Toward The Edge Of The World

Montenegran Interlude, continued
Mery the Munificent

Mery sent around invitations for dinner at her family’s house. With Duke Ovim (her Father!).

Garric invited the elf warrior maid, Pellerion, to be his rescuer from dire peril at the dinner.

Milo arranges for his High Priest (and really good friend) Jerrold to be invited as well, as well as seeking out a gift. During the day, he chased down Barak Half-hand, Priest of Goram, in order to continue the research into the amulet (Field Marshall’s necklace) thingie we may need.

On arriving at the party, turned out that this was a… somewhat socially and population-wise… freakin’ huge. Ministers, ranking, social leaders, holy crap. Officers serving as footmen/valets kinda event. What has Mery pulled us into?

Mery was formally announced. After the first few phrases, I lost track of her munificence. Lengthy, and quite impressive!

Mery and her father slowly made the rounds getting introduced to us. I hope I didn’t mangle my part. Soon afterwards, a young Signal Corp Lieutenant named Sebastian Petrov is called over to them. Slight limp, modest fruit salad that is actually impressive for a Signaler. Possibly the son of General Petrov? Good commander that one. Pretty much salvaged the retreat from the King’s death during the battle. The Duke captures Mery and Sebastian into some lengthy conversation, giving me the opportunity orbit away and find some consumables. Somehow Mery and Sebastian escape outside somewhere.

Milo also achieved escape velocity, yet gets captured by Jerrold and introduced to Eleanor, who is working with the Sisters of Mercy. She is seeking assistance from the benevolent churches for aid in establishing clinics and other good works.

I caught up with Sebastian, and we chatted nicely for a bit. Definitely the son of General Petrov. Exchanged information about how quiet the front has been — we saw few goblins, he has noticed few Prussians around the Edge of the World. We share a common thought about calm before storms… Milo caught up to us and we chatted companionably. Turns out he has a wooden leg. Actually deals with it quite handily.

As the party wound down, footmen came to “cordially invite” us to the den with the Duke. Gulp.

Our visit to the den began with the Duke toasting us. About halfway through I realized that he was threating me, actually all of us, of dire consequences if Mery came to any harm. Yoiks. Sebastian’s toast seemed a bit off-hand, and a I had a hard time following his torturous sentences. Funny guy, actually. The Duke maneuvers to ensure Sebastian escorts Mery “home.”

Garrick escorts Pellerion back to her dropoff, I get Kell back to her room, Milo leaves a note for Cate, and Garrick and I close the evening in quiet reflection over a drink on the balcony.

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A Letter to a Friend
Renewing fond acquaintances

My Esteemed Lady ___________:

I imagine that it would not be long after my arrival in the capital that you would discover the fact of my presence. Alas, it was but a very short stay. I must humbly and effusively apologize that I was not able to approach the entrance of your salon and beg forgiveness for past transgressions and to gain those scant few moments of your attention you would deign to provide me. Very unfortunately for me, I must regretfully wait until a future visit to the capital. Hopefully, I can return to your kind graces then.

I remain your most obedient servant

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An Interlude in Montenegro
Darkness and Prospects

Arrived for dinner in the garden with the Queen. Had just enough time for a somewhat credible effort at cleanliness. On the way in, pass by the servants returning after leaving our dinner out. Garrick notices an Elf woman attempting to remain lowkey and not attract attention. We tell Cate of our experiences, including the darkness from Romania. Somewhere in the conversation, Cate tells us an agreement with the Dwarves is a high priority.

A tad later, and in very strict confidence, Cate tells us she has prophetic dreams. She previously dreamed of her mother’s death, and of the darkness that would come from Romania. When Milo asks for access to the asylum, no problem. However, when he asks about access to her Library, she mentions another dream or memory. Milo translates that the Temple of Goram would have information, and Cate adds on something about a necklace or amulet. We need the thing before heading to Romania. We need to give the necklace/amulet to “the giant shadow.”

Dwarves. Cate offered the local Ambassador, “Blay’loc”, help when he was drinking soulfully. He is looking for a small force to solve a problem in a mine in deep Russia. Wonder if he has heard from his son recently?

