Monday, May 21, 2007

Welcome to Elsir Vale!

Well, it seems to be a grim situation, as we follow Bifur and Bofur and their prisoner off to the Hammersmith Holds. They're firm but fair, it seems.

Anyway, other than Oppillaa being a prisoner, we've been travelling through some very lovely country. We came down this old dwarven road (called "The Dwarfroad" for some reason) through the Wyrmsmoke Mountains and onto another road called "Old North Road". We crossed over Skull Gorge (pretty!) and into the beautiful Elsir Vale. We spent one night at Drellin's Ferry, then Terrelton, and down to the Wyvernwatch Mountains to Hammerfirst Holds.

I have been to this area before, but not for 20 years. Maybe when this business is sorted out we can go visiting. At the moment we've come to a small settlement outside the dwarven fortifications. They have a large moat filled with crocodiles, and it seems we have to ride the crocodiles to get across. That'll be exciting! We have to leave the wagons here, but we'll take some snake oil and the Princess's spell books and so on.

Hmm... it looks like there are some monkeys here which are going to carry our things for us. Or are they trying to steal it?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Oppillaa Off to Jail?

These two dwarves (Bifur and Bofur) told us that Oppillaa is wanted for "Desertion" and "Dereliction of Duty". Which seems to mean that she was supposed to return to Hammerfist Holds after visiting Fazzell but she came with us instead and now she's in trouble about it. Oh well, it looks like we're all off to Hammerfist Holds!

Garm has told us that he'll be staying here - his job is to look after roads, not to gallivant inside mountains. Oh well... maybe we'll see him again one day. The dwarves have told me they'll let me sell snake oil, so I've got business to see to.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Oppillaa Arrested!

Two big burly dwarves have just come in and taken Oppillaa away! Oh goodness me! More details as they come to hand!

Monday, April 30, 2007


Well, after that long siege and and even longer night in the tavern, we've all woken feeling great this morning. I was up at the crack of dawn selling snake oil in the town square. The grateful townsfolk have offered to sell us anything in the shops at half price, so Pansy stocked up on eggs and ham and cakes and whatnot. Someone even gave Oppillaa a pony!

Unk seems to be busy at the temple of Kord - I do hope he's not annoying Snorri too much! Athelred seems to be relaxing and has been playing music to attract people to my wagon. The princess has even bought a new set of clothes - something faintly more sensible! Garm seems to be out tending the roads around the village. I hope he has an armed guard with him! I think Hellsby and Oppillaa are still asleep.


Goodness gracious! What a night it has been! There have been many battles but the goblins have been chased off and everything is back to normal. Oh, no it's not... I'll get to that.

From what I can make out, Oppillaa and Hellsby were hiding outside the town hall when one of the goblins inside looked out and saw them. They went to hide but two more goblins came out of the forest. My guess is that they'd been out looking for that bugbear. They had a plan where Hellsby would distract one of the goblins and Oppillaa would fight the other, which was a great plan except for Oppillaa's fit of the clumsies which very quickly had her lying bleeding on the ground at the fit of a completely healthy goblin. Hellsby meanwhile had run off to Unk and Eirik and so on. Even they had trouble with the goblin, with Eirik very nearly being killed.

Once they saw the goblin chasing Hellsby the princess became very concerned for Oppillaa's safety and took Garm off to find her. They encountered the goblin that had struck her down, and Garm had to fight it by himself. The princess managed to find Oppillaa and save her for the second time in one night! Snake oil to the rescue again! And they said it didn't work...

Anyway, remember that goblin who looked out of the window? Apparently he raised the alarm. When the dust had settled with the first two goblins, Hellsby got Unk to lift him onto the roof of a building so he could look into the town square. The three goblin archers who were waiting there (with the worg and its rider) took a pot-shot at him. (Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that Eirik had run back to the townsfolk and me to tell us what was happening.) So Hellsby and Oppillaa conferred behind the inn while trying to figure out what to do. The goblins seemed to be impatient - they started shooting flaming arrows at the roof of the inn where they'd seen Hellsby! To make matters worse, the goblins from the town hall had rounded up the women and children and were trying to escape from the town taking them with them!

Eventually the princess came up with a plan of her own - she'd cast a spell on them. So she and Athelred and Oppillaa snuck around the side of the building and she put the goblins to sleep. Unk stomped around the other side of the building and killed one of them just as the sweet dreams started. Athelred and Oppillaa fought the wolf, but then the goblins started waking up. So quickly! So Princess Valmyra cast her Color Spray spell on them, and that knocked most of them out. Unk killed the other one, and Athelred and Oppillaa killed the wolf. That was very impressive considering Oppillaa had nearly been killed by a goblin herself.

