Journal of Ardbrin Part 2

I am conducting a long term solo campaign set in Greyhawk using GURPS and some other resources. I decided to report it as a journal narrative from the perspective of one of the characters, mostly for something different from what I normally do.

Moonday, 24 Coldeven in the year 576

Before morning, Tola was on watch and she yelled a warning to us all. I woke and grabbed my mace and shield and went out to the center of camp. The others all joined in varying states of disarray. Tola had spotted 4 huge wolves circling our camp at some distance and they were now dangerously close. Torian, Narilnelune and I took the front facing the worgs and prepared to hold them if they charged. The others readied arrows and such. The worgs moved forward quickly and our arrows flew. One of the worgs fell as a bolt hit it squarely in the chest. The others kept coming, although one had an arrow in its side.

I braced for impact with my shield forward and the worg came flying at me. I held ground and used the shield to push it off me. It fell on its side and I tried to hit it with my mace, but misjudged and hit the ground near its head. A quick glance told me Torian and Narilune were still standing to my relief. I prepared to strike again when a blast of fire came from behind me somewhere and struck the wolf on the ground. The beast howled in rage and the smell of burning fur filled my nose. I steeled myself and swung again, but the thing was already on its feet and moved out of the way.

The worgs pulled back, it seemed that after we repelled their initial charge, they decided to find other prey. The one that had fallen from Tola’s crossbow still lay on the ground, mine was smoking and another bleeding from some wound either Torian or Narilune must have inflicted. Another bolt of flame flew from Cyprian’s hand and stuck the already smoking wolf which fell to the ground. The other two ran off out of sight. The one left behind rose up again, but another arrow from Altair put it down for good.

The whole thing was over very quickly, but it represented our first real fight as a group. Altair looked a little pale, but no one was injured. The worg meat is foul and unsafe to eat, so we just left them there. The gnomes were very impressed with our defense of them and happily praised us. Of course we packed up and left, having no desire to run afoul of a larger pack.

We had to take shelter for three hours this afternoon as a fierce storm came through with thunder and lightning and high winds. Luckily, it was short lived and we suffered only delay. Although it is cloudy, I know today is Luna’s last day and tomorrow is the new moon. I will give thanks to Xerbo for lending me strength and courage.

Godsday, 25 Coldeven in the year 576

The wind blew swiftly today, especially as we walked along the top of one of the hills. Still, there was no rain and it was warm enough that the journey was pleasant. We saw no sign of any more worgs which is a relief to our party. Worgs are smarter than wolves and some say they can even speak their own basic language. It is not unheard of for them to seek revenge on those that cause them harm. I heard a tale once that a farmer shot a lone worg and three nights later his entire family was found dead in his fields, torn apart by wolves. The key part is that they worgs did not eat the bodies or drag them off into the woods; it was just vengeance for their fallen packmate.

Our food situation has now gotten suitably bad enough that Cyprian has said that we will not travel tomorrow, instead foraging, setting snares and hunting to replenish our supplies. Honestly, it will be a nice change for me. Elehal also looks exhausted, though she has been keeping up with us. Today is the day of the new moon and Celene waxes still. I will spend the rest of the night in prayer.

Waterday, 26 Coldeven in the year 576

Cyprian slept very poorly last night, though I do not know why and he seemed not to want to speak of it. Today, we hunted and foraged. I was little help in these endeavors, but I did manage the camp and found us fresh water (through the grace of Xerbo). Altair and Torian both were quite successful and I thought Narinelune also was, but he seemed displeased with his haul. We smoked the meat over the fire and ate well. The weather was fine, and I hope that the end of Coldeven will coincide with warmer and happier climate.

Tomorrow we resume our travels, Cyprian believes we are still three days from our destination. 

Earthday, 27 Coldeven in the year 576

We had a good day of travel today. It was cloudy with a cool wind, but it did not rain. The replenished food stores have improved our spirits more than I thought. I guess I was more worried about it than I thought. Today I spoke more with Torian, I wanted to know more about his life. He apparently earned a decent amount of money as a mercenary in the Shieldlands, enough to buy his armor and equipment. I asked him why he stopped doing that work and he said he was tired of killing hobgoblins and thought he would travel and find new things to kill. I am not always sure, but I think that is Oeridian humor.

Luna has begun to wax and Celene is nearing fullness. Growfest is approaching. I look forward to warmer weather.

Freeday, 28 Coldeven in the year 576

Today was very eventful. We are starting to come down out of the Cairn Hills and into a more inhabited (by gnomes) area. So it was not too much of a surprise that we ran into a group of gnomes today. There were four of them across a narrow spot between two small cliffs. We were wary since all four were armed with spears and shields and as we approached we saw a few others with slings on the cliffs themselves. Our gnomes and these gnomes shouted back and forth at each other until Cyprian interjected. Then the gnomes told us to turn over our clients to them and leave, but our clients told us that these were bandits who meant to kill them.

The situation quickly deteriorated. Cyprian of course refused to surrender our travelling companions and the gnomes began to advance. Altair shouted a warning that we were being flanked, and indeed I turned and saw three more gnomes with swords and shields running toward us from behind the cliff. Torian shouted for me and narenelune to meet that threat so we moved to do so. I could hear sling stones hit the ground near us, but no one seemed to be hit. Altair, Elehal and Tola returned fire.

Of the three flankers, one came toward me and the other two took on Narilene. I swung my mace down at my attacker, but it bounced off of his shield. He stabbed at me but mistimed his strike, missing wide. I saw my opening and brought my mace down hard on his exposed arm. He screamed and dropped his weapon. Happy with my good fortune I looked to see Narilene fighting off his two assailants, blocking one with his shield and parrying the other with his sword. I started to try to maneuver closer to help him. I also saw one of the gnomes had slipped past Torian and Tola and was almost to Altair when Altair put an arrow in his chest at close range.

Elehal must have also noticed Narilene being hardpressed because she drew her sword and joined us. Now without having to divide his attention, Narilene was able to strike his enemy in the leg. Seeing that my previous foe’s weapon arm hung awkwardly at his side and assuming that I was safe from him for the time being, I turned and attacked the now off balance gnome. He saw me and cursed, trying to parry my mace with his sword, but he was too slow and I hit his hand, breaking it. Again, I had disarmed my opponent. Narilene pressed the advantage and ran his sword through the gnomes chest, dropping him to the ground.

The gnomes faltered now, with my previous foe with the crippled arm turning to run and the one sparring with Elehal backing off. Looking back to the others, it seemed the gnomes were in full retreat. Some sling stones covered their flight, but we had clearly fought them off. Three gnomes were down, the one Narilene had stabbed was already dead, but they others were alive still. One was bleeding from a nasty gash on his stomach courtesy of Torian and the other had an arrow in his chest. The arrow had not hit any major organs so I was able to remove it and heal the wound (Xerbo pours himself out over the wounded). The gash was easier but after healing both I was tired.

We searched them and found a few coins, and we took their weapons. When the wounded gnomes awoke, Torian interrogated them for a while. They were apparently hired by a rival gnome clan from a different village to ensure that our gnomes never made it back to their hamlet. Whatever mercantile arrangement they had secured was lucrative enough to inspire such violence. We left them unarmed and continued on our way.

I spoke to others about the fight and Torian single-handedly fought the four spear wielding gnomes, even getting his sword entangled with one and having to draw his mace. Something went wrong with Cyprian’s magic, but he did not want to discuss it. At any rate we were fortunate that no one was seriously hurt. Altair has a small cut on his upper arm where he was poked by a spear, but it was not serious and we simply bandaged it.

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