The Adventures of the Kludge

Traps and Tricks Failed

Fireday, Sarenith 22nd

Yesterday our ambush finally panned out. Having waited for almost two days, Nameless was a bit hasty in attacking our quarry but we succeeded in the end. Unfortunately Regal was out delivering a message when it all came to a bloody conclusion, or things may have gone more smoothly for us. Nonetheless we have this lower cog in the evil machine that has been harassing and exploiting the city ever since the storms hit.

After a fair and just trial, we found this creature of evil to be guilty on several crimes. We enacted punishment on him that very moment. His belongings were gathered for the next piece of our plan.

We were going to send Zoro out in a disguise as the lowly lieutenant, but she mysteriously disappeared after saying she wanted to check up on a lead elsewhere. Not wanting to give up our momentum, we recruited a talented young monk from the local monastery to aid us. Seeing as he could fight well without need of weapons, he became the perfect new candidate for this ruse.

Regal and Nameless dressed him up in the lieutenants garb and tied a rag around his face. It may have been known that the man was blinded during the battle. I didn’t want any part of the ruse to go astray… yet luck was not in our favor.

Ang, the monk, did a decent job of pretending to be the thug; his performance was not as nuanced as Zoro’s might have been. In the end we disrupted an apothecary, though Nameless says he sorted him out. The bait ultimately did not work and we are now forced to try other methods.

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Double Ambush

Wealday, Sarenith 20th

We spent a good deal of yesterday fishing in the river to help increase the storehouses of food for those that have joined us in the castle. Nameless found a good method of procuring large amounts of fish by calling on the divine powers to send a sudden burst of sound into a school of fish. The results where remarkable, though seemingly unsporting for the fish. Nevertheless, we were able to produce decent amounts of fish for the people.

Today however, was the real testament to our prowess and divinely given abilities. We were investigating a lead to that contemptuous organization of thieves and thugs in the grand arena when we were ambushed. Several of the aforementioned thugs had set upon us while their cowardly brethren waited in the stands with crossbows to catch us in the crossfire. Zoro took several bolts to the chest, but he has survived thanks to the divine healing of the gods. In the end, we were able to defeat our foes and take one captive. He gave up the location of his hideout, across the road from a local weaver. We immediately headed to that location, but those cowardly archers were ready for us.

They shot at us the moment we were in sight. Regal, agile as ever, was able to quickly scale the building and drop in through a hole in the roof while the rest of us tried to break through their reinforced doorway. I provided cover while Zoro said some really nasty things to them that I will NOT repeat in this journal. Her words were so inflammatory, those cowards literally caught aflame. Nameless cast a spell that shattered the doorway and we made our way into the lair. Regal had done a good job of ripping through them, but was worse for wear. I was able to save him just in the nick of time, however.

Once the thugs were subdued, we questioned a survivor and got information about his lieutenant. Now we wait in ambush until the lieutenant returns.

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Trouble Brewing
The castle, the mage, and the cask of fake ale.

Sarenith 18

The silly paladin has apparently decided that his time is better spent aggressively wooing disinterested young maidens, and has asked that I keep the record in his place. I pray to the Drunken Hero that someday he will learn some form of modesty, but alas, I have never in my life met a paladin with that particular brand of mercy.

The sneaky cat man and the stern cleric who doesn’t have a name (although he also has several, as far as I can tell) investigated a mostly-intact castle in the city where many residents now take shelter against the cool night air. From the sound of it, they would like to take up residence there and establish some kind of new order, with ourselves as the leaders. Part of me is loathe to put such a rule in place, especially with my unpredictable allies as the regents. In my heart, I would rather build up the city and let the people do as they wish. No government is free from corruption and nepotism, and I’m certain that ours would eventually develop these sicknesses as well. Still, as much as I value personal freedom, the desperation and crime that now plague the city is almost certainly the greater of the two evils. For this reason, I find myself in agreement, along with the paladin (although it pains me to agree with him on anything). The lizard’s take on it is still uncertain. I find him very hard to read, even in his more personable form.

