Good news, bad news, and… Interesting… News here. The good news is that my plans so far seem to be working. The caravan guards that didn’t outright join the town guards have become a wandering, semi-independent auxiliary force. They’re always on the move, so you can’t really predict where or when they’re going to show up next, and because of their mobility, they have an edge in response time when necessary, as Hansen explained. It’s like guarding a caravan.
The extra eyes and ears are extremely helpful as well. The pages guild is damned good, my thieves are damned good, but I’m never going to turn down an extra information source if I know it’s reliable.
Also in good news, the Circus was invited back for the Games this year. Bastards didn’t even tell me they were coming, and I somehow missed any reports that mentioned them. Just showed up out of nowhere! The gnolls were in great spirits, and there were enthusiastic greetings across the board. The show, as always, was excellent, though I’m afraid I certainly did my best to make THEIR juggler’s look good…
You can’t tell, but I snorted derisively at myself as I wrote that, and ‘Nali snicker-… Giggled, I have been informed (Apparently, girls don’t snicker), at the memory. Just thought I’d share that note here.
After the show, we had a more serious chat over wine, and we were given a warning of things to come. Here is where we get to the bad news (My juggling didn’t count, for the record).
Apparently our preparations for illness and Khemosh were misplaced. He is not likely to strike here, but rather possibly Ciarrancere, or Jiaren’s lands. Instead, we are expecting something quite possibly far worse. I have heard that “She” is coming, and right now I can only think of one “She”. I fought her once, and we all nearly died to do so.
We may be stronger now, but I have a feeling that’s not going to help as much as I would hope.
Word has already been sent to the areas we’ve been warned about, but I’m not going to ignore the threat of Khemosh here either. Luckily, we already prepared as much as we could, but I don’t want to let my guard down on that. We still have a lot of eyes at the gates, at the fountains and wells, and at the docks. Kudos to anyone that gets something in under us (and as soon as we find out, we will, of course, destroy whoever was behind it).
I’ve sent out incospicuous scouting parties up river, just to the next couple of settlements and towns. If anything noteworthy happens, or they poison the river up stream, they will contact me and we’ll work to counter or at least limit the damage here.
I’m going to get with Hansen and see if he’s got any ideas beyond what I’ve already implemented.
Oh, and lastly on the bad news, which leads nicely to the ‘interesting’, is Trolls. Apparently, bigger-than-usual, magically appearing trolls. I have yet to find hide nor hair of the nasty fuckers in my woods, but I’m definitely going to keep my eyes out, my nose sharp, and possibly see about getting my hands on a lot of acid.
Hmm… Actually, if we may be having a troll problem, I might want to get with Hansen about making sure that our men are properly equipped for that issue. Fire in town is not a good idea, fire in my woods is also not a good idea, so I’d definitely prefer acid…
Though fire is a lot cheaper…
Speaking of fire… The interesting news. A group of adventurers have come to Olympia calling themselves the Brigade of Fire and Steel, and escorting a 3rd Continent Elf. I have a feeling she is important, but Liad has not yet seen fit to share information with me, and we sure as hell know better than to pry in that wagon of his.
As for her escorts? It’s not terribly often you see adventuring blacksmiths. Seeing a pair of them working together is certainly noteworthy. Seeing that one of them is a Cleric of Kossuth, and that he’s working with not one, but a pair of Rangers? Now we’re getting interesting. The young Death Mage, the Kender-thing, the Half-Elf that doesn’t appear to be a Ranger, the reappearance of Corky, and their pet Thief rounding out the bunch?
Well… Let’s just say I have a feeling things are going to get interesting.
Their leader can be mistaken for nothing else, he just has an aura of command about him to the point where I am half-tempted to follow him. This in amusing counterpoint to his rather unsure, and somewhat tongue-tied demeanor. He leans heavily on that fire Cleric as a second-in-command, who seems much more comfortable in that position. Their Leader, his name is Drace I believe, is with most of his party at the Common Inn.
The Krondorian Cleric, Hammig has made himself useful, setting up at Crombie’s forge where he is acting as an apprentice since Crombie’s last one is out on his journeymanship. As well, he is holding a service to their god every morning as they start with the forge. There are not many followers of their god here (thank goodness), but he’s not making trouble. Rather, he’s doing a bit of good; I haven’t seen old Crombie that happy since I gave him the dimensions for my mug! So long as he doesn’t burn my town down, he’s welcome to stay.
