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August 15, 2004

A Pony Named Marxithial the Mighty

Rosorc's Journal

Riding forth from the caravan and out to the left, I found myself quickly disappointed. Seems the Barbarian ambushers were an elusive bunch and had already disappeared, long before we arrived.

Taking a swig of ale to console myself, I wheeled my pony around back to the caravan. Seemed funny that I had ridden this beast for almost a week and I didn’t even have a name for him. Oh, well, I guess that would have to change. Patting him on the neck, I started to think of a name.

Several long hours later, evening had drawn near and we were wheeling the wagons in for camp. At this point no name had yet come to me. Dismounting, I fed and rubbed down my pony. Securing him with the other animals, I headed over to the closest campfire.

A few of the guards were gathered around it. Something definitely smelled good. I could see the makeshift spit already had a few rabbits spinning nicely. Sajin, a rather burly and rough spoken guard, offered me a swig from the aleskin they were passing around. Not wanting to offend them, I pulled a long draught and then produced one of my own.

Hunching down, I handed my flask around the fire. Seemed everyone was very thirsty indeed. When it returned to me, there was hardly a good swallow left. Seeing my plight, another guard named Timoth passed me a fresh hunk of rabbit from the fire. More than happy for the trade, I bid everyone a good night and headed off to pull my shift of guard duty.

My position for my watch was on the south side of the camp. Being as the camp was so large, I would have to keep moving to cover my territory. Looking up at the night sky, I began to pace.

Seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t keep quiet in my endeavors. My armour and weapons clanked through the night like an orcish horde on parade.

The hours of my watch passed quickly. Soon Beau was there with Shadow to replace me. Bidding them a peaceful watch, I retired to the campfire which our group was around. Theona and Areon were in their meditative state and Deitricha was passed out in her bedroll.

Removing my armour I lay down on the ground. As it was a little damp with dew, I decided on the comforts of my bedroll. Pulling the blankets up tight, I closed my eyes.

Laying there I tried to wait out the flower weaving culprit that I knew would come. Shortly after, I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew it was morning. I heard the others milling about. Guards were hooking up the wagon teams. Others were eating, cleaning their weapons, or donning their armour.

Fearing the worst, I slowly opened my eyes. As expected, the flower demon had arrived. My beard looked like a mountain field in midsummer. What was worse, my hair had violets and dandelions braided into it, giving me a hellish purple and orange mane.

Somewhere off in the distance, I could hear snickers and guffaws. Not even bothering to give the offenders the benefit of a death stare, I pulled each of the flowers from my person.

Being done with what seemed to be my new daily ritual, I stowed my gear in a wagon and mounted up on my pony. Still perplexed on what to call him, I headed out for the day’s travels.

Rumors still swirled about the caravan of the Barbarian pursuers we had. Some said they were a scouting party for a large army. Others were saying they were a band of werewolves. In any case, I was itching for some action.

Just as I feared boredom would be the death of me there was a stir from one end of the caravan to the other. The unmistakable shape of a large red dragon winged across the afternoon sky, on a direct path towards us.

Lukan, the head of the caravan, called for an all “Stop”. As we waited, the dragon winged in and landed. It declared in a booming voice, “I am Marxithial the Mighty and you have dared to trespass in my territory. For this I demand tribute.”

Lukan at this point was hiding in the wagon in which he rode. The same with most of the other guards. Theona and I quickly stepped forward, Areon and Beau right behind.

I asked, “What would be a fair tribute to one such as yourself?” Looking into one of the closer wagons, the dragon muttered, “Two thousand gold or the equivalent in magical items.”

Theona and I looked at each other. We knew we didn’t have that kind of gold. We had blown our loot back in Beorunna’s Well. Pulling Lukan from his hiding place I quickly asked him, “Do you have any gold or magical items to exchange for this caravan’s safety?” Nodding his head sadly he moaned, “I have no gold as I have spent all of my money on the merchandise within these wagons, though I do have this magical ring.”

Pulling the ring from his hand, I walked it up and handed it to the dragon, keeping a wary eye on his every action. After several moments of the dragon eyeing his new bauble he declared, “This is a fitting tribute. You shall be allowed to pass.”

