- Alex Cochrane (JAZ), a a moderately famous citizen of Bard’s Gate, has been granted the title of Baronet, with accompanying land to the north of the city, with a warrant to “pacify the region and render it hospitable to trade”, in honor of his service to the City. He is also able to make grants of his own and raise titled knights to accomplish this task. Of course this land is in the monster infested wilderness near the ruins of the Demon City of Tsar, known as the Desolation. This expedition has drawn the attention of many of the citizens of Bard’s Gate— though not many yet are ready to settle a monster-infested land the more adventuresome have become interested in the
- Dagonet (Stephen) is a half-elven ne’er do well, who knows every dirty corner of Bard’s Gate. Having crossed paths with Alex before, the two have a somewhat dysfunctional relationship. Even so, Alex occasionally needs someone quiet and quick with a blade, while Dagonet is looking for a way out of his former life in Bard’s Gate. A nice little keep of his own might be just the trick
- Max Power (Hamilton) – A human wizard who carries an icon of st Filmore, and disconcertingly, talks to it. A devotee of Tykee, the Goddess of luck and Fortune, he has dreams of establishing a gaming house far from the prying eyes of the Bard’s Gate Lyreguard. With a grant from Alex in exchange for arcane assistance, he can make this dream come true.
- Asura Questinar – an Aasimir Summoner with brazen skin, certainly stands out in a crowd. He (she?) is often seen in the company of her (his?) Eidolon, “Hubert” a wispy blue form which resembles a pegasus crossed with a unicorn. Asura’s motivations are thus far obscure, also a devotee of Tykee, perhaps he (she?) is just intrigued by the risk of a venture into the Desolation. Or maybe the draw of the fallen celestials from the great battle for Tsar is what attracts Asura to this quest
- Gabe Ironheart(Darel) – a Dwarven Priest of Dwerfater. Sent by the elders among the Dwarves of Bard’s Gate to recover lost artifacts from the Desolation, where many a dwarf had fallen several centuries ago in battle with the forces of Orcus.
- Wagon Driver – Wilson Fredericks, middle-aged slightly pot-bellied man looking for something more exciting than milk runs south of Bard’s Gate. Very good with the horses
- Guard – LLewellyn. Half-orc whom Dagonet recruited, knew him as a bouncer from one of the dives he used to frequent
- 2 Laborers – Chip and Harvey Muirson. Human brothers Chip is about 6’6" 275 lbs, and very talkative. Harvey barely says a word and is about the same 6’6", but a skinny 170 lbs.
- Craftsman/Carpenter – Elsinor Filleo, elven craftsman
Along with 4 wagons, 6 draft horses and 2 weeks supplies. The Camp (on the edge of the Desolation, is about 2-3 days travel (~70 miles).
One bright morning the party left the city by the north gate, in good spirits and to a small crowd of well-wishers. The travel by day was uneventful, though the weather inauspiciously changed to a driving rain. By evening, the party was soaked, but the rain had dissipated to a drizzle. As the party made a damp camp, they settled down for the night. Dagonet had first watch, and his keen eyes noticed some smoke drifting up a few hundred yards to the north, but didn’t think much of it. He let Alex, the next watchkeeper know, though.
Alex’s watch was much more exciting. From over by stand of trees, the peaceful night was broken by the thwack and thump of arrows arcing towards the party. Alex was hit and raised his own bow, firing back at the attackers and wounding one, while Jinn covered the ground between Alex and the enemies with uncanny speed. The rest of the party was awake now and reaching for weapons. Asura created a pit underneath the enemies, and also under Jinn. Three of the four figures fell in, along with the cat. Max placed a fireball to roast the enemy who had escaped the pit and set the tree alight, the better to see by.
Meanwhile great beating wings could be heard from the south, and soon a wyvern appeared. Dagonet shot at it as Gabe let forth a burst of holy energy, and it soon became apparent it was an illusion, though not before one draft horse ran off and another injured its leg. The snarls and screeches of Jinn alongside goblinoid curses echoed from the pit
By now the battle had turned, and the party had the upper hand. Well everyone except Jinn. Max snagged the enemy caster in Black Tentacles, and Alex ran over to put an arrow through the hobgoblin who had felled his companion. The other two hobgoblins dropped their weapons as Dagonet joined him, and gave their surrender. After a brief conversation in broken Common, the other two made it clear they were part of a gang named
“Corvin’s raiders” which some of the party had heard made life difficult for caravans north of the city. Corvin was evidently the shaman who had created the illusory Wyvern, and the two were more than willing to trade his life for their freedom.
Summary judgement reached, the two hobgoblins were freed, and the party had acquired 150gp in gems, a ring of featherfall, an amulet of natural armor +1, and the freshly liberated head of Corvin, along with the rest of his body. Jinn was healed, and in a very bad mood, and the party settled in for the rest of the night