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Thread: The Journal of Nathril Stoneshaper

  1. #1
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    Default The Journal of Nathril Stoneshaper (Tauren's AoM Campaign)

    Hi everyone! Iíve been playing in Tauren_Kai-Jereís campaign set during the Age of Mortals for about two years now. Weíve recently put that campaign on hiatus just to change things up a bit and are now working our way through Key of Destiny. You may have read of our recent exploits in Taurenís KoD thread. Heís got that campaign journal firmly under control, so I thought Iíd share the adventures of our party from Taurenís original AoM campaign, albeit through the eyes of a dwarf.

    Being new to pen-and-paper roleplaying, I thought it would be easier for me to get into my character if I kept an adventure journal written from his perspective. This thread is just that Ė the Journal of Nathril Stoneshaper. You may have already seen it posted on the Nexus Ė Tauren posted it there, but I thought Iíd repost the beginning here and then carry on with the rest of the story. I really enjoy reading everyoneís journals and I hope you might get some enjoyment out of mine. I donít claim to be a talented writer Ė far from it, in fact Ė so take that as fair warning. The first few entries start off a little slow, but the journal picks up some steam once Nathril settles in with the rest of the party. If youíre interested in the tales of a traveling dwarven weaponsmith (did somebody say clichť?), then read on!



    -Intro-



    It has been a little more than a year since the War of Souls ended and the people of Ansalon are still struggling to pick up the pieces. After a chance encounter with a wandering prophet of Kiri-Jolith in central Solamnia, the traveling hill dwarf weaponsmith, Nathril Stoneshaper, finds himself on a mission to find the prophesized "Heron Prince" and warn the fabled hero of the coming of the five "storm eagles." If the Prince cannot defeat the beasts, they will prevent the Solamnic people from overthrowing the occupying Nerakan forces and usher in a new era of oppression. Now wearing the medallion of faith of a priest of Kiri-Jolith, the staunch dwarven warrior drags his forge and cart of weapons throughout the land, arming the common people of Solamnia for the coming conflict and seeking the mythical hero that can turn the tide of battle for the forces of Light. These are the journals of his adventures.

    We meet up with Nathril in Silverlode, shortly after he had been jumped by a group of banditsÖ
    Last edited by Nathril; 08-16-2007 at 08:07 AM.

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    Default Silverlode

    Dry-Heat 2:

    Woke up this afternoon in a strange bed with a splitting headache. So weak I could barely walk. Thanks to a cute human serving girl, I managed to get some food and find out what happened. Turns out I was jumped by eight bandits and sliced up pretty bad. Wonder how many I dropped before I went down? Met a priestess by the name of Azure who did some kind of magic to get me up and walking again. She had a bit of an attitude, but was helpful nonetheless. Said she followed Habbakuk and had an interesting silver medallion around her neck.

    Finally made it downstairs and spoke with the innkeeper, Jeffrey. Azure was at the bar so I thanked her again. Serving girl told me to get some rest, so I headed back up for the night. A dwarf may be stubborn, but heís not stupid.



    Dry-Heat 3:

    Felt better today. Decided to check on my cart and inventory downstairs. Surprise, surprise, everything was gone and my cart was disassembled. After a short tirade, I found out my stuff had been moved upstairs. According to the innkeep, the leader of the bandit gang (the Wolfpack) locked my stuff in his room for safekeeping. Sounded odd to me, but I checked my inventory and everything was there, except for the hinges and hardware for my cart. Gottaí find this Wolf guy and thank him. Turns out the Wolfpack scared off everyone at the market. So much for business.

    Met a farmer named Tom whose cart had had some repair work done to it by a gnome tinker. Stupid gnomes. Tom said it was some kind of steam contraption. Whatever - I took that rolling disaster apart and recovered my hinges. Damn thing nearly burned my face off. Stupid gnomes. Talked to the farmer and found out his daughter was sick and no healers had been able to help her - except for that gnome. Said Iíd talk to Azure for him and see if I could get her to help. Might have to change my mind about the gnomes now.



