Unsung Heroes

A Novice Investigation, by Joseph Graycloud
“So, we're in the prison camp, right?”

We wake up; we’ve spent a whole week doing reconnaissance.

We had manuals in our own army, so why should the Kald’s be any different? Nihm has this idea that we can find one of their military bibles, we can help us disguise Gwyn as the Warden. He’s the most social and charismatic of us, he’d be the best to pull it off. Assuming they have this book, of course.

I’m a little apprehensive about this plan- if it blows up, we’re all going to die.

We’ve spent a week looking into a lot of lives.

Korin finds enlistment papers. Manulf Mueller He was put into the army by essentially being press-ganged into it. He was a gambler.

Kam and I discover that his schedule is very morning intensive, and kicks ass. He and the Commandant inspect the soldiers and the grounds. They go back to the office until lunch, which they take with the men. Afterwards, he goes and does solitary training, and then inspects the outbuildings in the afternoons. Manulf challenges men after eating with them, and wins. He has no friends, and is contempuous of his underlings. Truthfully, I think it would be better to try and be Manulf, but hey, I don’t make these plans.

We found several drafts to the commandant on morale and requests for people in his garbage- that gives us his handwriting. We conclude that Mueller has to be running book for the camp. We get some short-term plans, and loves chocolate coated bananas. He’s pretty regular in his routines; we just need to follow him.

Translation: He’s still gambling, and he’s covering it up. We don’t know what he’s like; maybe he cheats.

So, we know we have to follow him. We need to find out where he goes. We’ve got so little information to go on, despite the fact that we’ve got so much. Our plan is precarious, that’s for sure. But we decide that we will follow this guy, at night. Since I can cast Light (but of course, I don’t have it prepared!), I’m going to have to rest all day so that I’ll be ready with it tonight, and that’s what I do. The other guys will have to do without me until tonight.

After “work”, we take some time, but we follow Mueller’s trail, which joins a game trail, which comes to a clearing. There is a large circle worn into the grass…curious. The trail ends here, though. But there are another set of unshod human footprints, and I have no idea what this is, and try to help Kam figure it out. For some reason, we’re all sure he’s meeting with a werewolf of some sort, and that kind of sucks. Non-were wolves are pretty good and sniffing out things, and they may know that we’re here. Which means, we might be boned. We go back to the Snuggly Duckling, and get some rest before roll call.

Kelvic,they report to him. They did report that, as far as they can tell, Vermin is dead. Good for our team. The end result is that Manulf showed up. They reported no strange activity. Manulf carries that ledger every damn place, which will be hard to get. He’s not doing monetary gambling, though. Nihm isn’t sure about what they were gambling about. Mouse took off after Kelvic. Maybe there’s something buried there. It followed Kelvic. She draws some stuff that was drawn in the dirt in the circle. I can’t really understand it. The language just makes no sense! Kelvic was apparently writing in the dirt, and wiping it away with his foot. A good way to communicate if someone’s scrying on you. We don’t know where this home place is- and snooping around would be way too suspicious.

So, we plan a bit more. We figure that the commandant knows about the gambling. Halcea remembers that we’ve got some of Manulf’s writing samples- we could really mess with them. Gwyn tells Alfie to make some fake money; he won’t be able to make a lot. We plan to poison this guy, and we have to make some more.

I’m still pretty sure we’re all going to die, but I’m convinced now that it’ll be a hell of a ride!

Xp: 500

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A Small Report
Taking a breather....mostly.

All right, so we rescued Vermin from an untimely demise. Not that much later, we actually fked his death, so that he’d be free to go about town and muck things up from there, to expand our little network. We’re also going to do something about the Warden- but that involves getting close to his mistress as well. She’s not the only one, either- we’re going to scout out Manulf as well. Personally, I’m not sure what all is going to come of this, but knowing our luck, this will blow up in our faces.
But what the hell; we’ve got nothing left to lose, anyway!

On a more personal note, pretending to be an utter duncecap is starting to wear on me…even as I begin to enjoy it. If I hadn’t, I’d be wearing manacles that would cut off what little magical power I have. It’s taxing, to be sure, but at least I’m as safe as I can get in a military prison. I’m still alive.

If I want to stay that way, I’d better stay sharp.

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Gruntwork, Part 5
A little bit of talk, and a lot more action!

Not sure about this Kam woman, but she seems to be okay. I might just be paranoid, but I find it hard to actually trust anyone in this prison. Of course, this is prison- your not supposed to be able to trust anyone. She does, however,bring us news of the war. Granted, it’s two months old, but I guess any news is good news…right?

