Blackwater Adventure Co.

Being Held Hostage Sucks
Please deliver to Blackwater Adventuring Group before my untimely demise

So yeah, being held captive by a hideous undead bug monster wizard guy: completely not awesome. Remember Calvin Appleby? Turns out he’s not dead. Even worse, he’s pretty pissed at my little band of adventurers who may or may not have had a tiny role in him not destroying the world and plummeting out a window to what should have been his squishy demise. So, long story short, I’m a hostage and my comeback tour is ruined. Great. I’m not sure if all the evil undead hate reggae music or if it’s just Appleby, but every time I start trying to sing Don’t Worry, Be Happy, he threatens to cut my face off. Also, as a side note, do the undead not understand the importance of interior decorating? A few throw pillows, a nice rug, and a heavy de-emphasis on skulls and arcane symbols and big honking evil would do wonders for this subterranean nightmare. I can totally see this place in a nice lilac for the walls. Pastels are very calming and seriously fab! Other than the terrible living conditions and the constant fear for my life, it’s not so bad. I hope the gang rescues me soon. If they don’t, I swear to Gloria Estefan, I’m gonna haunt those bastards forever. If I die, I think I’ll start leaving pictures from the Ravenwing Swimsuit Calendar in Kriv’s backpack. I know some sweaty, oiled-up troll porn would probably make him pee himself! Anyway, back to the grind. Literally. Appleby’s wheeling in a huge sanding stone and some manacles. Probably not for my pedicure, either. RESCUE ME! Toodles!

Fabulously, Alendro

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Dear Dairy
Thoughts from the desk of Ashkor

Dear Dairy

All of my new buddies are writing things in books now. I have not really used books much in my life. A shock, I know. Anyway, I am starting too.

Today I met a lesbian, and it seems they are the natural predator of the gnome race. I saw and spoke to one, and she told me she liked to eat things. It was odd. I also met my old friend Ayden. We talked around a fire, but he wanted to be alone, so I left him to himself. Afterwords, we fought some big boners. At least, I think they were boners. I heard Reaver talking about a boner once, and I was confused for the longest time, until the boners come and attack us. I whacked off like 4 boners myself that night, but no one noticed.

See, we had this gnome, and while he was safe from the lesbian, I think I might have told people he worshiped Tiamat. SHe is a big dragon with five heads. FIVE HEADS!!!! I bet she gets hungry a lot with that many heads. Maybe she should eat with lesbains, since they eat stuff a lot and all.

I am glad to be back with my pals again. Prison was not muc fun. I only got in like 4 fights when I was locked up. But since they came back, I have had many glorious battles. I love battling things and triumphing. I also like kittens. They are soft and funny.

I hope we don’t have to kill the gnome Grep. He is always healing me and stuff. Maybe Tiamat isn’t so bad….then again, people really don’t like her. Maybe she is all bad.

I have an idea! If I kill Tiamat….not only will I be the dragonborn who killed a god….but then Grep wont have to worship her and everything will be ok again. I am so smart. I come up with great ideas. Alondro says I should tell him my ideas first, and then he’ll tell me if everyone else is ready for them. He is a good friend.

Until the Mountains crumble Ashkor

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Journal Excerpts

Having been moved five years ahead of my time is scary. I should be 23 now, but I am only 18. The fey wilds scare and interest me at the same time.

Things are so not what I am used to here. From walking machines,huge thunderous things that have been called cannons. What the hell is a cannon? I have gotten my worth for joining the crew I am with now. We do not belong here.

Kord had been my driving light since I was young. I now don’t know if he really exist or if he has closed his eyes on me. I don’t feel my faith as I used to when I was back on Lotic island. I know he must be there since Rallack and Ashkor believe in him something crazy. I am learning that there is many more gods than what I was told and believed in while I was growing up.

For me, I think it may be time that I step back and see things more simply. In other words, Removing my magic items from me and start back with general gear and rely solely on my strength, brain, and allies. Not so much on what I wear now.

—from the journal of Kriv Obslain

0314

Ashkor sat with me on watch for a time. The Dragonborn has a lot on his mind. Possibly in a bad way.

Met up with Blackwater Adventure Co. again. I thought their “air ship” had been destroyed. Couldn’t believe it when I saw them lowering from the sky.