    Dry-Heat 4:

    Meant to wake up early today, but I must still be healing from the battle. Met Azureís brother at the bar before bed last night. Nice fellow Ė got a metal hand, but it serves its purpose. Guess I wonít be able to thank Wolf considering this guy slit his throat in ďThe PitĒ the other night. Learned that he and Azure were leaving on a boat for a journey with the farmer, his daughter, and some other travelers. Missed the boat thanks to my lazy body.

    Hit the road for Hartwood. Time to move on and earn some steel.

    OOC: It should be noted that this was my first D&D session ever. I had played plenty of Neverwinter and Elder Scrolls, so I was used to picking my conversational replies from a short little list. It never occured to me that speaking as someone else would be so difficult. Let's just say my first session (which happened to be a solo run, just to get me caught up to the rest of the group) was filled with more than enough awkward moments of silence. But Tauren's a good DM and he didn't make fun of me until after we finished playing.
    Last edited by Nathril; 08-15-2007 at 12:29 PM.

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    Default Road from Silverlode to Hartwood

    Dry-Heat 5:

    Met a priest by the name of Richard Wingaard on the road today. Got one oíthem medallions around his neck, only his is copper Ė matches his shield. Follows Kiri Jolith or some such name Ė thatís Kijo to me, God of Battle. Told me a story about a war coming between Solamnia and Nereka, involving the Heron Prince and some giant storm eagles. Says the Heron Prince is the only way to ensure Solamniaís victory. Said there might be a clue in Durimek, a cursed quarry somewhere near the mountain dwarf city of Khazardylis. Need to look into that. Already lived under Nerekan rule for long enough. Canít say a Nerekan victory would be good for business.



    Dry-Heat 6:

    Quiet day of travel. Learned a little more about Richard. Seems to be pretty dedicated to his faith. Canít say Iím overly religious, but I do believe that Reorx watches over us dwarves. Maybe I could learn a little something from the man.



    Dry-Heat 7:

    Not sure I have the will to write tonight, but maybe itíll help me sort some things out. Lost Richard today. Was turning out to be a fine fellow too. If only I were stronger, faster Ė I could have helped him. Ran into a merchant caravan on the way to Hartwood today. Leaderís named Arielle Silverblade. Seems friendly enough.

    We were well on our way when those rotten bandits ambushed us. I recognized them from my fight Ė seems that I didnít forget everything after all. The caravan was caught in a hail of crossbow bolts Ė one guard fell immediately. A group sprung up to our right and quickly surrounded me. I heard Richard chanting something and saw him grab his medallion out of the corner of my eye. Not sure what he was doing, but I felt inspired to kill some bandits. My axe dropped one bandit with more trouble than I anticipated. Next time I glanced at Richard, heís surrounded by these glowing lights and locking swords with one of the bandits.

    Hurled myself into the ditch by the side of the road and took out two more of the would-be thieves. Took a few good hits myself, but nothing I couldnít deal with. Richard on the other hand wasnít looking too good. Before I could lend a hand, I saw him drop to one knee and fall forward. Another bandit blocked my path. Thatís when I saw Richardís chest pierced by a banditís blade, as he lay prone on the dirt road.

    My heart and stomach both dropped to the bottom of my stubby legs.

    Enraged, I cut down the bandit in my path and took down Richardís killer. By the time I was through turning the murderer into meat pudding, the other bandits started to retreat. One was within range, so I dropped him to the ground with my crossbow. A quick round of questioning uncovered a bit of info about Krath, the Wolfpackís new leader and the fact they were heading to Bloodwater. I decided to spare this oneís life Ė he was broken and bleeding - hardly a fair fight. As I turned to walk away, the idiot fired at me with his crossbow. It would have been wise of him to aim more carefully. I charged at him with my axe raised high, jumped into the air, and brought my blood-crusted blade down with all the power of my ancestors behind me. Hope he works on his marksmanship in the afterlife.

