Rogues Gallery (The Thieve's Game)

Underhanded Gifts

EDIT 11/10 10:59

NOTE: As always, this journal is written randomly in every language Mugshot knows, including phonetic spellings of non-written languages. Information security FTW!

Through Gloves and Crombie, with the approval of the Guild, I have ordered a shipment of Star Metal rivets and Buckles which will likely be lost on the way to their not actual destination. The shipment will instead find itself to Crombie, who will upgrade the town guards equipment as it comes in for repair as all guards armor and weapons will. This will eliminate any suspicion about what we’re doing. I have been reassured that even casting detect magic will only give the guards a minor aura, combined with antiquing the rivets so they do not look like the Star Metal they actually are, and we’ll have a further enhanced defensive line against any further palms up incursions.

On that note, Alisandra and the Dick will be doing a minor protection enchantment (AC -2, 1 Con), while giving the archers a subtle edge (1 Dex) and melee fighters a little extra ‘oomph’. (+1 str). The Temple even took part in acquiring blood samples from each of the guards. Course, it only matters when they’re wearing it, but you can’t fix everything for everyone all the time.

The wolves seem to be enjoying our new symbiosis. The town has enacted new laws protecting them. Any harm done to a wolf can only be done in self defense, and that claim has to pass muster by The Blue Lady herself.

Yes, love, I know you don’t like me calling you that, that’s why I didn’t! I wrote it down, for posterity, you knOW! Haha, okay, okay.

…Must past muster by the Great Arch-Drui-OW!

…Vyl says so.

No fun at all, dearest!

At any rate, the wolves have accepted their role, and even accepted the werewolf that I am, as well as (with even greater reservation than they did towards myself), the Gnolls from the circus. Still, it is with some (okay, a lot of) amusement that I watch traders who have been away from Olympia for awhile to come back being paced by their honor guard of whichever young wolves want to have a spot of fun and terrify the travelers. I’ll have to talk to see if I can get Korvo to keep his progeny in better line, amusing as it is, it is bound to get us in trouble of they keep it up too much.

Growing pains, and all that.

Jaffa, speaking of trouble, has suggested collecting offal and whatever hunters do not want to use to be placed around the wood by trusted individuals for the wolves. It’ll help keep the wolves out of our livestock and from being a nuisance. As such, I’m going to treat it as a position of honor and trust among the rangers and druids of the area, hand chosen by our local and terribly lovely Arch Druid.

The Brigade of Fire and Steel passed through again recently, and as always seems to happen when they come through town, a party broke out at Russets. Good drinking, good food, and new friends. Or persons of interest, depending on who you speak with. Considering their chummyness with my accidentally adopted Uncle Russet…

That leads to complications, he can’t be my adopted uncle if his children are my neices and nephew, that’d just be strange… Yes, you’re quite right, dear. I am over thinking this one.

At any rate, they seemed quite close with Liad and Russet, so that puts them far, far, far on the list “not a threat to my family”, especially considering some of the stories that came up from the gnomes and Russet, or the fact that Norman (Gnorman? Ow!) has a silver toothpick. They’re alright. I’m still curious about them, but I’ll worry about it later. If anything comes up Ian will let me know, since he’s currently traveling with the Brigade.

Hm, should’ve given him one of the Rings so he could check in, but he’s a resourceful one. Between him and Gloves, I’m not… overly… worried.

Ah, yes. The New Game for the Games… I must say Richard has drastically outdone my expectations and imagination with the new obstacle course. I had anticipated something like a mile long course with walls to climb, mud to slog through, ropes to swing on, something along those lines. What have we got instead? A goddamn ever-changing trap-o-rama designed for individual and team runs. No two runnings will ever be the same.

The next Games will be quite an event!

That is all on my mind for now, so dear paper, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Lady to walk and a tiger to b-OW!

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A Brief Note about the Games
In Plain Commmon, Even

A brief note so that I do not forget. I should get with Brian, The Champion if he’s in town, and the Games organizers about adding two new events to the next Games.

Individual and Team obstacle courses.

Challenge entrants to display speed, agility, and strength against walls, ropes, mud, whatever cruel and unusual obstacles we can come up with. The team course would need to be larger, forcing say… a five man team to work together to get through it. I think it would be entertaining, and would likely draw a respectable following in its own right.

