Dahlia gives Burns a detailed account of White Plume Mt., including handing over the Keraptis baby. He says how unfortunate it is that such power (the weapons) were destroyed; and he will “keep an eye on” the baby. Where he sends it is his secret.
Dahlia, now having seen Drow for the first time, asks Burns about it. He confirms that she is indeed a dark elf, a Drow. She was not raised by them however but by the carnival, as she knows. He explains she will have a much longer life than man. He says she was ‘captured’ from a dark elf group by wandering barbarians. Burns purchased, protected and raised her. Other than that, he knows nothing else.
The deck we bring back from the Mt is a deck of destinies. Burns says it is very high risk, but very high reward, to his knowledge. Each card, once drawn, fades from existence.
Boz “We should play poker with it.”
Malenko “Hit me!”
Burns “That’s poker, Malenko.”
Yanath and his Rangers have spent winter spreading word of his plan to start a unit of travelling Meanderwood Rangers to perform paying jobs all around the lands, and general exploration and adventuring. Hopefully, we can get a few recruits this coming spring through fall.
Furnok moved south, travelling as Lias the Trader, before returning a couple weeks before he and Boz head out. He made 250gp trading, but much more gambling.
Malenko and other carnival men make alchemical items for us.
The barbarians, the Crimson Knights, and the rangers all arrive in Holst before the time that the carnival is moving on. Sooner rather than later, we start running into them. Yanath and Sarge become great friends, along with their respective commrades, talking tactics, Sarge’s old experiences, Yanath’s plans, etc. The 2 ranger bands spend a lot of time together comparing stories, as well as testing one anothers’ skills in the field.
The Crimson Knights and Black Tom find common ground, pal around together.
Dareth also takes naturally to Yanath, as well as Elric and Sarge.
Garth Grimson, being a mountain man whose people were only part of the ‘civilized’ community for a couple generations, enjoys a wild night here and there with the Nuges, but they are too wild even for him at times. Same for Hunk blowfist.
Each group is summoned by Smithers where they meet him and a few other carnival officials. Sgt. actually knows Mr. Burns, Malenklo and Dahlia from years and years ago. All are offered a place to lodge and provisions for their stay, then presented the prospect of job opportunities of the adventuring sort come spring if they travel with/around the carnival.
The barbarians agree, having “nothing else to do”, as it sounds like a way to get a lot of action. They also make a deal to brew their mead and ales for the carnival concessions, good Nucenacer brew!!
The rangers look to Sgt, who agrees.
The Knights are the only ones who really think about it. Travelling with a carnival was never anything they had in mind. However, they have no idea where they are, nor does anyone know where they came from. They had left on a quest in their homeland, and at some point things began feeling sor of…..off; their perception of time and place. Whatever happened did so in an instant, but so subtely they can not say when, only they found themselves in totally unknown surroundings. They have their entourage of groomers, servants and the like appropriate for each of them. They ask Smithers, to see if Burns can explain anything. Burns say that even this long after the Masters, there are still ‘mystical fields’ and such lingering here and there across the land. They may have passed through such a field that sent them across time and/or space. Since being a satellite of sorts for the carnival means travel, and with new friends in a new land, they agree. Besides, Smithers points out, jousting matches and sword instruction for public education would be good carnival entertainment, and Lord Blackpool’s Dreyen horses a good draw for connossoirs of the equine.
Winter ends w/o incident. Burns has feelers and informants elsewhere, for advertising and other things he is interested in. One of his runners checked in on Lupidides even (Burns really knows all) and reported he is well and still on the inside. Burns feels Bosmus should indeed follow on his revenge. Lupidides has information for sure. Burns gives Bosmus his blesssing to take a group to settle things “as long as you realize once that job is over, you return here”. He and a team will leave soon.
Spring arrives, the carnival will move soon. Burns wants to visit Imbrundia this year. There will be a large Spring Festival he wants the carnival to take advantage of.