She does bring us some good news: The Shava forest is now well-defended. It did catch fire, but it is defended. The Kald are stalemated there. Apparently, Nutella is where the new push is, perhaps to get to the Stonekin. They are burning just about everything in their wake, though.

We decide to get into the Warden’s office for some info, and come up with a halfway ludicrous plan to do it- my job is provide a distraction when asked. To make sure I’m adequately placed, I act like I’m cleaning a window while Coryn is in the meeting. I think I’m beginning to enjoy acting like a complete doofus in front of everyone to mask my magic.

But, the time comes. The Commandant is done with his meal, which is my cue. I skip as quick as I can, towards the Warden’s office. The guard out front is at his post, looking bored.

Time to liven up his day.

I run up to him and scream, “Tag! You’re it!” in my best doofus voice, and go running off. He catches me in a foot sweep with a stick, and I hit the ground hard- and start rolling, giggling the whole way, hoping to drag the guard away from his post long enough for the pair of us that are in the Warden’s office.

Unfortunately for me, I roll right into five other guys. Crap. Man, I hope the job is done…

I wake up in solitary confinement, but thankfully, I do wake up. I’m not sure what else is going on, though. I have to wait until night falls, and then I escape Solitary and find myself in that ever-so-soft magic bedroll, getting a great night’s sleep in an hour. By the time I make it back to the hideout, everyone’s staring at a funky nursery rhymes. Nihm writes some stuff down, and says, “Oh, dear. Guys, we have a problem.”

Somehow, we discover that Vermin is in deep trouble, and is apparently getting set up by the Kalds. We discover here that Kam can track, and go off to find the man…

Only to discover that we’re in a forest by way of a hole in a tree. We have to fight off some, but one gets away. Chasing, we come across Vermin himself, fighting off some wolves- and a werewolf!

We give ‘em a beat down. Vermin was hurt pretty badly, but we save his life (even if he’ll never admit it).

Amongst the bodies we find: a Money pouch, kaldan currency, 20 copper, 10 silver, 15 gold, small clay amulet inscribe with a symbol of the Kaldan Irregulars (highly unlikely). A small silver knife. Longsword, light crossbow and a chain shirt.)

(Xp for session: 750)

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1st Update
Mission update

Mission update:

This is an update from Gwen of the Eclipse caste. After a successful mission to stop the Kald from crossing a bridge we were captured by the enemy. After a few weeks of harsh treatment and what I am sure they considered torture using fire and lack of water (They have no idea what heat and drought is) we arrived at a prison/slave camp. We managed to convince them to mostly ignore us at 1st, and I quickly realized that the warden was an idiot that I could manipulate so we went about making sure he would not lose his job. Vermen, a human, is in charge and he is running an operation that is meant to save as many POW’s as possible and we offered our services to him thinking we could help him more here then we could on the front line. We managed to acquire a golem that could sneak into the wardens office and make sure his “skimming off the top for his girl friend” was not noticed by his superiors.

Then a higher up Kald came to inspect this prison/mine, he had with him another Dragonking I am assuming is part of my same cast and is on a mission to see if the Kald are worth siding with. I was then singled out and invited to have dinner with the inspector and the DK, I convinced them I was no threat and now the warden trusts me as much as I think he could trust a slave of war.

After the dinner and the inspector left the warden started inviting me to sit and eat with him almost on a nightly basis, and he had me start building a “bar” so his soldiers could drink alcohol. And we have set up a secret base of sorts and don’t have to work in the mines.

And update on the Kald:
The Kald are like a child with a weapon. They tortured us without even asking us who we were or our rank, when they finally did try to torture us for information we had a resistance to the torture and were able to fool them into thinking we knew nothing.
They barely feed there slaves and expect them to work as hard as they can even with little to no water. They keep us in our “cells” by having acid creatures that wont cross salt but will kill anything not protected by a salt barrier.
The Kald are lazy overconfident and I believe they wont stop till every races is dead or there slaves including the Dragon Kings and if we don’t join the war for the alliance as soon as possible it may be to late. They wont be able to handle fighting us in the desert, but nor will we be able to fight them in the north if all the other races are wiped out.

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Gruntwork, Part 4
I love it when a plan comes together!

Next Day.

So, I’m still trying to figure out this magic thing. I still have that one spell buzzing around in my brain, but now its crowded with a bunch of others. I…I don’t think I get it, but I’ll just go with it for now. After a short rest, they don’t give us any food, so I’m famished- or, I would be, if Berman hadn’t given us some food before last night’s mission. The Warden tells us to get back to work, which is just us mining platinum. Suits me, I was pretty good at it.