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Mugshot's Journal #147
Tactical Thought Play

It’s moot, but I was thinking about that floaty island I pulled recon on earlier. If I were taking a small force up there to clear it out, I’d follow the following plan:

Scout the periphery / forest and remove any guards that had ranged that far as quietly as possible.

Once the forest was more secured, set some snares and trip lines for quick easy trap material, and begin baiting more inhabitants into the woods.

The open fields are too open. Their archers might not be well equipped, but volume could still easily bring us down, so we stick to the trees as much as possible to limit their vision and efficacy. Send a secondary element to that village, circling around the woods to get to the backside, and continue to bait in small groups and take them out.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if we’re quiet or an alarm’s raised. With only a token force visible, we should continue to bait them into the alleys of the town or the forest where the lower visibility will play in our favor to continue to mask our numbers and reduce their ranged capabilities.

They will likely catch on to the game, and begin either attempting to saturate the woods with arrows, burn them down, or both. From there, we can circle to the town and advance on the temple and their main force, thinning their ranks with explosive arrows and magic.

Once inside, their superior numbers will be significantly reduced in capability, and our superior combat experience and equipment should allow us to quickly and decisively locate whatever objectives we may have within the temple, or simply blow it to hell and escape in the ensuing chaos.

What do you think, Lobo? Good plan? Vyl thought it would be a good idea for me to write it down so I didn’t forget.

Back to bed for me.

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Through the Veil.
Hell begins to break loose.

Of all the missions and things I have done for the Order (of the Arches), this is turning out to be the most dangerous. I can not go into my journey through the thrice hell’s bedamned Ravenloft, not yet, that information is too dangerous and in the wrong hands, could turn this war for the worse. But I shall put down, my last moments in Ravenloft and what happened after I came through the veil; for debriefing and helping me remember.

Greywolf, my mount my beloved friend, and my most endearing companion; and I were fleeing to reach the veil portal that Liad prophesied would appear, that would lead back to Dunbar and Oerth. As the Night Beast closed on me, I rolled off of the saddle, barely avoiding its greater claws. I shouted for Greywolf to keep riding. Thank to gods that my crossbow was ever loaded, I fired a blast while casting magic missile at the same time. The bolt bushed the beast back, but the combined damage was only enough to stop it for a moment. Then Greywolf, that damned daemon steed, he had ridden to flank the Night Beast. He let loos with his lightening hooves and pushed the NB back. The NB turned on him, striking with a lesser claw knocking him down.

My rage at my beloved friend and steed being knocked down, I turned, full of rage. I attacked the NB. My weapons lost to me now, in the fog of the beast. I never thought to draw my sword, I leaped on the NB, ripping through its corporeal chaos. I ripped through it, destroying the magic bonds that held it together. I ripped the hear that bound it. swallowing it. As the NB dissipated around me, I saw Greywolf rise to his feat. I growled for him to run, he refused, then I howled at him.

He charged towards me, rising, rearing up as I was hit from the rear by the greater claw of another Night Beast. So intent on my companion, that I was not paying attention to the world around me. His rearing and lightening hooves saved my life, for I only took that one claw.

I turned as the NB backed away, I saw the others behind it. I grabbed the saddle and mounted GreyWolf. Pulling the artifact from my saddle bags, pushing Greywolf for all he was worth and threw the artifact behind me the blast threw both of us through the Veil. In truth, I do not know if we made it all the way through together, or if we were separated.

I do know that I awoke and Greywolf was nearby. I was with a motley group just this side of the Veil. I smelled the tain of my kind among them, But it was the juggler from Olympia, whom I had recruited into the order. I also smelled Lobo heavily, but he was not around. I realized that I was among some of is converts.

I was still a bit foggy when they were attacked by some vampyre dwarves, those damned souls. I will weep for them when there is time for tears. But this does mean that the artifact worked. Sealing the veil entrance from the Night Beast. I was able to stop that terror from ravaging this land. For now.