Corky is looking… Well? They were very happy to see me (which is certainly better than the alternative). Floral chainmail? Really? Nothing else to note here, beyond that I’m glad that Corky? Or is it Kitty now? is still alive and working with a group of adventurers not us. Hmm… Speaking of, I’m going to have to get someone to give me some background on this group. I think I’ve heard a few things that can be attributed to them, but I want better details on who we’re dealing with and if necessary, how best to either deploy them against the coming storm, or destroy them if they be harbingers of it.
Probably the former though.
Let’s see, who else? The Half-Elven, self-proclaimed Hero, he’s an interesting one. Well armed, carries himself both confidently and competently, and certainly knows the way to a mead-hall’s heart. I’ll certainly hear about his capabilities with a bow from the archery contest he’s apparently entered. If he’s as good as he says, he might even give Ashe a run for her money. That would be a sight to see.
Speaking of sights, their Kender certainly fits that bill. She’s dressed even flashier than my best juggling finery, and has an almost insane level of energy and innocence. And sticky fingers. I swear, she passed by me and I didn’t see her get closer than ten feet, yet my pouches later were short a couple of buttons and had rock candy. I’m a shit pickpocket, granted, but that’s unreal. Also, of the members of this group, she’s the least worrisome to me. Like I said, the Paiges like her. That’s good enough for me.
The Death Mage is an interesting one. With that hood up and her scythe out, she gives off a decidedly uncomfortable aura and has done an excellent job of disturbing some of the local populace. Under the hood, it’s a teenage girl. Couldn’t place her accent, but from what I’ve heard, she says she’s Indoponese. Apparently, she’s a talented healer, and has even managed to re-attach the Kenders arm. Not sure how it came off in the first place, but if that’s true… Well. Certainly interesting. I know she’s visited the creep shop by the Dick’s, but not sure if she’s actually a necromancer or not. If she is, this group is even weirder than I thought originally. The Cleric and this mage treat each other as almost father / daughter or uncle / niece.
Ian was grabbed by Gloves fairly quickly and inducted to our little family. Jaffa has briefed him on how we manage our town, but he is as yet unaware me. For now, his contacts will continue to be Jaffa and Gloves. No reason to pull back the curtain yet, especially considering the idiot apparently likes to blab about his profession. He’s very lucky he did so in front of one our friends, or his visit to this town would’ve ended somewhat more abruptly for him.
And then, there’s the Rangers. I was in the woods when the Halfling made himself known and waited for my response. I’ve never seen a Halfling Ranger before, but Sylvannis, Vylwinalli, the Owl that’s as big as he is, and that axe he carries on his belt put any doubts out of mind as to what he is. Nate is a cocky little man, but I certainly know better than to underestimate the height challenged. He also, despite his cockiness, was quite respectful of the territory he had entered. I’ve given him free reign in my woods, with warning that my wolves were off limits. Otherwise, he and his owl are welcome to hunt or escape the town as necessary.
I neglected to mention something about that, but…
After he left, I treed myself for a nap before I headed to Russet’s when less than an hour later, the Human Ranger showed up. The legendary Ciarra’s own sister, making her own name as an adventurer, and she had to come to my town? Why do I feel like bad things are going to happen? Luckily, aside from being the ranger in charge of these woods, the Lady Ciarra is unlikely to know of any other ties I may have, should her sister suffer an early end in the troubles coming, so I should be in the clear from her. Hopefully. I think. Lucky for her, I remembered to warn her away from my woods at night. I don’t hunt as a wolf every night, in fact, I only do so once every few weeks, but there’s no sense in taking chances with tourists. Especially not during these next couple of weeks.
The rest of them, I’m less worried about, but Ciarra’s sister dying in my town strikes me as a very, very, very bad thing. Getting caught overtly protecting Ciarra’s sister would also probably not be a good thing. I think the Paiges and a few of the caravaners are best suited for this. Just a couple of extra eyes where she’s around, nothing overt. She looks like she can handle herself, but better safe than scorched Earth, right? I’ll discuss this with Hansen, he’s still a better tactician than I am.
In other news, I now have a mages tower, and Krys now has a much expanded kitchen. In her case, extra profit for the house as the Paiges and Sally bake goods for sale in the market and about town. In my case, the Dick has easy access to the guild, and we have significantly improved our communication capabilities with field teams.
Someone’s coming with a report. I’ve covered the important bases here. I have a few more ideas kicking around my head, but I’ll get to them later.
~Mugshot Wolffang Dragontooth, Head of the Olympian Thieve’s Guild, Ranger of the Order of the Arches