A Noble Cause for Mellem

Enough with the Hobgoblins
Once more, we find ourselves up against these annoying creatures

Still stunned by Lucien’s “pretend” proposal, I could only stand in the middle of the street and watch his retreating form as he headed off to the tavern. It took me a minute to realize D.W. and Kael had joined me, though they seemed to be enjoying this whole thing immensely.

“Let’s take a walk” D.W. said

The two lead me silently down the road, guiding me through the town until we found ourselves in the forest. They said little, just making idle comments about things we passed along the way. Their intent appeared to be to offer comfort through their companionship.

I was glad they were not trying to tell me things like “it’s all for the best”, a silly human phrase. D.W. is a halfling, so he would probably not have a habit of speaking human sayings anyways. As to Kael, a half-elf like me, he does use human phrases from time to time. Yet he seemed to understand my mood well enough to refrain from offering such things at the moment.

At we walked along, we suddenly spotted a couple hobgoblins not too far away from us. D.W. let out a growl at the sight of them. Unfortunately, they spotted us at the same time. Everyone sprang into action at the same time.

I yanked my flute to my lips and began playing a rousing battle song to inspire my comrades as D.W. whipped out his bow and began letting loose the arrows. Kael made motions with his hands as he uttered a spell. Before the hobgoblins could reach us, vines and roots reached up out of the ground to wrap around the legs of the beasts. The druid grinned as he watched the forest come alive and aid us.

From there, it was a fine display of tactics as my male companions maneuvered around the entangling patch to position themselves best for attacking. I stayed close to D.W., as is my usual habit. The halfling is quite good in battle, but I feel the need to watch over him as best I can. Kael likes to get close to the enemy and show them the business end of things, so to speak, though I do keep an eye on him as well since he does tend to get into trouble.

I was sorry that Lucien was not here as I think he would have been pleased to see our group using tactics and working as a team. It is one of his major complaints, that we charge ahead without thinking and do not work together. In this battle, we worked in tandem.

As we felled the first two, another pair of hobgoblins made their presence known. Once again, I wonder at the number of hobgoblin groups we have been seeing of late. I will address it to Lucien later and see what his theories might be.

D.W. moved away from me, bringing my focus back to the battle. He found a better angle at which to strike the enemy. I stayed close enough to aid him if need be, but moved forward to help Kael with the goblinoid creature he was fighting. Seeing me moving forward, he changed to his clouded leopard form and moved around the creature to flank it.

As quickly as it had begun, the battle was over. The three of us stood for a minute assessing our “work” before we looted the creatures for whatever we could find.

Kael grinned at me. “Feel better now?”

I gave him a heated look, hoping to wipe that foolish grin off his face. Of course, it only made him laugh instead. I found myself rolling my eyes at him. Then D.W. was facing me with what looked like a fatherly expression.

“Come on. You can’t avoid it. Let’s head back and find out what Lucien is planning now.”

Lone Venture
Just to pass the time, we team up with a lone dwarf

I woke the next morning to find the bed empty other than myself. Lucien was not in our room. Feeling the sheets beside me showed they were cold. He must have left a while ago. With a sigh, I rolled onto my back and stared at the ceiling a moment before finding the effort to rise. Once I was dressed, I headed to the tavern for breakfast.

I found Kael and D.W. seated at a table, finishing their meals. They informed me that Lucien was running errands and putting plans in place for the upcoming wedding.

I felt an excited fluttering in my heart at the idea of the elf preparing for our walk down the aisle until Kael further explained the rogue was looking at security and fliers to announce the upcoming nuptials in his effort to draw out Ethren. Of course, Lucien would only be interested in bringing the enemy to our doorstep in order to kill him. Ethren was enemy #1 in the eyes of the rogue after he had kidnapped me a week ago. Lucien figured if we pretended to marry, Ethren would come out of hiding to try and put a stop to it, thus giving Lucien the chance to fight him.

