The first two that arrived were two that seemed to be from the ancient past; a strong Samurai Hobgoblin by the name of Jubei Atori, wielding a Katana and a Wakasashi. Alongside with him was his servant, a scout goblin names Ichiro Suzuki. Not very strong, but incredibly agile, and wielded a short sword, a crossbow, and a short bow. Both were from a secluded, isolated tribe of ancient goblins, and therefore their common was filled with ancient words that are no longer used today, though likewise, there are words (not to mention customs… Don’t by any means accidentally touch Jubei’s Katana) they do not know.
Jubei’s tribe had ran into total isolation into the hills and caves, running from the human civil war, and for centuries had become long forgotten. But when Jubei, the tribe leader, decided it was now time to leave his tribe and exploring the world they had run from over 500 years ago. Though, not long after they had begun traveling, Jubei received a letter from a human man robed in blue, which was also addressed to his scout, Ichiro.
Confused about how this man who calls himself Sorgalle knew about Jubei and his tribe, decided to take the letter’s consideration, and travel forward to Illa Island. If they were to get any answers, Sorgalle was a good place to start.
Afterwards, a younger human woman named Moire was called with a similar letter, received in the same fashion—by a silent man robed in blue. She had the skill with her words, not necessarily with strength, that attracted Sorgalle’s attention. Among many talents, Moire had the adept ability as a child to convince one of her 5 other siblings to take the blame for her. In her mother’s eyes, she could do no wrong.
Though Moire was not without her enemies. In particular, her older brother, Asher, hated her, and tried in his best abilities to try to get her into as much trouble or danger as he could, but every time so far, has failed, which continues to fuel the flame of hatred in his heart.
Equipping herself with a mace and a dagger, she decided to pack up and leave, kissing her mother goodbye, and went off in search for schooling, or at least that is what she told her parents. Instead, she traveled, using her quick tongue and soft looks to her advantage, in search for more power. She dreams of power and wealth, and eventual control over the nation, and wish to have everything she could ever dream of…
Soon after she left home, she received the letter from Sorgalle. She accepted the letter, only because this Sorgalle person interested her, and for the slight suspicion that her brother, Asher, was behind it.
Jubei and Ichiro both arrive at the docks of the western town of Port Taryn, and walk through the fish markets towards the center square. Both are ready for business, and start by asking where the Bull and Whistle Inn is. They are directed to it without question, and walk up to the barkeeper, who goes by the name of Appius.
“Good afternoon,” Jubei says, bowing.
“Hello,” Appius nods, rubbing a glass clean. He has a thick twang in his accent (OOC: think Danny Butterman from Hot Fuzz).
“Mine servant and I have been told that ye were to give us lodging, in return for the sight of this seal.” Jubei shows Appius the seal. Appius raises a finger, then turns his head behind him, hardly moving his body. “Amzi!” he yells. “Amzi! I gots me one of them letters you were talkin’ about.”
“You sure?” a feminine voice, though with the same unique twang, rang out from the kitchen.
“Alright, then, let ‘em through.”
Appius smiles, nods, and then looks back at Jubei and Ichiro. “Right,” he said, which sounded more like “Roy-eat” spoken quickly. “Your rooms are upstairs, and they’re ready for ya.”
Jubei nods in gratitude, and he and Ichiro head upstairs to sleep the night.
About a week later, Moire, who had arrived on the other side of Illa Island at Port Hill, had been taken by carriage to her final destination. Her caravan windows were covered, and nothing happened on her trip, so she knew not which part of the island she currently was in. She walked through the southern gates, and looked around the hustling little town about her. She walked into the center square, spotted the Bull and Whistle Inn, and casually walked in, and spoke to Appius, who was still cleaning cups.
Being the diplomat that she is, Moire raises her shoulders, puts on a soft, lovely smile, and bows her head lightly towards Appius. “My fairest greetings to you,” she says, not looking away from his eyes. Appius, on the other hand, does not look away from the glass that he’s cleaning.
”’ello,” he says, “What can I do fer ya?” He still hasn’t looked up, and this irritates Moire, but does not show it.