    Seemed like all the bandits disappeared. On my way to check on the rest of the caravan, I stopped by Richardís broken body. Couldnít help but feel like his life had been ended too soon. Donít know why, but I grabbed his medallion and asked Kijo to spare his life. It grew warm in my hand and I heard a voice asking me in my head what I would give in return. Didnít know what to offer, so I asked what the voice wanted. Strangely, I agreed to take up Richardís cause and spread his warning of the impending war through the land. The voice told me to take the medallion and keep it close at all times. I left Richard lying peacefully under the trees.

    Caught up with Silverblade and surveyed the damage. One of her merchants was lost, along with all of the guards. Managed to make it to Hartwood and find rooms for the night.

    Richard, wherever you are now, I hope Kijo welcomes you and honors you as a loyal warrior.

    OOC: Aww, my first NPC death...how cute! Seriously, I had no intentions of going down the clerical path with Nathril. In fact, it didn't even occur to me until quite a few sessions into the game. Nathril grabbing the medallion was more of a result of my own reaction to Richard's death. I couldn't believe this (fictional) dude I just met was already dead! At this point in the story, Nathril is just a fighter with a shiny copper medallion.
    Last edited by Nathril; 08-15-2007 at 12:40 PM.

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    Originally posted by Nathril:
    OOC: Aww, my first NPC death...how cute! Seriously, I had no intentions of going down the clerical path with Nathril. In fact, it didn't even occur to me until quite a few sessions into the game. Nathril grabbing the medallion was more of a result of my own reaction to Richard's death. I couldn't believe this (fictional) dude I just met was already dead! At this point in the story, Nathril is just a fighter with a shiny bronze medallion.
    The moment where Nathril grabbed Richard's medallion and cried out to Kiri-Jolith was one of those wonderful moments in D&D where my PC surprised me. As someone who's been playing this game since he was about 7 years old I've seen a lot PCs and NPCs die. I never expected such a dramatic reaction from Nathril and frankly, in the moment, I surprised myself with the reaction to the situation. I had never planned one of the gods taking such an active role in the campaign (and really Richard's dying was all in the dice - I hadn't planned it at all), but it turned out to be a pivotal point in the development of the character. After that the gods started taking all sorts of interest in the storyline. This session really affected the direction I was taking the story a lot.

    This is fun to revisit! I hope other people will enjoy it too!
    Last edited by Tauren_Kai-Jere; 10-01-2008 at 02:39 PM.
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    Default Hartwood, then leaving for Bloodwater

    Dry-Heat 8

    This town is worse than my grandmotherís breath after a night of hard drinking. Canít sell a damn thing. Bloody Nerekan knights are all over the place demanding coin for ferry passage and entry into the town. Their leader is some witch. Want to find her and free this town from oppression, but I canít get a good lead on her. Everyone seems terrified. Learned that a giant osprey killed some of the soldiers Ė maybe related to Richardís giant storm eagles? James Oakenshield, the innkeeper, tells me about some haunted sunken ship east of town. Maybe Iíll come back to check it out someday. I need to get out of here; maybe make some steel in Bloodwater. Thatís where the coward bandit told me the Wolfpack was heading. Maybe Iíll run into them and set things right.



    Dry-Heat 9

    Couldnít convince Silverblade to join me on this journey, so I headed out on my own. My axe, which Iíve started calling ďWingaardís Revenge,Ē and this copper medallion are company enough. I heard rumors that this place is rough, but business should be booming for a weapon merchant like me. Iím in the mood for a little head-splitting anyway Ė preferably not my own.

    OOC: Wingaard's Revenge? Head-splitting? Nathril is far from a brute; not sure where I was taking my character when I wrote this two years ago. Maybe he was still feeling the effects of Richard's death. Anyway, up next...Nathril finally meets the rest of the party!
    Last edited by Nathril; 08-15-2007 at 12:49 PM.

