(Part 3 of the Forest Maker)
Altaruk. Fascinating place. An amusing hive of insurgents, scum, Veiled Alliance revolutionaries, and merchants.
The first thing we spot before even getting into the walls is another placid horde of blank-eyed lack-wit Pilgrims casually strolling into reach of a firedrake. The beast was just scooping them up at its leisure like a bunch of bite-sized snacks. We could have just let sleeping drakes lie, but no, some of our travelling companions have scruples. The Renegade was all for saving the Pilgrims, and that battering ram on legs, Bjorn, was all for the glory of killing a firedrake. (sigh) Good fight though, what with the firedrake’s other friend, an earth drake ambusher.
So we killed the damn things. And the Pilgrims just shambled along like nothing ever happened. Did anyone thank us? No. Did we make a profit? No. Was there any point? NO. (grumble)
Image taken from the Forest Maker, a 2e D&D adventure. For personal use.
Assumed the Walon persona, masquerading as a merchant, and the others as crew and assorted hangers on. Nice little merchant fort. Good business. We managed to hire on a talented dwarf artisan for ship repairs, engineer by the name of Maruk. Pretty good timing too, as the Giantslayer really needs some work.
Arisphistaniles, the local head man here is an interesting fellow. Veiled Alliance. The man is a thorn in the side of every Sorceror King in the area, but they’ll never be able to take him out individually, because a move against him will look like a city-state making a land grab, and they’ll never band against him because he’s too useful as an irritant to every other city state.
We’ve come into an arrangement with him as to the entire Pilgrim situation. The lackwits are bad for business, spooking off merchants and the like. He’s tried investigating the situation, but had few leads. He sent an agent, a ranger by the name of Culler Aktryn, off to an oasis in the south that seemed to be along the pilgrimage route, but has since heard nothing. If we can bring him news, or even better, resolve the entire thing, there’s a reward in the offing.
I’ve heard stories about this Culler. “Best ranger of this King’s Age”, some minstrels say. Being a minstrel myself, I know exactly what that phrase is worth. Still, it might be interesting to meet the man behind the tales.
Courier from the Order looked up Bjorn a few hours ago. Bit of an argument from what I gather. Next thing I know, he’s trying to scrape up the bloody paste of all that’s left of that mad prophet we ran over with the walker-ship, muttering something about bringing him back to life. And to think we went through all the trouble of throwing him off the ship already.
Psionics. Never understand them.
That dray skank Lerilyn Toar jumped us in the middle of the night. Nasty business. Quite an amusing chase and takedown though. We caught her alive, and even entered into an “arrangement” with her regarding the Pilgrim situation. With the dawn though, we’ve begun to realize that she might not be as useful as we first imagined, and she just might be too much of a handful. I figure I’ll keep a nice sharp knife ready with her name on it.