Session 8: “A Mess of Things”
From the journal of Adra Kellen:
Barrakas 1, 818
As I write this I can hear music in the streets and cheers from the townsfolk. I don’t think they’ll be done anytime soon. It’s been a good year for them, so I guess when the court throws a party they oblige. Cedric started off today’s festivities with a speech which spoke of the ambitions of the people of this new nation. He made it brief as I believe he had participated in last night’s revelry. Some of the other councilors said a few words. I was far too interested in the our guests to really pay attention to the speeches.
Lady Cisarovna was in attendance with both of Boris’ siblings. Although Lady Cisarovna did not speak of it I could tell that Ilsa had honed her skills. The lady had asked for a report on the new nation which I gladly presented. I had personally assembled dossiers on the last year for each of the visiting nobles from the north. Of course they were screened and were kept clear of any revealing information on our nation, but served as a good review of our work in the reclaimed ‘stolen lands.’
Agent Vethel was also present as he was representing Lord Noleski Surtova and the Crown of Rhestilor. I kept an eye on his whereabouts ever since he arrived in town. My previous encounters with him left me with unease. I sent several of my agents to keep track of him and found he had moved on to seeking the affections of Councilor Svetlana. I will need to keep The Hand informed.
During my time out with the public I received a letter from Bokken. Apparently his writing is far superior to his speech. It was almost elegant. He requested we seek out his brother who he called a villain and a criminal. He bid we treat him as such and bring him to justice. I’ll need to look into this matter at a later date.
The dinner was the closest we’ve had to a formal meal since we were last in Brindol. Cedric had worked for days to ensure we had everything in place. Having everyone’s eyes on the new nation we all spent a little time to be prepared for the event.
Barrakas 4, 818
Tatzlford, Soon to be annexed
We had left Halcyon near dawn to ride out to Tatzlford. Loy and his wife had made a request in person at the celebration for us to come out and see the small settlement that they had erected at the site of what used to be the Tatzlwyrms’ lair. They had petitioned to set up a trading post out to the west almost a year ago. Cedric had given them his blessing, but held off officially annexing the settlement. We have had trade with the small village, but haven’t had a good view of it until today. We arrived in the evening after a long days ride. Cedric immediately went about speaking to Loy and the other villagers. I only wished to rest, but was encouraged by the prospect of a bed, rather than a cot, waiting for me when my work was done. The people of Tatzlford seem to be genuinely happy with their lot. They enjoy living out here on the frontier of our nation and seem to be in harmony with the forest. We enquired about the Fey, but any of our concerns were rebuffed. Apparently, they have had little to no problems with them.
After talking and visiting with the locals, the others went to drink and smoke with the village leaders. I decided it was a good time as any to sneak off to get some much needed rest. I had forgotten how rough traveling in these lands can be. My trip back to the inn was diverted when I spotted several unsavory types lingering at the edge of the palisades near one of the paths leading deeper into the forest. I followed, cautious not to attract anyone’s attention. The cloaked figures were of the river people, like the gypsies up at Leventon. These individuals however had different clothing, perhaps a different clan? I can never tell with these people. However, I followed them a distance from the village and they stopped. I waited and nearly fell asleep when I heard the sound of croaking. The Boggard we had encountered months ago crept out of the woods and dropped a small wooden crate on the path. The gypsies pulled out several bags, similar to the one that Boris had initially given it. It appears that the gypsies are trading hallucinogens to the Boggard for something. One of the gypsies opened the crate and a faint glow spread out from the opening. One of them said something about the contents being fresh and within moments a horseman rode in and the gypsies handed off the crate to him. The Boggard had already sunk back into the forest and the gypsies quickly dispersed. I waiting long enough for them to depart and made my way back to the inn.
Barrakas 5, 818
We traveled from Tatzlford further into the Narlmarches. I had informed the others as to what had occurred the night before. Cedric was just as interested as I was in finding out what substance the gypsies were receiving from the Boggard. We figured that while we were out in the Narlmarches we would explore some of it that we had not gotten to over a year ago. The others all felt it was a nice change of pace from taking care of our fledgling nation. I wasn’t so sure. I had grown comfortable to life in town again. Things may be more complicated, but I know how to operate within that web of bureaucracy and intrigue. Out here anything goes.
For instance. We ran across a new tribe of kobolds today. Boris initially spotted them and we made our way to them to see if we could establish an alliance as we had done with the Soot-Scales. Initially these kobolds, the Thwamp-Tails, were more interested in staying hidden. However, I spoke with them in Draconic and was able to convince them to hear us out. They listened, but had a request before they would do anything with us. They wanted the Boggard dead. Apparently it has been terrorizing them and eating many of their tribe. We had learned that Boggard had been up to this last year from the Soot-Scales, but they had stayed clear of it. This tribe’s range must be within that of the Boggard’s ‘Kingdom.’ We told the kobolds we would look into it and visit the Boggard. Maybe we could persuade it from making war on the kobolds. While I have grown to appreciate what kobolds can do, I am not eager to make another treaty with more scaly creatures. We had a spoken truce with the Boggard, but really that was just convincing an imbecile that we weren’t a threat to its ‘kingdom.’ I am more interested in seeing what this Boggard is trading with the gypsies. The kobolds confirmed that they have seen it trade with ‘our kind,’ receiving ‘fairy dust’ in return. The hallucinogen that Boris had initially found on one of the bandits seemingly is a known narcotic. The kobolds told of how it alters the mind and gives the consumer increased strength.