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    Default Bloodwater

    Dry-Heat 9

    After arriving in town this afternoon, I took a quick walk around the merchant area before I secured my cart outside of the tavern. Didnít see anything out of the ordinary, so I went inside The Blue Lady for a quick ale. Tried to pick up some information from the locals, but I didnít have much luck. Decided to set up shop for the afternoon. Managed to sell a dagger early on, followed by a greataxe to one of the guards in town. Made me pay a shop fee first Ė fifteen bloody steel a day! Only made seven steel for the day after I paid the fee.

    So I thought everything was going well until later in the day when a bleeding dark-skinned man came running straight for my cart, with a group of four thugs close behind. Tried to find out what was going on, only to be met with a crossbow pointed at my head by one of the thugs. The numbskull actually had the nerve to tell me to ďstand downĒ like I was a helpless beardling. Thought my new-found dark-skinned friend could use a hand (or an axe as the case may be) so I introduced the four thugs to Wingaardís Revenge. Barely even broke a sweat before the last thug took off running. Guess he got a little scared after I cut down his three buddies. I dropped him with a bolt from my crossbow as he ran away like a little girl. Learned a lesson about mercy two days ago. This is one dwarf who learns from his mistakes.

    Found out this fellaís named Kalen and the captain of his boat is being held by a half-ogre that goes by the name of Deathblow. The half-ogre runs Bloodwater Ė says a lot for the town, now that I think about it. Kalen led me back to his ship where I met a white-haired elf in red robes named Luthen and an attractive human female in armor named Simone. She patched Kalen up; almost like that Azure did for me back in Silverlode. Speaking of Azure, she and her brother, Squal, are both on this ship, along with a gnome named Stabelina ,and a well-armed man in armor, Artor, who seems to be their leader. After some quick discussion and introductions, we headed back into town to rescue the captain from the stinking hands of Deathblow.

    I led my newfound companions back to The Blue Lady without much trouble. Once there, getting our questions answered was like combing my grandmaís beard after a bar fight Ė no fun for anyone involved. Luthen slipped away to take a look around. Next thing I know, Simone disappeared too. Shortly after they came back, the red-robed elf tried to pawn some book off to the bartender. The bartender eventually led the elf away with the book. Everyone else was just sitting around, so I decided to have an ale. Seemed like the thing to do in a tavern.

    Thought the evening was going to be kinda' slow, me enjoying my ale and all, when the guy with all the weapons Ė Artor, I believe Ė decided he had enough with waiting around. This guy just charged an ogre guarding a door and after a brief struggle, slammed him through Ė not into, THROUGH Ė the door. Things got more interesting from there. Should have reacted quicker; the one barkeep managed to duck by me. Tried to keep things from turning bloody, but the barkeep and the ogre that charged into the bar put an end to that. Took a pretty good slice to my chest, but managed to stay on my feet. Simone tossed an axe into that ogre, which softened him up a bit. Meant to comment on her axe-throwing skills, but I was too worried about staying alive.

    Saw the elf crawl out of a different door from the same room Artor pushed the ogre into. Finally made my way into the room only to discover it was already cleaned out and filling with smoke. The group managed to subdue Deathblow (turns out the room was his office) and forced him to give up the location of Captain Murn. Deathblow released Murn (my axe on the half-ogreís throat may have added a small incentive) and the group made our way back to the ship Ė although Deathblow managed to slip away with the help of his magic.

    Youíd think after all this activity, the best place to spend the next eight or ten hours would be in bed. Instead I had to make my way back into the city for my blasted cart. Simone agreed to go with me and we had a nice conversation about Kijo and the quest he had given me. Simone seems nice, if not a little quiet. Pretty easy on the eyes, too.