Last night, Sarenith 16, the great mage Aur’uhm’ahn finally came to meet with us at our exorbitantly priced inn. Curiously, the innkeeper was suddenly very accommodating and lay platters of food before us, free of charge. It was a welcome change, although I wish she would extend the same courtesy to her less prestigious guests as well. Regardless, the mage was very interested in why we wanted to speak with him and how we could help each other. He seems to agree that the city’s morale needs lifting, more than a song or a story or even some exciting masked justice can provide. We offered him our assistance in matters of the city, and he came forward with a quest for us. He has many items in his tower that he worries for the safety of, and he would like us to take them north to the trade city, where an assistant of his can take possession of them. He is worried that there are others who would happily steal these objects from him, and so he fears taking a boat, though it would initially seem to be the safer route. He would like us to transport the items on foot, which his enemies would not anticipate, as we are new in town and the roads are slow and dangerous. It would not directly aid the city, but he is admittedly Tear’s greatest benefactor, and he has offered to pay us most generously for our efforts. By traveling north, we would also be able to bring food back to distribute to the good people of Tear. In the end, it is surely the correct choice. We would also finally be able to rid ourselves of the irritating cargo we were forced to bring from Whitebeach.

In exchange for our agreement, the mage told us the location of his magic shop and allowed us our reward upfront– and what a reward it was! Never have I dreamed of having so much gold to spend on wondrous magical items. My companions bought ioun stones and strange magic spoons that taste like warm, wet newspaper, but which they assure me will solve our food predicaments. Myself, I bought a mystical harp that will aid us immeasurably in our restoration of the castle. I also acquired a collapsable boat of sorts that will surely make our travels much easier. I have no doubt that these items and the others we bought will be essential to our conquest of the people here. Perhaps if the people think highly enough of us, it will not feel like we are oppressing them with our eventual rule. I suppose, though, that if the mayor returns, we may have difficulty sorting through the bureaucracy. The mage assures us that he is not a bad man after all. We just need to prove that we are better for the city.

After spending all day at the shop, salivating over the mystical items, I, along with the nameless one and the cat, returned to an ale brewer’s shop. He had been harassed by one of the restless gangs in town and had pleaded for our assistance. We plotted a trap for them. The brewer offered them a barrel of fine ale as a bribe (although the barrel was really full of water). The regal cat, after almost destroying our cover with his unexpected and loud appearance, marked one of the men with his scent so that we could follow them back to their lair. It worked like a charm, and we soon found ourselves at their hideout, an old wine cellar of a destroyed tavern not too far past our soon-to-be new castle. After taking down many of the thugs, I assumed the appearance of their leader and, after a few hiccups, managed to convince them I was one of them and that my allies were harmless. We trapped them inside and the cat tore them apart one by one as the cleric and I watched. When there was only one left, the nameless one and I terrified him and locked him in his own cage. Apparently, the gang had been holding two young women as prisoners! We released them, and the nameless one managed to calm them down with a spell. We allowed them to take whatever they wanted from the thieves and return to their homes and families. We questioned the one in the cage and learned that the real leader of the gang was gone with his cronies and would not return for hours.

We were all disgusted by what they had done, none more so than the marble one, who took his vengeance on the fallen gang members in a needlessly final and brutal way. As we left the place, he smeared their blood on the walls to make the leader fear us. The regal one left a note for the boss, and I left word with the imprisoned one. I think I gave us a new name. The New Order. I don’t know how I feel about that.

We have just now returned to the tavern. Laura is singing again, and Cassieo is mooning over her like a particularly obstinate Callistrian. I would like to sing with her again, but the encounter from before has left a foul taste in my mouth. I told more tales last night of my parents’ noblest of exploits, and even called on the people in the tavern to help us in our reconstruction plans. Some were enthusiastic, but others have been terribly demoralized by the hard times and are wary of us. In the end, I don’t know if we will be able to gain the true trust of the city. I suppose to earn their love, we will first need to show them how we can make things better for them. Tomorrow, I will gather a crowd and we will lead a parade to the castle, where I will play my lyre and repair what damage the terrible storm did to it. Hopefully, the people will see our power and our goodness and will support us as we try to make things better for all. In the meantime, we will all sit and drink and listen to Laura sing about Home.

Zoro, the Mask

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What’s ‘New (Order)’ Pussycat?
Regale’s note:

Don’t know the date and I don’t care

Regale’s note:

Since the attack by the river the party has been burdened by yet another prisoner. How many lowlifes are we going to drag on this chain gang? This is so unjust, our ‘prisoners’ are eating well and are safe well so many innocent are going hungry and suffering. The Paladin then does things like cooking in the open. He put himself and me at great risk. I had to guard him and his fire. The smell of the wild rabbit cooking had to be torture to townsfolk. Lucky they were more afraid of me then starving (this time).