One of the VDs did their lethal charge and struck Brenna. The charge sapped her strength, a life altering thing indeed. The group fared well against them otherwise. The town guard and regiment men fought bravely. It was a harsh battle yet short, thanks to their bold leader and the rambunctious crew. As the VDs were being dealt with, we were blesses by Daniel and his bride.

Daniel offered his gift of the night to Brenna, something that I am sure Ciara might find interesting. But she is one to take any and all advantages. I must mark that she has 30 nights to be cured of it, or else fall to it forever. The Order will of course, help her in what ever she chooses.

Since there is time between each wave, we were able to rest. My wounds were tended to by this young waif of a lass, one of the Indopanese if my guess is right. One of the highborn, why she is with these louts, LOL, well who am I to wonder that. I am one of the few who can call forth Oblivian for protection. And praise the great Mishalkal for my not getting the taint of darkness that the Night Beasts can curse you with.

The group, at Brenna and a Regiment lad’s suggestion. Built a palisade of pikes In a cross hatch manner. This would work well against the VDs. They had also dismembered and burned the VDs. A wise thing.

When the next wave came through, it was zombies. Weak, easy to kill, but they were en mass and their bite (and claws) are lethal with rot. One of the groups members was rotted in the leg and the gut. The large Ogress. (who am I to judge on what one wishes to be)

They held the line well. I am proud of them. Even at being overrun they fought well and had each others backs. Using similar explosive arrows to the IWG. Even using an odd strategy, one of their number. Kurtwood, to use one of the northern Krondorian Sven’s Great Assbone’s. The stories of their lighting strike is true, if less successful than they might have hoped. I guess they take, taking one for the team, to an interesting level.

When they did disperse them we were grateful for the rest. We mended our hurts and took a much needed break. It was in this time that I had need to leave the group. Hoping to see them again, I will buy them each an ale at Russets.

I feel the need to also spend some time with this pup Mugshot, to make sure he can fully control his moods, though I feel his lady can control him if need be, but she has always been strong. Stronger than many of her kind. She has helped the Order many many times, and I know she is willing to again, if she is able.

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Mughsot's Journal #146
Home Again, for Now

I have returned from my posting at the Gate / Veil / Rift to Ravenloft and I must say that it was both enlightening and exciting. We have defeated a Banshee, semi-artificial vampiric dwarves, a horde of zombies, and four… I will call them Draklings, for lack of a better name. Chimeric amalgamations of in this case Red, Blue, and Black dragons, I would guess. Tough, intelligent, large, and bitey.

Our posting consisted of two Imperial Regiment and two town guards, as well as Brenna, Kurtwood, Osrika, Corky/Kitty, and Drace of the Brigade of Fire and Steel, with myself and Ian. Upon arrival, we consecrated additional ground as (temporary) Priests of Lobo. Kurtwood shared Laughing Water with everyone, negating my attempt to set a watch.

For combat, our first bout went quickly and efficiently. A Banshee stepped through the veil, stunned a couple of us with her Scream, and then died relatively quickly after being riddled with arrows and then being yanked headfirst into consecrated ground. The vampires came through sometime later, and were a much greater threat. Their hammers struck hard, and left a chill that went to your soul, but their true danger lay in their charge. When damaged, they would launch themselves at the one who wounded them, slamming that unfortunate to the ground and draining from them their strength. Brenna found this first hand.

After they were dispatched, the Regiment and Brenna came up with an excellent idea of erecting a pike wall across the road. Hopefully, should the vampires arrive again they would dash into a pike wall and save us from harm. Instead we got zombies. Even with Kurtwood and Ian using explosive arrows to soften them up and reduce their number, quite a few got behind our line and forced us to engage in hand-to-hand combat.

On the Brigade of Fire and Steel: I do not know what the dynamics of their full party are like, but with the reduced numbers I was fighting with I must say that they have a solid party dynamic. Their leader is heroic and inspiring. Brenna is a force to be reckoned with and wields a frying pan that I wouldn’t ever wish to be on the receiving end of. Osrika is a very talented healer and not a bad mage, Kitty is gigantic and great at that, and they all work very well together.

Ian is still obviously an outsider among them, and hasn’t quite hit his stride with their dynamic yet.

