by udoroth Thammilidaar (kelsey w.) 14-18 ss
Black River Island & The Bayou
The last four days proved to be little help as I prepared for my next journey into the bayou. No one on Black River Island seems to know anything about bullywugs or their purpose at Fort Providence. Even the Warden, who knows more languages than almost everyone I have ever met, can’t teach me one word in the bullywug language.
There has to be a way…
More visitors arrived today, some of which looked suitable for the challenges I hoped to tackle the upcoming morning.
Wait - who is that? That male elf looks awfully familiar, white hair, almost like…did Eilis mention having a brother?
I confidently introduced myself to Ayten Gilrin when I saw him in the tavern, and inquired about his relation to Eilis. It turned out I was correct, and he asked me where I could find her. I informed him that Eilis had left on the boat with several others a few days prior, and without hesitation, I offered my condolences for the loss of their sister, Astrid [I had been with Eilis when she received a letter stating that Astrid had been killed]. I instantly knew that this was new information for Ayten.
Shit. Now how am I supposed to ask him to join me in the bayou?
Before I could come up with my next words, a dwarf in leather who I would almost describe as lanky for his kind turned up next to me, and took Ayten’s hands in what looked like a peace offering.
Monks….this monk. Swiftwater?
by Rawq Elrid (Doug s.) 14-19 SS
An uncommonly relaxed, mild-mannered dwarf sits near the fire hearth of the Black River Island Tavern. Two patrons notice blood stains spotting through the dwarf’s light robes and sit down to inquire about the source of his wounds. He looks up casually at the pair of young adventures and reviews the course of the last five days.
“…the big water may look like rolling hills, but definitely do not feel like them on a long journey. The heat and humidity on this island are difficult to adjust to, unless you’re a dwarf, of course. The bigger concern in this settlement is a lack of solid structures. Nothing beats comfort of a stone building, especially to defend against the heavy weather and all the foul beast that can emerge from the dark waters surrounding this village. Stone walls are also a must…and I am planning to rectify that situation once I get my callused hands on some granite slabs from the Hills. It’s just not right to build homes and businesses completely from twigs and branches. I want to apply my stone-craft to help Dougal Ainsley fortify his tower and the community he has worked so hard to develop.”
“Oh! You want to hear about my flesh wound. Well, now…that is a more enlightening tale. Being surrounded by water nearly every step of our journey through the Black River marshlands was unsettling enough, but the constant buzzing and chirping and croaking of the wildlife plus the dense vegetation took some getting used to. I took comfort in my elven companions who appeared quite at home in this teaming environment.”
by UDOROTH THAMMILIDAAR (kelsey w.) 8-10 ss
Black River Island & The Bayou
Year 1 - Age of Exploration, 8th Day of Spring Swell
Has it really been three years? The smell of moisture and fish make the bullywug raid on Fort Providence feel like a previous weekend’s affair. The feeling teeters between nostalgia and nightmare…
I arrived safely to Black River Island this morning, on a shuttle full of Sanctus citizens from various parts of the island. We were kindly met by March Warden Dougal Ainsley, who welcomed our caravan and showed us to the tavern where we have been graciously given one night’s free stay after our long journey. The Warden and I are familiar, but I felt a bit ashamed shaking his hand as I climbed off the boat. He must think a coward of me. I am grateful to see this island still stands under his leadership.
On the passage from Sanctus, I managed to recruit Eilis Gilrin for my quest into the Bayou to reassess the potential occupancy of Fort Providence. She seemed almost too eager, as if she was searching for a distraction. But I could tell by the way she held herself and her great sword as we strolled through the town toward the tavern that she would serve this purpose well.
There were two others on our trip to the island that caught my eye who I managed to recruit. First - Aredhel, a drow elf with a constant squint but a knack for healing. And Kiera, a human, teenage girl who I can just tell has an itch for the interesting and unknown. Our campaign is eccentric to say the least, but I certainly cannot go back into the bog alone, so I will make due until a larger presence on the island is established.
Oh Hurlee, a friendly face indeed. Hurlee greeted us at the tavern, just as I remembered her. Simple but effective. She may seem mousy, but she will knock you flat on your ass with her steadfast commitment to her trades. With my mouth already thick with the humid air of the bayou, I slammed a quick pint of ale and headed to the shop for provisions. We agreed to set off first thing tomorrow morning.
Sanctonal. Oh how glad I am to see you. Sanctonal, a female half-orc and former member of The Shield, greeted us as we entered what appeared to be her shop. Three years had not made her any less attractive. We exchanged quick recaps of our ongoings since the last I was in town, after which I procured two canoes for a gracious price. I do hope we have more time to catch up upon my return.