Cate kindly provides a letter of introduction to Blay’loc, so Kell and I chase him down at his drinking establishment of choice. His house, of course. Not his father, rather my friend! After torturing me for a few hours with stories of my youth, we got down to business.

Years ago, the Dwarves worked some of the Russian mines — Czar getting 6% and other rights, etc., typical mining deal. About 18 months ago, the deepest mine yielded some kind of black ore. Characterized as Evil Given Physical Form. They mined more until a cavein trapped 40 miners. When they got back through, they weren’t… entirely dead. The Ore apparently did this to them. They sealed up the mine. Recently, the Russians tapped into the same mine. And so are the Goblins. Some believe that High Necromancers are among the leaders of the Goblin Army. The ore, if recovered, could be Big Bad News for the war. Blay’loc will work to get us more information and the location of the mine — needs to lubricate the wheels of Dwarven Diplomacy.

Blay’loc also warned that Cate’s Father’s death was entirely too convenient. I asked about Romania and told him about the Darkness we expect. Possibly a Romanian mine also Dwarven-mined?

Tomas headed off to his University’s library for some cramming. Kell and I catch up to him there later, but I don’t remember much more than that. Tomas later makes some reference about our volume and being off-key.

Milo hit up his Temple, Temple Library, and Royal Library.

Research Background:
Straahd Von Zarovich (commanding-general of Romanian Expeditionary Force in the Great War), labelled as maniac upon his return to Romania and shut up. Force may have held Annapold.
Goblin force, led by an Ogre Mage, raided Romania, killing Zarovich’s family. Zarovich friends let me now, leading to his immediate return. His entire command staff and Force follow him.
A few weeks later, the mists descend on Romania, largely closing it off from the world. Horrific stories leak out from half- or fully-crazed escapees.

[ Garrick chased down the servant Elf on the roof of palace and has a brief conversation. Established that she is among the very rare set of Elven Warriors. ]

[ Mery headed home to her Father’s for breakfast. (Father runs the army logistics, quite well). He had lined up a prospect for her consideration, and roped her into a dinner to meet him. She later extended the invitation to the rest of us. ]

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A Letter "Home"
Written in cipher

Sir ___________:

A quite recent event has deprived the town of Annapold of the leader of the pirate band in residence, the orc Scareye. It is expected that his second-in-command, a likely former Englishman who is called Halloran, may assume command of the pirates. It is possible that he could be approachable regarding changing the nature of the settlement from piracy to commerce. The recent cleansing of several of the town’s wells could strengthen the ability of town residents who are not affiliated with the pirates to make an effort to exert their will regarding the town’s fortune.

/s/ Your obedient servant

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One Mission Done!?
I need profession grooming assistance

We packed up darn fast and left the city on the trail of Garrick. As usual, we didn’t have a vague idea of where he went, and more importantly, if he hadn’t left me some signs, we wouldn’t have caught up to him. Still took us almost four days to do, and he was still chasing the caravan headed to Prussia.

By then, Mery had a message from Cate sending us back to the disembowling Troll Seer. Oh boy. Fortunately we stopped on the way in Expeditious Retreat. Mmmm, yummy turnovers!

Milo spent time over at the Gem, Mery bought some “Dr. Joshua’s Gold Seal Elixir” for some reason, and Kell chased after the Namdinglognome. I spent time at the Bottletop. Tomas and Garric wandered about, one probably more aimlessly than the other. And probably one less talkative than the other too.

The trek back to Sabrina, the Troll Seer, was quick and uneventful. Mery babbled something about darkness covering the land and the wayfinder doohickey. Sabrina told us “the Darkness is in Romania”, and “not stopped, something terrible will emerge!” That would had a more immediate impact had the sight of her entrails slithering back into her torso been so… distracting. We stay for lunch: freshly-roasted venison and some steamed green and colored things.

After a brief… discussion with Mery, we arrange to start heading home, pending further orders. Brief stop on top off our supplies and off we went. No problems at the outer pickets, and finally back on decent roads. A week on the road, and safely back in Montenegro.

Reported in to Porter. Turned in receipts and accounted. Porter told us Queen Cate was expecting us for an informal dinner. Time to add a barber and tailor visit to my packed afternoon.