And then there’s Kurtwood. He reminds me somewhat of Mondar, except significantly more so. He is reckless. He doesn’t appear to actually give a damn who he kills as long as he’s getting a kill, but is such an effective force on the battle field that even when he severely injures or kills those that he’s fighting WITH, no one seems quite willing to kick him out.

I will say that he is very lucky that he did not kill either of my friends from the town guard, or he would not have made it back to Olympia. Or Ian, for that matter.

The first two draklings were large, but not particularly so. I suppose they were younger. They scorched us, but we put them down relatively quickly. The third was much a larger, closer to an oliphant. This one crushed our Fearless Leader’s armor to his body.

I made the relatively rash decision to leap onto its back, planning on severing spinal column from the base of the skull, but I missed my slash as the beast leaped into the air and almost immediately began barrel rolling. With nothing to hold on to I fell, but managed to tag the beast with my chainflail and send a blast of lightning to it’s head, bring the beast down more or less right on top of me. We both came to our feet, I avoided it stomping at me, and smashed the light out of it with a last swing from my flail, putting the beast down. Just to be certain, I cleaved it’s skull with Brichard’s ax to ensure it… probably wouldn’t survive. By the time I made it back to our position, they have felled a second of the larger Draklings.

As with the previous waves, we regrouped, patched ourselves up, but couldn’t do much further about the drakling corpses, though the Zombies were piled and burned.

Our relief showed up early, and immediately began further fortification of the position while we packed our slightly-crushed leader onto a wagon and headed back to Olympia.

Now, I will be perfectly upfront here: Despite the security inherent within this journal, there are some things I feel are simply too sensitive to put down here, even if Vyl and I are quite probably the only beings capable of actually reading them. We saved someone’s life, we met some interesting denizens of another world, and Brenna is apparently a vampire now.

Speaking of, Alizar should have the notes on that to me shortly.

At any rate, Laughing Water is great and all, but combat is combat and twelve hour combat shifts are twelve hour combat shifts. I miss Vyl’s constant, comforting presence in my mind. She’s still there, but she’s further away as she protects our woods. And right now, I’m fucking tired and racking out while I can.

I hope the Magistrate, Reggie, and Rolph are being smart and sneaking off for some rest on occasion as well… Might have to get Krys’s assistance on that front…

Until next time.

Mugshot Wolffang Dragontooth of Olympia
Guildmaster of the Olympian Thieve’s Guild
Member of the Order of Arches

Supplementary Note:

During the fight with the zombies, it would’ve been better to have our archers and mage within the middle of our formation, with our melee fighters positioned in a semi-box formation with the pike wall at our front. When they flanked, this would have allowed us to roll into a reverse Delta formation, or semi-circle, preventing the enemy from penetrating our ranks.

Assuming of course that we had disciplined fighters and a commander who was actually in charge, rather than a lose collection of adventurers and a few guardsmen.

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Mugshot's Journal #144
Hungry Like the Wolf

You might think I would be so vain as to write that subtitle about myself, but you would be wrong. Also, I have not eaten anyone. Just putting that out there.

We are not under siege, but I would wager our current environment is not terrifically dissimilar. We have long periods where nothing happens, we repel an attack, and go back to the nothing. We are not idle during these times. The Blacksmiths are working hard, the fighters are training, the healers are healing, and I’m doing what I do best, apparently. Gather information.

Granted, I have not much that is NEW information, but we are more efficient disseminating it, and that is not hurting anything. At my suggestion, Reggie and Rolph asked the runners from the games to act as messengers in place of the Paiges guild, and they have accepted unanimously. Again, information is flowing much more quickly now.

My scouts, and our trainees from Fort Lucky (Don’t tell him I called it that), have returned. Most of my scouts, at any rate. The ones who haven’t I fear have been lost, but there’s little I can do to avenge them in our current state. The scouts who have returned have spread out to the corners of town and are again acting as my eyes and ears.

I am remembering this out of place, but Lobo showed up at the request of Russet, and personally retrieved the Brigade of Fire and Steel. He also made quite a large number of people in town priests of his order, and had us sanctify every square inch of Old Town, and most of New Town. He mentioned that he was shocked that I was not already a follower of his, what with his wolf’s emblem and all, to which I replied simply that my Pantheon was getting a tad crowded as it was.

