The Village of Blenheim

Arrival in Blenheim
The Start of a Grand New Adventure

Travel Log – Entry 1

After many long days on the road, we have finally arrived at our destination: the Town of Blenheim. It is a quaint little village, full of people who opened their homes to us, despite the hardships that have befallen them. It reminds me of my home, and I feel like I could come to enjoy it here.

My heart goes out to these people who are under siege from constant Kobold raids. Every day, they watch their children go hungry and their friends and families disappear forever. I pray to Bahamet that they will soon see justice. I will be their justice.

I find my companions to be good company, but I fear we may still have some way to go before I may truly call them friends. Zachar is kind and devout, but the others scoff me when I show my gratitude to the almighty dragon, for they are non-believers and do not understand his ways. I am hopeful, though, that we may soon find our common ground.

This past night we have had our first true battle together. A group of Kobolds attacked Blenheim in the night, hoping to sneak up on us, but they were sorely disappointed for not one of their number lived to tell the tale. Our scouts spotted them and put up a magnificent fight. I, however, am sorely disappointed that I arrived at the battle too late to be of much help. I fear that the others may think less of me for it, and I yearn to show them my prowess in battle one day soon.

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September 23, 2013
The Rumours of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Many people have been wondering how I got this far, given that where I started and the culture of my kind would preclude me to seek a far more pedestrian life. I thought I would wait until my life was almost over before I started telling the story of how it began. Now that I know how long I have, I shall relate my tale for those who care to know. It seems that I have always been guided by that most obvious of my characteristics: my reckless disregard for safety in the pursuit of my ambition. I look back with great surprise, though, that I should have risked death so early, but such was always my way; even now, I continue to seek greater heights even with what little strength remains.

It all started at the young age of nineteen years old. I had left Kava’s cautious gaze and infectious laughter at least a year ago. As he requested, I continued to find as many new experiences as I possibly could. I took up a job as an orator, debating for or against laws in a small town. I worked for awhile as a messenger, delivering what I could manage between the small villages in another area. Even now, as I take up quill and parchment for the very first time, I continue to open myself to new experiences, hoping for that spark that will ignite the storm within me once again.

The latest new experience at that time was joining the Guard. A proud, noble tradition, the Guard are sent out into the lands to protect those villages and towns that cannot protect themselves. This can be anything: escorting caravans of goods, standing guard over a city, or even going out into the wilderness to strike back at those that would attack the settlements. I had noticed a draft for a new squad being formed in the last place I delivered to, so I sent word back with another messenger that I was joining the Guard and applied on the spot.

I didn’t know it that day, but that decision would change my entire life for the better. The people I met in that squad would affect me in ways that I still don’t entirely understand. I still call a few of them close friends: people I would call upon in time of need who would rush to my side, just as surely as I would do the same for them. I almost wonder if that was why Kava had advocated in new experiences so strongly: one does not find one’s closest friends in the same places one always goes. And I have certainly lived a full and interesting life.

Despite being bullied, ridiculed, and having to work in clothes one size too big, I made it the entire way through the rigours of training to emerge as a member of that squad. I don’t believe there was a single person during Training who expected me to make it, but I never thought giving up was ever an option. I tore the clothes so they fit me as best as they could, and my time spent as a messenger had prepared me for long, arduous tasks. It was with no small amount of pride that I left with my squad for our first task: that of protecting the Village of Blenheim.

This village, surrounded by open plains full of crops and close to a river, was being subjected to frequent kobold strikes. In order to be able to survive the winter, the village had requested our help, promising what little they had as payment for our services. The squad agreed, eager to prove ourselves in the real world and to begin earning.

After ingratiating myself with the locals and a delicious meal, I decided to take the second night watch with a curious Tiefling Warlock. We took watch upon the roof of the blacksmith’s and kept an eye out for anything suspicious. It was during our watch that evening that the kobolds decided to strike. Hearing the sound of our ladder being removed from the rooftop, I immediately sent a beam of light into the courtyard to identify what we were up against, and to hopefully rouse the others from their slumber.

Before us were around twelve to fifteen kobolds of varying skill in battle. During my first combat encounter, I killed three of them alone (a feat I was very proud of at the time). It was also during my first combat encounter that I nearly perished. I admit that I panicked. I could feel my blood rushing out of my body from the various wounds I had sustained. It was only due to the quick actions of Razza the Golden and Zephir that I am sitting here today. I know not how they affected me, but I suddenly felt the life rush back into my body. I felt the wounds close up. I no longer felt the cold presence of Death approaching me.

