Droaam: Graywall and Long Shadows

A letter home

Dearest Matron Mother,

I apologize for my delay in writing you. I have found myself in quite a pickle of late. This Discourteous Gentleman has been causing us some trouble of late. While attempting to assist the Hot Headed Man, It seems my Loud Mouthed companion decided to enter in to a deal in order recover a lost toothpick of his. Sentimental value and all.

Upon scouting our way in to find the lost toothpick, we encountered some of the Discourteous Gentleman’s henchmen who decided it would be a good time for a romp and murder. Something to which myself and my companions took umbrage with. After the appropriate amount of self defense, we decided it best to have a calm and rational discussion with him in person. We were all (except for the Loud Mouthed compaion, led to the Discourteous Gentleman’s current hideout, (please see enclosed estimated location based on travel time.) where he decided to have a discussion with us.

Unfortunately this is where the Discourteous Gentleman takes a turn for the worse. He made it quite literally clear, that he had no compunction about killing marked members of Dragonmarked Houses. Even those on official business for their own house. It is for this reason, that the Discourteous Gentleman needs to be removed for the social environment of Droam. It would be most beneficial for all involved in the long term.

Respectfully,
Your dutiful son

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DMs Interlude: A letter to Makoa and Asher

A cleanly folded envelop of paper is delivered to both Makoa and Asher by a goblin wearing the livery of a Sivis process server. The back sealed by an unmarked black wax.

“If you are still interested in stocking my pantry, there is an out of the way grocery that stocks certain goods I find myself craving. I am sure there are things that would be interesting to you as well, maybe in its cupboards or if you dig around in the cellar. For my part, I expect a filling quantity of their stock of eggs, milk and mushrooms as well as my share of any other trade goods you collect. .

The grocery was managed by a family for some time, but they flew the coop to reside with their three great aunts a while ago. Do not fret about it being closed down, I am sure others have taken over the location.

I have left instructions on where to go, which you can collect at the House Sivis enclave. I made sure you are well prepared to transport my order, but be careful that they are fresh upon delivery The spot is a good distance and not a convenient spot, but if you and your troop are attentive I think you will find the sites along the way rather interesting. Any special arrangements for the excursion are up to you."

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Droam Report #1

Matron,

I apologize for the delay in my report. Due to a scuffle with some orcs while on a caravan run, I was incarcerated. An orc that had been slighted by one of my fellow companions tasked us with acquiring some chest. Unfortunately it was trapped and I was unable to determine what was inside of it before it was turned over. I will do everything in my power to ascertain the contents of this chest. Thankfully all blame was deflected on to House Thrask and my cover is still intact. Currently tensions between House Thrask and House Orien are not yet at the point of boiling over.

One of my fellow companions, the elf, found slight with some dagger being owned by a hobgoblin. Foolishly he challenged him to a fight to the death over the dagger. We were able to arrange a multi-man duel. With some well placed words, the odds of the gambling went highly against us. Which of course was almost a complete slaughter on their part, and raised our profile quite nicely.

That is all I have to report on at this time.

Your servant,
Rodrigo Borgia

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A DMs Interlude: Makoa

The caravan has managed to settle into some level of rest. Dull light from the coals of fire provide plenty of illumination for those with the right kind of slight. Sentries have little trouble keeping alert, their blood still riled up by the unexpected combat from the previous hour. Makoa sits though at neither rest nor watch, at least of any standard sort.

His attention focuses on swirling midnight shadows. Not of the woods around him, but within a crystal shard. The raw purple color somehow blends the brown grit from the road and clotted red blood flecks remaining on Makoa’s hands. It is hard to thoroughly clean while out in the wilds. Besides, something seems right about allowing the colors to meld. Blood, earth, and dragonshard; elemental components of life in Khorvaire. It makes the stone more real, easier to focus on. His thoughts are more real, more focused as well.

Makoa rarely recalls everything that comes to him while focused on the stone, almost like one may forget inspired thoughts that come just before sleep. In the moment though, it is easy just to let himself embrace instincts and intuition. His eyes might appear clouded, but in a primal way his mind is clearer than it can be at any other moment.

Right now it is focused on the wet cracking sound of skulls collapsing. The satisfaction of a enemy slain, of the weaker falling prey to the stronger. When Makoa had charged the orc earlier, there had been a tamed voice inside him calmly stating how the guard should simply be subdued. That domesticated part turned Makoa’s grip, bringing the flat side of the great axe to meet the enemy’s flesh. Like a beast spitting out the teeth from its jaw before biting down. Unnatural. A deeper part of Makoa had snarled at such a gesture, had wanted to axe to right itself. The open rage had had not gotten what it wanted there, but perhaps it had been able to claim triumph as a more subtle predator within its host.

That internal part could not feast on the flesh of prey, but now it could gnaw on the memory of the kill for every last scrap of nourishment. The sensations of blood splattering, final breaths and heartbeats ending even as the breast’s own vitality became stronger. That was food it could live on.

It had wanted the death of others. The second fell quickly after the first, but the last was spared. That one had shown its throat and backed away. But it should have died. Staring at the shard, Makoa felt the threat the last orc might pose. Its close pack mates were dead, half by Makoa. It might seek retribution. There were other, baser reason for its blood. It had been, at least in name, under Makoa’s herd as they traveled through the wilderness but not shown true deference to its alpha. And its actions might bring danger to the herd, or they may make Makoa’s clan seem weak. It might diminish the house. It should die.