0450

Everyone asleep. A trick of the eyes perhaps…there are shapes moving in the snowstorm…

1215

Wonder what Inara would think. No. Don’t go there. The Raven Queen is cold, but just. Death visits all doors. Even those closest to mine.

A lot has happened over the past seven hours. Protected a caravan of civilians from a decisive attack. Necromantic filth. It was my joy to eradicate such blasphemies from the face of the earth. The creatures were automatons—hellbent on one single purpose: to get past us and to the people we were protecting. Something is controlling them. Some ill breath on the wind gave them speed and determination. Pray I never find out who, for their sake.

I came around a caravan to see Dark-eyes about to deliver the coup de grace on the cleric. Some dispute over Tiamet and Bahamut, as it turns out. The gnome should thank me. He was a heart beat away from the grave…

We are moments away from Havenkeep. I will depart. I’m not certain this city has forgotten who I am. I am not certain they are friendly.

—from the journal of Ayden Cahan

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ANSELSHIRE TIMES issue 385
CITY GUARDS FIRE ON CIVILIANS, THREE KILLED

As Anselshire signs a contract with Wesson & Hammerthrong making them the sole contractor for military weaponry, several groups across the city march the castle in protest. It’s no secret that the group referring to themselves as the collective has a strong hold in the city, but not strong enough, apparently. The protest was evidently disrupted when the Castle Guards fired their guns into the crowd, killing three.

A representative for The Collective addressed the incident at a public debate yesterday, his words were answered with applause.

“This is exactly why we gathered in protest that day. This was what we were trying to prevent. Idiots wielding things they cannot possibly understand (...)and innocent people suffer for it. This is what The Collective is rising against. They have proven our point for us.”

Michael Summers, head of production and labor at Wesson & Hammerthrong, quickly responded in an attempt to sway the crowd in his favor.

“The situation would have been just as bad if they had fired arrows into the crowd. Blaming technology for poorly trained soldiers and even poorer decision making skills is absolutely absurd.”

The issue seems to be moving forward regardless of the obvious problems most of the populace have against it. Summers remarked that it was ”...nonsense. These same people who fear the machinery and weaponry our company invents and manufactures will be the ones who sings its praises when one of our cannons brings down the dragon swooping over their villages. They will be the same ones who thank their god for protecting them from an invading army, when our guns lay waste to their defenses…”

The Collective responded with one ominous message: War is coming. And we shall see.

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Letter from Lortic Island

Kriv Obslain of the Royal Kratyon clan,

Kriv it is time for you to return back to your home and rightful duty to protect your sister as she takes the mantle as elder. By birth right, as the second born you are bound by Kratyon Law to be her protector. She has returned back home from her travels of the mainlands as you have seen fit to do. You know by now we are not happy with your decision to do so, but law comes first, thus is why you must return now as you are honored bound to her. Or have you forgot the oath you took to serve her?

Now on to less meaningful words. The human village of Surro has been under attack lately from the three bands of goblin tribes here on the isle. We have been keeping a eye them as things progress. They have been holding their own for not being followers of Kord. We have thought by now that the small poor town would have been erased from our island finally. If rumors are true, they have gotten help from people that have shipped wreck on the their shores. This would explain why they have been able to hold the hordes back for so many weeks now.

Trade with the the Golith clan is going good, but we have stopped trade with the human village since they don’t have anything of worth anymore.

signed,

The elders 6
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ANSELSHIRE TIMES issue 128
BLACKWATER ADVENTURE COMPANY SOLVES ORC PROBLEM

Recently we reported that roving bands of orcs have been raiding the construction site for the Ashbury/Havenkeep road. The problems continued to escalate until last week when the entire camp was sacked. Those not killed where taken prisoner to be tortured and executed at a later date.

We’ve heard this story thousands of times—but weep not, gentle reader! There is a ray of light at the end of this story. Blackwater Adventure Co. arrived just in time to save the day.