Back to the cavern with us, to mine platinum. I use this time to perfect my pickaxe technique, which still is pretty lacking. Our agent friend talks to Berman and leaves, looking a bit dismayed. Gwyn comes up with a plan to get our Kapyip friend off the cross. Berman wants to implicate some guards and some prisoners in a smuggling operation, and needs us to cover for him. We all have to work a little bit harder, though, but it doesn’t bother me so much.

Berman comes back with some platinum for Gwyn to plant on someone. I really hope this works. Berman points out the gang, and needs a distraction.

Fair enough.

I walk up to them, drop my pants, and pee on them, shouting, “I peed! I peed!” in my biggest, loudest dumbass voice. They jump back, and Berman runs up and apologizes, pulling my pants up and dragging me off while I laugh out loud in my stupid voice. I hope this works. My deed done, I go back to work, and maybe I’ll even be able to cover for those other jokers. We don’t really get supper, on account of the half-rations and all that. But, I think our scheme could be successful. We’ll have to wait and see.

Gwyn and me spend our time anxiously waiting for Berman’s results by carving a happy face into the wall. It makes me nervous, the waiting. The Warden storms down with a bunch of guards, wondering about a guy named Vann, and storms away. About twenty minutes later, Halsea comes scampering in, and I sweep her up in a hug. We’re successful! We do have to get her back to work, though, sadly.

At the end of our shift, The Warden tells us that our production will go back up, and there’s something about platinum smuggling and if anyone knew about it, he’d break our legs. Gee, I have no idea what he’s talking about…!

Later that night, Berman comes for us, and gives us his lotion. I completely screw up my circle trying to be stealthy- which I’m not good at- and Gwyn helps me put my salt circle back together. The three of us (Halsea in tow) go to our hidden headquarters, and the tree lady accosts Nihm, happy that she’s alive. I feel the same way.

Berman lays out our plan, which was to have this new contraption- Alphie is its name?- doctor the records, and have Alphie work this odd machine for Kaldan currency. More to the point, I’ve never seen the sort of machine that Alphie is! Or is it a real person? I think a part of our plan goes over my head, because I’m weirded out by the machine guy. He says that his consciousness resides all over.

We sit around and talk about the plan for a while, and it seems like it could be a good one. For my part, I think I can help out with my gunsmithing by improvising part. All we need is access to the smithy..

I have an idea…we can fake a new monster running around! I can do silent images, while Gwyn can do ghost sounds and Nihm can mimic sounds. Coryn (I think that’s the agent’s name), comes up with an idea that we could use a Rust Monster to fake.

After that, we turn to Berman and ask him, “Well, what do you think?” He looks at us like we’re nuts and thinks that it could, just maybe, work. He’ll have Nihm rejoin us in the population, and we also need to have Alphie gain access to the Warden. Berman has a plan, but we can also try to make something up as well. It involves getting Alphie into the Warden’s office as a piece of equipment- being some sort of robot man, it could work- and then tampering with the files after the Warden leaves.

It’s a good plan.

Over the next week, we do make a box for Alphie to put himself into. And we have Coryn deliver him while I practice with Halsea with mimicking the Rust Monster. I think we’ve got this, but we’ll need some more practice. We find a couple of iron spikes for her to use, and I think we’ll be somewhat convincing. Coryn goes off to deliver Alphie, while we practice (and Nihm does our work for us). We do try to hide some platinum for Alphie’s forgeries, and we need to find some copper to help us out.

As our production increases, our rations go back to normal, and the atmosphere lightens. We all don’t have to pretend like we’re starving. Though I don’t know how Alphie is faring, I hope it (he?) is doing well.

After a couple of weeks, it’s our time to act. Hopefully, Halsea and I have perfected our Rust Monster bit. We try it out, and both prisoners and guards scream and run away. One of them, however, points a crossbow at it and fires, and I think it hits Halsea! To compensate, I know she’s bleeding green, and I have the fake monster run away. The guard calls people in, and me and Halsea make a run for it after I tie my shirt around her. We get the hell out of there as the guards come rushing in, back to the store room with us. I yank the crossbow bolt out and we part ways- I’m supposed to be able to get to the smithy to help.

However, I do have to get by some people.

I use my last Silent Image spell to turn myself into a Kald, and I run past them shouting…something. I’m not sure since I don’t speak Kald at all, but they seem to be fooled. We get into the the smithy, and I have to frighten the bellows boy away. Coryn chastises me for being stupid- specifically, how such a smart person like me can be so stupid. I almost decide to show him how stupid I am by blindsiding him and dropping him into the forge. The Kalds treat us badly enough without getting it from someone who’s supposed to be on my side. I blow it off for the time being- there are more important things to do here- but I’m beginning to wonder if we can truly trust him. So far, he’s proven loyal to myself and the others, but can I really put my trust in someone who has no faith in me or the others…?

