Khangar Amboss’s Journal Entry Baybride Expedition Day 1:
I saw a job post for an exploration mission sponsored by the cartographer’s guild. The mission statement was to explore the area around Baybridge. Having newly arrived to Mariner’s landing with little coin I decide to take the job.
I met the exploration party near the edge of the Blighted Forest. Mac Woodfleet was the Cartographer’s guild representative. We were joined by Captain Ron, an interesting bard who washed up on these strange Drochtredia shores. A captain without a crew. Our last member was a strange round creature, named Finrick. He claimed to be a gnome. Now in all honesty, I come from a very small secluded clan, but Finrick was rather more portly than any gnomish description I had heard before.
Finrick had a propensity for pastries, he was distraught that he hadn’t brought any. He wanted to return to town and get some before we set off! Luckily Mac had traveled with Finrick before. Mac used some strange form of magic to make a stale old crust of bread look like a close approximation of a fresh pastry. Finrick ate this and seemed satisfied. Finally we were off.
Our first stop was at Farmer Ed’s. Ed was a quiet man of few words. I got the feeling he was overwhelmed by the four people on his property. He gave short clipped answers to Finrick’s questions about the surrounding ruins. While Finrick and I were admiring the ruins, Mac convinced Ed to watch Fluffy, his ram. Ron commented on how fine the Rams were and Ed started to relax. By the end of the conversation Ed was even making jokes…something about my mother having a beard. I decided to let it slide. We continued on our way and left Ed and Fluffy behind us.
The first few days were easy going. Captain Ron surprised us all, including himself, at how good of a forager he was. He caught two large porcupines. I showed the group how to pack the porcupines’ back in mud and then bake them in the fire. The quills released from the meat easily after be backed into a brick. In the morning we each recovered a hand full of quills from the mud bricks.
The following day we encountered the bay and another cross roads. Captain Ron pulled a haul from the sea. Various shelfish: Crawfish, shrimp, and crabs. That night we camped near the road. I treated the group to a Clan Amboss crawfish creek boil.
The next morning we discussed which path to take. Mac told us of a land of fog and ghouls that lie to the south and a city of fish people that lie to the north. I had always thought ghouls were a tall tale used for scaring children into doing their chores. I was skeptical but stayed optimistic as we packed up camp and headed towards the land of the ghouls.
As the sun began to set, we came to a thick wall of fog. Mac informed us that this was the boundary of the ghoul kingdom. Mac, Finrick, and I set up camp while Captain Ron foraged. He returned with a small doe. I studded the meat with some wild garlic and roasted it over a spit. After dinner we turned in for the night and took turns keeping watch. During Ron’s watch he saw a shadowy figure in the distance. He quietly alerted the rest of us. Finrick noisily dove into a bush that was two sizes too small for him. But in that commotion Captain Ron and I were able to hide. The figure inched closer and a stray breeze lifted his cloak slightly revealing the decayed flesh of a sickly pale arm…I now believe in ghouls.
The ghoul threw its head back and bellowed out a blood curdling command. Just then a small black dragon swooped down behind Mac and I, it exhaled it’s black putrid breath on us. It felt as if my lungs were decaying from the inside. Before we could mount a counter attack it reared its head and unleashed another volley of fetid air. My head went light and I lost consciousness.
The next thing I remembered was Ron yelling at me to play dead. He had used his magic to revive me. I still felt like shit, so playing dead was not hard to do.
The dragon flew off towards Finrick and Ron. The ghoul summoned some kind of ghostly weapon behind Mac and attacked. Mac went out cold. I had had enough of lying down. I summoned my inner reserves, took a deep breath and ran towards the ghoul throwing one of my axes. With my ax lodged in its shoulder, the ghoul started to retreat.
I heard shrieks of the dragon behind me but I didn’t have time to check on Finrick and Ron. I raced to Mac, rummaged through his pack, and force fed him a healing potion.
We heard a victorious shout come from behind us as Ron and Finrick downed the dragon.