    Back on the ship, I examined my medallion a little closer and discovered some strange writing on it Ė I recognized it to be Solamnic, but I never learned much of the language, despite growing up in Palanthas AND helping my father make a few pieces for the Knights of Solamnia. Guess this skull is thicker than I thought. Artor helped me read it Ė turns out it says ďMy Honor is My LifeĒ Ė the oath of the Knights. Strange thing is, the medallion never said that when Richard (Reorx watch over him) wore it. Need to see if Kijo can shed some divine light on this new development.

    Saving Kalen, getting sliced by an ogre, rescuing the captain, and having all these conversations really makes a dwarf hungry. And thirsty. After a late-night feed, I joined Azure and Stabelina for some ale. Turns out the gnome is having some issues with a developing magical ability. Since we were in a sharing mood, I asked Azure a few questions about Kijo. She really had a lot to say Ė opened my eyes to a few things, not the least of which is the fact that sheís not so mean after all. Goes to show you, first impressions arenít everything.

    Finally grabbed some sleep. This group sure knows how to tire a guy out.


    OOC: Well, this certainly was an interesting way to meet up with everyone. The altercation with the thugs was most memorable. I remember Tauren describing the situation (...surrounded by thugs, stranger needs help, crossbow at your head...) and me thinking, "Great...I hope this new guy can fight." Tauren looked at me and asked me what I was going to do. I looked around the room, shrugged my shoulders, and said, "I draw my axe." My course of action was affirmed by the group - I know Arclight (playing Artor) was happy to have someone else who could stand on the frontlines with him. What he didn't know was that in the future Nathril seemed apt to critically fumble. A lot.

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    Default On the ship to Solanthus

    Dry-Heat 10:

    Had a nice quiet day on the water for a change. Really donít mind this ship, as some of my brethren would. Nice to get out, smell the air, reflect on the past few days. Spent the morning praying, as best I can anyway, to Kijo. This is still a strange feeling for me Ė itís not odd for a metalsmith to mutter comments to Reorx throughout the day, but actual dedicated prayer is something new for me. Kijo didnít say anything in return, but I wanted to make sure I was fulfilling the role he had given me. Felt a sense of accomplishment after I finished, but I know Iím not done yet. Had a short vision of a guy practicing or exercising or something. Looks like Kijo was speaking to me after all. The guy looked like Kalen, so I found him on the deck and asked him a few questions after I told him about my encounter with Richard.

    In the visions of Kalenís people, storm eagles are symbols of the blue dragons. Finally, one piece of the puzzle has slid into place. Those eagles from Richardís vision must be a warning of a dragon attack. I asked Kalen about the Heron Prince Ė he told me that the name reminded him of Heronís Crown and that I should talk to the Luthen, since heís from the area.

    Nice guy, that Kalen. Glad my axe helped save his skin.


    Dry-Heat 11:

    A dwarf could get used to these relaxing days on the river. A little hot, but no hotter than my fatherís workshop with the forge in the corner, really. Decided to take Kalenís advice and looked for Luthen. Talked to the wizard a little about his magic Ė he doesnít have a medallion like Azure and he seems more in control with his ability than Stabelina. I wasnít there to talk about magic though, so I jumped right into my questions about Heronís Crown.

    Now this is where it became interesting.

    As soon as I mentioned the Heron Prince, Luthen casually told me that Artor could be the prince of Heronís Crown. The same Artor that slammed the ogre through the door a few days ago. The same Artor who read my medallion for me. The Heron Prince, here on this boat, and I didnít even know it. Guess these divine visions really arenít road maps. Time to find Artor.

    Found Artor on deck, keeping watch as usual. My conversation skills are still a little clumsy Ė guess this beard is more than just a physical barrier Ė but I managed to learn more from Artor. His father recently went missing from Heronís Crown a few months ago. Rhaemon Dragonne is the current leader of the Knights of Nereka there who, with the help of Eygus Blackwing, run the village. Artorís family was pretty wealthy and had high standing in town, almost like the mayor or some kind of royalty. He left Heronís Crown in search of his father Ė so far the clues are pointing to Solanthus. Once in the city, he hopes to raise an army of the Knights of Solamnia and lead them into Heronís Crown and free the village from Nerekan oppression. Thatís my kind of plan Ė I pledged my axe to his cause. Iím no Knight, but I know what itís like to be pushed around and bullied. Doesnít sit too well with me and now I have a chance to change things.