We decide that after exploring the area we will return to the Boggard’s home and speak with it. Hopefully we can resolve this without having to come to arms. I don’t want to fight a raging frogman.
Barrakas 9, 818
I’m not sure what to make of what happened today. We had finished exploring the area just west of Tatzlford and decided to return to the Boggard. We are currently resting for the evening on a trail back to Tatzlford.
When we arrived we found it’s ‘kingdom’ in worse condition than we had originally found it. Whatever improvements the thing had made had fallen into disrepair. When we approached the structures that it used as a dwelling we came across its frog-like pet. Everyone had dismounted and tied off their horses, except Boris kept Panther with him. As we neared the creature both Cedric and I gave a shout to the Boggard. It refused to see us. It remained within one of the stone structures and we could barely see it through what was left of a window. Our attempts at convincing it to come out and speak with us fail.
We press on and try to ask it what its been trading with the gypsies. It claims it’s the ‘Forest’s Bounty.’ Which would be helpful if we knew what that was. We ask that it discontinue its trade with them and tell it that it should no longer take the ‘fairy dust.’ It seems to get confused and angry when we tell it that the drug is bad for it. It seems it can recall a certain priest of Balinor offering a bag of ‘fairy dust’ up for trade. We also pressed on the kobold issue in which it just replied that the kobolds were food. Boris was very upset with the idea of sentient life eating sentient life. I could really care less. I wanted to stop this illicit goods trade and the Boggard was a best lead.
After what seemed like an hour of shouting questions and receiving poorly articulated answers it finally told us to leave. I responded by telling it to make us. I probably should have kept my mouth shut. Or atleast phrased what I said a little differently as it responded by throwing a spear at me. I tried to dodge out of the way at the last minute, but the Flame forsaken land had begun to swallow up my boot. I went to jump away and my foot was stuck in the mud. The spear impaled my leg and embedded itself into the soft earth. I nearly collapsed from the pain. I carefully pulled the spear from my leg and tossed the thing into the marsh. I reached out and asked the Silver Flame to heal my wounds. I reached down to my leg and the warmth of the silver light that had enveloped my hands washed away any indication of a wound. I was still in pain and my leg was near useless to stand on. I would require days of rest or more magical healing to mend my leg completely. The others had engaged the frog creature as the Boggard continued to toss spears at Cedric who was clearly trying to draw it out. Boris, Stone, and Panther fought the frog creature and finally put it down after it had lashed out at Panther with its barbed tongues. Another reason I would prefer to stay in town. The Boggard continued to throw spears and found its home through a weak spot in Cedric’s armor. He took the hit which appeared worse than my own and kept walking forward. I managed to get myself up to a knee and took aim and fired an arrow. It hit and the Boggard seemed to hardly feel it. The others began to cross the marsh and when they had reached the shore of the structure the Boggard made its escape. The thing vanished from my view and I fell back and sat there waiting for the others to return.
Cedric was fuming mad. He wanted to talk to the thing but we ended up chasing it off and potentially making a very strong enemy. The thing knew the location of Tatzlford and could easily kill every single person in that village. Boris recovered several small leather bags that held ‘fairy dust’ and Cedric promptly told him to destroy them. I argued we keep them as evidence when we went to prosecute the gypsies. They were consumed by fire. Boris also located a small cache of coins. After seeing to raiding the Boggard’s lair Boris healed my wound fully removing the soreness and weakness from my leg. I had spotted tools at the far side of the Boggard’s island and investigated. The tools appeared to be used for harvesting something that hung out of reach. The tools consisted of stilts, long poles with various tools attached to the ends, and a harness that could carry them. They also ended up in the fire. We were all a bit upset at how the exchange went. Stone and Cedric argued with Boris over morality. In fact they are still arguing about it…
Barrakas 10, 818
Middle of the night.
Well. We have really made a mess of things.
We returned to Tatzlford in the late evening. We went directly to the inn and went to the rooms we had a few days ago. We hardly spoke to each other when we got in. I was tired and I really didn’t feel like spending time with the others.
I was awoken by a tapping at the window of my room. A kobold was at the window, one of Zat’s Hands. He notified me that Zat was behind me and then ran off. Kobolds. I turned around to find Zat on my bed. He’s done this before when he wanted to speak in private. I haven’t been able to figure out how he does it. Zat wanted to talk about what happened out in the marsh. It seems he had a contingent of Hands following us. When I questioned him, he said he had Hands watching every council member, especially after what nearly happened to Svetlana. We discussed what happened with the Boggard and the Thwamp-Tail. He said it was his job to maintain the borders. We overstepped our positions and went gallivanting into the woods. We didn’t stop to think about the politics out here. The Boggard was a known quantity. Zat knew where he was and was able to keep an eye on him and his activities. I wish he would have come to me when he saw that it was trading goods for drugs. Zat realized that we need to be on better terms, more communication between us. The Thwamp-Tails are not to be trusted. Zat added that he could round a couple of them up for us to talk to if we would like. I wouldn’t mind speaking to one with the assistance of Zat and the Hands. I wanted to get Cedric during our conversation, but Zat protested. He wanted to keep what we were doing from Cedric. I don’t mind doing that as it’s really none of his concern anyway. Zat and I should be handling this kind of problem.
I just hope we haven’t disrupted the balance out here too much.