Ghostwater

The Travellers

Great One

I have good news to report. The group of travellers that I have been observing as they blundered through the jungle like children have slain the demon-swarm. I’m afraid to say I have lost them now, they disappeared within the ancient building where they fought the creature. But no matter where they are gone to the demon spawn is dead.

As I told you in my last sending I have been watching these travellers for some time. How they ended up so deep in the jungle with so little understanding of how to survive here I will never understand. I’m surprised that they have survived so long, though it appears that the eladrin among them had some limited ability to find food. They have a strange orange root vegetable the likes of which I have never seen, but which no matter how much they ate of it, yet it remained. Without that I fear the half-orc may well have killed and eaten one of the others he growled and cursed at them so much. They also clearly hold great reverence for boars and pigs as all this time they kept with them a sow, yet they never slaughtered and ate it. I have seen the town they come from but had not been close enough to observe this reverence of pigs before. It is most perplexing.

Still I managed to subtly lead them to the stream that I knew would take them to where the demon-swarm was. As luck would have it we arrived when the abomination was in the middle of some arcane ritual, the purpose of which I do not wish to consider. They promptly attacked and drove back the corrupted lizards and frogs and the demon-swarm itself. They then proceeded along the never ending stream of mud into the heart of the demon-swarm’s lair. I admit that for a moment I feared to follow them, but when the sounds of battle rose from the mists I crept forward.

The mud was vile. As you know I am not as particular as some about keeping my fur spotlessly clean, but this mud was different. It oozed between my pads in a most unpleasant manner. I found myself picking my way forward carefully. But the battle that emerged from the mists was worth it. The travellers seemed to be having great difficulty wading around in the swamp and the demonic lizard creatures were able to dance around them with great ease. But once they managed to engage one of them in battle it was quickly over. Even the great wasps that the demon-swarm had conjured from the abyss were easily dispatched.

I was momentarily side tracked when all the severed hands that had been casually strewn about the swamp burst to life, some other manifestation of the swarm’s power no doubt. By the time I could look back to the battle I saw that once again they had engaged the swarm, and once again it fled from them, down into its muddy lair. They didn’t hesitate more than a moment, tearing open the entrance and plunging into the darkness.

By the time I made it to the platform the sounds of battle had started up again. I could see almost nothing down there when I looked, but was about to shift forms and follow them down when I was beset by more of the demonic severed hands. They were no real threat to me, but it took a few moments to dispatch them all. By the time I was finished the sounds of battle below had quieted. For a moment I feared the worst – that they had been slain and that the swarm would emerge. Alone I would have no chance against it. But then I heard voices and I could breathe again as I recognised the travellers.

At that moment I wanted to approach them, to thank them for their aid in ridding this jungle of the swarm. But I remembered your words of warning – these folk do no like our kind, viewing us as savages, little more than beasts. And so I hesitated, and then I withdrew as far as the nearest tree that would support me. I sat there for almost an hour waiting for them to emerge to see where they would go next, and if possible to guide them back toward their town if I could do so without revealing myself. But they never appeared. Eventually I crept forward again, and when I heard nothing I ventured into that loathsome hole. I found nothing but the bodies of corrupted lizards and vast numbers of dead flies. Of the travellers there was no sign, the mud hadn’t even left enough tracks to show me what had happened down there.

The other good thing is that the constant flow of mud has stopped. I found a mystic staff that I suspect has something to do with it. I have buried it in the swamp some distance from the swarm’s lair. I do not think I was observed while doing so, but if there is another swarm then I have no way of knowing if that is so. The next time you come this way I will take you to it and maybe you can guide me on what must be done.

Other than that there is little to tell of. I will continue to watch over the jungle here until I hear otherwise from you. And I will watch out for those travellers again, I feel they may yet be more adventures for them in these parts.

Best wishes to you and your mate, may your pack be strong and may she bear you many litters.
Dusk

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Grievances

A list of things pissing me off:

1) Breathers. If it’s not stopping to eat something, it’s stopping to drink something. And then they get ill from it. Holding us up all the time, I just want to get home.

2) That whiny human Kalle. I’m technically a eunuch and I’ve got more balls than that spineless lump of shit. Quit hiding behind me, get your razors out and help us kill these bloody fly things.

3) The tiefling. There is definitely something shady about him, something I know of and I can’t place it. I can’t trust it, and I’m watching my back.

4) That half-orc, half-dwarf (or so he looks) abomination Brok. Sneering at me, demanding I fight – yet it’s me who has saved his arse not once, but twice. I swear to the Traveler if he doesn’t treat me with the right respect, next time I’ll leave him to die.

