Despite the prevailing literature, the Elves of this realm are neither full of merriment, nor do they have a penchant for crafting festive yuletide decorations. After approaching several to ask if they would guide me in the fine are of fashioning several festively decorated stockings, gift boxes and help hang some holiday garland, I receiving many unkind words, several rude gestures and a few threats with the sword. This left me to enlist the aid of the Kobolds.

While they are an industrious lot, they scoffed at the idea of making “pretty things” to be used as a home decoration. If I was willing to use poisonous plants, and craft gift boxes with splintered and ragged edges they were willing to oblige.

I then turned to Habberdash, our man of action and purveyor of fine quality items. He said he knew a chap, that knew a fellow, that played dice with an employee of a tailor who knew just how to make the items I was interested in. He was more than willing to help, provided no questions were asked and no names were spoken aloud.

Since those are the guidelines I normally operate under, I gave my word as a gentlemen and handed over a satchel of coins so he could make the appropriate introductions and settle the proper accounts. True to his word, he returned a few days later and we set to work on livening up the town with holiday decorations. Of course we made the yuletide punch and did justice to several bowls.

Habberdash and I, worked ourselves into a frenzy, and while normally a man of moderation on all fronts, I was so enthralled in the task, that I went a dash overboard and created one or two more tidings of joy than we have suitable hanging space.

To that end, Habberdash has agreed make the remainder available to the public at very reasonable prices.

Once again, if the appropriate tip of the hat, wink of the eye and nudge of the elbow is given, he will offer Gift Boxes, Stockings, Garland and Wreaths to a select few. Rest assured, all traces of blood from the slight mishap at the tailoring station have been removed and that is genuine red dye and nothing else.

Despite our vendors musings, the sleigh and snowmen are not to be sold off under any circumstance as I will be taking the sleigh out later and the snowmen and I have a public house crawl event to attend in little over a week’s time. You are free to browse all other items, so shop well and shop often.

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With the gold from selling my brace of rusty swords and daggers I headed to the Dry Flagon tavern to celebrate my good fortune and the fact I was still alive. This lead to much merriment that went on into the wee hours of the night.

When it was time to return home, I realized that I had left my domicile on the other side of the realm. Looking for a bed, I set off down the path. Trying to navigate the streets at that late hour proved to be difficult. I overshot the mark by an entire town, stumbled into a ferry and was whisked off to Storm’s Reach before I could explain my intended destination.

Taking my coins, the ferryman tossed me ashore and sailed away on the strong breeze. Undaunted, I set a course for the heart of town, expecting I could find a room for the night or at least another tavern.

The first step was my undoing since I was not truly on the path to town, but rather, on the precipice to a cliff. I took many tumbles, broke several branches, and came to rest next to a malcontent miner named Grigor.

He looked at me sternly, and when I asked for directions to the Inn, he said I was a man who get things done and if I was up for a special mission. He explained the elves were working in the mine, extending it to Longfall and that people who went into the mine were never seen again.

“That’s just poor mine spelunking prowess!” I said. “But look here, I like those elves. They are a good sort. Sure, the ears a bit unsettling, but it’s nothing raise a fuss about.”

He dismissed my slurred diatribe and said he was looking for information in the mines to help with the cause. He was looking for papers about the elves and their plans to attack humans.

From my dealing with Alberic, I knew the elves didn’t partake in this sort of mischief and certainly weren’t hatching some sort of hostile plot. Clearly, they’re not capable of planning a bank heist.

I said I would traverse the mine, just to prove him wrong. And if I happened to grab a few gold ore, those were mine to keep.

I may have been in the cups and not thinking as clearly as I should, but it felt rather contradictory to defend myself against elves when I was trying to prove they were a peaceful people.

I tried to explain this dichotomy to the first Elf I met, but only received and arrow in the sternum and buttocks for the effort. I had no choice but to defend myself and so the elves had to suffer a solid thrashing. I took no comfort in the fact and pressed ever deeper into the cavern.

It then struck me that I had no idea what I was looking for. Was I supposed to locate some wise sage with pearls of wisdom to bestow, preferably in written form? Was I to meet with some grand counsel where I was to be their mouthpiece to help them steer a course of peace and tranquility between the humans and elves?

