Pathfinder - Of Men and Kings

16th of Abadius, 4713
from the Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

Having left the monastery already a few months ago, I finally find out the faith of the thugs that killed my parents. Two adventurers, a young half-elf warrioress as lovely as the sun called Kieyanna, along with her charming prince, Vaik, brought them justice to the land and dealt with the bandits. I set on to go find them, rumors were of their residence in the great city of Absalom.

I arrived today and found they now on an inn, called the Green Goblin. The sight of Kieyanna brought some tears to my eyes, though I wonder if it is because of her elvish beauty or a more personal cord knowing she was responsible for the peace my family now enjoyed. For a half-elven women, she is far from being a waif. Vaik was also handsome, darker skinned. I wonder if he is from Qadira or some exotic place like that, though I am hard pressed to find any kind of noticeable accent in his manner of speech.

After many drinks, Kieyanna told me about her younger sister’s expedition. She offered to write a letter for me, as she said she sensed I was someone her sister could depend on, introducing me.

I shall now gather my belongings and set course for this new adventure.

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14th of Calistril, 4713
from the Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

I finally arrived in Restov. It is impressive how the city is bustling with activity. I find it even harder to believe a month as already passed. I set myself to look for Valeria Karadin in the town, Kieyanna‘s younger sister. Making it to the White Stag, the barkeep points to her table when I inquire about her whereabouts. At the table sits a strong and somewhat handsome Tian, along with 2 woman, one with jet black hair, and the other with hair as white as winter’s snow. Their height makes them stand out. The white haired bitch is so beautiful, men didn’t even see me come in. The other, muscular, woman looks like a Ulfen swordmaiden though her accent betrays her as Taldan.

After giving my letter of introduction, I find out my other companions are called Takuma from Absolom and Anja, who calls herself the Wolf-Witch. She also has a small raven called Geri, who seems intent on creating mayhem.

They seem a pleasant group and I suspect we will have many adventures.

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16th of Calistril, 4713
from Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

After 2 days of walking in the cold, we find ourselves at Oleg’s Trading Post at the tip of the Greenbelt. Svetlana greeted us and we followed her inside, obviously expected. Being served hot food and wine, Svetlana seems enthusiastic about our presence. Oleg Leveton, after finishing work on the roof, to patch it, comes to greet us.

She tells a tale to us about a band of thugs and the scary woman with hatchets, probably the leader of the group. She seems worried when she realizes we were not sent here for these bandits, but Valeria reassures her they will be dealt with.

As a group, we agree to stay at the small fort and wait out the thugs who are expected to come tomorrow to collect their monthly fee.

Valeria and Takuma have already put their equipment in a corner and are turning in early for the night. It seems wise to perhaps do the same.

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17th of Calistril, 4713
from Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

It is a cool morning when I get up, but the skies are clear. Anja requests a piece of bread from our hostess, which she then gives to her strange bird. The bird takes a piece of bread but declines eating it away, only starting to peck at it 1 hour later. He proudly stands watch.

Minutes before they arrive, Geri returns and seems to whisper in Anja’s ear (that is not normal behavior a bird), and Anja then informs us that 4 thugs are approaching on horseback. I swear that bird is enchanted or something.

I tried to help both Valeria and Takuma put on their armor, but I clearly need to learn more about them, as I keep fiddling with the straps.

The bandits arrived through the gate, and both Takuma and Valeria immediately challenged their presence which clearly left them stunned and perhaps even a little dumb. Not ones to waste time, the two of them seemed to work in tandem and clearly decided to attack at the same. My masters always said I had the agility of a polecat and I lept onto one of the bandit’s horses to teach the bandit about what I learned for the past 6 years. Anja managed to bewitch two of them, putting them under a sleep curse of some kind. By my recollection, the fight may have lasted 10 to 15 slow heartbeats, but it felt like an eternity.

Surprisingly, all four of them have been captured. Oleg seems ecstatic, part of his wounded pride healed by their capture. As custom goes, their possessions were forfeit and we acquired what they carried, or as Takuma quaintly put it: Loot! Oleg had planned to reward us with some coins, but in turn, not only did we turn down his monetary reward, but gave him and his wife two of the horses and the coins the prisoners carried.

The witch is frightening, and with her angelic face, interrogates the one called Happs, making a point to let the thug understand she is familiar with the Dark Arts. He all too gladly lets us know were the rest of his merry band hides.

While Oleg starts putting up some old wanted posters, we again reach consensus to leave immediately, as we do not want the bandits to send a second group back at the fort. Four horses left, four of us (Geri seems to disapprove the notion he is not a person).