My appetite gone, I looked around the room to see who else was here. It was mostly the usual patrons with a few other townfolk I had seen before. Toward the other end of the room was a young male dwarf in a travelling style of clothing. A dwarven waraxe lay on the table in front of him as he ate his meal with a bit of gusto. He looked up and spotted me watching him. It did not seem to bother him in the least as he smiled at me before returning to his food.

Seated atop a barstool, one patron was becoming rather animated as he told Andar, the tavern owner, and another patron about troubles he was having. He was talking about orcs he had seen on his land the last few days. The man made it clear that he was afraid to return to his own property for fear of what the orcs would do to him. He believed they were responsible for several of his farm animals disappearing. Since his animals all had collars with his mark on them, it was clear to anyone they belonged to someone.

I realized Kael and D.W. had also been listening to that conversation as they both walked over to the man to ask for more information. The dwarf also stood at the same time to do the same. It took little prodding to get the man, Virgil, to tell what he knew about a couple small caverns nearby that he believed the unwelcome visitors were staying in.

As our group stepped outside to investigate, so did the dwarf. He looked each of us up and down in an assessing manner before nodding to himself.

“The name is Oscar Longdrink” he told us. “I believe we have the same intention of lookin’ inter the orc matter.”

I stifled a giggle at the dwarven accent as it would have been impolite. Still, not running into dwarves that much, I found it a delightful kind of sound. The man’s voice was deep and his handshake firm. Something about him seemed to make me want to trust him. Glancing at my companions, it seemed they were of the same opinion.

The dwarf explained that he was part of an adventuring group of his own. Several members had needed to attend personal matters such as visiting loved ones, so they were temporarily disbanded. Oscar was heading toward his homeland to visit his own family as well. He had stopped off in town for a good meal before heading out again.

So it was we trudged off toward the small caverns northwest of town. We soon found one to the edge of the forest. The dwarf and Kael both went in first to search. D.W. and I were content to straggle in behind in a more cautious manner. The first tunnel lead to a dead end with a small pool of water. In the next tunnel, we found a large spider with a bit of an attitude. We dispatched of the vermin as quickly as possible. There were no further tunnels in that cave.

Once outside again, we discussed which direction to go in next, then headed off to find another cave. There appeared to be several more, but none all that deep and none with critters in them. As we were ready to turn back, we found one more that had a slightly larger entrance than the previous ones.

This cave lead downward a ways where we encountered a couple orcs. They attacked the moment they saw up, which confirmed our suspicions that they were up to no good.

As we finished taken the first two down, we could hear the sound of more running toward us. Kael cast a wall of smoke up in front of us to help slow them down and give us a slight advantage. Sure enough, it worked. We stayed close together to provide protection to one another as we battled three more of them. When we were finished, all of us were still standing and all the orcs were down.

Further in, we found what appeared to be their cooking area. A goat was currently roasting on a spit over an open fire. The remains of another goat and a sheep were dumped to the side. We found a leather collar with an odd design embossed on it. After confirming the rest of the cave was empty, we headed back to town. The farmer, Virgil, confirmed the collar belonged to him. He was grateful for our help.

D.W. and Kael decided to buy Oscar a drink and chat with him a while more and exchange adventuring tales. Something told me the tales would get larger and more involved with each ale they downed.

In the face of death, there is a renewed hope.

Tillday morning found D.W., Kael, and I sitting in the tavern in our usual fashion eating barley porridge, biscuits, and watered down ale. While the meal was not all that appetizing, it was good enough to energize us for whatever tasks lay ahead.

As was normal these days, Lucien was not present. He was busy racing around making preparations for our wedding, which was now only eleven days away. It was all a farce, of course, to draw Ethren to us as Lucien wanted to kill him. He had become the rogue’s enemy, not just mine, and Lucien intended to end his reign of terror over me. His intention by announcing our upcoming “nuptials” was to draw the half-elf out of hiding.