I did not mention that I don’t think I qualified as a ‘common soldier’, either.

Refugees began arriving a few days after the initial attack. They’ve been sent to New Town… What’s left of New Town, and are putting together a shanty town for now. Osrikka, the deathmage from the Brigade of Fire and Steel checked them over, and proclaimed them free of the Plague. I don’t know I entirely trust that, but I do feel better with her having checked at all.

The next day, the sun rose late, and with it, our town was surrounded by robed figures, obviously casting a magic spell of some sort. I smacked Davie awake and began loading my heavy crossbow as Davie went on about mages in a circle being bad news. They finished their spell and a green cloud arose and began slowly pushing toward our wall. I roared, “KILL ’EM ALL!” and planted a heavy bolt into one of their spines, and the town began killing mages with a will. The Dick popped into the tower, gave me a scroll of Windwall, and ran off, after being appropriately [COMMON]dickish[/COMMON], passing out these scrolls to various people around town before casting windwall on one end of town. I cast mine against his, but didn’t aim it terrifically, so oit ended up crossing through part of town instead of around it. Windwalls quickly rose around our town, preventing the gas from getting to us, and we finished routing the mages.

The scouting party that consisted of the Rangers from the Brigade came back in shortly after, annoucing that something gigantic was on it’s way to the town.

I will finish this later, I am bloody tired and I’ve guard duty outside the wall tomorrow.

As a note: Have Jaffa teach the kid some basic thieving skills. Especially escape bonds. That, so much.

As an additional note, Nyth flying was an awesome morale boost for the town. Also, Nyth needs to wear pants if she’s going to fly. Also, also, and mostly unrelated, I owe Hansen another beer.

Mugshot WolfFang Dragontooth of Olympia
Olympian Thieve’s Guildmaster
Member of the Order of the Arches

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Mugshot's Journal #143

[COMMON]
To be perfectly frank, things are bad. Very, very bad. Yesterday, earth shakes struck. Luckily, the initial ones mostly just served to unsettle folk, but very little damage occurred. Later ones were… More damaging. They brought with them a rain of hellfire, massive stones or eggs that contained more of those trolls the Brigade of Fire and Steel had mentioned. We were under attack.

To the credit of the people of Olympia, the reaction was swift and remarkably organized, as the Guard, Regiment, and really anyone capable of wielding a weapon immediately rose to the defense of our home.Even so, the damage was… Terrible.

[Mug’s Indecipherable Mix of High-Elven, Orcish, Drawven, phonetic Gnoll, Thieve’s cant, and more!]

We are lucky in the timing of the attack, that the harvests were mostly completed. Even so, the loss of our good farmland will be painful come the middle to late of winter. I don’t have a solution yet, but the town is full of intelligent people and I expect if I don’t come up with something, someone will. As it stands, most of the farms have been razed, many have been struck by massive growths of strange stone said to be of a different land. If any farmland is still viable after this remains to be seen, but for the moment it is doubtful to say the least.

New town has suffered fairly terribly as well. The same jutting of stone has occurred here as well, though to a slightly lesser extent, and here they had to contend with more than just Trolls, but people masquerading as sand people bearing horrible diseases, orcs, and more. If and when we survive this siege and can begin to rebuild, New Town is going to require a lot of resources to get back up and running.

Old Town has taken the least of the damage, partly because the walls were stronger here, partly because a silver/platinum dragon [COMMON] THE SIZE OF THE FUCKING TOWN [/COMMON] suddenly appeared over the orphanage and protected it from anything and everything, partly because the Tattood Elf Psionisist that the Brigade brought in has begun shielding the town on a scale I cannot begin to comprehend, and partly because Liad has somehow managed to shield the sky for as far as the eye can see.

No idea how long that will last, but it’s made things at least a little better.

I should mention, if the order these thoughts are in seem out of place to you, the Blue Lady is not currently in my head helping me organize them. Most of her being is protecting our woods, leaving precious little to correct my spelling.

Oh, and the old biddies that were constantly in our business have come to a rather crashing conclusion as one of the stones slammed into their home and turned it into a Crater. I have personally vouched for Teemo’s bid to buy that particular lot should it be available on the market soon.