Year 1 - AOE 9th Day of Spring Swell
I CANNOT believe I got lost. It must be the blanket of water weighing on my conscious. I cannot allow this type of haphazard behavior to continue if I want my mission to be successful...
by eilis gilrin (vera d.) 8-10 ss
Day 1 - Landed on Black River Island - 8 Spring Swell
My fellow paladin, Udoroth Thammilidaar, recruited me to help secure Fort Providence where he was previously stationed as a member of a mercenary company three years ago. They were driven out and he hasn’t been back since. Since I wanted to get out of Sanctus for a while and get my mind off of Meznen I said yes.
When I met up with Udoroth on Black River Island, he introduced me to his other recruits, a drow elf named Aredhel, and a young teenage girl named Kiera. Aredhel looked rather pained in the sunlight -- after all, her people are more suited to being underground. But Udoroth must be anticipating a skirmish because why else would you bring a cleric along for an expedition? I’m not sure why Kiera decided to tag along. Time will tell what she can do.
The mercenary business must be going well for Udoroth since he had no problem purchasing our canoes for the trip. I’ll have to talk to him about his company when we get back.
Day 2 - Out We Go! - 9 Spring Swell
This place is unbearable; it’s so dank and humid. What have I gotten myself into? Udoroth got lost as we headed east and somehow we ended up west. By the time we found suitable land for setting camp -- across the way from Fort Providence -- we were exhausted. The drow cleric, Aredhel, is particularly fatigued. I hope tonight’s watch goes without any incident. We did see bullywugs standing guard atop the watchtower...
Day 3 - Annnnd we’re back. - 10 Spring Swell
When we woke up this morning, two bullywugs had crossed the sound and decided to ambush us. They did not respond to our initial treaty for dialogue. Both Aredhel and Kiera were severely injured in the first skirmish. After Udoroth and I laid our hands on them, we were able to regroup and plan a defensive strategy against the second wave of bullywugs.
One came charging after us and launched a spear at me! I was pretty annoyed so I decided to hop down on top of the bastard and drive Aqmar into his skull.
I nearly finished him until he went running back to the water. Fortunately, he didn’t get very far after I cast Ray of Frost on him and turned him into an ice cube.
The other bullywug got away and alerted his garrison. We decided to jump back in our canoes and make our way back to Black River Island for reinforcement. Along the way, we encountered three more bullywugs tailing us. Fortunately, the bayou’s crocodiles snapped them up and gave us enough of a lead to make it back here safely. (Ayten would love it here! We don’t have crocodiles back home in Abber Lyth.)
Upon my return, I received sad news from a letter sent to me by a gentleman named Quinzli. My baby sister Astrid is dead!! I’m so sad. Although she and I were never as close as she was to Ayten, I am honored she thought of me as her next of kin. She had so much ahead for her but she was doing what she loved. I sail for New Cadeni tomorrow to retrieve Eclipse and her body so that she can be put to rest appropriately, back at home in Abber Lyth. The young kid, Kiera, is hitching a ride with me -- Black River isn’t what she expected either.
Letter from Quinzli of the Scale, dispatched by sea from Verloren.
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.(edited)
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 fighting spirit and powerful will 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
19 Springswell, 1 A.E.
I’ve been cooped up at the Black River Tavern for over a week. I had watched adventurers come in and go out, but no one seemed to need a perky halfling among their party. And so, I practiced my trade, learning a few new tricks along the way. One evening, the innkeeper Hurlee took me aside and rewarded my day’s work with some of her own private reserve Helles. It seems she is quite the brewer. The ale was certainly a step above anything coming from the Albannic region these days.
On another day, I was commiserating with Feinthald about the trials of being a bard. He’s really not so bad a man if you can overlook his blatant lack of talent and overstated self-importance. He told me of a story he learned from a mad halfling named Pascale. Pascale told of a portal the Feywilde plane to the north in the marshes of the Black River region. It opened only during high summer. From the way he described Pascale, I question the truth of this rumor. But it was enough to bring Feinthald to this backwater tavern in the hopes of finding adventurers who would take him to the portal when the season was right.
I wasn’t the only one spending time in the Tavern though. Along the way I met Liam Buckham, another half-elf of Diwata heritage. He is known as a researcher on control of magical arts. Something about him reminds me of a tale I once heard of a young child whose soul was sold to a demon. Over time, he lost control of the power within him, killing his parents. Could this be that child? I can’t help but worry what will happen when he is called on to cast spells in the field.
I also met a stout halfling, clad head to heal in heavy armor and bristling with weapons. He has a reputation among the fishermen and ship crew for slaying a pirate captain.
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