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  #1  
Old Sep 3rd, 2019, 12:03 PM
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Intro for hafrogman and Drager

Once you've got your characters all set up, we can use this thread to get everything finalized. Go ahead and add your characters in the Characters Thread for the campaign.
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  #2  
Old Sep 5th, 2019, 08:32 AM
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Iris and Thokk Dustbridge was a rough town to grow up in no different than any other in the forgotten region of Rhyfel known as the Empty Hills. That's not to say that those who lived there did so without any hope but that hope was normally reserved for those too young to know too much heartache. So it was that Iris Kettering grew up with aspirations to be a Knight of the Spear, dreaming of protecting a priestess on some dangerous mission to save a town ravaged by orcs or drowned in bandits. The realities of growing up so poor that fat drippings on a piece of flat bread served as supper most nights would not dissuade the young girl from her destiny.

When Iris was 18 years of age, an actual knight happened into town. His appearance was hardly like how she had imagined it would happen but it spurred her hope to further heights. His name was Kieran and he had been posted at Dun Finas, a fortress that guarded the largest pass in the southern mountains from orcish advances. While it was apparent that something had gone horribly wrong during his time at the keep, once nursed back to health by a local apothecary, the man set to work immediately trying to disrupt the system of endemic greed and corruption that plagued Dustbridge. The local Baron who owned the land around the town was a known collaborator with a bandit outfit. Not that this was unusual for any Baron in the Empty Hills. They spent most of their time plotting how to steal resources from their neighbors or to avenge a theft conspired against themselves. It was a vicious cycle and Sir Kieran had seemed intent on ending it. That was until he was arrested by the Baron on some trumped up charge and sold to a pair of bounty hunting dwarves known as the Bronzebeard brothers who said he was wanted for desertion in the captial of Kersdinas.

This all came as quite a shock to Iris to watch someone she had looked up to be cut down so swiftly. It wasn't long after that a small band of adventurers passed through town. Among their number was a half-orc named Thokk who knew a few nifty tricks with a sword blade. Fate would intervene as they had recently lost a member who had decided the meager amounts they were gaining in their travels was not worth his time. Iris said her goodbyes to her parents and her little sister and pledged to stop by every so often to share her spoils with her family.

They found themselves a strange niche in the system of corruption of the Empty Hills, hired bandit hunters. Barons who controlled bandit gangs would hire the group to weaken their rivals bandit gang under the guise of the law. Weeks later they may be going at the same Baron's thieves who had just hired them weeks earlier. It made coin well enough and the appearance of doing righteous work was at least there on the surface. They even made a bit of coin on the side in the small villages they passed helping Thokk with his 'performances'. The half-orc was actually quite good.

Everything changed when a job brought them back through Dustbridge. Iris' parents ran up to their eldest child, tears streaming down their face. Lily, Iris' little sister, had been kidnapped by the Greensleeves. They had been a bandit group just like any other until recently when they had begun operating outside the agreed upon norms and were carving out a small holding of their own. Rumors had it they were led by some witch known as the Tree Hag, something about a sacred tree under a ruin the Greensleeves hole up in.

Iris was shocked and saddened when the traveling troupe declined to help her retrieve her sister. They said the Greensleeves were too big to take on. That it was suicide to go up against them. Only Thokk stayed with her. Something in the big half-orc just couldn't say no to Iris' request for help.

The pair began searching for clues about the whereabouts of the Greensleeves hideout and have found themselves in an area of the Empty Hills known as the Evenwold, an old forest where rumors of Greensleeve activity had been heard.
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Old Sep 5th, 2019, 11:42 AM
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It had been a good life with the troupe. They'd taken him on near orcish lands not long after he'd crossed over to the human-controlled region following in his father's footsteps. They hadn't minded that he had tusks and had helped with critiquing his early performances (as it turns out Humans and Orcs find different things funny). They had valued both his camaraderie and his sword arm, the two things of which he was most proud. Travelling bandit hunter and travelling minstrel turned out to be two careers that went hand in hand, he had already composed 3 ballads of the troupes' victories by the time they met Iris and was no won at least five; depending on how you counted the one about their heroic retreat and the one that was primarily about Victor and the barmaid.

Iris had made all the difference to Thokk. She actually seemed to like him, rather than be amused by him as were the other members of their band. Perhaps just as importantly she was the only one who could match him at arm wrestling, which wistfully reminded him of his mother. When they passed through Iris' old home and found out about her sister, naturally Thokk had to help her out, besides his latest ballad had her as the hero and it wasn't finished yet so there was also a professional obligation to continue along the road with her. The distaste Thokk felt at bandits that would kidnap a child was also no small part of his decision, he had wanted to strike a blow for justice, not just money, ever since he came to these lands and now, perhaps, he would.