But first, Burns calls a select group to a meeting about potential action he wishes us to look into: Gar, Dareth, Tom, Yanath, Sgt, Malenko, Dahlia. He has lines on jobs with benefits.
- A town along the southern edge of the mts east of here: something unusual is going on at a mine nearby; no one is saying exactly what and not getting much attention from anyone else. Burns, however, wants to find out what it is before it gets the attention. It will have to be dungeon crawlers. He says that group can break off from the carnival at Ham.
- South of the same mountain range, there is a petty warlord or noble near Besestein who was small time in scale. But in last 6 or 8 months, seems to have grown in power. His area has grown a little too fast. Suspiciously so. Has not drawn much attention from the Thurangians as of yet. His man in charge of that area has said not much; he has either not done anything or can’t.
- In the forest to the west he has an ‘old friend’ there. She has lived there peacefully for many years minding her own business. She was able to contact him recently; having problems with monsters in the woods that were not problems before. Maybe a new force in the area. She asked him for assistance. That is personal, not carnival business so he would look very favorably upon solving it.
Yanath "This is something you would want someone to look into asap, not just wait until we are moving up the north road to the capitol and break off. Go asap.
There are other smaller things, but he will get to those later.
We gather to split off into groups.
Haarkon, Gar, Garth, Ulfar, Dahlia, Malenko (plus dog and 2 undead), Elric (and dire wolf).
To Burns’ friend:
Yanath (plus dog) and Meanderwood Rangers, Ragnar, Iggy, Umgwana (plus Booty and Fingerbang)
Bosmus, Furnok, Lord Byron, Hunk, Nunu, Billy
Cpt. Dareth, Lord Evan, Sir Garth Gri mson, Tom and Blue Crew 2, Sir John, Sir Damon.
The rest of the rangers and Vic and Ulik will lie in reserve. Vik is NOT happy, and almost thrashes her cousins to leave them behind bruised and bloody. Then thinks better of it.
The carnival will move out April 7, 1 week from now.
Next day, April 1, Yanath suggests that Dareth take a ranger with him, as well. Elric tells Sarge of his reservations of travelling with an arcanist and undead. Sarge reassures him he will be fine. Anyone but Sarge, Elric would insist on not being along with such companions. The elf and his wolf are uneasy about the undead.
April 7: Carnival leaves today. The group going to help Burns’ friend will not stop with carnival along the route. They are making straight for the NW forest.
Carnival in Erich today.
Late, Yanath’s NW forest group arrives Brimmin.
Morning April 11
Carnival leaves Erich.
Carnival in Daschau and sets up shows.
The Crimson Knights leave for their mission this morning.
Boz and crew on way back to carnival; night, arrive Halst and stay overnight.
The warlord and mine groups leave for their respective missions.
Mine group heads for Dwarrowhill. Just north of that town, up the river, is the mine in question.
Carnival leaves Daschau, arriving in Ham same day. Sets up a one day show for the next day.
Crimson Knights arrive Negdenburg at night.
Boz and crew arrive Ham, meeting carnival.
Report to Burns, show him the runic symbol. He says it is that of one of the greater Masters, Peldan, but slightly different in a couple ways. Could be a Return cult for Peldan. He says there are a number of such sects out there. He thinks we should do more investigating into this plot.
Hopefully, our hit on the slaving put a sizable dent in their pocket books, and so delays any nefarious efforts.
Shows in Ham
Crimson Knights arrive Besestein.
Carnival leaves Ham; arrives Mittelgard early evening and camps. Small night events set up.
Carnival presenting all day.
Carnival presents for a 2nd day.
Carnival presents a 3rd day.
Carnival presents 4th day
Carnival moves on to and arrives late Vanden.
On the road north to Vanden, Malenko’s raven arrives with the message from the mine near Silverton and Dwarrohill.
Carnival will be showing for a couple days here
Carnival still presenting
Carnival leaves Vanden, bypasses Jungburk and arrives late Hesston. This will be a weeklong stay.
Dwarrowhill group arrives night, minus Elric who is travelling through the mountains in search of an arumvorax companion. They get right to taking the anti lycanthropy elixir.