Fortunately for me, it all goes incredibly smoothly, and I’m able to make the parts effortlessly, despite being for a completely different machine than I’m used to- I fabricate guns, after all!- it all comes together quite wonderfully. After the parts are made, I’m off to get back to the hidey-hole before I’m terribly missed.

Although, I can’t get back!

I find myself stuck in the smithy, and I ask Coryn if he can get me a uniform. It’ll be a long shot, but I think I can do this- I am a soldier, after all! I hide in the closet while he does his thing, and it’s pretty tense. However, I am a soldier…I might be able to fake it long enough to get back down into the tunnels…and then be naked.

Crap.

I shed my uniform, put on my other clothes, and then the uniform. I have Coryn point me at the slave barracks, and I hope this works. So far, so good. I manage to fit in with the other humans. I’ll stay here until nightfall, and then go back into the tunnels under the cover as myself.

I do keep the uniform though. Who knows? It could come in handy. And I have the machined parts to boot. When I get the chance, I deliver the machined parts to the machine. All told, I think I was personally very successful. I got the parts, I got a uniform.

At night, we go back to our headquarters, and I show Berman and the others the parts. The popular opinion is that they’ll work, and Alphie seconds it.

All told, I’m pretty happy with myself, trust issues and all.

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Gruntwork, part 3
A good plan, with a fatal flaw

Back in my cell after torture. Joy. I’m surrounded by salt, and this whole place is patrolled by oozes. That’s a little weird. This guy, Berman, seems like a mirthless kook, but he knows what he’s talking about. The inside of this place is dark-ish.

Oh crap…I discover that I can cast magic…without my book! I’m freaking out on the slave line a little bit, but then again…this could be useful. I make a silent image of the Warden taking a dump in a mine cart, and Nihm provides the voice for him. It’s incredibly funny. However, our friend- Blackwyvern could be his name, I’m still a bit fuzzy- Drags Nihm off on suspicion of magic, which worries me. I’m still a little buzzed by being able to cast magic without my book, but we may have a better plan. Maybe.

Back to work with us. They come in with a weird sheet, able to view the magic done. They see what I did to the warden’s silent image, something that they believe Nihm had done herself. This…this could work! They drag off Halcea, and do something I don’t see to her, leaving me and Gwyn alone, and we keep working, hoping that the plan worked.

All told, I was incredibly productive.

On our way back to barracks, we understand that Nihm was killed, which makes me pretty sad. I did like her, even if she was foul tempered. Other Qatars seem angry and/or proud of her, and it occurs to me that we don’t know if Nihm was ever successful.

I sincerely hope so. It cost her her life.

We go back to our cells, pretty disheartened about the whole affair. Berman has us go towards the first line in the cell, and has Gwyn play music and let us know that, indeed, Nihm was not dead, and that he has a mission. Not that we know what it is, but he seems to need us around. Besides, there’s no place to go, and we’d probably just get eaten or killed in any case. Meanwhile, it would give us a chance to do some internal sabotage…assuming we stay alive that long. Blackwyvern (raven? Still not sure) shows up, and Berman is amazed that he’s really one of us…supposedly. Berman told us that he is engaged in sabotage activities and expatriate Cornu that are held in various camps that are used to make weapons.

Berman gives us something to put on our hands and face, and pets an ooze to demonstrate the alchemical stuff. He shows us a secret passage, and makes sure that we know where to step. We follow him through the tunnel, very smooth, and into a very well apportioned conference room. Although he doesn’t understand Nihm or Halsea very well, we try to explain to him that they can be useful.

He outlines his plans to us. He wants me to make a requisitions request…something I’m pretty damned good at! They have a mission to replace Nihm with a corpse, and they go on it while I enumerate what we need for requisitions. They come back some time later, and it looks like they were successful, and Berman tells me that Nihm’s alive, but we have to go back to our circles before anyone suspects that we were missing. They have us stand at attention for an hour before they let us go to sleep.

Overall, I think we were quite productive…

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Gruntwork, Part 2
A long and painful journey into the heart of Kald Territory

So, the rest of the unit I’m a part of has been taken prisoner by the Kald- well, all except one of us, who has been missing for a few days now. We’ve been forced to march and have been exhausted for the entire journey. Our only rest has come by dehydrating fire, and that’s when I noticed the one member of our party that just so happened to be missing.