As I said in the title: the rumours of my demise were greatly exaggerated.

Cassie

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The Last of The Lost Arkhosians

Halfshadow… I repeat the name often. I will repeat it every night until I find him. I will repeat it until the day I bury his corpse in the earth. That day I will speak his name one last time during his burial right. Last night Zachar’s prayer to Bahamut was answered during our glorious battle and it is a sign that I am on the right path.

I spent the day working with Grutt to relocate the town horn, and then later with the rest of my comrades to bolster the towns defenses. Grutt is very strong for a creature his size and was a great asset during the days work. Aurial however mostly got in our way on the rooftop. At supper Cassie informed me of the days scouting around the nearby fields. We still have not determined whether the kobolds are acting together or in separate bands from different areas. Frederick seems grateful for our presence the praise he gives to us made me uneasy as we had yet to earn much of it.

When night fell I was fast asleep after the hard days’ work. A bellowing shout awoke not only me but my companions as well. A second shout quickly followed and we rushed out to the courtyard. Grutt and Cassie were on the watch that night and we could see them up on the supply building rooftop. The kobold before us was enormous and claimed to be Sarog the chieftain of the Wild Bull. The kobolds we had despatched the night before were his brethren and he had come for vengeance.

Aurial led the charge slamming head first into the chieftain, over eager, she missed but outraged looked to me. With reckless abandon she swung again landing a fierce blow which gave her the confidence to bound back and away from Sarog before he could respond. Zachar followed Aurial’s lead striking with religious fervour at the chieftain. Then I saw my chance, I charged forward striking down the first kobold in Sarog’s entourage and then filled with adrenaline I unleashed my lightning breath striking both foes and friends alike.

Cassie must have been building on our momentum as she let loose an explosive storm annihilating the second minion and deafening Sarog. I shout for her to relentlessly continue her assault and looking to me she sends forth a bolt of frost. Filled with confidence in herself she sends a second bolt of frost but over eager in her attempt the shot went astray. This is when Zachar called out to Bahamut for aid and miraculously the bolt veered straight into the chieftain.

The adrenaline reached its climax in Grutt who launched himself off of the storage building roof holding his rope in one arm and his war axe in the other. He slammed into the ground at a full run head first towards Sarog. He charged past the chieftain but sharply turned back towards him slamming his war axe into Sarog’s kneecap. An ungodly shriek echoed through Blenheim followed promptly by the resounding crack of bone around the courtyard. Sarog’s legs both exploded off one after the other. Each bone in his body consecutively shattered up to his skull until he slumped to the ground, a pile of soft flesh. The villagers will speak of this victory for months to come.

The glory of battle and warmth of camaraderie had taken my mind away from the demise of my old company, The Lost Arkhosians. This did not last long however and the morning once again filled me with guilt and thoughts of vengeance. I was their leader and now I am their sole survivor. It has fallen to me to deliver Tiamat’s vengeance unto Halfshadow. Seeing Cassie’s display of power last night leads me to believe that she is in fact Kava’s apprentice and that my efforts tracking her to this Guard were not a wasted pursuit. Once I am sure of who she is I will reveal myself to her and tell her of Kava’s demise. I hope that her bond with him was strong enough that she will lend me her aid in my quest. If I am wrong about her then I will have wasted much precious time. My honour would have me serve out my contract in Blenheim before I can again search for the Halfshadow so I pray to sundered Io that Cassie can help me, the last of The Lost Arkhosians.

-Razza the Golden

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The Passage

Only a few days have passed since we arrived in Blenheim, but already I wonder how the town has managed to survive this long without us. These Kobolds are fierce, vicious, hateful creatures and unyielding in their attempts to destroy the people who call this place home. Not since the goblin raids on my home have I seen such evil, and it makes me yearn for vengeance for the death of my parents. One day the Dreadhorns will pay, but it has become abundantly clear to me of late that I am not ready to face them alone, and the realization weighs on my heart. I still have much yet to learn, and many skills yet to hone.