So all Lucien’s time was now being devoted to putting plans in place, sending out notifications to any place Ethren or his hirelings would see them, organizing the local militia in preparation for battle and so on. He would come to bed long after I had fallen asleep and rise before I was even awake.

Kael inquired as to our plans for the day. D.W. stated quietly that he needed to purchase a suit for the wedding. The druid told him he was planning to be part of the guard so would not need fancy clothes. He then turned to ask what I was wearing. I looked down at the well-worn clothes I currently wore and used for regular adventuring and told them it was not a real wedding, so this would do. The shock on their faces was almost comical. The next thing I knew, D.W. was dragging me off to a tailor to find a gown.

At the tailor, we looked over the meager selection of outfits and found little to our liking. D.W. eyed a suit, which was made for a large human, and then held up his coin purse to glare at it. The outfit would have to be drastically tailored to match his halfling body and truth be told, the material was not all that attractive. I whispered to him that I had another idea and pulled him from the shop.

Outside, I reminded him that I had some fairly good skills with crafting, including crafting magical things. If he would like, I could make him a shiftweave shirt that would appear to look like any five outfits of his choosing. His eyes lit up at the idea and we headed back to the tavern to sketch up the outfits he would like. When Kael heard about it, he too wanted to have an item like that. Over the next several days, I managed to complete three of the shirts, one for each of us. D.W. insisted I show him the outfit I planned to wear at the wedding and this time gave his approval to my selection.

Before we knew it, Boxing Day was upon us. The three of us sat at our usual table in the tavern to exchange our gifts. I gave D.W. a very small, drawstring pouch made of green velvet lined in green silk. I had seen him pull out a heart shaped stone from his pocket on occasion and caress it as if it held great importance to him. The stone would fit perfectly in the pouch. D.W. handed me a beautifully wrapped package. Inside was a silver necklace with a garnet on it to match the “wedding” gown I had shown him. Tears ran down my face as his thoughtfulness.

To Kael, I gave a small, leather pouch on which was engraved the druidic symbol he used on all his items. The pouch was attached to a leather cord for him to wear on his neck. The pouch he currently wore was horribly made and I wanted him to have something he could be proud to wear. He handed me a roughly wrapped package, inside of which I found a small crystal. As I looked up at him, he explained it was a crystal of least return which would allow me to draw my sword at a much faster speed than I was used to. I was stunned at his generosity.

Kael and D.W. exchanged their own gifts as well. The druid had given D.W. a necklace with a clear quartz crystal. He explained that he had found the crystal in his travels and had a jeweler turn it into a necklace. D.W. gave the druid a silver ring with leaves and vines engraved on it.

As we finished our exchange, Lucien entered the tavern and walked over to join us. He blinked at us as we each handed him gifts, as if he had forgotten entirely about the holiday. He admired the scabbard D.W. had given him for his sword. The look on his face as he opened the donkey statuette from Kael was laughable. I had only given him a field kit to clean his weapons and armor with. Just a couple weeks ago, I had given him his Boxing gift early, a very expensive ring.

Lucien quickly handed out his presents. For D.W., it was a pair of signal arrows and instructions to use them if he spotted Ethren or his enemies approaching. To Kael, he gave an old signal whistle and the same instructions. Me? He handed a pair of stones with holes in them, shriek rocks that make a horrible noise when thrown. The three of us exchanged looks of our own before thanking Lucien for his “gifts”.

The elf insisted on going over all his plans for the wedding day. He spread out a crudely drawn map of the town and pointed out where the guards would be located, where he expected Ethren and his men to come in, where the wedding party would be and so on. Then he went over every possible scenario he could think of for how the battle would go down. Our eyes glazed over and he continued for several hours to lay out instructions for us.

Two days later, the day before the wedding, Kael, D.W. and I were walking down the main street chatting when the ground gave a violent lurch. Both the druid and halfling were knocked to the ground, though I managed to somehow keep my balance. There were startled screams all around us as many others lost their footing. Seconds later, a blast of wind swept past us in a wave.

