by kiera (Becca w.)
It was a chilly night in New Cadeni. Kiera stood in the pub with a mug of ale amid a group of listeners. *Hic*
“There were five of them and four of us! I wasn’t even scared. *Hic* I’ve been through worse in Sanctus—the streets are rough. I don’t—I do--*Hic* You should’ve seen us. Everyone was asleep but me, standing watch like a hawk. ‘Course, they snuck up on us, but that’s beside the fact. We had just gotten done with this creepy place in a hole in a ground getting Elish’s sister and party out from the tomb… God rest their souls….”
Kiera takes another hearty swig of Ale. Everyone in the pub could see she was in the drink too deep. Too young, too small to be putting down as much as she was. Talking far too loud to people who were not nearly as interested as she thought.
Kiera leaned in close to the man nearest her, a small mouse poking its head from her leathers, an amulet hanging from her neck. He could feel her breath—smell her breath.
“BUT I wasn’t scared oh no! I got right in there and disarmed the trap by the door to the tomb. There wasn’t even anything in that hole. *Psh* I can’t believe they got take out so easily. Though there was an.. odd presence.. and there was sh*t everywhere. Ah whatever. I just want that mask.”
TLDR: Exploring ruins 2 days south of Verloren.
Letter from Quinzli of the Scale, dispatched by sea from Verloren to Black River.
To Eilis Gilrin,
Greetings and blessings to the sister of my friend. It is my fondest wish that our initial contact could be on better terms. It pains me to inform you that Astrid fell yesterday, along with the entirety of our party save myself. It is by no small miracle that I survived to inform you, and since I was overcome before Astrid, awaking hours later, I can only assume it was by grace of her actions that I am alive to write to you. I am therefore indebted to you and your family.
We traveled the road west of Verloren, investigating rumors from homesteaders of curious ruins. Astrid was ever at the forefront of our wanderings, befriending whomever she could and diligently investigating many curious ruins along the way. Her work is a lasting foothold on the mysteries of this new land, and you may rest assured that it has survived and will continue. Though I am suspicious of such platitudes, it is undeniably true that Astrid fell pursuing her greatest love; unraveling the mysteries of ancient structures, texts, and civilizations. She lies at the threshold of a crypt dedicated to a powerful Demon Walker, whose infernal guardians were disturbed by our expedition’s investigations. I intend to recover her remains for proper rites at the earliest opportunity.
I have enclosed several of Astrid’s effects which may provide some small comfort. Her spellbook, diary, and a third book whose nature I do not know. In accordance with her wishes, I have read none of them, but if she left any instructions or requests which might apply to yours truly, I am at your disposal. Finally, Eclipse, your ancestral longsword. Her powerful spirit honored its legacy.
Astrid was a good friend, with a bright mind and a curious soul. I will miss her greatly. If you wish to visit Verloren to investigate this matter, all of my maps and notes will be available. To that end, I am ever your servant, and wish you speed and fortune on all paths you care to travel.
Yours in mourning,
-Quinzli of the Scale
Quinzli’s journal, entry numbered 1,132. Written on a fresh page with better penmanship than usual.
Death continues to follow me. I returned from the exploratory trip south of Verloren alone. My companions, Cylow, Vystri, and poor Astrid lie dead in an ancient Tiefling’s tomb. I would be with them, were it not for some strange quirk of fate rousing me from unconsciousness. Astrid and I were defending
Starting from the beginning. After sleeping in the ruins where the goblins made their camp, we proceeded west. There were indeed curious ruins, as the homesteaders said. But nothing immediately obvious. An incredibly clear pool of water north of the path, with water flowing in from the marsh and no outlet except a visible cave mouth. A large mound with a wide metal door, inscribed with a circle pierced by 8 arrows pointed outward from the center, like a sunburst. Not a familiar symbol. After investigating the door, which surprised me by presenting no magical aura whatsoever, we could not determine a way to open it, and descended the hill in search of other options. There is a second cave further down the hill, and we speculated that the underwater cave we found might also lead somewhere behind the door.
“A few hours down the road, we saved some kids that were petrified by a cockatrice. Had to put down a giant weasel nest near them. Met some kind of herbalist when we returned her kids to her. Could be good for the Company to work out a deal with her. She gave us these berries that saved our hides. Jelessa, I think? Anyway, seems we’ll probably need to figure out cockatrice migration patterns if we don’t want traders made of stone lining the roads.”