Despite my own doubts in my abilities, I have found renewed hope this day that we may be one step closer to quelling the Kobold threat here in Blenheim. Pikel, Cassie and I approached Frederick to see if there was anywhere in town that we could use to practice and train. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that underneath The Old Drunkard there is an abandoned barracks and training arena, a relic of Blenheim’s better days, when the town was still big enough to maintain their own guard. Though it has not been touched for decades, the arena was still serviceable, and we immediately set to work seeing what use we could make of it.

After our initial assessment, Cassie and Pikel set off with several villagers to gather wood for repairs and to help fortify the town, while I stayed behind to explore further. I searched the old guards quarters for anything useful, and found several old weapons and other useful items. During my search, I noticed a strange mark on one of the walls. At first I thought nothing of it, but each time I walked past, I would glimpse it out of the corner of my eye, and I started to think there might be something there.

I eventually gave into my curiosity and inspected the wall: felt it, poked at it, even licked it, and deduced that it was a hidden door of some kind. Once Pikel and Cassie returned, tired from their long day’s work of hauling logs (I must admit, I was very impressed by the quality of the logs: Pikel is indeed quite knowledgeable in such matters), I showed them what I had found. Using the thieves tools I had found, Cassie did her best to open the door, but although her skills were not lacking, even she could not open it. She raved about the superb craftsmanship of the mechanism, and its elegant but simplistic design, declaring that this was a door meant to be opened from only one side.

Though my search for the other side of the door was fruitless, it did provide me with a moment of insight: perhaps this was how the Kobolds had been entering the village! It would certainly explain why Frederick was unable to tell us which direction the attacks were coming from. My companions both agreed, and Pikel swiftly began construction on a trap. No sooner had we finished setting up our swinging sword trap than Cassie and I heard the sound of someone on the other side of the door. With only seconds, we grabbed our weapons and prepared for battle.

As the door swung open we could see three slightly surprised Kobolds coming down a long, dark hallway. However, their surprise did not last long. The first Kobold to emerge charged at Cassie, swinging with his pike, but she deftly dodged out of his way. Pikel quickly triggered the trap, wounding a second pike-wielding Kobold, than quickly buffeting the third, a Wyrm Priest, with a gust of freezing wind. I quickly stepped in front of the passageway, blocking the pikeman and priest from entering the Inn, and, after a laughable attempt at bashing the trap into the nearest Kobold with my shield, I swung out with my sword, but with the trap still hanging between us, all I hit was air. The Kobolds buffeted me with attacks, but I held firm, d—espite my wounds, determined to protect my friends. Behind me, Cassie, called down a column of flame onto the Wyrm Priest, and I could see the fear in his eyes as the flames licked hungrily at his skin.

Cassie and Pikel continued to battle the Kobold inside, while I held the other two in the hallway. I could hear the low drone of insects behind me followed by a Kobold scream, and I knew that Pikel had transformed. I attempted again to push in the trap and swing at the Kobold, missing both. Enraged by my own failure and unwilling to give up, I reached for my dragon’s tooth. Lifting it into the air, I called down the wrath of Bahamut on the Wyrm Priest, and he screamed in pain and terror. Oh, the sweet sound of justice. Before he could strike back, what remained of Cassie’s fire consumed him.

Spells, pikes and insects continued their deadly dance behind me, but I had eyes only for my foe. I swung out at him with all my might, slashing him on the arm, and my success renewed my determination. Enraged, the Kobold struck back, injuring me once again, and my overconfidence vanished as I watched the blood pour from my wounds.

Both fights continued this way, neither side gaining much advantage, until finally Cassie managed to strike her foe with an icy torrent, pushing his frozen corpse through the swarm of bugs that was Pikel. Returning to his normal form, the two let out a victorious cry, which gave me strength to strike out one more time, despite the pain. The kobold in the doorway let out one last scream as I rent him from sternum to hip, and he collapsed to the floor. As suddenly as it had begun, the battle was over and I was left panting and staring down the long dark hallway in front of me.

I do not know what the future may bring, but my near-death experience has left me shaken and painfully aware of my deficiencies. If I want to protect those in need, I must become stronger. I am thankful to the almighty dragon, for without his blessing, I would surely have died this day, and it is to him that I now look for the strength I seek:

God of Dragons, Lord of the North Wind, Bane of the Cruel and Saviour of the Oppressed, hear my plea. Grant me your Strength, that I may lift up the weak, your Justice, that I may punish the cruel, and your Wisdom, that I may know your will. Show me the way, and I shall follow, for I am your servant, your sword, your justice.

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