Late summer in Kovosa is beautiful. The mornings are crisp and fresh and the afternoons are warm like pocket taffy. Tima wants to go yonder to Janderhoff. We gather the supplies for a week on the road… caramels, gum balls, chocolate chips, molasses bars, honey bits, licorice strips, candy beans, bags of spun sugar, jelly frogs, butter nips, sugar wafers, and salted taffy to balance the diet. Atog got a new cloak since Garvok burned his last one in two. So, Tima and I got new cloaks, too— well, the remnants of Atog’s old cloak.
Along the five day journey I nearly starved. But we made it. One night, for example, we stopped at the Crossed Axe, a road side inn. Tima got the rooms for us since the last time Atog did it, it cost double. And since I keep my money in my pocket, which, for some reason makes people nervous, they prefer I don’t negotiate rooms, either. The Crossed Axe served dirt and gave me iron keys, so it’s not my favorite place. Although, Atog kicked it up a bit when he arm wrestling a local— he nearly broke his arm. Geez! Atog, that’s not very friendly. I would have made a LOT on that deal, but I forgot to place my bets. Kerial charmed us with bawdy songs about potatoes. Atog loved it.
At the Janderoff gate, Tima is allowed in the Heritage Hall. The rest of us have to go to low town. Tima finally found a scholar, Gracknarar (must be a cousin of Larererer), to help her understand a family heirloom she wears around her neck (although, I’ve always been taught to keep my looms in my pants—dwarven customs are weird). Gracknarar told her that the loom around her neck is a Key of Dragonwall. “The Mysteries of Dragonwall cannot be revealed without that key. Dragonwall has been lost for 700 years because of the actions of a human to the south. Do you wish to know more?” He asked her where she got her heir-y loom and why her family didn’t know this lore. She told him the artifact was passed down from woman to woman in her family. “I can tell you Dragonwall was established by a dwarven woman of great renown.” For 150 gp he added, “Dragonwall is a dwarven artifact, a shield. Created by a dwarven princess for her own use in battle. Supposedly, she who holds Dragonwall has magical protection and is immune to dragon’s breath effects. The shield is indestructible. It was lost in the battle against the Orcs of Ballensman. It is said to have resurface in the hands of a prince of Cheliax and resides in a house in the capitol city. Two hundred years ago, a sage did a divination for Dragonwall and discovered it was inside a horde or treasure vault.”
Low town is similar to Riddleport but cleaner. When Tima found her ‘servants’ (by following the commotion), Kip was staring at the table, Kerial was reading, and Atog was huddled in his cowl as I whirled overhead giggling, stuck in the chandelier. She encouraged Atog to get me down, but I’m ticklish. My hair was purple by the time he got me down! Whee!
Tima told us the story she paid Gracknarar to get. Atog was skeptical. I tried to convince him by reminding him how far he had come since meeting us. “Remember, before you met us, you were eating dirt, unclean, homeless and friendless. Now, at least you have friends. You don’t want to give that up.” However, he really became convinced when I told him of my demon friend I accidentally let out of his prison in Cheliax. I’m sure that demon (devil?) owes me and would be helpful.
We debated the best path to Cheliax. It got a little tedious. I reached into my pockets to pull out a set of first class tickets to Cheliax. Instead I pulled out Atog’s diary from the future. We learned that he found and rescued his sister from… well, we don’t know because Kip burned it. I guess he likes surprises.
We go back to Korvosa. I sold my thigh bracelet, other archaic jewelry and my pretty potions trying to get the money for passage. I gave the gold to Atog. He owes me 73 gum balls. There were no boats that were setting out just then. So, we decided to go to a local tavern and check out the job board. Ernie the bartender told us about raiders on the road to Valeraine. If we brought in the prisoners (or their remains) to the Griffin Tower on the south wall we’d collect 500 gp bounty from Ernie.
We got a wagon and made ourselves look like wealthy slavers. Tima is the slaver and Atog was her body guard. The rest of us were slaves. It didn’t take long for the raiders to confront us. Seven of them popped up on each side of the road. This precipitated a physical conflict. Tima captured one who rambled on about becoming tribute to the Prince of the Ghouls as the rest of his fellows scatters to the winds. Atog had our prisoner lead us to the tribute site and then let him go. He ran back to his village where his fellows had gone. They had been offering travelers from the road to protect their village.
So, our next brilliant idea was to play the role of tributes by hanging ourselves on the four hooks by the stump. After the sun went down, large white nasty things lumbered out of the dark towards us. I screamed like a little girl. Atog and Kerial seemed to enjoy the battle. It took Kip and Tima a few swings to get warmed up. I figured out that being tied up made it much harder to cast spells. I swung from the hook like a piñata until everybody in my party fell down. They got back up, but still, being unable to fall meant our Goblin strategy was unlikely to work a second time. So, I teleported out of there as Atog came to my rescue. It was much easier to cast once I was free. We triumphed— Atog skewered the last ghoul by throwing Garvok, which made it happy.
It occurred to me, after we gathered up the ghoul heads into our wagon for our bounty, that the Ghoul Prince would probably attack the village when the tribute didn’t show up. We went to the village and laid out some ghoul traps. We also tried to rally the villagers to help. Kerial blocked several routes into town. Tima and Kip set up stick traps in the remaining two routes into the town. Atog prayed to Sarenrae and blessed us for the fight. The villagers helped for a little bit until the howling started, then they ran inside and hid. I stayed outside a bled.
The traps worked pretty good, slowing some of the ghouls and killing one. Tima took on the Ghoul Prince while I hid under a fruit stand. The ghoul who bit me had a taste of me and still came after me under the fruit stand. But Kip came to my rescue. Tima and Atog meanwhile started to work out their frustrations on the Ghoul Prince. Of course, the Ghoul Prince was also frustrated— he took it out on Tima probably because he didn’t understand why someone would keep their looms around their neck.
Kerial sniped at the ghouls who were stuck in the traps to keep them off of us while we fought the rest. The Ghoul Prince tried to eat Tima. Kip valiantly stepped up to cover her but was laid low by a recently freed ghoul. Atog fixed him up right quick. But things were pretty grim before we finally prevailed.
The next morning I heard about the Keep where the Ghouls were staying. Atog agreed with me that we needed to check out the Keep— wer’re thorough. But Kip stayed back at the village to investigate his pocket cousins. These guns had the same maker’s mark as Kip does. Maybe he could incorporate them into his own body.
But those of us who went up to the Keep found it was keeping a lot of stuff: 2200 cp, 400 sp, 80 gp, glass Eagle figurine worth 25 gp, small soap stone bracelet worth 25 gp, Fur mask with silver thread worth 25 gp, Opal figurine of dwarven warrior worth 25 gp, Polished wooden goblet worth 25 gp, 9 pieces of polished hematite worth 10 gp each, 2 potions of healing and 1 potion of fizzy lime green (potion of dexterity).
We turn in the ghoul heads and the body of the Ghoul Prince and collect 500 gp! Now, we’re still in Korvosa and looking for a ride south. Wonder when I’ll get my 73 gum balls— I’m starving. I just might have to dig into my pockets and see what I might find!