Meanwhile, Eirik had raised the alarm and the decision had been made by Christian the Fletcher to storm the barricades. Eirik and Snorri and Christian and Malachi Blackcrow and Big Nellie rushed the goblin barricade and started fighting them. Garm and Hellsby came along and helped them as well.

It seemed then that all of the goblins were dead except for the ones trying to escape with the women and children, so all of the fighting people grouped together and chased them. At the front was Big Nellie, and it seems she was so scary the goblins just turned tail and fled. Victory!

Oh yeah... except... the inn was burning down. We quickly formed a bucket brigade and saved most of it, but we won't be staying there tonight. Flora Sweethumb has kindly offered us accommodation in the town hall instead. And Walter the Taylor has given Hellsby a puppy - a Saint Bernard which he says he'll call Sammy.

Ahh... it will be nice to have a rest and several breakfasts in the morning. We have some shopping to do and some other things to take care of. I do hope there's no more drama.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Eirik and Snorri

I've been talking to Eirik and Snorri Bloodaxe about how two worshippers of Kord - the god of barbarians - came to be living in a (usually) peaceful little village. It turns out they were originally barbarian invaders who came sailing down the coast in a longship to plunder and pillage. It was their first trip. MOST EMBARRASSINGLY, Eirik suffered from terrible seasickness and had to stay with the boat when the others went to pillage and plunder. When the other invaders returned to the boat they were giving him a hard time about it, so Snorri took him away. The boat returned to the barbarian lands leaving Eirik and Snorri all by themselves. They found a quiet village where they could live a life without any boats at all. Eirik is still quite barbaric though - apparently his method of slaughtering cattle is unnecessarily enthusiastic.

More About Pansy

Someone was asking how I met Pansy. I think they thought she was my girlfriend. No, I only ever had one true love, and that ended in all sorts of sadness. Pansy is a cousin of mine, by which I mean she's my great-grandfather's granddaughter's niece-in-law. One time a couple of years ago I went through home selling snake oil and she asked me if I could take her to the city because she was bored with life in the village. I told her about my experience in the city and that I'd never take her there, so she asked if she could come with me. She is a much better cook than I am, and she's good with the ponies too, so she's a pleasure to have around. I think her aunt-in-law is suspicious of me travelling with a young girl such as her, but she is only 33 after all. If the shattered pieces of my heart ever reassemble... but they won't.

The Life of Mr Jumbles

Let me tell you a little about myself. When I was young I was the mischievous type - throwing rocks at birds, taking things that didn't belong to me, and all sorts of trouble. I was so good at it that I never got caught... well I did but not for a long time.

When I left home and went to live in a big city I fell in with a bad crowd. We would break into people's houses and steal anything we thought we could sell. We never got a lot because the people we were robbing were quite poor. We were poor too, and hungry all the time, which is quite traumatic for a hobbit, you know. Eventually we decided we needed to break into the big time and planned to rob a magic item warehouse.

What a disaster that was! We knew so little about wizardry that we were caught within minutes. Even worse, one of my friends was killed by a lightning trap. When the guards came to catch us I just sat down and cried and cried and cried. Eventually the owner of the warehouse arrived and took me into his office and started shouting at me. I was still crying and I told him "But I have to steal things! I'm hungry and I've got no money!"

The owner of the warehouse, who incidentally was a big fat human, looked at me and said "Look at me! Look at this big fat tummy! You tell me you've got nothing to eat and I've got plenty to eat and I don't steal anything! You're in the wrong business!" What he said made a lot of sense - he had his own business and was very rich. When he offered to give me a job I accepted straight away.

My first honest job then was selling magic potions in the market place. For a while he kept an eye on me, but then he started to trust me. I discovered I had a real gift for convincing people to buy things, and made quite a lot of money from that job. After only a few months I went to see my boss and told him I needed to get away from the city and take the job in the road. I bought a large supply of his most popular product - snake oil - and a cart and pony, and set off to sell snake oil to the world.

Ahh... that was such a long time ago, nearly 30 years. So many things have happened to me since then that you wouldn't believe. But those are stories for another time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bored at Eastbrook

It seems like it's taking forever to lift this siege! Hellsby and Oppillaa have snuck off and we haven't seen them for ages. Some of the locals have set up their own barricade and they're shooting at the goblins but I don't think they're hitting any of them. Luckily the goblins aren't hitting them, either.

The locals seem to be in two minds. The village constable, Malachi Blackcrow, seems to blame the women and children for getting themselves captured. The bowyer, Christian Fletcher, is leading the attack when you'd expect that to be Blackcrow's job. There are two brothers here - Snorri Bloodaxe the priest, and Eirik Bloodaxe the butcher, who think that Blackcrow should be doing more, and call him "Malachi the Meek". I have to say I agree with them.