These sounded quite fabulous, but were never meant to be. The best I was able to discover was a meeting hall with “war room” etched on a rotting piece of wood. My presence came as a surprise to all in attendance and in their panic, they rushed out of the room, knocking me into a frigid pool of cave water. Water in these metal leggings is nigh impossible to remove!

In their haste, they left behind an usual letter outlining they had no wish for war and wished to enjoy peaceful lives within the realm. Despite the less than cordial welcome I had received thus far, I was inclined to believe them and took up the paper as proof of their benign intentions.

Sadly, those blocking my retreat had not read said treatise, and proceeded to make attempts to stab me in the back, set me alight with flaming arrows, cause grievous injury to my knees and throw me down an abandoned shaft. I took these to be the more south side and thus aggressive elves. But, I held true to the spirit of the letter I was now holding and headed back to meet Grigor. This should make him relived that it’s been a misunderstanding and the elves were just trying to keep people from falling down a unmarked shaft.

I believe I dashed his hopes and aspirations. He looked at my note with disgust and threw down some cloth armor in abject frustration.

“What might you have there?” I asked.

“A stupid chest piece I was going to wear as we charged against the elves. But, you’ve ruined all that. Take it, I don’t want it anymore! Plus it’s cloth. Anyone who wears that is just asking for certain and painful death.”

With that, he stormed off and began to sulk under a tree.

Seizing the opportunity, I tucked the handsome armor into my bag of holding and decided I would explore the mine further. Amidst his expletives and outrageous claims, Grigor said the mine actually connected to Longfall. I’ve never been there and there might be some extra gold left in the mine. Plus, since I never travel without my bedroll, I might be able to find a quiet corner in the mine and catch a few hours of undisturbed slumber.

SotA_12-08-17_22-43_1

I have just taken a rather nasty tumble down the hill, so I’m not entire sure if I’m seeing things clearly, but “Good Evening to you” if you aren’t a figment of my imagination or delusions brought on by head trauma.

SotA_12-08-17_22-08_1

This is their nefarious war room? Not to be critical, but it could use a few more ferocious weapons and maybe the body of a defeated combatant thrown hither and yon to give it a sense of foreboding.

Oh look, a secret message left on the table.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allow me to stand aside so you may take in all it’s glory

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

After selling a myriad of looted items to the Aerie blacksmith, the bank guard grabbed my attention and pulled me to the side. She was in need of help and my reputation for acquiring trinkets preceded me.

"I don’t know what’s transpired in there, but I had nothing to do with it," I assured her.

"Beg pardon?" she replied.

"Nevermind, I spoke too soon," I said. "Do go on. How may I be of service? It’s not often a bank guard looks to me for assistance."

"I have heard you find things and don’t ask many questions. I need to find the key to the vault. In my drunken merriment, the key has escaped me and I’m not a liberty to leave my post and look for it."

"The vault key?" I questioned.

"Yes, where we store all the gold. I misplaced the key. Will you help me locate it?" She did indeed look desperate.

"Well, that is indeed quite a responsibility. But, very well. Describe said key and I shall make the magic happen."

She described the key and pointed toward the Dry Flagon, the location of the disappearance. When I arrived, I located a key in the street, and returned to hand it over. I put aside the temptation to use the key for my own gains as that would be dishonest, the Oracle would frown upon my wicked ways and it would be extremely difficult to explain to Alley why Stinging Tree had a new privy made of solid gold.

Much to my distress, the guard explained it was the wrong key. She begrudgingly admitted it might be boudoir key of her dance partner the previous evening.

"Say no more! I shall discreetly swap the keys," I said. I then returned to the tavern, explained the mixup to her companion, James, gave him a bit of wink and a nudge for putting the lass in such a state and asked for the proper key.

Again, my good deed was thwarted as he didn’t have the key either and must have given it to his Elven drinking companion.

"Egad man! What manner of tomfoolery went on last night? And where, pray tell, is this mysterious Elf you speak of? Let me track him down, retrieve the key and be on my way. I have vigilante plans to thwart."

James, send me to the Wetlands where his Elven drinking confederate took up residence.

"Steady on, he lives in a swamp?" I asked.