In an instant, Kael shifted into the form of an eagle, startling both D.W. and I as we had only ever seen him shift into a clouded leopard. He flew straight up into the air until he was a speck in the sky and hovered there for a moment to look around him. Off in the far distance, he spotted what looked like a mushroom shaped cloud of smoke, lightning spearing through it. A massive wave was emanating from it, rolling out in all directions. The wave came in an unnatural hue of colors of greens, blues, oranges and such. It looked to be demolishing everything in it’s path.

Kael dropped immediately back to the surface and shifted back into his half-elf form to relay what he had seen to us. He was fairly certain we had an hour before the wave would reach us. A chill ran down my spine as he described the devastation heading our way. As Kael finished his description, we heard horses galloping and looked up to see two centaurs headed straight to us. One we recognized as Barthello, who we had met weeks ago. The younger one with him must have been the mage he had told us about, the one who was trying to create a permanent portal back in Farseek.

“Good, we found you in time” Barthello panted. His words were rushed as he told us they had come to try to save as many of us as possible before the blast wave reached this town.

I began barking out orders to everyone around us. Barthello and his mage friend were to create the portals to the North side of town. Kael was to convert back to his eagle form and keep a watch on how close the wave was getting. D.W. was to help herd everyone in the direction of the portal as fast as possible. When he started to head to the opposite end of town, I yanked him around and sent him toward the portal side as I wanted him as close to the portal as possible. Then I headed toward the Southern end of town to get people moving.

While soaring above the town, Kael spotted another portal that had been opened Northeast of town. He could see Lucien on that side directing folks toward it and rushing any stragglers. It was clear the rogue was following the same plan as the rest of the group.

As Kael watched the approaching wave, he began to realize there was far less time than he had originally estimated. He flew back down to D.W. to tell him, then asked where I was so he could tell me as well. Just then, a wagon tore through town, coming to a rapid halt in front of D.W. Talista Davis, an old friend of his, sat on the wagon with Davy next to her. The boy was in shock and could only stare straight ahead.

Talista and Davey had been on their way to see us. She had hoped we might know something more on her beloved son Rory. Davey had wanted to come along and visit his friend Lucien, so had begged her to take him with her. Since it was only a town away, she had agreed. They were almost to Pendleton when they felt the shockwave and saw the wave behind them. They had no doubt Farseek was already destroyed, along with Davey’s mother.

Andar came running out of his tavern, several crates of liquor in his hands. He glanced at the half empty wagon and started filling it with crates. Talista urged him to hurry with his items, but was willing to wait if she could help out in that way. Looking at the horse drawn wagon, D.W. realized our mounts and wagon were still at the stable. He raced off to gather our animals and get them through.

Utter chaos ensued as the wave continued rumbling closer, a roaring sound accompanying it. Kael raced off to find me and force me to hurry with the others to the portal as time was running out. In turn, we both ran toward the portal, shouting warnings to anyone still trying to pack belongings and get them moving.

As we approached the magical portal, we could see the wave reaching town. For a moment, we stood frozen, watching it destroy everything in it’s path. D.W. planted his feet, still trying to get everyone through the portal. Kael and I each grabbed an arm and pulled our friend through. Seconds later, the centaurs joined us and collapsed the magic doorway behind them. Just before it closed, we could hearing horrified screams of anguish from those still left behind.

We stood panting and shaking as we looked at where the portal had been. So many people had not heeded our warnings, wanting to pack all their valuables or unwilling to leave as they would not believe such a catastrophe could strike like that. We had no way of knowing if Lucien had managed to go through the other portal in time. Nor did we know where that one was set to go. Our whole world had just changed in that moment.