Zorak breaks to take a long draw from his tankard.
“About two days along the trade route is when we came across the bandits that Svetleah sent us to find. It's an area with a bridge and cliff face, great for ambush. Two bandits came rappelling down the cliff, four crossbowmen. We tried to reason with them, but they were hard pressed to kick the hornet's nest.”
“Malmiir here killed one, we took another with us. Rhogar scared off some of the crossbowmen before we made the choice to report back."
“I think you can find Famor in the pen here in Verloren. Seems he's regretted ever getting involved with bandits because he told us everything. Although, losing a hand can do that too,” Zorak let's loose a deep laugh as the messenger’s jaw drops and he goes a little pale.
“Anyway, just 2 hours south from that bridge where they ambushed us, he said there’s a fortress garrisoned with about a dozen men. Led by a guy named <Starts with F>. We’re regrouping now to relaunch the expedition to claim the fortress for Cadeni and put these bandits to rest.” Zorak drains the rest of his tankard and looks to the group. “So who’s buying next round?”
by quinzi (lex) late winterfall, just before 1 ss
TLDR: Freelance team exploring rumors of ruins 2 days’ travel south of Verloren.
Quinzli’s journal, entry numbered 1,131. Between a heavily-annotated recipe for some kind of mango-jam pastry with a map of the day’s travels beneath, and half-finished pastel sketches of a large turtle and a rat carrying an apple.
It is either my tenth or eleventh day on a new continent. It is rather difficult to recall, having left in an appalling rush. Whatever else is true of the Consortium’s men, they are an admirably dedicated bunch, may it please their wretched masters. Regardless, they are once again behind me for a while.
I have made camp for a second night south of Verloren. Graced by a bit of luck, I met a fellow fledgling arcanist named Astrid, accompanied by Cylw Cylowbr Clybo Cylobobr a knight. Apparently a well-traveled gentleman with noble blood, though I have no cause to hold that against him. We will see if history repeats itself. They were headed south with news of curious ruins. Enough reason for a walk.
Trappers near the edge of the forest provided a simple map of the area. Much opportunity for errors. A good start nonetheless. They mentioned trade with a red goblin tribe. Curious. Heard no stories of such alliances down south, but perhaps the years are finally catching up to me.
by haldor kemleigh (lex) 3 wh
TLDR: Adventurers freed a New Cadeni Company survey team held hostage by a goblin raid.
Report on 1st expedition into New Cadeni interior, recalled and compiled by Haldor Kemleigh, navigator.
Made landfall last night, after an uneventful crossing of the Inland Sea. Woke after a night’s rest to a Company surveyor, Neferti, emerging from the woods at a frantic pace on an exhausted horse. She reported escaping a Company survey site to the west, the rest of her team captured by a group of goblins accosting the camp. She had a distinct accent; Khemet, I would say, and if so, the first human I’ve met who lives among the Demon-Walkers. Curious.
The nearest available martially skilled Company employees gathered. A knightly, upright human fellow named Cylow (with a lengthy name, must learn to spell it properly later), a sorcerous Dragonborn called Phoncledeh, and a quiet, green-clad man with some Elf blood, Truss. Hastily assembled, we requested horses from the company stables, took Neferti on mine, and retraced her path to the survey site at the best speed our mounts could bear. While the forest is not my preferred terrain, the path was quite clear, and we made good time.
About three hours’ ride West brought us to a river bridge Neferti crossed in her flight, recently cut down. Neferti later pointed out it was made by local loggers - perhaps the Company can contract them to remake it. We secured our horses and left them in the care of Cylow’s squire. With no sign of ambush, even from an elevated perch, I secured a rope to a nearby tree for our group to descend the embankment and cross the river. Fast-flowing, but only an arm’s length in depth - we crossed with no great difficulty and scaled the far side. Neferti proved quite nimble and hardy, easily keeping up with our party. Her conduct throughout the counter-attack was commendable, and I encourage any of her Company superiors who read this report to consider her for advancement, whenever such opportunities arise.
A goblin patrol accosted us immediately upon gaining the western side of the river. Taken somewhat off-balance, with no time to form ranks, it was a tricky fight. Cylow was battered into unconsciousness, but revived by a potion Neferti carried (Manannan Mac Lir’s blessing on that woman). Seeing this, I gained enough trust to lend her a scimitar in case any goblins got past us.