Raymond Stanley, one of the survivors gives his account:

“I was standing in line with the other prisoners—they had us chained together and were…well…

They had already executed so many of us by the time Blackwater arrived. At first I thought a Dragon was attacking. There were explosions an’ crap everywhere. Thousands of Orcs were burned alive right in front of me. I saw two barrels catch fire, burn for only a sec(ond) and then EXPLODE!” Raymond pauses for a moment, “ORCS WENT EVERYWHERE! When I saw the adventurers I thought, ‘we’re saved!’ but our executioners started moving even quicker;trying to get the job done before they died. Didn’t make sense to me, but orcs are weird, ya know? The guy a’front of me was about to get it when the party got there—and only just in time! It was about as excitin’ as you can get if you ain’t the one about to get yer head all chopped off.”

The town is planning a parade in honor of these heroes, but they have not been seen in Havenkeep since.

5 MEMBERS OF RAVENWING KILLED

Ravenwing arrived to fanfare, stole a contract from Blackwater, and were eaten by a dragon. The company remains active, though this reporter believes they should at least move out of Havenkeep if their business is to remain lucrative.

STRANGE SIGHTING IN ASHBURY

Several dock workers reported seeing a ship sail some distance out into The White Sea, then lift into the air. Officials are referring to this as an official “U.F.O”—(Unidentified Flying Object) sighting. Most sightings of this nature end up being dragons or other large flying beasts.

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ANSELSHIRE TIMES issue 127
QUICKWHISTLE ANNOUNCES CODE AND PLANS TO WORK WITH STEAM ENGINE

The Alphabet is: A .- B ... C -.. D .. E . F ... G -. H …. I .. J .—K .- L ... M - N -. O -- P .-. Q -.- R .. S … T – U .. V …- W .- X -.. Y .- Z -.. 1 .-- 2 ..—3 …- 4 …. 5 ….. 6 .... 7 -... 8 —.. 9 --. 0 -—- There you have it! There are also puncuation marks but not included here. That is the strange language that Fiz Quickwhistle has named “Quick Code”. Look like nonsense to you? Then keep reading!

The code is a system of sounds—the quick ones being referred to as ‘dots’ and the longer ones being referred as ‘dashes’. Quickwhistle explained that his machine is able to transmit these sounds, and an operator on the other end can then translate it.

It was developed by looking at the printing press collection of letters and by counting each letter. A pattern was found where the letters E, T, I, A, N, R, M are the most numerous and so they are given shorter Quick codes.

With the recent announcement by the Royal Council that they were going to go ahead with the plans to build a transcontinental railroad, Quickwhistle Enterprises has announced plans to run their cables alongside the track. The signal needs to be repeated every forty miles, and Quickwhistle Enterprises is also planning on setting up “repeater posts” along the track.

The track is estimated to take 2 years to complete, with a total cost of 7 million PP. Construction begins next Monday, just outside Anselshire.

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ANSELSHIRE TIMES issue 126
HAYFARE MURDERED

Detective Hayfare was found murdered in The Green Fairy early this morning. Officials are releasing no information at this time but Chief Swann released a statement this afternoon.

“Of course we were all shocked when we heard the news. The Green Fairy has been temporarily closed. Hayfare was a great man. Good at his job, and being such-had many enemies. We have a few leads, but are not releasing any information at this time. My heart felt sympathies go out the Hayfare children, having lost their mother only a year ago…and now their father…”

Chief Swann spoke between tears.

Updates as events warrant.

RAVENWING ARRIVES TO FANFARE

The streets were full of music and celebration as Ravenwing Adventure Group officially arrived in town yesterday. Adventuring companies such as Ravenwing come and go, but Ravenwing has stood the test of time, and their only real competition is the Blackwater Adventure Co.

DEMONSTRATION IN ANSELSHIRE

Flick Benrumple unveiled his latest invention late last week in Anselshire in a private demonstration for the King and select members of the press. He calls his invention the Steam Engine. Imagine, dear reader, a massive steel machine, a dragon of metal and wheels, confined to a small wooden track. What could this monstrosity possibly be for?

The demonstration began with a few words from Flick himself. “My steam engine represents a faster way for the common man to travel, without having to muck about with library books, reagents, or excessive amounts of arcane energy. The short: a way to travel quickly, for those unable to use magic, or afford to use the magic of someone else. My steam engine is capable of traveling approx 126mph, seat 1052 individual people, and operate with only 5 staff members. Not to mention the ability to haul massive amounts of supplies from one location to the other.”