I have not been sleeping well. Taking long walks at night to try to curtail crime. ‘The good’ I’m doing is like a drop in the bucket. Murder, rape, theft… There is some order to this crime. We must find thier head(s) and cut them off. Marble and I will examine the town closer tomorrow I hear tell of the some businesses open. This will be a good start. The person’s running the crime around here cannot get a permanent foothold. These town people need our help.

We obtained a map of the city. This town is one of the biggest I have ever seen. We are going to go to all the shops in town one by one to see if we can help them. I can also pump them for information because people are still not forthcoming.

Marble and I have finally made contact with a local that will talk about a gang(s) in town. He is a local brew master that is being harassed by one particular gang that calls themselves the ‘Hanna-Barbarians’. Marble and I will set a trap for these thugs as soon as they come back.

We have now seen the great stadium it looks unharmed from the storm(s). Hundreds, maybe thousands of people ‘camping’ there’s nothing useful to help them except the shelter from the cold nights. Marble is a handy fellow to have around (Fixing thing, making water and healing people). His magics are great. There is too much need here I was concerned that he may be overrun by a mob of townsfolk so we swiftly move on. After buying some overpriced supplies at particularily nice shop I decided to head to the castle.

The castle has weathered the storms better than most buildings but it will take a lot of work to rebuild. This will be a great spot to gather workers (carpenters, artisans and masons) to start rebuilding the town. The castle will be our headquarters. The home of a ‘New Order’.

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Storm Ravaged

Fireday, Sarenith 15th -

We have arrived in the city of Tear, and have found devastation. The storm that destroyed our vessel, so many fateful nights ago, seems to have hit the city directly. In addition, several other storms have continued to hit the city. What’s curious is that the storms did not pass over the city and move inland, as storms are like to do. These storms seemed to stop directly over the heart of the city and persist until they rained themselves out. This suggests some sort of magical guidance to these storms, but who would want to destroy a city full of millions of people? Whoever it is must be stopped, and I’m the hero to stop them.

It seems we may be able to gain some aid from a mage in town. We found him fixing some damage to his river-bound tower, but he seemed more interested in fixing his tower than helping the millions of citizens now homeless and starving. A local inn still stands, though they are gouging customers for the dirty rooms and cabbage water they’re providing. I paid for a room, mostly so I can keep an eye on these innkeepers but also because of a lovely maid I’ve met. Laura is a traveling bard, originally from Tear and recently returned. Her beautiful countenance is rivaled only by her beautiful voice, for she sings like the angels. Her sister, Lemmi, seems wise, though a bit protective of Laura. After her first performance, she invited me to sing with her. Zoro joined in as well, which was surprising. Even more surprising was the passionate quality of Zoro’s performance; I didn’t know he could sing with such a powerful alto. After hearing some of Zoro’s stories, Laura and I sang several more songs together. She then retreated to her bed chambers and requested dinner. I decided that I shall cook her something myself, so she wouldn’t have to dine on the cabbage water and stewed roots the kitchen was sending out. Norroar had found a brace of rabbits, which I was able to season with lemon grass and some black pepper. I brought this modest feast up to Laura and Lemmi, where we dined and shared stories of our past. When the meal was over, I told them of my plan to inspire greatness in Tear. I told them how I wish to encourage the citizens of the city to organize and rebuild. Laura was quite exuberant, and offered to give me some of their sizable savings. I declined, of course, and helped Lemmi organize the coins back on the table. Tomorrow the two of us shall make plans for the future. Tomorrow night we shall tell the good peasants of this city what they shall do to improve their lot.

P.S. Zoro has also contacted some arms dealers who are sitting on quite a large stockpile of product. We’ve made arrangements to ship some of it out on the boat from White Beach, though it will take several trips. We’re to meet them on or about the 25th of Sarenith at the first river watchtower upstream from Tear. Perhaps between now and then we can find a better solution.

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Pleasure Cruise at Night

Toilday, Desnus 29th -

Last night we discovered the great treasure horde of the black dragon. Once we arrived on the rock, Norroar and Regal sniffed out the location of the dragon’s lair. We had to travel there by boat, but the journey was safe enough… until we got into the cave. Once there, we were assailed by three massive crocodiles! These watery beasts lept up next to the boat snapping at us with massive jaws. A couple of them tried to pull me under, but my impressive strength was more than enough to push them off, back into the water. It will take more than an overgrown lizard to take down the righteous right hand of the gods! For sport, I wrestled the last one into the water before it fell to it’s death.