With the dragon defeated, the ghoul hastened its retreat. But it was no match for Mac’s magic and my axes. Mac landed the final blow with a magical blast that turned the ghoul’s head into mist.
We looted the dragon corpse and found a control collar around it’s neck. Collectively we skinned 4lbs of scales from the dragon’s hide. These were small scales, too small for crafting armor but someone back in Mariner’s landing may pay a pretty penny for them.
The ghoul corpse had a Ruby necklace that must have allowed it to command the dragon. We also found some small change and a carrier pigeon note written in their ghoulish language. We agreed that translating the note should be our 1st task once we return to Mariner’s Landing.
(scrawled in the margin- Note was translated to: “Keep an eye on the west. Watch for the Mariners. Keep them off the main obelisk.”)
As we were finishing our search of the corpse, Mac spotted another shadowy figure fade into the wall of fog. We quickly packed up and moved a couple hours further from ghoul territory. We camped through the rest of the night, unmolested.
Through the next few days, we returned to the crossroads at the bay. Captain Ron’s foraging luck had started to wane. He caught some small game but it wasn’t enough for us to subsist on and we had to start dipping into our rations.
Captain Ron’s Journal:
Captain’s log: Expedition Day 6
Since I’m the newest member of the group, I volunteered to forage AGAIN. Today when I went out, it was the first time there wasn’t some fresh road kill less than 2 minutes from camp so I actually had to find something this time. My luck is starting to run out.
We started to travel NW along the coast, which I didn’t mind. I’m more comfortable near the sea. After a few days of travel we finally found some ruined buildings. Our attention was drawn to a Chapel with some broken wooden doors. In the chapel was what looked to be an Elven made pedestal in the center of a bowl. We examined the bowl for what seemed like hours. I could tell Finrick was getting hungry and I was worried they were going to ask me to go forage for food again.
We ended up throwing everything but the dwarf in the bowl to see what would happen. After we added dirt, water, blood, a porcupine quill, and lit it on fire we started to examine the mixture. It appeared to age everything it touched, including Mac’s hand, the glass bottle and even a stone bowl. Clearly the bowl in the chapel was enchanted. There were some Celestial markings on the pedestal that Mac copied onto a piece of paper, then we made our way out of the Chapel.
When we exited, Khangar, unprompted, told us that he believed that the ruins were 400-500 years old. I’m pretty sure he was just making that up, but I was still impressed. Khangar and Finrick then scoped out the water and found that the ruins were underwater as well.
We then traveled NE on the road and continued following it after it bent east.
On the 12th day we came to a new intersection (well it was new to me anyway). Mac pointed out that the Sahuagin were farther East. He’d never been NW, and since this was a map making mission that’s where we went, towards the mountains.
Captain’s Log: Expedition Day 14
There’s less and less food to be found, and Finrick is giving me the evil eye everytime I come back empty handed.
Captain’s Log: Expedition Day 15
HOLY CRAP THERE IS NOTHING TO FORAGE HERE! I’m too ashamed to make eye contact with anyone.
On the 18th day we approached a cliff pass. And then our day went from hungry to nearly deadly. Looking down on us were 3 harpies. They immediately started to sing their enchanting song. Lucky for us these harpies were tone deaf. Seriously, these 3 couldn’t charm a toad. I glanced at Mac during the “song”, and he glanced back with an eye roll. We drew our weapons and attacked.
My first action was to conjure my vicious wit to mock their terrible hymn. The harpy whom heard my retort was visibly shaken (clearly this was the first time he was informed that he couldn’t sing). We each got a few hits on the harpies, however, it appears that the joke was ultimately on me because the Harpy reached back and clubbed me over the head, knocking me unconscious.
When I came to, Finrick was celebrating his multiple kills. Clearly he was hangry and taking out his frustration on the Harpies.
Later that day we reached the summit of the mountain. About 40 miles away we saw the beginnings of a desert that stretched as far as we could see. We all savored in the moment. It was one of those accomplishments that you wish you could capture, and share with everyone you’ve ever met to prove to them how much better you are than them. If only there was a way to do that…