You could hear the concerted sigh of relief across the caravan. As Marxithial the Mighty went to take wing, it seems Theona and I had the same idea at once. We quickly pointed out the other trespassers following us through the dragon’s territory. We said that we were pretty sure they would be an easy target to collect tribute from. You could almost see the “gold gleam” in his eyes as the dragon leapt into the air.

Once he had taken off, Lukan hollered for us to move out. Seems that neither he nor no one else wanted to see the dragon again. Several hours of quick travel passed. Then, in the distance behind us, a familiar sight appeared.

Coming up on us fast was a red dragon. He wheeled towards us, though this time he didn’t stop. He just incinerated the rear wagon with his firey breath. As he passed over, you could see his undersides were badly damaged. He had been in a doozy of a battle. Kind of made me glad the Dragon met the Barbarians in battle and not our little caravan.

Seeing he was returning at an incredibly fast pace, I pulled down my visor and dismounted. Raising my shield and my crossbow, I took a shot at the fire breathing wurm. As my bolt hit him, a second wagon was incinerated before my eyes.

Several of my companions at this point were also firing their bows at him. So were the guards that weren’t driving the wagons away at breakneck speed.

As the dragon approached again my next bolt found a very tender spot in his wounded belly. Seems this caught his attention. As he flew over this time I was the new target of his firey breath weapon.

It sounded as if the world was exploding within my head. I sucked for air as the earth around me burst into flames. I could feel my beard and hair singe under helm. I felt the heat of my shield and armour as it protected my body. Then as quickly as it started it was over.

Seeing I was still standing seemed to piss the dragon off. He quickly wheeled around for another pass. As he approached I grabbed my axe and beat my chest defiantly. I hollered, “You daughter of an adulterous wyvern! Come down here and fight me! I will kick your scaly ass from here to Silverymoon!”

As much as my comments pissed him off, I couldn’t trick him into landing and fighting us on the ground where we had the upper hand. Instead, he wheeled in and blasted Areon with his firey breath weapon, leaving him much worse for the wear. Though still smoking, he managed to fire off a couple of arrows at the dragon.

Several more passes from the dragon came and passed. Each time we pelted him with arrows and bolts. Beau had summoned a giant owl to help with the battle, though it was very short lived as the dragon shredded it with it’s powerful claws.

Beau and Deitricha healed us as we suffered heavy wounds from the dragon. Deitricha herself was blasted once from the dragon as she flew around it trying to hit it with her quarterstaff. Surprisingly, she survived. Her lithe form flew out of the fire and immediately started praying to her god for healing.

We sent a final barrage of bolts and arrows the dragon’s way. More than a couple hit true. The other guards had returned with us and were also firing now. The dragon’s underside ran slick with blood as it wheeled off to the north. This time, it did not return.

Regrouping the caravan we then buried our dead. Deitricha said a solemn prayer for them. Then we decided to head out and place some (more) distance between us and the dragon.

Walking over to my pony I went to mount up when his new name came to my mind. “You, my friend, will be Marxithial the Mighty.” I said as I stroked his side.

“Come, Marxithial, we have a caravan to guard,” I mumbled to myself as we headed out. Then I sang a song for our fallen companions. Sajin was driving the last wagon and he wouldn’t be sharing any ale with us this evening around the fire. Nor would a young man named Seth.

“A Warrior’s soul shall come and pass...His heart and strength will never last................”