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Requiescat In Pace

Martha the homing battle-pig
An Obituary

Today I am sad to report that Martha, a brave homing battle-pig that once belonged to Breadloaf of Ghostwater has been lost in inter-dimensional space and must be presumed dead.

Martha, who was resident of Ghostwater until she accompanied the expedition sent out to recover dragonshards from the Kobolds, leaves a rich legacy in porcine folklore. On the day she died, she easily dispatched an animated claw and a bullywug; to add to the list of kobolds she had previously fell.

Martha was much loved by her keepers Ptorus and Red, and will be sorely missed (especially by Brok, who was looking forwards to eating bacon).

Martha, may you rest in peace.

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The Way out is Through
...time to bleed

In the back room of Ghostwaters Crock-o’Gold…

My thanks for this informative discussion,  Delphi.  I will send out some patrols to look for your investigators.  As I mentioned should they be fortunate enough to return themselves they are requested to come to the castle once rested and recuperated.  There I will inform them of how they may… ,  redeem themselves.  If they do not return by the next phase of Nymm we may assume Kothar-caesin has claimed them.  As for yourself I will require that you do not leave Ghostwater for the foreseeable future,  simply as a precaution you understand.
Yes honoured Tsarista.  Delphi curtsied to Mishva Stormborn as the dragonborn started to leave the room.  Again my apologies for not highlighting to you the oddities of…
Veyet’toon.  Mishva’s final word and clanking plate armour cut off Delphi’s parting remarks.

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Jungle Memories

Yvenne… Yvenne… it’s been what… 11 days since you were taken from me. Hell’s teeth I miss you. And Thadeus and Valora of course. By the Six why did we take that caravan, why didn’t we take the caravan bound for Valenar instead. To the Abyss with the fact that they don’t like half bloods like you and me, I could put up with fey-child sneers better than I can missing you. Gods dammit my blood was boiling like Murgash back in the Marches as soon as I saw that hellspawn lizard, and it felt good. Shame I only caught it in the shoulder… should have been the throat… Yvenne…

And maybe you could make sense of everything that’s going on here, hell’s cursed demon flies… demon warped kobolds… fey prisons in the middle of nowhere… strange carvings with pictures of me and this band of fools fighting some unknown demon… chanting frog-men… you were always talking about that Prophecy thing… something to do with dragons, maybe it’s all about that… ah what’s the use thinking about it – I never paid much attention to all that stuff because I just didn’t understand it like you did… wish I’d listened to you a bit more… Yvenne…

The fey-child and the tiefling both said something about it having been a summoning ritual that we interrupted and that it was probably a good thing we did. I don’t know what happened to the scaly black bastard but they seem to think that it’s still out there somewhere. If I find him again I’ll be sure to rip his guts out and hang him by them for you… you probably wouldn’t like that though would you… always said that I loved the stench of blood just a little too much… well maybe I do, I’m an orc and I’m not hiding from it… curse you woman, why did you have to go and die on me… Yvenne…

Ah to the Abyss with the lot of them, I’m sick of this god’s cursed jungle, and sick of these babbling idiots. I don’t want to know about any hells-damned prophecy or care who’s stolen whose dragonshards. I don’t want to see any more mystic damned carvings or hack my way through any more of this damned jungle, where the next vine might just be another damned creature trying to eat me. I’m sick of Kalle’s constant moaning about having to eat carrot again or the fey-child being unable to keep up. I didn’t want any of this Gods cursed horseshit, I just want to be left alone… alone… Yvenne…

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Deep in the jungle where nobody goes...
Dear Nimbleweed and Ellykins Gulnackle

I’m sorry to say I haven’t had much chance to practice my Gnomish so I hope you forgive me for writing in common. I also wish I could say that the shop you left me is doing well too, but that’d be a bit of a lie. Fran; you remember her? I married her a couple months after you two went off on your travels, well save ya congratulations, she shacked up with some bastard Orien officer, should of seen that coming though; she was always one for excitement, but that aint the half of it! That Orien bloke wanted to steal the damn shop out from under me too, God knows why, some shady development deals or something? Anyway, I don’t think I need worry about them too much now…

Oh, I’m doing a bit of travelling now too, see you two taught me plenty, I’m still following in your footsteps. I’ve no idea where in Eberron you are, maybe you’ve wound up back in Zilargo? Anyway I doubt I’ll get chance to send you this letter, but I just need something to take my mind off this damn jungle!