"He’s fallen on hard times," James replied.

"Very well, I’ve been to worse places. I will grab the key, toss him a few coins and be back by dusk. Still plenty of time to clobber some vigilantes," I replied.

Even if the poor chap had fallen on hard times, there were better places to take up residence than this gaseous wasteland. I resolved to offer him a place in my basement until he could improve his situation. That is, if he had the key on his person.

While in the wetlands, I discovered the real reason he was hiding in the swamp-black market mushroom farm. As I drew close to his crop for an inspection, the alarm was raised and dozens of ruffians came out to pummel my prying eyes.

The joke was on them though. While they sat idle in their little huts, I have been out honing my skills and quickly dispatched the lot of them. I hadn’t contended on their use of Caiman to protect the crop and was nearly drowned.

I quickly regained my bearings and turned the cheeky miscreant into material I can use for boots. From there I made my way into the main camp and put a damper on their mushroom watching vigil.

I must admit, the spores were starting to get to me and I began to see dozens of locations where this ring leader Elf could be hold up. Aiming for the one in the middle I surged forward and as the effects wore off, I found his ramshackle hut. I kicked the door off the hinges and demanded he hand over the key. I wasn’t interested in his mushroom farm and would say nothing to the Aerie guard if he cooperated.

He immediately broke down and told me the hiding place of his key. He gave me the usual sob story of being a real estate and when the market took a downturn, he had to seek other means to sustain himself.

I frowned up his new found choice, but my task was to get the key. As I rummaged through his small room, I found the blueprint of his rather simplistic bank heist plot. I took the plans and confronted him with the evidence.

"I see what you were going to do," I said angrily. "It’s one thing to nab a wayward chalice or candelabra, but it’s bad business to try and make off with gold from the vault. If you want to run a mushroom farm, that’s your affair, but stealing gold to finance the operation is not something I can condone."

"Mushroom farm?" he exclaimed in surprise. "What mushroom farm?"

"Don’t insult me by denying it! And here I was taking pity on you to the point of given you a damp corner of my basement and blanket to tide you over. But no more! I’m taking this key and returning it to it’s rightful owner. And I’m destroying these ridiculous plans of yours. Everyone knows a bank heist is a three man job and you go in from the roof you imbecile! Front door indeed!"

I stormed off through the rank water, punched a few thugs that had regained their senses from my first thrashing and headed back to Aerie.

"Your key my good lady," I said to the guard. "And we shall speak no more of it. I’m sure you aren’t the first to lose a bank key to the wily ways and smooth talk of a tavern patron. But, let us hope it is the last."

"Wily ways? Smooth talking? Just what are you implying? It was an honest mistake. How dare you …"

"A good evening to you dear lady. While uniquely engaging, this little side venture has kept me from keeping justice and order in the realm. With night falling, the thugs come out and I need to be there to greet them. So if you will excuse me."

Her words of appreciation and admiration trailed off as I made my way out of town.

SotA_12-06-17_21-13_2

Oh my, what do we have here? I’m beginning to see why this mysterious Elf is in hiding within this swamp.

SotA_12-06-17_21-13_1

This must be harvesting and processing facility for their nefarious crop. Trying to throw me off the scent with their fishing cabins. There is no fishing in a swamp! This won’t fool anyone!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

After taking my leave of Gus, I followed his general, albeit slightly vague directions, winding along paths where bandits attempted to divert me off my course, until I spied what looked to be a rise in the distance. It was the only thing that looked like a pyramid rather than a hill or mountain.

I approached and made my way up the many stairs only to realize my only recourse was to come down the other side. It was a lovely view of the area, but as there was no form of entry it proved disappointing.

As I sat and pondered how to gain access, a throng of skeletons came to do me harm. They received liberal use of the flaming sword and were all reduced to cinder.

After picking through their charred remains and pocketing goods that might be worth a few coins, I was stuck with an idea.

Where were these boney minions coming from? They weren’t coming up the path. They weren’t sneaking out from behind the trees. They weren’t rising up out of a the graveyard, because no graveyard existed. Was there some secretive entrance that eluded me?

I sat and waiting for them to reveal their concealed hiding place. I even expedited the process with liberal taunts in their general directions.