For people: Russet and his wife are just fine. They defended their tavern (and area) and after seeing them in action, I am still somewhat shocked that they ever need rely upon me for my combat skills. Davey spent most of the initial invasion from the tower of my home, blasting trolls with Magic Missile with the rest of the recruits that the Dick is training. Sally was in New Town when everything happened, and her husband was wounded gravely. They were taken in by The Circus, who opened their tents to everyone who required sanctuary.

Turns out sanctified ground is sanctified ground, even if it’s in the name of an evil god. My honest thanks to Bane and my friends who follow him, they have saved many, many townsfolk.

Speaking of the circus, my hunting buddies the Gnolls are no longer under any pretense of being chained, and move about the town openly since they have proven their at least not against us. They have slaughtered many a Troll, as have the other members of the circus and the gypsies.

The gypsies have also given us not a cure, per se, but a stop for the disease that was being spread by the smaller trolls and the fake Desert People. Small trolls! Yes, turns out these trolls came in multiple different sizes. You had your regular troll sized trolls, you had your BIG trolls, and you had your halfling sized trolls. The big ones were just like you’d expect, the little ones were apparently disease carriers to boot.

They all die pretty much the same though.

Hmm… Gloves, Rolph, Ian, and my Guards were all on the docks outside of town when the trouble hit. Rolph lost an ear and got a bit uglied up, but is already back on his feet and on the wall. Gloves is down to one, having lost a hand fighting the trolls. He saved Ian’s life several times, at the expense of getting his hand back. Hanson was very badly wounded, but like Rolph, he’s already back on his feet. Amazingly, the rest of my Guards seemed to be just fine, and led the charge of lighting the warehouses ablaze and shoving the trolls (and the fallen who had turned and risen again) into them, followed by the charge to get anything usable out of them before they burned down.

I really cannot speak to how much I appreciate them coming to Olympia and helping these people.

Biddies dead, Rolph, Hanson, Gloves wounded but back up and running… I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but this has been an exhausting day.

Between OldTown and the circus, we are sheltering as many people as we can. Lady Nyth is keeping a close eye for signs of infection and doing anything she can to get people back on their feet and combat ready as she can.

I just realised I haven’t seen since this started. I’m starting to wonder if I should be more worried than I am.

Oh, and Jaffa and Dryffa are A-Okay, they are protecting the Emporer’s youngest son in my basement. According to Killian, that is the safest place in the Empire for them.

That thought REALLY worries me.

We still have not heard from the Brigade of Fire and Steel, I believe they are trapped on the far side of the river currently. Hopefully we can get them back into town quickly, we could use more combatants on the walls, and more fire.

Fire… Apparently a full third of the Elven forest has been burned down, and a large portion of the plains have been hit, though that particular attack has hit a roadblock in the form of a dracolich? That has risen to combat the invaders.

Olympia must be fairly important, the Bitch Queen herself made an appearance before Liad turned the sky blue and the Orphanage’s Dragon turned on her. She only showed briefly, laughing, before she was kicked out again, but it was enough to bring Krys running to check on Rolph.

Anything else I need to mention here?

Well, with Hanson back on his feet, the Caravan guards have returned to being the fast-reaction force we trained to be when we worked together before. Move fast, hit hard, fade out before a counter-attack can pin you down. At my suggestion, Ashe has taken roost on the Magistrate’s wall, giving her visibility of damned near the entire town and area around us, which she can consequently put fire on with that bow of hers. She is ostensibly protected by Braum, who is mostly acting as a psychic messenger with his twin who is stationed with Hansen.

After all, we have the visibility. To not use that to our advantage to keep our fast-action force effective would be stupid.

Further, since we have many star athletes in town thanks to the Games, the next time I see Rolph and Reggie, I am going to suggest that we use the competitive runners in place of the Paiges guild (who are in the Orphanage and not leaving until… Who knows when) to get reports and intelligence from Hansen, each other, myself, and likely the magistrate. Better intelligence means we will fight more effectively.

I gave Shenzi my Dragonlance MaceAxe after a bit of Eeny-meeny-miney-moe, and I might even get it back if she fails to kill 20 trolls with it before this is over.

I somehow doubt that gnoll is gonna fail to get those kills.