“Erm, I was told to come here and show the seal of this letter I had received by one Sorgalle?” Appius cocks and eyebrow, looks up, and is taken aback at who is in front of him.
“Oh.” He quickly gains composure, and he, himself, straightens his back. “Er, hello, ma’am.” He looks down at the seal. He raises a finger, and turns his head towards the kitchen. His body hardly moves. “Amzi!” he yells. “Oi, Amzi!”
“What do you want, Appius?” Amzi yells back.
“I gots me one of them letters again,” he calls, and then a smile lifts the corners of his lips. “And it’s from a lady person, ‘ere.”
“Well, let her through! There’s rooms upstairs,”
Appius looked back, smiling lightly, and pointed absently towards the stairs. “You can pick any room that’s not being used,” he says, and looks back down to his glasses.
“Thank you, good sir,” Moire says, and turns to leave. She stops. “Did you say you have seen more of these letters?”
Appius looks up, scans the room quickly, then pointed to behind Moire. “That big feller with the little feller, o’er there. The green ones. They talk strange, they do…”
Moire nods a thank you, and then walks over to Jubei and Ichiro. She slowly bows her head in politeness, and introduces herself. “Good afternoon,” she says, “I heard you, too, have received letters from Sorgalle?”
“Thy hast, indeed,” Jubei says, standing and bowing, before returning to his seat. “Mine name be Jubei Atori, leader of my clan. This be mine servant and friend, Ichiro Suzuki. Both have received letters from one called Sorgalle. Dost thou have yours with you?”
Moire nods, and pulls her letter out to show proof that she has been called along with them. She sits and chats with them, eating, and gets to know the two travelers she will be with for this adventure. Time speeds by, and evening quickly fell upon them, and lanterns were lit. A bard was now playing a lute in the background, with his hat on his table. The three of them parted ways, and went to their rooms to bed.
The next morning, Jubei, Ichiro, and Moire return to the pub and chat over breakfast. After some time, a man with short, black hair wearing robes of brown and green, carrying a quarterstaff walked into the Inn, scanned the room, and briskly and smoothly walked toward the party’s table. He is wearing a gleaming broach with the seal of Sorgalle on it.
The man speaks in a calm, collected, and polite manner. “Good morning, warriors.”
“Good morning, Warriors,” the party replies, each one slightly different from the other.
“I hope you are enjoying your stay here. My name is Barr, and I am a servant of Sorgalle, the one who has sent you here. I have a letter here for all of you to read, and I am told that I am to assist you in any way that I can.”
Barr hands Jubei the letter, and reads it aloud.
“Now that all of you are gathered together, here is my first quest for you. This will show your strength, cunning, and guile to prove if you are worthy enough to be my privately hired men at arms. A precious valuable has been taken from me a few nights ago, taken by the most foul of sorcery. Do not be fooled by the appearance of the city, there is dark magic afoot.
“This man will help you acquire certain items you will need for this quest. He has a money lender’s note with him to help buy certain items not to exceed 900 gold, or 100 gold per person. You can only get items from him, and should all the hold or items not be spent or used, they will leave with him when the quest is completed. I believe this to be very reasonable.
“Upon completing this quest, each member that survives will receive either a shared 3000 gold, or you can choose to resurrect one fallen party member, not both.
“I will send you more information when this is completed.
“A precious valuable?” Moire repeats.
“Pardon, sir,” pipes up Ichiro, whose voice is rather high, but still has the definite ancient sound in his voice, much like Jubei’s. “But what doth this precious valuable be?”
Bsrr shakes his head and looks around the room suspiciously. “I can not say here, for it is to be in strict confidence. I shall tell you when we leave Port Taryn. For now, let us get some supplies, and we shall depart tomorrow morning.”
The group now walks out into the busy streets of the fishing port. Barr explains that there are not a lot of provisions at Port Taryn, as it’s mainly a fishing and exporting port. There is a blacksmith here and a small general store that sells basic items, such as torches, trail rations, and backpacks. It is said that they do have one old woman who sells magical items, but, since she is the only one who sells them in quite a distance, they are rumored to be very expensive.