Over the course of the next several days, we moved to the North. Kael was our guide, flying overhead and guiding us toward a massive lake. He had spotted a city of some sort quite a distance off. We discussed what would be an ideal location and he was sure he had found what we had agreed upon. The group of survivors needed a new home.

Barthello’s friend could not remember exactly where this was as he had been panicked when he created the portal. As we moved further along, he seemed more and more agitated. Even Barthello was a bit confused by his behavior.

The pace was slow going as we had several children and a few elderly people with us. We placed them on the few wagons we had while the rest of us walked. Without a large supply of food, we did not dare move them any faster. Fortunately, we passed a number of streams along the way, so there was plenty of water.

All told, there were about 145 survivors from Pendleton, including ourselves. It was a depressing number when we thought about how many had been living there. Not knowing how many made it through the other portal, we could only guess at how many had died.

The third day of traveling found us in a small clearing next to a river. Across the river was another clearing, this one a bit larger. We surveyed the area and decided this was the perfect spot for us to start rebuilding. It was decided to use the small clearing for farmland and the larger clearing for the town itself. A bridge would need to be built as the river banks dropped off sharply into the water. It took us over an hour to find a spot to cross over.

Andar Bellman began taking inventory of the goods we had managed to bring over with us as well as an accounting of the people. He took his task seriously and began organizing everyone. We stepped back at that point as he seemed to know what he was doing and we were glad for it. Being responsible for the lives of so many people was a bit overwhelming as we had never done so before.

I heard someone ask what we were going to call this new town. Would we call it Pendleton like the town we had left? Perhaps we could name it New Pendleton? Or should we come up with something else. D.W. cleared his throat and told them of a name that in halfling meant “renewed hope”.

And that is how the town of Kaldaran began.

Red Collar Road
Regrowth of a town and new additions

The first agenda for us in our new home was to figure out what we had for supplies and what we were going to need. We all needed homes, obviously, but some needs were more pressing – like food and water. Kael and D.W. organized hunting parties and pretty much spent every day out hunting all day long. When they returned, the town folk descended upon their catch to skin and butcher the animals. The tanner set to work on the skins for later use.

Kael would then spend time using his magic skills to grow the plants, vines, and trees into a thick barrier around the town in place of walls. He could only cast the spell once a day and in a limited area, so it had to be done daily. Over time, he had cast it enough times to create a thick barrier along the northern and southern sections of town, leaving a narrow gap in certain areas for us to travel through, if need be.

I spent the time helping as best I could, using my magic abilities to heal when needed, guarding town folk when they had to go outside the perimeters of the town, entertaining in the evenings to soothe the weary souls, and anything that was asked of me.

Andar Bellman was invaluable with his organizing all the town folk, even those without skill. Some of the folk were enlisted to help build a stepping stone kind of staircase, albeit a crude one, near the river. Another was created on the other side and a rope strung between to attempt to pass back and forth. We had plenty of fresh water there, but needed a way to access it since the river banks were high above the water. The second staircase had been built as we intended to have the farming fields on the other side of the river.

Those handy with an axe or saw were sent out to chop down trees, an architect began laying plans for buildings in town, the elderly kept an eye on the children, and so on. Those with a total lack of skills were put to use gathering kindling and dried wood, transporting materials from one workplace to another, and various other chores as they came up. No one was allowed to slack off. If everyone was to survive, we all had to pull together and help.

After a week had passed, we decided to make an excursion over to the city Kael had spotted on our travels. We desperately needed certain supplies that we simply could not do without. All of us hoped to find building supplies and such as the haphazard shanties we had created were awful and held together with ropes and vines. I had quite a few coin in my pocket and I was more than willing to help financially if I could. My mother had raised me with very little coin to her name and I knew how to do without and not complain about it. Our new family was in need and I could not turn my back on any of them, especially if I had a way to help.