    Artor also told me that he and the others were in Khazardylis a few weeks ago. They found five dragonlances hidden in the quarry. Another piece of my puzzle clicked into place. If the storm eagles are dragons and Artor is the Heron Prince, then he must be destined to use these dragonlances in battle against actual dragons. Iíve heard stories about the existence of dragons, but Iíve never seen one. Now we might actually be fighting them? Thatís a little hard to stomach Ė need to see what Kijo has to say about that later. Anyway, this battle of Heronís Crown could be the critical point in the war between Solamnia and Nereka. Artor must succeed in his mission if we ever hope to rid ourselves of Nerekan oppression and Iíll do my best to help him.

    Wouldíve liked to had a break to soak all this in, but our conversation was interrupted by a scream from below decks. Artor and I rushed downstairs to discover Azure, Stabelina, and Simone all standing around in the galley looking visibly shaken. Simone mentioned something about an allip, which turns out to be some kind of ghostly creature often created from the death of someone who takes his or her own life. This creature had appeared to Simone as she was praying Ė it kept chattering about a book tainting the Holy Forge from within. Didnít mean much to me at the time, but Simone explained that she had found an evil book that once belonged to a dwarven priest of Khemax named Shale Ironrock. In an attempt to destroy it, the clerics in Durimek threw it into the Forge. Simone witnessed the act and accepted that the burning fires of the Forge would surely destroy the book. She sat down with the wizard in the crew quarter later and somehow learned that the book has resisted the fires. Now one of the dwarven priests in Khazardylis has been copying the contents of the book. Looks like we need to take a trip back to Khazardylis. The mountain dwarves need to know the unholy danger they face. Maybe Kijo can lend a hand.


    OOC: I think I had been more suprised than my character when I learned Artor was the Heron Prince. I really didn't think I'd find him so early - I was expecting some kind of epic hunt, I guess. Oh and the comment in Nathril's journal when he was talking to Artor (about his beard being more than a physical barrier) - that was another one of those conversations with the awkward pauses. I know Nathril was trying to uncover the mystery of his vision, but I couldn't for the life of me put it into the words of my dwarf. Where's my handy conversation tree!

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    Heh. The whole Heron Prince prophecy was sort of invented as a means to introduce Nathril to the party and solidfy his place in the group. I've always had a pretty clear picture of this campaign's end game, so the prophecy stuff helped to give it a little more dramatic umph and to give me a conflict to aim for in the end.

    Also, here's a breakdown of the cast at this point. Without my notes I don't know what their actual levels were (I think everyone was between 5 and 8 at this point, but this will give everyone some good gaming crunchy bits. There were some interesting characters in this party.

    The PCs
    Artor uth Kalabus (LG male civilized human fighter) Played by Arclight.
    Luthenarius Caledor (N male Silvanesti dark elf wizard/Wizard of High Sorcery) Played by Luthen.
    Stabelina (NG female tinker gnome mystic of Healing) Played by pirategirl.
    Simone Belmonte (LG female civilized human paladin of Majere) Played by Salinus.
    Nathril Stoneshaper (LG male hill dwarf fighter) I forget who plays this guy.

    The NPCs
    Vineus "Squal" Mutt (N male civilized human ranger of Habbakuk)
    Azure Longbow (NG female civilized human cleric of Habbakuk)
    Kalen Weepingrock (LN male nomadic human monk)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tauren_Kai-Jere
    Nathril Stoneshaper (LG male hill dwarf fighter) I forget who plays this guy.
    My DM is a jerk.

    Just kidding! Don't kill off Elonaral like you killed off (mystery death in KoD)!

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    Yes! Fear my dice! They either whiff you or kill you! There is no in between with me.
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