After that long out of the city, I sought professional assistance with my personal grooming and preparations for dinner.

key loot breakup:

  • Scale Mail +1, Staunching [to me]
  • 2x Scimitars 1, Halfling Bane (2d6 vs Halflings) [one to Content Not Found: null, one to Milo]
  • Ioun Stone: Dark Blue Rhomboid (Alertness Feat) [to Mery]
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A Letter Concerning Well Vipers
Caution suggested

Professor __________:

It is my very great pleasure to inform you that I may be able to provide some information to you regarding your study of well vipers and other ophidiae. I encountered a most remarkable specimen of well viper recently, and can hopefully provide information that is of use to you.

Accompanying this letter, please find a set of measurements for the aforementioned well viper. Also enclosed are skin and fang samples.

I can attest to the poisonous nature of the creature, and recommend extensive protective and recuperative resources be available if attempting to deal with a live specimen.
Please also note the included segment of boot leather, with fang penetrations noted and associated measurements.

Your most humble servant,
Sir Tomas Kosic

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ScarEye, NoEye

We changed up the plan. Content Not Found: null wrote a note that I took over to pirate camp. The camp wasn’t hostile, just not overly friendly. No problem leaving the note. They sent a courier reply a few hours later, inviting Tomas to afternoon tea at a site by the bridge.

“Professor Bors” (Tomas) attended the tea with his attendants. The camp sent a team to prepare the place with tea, complete with table, chairs, and a tablecloth. They even cleaned up! A human underboss(?) arrived first to play host and probably suss us out. Underboss decently armed, knows his craft, not for show. Milo, Tomas, and the underboss chat socially while I played the bored bodyguard.

Scareyee arrived. Damn big orc, and yup, one eye. Pair scimitars, floating stone around his head. Calls the underboss “Halloran.” (Milo relayed later that Halloran had a holy symbol of Gorum, and Mery noticed signs of sorcery or magic).

Tomas spun a story about having a map that was protected by magic, and we needed something like the floating stone to make the map work. Scareye sent Halloran and his aids away, then pulled out something like a pocket watch and watched it for a bit. Turned out he was waiting for them to get out of earshot. Showed us his missing eye under the patch was some kind of stone, and then attacked Tomas and Milo. Rumble!

After a fast set of exchanges, we killed him. Somewhere in all that, Kell managed to snatch the floatie stone away and stab Scareeye in his last eye. Right before he expired, he gasped to Tomas “I scar-eyed this.”

Loot: agate sphere “eye” from platinum (eye)socket, dark blue rhombinoid (floatie stone), magical scimitars (x2), magical scale armor.

I sent the group to prepare our flight while I headed to the camp to let Halloran know his boss wasn’t coming back. He wasn’t surprised, and warned me to beware.

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Did he say well vipers? (2014-12-10)
I killed the snake, swung it like a grapple, and climbed out of that well!

Scouted the perimeter of the pirate’s encampment. Lots of sentries, in good positions, with patrols. Many chokpoints with ambush spots taking advantage of the Not an easy nut to crack.

On one block, ground floors of shops and such missing all the soil about two feet deep from the internal room footprints. Tomas connects a few memories about a Bodarko family that were magic-types, and surmised this might have been their area (the block). Milo starts imagining vampires.

That night, “thunder” in the form of cannon, woke us up. Looked like the pirates had ambushed something.

Milo held service in the morning, moderately well attended by friends of the local Milo met when we arrived.

Since all but one well of the city were poisoned during the invasion, we decided to attempt to purify them using Milo’s unique talents. We discovered a gigantic snake. Apparently Milo saw it coming while he was dangling from the rope on the way down and tried to clamber back up at high speed. This in turn, pulled Tomas (the rope anchor) down into the well. Fortunately, Milo managed to catch up on the way and stop his rapid descent. Unfortunately, the snake had a great vertical leap and managed to start swallowing Tomas’ leg. I was able to grab the rope and start pulling them up (all. three. of them.) Along the way, Tomas was able to dispatch the snake. However, the snake’s poison started taking
effect.

I carried Tomas back to the Cathedral for Milo to tend to him. Milo was able to trigger some effect in the Cathedral’s medical ward that seemed to help the process. Quite useful!

Mery and I attempted to figure out if more snakes were in the well. We tossed a few more things in and even dangled Tomas’ boot, just in case. Wrong bait or no more snakes.