In the Evenwold Thokk looked at Iris as they trudged onwards Well, I suppose it is just I who trudges, she walks far more powerfully he thought, picking up his feet a little more under the encouragement of her presence. "This is a good lead, right Iris?" he sounds polished and well-mannered and above all, concerned "We are going to find her here." he deliberately injected a little more confidence into his voice as he said that, then inwardly winced at hearing it sound forced.
  #4  
Old Sep 5th, 2019, 12:27 PM
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Iris
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Iris looked back at Thokk's words, wondering, not for the first time, why he alone of the troupe members had elected to remain with her. Truth be told, she could not begin to express her gratitude that he had. She would have gone on alone if that had been the way of things, but she was also sure she would have already suffered a breakdown or two along the way. With Thokk's sword backing her up they stood a better chance, to be sure, but he also provided her a reason, a motivation to keeping herself focused and driven. There was no time to wallow in self-doubt and guilt.

Iris stared over her shoulder for a moment, realizing she had gotten more than a few paces ahead of the half-orc. Normally his much taller frame and longer legs would have put him up front, but she had lost herself for a moment and sped up as her thoughts and fears worried at her mind. She was pushing herself too hard, and that wouldn't do anyone, least of all Lily, any good.

She slowed up a bit and dropped back alongside Thokk, offering a genuine, if weak, smile. "I hope so, Thokk. But even if she's not here, they will be telling me where to find her." Coming from the overly conscientious young warrior, the words weren't an ominous threat, just a statement of truth.

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  #5  
Old Sep 6th, 2019, 09:02 AM
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"You're right, we'll find her, or a better lead." Thokk says, looking around at the forest and adjusting his swords in their scabbards. The woods look calm, but they always do before something untoward happens and Thokk is very aware that there are only two of them now. To stop himself fretting Thokk does what he does best; he begins to put together a little bit of verse for his upcoming ballad.

A likely lass of little fame,
From a town way out yonder,
Though all would come to know her name,
Back then she had to wander.

From town to town with shield strapped,
A motley posse at her back,
Talents so far barely tapped,
She showed the bandits what they lack


Thokk thinks as they walk "..what they lack. So lack should be on a strong chord, but then what?" he mutters as they walk, then realises he is tracing notes in the air with his fingers and speaking out loud. "Oh, sorry. Don't you think these woods are a little too quiet?" he quickly tries to change the topic from his composing.
  #6  
Old Sep 7th, 2019, 01:34 PM
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Iris kept walking. It was all she could do right now. Move forward, towards her goal. Thokk's quiet singing faded away into the background as she walked and she once again began to dwell on Lily's kidnapping. Iris had longed for a life of adventure. Had the Martyr seen fit to answer her prayers in such a cruel fashion? No, she would not let this shake her faith. Still, the guilt washed over her in waves. She had wanted to be a hero, but now she just wanted Lily back.

After a moment, she realized Thokk was speaking to her. She stopped and looked at him as it took her mind a moment to regroup and recover the question from wherever it had been instantly stowed. "Oh, huh? Quiet?" She looked around as if suddenly noticing their surroundings for a moment, then shrugged. "Papa always says the best way to avoid seeing a bear is to make sure you didn't surprise one."

She slapped at her chain mail with a metallic jangling. "I figure with me announcing myself like this, most of the critters and the like will have gone to ground. As for the rest, there isn't much call for people passing this way. Most of the people-type traffic would be coming in along the main road." She gestured vaguely off to the right. "But I'm taking us down a side track, see? Finding bandits is the goal, but I'd rather find them than be found by, if you catch my drift."

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Last edited by hafrogman; Sep 7th, 2019 at 01:35 PM.
  #7  
Old Sep 9th, 2019, 11:27 AM
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"Side tracks make sense, we've used them before, but I mostly just follow along until things get interesting or rough." he says with a companionable smile "I hope that you're right and it is your armour scaring off the local fauna, I'd hate to be walking into another ambush." the big half-orc rubs the back of his neck with a thick, but well-manicured hand. He thinks for a moment about bears They've never really been a problem for me, I mean I've seen one once or twice, but as animals go they generally keep to themselves as far as I can tell. for a moment more he muses on bears then asks the obvious question. "Did your father have much to do with bears?"
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Old Sep 10th, 2019, 08:31 AM
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Iris and Thokk Moving through the woods searching for bandits was not paying off very well when one morning Thokk and Iris found a cave entrance. Emerging from that cave was a dark skinned halfling, a half-orc who appeared dressed for battle, a heavily armored dark haired woman, the largest female half-orc either had ever seen dressed in skins, a small female human child and an elf dressed in cloth. They weren't dressed like Greensleeves but who would be in a cave in the Evenwold other than bandits?


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Last edited by tomplum; Sep 10th, 2019 at 08:31 AM.
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