When the train began to move, white smoke erupted from a spout near the front. The wheel began to churn and the beast began to work its way around the track. Flick explained that the ‘steam engine’ took a while to build up speed, but assured us that it would eventually move an astonishing 126mph.

Another local scientist posed the following question, “If you travel faster than 100 miles per hour, without the use of magic, wouldn’t the sheer force and speed pull the flesh from your bones?”

Flick responded by hopping to the top of the train and riding it to top speed.

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS

The road from Havenkeep to Ashbury has officially begun. Loggers are working day and night. The latest report is that they are having a small problem with a roving band of orcs, but there have been no casualties.

Lumber is being sold to the highest bidder.

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Dear Ashkor
Greetings from Snow Point

My fellow warrior! How I hope this letter finds you full of ale and battle! How are things on your journey? I pray by the hammer that all things are well. I have thought of you often since that day you recieved that message to join the Blackwater Adventure Company. The Ice Festival was last month, and as I dined on roasted boar ribs, I thought of how much you enjoyed them and wished you were there.

Now…I want to hear all about your Glorious Battles. We have had a couple here, as the Goblins have been very restless and on the move. They still lay claim to the mountains of the Dwarf Throng, but we still stand resolved as the first line of defense to our hold. Our clan has lost no one in the last seven battles with those damn greenskins, although Thaurer took a nasty spear to the shoulder and he now has a little trouble lifting a shield. THis has given him more time to do some of those weird creations in his room, and by the hammer, he has.

For some reason, the Engineer’s guild is having Thaurer test out his new invention and turn it into a new type of weapon. From what I can gather, it is a crossbow, without a string, that shoots small, fast bullets. These…what did they call them….”guns” use a new black powder that I have hard the High King speak of only twice in the last 50 years. None of the others in the village, save Thaurer and myself, have any clue about this new contraption, but they have been suspecting something. There have been caravans of men, gnomes, and elves come through Snow Point on their way to the Throng. The High King says that this black powder and guns can change the way we wage war.

How un-glorious though, to destroy your enemy from that far off. But forget it Ashkor, these are the ramblings of an old dwarf set in his ways. Hopefully, I have taught you these things well. Ashkor, always seek Glorious Battle, never forget a debt, and never break an oath. I wait eagerly for the day your oath is fulfilled and you can return home and take you place at the head of the Dwarf Army and lead us all into many Glorious Battles.

Now, I have sent you a little treat. I know it may be a lot, but forget it, I want to give it to you. I have enclosed TEN gold pieces. And they are all yours. Go a little mad, and have some fun. You cannot be serious all the time. Enjoy yourself, but do not go to mad, it is a lot of money after all. Be careful with it and guard it…

I forget….not many would try and steal from a Half-Dragon eh. Sometimes I forget you are not one of us. But despite the fact, you are still Moradin’s child, and I still consider you my son. Return home soon, son. I miss you. Although I understand why you are gone. Oath before clan, clan before all.

Until the Mountains crumble,

High Chief Rubymace

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Ayden's event log and journal

0000

Sam leaves ruins of Appleby estate. Appears to be carrying several items. Too many bystanders. Stayed to the shadows. For a moment Sam looked directly at me. I don’t care if he sees me. Let him fester in sin for now.

0012

Drow from Ravenwing at Appleby estate. Of no concern to me yet.

0100

Stopped by The Green Fairy to pay a visit to Blackwater. Some involvement with Sam. Unsure to what level. Found the fat detective eviscerated on the floor. Looks like the bastard stepped on the wrong toes this time. Had it coming. Dumb sow. Someone else can clean this up. Don’t bother contacting authorities

0125—0430

Unable to locate current Blackwater HQ. Return to Temple. Report. Meditate.

0800

Ravenwing arriving today. Nightweed throwing a parade. If you know the right people, you don’t have to be good. Ravenwing is of no importance to me.

0815

Party being held after parade: invite only. Source tells me that an invite was sent to Blackwater. May the Raven Queen guide my thoughts and actions—lest false judgment be dealt. Rumor on the street is Blackwater had a hand in the Appleby slaying. Puppet of Vecna killed one of our assassins three weeks ago. He was green, but the Raven Queen welcomed him with open arms.

1600

Strange lich at party. Keeping close watch. Blackwater is here. Beginning investigation. Will follow party to locate HQ. Infiltrate if necessary.


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