Then there was the music maker. He too had brought danger by his actions. In a way, he had struck against the pack as well. Striking at those under Makoa dominance. Makoa had a right, the right of the stronger, to kill those in the pack who did not submit. The music maker had no such right. The music maker had acted out of order, and in doing so had challenged Makoa. It was unsubmited and a threat, and should feed the beast.

Then there was the spell maker, with his too civilized mind. His weakness and insistence on not recognizing the authority of those stronger than him was at the start of all this. He would make fine prey as well.

Then if the others fail to fall into line, then they too could be ravaged. No wasted effort would be made to bring them in line. They would either be followers or be dragged down to their death.

Other primal parts of Makoa swirled deeper in the reflection of the purple shard. So soon after being fed, this though was the strongest. The other facets flow as mostly unnoticed currents for now beneath that fierce tide. Just as Makoa attention is only faintly concerned with how the shard itself circles in a slightly oblong manner, the motion in time with his heart and the throb of his pulse as it travels beneath his skin. A pulse unusually warm and strong within the skin below his dragonmark as it faces the east.

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A DM's Interlude: Asher
Tails in the Late of Night

Asher lays against the hard packed dirt of the Graywall Mountains. His companions rest in a campsite tightly fitted into a flatted section just off a trail, which provides safety but none of the comforts a high born son would wish. Though well tended, something about the large worg bite across his shoulder has a lingering ache that makes it even more difficult to find rest. It is late though, and despite two of the twelve moons in the sky there is a raw feeling of darkness.

There is no rest, but Asher at some point sees the camp around him is empty. The others are gone, their bed rolls and belongings left behind. The smell of the wrog pelts left aside to dry smell tangy and surprisingly putrid. Being alone registers in his mind, but Asher finds himself unable to even turn about to look for where the others have gone.

His eyes stare into the darkness, waiting to be met. Long, strained time passes before yellow eyes appear to stare back. Then another set, and another. Six dead yellow eyes moving forward in the gloom, too low to be a man’s and too high to be a typical beast. Dark figures of exposed muscle and clotted wounds trot into the camp. No guardian stops them. The dead worgs walk ahead with no sign of pain, even as one awkwardly steps down on a broken paw.

“It was to come with us.” The led beast growls in goblin. The voice having a hollow and distant tone, as if it were still speaking from deep in the cave. “It was to come with us, but it cheats!”

The three forms walk past their own pelts, holding a stronger sent of death and rot. Their mouths drip thickened gore from between missing and broken teeth. The remaining shards appear jagged, more viscous then even a full mouth of fangs. Even paces away, Asher can do nothing but stare and smell their decay.

“The Keeper wants it.” The three say together. “The Keeper would have it, and show it the ones it loves.” The are so close now. Cold, lifeless breath hits Asher’s face with each word. “We will give the Keeper a taste.”

“We will bring the taste, and then wait by the Keeper’s feet”

“We will wait at the Keeper’s feet.”

“The Keeper will know it’s taste”

“And the Keeper will let us gnaw on it’s loved ones while we wait.”

Long, cold, rotten tongues slide out and lap Asher’s face.

Asher wakes. His brow wet, with cold sweet or something else.

Worg pelts dry, but their smell hangs in the air.

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Makoa - Entry 1
From cutpurses to worgs

Makoa looks at the sleeping people that surround him and shakes his head. “What have I gotten myself into?” he says under his breath.

The bulking Half-Orc towers over them and reaches idly for the dragonshard he wears as a pendant. He wanders over to a nearby tree to lean against during his watch. At nearly seven feet tall, the trinket he begins toying with seems so small in his worn hands. He stares into the deep, rich-purple gem and loses himself in the swirling beauty while beginning to verbally tell it about the recent days.

First he explains that a couple of weeks ago an elf arrived to town and was looking for work. Lord Khundrun approved the placement in Makoa’s barracks and he has since been paired up with the guy a number of times. He seems a solid enough shot with a bow to keep as an ally. So far, it seems like the right idea to keep the guy around.

He continues by stating that upon returning from the most recent assignment, they decided to head out for an ale. Imagine this, the elf even offered to buy the first round. What kind of a Half-Orc could say no to that?

On the way to the closest place with dark enough ale and the proper table space for an arm-wrestling match, the stumble upon an incident in the middle of the square in the Kennels. Despite being off duty, Makoa decides to intervene. A couple of new guys to town seem to have pissed off a street urchin and some of his buddies. Needless to say, one of the buddies was an orc that isn’t about to drop the subject even though I made him…for now.

Turns out the street urchin was trying to swindle the two new guys the whole time (and while some buddies snagged some coins cut-purse style) with some fake, plated coins.

Over a few beers and some negotiations, I…well we both, decided to tag along with our newfound acquaintances for a while. It got us a few gold so far plus the guy owes me a half-decent longbow as long as I help take care of the orc problem. I am thinking the orc and I might be able to settle the issue in a ring somewhere.

You wanna know what the first thing this guy asks after some sleep and a good breakfast? If we can hunt down some worgs for him! He definitely has me guessing at every turn.

That was this morning. We just spent all day hunting three of these things down and I practically had to pull this insane caster guy out of a worg’s stomach. Good thing Finn was there or he might not have pulled through.

Overall, it is definitely some excitement. No idea how it will all work out. Now to finish prepping these skins and teeth for sale tomorrow. I bet I might already be halfway to getting that bow.

Even if these two are crazy, I am curious to find out where this whole ordeal goes.

Makoa tucks the shard back away and thinks for a second that he hopes he didn’t miss anything in the last few minutes during watch. He checks all three people are asleep still, finishes the preparations for tomorrow and then goes and wakes up the next guys for watch.

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