Tomas woke up the next day shouting “WELL VIPERS!” Apparently they’re used to poison wells by Ogre Magi or something. Can persist for years and grow to enormous size. Clearly!

We spent that day with an updated approach to check the well for more vipers, build a better tackle, etc. We think successfully! Over a couple of days, we cleaned up a bunch more of them.

On a clear day, we saw a wagon caravan arrive and visit the pirates. Unloaded a small amount of stuff, took on a bunch of barrels and such, then leave the next day.

Since the pirates were continuing to stay to themselves (other than the water runs), we concocted a plan to go offer our help to tend to their sick, and get a sense of where our target might be.

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Arrival: Anapold (2014-12-03)

Milo guided us South along the river, with hope that we could find the goblin somewhere on the Eastern side. The scar-eye is apparently a former (current?) orc general in the goblin army.

Milo tended to an injury of a member of a small forrestry group. They were able to tell us that things along the river seemed clear to Anapold, the next big (abandoned) city with a river crossing — about four days South of Expeditious Retreat. Avoided a number of goblin patrols with Garrick’s keen senses, and a few military patrols.

By day three, goblin patrols thinned out. Hmmm. Probably avoiding pirates operating around Anapold. Arrived outskirts, observed a water party restocking — anywhere from 50-200 being supplied, depending on how frequently they filled up..

We elected on the overt approach and looked to establish a base camp of sorts. Along the way, Milo chatted up a local “farmer” surviving in the city. Learned that the local “god” (the Revered One) is 7 feet tall, possibly an orc, and has a single eye. In charge of the local pirates (about 100), encamped in the Southern quadrant near the river.

With the endorsement of our new friend, we move into the local Cathedral. Garrick used the bell tower to get a good view of the pirate camp. Milo took the ladies to the catacombs to recover something or other, while I checked on the surroundings.

The pattern of destruction in the city, with respect to an invading (goblin) army, suggested they had a specific goal or target other than simply razing. The Cathedral was fairly obviously evacuated early, and the pirates seemed encamped in the likely defending military base.

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Tracking the Entrails (2014-11-19)
...and turnovers!

Started back to Expeditious Retreat. At camp, Mery notices a message from Her Majesty Cate to find some seer near the town. Apparently for excitement, Mery spent a lot of time fiddling with the mirror.

On the second night of Mery’s fiddling, we saw stuff in the mirror. Some Polish soldier (in one of those non-cavalry non-infantry irregular units) that died.

Third day we saw a Brit cavalry patrol. No problems. Mery fiddles again, and sleep-pantomimes hanging herself. She seemed a tad upset about that, but I couldn’t dissuade her from trying her again.

Fourth day get back to town and head straight to Fisk. Easy transaction, Wayfinder obtained!

On to the Bottletop to visit Tessa. She points us over to the Gem or the Rangers. I end up trailing after Kell and Mery going to investigate

Namfoozle’s explosion — turned out to be some new perfume. Not sure that is going to be a viable product.

Milo found out from Liam (the Gem) about the seer. She is in the forest South along the river. Likes good food. Also learned that the mansion we visited was the Salvo mansion. The family story matched what we saw in the mirror. Liam claimed the curse was on the family, but couldn’t provide any details. How can you not ask questions about the specific of the curse!??!? This stuff is important!

We visited Bill Battleby’s food place. Good stuff! Order turnovers for the seer. Mery asks for Namlingle’s favorite dish to also be prepared.

For evening entertainment, we hung out at the Gem. Milo wanders off with the touring ship captain, a Lynn, who runs the Warsaw / Expeditious Retreat route.

Next morning we picked up the food and headed off to the seer. After a while, Garrick picked up something, and concludes the seer might be a troll?! Yup. A troll.

Found her house, had a friendly chat. With troll. Sabrina, a troll that appreciates good food. Kinda nice actually. Apparently she was raised by Halflings. We stayed for a reading done with entrails. Her. Own. Entrails.

From the reading: we need to find the one known as Scar Eye, who has the thing we need to forge the Destiny Compass. Apparently near a river.

Back to town for the afternoon. Milo consults Lynn about Scar Eye, may have a partial lead on a “scare eye” goblin.

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