I've been chatting to the mayor, Thora Sweethumb (yes, she's a gnome) and her husband Garl Sweethumb who keeps the general store, and they say nothing like this ever happens. I've been to Eastbrook a lot, and I've never seen anything like this before. I know there are goblins around (that's why I've got adventurers with me!) but usually they stay in the mountains.

I'm afraid Unk is making a bit of a pain of himself. Snorri is a priest of Kord, to whom Unk pays respect, and Unk has been kneeling in front of Snorri chanting some dirge in orcish for about 10 minutes now. Snorri is somewhat flattered and embarrassed because he doesn't understand a word of it.

Athelred is still trying to understand those scrolls. Garm has interrogated Thora about safety on the roads hereabouts. The princess seems to be hiding since Eirik Bloodaxe started paying rather too much attention to her. Pansy has been talking to Garl about all the things we'll need to buy, but he can't help her until he can get back to his shop safely. I just hope all the hostages get saved because the atmosphere in the tavern this evening won't be very jolly if there's a bloodbath.

Oh yes... mostly funny story... Oppillaa was sneaking around the village and managed to sneak RIGHT PAST a bugbear who was asleep under a tree without even noticing him. When he woke up he chased her so she climbed a tree. He started chopping the tree down so she jumped down, and he chased her and clobbered her. He walked off thinking she was dead and just then Hellsby arrived. So he turned around and chased Hellsby as well, right back into the waiting axes of Garm and Eirik Bloodaxe. While they were dealing with him the princess snuck over and rubbed some snake oil on Oppillaa and saved her life. SEE! IT DOES WORK. Just after that is when Hellsby and Oppillaa snuck off by themselves.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Drama at Eastbrook

We've arrived at Eastbrook and found ourselves in a situation. Goblins seem to have taken the women and children hostage in the town hall and there's a siege in progress. Oppillaa has been scouting and almost got herself killed by a bugbear, and Hellsby lead the team and some of the locals to fight a worg. I hope they can sort this out, I'm getting hungry and Pansy says we're out of eggs.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Athelred has been reading through the scrolls retrieved from the crypt. He can't understand all of it but he says apparently this Ashkalon character fought something called a maglubiyet which ended up killing him. In another chapter there's mention of the descendants of Ashkalon which will lead someone to fight something. I did mention that it all seemed very vague, at which point he merely commented that I wouldn't be able to read any of it at all, and went away. Apparently the language it's written in is called Quatrains or something, and it's jolly difficult to understand.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Very Strange!

Something very peculiar has been happening. Unk has been acting, um, dare I say it, intelligently. He chopped a thick branch off a tree, trimmed it, and took me to the cart where he mimed taking out my chest of tools. I assented as I assumed he was asking permission to use them. He then took a battered breastplate I had lying around and bashed it into shape to fit the thick end of the branch. He bashed a few rivets into it, and with a bit more work had a very serviceable though primitive club / morning star.

He was so pleased with himself I could swear he danced around in an orcish sort of way. He held it up and showed me how he would swing it. Then he said a word... he said "SMASHER"! So the first word he ever says to me and it's a name for his new weapon?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Back From the Crypt

The party has returned from the crypt. They had some hair-raising adventures, it seems. A statue attacked them - I'm guessing it was an earth elemental of some sort; and a dead thing came out of a sarcophagus they opened. Judging from the Princess's description of the smell it was some sort of ghoul, but the princess is such a ... erm... princess... that to hear her talk Unk smells that bad as well. Of course he doesn't, it's just the furs he wears.

They did recover some loot, but the big bonus for me was how much snake oil they used up - 21 jars! I'll be able to buy a new pony when we get to Eastbrook so the poor fellows don't get so tired. They also retrieved a very nice sword which I reckon is worth about 1000gp. I let them pay me for the snake oil with the sword and returned them the difference.

They brought out some scrolls which were buried with one of the corpses, and Athelred has been reading them. Apparently the dead thing they fought used to be some mighty warrior called Ashkalon. I guess that was his sword? But who can tell, with the passing of time?

Monday, March 5, 2007

Interim Report from the Crypt

Athelred has advised us of a nearby crypt, and most of the adventurers have gone down to explore it. Apparently before they even made it inside Unk had fallen into a pit. Once they got him out he threw Hellsby over into the room and he was able to close the trap. Then they managed to get themselves shot by an arrow trap.

After spending rather too long a time searching for secret doors, they found a hallway with 4 skeletons in it. Unk's axe was almost useless against them, but apparently the dwarf crushed all 4 of them with her bare hands.