Posted by Erik at 00:57 | Rosorc’s Journal


Beowulf's Journal

You must forgive the shaky handwriting today. It’s difficult to calm ones nerves after seeing the same dragon 2 days in a row. The barbarians were unnerving to begin with. Instead of ambushing us as we thought they slid past us in the opposite direction. It was later that I noticed they were following us from a distance. For a couple of days I would watch from the air and see the 6 of them following at a steady pace. Once Areon hid to let them pass and sent Theona a message and drew a symbol of one of their tattoos. She recognized it as a tribe afflicted with lycanthropy. As if ordinary barbarians weren’t unnerving enough. Then to make our situation worse this large red dragon swooped out of the sky and demanded tribute because we apparently were trespassing on his territory. Rosorc handled it nicely and the caravan leader handed over a nice ring. Had it been left at that we probably wouldn’t have seen him again, but Rosorc decided to use this opportunity to deal with our werewolf followers. Telling the dragon of them and the opportunity for more wealth the dragon left us and we traveled through the night. In the light of the morning sun we saw a red shape coming towards us from the north and sure enough it was the dragon from yesterday evening. Instead of talking this time it just incinerated our rear wagon. It swung around and got the next in line when we started to defend ourselves. Rosorc and Areon took the worst of it. We all tried to get it to fight us on the ground, but to no avail. Finally an arrow hit it in a fairly sensitive spot and it flew off. I’m positive it will came back for us in a day or two when it has healed up, I only hope we’re ready.

Posted by Fred at 03:28 | Beowulf’s Journal

Ouch! Fire Hot!

Deitricha's Journal

Cautiously, the caravan moved ahead. Beowulf gave me his wand to hold again, and told Shadow to stay with Areon. The elves scouted off ahead of us to watch for trouble. Before Beowulf transformed into a bird for the day, he caught sight of a troop of barbarians heading through the woods. They passed us by! Unsure of what that meant, we set out. The rest of the day was quiet, leaving us wondering; did the barbarians decide to avoid us, or did they go for reinforcements?

We got something of an answer as we circled the wagons and made camp that evening. Beowulf circled the area as an owl, and returned to tell us that the barbarians were watching us from about a quarter mile off in the grass. This got everyone talking! Beowulf himself wanted to either go talk to them or attack them, while I leaned toward setting extra watches and expecting trouble. The caravan leader decided we should avoid contact, set watches, and hope for the best. Perhaps all travelers in this area get an ‘escort’.

The night passed quietly, thank Tymora! I did so during morning prayers! While the rest of the caravan preprared to set out, we helped Areon hide himself; he wanted to see if he could learn more about our followers. Rosorc was especially grumpy; apparently, the trip so far was boring for one who wanted to test his new armor and weapons. I guess the flowers aren’t helping his mood, but it’s gotten to be a habit. I bet he’d be disappointed if they weren’t there when he woke up!

My musings were interrupted by the sight of a wild hawk flying up to Theona with a message attached to its leg. She read it and got very worried! Apparently, Areon was now following our followers, but he got close enough to see that they’re from the Grey Wolf tribe, and that means trouble. That tribe is infested with lycanthropy, and Midsummer moon not far off! Beowulf flew off with a quiver of silver arrows for Areon, after giving me a handful of silver sling bullets.

It was a long day. Areon made it safely into camp by nightfall, and this turned into the routine for the next couple of days; we traveled, they followed, we all kept a wary eye on each other. They figured out that Beowulf-the-bird was part of the party pretty quickly, but still didn’t disturb him or us. By the eighth day out, I was starting to hope that we’d be OK if we didn’t provoke trouble. Instead, trouble of a different kind came to provoke us.

Out of nowhere, a red dragon swooped in on our party as we made camp! He was small enough to land inside the ring of wagons - barely. Panic quickly ensued; animals and humans were in chaos! I found myself plastered up against the outside of one of the wagons, knowing that the dragon would see me if I made a dash for safety. The dragon looked around complacently, announced that we had encroached upon his lands, then demanded tribute! I looked for the caravan master, only to see him hiding under a wagon...

Rosorc, on the other hand, bravely walked up to the dragon to parley! His bravery inspired others; the panic slowly subsided Rosorc and the dragon began to talk instead of trash the place. And I thought the dwarf was just itching for an excuse to fight! The dragon, knowing his own strength, casually checked out the contents of the traders’ wagons while asking for either two thousand gold pieces, or magical items. We certainly didn’t have the gold, but the caravan master came up with a ring that satisfied the dragon’s greed.

Apparently thinking to solve our other problem, Rosorc and Theona told the dragon about our barbarian trackers, who would also be “trespassing” on his lands. The dragon looked off, smiled, and flew away. We packed the camp back up and headed out, determined to put as much distance between us and the dragon as possible! It was a long night, but no one complained.