Once we found where the dragon was stashing its bounty, my companions took turns swimming in the depths in search of the treasure. I stood back and let them make their valiant efforts, but only when they had grown tired of swimming against the strong currents did I show them how it is done. I stripped down to my astoundingly awesome nakedness and dove perfectly into the waters. There, I had almost no trouble locating the treasure and securing a line to pull them up. We found three massive iron-bound chests that had been rotted away by the seawater. It was no trouble for Regal to pop the lock off each one in turn, while Zoro identified many of the items within. The treasure found therein can be found on the enclosed list.

For the next two weeks, we shall assist the peasants of White Beach rebuild and secure their food stores. I look forward to a bit of rest before continuing on to the city of Tear, and on to my destiny!

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The Sahuagin Toboggan

Moonday, Desnus 28th -

We have traveled back to White Beach to find that the sahuagin emissaries have been visiting each night for the past few nights. We displayed the body of the great sea wyrm off of a pier just outside the boathouse the council had been using as a meeting location. When they arrived, the sahuagin showed little respect. That is, they showed little respect until we showed them the corpse of that beast. Once they laid eyes on it, they knew of our great power and prowess in battle. It wasn’t long after that I was able to facilitate an accord between the people of White Beach and the sahuagin of the deep.

After the council was over, I promised Gustina that we would spend a couple of weeks in White Beach to help them get back on their feet and secure some food stores for the coming months. I also wanted to ensure that the sahuagin kept their part of the bargain. Before heading to bed, late though it is, I want to head off to that offshore rock the dragon was using for a lair. I expect that the claims of dragons hoarding wealth are not exaggerated, and I want to claim that for the forces of good before those sahuagin arrive at the same conclusion.

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The Beast of White Beach Isle

For two days we traveled across the sands of White Beach Isle, heading east and south. Onward we walked toward the lonely rock where for generations the people of White Beach have given flesh sacrifice to a creature only known as “the beast.” I lead the way, a shining promise to rid the people of White Beach from the decade long strife it has inflicted. Behind me is Regal, his fur blowing in the wind. The Nameless of Iomedae strides beside him. I see him scanning the horizon; his vigilance ever-present. After them comes Zoro, the masculine beauty of her strides leads her people ever onward. With us is a handful of villagers and a small cart full of fish, the usual offering for this creature of mal-contempt.

On the morning of the third day we reached the rock, jutting out just a few dozen feet from the shore. On the top of the rock we see a small alter, the waves having washed away any details the generations before may have bestowed. This morning, we hunted down some game in the jungles for the townsfolk to take back with them. The fish is the offering for the beast. As the villagers turned north, their cart laden with boar, capuchin, and capybara, I lead our noble band in constructing a shelter from which to observe the -sacrifice- bait.

For hours we waited on the shore of that beach, all the time knowing it may take days before we saw this beast of renown. Time ticked by, and the sun dipped below the horizon. We were cramped and strained from waiting for hours, crouched behind that fallen log, but we were steadfast. I knew that it would take undying determination to wait out that beast. Though we were willing to wait for days for it to arrive, the goddess lead us right and the beast arrived!

At first it was just a small serpentine head poking out of the water, sniffing the air and looking around the beach. It must not have seen us, for it climbed ashore and started to pick at the pile of fish we’d used as a lure. This was it. This was the moment that the gods had led us to.

We raised out crossbows and fired, hitting the beast squarely. As I dropped my crossbow and charged at the creature, Nameless running along side me, it leaped into the air and spread two leathery bat-like wings. It was a dragon!

The creature was small for a dragon, but looked to be about the same size as myself. With a whoosh, it dived for us and spat a glob of acid at Nameless. As Regal and Zoro joined us, it wheeled around again, this time spraying us both in the caustic substance. The spirit of Arshea filled me; my celestial glory became a beacon to strengthen the resolve of my companions. I heard Zoro dramatically describing the battle as an epic poem worthy of our glorious battle. Our hearts strengthened, we sought to do battle with this blackened thing, but it simply wheeled around and again spitting its foul breath at us and hissing as it left. As Nameless was calling on Iomedae’s healing power, I knew that the power of the gods and my celestial heritage was all that was keeping us stalwart. As it wheeled I threw spear and dagger, but could not bring it down. Zoro kept chanting while Regal waited patiently, looking for his moment. The beast wheeled yet again, swooping low. Though we had bloodied it, the thing was determined to melt the flesh from our bones. As it opened its mouth, bathing us in burning acid, the Unnamed servant of Iomedae strode forward and called out a singular word: “FALL!”