Turns out, he’s either joined the Kald or merely infiltrated them, and even though he gives me his water container to ease my thirst (and those of my companions, with a tad bit of distraction on my part), I’m not really sure who’s side he’s truly on.

But really, I’m not the only one who’s in trouble here. In fact, I’m getting off rather lightly. Poor Nim, a Qatar that seemed to have some knowledge of the Kald, has had the bottoms of her feet gashed open by our captors, and hasn’t been faring too well in the last few days. I feel bad for her, but in our present condition, there’s not much any of us can do. Another of our number bargained for medical attention for her, only to get himself beat up in the process.

It takes us quite a while, but we march into the heart of Kald territory, to a prison called Delver’s Dale. I understand that it is to be our final destination. Our warden, a kald named Schultz Burkhalter (which I understand may be spelled differently; I’ve always had a problem with Kaldan names), has had us all tortured and beaten. The joke’s on him, though- I’ve been able to hold out and withstand their petty torture for the last two weeks, and from what I’ve learned, I’m not the only one. Nim’s knowledge of the Kald and their techniques has also allowed her to take their punishments and then some. I really do feel bad for her, but I’m not sure what can be done.

As for myself, I find myself in a predicament. I’ve no spellbook nor rifle to help myself out, and I don’t know what else to do. Amidst all the pain and frustration, though, I feel something trying to break loose within me, and I’m not sure what will happen when it does…

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Gruntwork by Joseph Graycloud
Just living the life in the Army now.

My name is Joseph Graycloud, and I’m in a band of misfit Army personnel called the Half-Squad Fourteen Irregulars. They call us that because we don’t fit the proper method for classification within the ranks of the Allaince Army itself. Take for instance, myself. While I might be considered a rifleman, I also dabble a little in magic, and I can fire cones and rays of magic out of my gun, increasing range and damage. I really haven’t run into anyone else who can do it, but then again, there are lots of places in the world that I haven’t been. I could be wrong.

For some reason, they’ve made me the Requisitions officer. If someone needs something, I get it for them. It’s pretty simple really, and I do have a knack for it. I take to my duty quite well- considering I can also weasel a little bit more pay out of the gig!

So, our little group set out for the Shava Forest. No, they don’t tell us why exactly- knowing why was not a part of our orders. All I know is that I got to talk to my squad-mates for the first time, and I don’t think I like them very much. But, that’s the Army for you- I don’t actually get paid to like the squaddies- I get paid to put bullets into bad guys- currently, the Kalds.

I don’t know anyone who really knows about the Kalds themselves, but they can be some scary guys. However, I’ve shot a few and I can tell you that they do bleed, and anything that bleeds can be killed. I should know that, too. I did kill a couple of Kalds on our forced march to a bridge that would keep the Kalds from burning down the Shava Forest, which we were supposed to keep from happening. To me, it wouldn’t make sense to burn down the forest- why bother? But, I guess the Kalds aren’t paid to make sense, either.

So, there we were, on a forced march towards our objectives when a tower blew, showering us with fire. Fortunately for me, I’m only lightly burnt, so I’m not terribly worried about it. It does sting, though. A lot. I think one of us goes chasing a Kald into the nearby forest, but I’m not sure what he did or who he is- I think he’s one of the Reptok, though. At any rate, he ties the prisoner to a tree, and we move on. Our troops need information, but we’ve got a job to do. There was a unit on our tails before, and more than likely, they’ll pick them up.

Thankfully, we reach the bridge before the Kalds do, and we’re able to get a little bit of rest. Not much, mind you, but a little bit. We’re busy wiring the bridge to explode, and I’m keeping my rifle sighted, making sure the Kalds don’t sneak up on us.

As it turns out, they don’t sneak so well.

The Kalds come up over the horizon, and we wait. We wait for them to get halfway across the bridge before we blow it. Our superior officer, Horthana (a Harnesh if ever I’ve seen one) detonates the bomb- only nothing happens! It doesn’t take long to determine that there’s something wrong with the rigging of the bombs, and Horthana takes off with a pistol. She draws a bead and fires, and blows the bridge just in time- or so we think.

Many of the Kalds fall into the rushing river, but enough of them make it across to outnumber us. I take aim and fire, and take out a couple of them myself while that Reptok tries to rescue the fallen Horthana. I’m pretty sure he does the trick, but I don’t know.

In the end, though, we have to surrender. There’s too many of them, and they offer to not kill us in exchange for taking us prisoner. Hell, none of want to be captured, but we have no real choice in the matter. It’s either get taken to a prison camp- or die.

And I’m not ready to die yet.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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