Another long day. We arrived at Hockton Barrow around noon, just in time for some sort of festival. Tim arm wrestled a guy and won a bit of gold. Jeremiah wrestled a lanky local outside the tavern. The guy was really spry, and it was a close match, but Jeremiah won. His kung fu was stronger.
There weren’t any ‘healing people’ contests so I remained a spectator for most of the morning. Then we found out about the main event: An archery tournament. I’ve been doing pretty decently with a bow so I signed up, along with Tim and Amy, of course.
Unfortunately I got disqualified in the first round, then Tim made it to the second round before he was disqualified. Amy was amazing though, shooting bulls eyes left and right. She would have won the Master’s Bow, but this jerk used a true shot spell to cheat, and beat her score. Then he made the mistake of insulting her in front of Jeremiah.
Naturally we followed him out of town and beat him within an inch of his life. Then came the big surprise: He was a drow in disguise! Probably a wizard, since he used the change self spell to come in and win that tournament. Bringing a captive drow back into town got everyone’s attention, and we were able to warn them about the invasion. They mobilized pretty quickly, Tim discussing strategies with Captain Jabril.
We moved along our way, but on the way out of town we saw an ogre trying to chop his way into the thorny hedge that protects the village. I guess he thought it would be a clever plan to come back later and loot a bit, but we put an end to him fairly quickly. JT had a crisis of conscience about it. I think the ogre probably had it coming, but he has a point: we can’t just assume something is evil because its a monster. We don’t know how things work here, and eventually we might slaughter some innocent creature because we’re thinking in terms of Monster Manuals.
We kept riding and came across a raiding party attacking a merchant wagon: Four goblins and an ogre. Tim charged the ogre, intent on seeing if anyone could be saved from the wagon. Just for the record, ogres are really really big…like huge. They dwarf even Tim…You can’t really get an appreciation for how huge they are until you see one face to face.
Anyway, this one crushed Tm with what looked like a tree. I really thought he was dead for a moment, until I saw him struggle to move. Jeremiah took charge after that, telling me, Amy and JT to use ranged attacks at the ogre while he took care of the goblins. I was having trouble hitting the brute but Amy was deadly accurate, as usual. I don’t know if JT hit it or not, he rode a bit out of my line of sight and started plugging away with his crossbow. In the meanwhile, Tim was bleeding to death so I started to skirt towards him, only to attract the attention of a particularly inept goblin. I avoided him and almost made it to Tim’s form when I noticed the ogre was closing in on Amy. Jeremiah had a goblin on either side of him and didn’t look like he could help her, and I shuddered to think what that ogre would do to her after seeing him destroy Tim so easily. That is when I noticed a strange…aura…of starlight around my body, shining like a beacon. It must have been granted by Lumiya, my new patron deity here, in answer to my concern for Amy. Without really thinking, I focused the light into a beam and aimed it at the ogre. Already wounded from multiple arrows, the purifying light finished him off, destroying him just as he closed the distance to the archer.
With that under control, I made it to Tim and began the now-all-too-familiar work of patching up crushed bones and torn muscle, still dodging out of the way of that goblin. Tim stood up then and finished off the little pipsqueak just as Jeremiah was finishing off his last goblin.
The merchant was grateful, and offered us a reward that JT graciously declined. Turns out he was transporting arrowheads to Hockton Barrow…they’re definitely going to need those in the days to come.
We continued towards our destination, Saragost, which seemed so far away only two days ago.
We met with Captain Severin on the road, Captain of the Westguard or something like that. Jeremiah made fun of his helmet for awhile and he offered us an escort around the refugees and into the city. It seems news travels faster than we do, and people actually paid attention to our warnings because there must have been hundreds of people camped outside of the massive walls of the capitol.
Tim grew suspicious of the Captain, remembering that there are drow agents already in the city. Still, we made it inside with no incident…unfortunately we wandered right into an ambush. Assassins in upper floors fired down on us, hitting Tim and I (really painful!). Jeremiah threw a couple of javelins back to them, to no avail, while Tim and the Captain tried to move the wagons out of the way that had us trapped in the alley.
JT cast the alarm spell, probably to alert any nearby patrols of city guards, and I just prayed to Lumiya to get us out alive. A moon goddess, she has power over water (the tides?) and she conjured a thick mist in answer to my plea. We couldn’t see much at all, after that, but Tim shouted for us to go to his voice. Captain Severin rode by, looking more than a little stressed. It is understandable, I’m sure he’s going to be in more than a little trouble when they find out we almost died en route to the Council.
We escaped, and the guards who heard JT’s alarm were sent by Severin to investigate the ambush. We, meanwhile, headed to a large tower, called the Tower of Undying Light, (I think), in order to meet with the council. Turns out Saragost isn’t run by a monarchy, as we assumed, but by a City Council of its most influential citizens. Supposedly there are five of them, with one elected to be President of the Council, but I don’t know how long the term lasts or what that entails.
Right now we’re sitting in a rather lavish waiting room in the base of the tower, surrounded by guards, while we wait for the Council to get ready for us. It is a great relief to finally be at our destination. I’m hoping we can deliver our warning, offer what advice we can, and then hit the library and figure out a way back to our own world (and more importantly, our own bodies).
I’m not sure if everyone else has the same priorities…we’ve only been here a few days and already I can feel that we are changing. Jeremiah seems more aloof, almost unconcerned about the here and now, as if his mind is elsewhere. Tim is becoming more assertive, even aggressive, perhaps from his orc nature or maybe its just a newfound sense of invincibility at being in such a powerful body. Amy remains cheerful, surprisingly she is adapting to this fantasy world better than any of us, considering that she never even played D/D before. Talk about being thrown in the deep end. JT is…well he’s still JT, albeit much shorter and with a bit of magic. I’m afrai it doesn’t seem very powerful yet, but it should grow. (There’s a thought….if worse comes to worse, eventually maybe he’ll learn how to travel between planes?)
As for me, well, I’m not sure how I’ve changed, but I’m sure my personality isn’t the same. I’m less prone to taking the lead, and I talk quite a bit less. Part of that is because I’m still disconcerted by the sound of my own voice, but that can’t be all of it. I wonder how much of ourselves we will lose to our new personas if we stay here much longer?
I don’t intend to find out..