Burns debriefs the Dwarrowhill crew. Burns wants Negdenburg investigated, but not at his moment. He doesn’t see it as iminent and they are likely extra cautious right now. Wait for things to calm down first.
Malenko wants to draw a card from the deck of destinies, so Burns gathers all present together if they wish to as well.
Malenko draws the Jack of Diamonds: his off hand and forearm grow a layer of slimy fungus which returns in 1d12 hrs if removed. His touch upon the earth or any fertile serface causes mushrooms to grow in a 1’ diameter.
Furnok “One off the top will be sufficient” in the words of Brett Maverick, after donating 1000gp to the god of luck the day before. “The Hand of Youth” ace of hearts: his natural life span increases by 1d10x100 years!!
Garth the Bold draws next Jack of Spades: it has a genie on it, he is granted 1 wish w/in 24 hours of drawing it!
His first thought is for an everful flagon of mead.
Ulfar “Wish that I was never seasick again.”
Garth grabs a peace of parchment and writes the 2 options down. Then adds be mightier than Vik.
Booty next: he asks for the bottom card = Jack of Clubs, the Giant Crab card: he permanently grows 60% larger and an additional 20hp and 5 pts str. But, he loses 3 dexterity, 1 returning per month as he gets used to his larger size.
So, the odds of a bad card have dropped. But, Billy goes for it anyway. 12 cards left, he rolls a 12 sided die and gets 3, drawing the 4th card: the druid ace of diamonds. He gains the enmity of nature. At least once every 2 months a natural disaster effects the character and everything w/in a 10 mile radius.
Vandor is far too afraid of such witchery, and Umgwana is untrusting of magic in general.
Burns says Gretchen can not help with Billy’s card. Its true Master magic. But, the wish would either solve it or at least lessen it greatly.
Garth isn’t happy “It was fun while it lasted.” He wishes the problem solved. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Burns “That was very selfless of you. Because of your generous deed, I shall make you a magical mug which shall magically refill with whatever drink you desire, whenever you desire. This will take me time and it may have limitations.” It won’t create the drink, it essentially draws the drink from a set location. There will be barrels in the carnival with different liquids from which he can draw from wherever he is. Wine, ale, mead, water, etc. Each has its own power word associated with it.
Garth flips with joy over this and can’t wait for his wish to come true!
Smithers “Since these are carnival barrels, they’ll always be full.”
Garth “HA! Not for long!” Garth considers that a challenge.
Night: Rags, Gwana, and Booty arrive. Booty draws his card, above.
Leave Hesston, arrive Dieloch and set up an evening show.
Leave Dieloch. Arrive Ostrich. Evening show.
Another day of shows
Another day of shows
Carnival lvs Ostrich, arrives late in Brimmin.
Rest and Festival prep for carnival.
Yanath et al debriefed by Burns. Yanath has a full presentation ready for him. Speaking nothing but positive about the crew he took. Once Burns hears about the Blood Angel “Damn it.” but won’t elaborate. Sits back, fingers crossed in front of him. He sends away, only Smithers with him.
Rest and Festival prep for carnival.
Foregathering begins, Yanath and his men present. It winds down about a day before Festival begins.
Lots of friendly competition: Hawkeye and Eagle Eye in archery, Tanaron in footrace, Yanath and HE in tracking and hunting, etc.
We give instruction on team stealth techniques and learn some from others in return. Plus Yanath teaches some animal training techniques; lots of trading of information and maps and such. Selling and trading of crafts we have like woodwork, arrows, locks, etc which we made over winter.
A general exchange of tales and such of attendee’s travels.
We meet a lot of great folk, some powerful and influential experienced woodsmen.
A couple days in, Boroda and Ialita show up. We also meet John Barleycorn who joins the group too! He’s “here to make men out of you little boys playin’ in the woods! Hahaha!”
We meet some scouts who work for area cities and such, who can spread the word of our seeking contracts next year.