The beast fell from the sky like a stone, landing on the sandy beach. I ran up and gripped the creature with my one free hand. “NOW!” I shouted. Regal darted over to the struggling dragon and pounced! His claws ripped into that dragon flesh with a satisfactory squish. The creature let out one last scream of agony, then lay motionless in the sand. The beast of White Sand Isle was dead; we were victorious.

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Justice is a Dish Best Served

Justice has been served. Uldurisio is behind bars for the kidnapping of the young maid, Heather.

Late last night we arrived back to White Beach to see if the sahuagin had attacked the village or held off. I thanked the goddess that the villagers were alive and well. I informed the reasonable council members of my deal with the sahuagin and asked about Uldurisio. Gustina, the old lady, informed me that council members serve for life and Uldurisio had made many enemies. She also said that if he were convicted of kidnapping Heather, that he would not only be jailed, but lose his spot on the council and all the powers that came with it.

We departed to allow the old woman some rest, and we sought the same. Heather’s aunt and uncle were kind enough to let us sleep in their house, though we were interrupted before the night was over. Regal heard a noise outside. When he went to investigate, he was assailed by four brigands. Bravely defending himself, he managed to scratch one in the side before he ran off. Nameless was also able to magically hold one in place while Zoro and I fit her manacles on him. When the spell was released, he claimed to be one of the city guard. I had my doubts, so I took him to the closest patrol to answer for his lie. Once he was in custody, I sat and watched him myself for the rest of the night.

While I was guarding the prisoner, Regal was able to track down the man he had scratched back to a large house. He then gathered Nameless, Zoro, and Gustina, who insisted they visit that manor. There, they confronted and apprehended Uldurisio and his nephew. They brought the culprits to the council chambers where they were tried and convicted for their crimes. Venisio, the nephew, gave evidence against his uncle. For his cooperation, Gustina stripped him of his council seat, but allowed him his freedom. Uldurisio will be turned over to my custody once we set sail for Tear. After we arrive, he will get to grace a prison cell with his presence for as long as the Council decides.

It appears that two major threats to the island have been averted by my hand; there remains only one final threat… the BEAST!

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The Sahuagin Gamble

Much of yesterday was spent in travel and toil. We were joined by an androgynous beauty from the township. At first I was suspicious that he might be a spy from Uldurisio, but then I thought better of it. Arshea is an androgynous goddess, so sending this indeterminate wonder into my midst can be nothing other than a sign that I am on the true and righteous path. She calls himself “Zoro,” which is an exciting and powerful name, full of destiny. Proof that Zoro is a sign from the goddess herself has come two more times, and I have not rested my head since meeting him.

Last night, while I was sleeping, another sahuagin patrol came sweeping nearby. Though they had not noticed us, they were heading toward White Beach. Norroar transformed into his mighty lizard form and drew their attention into the jungle. We then used pin-point skirmish tactics to harass and slow their movement. After following them for the rest of the night, we finally made our ambush just before sun’s first light crept into the sky.

At first the battle seemed folly, as the beach bound sahuagin were swarming Regal and Norroar. The rest of us advanced to flank them, but were being shot down by unseen assailants still hiding in the water. That’s when the first sign appeared.

Out of the jungle came a mighty cat, sent by Arshea and focused on helping us destroy the sahuagin. It ripped through a sahuagin, its black fur glistening in the starlight. That gave Zoro and I the opening we needed to advance and attack the fishmen on the shore. I drew their fire while Zoro inspired us all by narrating our mighty battle. We were able to subdue one of the sahuagin and tactically retreat into the jungle.

We withdrew to the cave where once we fought the mighty crab-sters and water serpent. There we were able to communicate with the creature and gain a glimpse of understanding into their ways. They had been driven here by fishing boats, swelling the numbers of a once quiet sahuagin settlement. With their increased numbers, they had become more aggressive in searching for food which brought them into conflict with the humans of White Beach. Though I knew this creature was treacherous, I also knew that if the sahuagin decided to swarm the town then they would leave no human left alive on this island. Trusting in the goddess, I made a deal with the creature, who’s name is Glub. The humans of the island would stay on their side of the island and the sahuagin would stay on the other so that neither would fish in the other’s lands, and that the sahuagin would say out of the island’s interior. The penalty for breaking this pact would be death for each and every sahuagin that dared raise scale or trident against them. I, in my righteous fury, would see this bloody deal through to the end. Now we wait and see what tomorrow brings: either bloody massacre or an unsettling calm. Our hopes are now on Glub, for the decision is in the fins of the sahuagin.

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