Of possible interest; these goblins all wore a black-painted mark on their shoulder, regardless of clad or bare arms. Some kind of clan marking, I suspect, unknown to me. Perhaps this will be useful to Company members better acquainted with our goblin trading partners.
Neferti’s survey team found some discrepancies in their interior and exterior measurements of the keep, leading us to suspect a secret room or exit at the southwest corner. Under tree cover, we skirted the keep, and I was able to locate a mechanism which opened a door into the keep. The rooms within were empty and undisturbed, apparently undiscovered by raiders or surveyors. We used them to ascend to the fourth floor. Should the Company need it, I made a sketch of the building and our route through the woods.
The uppermost secret room contained two nasty, skeletal torsos with a vicious toxin in their claws. They overwhelmed me before the full party was able to enter the room. I blacked out, under the influence of some paralyzing quality in the toxin. The party was able to overcome the undead, and was gracious enough to wait for me to rouse. Though seriously weakened, I gained my feet and kept to the rear as we proceeded.
I will admit to some shame at my performance in this encounter. Further training is required, and I suspect New Cadeni will provide ample opportunities for improvement. Gods give me strength, I intend to become this new continent’s equal and master of its paths.
Fortunately, the new rooms contained all the surveyors from Neferti’s team; Dorah, Elsha, Kawa, and Elana. Heavily battered, we opted for discretion, and smuggled them out the secret entrance into the forest. With raised voices behind us, we made haste for the river. Crossing was quick, but two goblinoids - hefty, well-armored bastards - began firing on us from across the river. We made our retreat, wounding one grievously, and escaped with all members of the survey party and the rescue team. Curiously, these two wore red armor, and had no sign of the black shoulder mark used by the rest of the goblins.
The keep may need to be secured at some point. Properly garrisoned, its sturdy walls should make a fine forward encampment. I defer to Company instructions on this matter, and await your commands. For now, I must rest, ensure that devilish toxin is clear of my veins, and prepare for the next expedition.
The journal entries here are provided by the active player characters participating in the Detroit Marches.
All Abaza Amaranth Aredhel Lethe Astrid Gilrin Atuji Of Clan Greatscale Audra Ayten Gilrin Basil Benedict Greenfield Black River Swamp Blackscale Brea Daergle Brynn Bryn Naikaho Cavalier's Watch Chat Clan Shimmerscale Crimson Surgeon Cylowboborow Nonsoon Demogorgon Diamondshard Banwyze DILONDORG KAAL Doros Doross Dorros Dredge Dufdor Dwain Eilis Eilis Gilrin Eladrinne Escobar Fagan Far Reach Fort Providence Gator Rock Genji The Wererat Glin Ybendawien Droat Golden Apple Great Cataclysm Griffin's Roost Grildor Trueforge Haldor Kemleigh Ham Hamilton Hekili Nalani HEYKITD GETOFF MELAYN Icegate Jerimiah Jerwin Jinn Kanyu Il Senya Kathra Kegrove Kellen McCall Kenku Kiera Lyssandria Kohaku Ruim Koltalon Kresh Krolan Kunyata Kar Leatherhead Liam Buckham Liana Lindir Lizardfolk Longtail Lucretzia Borgia Makani Pahili Malmir Merelda Meznen Midden Heap Mindartis Morgrimm Naill Amakir Namfoodle Nehi Xum Nehi-Xum New Cadeni Njord Noric Synphase Noxochiyotl Obelisks Of The Bayou Omgar Onen Peter The Wolf Phoncledeh Player Character Journal Entry Polar Bear Polg Pollen Quinzli Rabbits Ralthor Rawq Elrid Rhogar Roscoe Greenfeld Rotten Morgan Bonecrusher Rube Lastname Ruins Salazar Sang Woo Ser Mathius Shaena Tosscobble Silent Mockingbird Som Sorrel Summerport Syndar Beratos Tabaxi Tainted Falls Teddy Bear Tharrus The Fist Theobold Peacekeeper Thur’a’ugh Tormund Firehammer Tortles Treewalker Truss Stacianodel Udoroth UDOROTH THAMMILIDAAR Umberlee Underdark Valaquaraptors Vandil Varron Greensleeves Vengir Duskhallow Verloren Yuan Ti Zorak Dreadmast