Couple Norrisites here. One is a cop not interested in the woodsy stuff, just keeping an eye out on things. And looking for wanted men hiding out. The other is a Inquisitor/manhunter for the church.
We put the word out on Yanath’s plan for the Meanderwood Rangers so others can take the news with them, that a crew of rangers for hire are willing to travel throughout the regions for any job: mapmaking, guiding, huntsman, warband incursions, etc. Contracts after this winter at latest, to find us simply send word to Dark Carnival’s whereabouts.
We hear of a caravan wanting to head into Meanderwood, settlers, leaving early June. Once there, they will want guides to take them into the woodland and find them a spot to live.
Lots of other small jobs we hear of too. A few lost kids in the forest.
Couple larger jobs:
- In nearby town, small woodland community on edge of mts to east of here. Relative was living in this town and they haven’t received any correspondence in a couple weeks, which is very unusual.
- Formal request asking for experienced negotiators, warriors and outdoorsmen (all required) in mts up toward the slaver adventures area! Details provided to any who heed the call. It gives a specific inn in Imbrundia within which to inquire.
At end, make for Imbrundia. Arrive evening of the 19th, day festival begins.
Rest and prep for Festival shows
Rest and prep.
Carnival lvs Brimmin, arrives Linholt.
1 day show in Linholt to practice new Festival routines to a live crowd; but 3 small troops lv. for Elbschaft, Bandlindt and Vesimbrun to advertise for the spring festival showcase in Imbrundia coming up. They will spend a day in each then meet us in Imbrundia.
May 16 throuth 18
Carnival lvs Linholt, arrives Imbrundia midday. Sets up for evening introductory shows as an extended ad for the festival showcases. Otherwise rest and prep for the 19th.
Furnok in deep cover as Fars, then as Lias the Trader had arrived a few days early to set up his cover and win the lottery!
Yanath et all arrive, evening.
Crimson Knights arrive. Burns debriefs them tonight.
Burns knew it was the other Malenko with the knights, and assumes it was the same in Hesston and at Gretchen. If it’s not the same Malenko but working together, we may all be screwed “So I have to assume its only 1 by himself orchestrating all of this” otherwise one would have called another for help.
In private with Dahlia and Mal, he looks at Mal and shakes his head “How did you not sense one of your older, more powerful brethren in the area. What kind of Malenko are you? You realize that’s the only reason I keep you around. Just kidding, I like you Taurus. To a certain degree. I would like that degree much higher if you were more helpful to me. Such as, telling me when another Malenko is in the *$$&%&&% area!”
Malenko “I’m sorry.”
“I may not have given you all the information you needed to be as useful as you wanted to be. From now on, I shall be more forthecoming with you about certain things. There have been many of you over the years. You are but one of many over the generations.”
Malenko “You mean I’m not special?”
“You’re all special, in your own certain particular ways, but not unique. If you focus more upon it, you’ll be able to sense another Malenko near you. Now, the better you get at it, the longer range this sense gets.” But its good and bad, for they have the same capability, and our particular foe now has been around a lot longer than our Mal.
He explains this Malenko foe was part of his adventuring group when they were younger. He wasn’t so evil then, as he appears now. Or maybe just around non evils like the rest of us, he didn’t show it. Burns is pretty sure now, what with the debriefings, that he’s a big problem. Getting the orb may or may not have been his main motive. Could have been to kill Buckholtz. Hard to tell.
Dahlia “Why does he want these orbs.”
“Not your concern now. Just know there is a set. If any one person in the know has the entire set, suffice to say, they would be quite formidable.”
Dahlia “Maybe we should start hunting for them so you have them.”
Burns “That, my dear Dahlia, a fine idea.” There are 5 in the set, he explains, but does not know where they are but for his and that formerly kept by Buckholtz. Only rumors of 2 of them, and no word on last for a number of years.
Malenko “Can we ask where you got these from? Anyone else who may know to collect them?”
Former owners are not an issue anymore “if you take my meaning”.