I’m sure I’m forgetting quite a bit, and I know I’m leaving a ton out, but I’m bloody tired, and I’m gonna rack out for a few minutes until I’m needed somewhere.

Oh! Granny is baking, since she’s got the stuff and she knows the town will need the food, so bread and porridge are being distributed occasionally.

Anyway, as I said. Things are likely going to get worse before they get better so I’m going to rest up while I can.

Mugshot WolfFang Dragontooth of Olympia
Olympian Thieve’s Guildmaster
Member of the Order of the Arches
Not Batman.

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On the verge,

High Priest Darnic,

Blessings to you and your temple. We are once more on the verge of the Olympic games. We have prepared as much possible for the illnesses creeping the land, and am prepared for the normal game related injuries. With the help of Liad, our .. ahem enhanced facilities are ready to hold a town of sick if needed – though additional caretakers would be needed. If you have any advice, this priestess would be greatful in these dark times.

Also, a discreet warning reached my ears of a possible attack on the Ciaranseer duchy and their neighbors, and disease may be involved. The bards sing of you having ties to the Duchess, so wanted to ensure word reached you. Closer to Olympia, some visiting adventurers led by of all things a blacksmith, and his second in command – a cleric of Kosuth seem to attract trolls. The adventurers engaged trolls in battle, but failed to harvest the blood, or destroy the trolls. I posted a reward for troll blood, hopefully some good will come from it. I’m afraid I must cut this short, I am being summoned to the docks by a distraught page.

Blessings and prayers for a brighter tomorrow, by Mishelkal’s healing strength.
- High Priestess Nytholeseth

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The Visit

Krys was estatic to see Kitty. The transgender half ogre grabbed the tiny framed half elf in an breath taking embrace.
“I missed you Ms. Krys! I talk about you to Lady Rika all the time!”
“Lady Rika?” Krys raised an eyebrow at the olive skinned young woman at the table.
“Yes, Lady Rika, and Mr. Hammig, and Mr. Drace, and Mr. Kurt, and Mr. Nate, and Miss Brenna, and Mr. Ian, and and Kreena…” She trailed off; beaming.
The tiny blonde did not seem enthused with the dark-robed stranger in her bakery. Her thoughts were interupted by Kitty’s discovery of several pastries.
“Ooo! Do you have strawberry Miss Krys… Can I have one? I have coin.”
“Of course Kitty take what you want,” she encouraged only to be met with pure red-faced rage of her assistant Sally whose entire tray of strawberry strudel had been picked up and devoured by the dainty half ogre. It was at that moment that the robed woman spoke.
“Eazy Kitty. you vill give yourslev indegeszion again, and I am out ov chalk drops.”
“YeshlayRida.”
She mahogany haired woman sighed deeply and stood up. “My apologizes, I am Lady Osrika ov House Kysely. Salutazions Miss Krys.” She nodded politely, but still retained the air of a woman several tax standings above her. Krys immediately disliked her.
“Yes, I am sure. So what’s up with the robes and the scalp razor?” Her small hand pointed at the large bone scythe resting in the corner of the room, and then at the jet black robes adorned with two pewter skulls hanging at the bottom of the ties.
“Lady Rika is a mage, Miss Krys,” Kitty explained.
“More specifickally, a mage of Myrkul.” The lady corrected. “I am a deat’ mage.”
“A debt mage?”
“No a deat’ mage, a necromanceer.”
“Where the hell are you from anyway. I can barely understand you?” She turned to Kitty. “Do you understand her?”
Before Kitty could finish scarfing the last of the second round of strudel, RIka obliged.
“I am vrom Indapa (sp.).”
“India? Where the hell’s that?”
“Nyet, Indapa.”
“Indonesia? Again, never heard of it.” The Lady was fuming at this point.
Kitty finished eating, and trying to laugh answered her former colleague. “She is from Indapa, Miss Krys.”
“Oh! Indapa!” She returned her gaze to the mage. “Why didn’t you say so?”
Furious; the lady pulled up her hood, startling her half ogre body guard, grabbed her scythe marching for the door. “I vill zee you outzide Kitty!”

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Mugshot's Journal #141
EDITED 01/23

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

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