We’ve been stuck here for days! I’m beginning to think that the pig ain’t no homing pig at all, despite what Big Red reckons. Don’t ask! Oh, maybe you guys would recognise the weird prison thing we escaped from a few days ago. It must have been Fey made. You Gnomes’d know something about that right? There was a Gnome there too, as well as a load of creatures that’d I’ve only heard about from my Granddad’s tales of adventure! Anyway the Gnome was very helpful and we sent him on his happy way… Oh, and are scarecrows alive in the Fey world? Cause these lot here still don’t believe me that a scarecrow was talking, but after getting coated in Flumph goo Red used the scarecrow as a luffa. After that it was less talkative…

Oh we came across 3 fine looking stone picture things too. They seemed to tell a bit of a story, some of the figures looked a little fly like. Wasn’t pretty. One of the stones had a picture of a group of people, looked spookily like the rag-tag bunch I’m traipsing around this jungle with now. That was pretty unsettling. The thing that really caught my eye though was the image of a huge crown thing. It looked pretty powerful and magic and all that, but the pieces sticking out the top, you know the bits I mean? I swear I found one of them not a couple days earlier, but I kinda handed it over to my Brother when – Oh shit! I didn’t mention did I? Remember my big bro? Went off to join the army. I told you he was dead. I thought he must be. Guess not! He’s going up in the world. Him and his dragon gang are cooped up in a nearby castle he said. If we ever get out of this jungle I think I oughta pay him a visit… wont that be fun!

Well I’m sat here on a soggy rock having a rest while a couple of the others are scouting round for a place to camp, and now I can hear them bloody frogs again! Frogs that croak in tune! This jungle is weird! We already came across them, I guess it’s the same lot. They had an ugly black lizardfella with them who was doing some dodgy dancing. We was all looking down a pretty high cliff at them and I was about to mention that it was a bit strange, but ol’ Brok goes crazy and starts hurling javelins at the lizard! You can tell which is the dominant side in that half orc I tell ya! The lizardthing then explodes into a swarming mess of flies, and I remember what happened last time we met a fly-man-thing so I tried to keep well clear! Ptorus though, he was straight in there, bounding down the rocks swinging his stick at anything that came near! The Eladrin wizard, Arannis tried to freeze the fly swarm-come-lizard, and then he tried to send the whole thing to sleep, I think it worked cause the flies, sorry Brok later explained that they were Demon flies, scattered and so did all the froggie people.

They’d left behind a huge big muddy mess at the bottom of the cliff. Turned out it was full of tadpoles. Arannis sets about freezing the whole area solid. That was a bit harsh I thought, but if they’re anything like the kobold eggs we found before… best not risk a load of froggie-fliey freaks growing out of this mud.

Oh, I gotta wrap this up now, the others have come back say they’ve found a rundown old building, we’re gonna go check it out. It better be a hotel!

Love Kal. xxx

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Even deeper
Welcome to the Jungle....
From the journal of Damian Wanderworth,
renowned explorer of the Wayfarers Foundation

<>[]<>[]<>

… book working title… “Wanderworth”

As many of my fine readers would expect my journeys have taken me far and wide across Eberron. While on these journeys some of the most unforgiving terrains I have encountered are the jungles of Xendrick and Q’Barra. WHy?… Mostly due to the fact that it is very very easy to become hopelessly lost in these places as maps are not available due to heavy vegetation making even aerial surveys difficult. Once lost the chances of survival of even the most hardy explorer dwindle as the days since you last had some remote idea of where you were increase. Thus navigation is very important to consider. In jungle navigation the ability to observe terrain features, near or far, is extremely limited. The navigator must rely heavily upon his Cannith-Positional-Pointer and the dead reckoning technique when moving in the jungle. Navigation is further complicated by the inability to make straight-line movements. Terrain analysis, constant use of the CPP, and an accurate pace count are essential to navigation in this environment.

Jungle essentials

  • A pole (8-12ft long) to probe objects in your path thus saving you from traps and other unseen dangers around every corner, from the deadly acid pits and quicksand to plants that will kill you and use you as compost
  • Plenty of rope (you never know when a few feet of rope can make the difference between living to another day or dying a slow painful death)
  • An axe and a machete (used for clearing a path through the dense jungles and setting up a basic shelter/barricade to protect yourself from the various inhabitants who would rather eat you, or poison you or both)
  • A guide (although this may seem like common-sense, you would be surprised how many people regret this oversight to late) I also cannot emphasize enough the need to have adequate protection for your guide and ensure they do not leave your sights whist you are on the trail of some fabulous artefact.
    … add more to this list later…. D

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Fey

After staying in the depths of the temple as long as the human could stand the smell, we climbed out, exited the tomb and got back to bright daylight. Despite finding the blademark dead in a pile of acid, we found our way out quite easily. Too easily.