Barr tells the group that the best place to buy magical items would be to go to the Elven City of Ishqala, which would be the first stop on their travels. “It will be about a four day’s travel when walking the quickest path, which is through the forest,” Barr informs, “Though there may be a faster way of travel if you ask around.”
The four of them split, each doing different things. Moire goes and finds herself a map of Illa Island, which is done rather quickly, but has everything she needs, minus paths or roads. Jubei finds out that there is a caravan service by the southern gate, and Ichiro goes to the general store to get himself some trail rations. The four return, and decide to go to the potion shop, who is owned by an old, gentle woman named Amzi (not the same Amzi from the Bull and Whistle Inn, though.)
Moire walks in, and greets the old woman. She is very short, stout, and has broad shoulders. “Hello, dear,” she says, her voice twanging like Appius’, but with a different accent (Scottish). She looks up at the group before her. “Travelers, I see?” She asks, rolling her r’s. “What might ya be lookin’ fer?”
“We aren’t quite sure yet,” Moire says, looking around. The room is cluttered, dirty, and papers, scrolls, and other such things are flung on the floor. “We’re looking for anything we might need.” Amzi smiles and twists over to pick something up from the counter top.
“Well,” she says, pulling out a wand. “Nobody is without-” she loses her grip and drops the wand. “Oh, bother.” She bends over to pick up the wand, but slips on a book and falls.
“Oh my,” Moire says, leaning down to help Amzi up. “Do you need any help?”
“No, I’m alrigh’,” Amzi says, waving her hand. Moire still goes to help Amzi up, and grasps her old, brittle hand, but it feels course, rough, and much bigger than it actually is.
“What?” Amzi suddenly popped from an old woman to a rather young-looking dwarf!
“Oh!” Amzi exclaims and springs up in irritation, her face behind her silky beard flushed. “Now you aren’t going to buy anything from me!”
“I beg your pardon, ma’am,” Jubei says, bowing, “But why would thy not buy anything from thee in this appearance?”
Amzi looks at Jubei in confusion, and answers. “I’m a Dwarf who likes magic over weapons. No one takes me seriously. That’s why no one buys anything from me!”
“Has thou perhaps considered the prices, maddam? Perhaps they are too steep for these people.” Jubei responds calmly.
“Eh?” Amzi looks at him in confusion. “My prices? Well, I always though, ya know, that magic is such a rare thing, that it should be expensive… What’s the regular price of a light healing potion?”
“About 50 gold.” Barr responds simply. “How much is yours?” Amzi sheepishly mutters off that she had them priced at three times that much. “At least now that you know, you can drop your prices, and regain customers,” he responds.
“Thank you so much!” she yells, now excited. “And for your help, whatever you buy today is half what it would normally be!”
The group buys 3 cure light wounds potions each, resulting in 12 cure light wounds potions at 25 gold a piece. They then leave and head towards the south gate to book their seats on the stage coach. A tall, pompous man run the coaches, and explains to the group that it would be 2 gold per head, and it would be a 2-day travel to Ishqala. “We leave at the break of dawn, so if you are late, you are left behind, and no refunds. We also have a mercenary option, which is an extra 4 gold, to hire a man to protect you on your travels.”
“Actually,” Jubei says, “Thy was wondering if we could be the mercenaries. We are fully capable of protecting this stage coach, if you wish to hire us.” The man laughs calmly and smiles up at Jubei.
“That is very kind of you to say, but there are already three mercenaries on this coach, and unless you were paying for more, the extra swords would not be needed this trip. Thank you for the offer, and perhaps another trip, I shall hire you.”
The group pays their fares, and when all is said and done, they leave back to the Bull and Whistle Inn for the night.
Barr awakes each person quietly and gently, making careful care with Jubei not to get his head cut off, and they head out. The sky is still dark, but the little port town is lit with lanterns, and there are people at the docks, loading and unloading ships, and selling fish and other goods. The group goes south, through the town square, past the temple and the mayor’s house, and towards the Southern Gate.
“Good morning,” a warrior shouts towards the group. He motions towards the readying stage coach, seeing that there is a young family sitting inside the carriage. There were three warriors standing around, and one overly arrogant one with his sword out of the scabbard.