So it was that Kael, D.W., and I set out with two wagons along with several town folk – a cook, a couple farmers, the carpenter, and a couple others. Their task was to get the correct supplies we would need in Kaldaran. As adventurers, we were well versed in fighting an assortment of creatures and bandits. However, we had no idea how to tell flax seed from grass seed, wheat flour from oat flour, aged wood from wormwood. That was something best left to those educated in such matters.

For the first time, D.W. actually started opening up to me. He told me little bits of his past, though nothing really solid. It was obviously something difficult for him, so I appreciated each part of himself that he shared, seeing it as a gift. He even told me his real name too, something I promised to keep to myself as I sensed it was not something he wanted everyone to know about. In turn, I told him more about my past and myself.

After three days, we reached a hamlet on the outskirts of the city. Oakdale appeared to be a farming community, which pleased our farmers to no end. They chose to stay for the night there to see what they could rustle up for supplies. We made plans to pick them up the next day on our way back from the city, which was only a mile away, and left them one of the two wagons. The rest of us continued on.

Uniformed guards were posted at the city gates. They pointed out their posted rules which required peace knots on all worn weapons and banned wearing certain armors (light armor could be worn, all other carried only). We spent a few minutes looking over the rules and tying down our weapons as required, then headed into the city.

We agreed to meet with one another early in the morning at the stables before heading home. While the other townsmen went off exploring, Kael, D.W. and I dropped off our horses and wagon at the stables, then asked the stable master for some info about the town. He suggested we take the city tour, so off we went.

It was pretty easy to find the tour guide as there were numerous signs pointing the way. Plus, it was a straight shot from the city gates to the center of the city. A well dressed guide took our fare, then helped us into a fancy carriage with “Peerless City Tours” emblazoned on the sides. The carriage was rather fancy with soft cushions for seats. The guide was spiffy in his coat tails and top hat. He spoke in a voice that carried easily to us, so we had no trouble hearing him as he pointed out shops, inns, eateries, districts, and anything and everything of interest.

When we arrived back at the tour center, we had a pretty good idea of where everything was now. I could see the wheels churning in the eyes of both my companions. They were eager to get done with our primary goal of purchasing town supplies so they could go off exploring things that had piqued their own interests. I could not blame them as I myself was eager to head over to the marketplace. We quickly, but carefully, made the much needed purchases of supplies, then agreed to split up and meet back in the evening at the Weary Wanderer tavern & inn. With the size of some of the purchases, it became necessary to purchase two more wagons and more beasts of burden to pull them.

Kael headed out on his own, choosing not to share his events with his companions. (Player Secret)

D.W. headed to the halfling section of town. He asked if anyone knew of a guide guild in the area and was told by a halfling woman by the name of Sarah Thimblefoot that her brother Fallon was a guide and in a guild. The brother would not be back until the evening for the evening meal. She extended an invite to D.W. to join them for their evening supper as it was a community affair for the halflings and he was more than welcome to join. He accepted the offer, saying he had to run an errand, but would return shortly.

I stopped in at a few of the shops in town to see what wares were available. Cities are known to have rather exotic goods and Oakwood did not disappoint in that area. After spending an hour just browsing the shops, I headed off to the marketplace with all the various vendors and goods. It did not take me long to find a number of necessities for both myself and our town folk. I went a bit overboard with shopping.

As I was making another purchase, a rather portly fellow made his way onto the assembly platform in the center of the market. He announced in a loud voice that projected over everyone that the auction was about to begin. Curious, I made my way closer. Then a group of people were ushered onto the platform by some brutish looking guards. One person was pushed to the front of the group, a thin man who looked utterly dejected. The announcer called out a description of the man’s abilities (a wheelwright, could easily handle a team of horses, knew his way around a stable).

It suddenly dawned on me that this was the “slave” market. Slaving was illegal in Mellem, of course. However, you could legally purchase the debt of an indentured servant. I knew all too well about that as my mother had been indentured and I too had been falsely indentured. It was, however, a way of life for some people.