Garm says the halfling was so desperate to fight that the dwarf actually had to scale the walls to climb past him, and then she crushed one of the skeletons by falling on it. The halfling then tried to scale the walls to get back into the fight, only to get his toe caught in a crevice and end up dangling upside down above the action. Hellsby seems to think he's a warrior... let's hope he figures it out sooner rather than later.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

No Longer Half a Man

I had a talk with Hellsby after we left the village and told him that he was definitely a halfling no matter what his parents said. He was quiet about that for a while, but then started complaining that he only had padded armour and a dagger. Does he think he's going to fight things TODAY? I hope he doesn't!

The Dwarf

I've been trying to make small talk with the dwarf but she's not very chatty. I finally got out of her that she's keeping an eye on Hellsby. Why? Who is she? Where did she come from? I know there are dwarves in these mountains but why Hellsby? Do the dwarves suspect something? Is there some dwarven monk cult I should be aware of? I suppose if she becomes dangerous I can get Unk to chase her off (blindly loyal as he is), but there's something about her that tells me she's telling the truth. I'm supposed to be the one with secrets around here...

Hellsby the "Human"

It has happened already. Hellsby has approached his parents telling them he thinks he's a halfling. They denied it of course, though he'd have to be as stupid as them to believe them. I wonder how much they actually do understand? Nobody in this village is very bright.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Welcome to the Party

When I decided to assemble some adventurers I was hoping to get a couple of stoic fighters, a friendly cleric and a wise wizard. Instead I have collected:
  • a half-orc who's too stupid to speak and may not understand why I hired him
  • a wizard who thinks she's a belly-dancing princess
  • a friendly cleric
  • a shifty bard with strangely good armour
  • a weapon-crazed halfling
  • a mysterious dwarven monk.
Well, at least the cleric is OK.


I have become quite good friends with a young lad living in Fazzell - a halfling called Hellsby. Here's the weird thing about him (there's always something weird, it seems) - he doesn't know he's a halfling. His parents have always told him he's human and that it's his fault he's short. I don't know how (or whether) to break it to him. I'm sure the opportunity will come up one day.


It seems the strange ones are attracted to me.

Today I found a female dwarf walking alongside the cart. When I confronted her she said she'd joined us. I don't know where she came from or where she's going. Her name is Oppillaa, and she's a monk. I haven't heard of a monastic tradition amongst monks but I'm not going to argue with a kukri. She seems to have an unusually strong... erm... personality.


It seems to have got about that I was looking for adventurers, and I was approached by a tall fellow (heh heh, not me!) calling himself Athelred. He's a bard - he plays the mandolin and sings quite nicely. I'm not sure about him, but I told him to come along anyway. He says he's interested in finding historical documents and learning songs, but there's something odd about him. Maybe it was when he asked if he could keep his mandolin in the wagon rather than in the cart, and I realised the mandolin would have cost more than the wagon did...

Garm, the Walker of Roads

I had a thought... several times along the road I have met priests of Fharlanghn tending to their roadside sanctuaries and keeping the roads safe. They have always seemed like decent fellows. So I went to the temple of Fharlanghn and asked if they had anyone who would care to travel with me. It turns out they had a fresh recruit called Garm who has agreed to come with me. He's a quite fellow.

"Princess" Valmyra

I have met and hired another adventurer. If I thought Unk was unusual due to his lack of loquaciousness, this one is remarkable in the other extreme. She's a pretty young human wizard who claims to be a princess. She says she was kidnapped by sahuagin and sold into slavery and is now trying to get home again. I didn't ask how she escaped from her alleged slavery. I'm worried she may act like a princess, and she'll certainly need some more sensible clothes before winter comes, but still, Pansy seems to like her.


I have hired a half-orc I am going to call "Unk". I met him in the market and asked if he was looking for work and he only told me "unk". When I walked away he followed me and he has been following me ever since. I wonder if that counts as a contract? He is a remarkably unresponsive fellow, only ever saying "unk" and that rarely. I told him he could put his goods in the cart and in half an hour he was back with a barrel of the cheapest wine imaginable. That and his armour and weapon (a massive double headed axe) seem to be his only possessions.

Now Hiring

I have decided to get some adventurers to join me, as protection and as a sideline business. It seems so often these days people need help chasing off some goblins and suchlike. I've bought a cart for their things, and Pansy and I will continue using the wagon. I now have 5 ponies!

Monday, February 26, 2007


A cryptic entry from Mr Jumbles' diary:

This evening we have pulled into Fazzell, a place I haven't been for nearly 20 years. The folk here are rather dull and unimaginative, but that's what makes it such a good place to hide something.


Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Longfellow Jumbles, my business is Snake Oil. I travel these lands with my niece Pansy Hopcoat selling my goods to the villagers of the plains, hills and mountains. I'm rather busy now, won't you come back later?