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18th of Calistril, 4713
from the Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

Anja did not take a turn at guarding the camp last night. She spent a good deal of her evening with her pet, which I suspect is some kind of communion with it. She however did make a fire, which kept us warm during the night.

According to the instructions of Haps, we would find a river (called the Thorne River), which we are to follow north. Based on our estimates, we were to find their camp shortly before nightfall, which proved correct.

As we entered the forest, we heard some noise. Geri flew over to investigate, but flew back with all due haste. Anja turned towards us after the bird again whispered in her ear and shouted ‘owlbearTakuma looked at us, and wanted to know if we wanted to fight or run, but by the time anyone started to react, it was already too late.

Takuma was seriously injured in the fight, but without his swordsmanship, we would all have been killed. Anja seems to have a healing touch, as his wound seems to shrink after she helps him. She does not seem keen on killing the unconscious beast, but we make a point that it would endanger anyone in the region.

We went on for a while, and at some point when the sun was starting to go down, I proceeded to scout ahead to find the camp, while they stayed behind with the horses. It did not take very long for me to find it, and while I can’t make out their shapes very well, it looked like most were gathered around a large camp fire to keep warm.

When I return with the news, it is clear that Valeria is worried with Takuma’s situation. Most men die at the hands(paws?) of owlbears, when they are not mauled to uselessness. He assured us rightfully he could and would fight and did so flawlessly when the battle begun.

We somehow managed to capture the nine remaining thugs alive, including Kressel, the scary woman with the hatchets. Looking through their possessions and treasure, we failed to find Svetlana wedding ring. One of the bandits informs us that mites raided them and took the treasure that contained that specific item.

We tie them up and will proceed back to fort after a bit of rest.

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23rd of Calistril, 4713
from the Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

I finally find some time to write after several days of travel. Escorting these dangerous prisoners is tedious work, and one cannot afford not to keep constant vigilance.

I have noticed throughout the days that Anja keeps helping Takuma with his injuries. I did not expect this level of compassion from someone who calls herself a witch. Perhaps some witches are good?

Upon arrival at the outpost, we all spotted an armed sentry keeping watch over the walls. It seems that 3 guards and their captain, a man called Kesten Garrest, who does not seem to like us. He does take the prisoners off our hands, much to our relief.

It was decided that we should take a day to rest, as we will start executing the mandate of our charter afterwards.

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25th of Calistril, 4713
from the Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

Today was very cold. I guess in a way, it encouraged us not to linger about unnecessarily. We spent the entire day attempting to properly chart the area around Oleg’s Trading Post, but it is clear we are not mapmakers.

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26th of Calistril, 4713
from the Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

We found today Bokken’s hut. The smells from his hut were confounding my senses of smell and it took a good two hours before I could smell normally.

Bokken is an old and quite mad hermit might I say. His social manners leave a lot to desire. However, he begs (commands?) us to get him a bushel’s worth of Fangberries. Anja seems to know what kind of fruit he is talking about. We make note of his request and will honor it if we can.

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27th of Calistril, 4713
from the Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

I was lucky today. I was bitten by the largest spider ever. I had heard stories of spiders the size of cattle, but never expected to attacked by one. It is still a mystery to me how the creature managed to creep upon us so stealthily. The extensive bone graveyard that surrounded the creature’s lair had captured our attention and imagination.

Even though I seem to have weathered the poison it injected me with, my all muscles ache tremendously. At least, I do not feel like I am on fire anymore.

The spider retreated into a shaft covered with thick spider webbing, which we believed was its lair. We found a few more carcasses, one of them belonging to man who was part of Kressel’s bandits. He had in his possession, some kind of map, with a tree that looked like a claw drawn in blood on it, with an X under its roots.

We decided it was best to return to the outpost for today. If anything Svetlana’s stew makes me feel better.

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28th of Calistril, 4713
from the Journal of Hemya Qazi Handoo

We sent out for the Kamelands, hoping to find out what is agitating the tribe of the Sootscale kobolds. Our understanding is that they usually do not bother anyone, but they have been increasingly aggressive of late. As this was to be our longest expedition away from the outpost, we took more supplies.

Shortly before stopping for the night, however, we were attacked by a pair of angry boars. The beasts clearly felt we had encroached on their territory. The sight of their massive charging bodies, armed with large tusks sent a small chill down my spine.

The beasts provided around 200 pounds of fresh meat. The cold weather will help preserve the meat as we return once again to Oleg’s.

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