Before crushing them to powder, I traced the path they chose to come annihilate me. Rounding the side of the structure, I found what looked to be an entrance, or at least something not an impassible stone wall.

However, there was no knocker and I was at a loss as to how I should announce my presence and desire for admittance.

A few well placed kicks only served to mangle my boots and fill the air with words I am embarrassed to repeat.

I then tried to bellow my adventurous intentions to the keeper who might be inside, but clearly the thickness of the walls prevented him from hearing my clarion call.

But all was not lost. As I threw myself down in utter dejection and exasperation, I discovered there was a lever nestled in the roots and vines. Always one to pull at a random lever, I gave it a try.

To my great delight, the door rolled to the side revealing an entryway. It was dank, and foreboding, but this is exactly the type of place someone would hide a Hood of Truth, so I entered with reckless abandon.

I twisted and turned my way through the narrow corridors and met with the caretaker. I can only assume he was not in the same fit state as when Gus last made conversation. He was a corrupted and infected soul with flesh peeling away from his body. It was a horrid sight!

Further, he ignored my greeting and salutation from Gus. Instead, he came at me with arms flailing and spitting a fetid slime at my feet.

The confines of the passageway were too close for combat so I made a retreat to a more open area. Leading this malcontent to his doom, I struck first with a barrage of blows. I gave him no quarter and felt it best to simply put him out of his misery rather than listen to him ramble on about he became such a miserable soul.

While a hideous creature, he was not a formidable one. With a little Thrust here and Double Slash there, he was down without laying a single decayed hand upon my person.

I listened to hear if he might have a confederate ready to spring upon me as soon as I rounded the next corner. Hearing nothing, I charged ahead and found a storage room of exciting treasure.

I also noted it was the final resting place of some poor saps who tried to abscond with my Hood of Truth. Serves them right for ending face down in their failed attempt to take what was mine.

As I looted the chest and smashed the vases merely because they were there, I realized there was an automaton monkey. This caretaker was indeed a terrible wretch. What sort of person steals another man’s monkey? The audacity!

I scooped up the little fellow, tossed him in my bag and retreated back to Gus.

“Outlander!” he said excitedly. “I didn’t expect you so soon. Allow me to cut some cheese for you.”

“That is most kind of you,” I said. “I have bad news, some good news and some good news. First, I found the caretaker. He had been turned into the undead and made off with your monkey. But fear not! I have retrieved the little fellow and have him right here.” At this, I handed over the automaton monkey I found in the chamber.

“That terrible man made off with my monkey and held him captive? Oh the horror of it all,” he said cradling his lost child.

“Sadly, he was not the same chap you knew before. That is unless you partake of the company of the undead.”

“The undead? Oh dear me no,” he replied. “He has indeed changed and taken a turn for the worse. I regret your encounter Outlander, I apologize for that.”

“Not your fault at all. Now, since that was both the bad and good news, I have more good news. I believe this is the fragment you sent me out to find.” I produced the cloth and held it out for inspection.

“Outlander, you never cease to amaze,” he said taking the helm and disappearing into his alcove.

“Why thank you. I get that a lot. But it’s usually after a table has been knocked over or someone has taken a tumble down the stairs.”

Moments later, he returned with an extremely fashionable Hood of Truth. The only one of it’s kind I might add.

“There you are Outlander. Wear it with pride. I dare say you will look quite fetching in it,” Gus said.

“You are indeed a generous sort and quite a hand at hat making. I certainly appreciate your efforts,” I replied. “I see I once again had to risk my life to obtain it, but that is how our relationship will be.”

I had a bite of the delicious cheese Gus offered then headed back into the night. I needed to pay a visit to the blacksmith at the Elven camp and I was still working on getting a fitting for one their stylish robes. I was hopeful another bottle of the Elven wine might get things moving in the right direction.

SotA_12-04-17_20-52_1

Good evening! I say, is there anyone about? Your door knocker seems to be nonexistent and I believe you have a Hood of Truth inside with my name on it.

SotA_12-04-17_20-49_1

Treasure! And scoundrels that tried to steal my Hood. And a monkey! But let’s not forget, treasure!

I’m quite sure I won’t be able to get that vase into the pocket of my leggings.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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