Outside the temple were two dragons, a hippogriff and a whole load of trouble. They were poking around the dead kobolds, and as Ptorus spoke Draconic, he went out and tried to explain what we were doing.

He was getting nowhere, and the human Kalle was stood behind me trying to hide. Once again, I had to take the point. After confirming that they spoke common, I told them that we’d killed the kobolds. They didn’t seem too impressed with this, and demanded to see our papers. Anyway, we managed to prove to them that the kobolds had some abomination of hybrids in the temple, and Kalle handed over a piece of something he’d found outside. No wonder he was hiding – it was his bloody brother who was interviewing us.

They demanded we leave everything we took from the tomb; I knew we should have left it alone, but I decided there and then that if they wanted my sword they’d have to come and get it. Thankfully, I didn’t have to issue a challenge as the diamond looking thing Kalle handed over seemed to please them, and they left us. Martha was outside, too – and she was accompanied by some Elf looking thing. Eladrin, apparently.

So we’re walking through the jungle, trying to find our way back (bloody dead blademark) and after making camp, we got attacked by a panther. We killed it fairly easily, but it looked like Martha wasn’t going to make it – evidently the panther had wanted bacon for breakfast – but Ptorus showed me he could do the laying of hands trick as well, and the pig came back. Good job too; Breadloaf had told me that Martha wasn’t just a kobold hunting pig but a homing pig too.

So we came across a doorway in the middle of nowhere. Bloody stupid elf opens it, and proceeds to get into a fight with some crossbow bearing squirrels, some huggy envelopers and some armadillo things with rubies in their heads. Brok might not like me much, but he saw the sense I had in waiting outside, but as per usual we both got dragged in to save everyone else’s arses. After defeating them, we had to cross further into this prison thing (why on earth did we go in there), and got into another fight, but this time with some flail-snails, and some rabbits with massive horns.

I know people see me as a massive metal thing built solely for war, and maybe they are right; but even I knew this was a mistake. I hope this takes us somewhere, cos right now I just want to go back to the chapel and back to listening to people moan about God in louder and louder voices

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Where Is Everybody?

On a wet night in a side alley of Ghostwater an old miner covered by a thin scrap of blanket shivers slightly as he slips, thankfully, away into sleep. His hand slips knocking over an empty sprit bottle. It slaps into the mud just as a booted foot hits the ground beside it. Woken by the splash of mud the man looks up to see two figures silhouetted in the moonlight. Before he can utter a word a heavy club is brought down on the side of the miners head. Swiftly his body is picked up and thrown over a shoulder of one of the two. They move to a nearby door way, above it flickers a dull fairy light, and bustle inside.

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Fishy

The smell from beneath the trapdoor was terrible. Or so I was told, I couldn’t really tell. I was too busy marvelling at the sword I’d been given – it fit my arm with a click. The holy symbol felt right as well.

When Kalle threw the sunrod into the hole, the depth was a little scary. It’s alright for these scrawny types, I’m not built for climbing. They tied a rope around me, and told me to belay them down, one by one. The scrawny human went first, and then the tiefling. Brok went last before me, and I swear he uttered something about pigs as he went past – maybe he wondered where Ziggy had got to?

When Brok signalled me to haul the rope up, I had a moment of panic. Who was going to belay me down? The solution came with one of those flashes I keep getting – the heavy coffin would be enough weight to allow me to rappel down the hole.

It was horrible at the bottom. There was a bunch of dragonshards in a corner, surrounded by bones and eggs. And flies. So many flies. Kalle started yanking the levers that stuck up out of the floor, and when that didn’t do anything he picked up an egg. I barely had time to move when he threw it at me; it hit the wall behind me with a crunch, and this horrible baby fly/kobold hybrid thing crawled out from the crunched eggshell. I did the only thing I could do – I stepped on it.

Brok heard noises from tunnels coming into the dungeon, and we took up battle stances, taking one tunnel each. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by these horrible little kobolds, and so were the rest of the group. I kept slugging and slugging away, trying to kill the hybrids around me and keep myself on my feet; Kalle went down and I had to revive him myself to bring him back from the brink. The flies all formed together to make a humanoid in the room, and no matter how hard we hit it, it wouldn’t go down.

One of the hybrids tried to make a break for it, and as he climbed the rope I’d left there was a loud noise, and then a splat as Ptorus landed on him, having fallen down the hole.

Ptorus aided us, but it looked like we were done for, and everyone was really hurt; and then I remembered my holy water. I threw it at the evil looking lich thing, and it went down hissing; I turned and swiped at a hybrid and that went down in a crunch of steel – and before I knew it, there was just the five of us standing there.

I looked at Brok, and dared him once more to say I’d leave the fighting for everyone else.

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