Moire, noticing this, walks over to the man and firmly explains to him that it’s dangerous to keep it out of its scabbard.
“I know what I’m doing, little lady. You don’t need to worry,” he says, and looks around. Moire becomes furious. She takes a look around, and spots some stray cats.
“You know,” she says, “It would be a real shame if, say, you tripped and accidentally hit a cat, or a baby… Real shame.” The warrior cocks an eyebrow, but says nothing. Moire takes a few steps behind the man, picks up a stray cat, and tosses it at him, and jumps behind the caravan.
The cat bounces off the man’s back, he stumbles toward Jubei, and the man swings back, seeing the cat jump away. He mutters something about strange cats, and continues on with what he was doing.
Jubei looks sternly at the warrior who nearly hit his sword. Barr, noticing this, walks over to Moire, and explains what had just nearly happened. “Jubei is from a tribe that, should someone touch their sword, it is an act of attack, and he would be forced to kill him, or die trying. That man could have died.” Moire gave the smallest of shrugs. Evidently, she wouldn’t have lost any sleep at night over it.
“Come on, come on, we are already late!” someone yells. Everyone boards the stage coach, and they are off.
The morning passes uneventfully. Every once in a while, Jubei looks out the window and spots something in the grasses, but it disappears before he can see what it is. He asks Barr what it might be, and he calmly explains that it is probably just an animal.
By afternoon, the stage coach reaches a crossroads, with a sign in the center of the three roads. Left, heading west, takes the party between forest and mountains through the Tornado Alley. Straight, south, takes them through the Anaya Forest, the quickest path. And right, leading east would take them to the White beach, where there are rumors of pirates and spots of quicksand.
The caravan stops for lunch at the crossroads, and the ‘mercenaries’ toss their weapons to the ground as they eat. Ichiro hears a snap of a twig. He looks, sees something in the grassland, and readies himself to fight.
“Gnolls!” someone screams as 5 gnolls, and 3 hyenas jump to an attack. The human family jumped back into the stage coach. The battle went quickly. The three mercenaries hired to protect the caravan died quickly, with little effort to the battle axe wielded Gnolls. Jubei cleaves into the gnolls, as if he were itching for a fight. Ichiro is just as skilled. Barr stands silent, taking a few hits, but stands his ground, not swinging a single blow with his staff. Soon, a wolf come galloping towards the party, diving into a hyena, killing it with one good bite to the neck. The fight was not without bloodshed on the other side, however. Moire takes one single blow and gets knocked straight down, unconscious.
The battle finishes quickly with Jubei, Ichiro, and the wolf killing all eight of the attackers. Barr walks calmly to the wolf, pets its coarse fur, and shakes his head. “This is not right,” he exclaims. “No Gnoll has gone this far past its borders before… They must be trying to push their boundaries.”
Barr makes a silent notion that he is going to scout out the area, and disappears, along with the wolf. A few moments later, he returns and looks calm. “There are no other Gnolls or dangers in this area. We have no immediate threats for now.”
The group pays respect for those who have fallen, and climb back into the stage coach and continue on towards the forest. For the rest of the day, it’s uneventful. They travel along in mostly silence, staring out the windows towards the forest. Moire and Ichiro swear, on occasion, that they see the forest itself moving.
“Perhaps this is why thou calls it the ‘Living’ forest,” Ichiro exclaims.
The rest of the day passes on smoothly, until they reach a small clearing in the woods, looking to be well used. “Right,” the driver calls, stopping the coach and helping tack down the horses. “We’ll stop here for the night, then continue on in the morning. We should make it to Ishqala by late tomorrow afternoon.”
They set up a fire, and position themselves around it. The family sleep inside the coach, and the coachman sleeps on the roof.
The group sets up watch, with Ichiro first, then Jubei, Barr, then Moire. Ichiro’s watch is quiet and dark. When it’s Jubei’s, there are some loud crashes in the southeast part of the clearing. He wakes Ichiro, and hears the very familiar sounds of Hobgoblins.
Jubei screams at the top of his lungs. “SAVAGES!!“
End of Session One.