The man was purchased for a surprisingly low price. My eyes rounded in astonishment as I discovered how cheaply the services of these people could be obtained. As another man was brought forward, my pointy ears perked forward at hearing he was an engineer. Pelor only knew how much we needed an engineer in our town to design a bridge. We desperately needed one to cross the river safely.

As the auctioneer called out for bids, I found my hand shooting into the air. I frowned when someone else raised their hand on the next bid. Before I knew it, I was in a bidding war, determined to purchase the services of that engineer. It was much to my delight to find myself the winner, though a number of coin lighter. I quickly paid the auction master, then turned to leave when a young woman was brought up on the platform. My hand found itself back in the air, bidding on another servant…..

When Kael met up with us, he had an odd expression on his face. To me, he looked upset, but since he was making an effort to hide it, I did not impose and question him on it. D.W. was in a good mood and shared with us that he had met some of the halflings in their district of the city and that he would be supping with them. It was easy to see that he looked forward to the event. He left Kael and I to order our meal without him as he headed back to see them.

I told Kael of some of the things I had been doing. Okay, perhaps I chattered incessantly, but I could not help it. The city was rather exciting to me. Finding so many things that one could purchase for themselves in the marketplace for so little money was a thrill. Add to that, we had several more people who would be joining our community as well. Thrilling stuff there, but he was not really listening. When we finished our meal, Kael told me he was staying outside the city for the night, that he’d meet us in the morning, then left the tavern. I went to bed dreaming about the things I had seen that day, a smile on my face.

D.W. made his way back to the halfling community of Oakwood City. He was not surprised to find the halfling women laying out a bounty of foods while the men socialized and admired the sumptuous delights. A couple of men were playing a rousing tune on musical instruments, children were dancing around the campfire, and most of them were engaged in conversation. Typical halfling community.

Sarah greeted him before pulling him forward to meet her brother. Fallon was tall for a halfling and rather lean. He shared a friendly smile with D.W. along with a handshake. The two chatted about their travels and being guides as well as several other topics. D.W. rather enjoyed the conversation. Actually, he enjoyed the entire evening.

In the morning, D.W. was already at a table in the tavern when I came down. Kael joined us in short order. We three headed over to the stables where our other townsmen from Kaldaran were waiting for us. So were the “slaves” as I had arranged for them to be delivered that morning. I had them ride in my wagon as we headed over to Oakdale to gather the rest of our people and supplies.

It only took a few minutes in Oakdale as everyone there was already waiting for us. The farmers were excited about the seeds and animals they had managed to obtain. Everyone was energized and eager to get home to start putting all the supplies to use.

As we headed home, I realized everyone in my wagon was silent and seemed fearful about what was to come for them. I had already given their status a great deal of thought. Without asking my companions, I was pretty certain I knew their outlook on slaves, even civilized slavery like indentured servants. So it was that I found myself offering freedom to these people. They would owe me for the money I spent to purchase their debts and by working to help build our town, they would earn their own way. If they agreed to stay at least until their debt was paid back, then they could have the choice to continue living in Kaldaran or leave to make their own way. With their word being given, I would release them of those awful red collars they were forced to wear and they would be treated no differently than any other citizen of our town.

D.W. and Kael were riding the wagon directly behind Anya. No sooner had they left Oakwood City than D.W. turned to his friend and said “I wonder how long those collars will stay on.” Kael grunted his agreement. Shortly after leaving Oakdale, the halfling gave out a laugh as he pointed to a collar on the road.

“There’s one.”

Moments later, it was Kael who was laughing as he pointed out “There’s two.”

And so it was, they nicknamed the road leading home Red Collar Road.

About the adventure logs

The logs are kept by Anya the bard, who likes to include every detail of her time with the adventuring party. However, not everyone has time to read such long chronicles.

Like most writers, she jots down quick notes as she goes, so as not to forget the story when she later recounts it. For those with only a minute to spare, the quick notes are the extremely abbreviated version.

Adventure log entries



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