Rumors of other 2:
- On a small island far to the western ocean; very dangerous place. Regular shipwrecks for a long time in the past. One of owners may have crashed his ship there years ago. Since none go there, perhaps it remains.
- In a place he has considered sending Mal and Dahlia to in the past anyway, just wasn’t sure we could handle it. Now, it may be necessary for a 2 fold reason: The Underdark and the Drow, Dahlia’s origin! An acquaintence of Burns that may still possess one there.
“Once I have time to do so, I can start using the orb I have to try and detect the locations of the others” problem being by using it, it lets those orbs know they are being sought and therefore the owners if they know how to use them can find this one. So if the other Mal does so, Burns will know it.
“So, we have some jobs to take care of once again.”
He wants us to consider who we will pick among our rescources to take with us.
Dahlia figures the knights are right out. But, “my first though is those impetuous barbarians. And Haarkon, the dwarf is a must. He’ll follow me anywhere.”
Burns is thinking at least 6 men, pending who they are.
“Whoever you choose will have no choice but to go with you.” We ask what to expect, he assumes to a drow city but along the way it will be dangerous evil of the Underdark “Everything you run into down there, assume it’s trying to kill you”.
Burns will personally choose the island group, smaller, maybe 4 or 5.
Boz wants to follow up on his revenge still, so he is out of both orb trips. He’ll need volunteers but Burns is prioritizing the orb quests.
Furnok thinks we should let Negdenburg simmer down for a couple months. Burns agrees.
During the week:
2 natives from over the great sea to the east find Yanath, sisters named Shenendoah and Cheyenne. They are here to thank him for rescuing tribe members of theirs from the slavers last year. They are here to serve him this debt of honor for their less capable folk. With them are 2 others from 2 nearby tribes to do the same. They are Crazy Wolf and Angry Beaver. With them also is a white man, a ‘mountain man’ friedly with Crazy Wolf and Angry Beaver in particular who came to see new places and people. He is known as Running Bear.
Yanath goes to the Inn about the job in Mts to north:
He explains that he works for Duke Ambrinigan, newly appointed, far to the north. He and his family and retinue moved to the keep. The supply train was raided on way just after. Other than personal belongings with worth that were taken, one thing is important that he wants back. A 3’ tall golden statue of a lion. The raiders were Frost Giants! Since that raid, Duke has been in touch with them. He is willing to pay a ransom to get the statue back. They have agreed. Now, we need someone to be the envoy because our regular troops won’t be sufficient should something to wrong. They do have feelers to other areas too.
Yanath “You on the rough terrain, or on the borders of it?” Its in the mountains, pretty rough in lots of areas but not everywhere.
As the week comes to a fun and entertaining end, restful for others, we choose our teams for the coming ventures.
Burns wants a straight up killer: he chooses Vik.
A good bowman as well: he chooses Angelica who also adds a ranger’s skills.
To lead: he chooses both Gar and Sarge
He will charter us a boat, when festival ends, to town nearest the island. From there, its up to us.
- Dahlia and Malenko choose Gwana with Booty, Haarkon and Hunk to go to Underdark with us. All with Darkvision and most with racial links to the underground, especially Haarkon.
- To the missing man in the mt town east: Yanath leads Barleycorn, Gerald, Iggy, and Crazy Wolf
- To Frost Giants: Black Tom and the blue crew, Erik Axewielder, Ragnar, Garth the Bold, Sir Garth Grimson, Knight Cpt. Dareth, and Lord Evan.
- With Boz and Furnok go Byron, Nunu, Billy, Banion, and Sir John. Furnok has gotten right used to Hunk’s power at their side, but also realizes his presence is a dead givaway.
Yanath also sends HE, EE, and Kell to find and meet the wagon train to the Meanderwood to make a deal. Should be easy since we are all from the Meanderwood area. Should Yanath not return before it moves, which is unexpected, they are to lead it east with a crew of their choosing, HE in charge.
The carnival is now moving on to Bren to the west via barge, then south down the main highway from there.