The next morning, however, showed us the sight of the dragon in the distance and closing in on us fast. As one, the caravan armed itself; we knew that if the first tribute hadn’t been enough, this beast would harry us all the way back to Silverymoon. The dragon, instead of landing, swooped over the last wagon and breathed fire, leaving behind a charred hulk as the rest of the drivers whipped their teams into a run! This was when I realized that the dragon was covered with burns and cuts - apparently, the barbarians put up a strong resistance. Dragons aren’t stupid; this one was going to make us pay for getting him hurt.

Our arrows were bouncing off the dragon’s hide even as it came around for a second run, strafing Rosorc as he crouched behind his shield, shouting insults. A few arrows hit their mark as it passed, and then both Beowulf and I ran to the dwarf to heal him. He shooed us away, however, as our armor wasn’t going to withstand dragonfire like his could. Areon hit it with a well-placed shot and earned the next strafe; I broke my new bowstring and decided to heal Areon instead. Rosorc’s warning came back to haunt me, as the dragon engulfed us both in flame!

As the dragon circled around for his next run, I healed myself, then cast Fly. Although it was fast in the air, I was hoping to be able to dart around it and hit it with my staff of shocking, perhaps knocking it out of the sky if I caught it just right. Of course, having a target at eye-level meant the dragon was heading right for me! At least it kept him from seeing the giant owl the Beowulf called up, until it grappled with him! Arrows kept finding their mark even as the dragon and owl fought, and I got close enough to hit it, myself. I don’t know if it was Beowulf’s last well-placed arrow shot, or the electrical shock I landed on the dragon’s rear end, but the beast suddenly flew off, and did not come back for another attack.

I quickly flew to a higher altitude, watching the dragon until he was lost to sight, and never saw him turn. I also looked for the barbarian lycanthropes, but saw no sign of them, either. Praying that our troubles were over for the moment, I then descended to help the party. I could see two wagons were gone; destroyed by dragonfire, and their guards with them. Sadly, I buried the bodies and prayed over them. Then, we turned our faces toward Silverymoon. This has been a long and difficult journey; I want to be home for a while!

I wonder what Rosorc will think of the city?

Posted by Kate at 08:04 | Deitricha’s Journal

In the city of Silverymoon

Beowulf's Journal

We came in sight of the city Silverymoon. Crossing our path was some very large track with numerous smaller ones. It was suggested that I attempt to follow them and see what made these tracks and so off I go with directions for Shadow to guard the caravan. I flew for a long time and eventually came across and encampment of two hill giants and 30 or so orcs. I did notice a symbol on their shields that I later described to my companions. No one seemed to recognize it but I still made a point of telling the guards at the gate of Silverymoon in case they needed to know of such things. It was evening and after we were paid Deitricha mentioned that we could stay at the temple. In the morning I followed her to visit the place Tassar paid rent being as I’ve never been here and really didn’t have a clue as to what to do. Apparently Tassar had stopped by about four days earlier. He left a note for Deitricha asking her to meet him alone and wrote down an address. At this point we went to an “Inn” called The Bright Blade Brandished. Rosorc was already there and, after Deitricha had a drink, she explained about the note then started to cry. After several hours and more drinks she started dancing on the table. It was about that time Areon and Theona entered the inn. I immediately told them of the note and what I think it implies, Rosorc thinks differently and mentioned so. To be honest he does have a point. Shortly afterwards Theona and Areon left and Deitricha continued to drink. When she finally passed out Rosorc took her to bed. Figuring she’d be safe, I decided to watch how the city dwellers interact during the festival. There was a lot of dancing and drinking and harmless foolishness about but nothing all that different of other smaller celebrations I’d seen. The biggest difference I noticed was a lot more people. At one point Theona and Areon returned to the inn and see it was only me; they left shortly after. I watched for a little while longer then walked back to the temple to get some rest. The temple was alive with worshipers celebrating. I retired to the same room I had the previous night to think about our situation with this Tassar and found myself wondering if I would have to pay rent also being as I am currently residing in the city. In the morning I will go to the inn again and see what we are planning on doing.

Posted by Fred at 14:02 | Beowulf’s Journal