope, but people made it down mostly ok - mind you, the ants showed up to fight before everyone DID get down, but no worries. (Those came later) We quietly snuck through the twisty passages, things going smoothly - which, thinking back, should've warned us - we walked, more or less, into an ambush,

Nice big room at the end of the corridor, with a branching right there to worry about - a bunch of bandits - though their leader seemed to have some extra skills beyond your usual roadside bandit - and Daval. Well, we know who did the drugging and figured we knew who killed the other guard. Naturally Allyson and Ugrun charged right on in, as did Gnf - I always thought wizard types fought from the back - and I moved forward so I was close enough to help and SOMETHING dropped right on top of me, wrapped long, hellishly-strong fingers around my neck and started squeezing. Gnf thought he had a nice handle on the guy and launched one of his explosion specials, but DAMN the fellow could move fast. Spun around so fast I'dve gotten dizzy if I hadn't been already from the damned choking and let ME take the thunder. Oh joy.

Good idea on Gnf's part - there was no way of knowing the guy could do that - but he has GOT to learn to stop randomly firing things off figuring we can take it. Ugrun is getting kinda sore about it and figuring it's all "he's a big nasty orc, he can take it".

Anyway, we dealt with them and peeked around the corner and there was the queen indead. I snuck over close and didn't see any gold tucked around her and the gold so Aprilane figured that the gold, smelling all sweet and food-like was probably in the ant version of the pantry and if we covered ourselves in ant scent - which Daval and his bandits must have done - we could pretty much waltz around the anthill as we chose. Which we did - found the gold, I helped Gnf cast up a Tenser's Disk and we chugged it all out of there.

We did pick up some nice things off the bandits too - namely Daval's ritual book - and a scroll of "control insect" or somesuch - won't last very long, so likely only used to get the ant scent? Anyway, Gnf and I are sharing out the book - he copies a ritual, I copy one and so on. It's gonna take forever anyway. Now at last we can get some proper sleep.