Blugar's World

The Annual Blackberry Festival

Jax’s Journal

I’m not nor have I ever professed to be a “socialite”. So being invited to the biggest party of the year didn’t excite me. Theno Jenkins was very excited for me and kindly offered myself and the group transportation to and from the event. She also kindly informed me of certain Hansa rules and the fact that they were 100% pro-slavery.
The group consisted of the same folks I met on my previous excursion into the danger room – and one more – a Barret Tennison. Apparently his parents – I think they own the adventurers guild. In any case he constantly talks about his mom – I swear he’s a momma’s boy! He’s equipped well but damn – there were still store tags on his equipment. He sings a lot too – at least he sounds good. Over all he seems nice enough.
The journey there was uneventful. We stayed at an Inn that had its own air conditioning with cold rocks – way cool! Oh and I met myself there as well! Sitting across the tap room I saw myself – we didn’t have much of a chance for a conversation. I looked to point myself out to my companions and looking back at the chair the other me was sitting in – it was empty! Really quite strange… but exciting none the less!
The party – meh – I looked for some knowledgeable scholars thinking there must be some here – but I didn’t find any. The prince who was to be betrothed disappeared sometime during the party. Then some other Hansa Prince and Princess appeared – heavy security! Oh and they had non-detects up on them – I thought that was interesting. I went back to the Inn early and left the group to the party – it wasn’t my cup of tea.
The next morning on the way back to Southern Cross I examined the secret compartment in the coach (the one the teamster told me to leave alone – but I didn’t) and there was a slave in there! If the Hansa’s ever found out we’d be in deep shit. Apparently this was the plan all along – but I don’t know that anyone told me! The Prince offered the group magical weapons for helping him escape with his slave whom he loved. I asked for a rare and unique spell instead of a weapon.

Jax

PS – i don’t know why they call it the Blackberry Festival – i saw NO blackberries at all!

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First run on proving myself

Dear journal,

Mom says I should keep a record of my memoirs, important for any successful bard as well as a place to record knowledge that can be used later for song writing. I guess that makes sense. Dad thinks it’s a good idea for other reasons, but still agrees. She says write down useful information, while he says to just write what you are thinking. I guess I will try to do both. So, here is my first entry into my new journal. Here’s hoping I can keep it up along with my training.

I had an interesting event occur. I was called to the training tower, along with Asta, Kevin, and that sword teacher from the Wololitan University – her name is Kenzie something. I grew up with Asta (she’s kind of weird) who is about my age, but Kenzie is a few years older and from Earth – which is cool and weird at the same time. She seems very focused on her weapon training, which reminds me a bit too much like dad. The clan would most likely take her except she uses two weapons at once. Still, she’s quite good with them. She called Asta “Falls Quickly”, which I tried to not laugh at out loud. Asta couldn’t even manage a ladder! I decided to show off a bit and flip off the platform, land precisely without falling, all while still playing my mandolin. I have to say, I was quite impressed and amazed that I pulled it off, but I tried to not let that show. As mom says, it’s all about showmanship and presentation.
Kevin is new in town. He didn’t say where he was from, but he seems like a nice guy. Also about my age, which is cool. Unlike the others from here, he actually knows how to dress sharply. Overall, I think we’ll get along pretty well.
I heard that there are some others who will be joining us in this new venture. One is some mage a few years older, who has ‘served his time at the mountain’. Was he in jail for something? I need to learn more about him, definitely! I see story potential here. There is also this other girl from town, Margene. She makes Asta look rationale and well-trained. She’s always going on about unity and community. I have no idea what she’s talking about most of the time. And boy is she naive! She is far too trusting, I expect her to be severely disappointed by the world at large. Then there is this other girl from town, Lena. She’s really good with magic. I don’t really know her though; if I thought my training schedule demands were bad, it’s probably worse for spellcasters. I wonder if she knows how to turn someone into a toad?

Mom says I need to work on my songwriting, to get better. She didn’t come out and say I stink at it, but some of my friends did. So here is my first song since officially joining the guild. I know mom won’t like the fact that the music is a bit more rambunctious than she likes, and definitely not traditional, but she said that when you write your own stuff, you need to play what feels right and the music will flow better. Any ways, need to write it down before I forget – since I’m not sure how much time I will have to practice THIS song.

(Sung to the tune of We Built This City and it helps if you have it playing in the background while you read the song.)

They built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild
Built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild

Say you don’t know me or recognize my face
Say you don’t care who trains in that kind of place
Face first on the ground floor, troubles in poor light
Too many falling down, missing in the fight

Barret plays the music, listen to the bard go, don’t you remember
They built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild

They built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild
Built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild

Someone always planning skill-testing games
Who cares they’re always changing the danger room terrain
We just want to train here, someone start the test
They call us silly nicknames, trying to do our best

Barret plays the music, listen to the bard go, don’t you remember
They built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild

They built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild
Built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild

It’s just another Sunday, in a boring old town
Adventure is calling, we can’t hang around

Who counts the treasure, when the fight is won
Who rides the lizardhorse when the fight is done
Don’t tell us you need us, ‘cos we’ll save the day
Just need the training room, education paves the way

(I’m looking out over that Adventurer’s Guild training tower,
Out on another gorgeous sunny Saturday, watching that tower hum with activity.)

Don’t you remember (‘member)(’member)

(It’s your favorite young bard, in your favorite Jenkins town
The city with the Uni, the city that prepares adventurers, the city that never stops)

Barret plays the music, listen to the bard go, don’t you remember
They built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild

They built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild
Built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild

Built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild
Built this tower, they built this tower to train the guild

They built, they built this tower
(Repeats out)

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Kenzie's Evaluation

After the results of the last danger room I have taken it upon myself to offer teaching to those who are willing to learn. Falls Swiftly and Kevin have taken me up on my offer to some degree. To my dismay though Kevin insisted upon keeping and using his toothpick of a sword. Blade Singer has chosen to not take advantage of my teaching due to dictates of his Clan.

After a month of training it is time to see the progress of my students, several other adventurers have also wanted to join us. A spellcaster who permeates the very air about him with cold named Jax. Another spellcaster named Lina. And a strange woman named Margine who the only thing I can say is she reminds me of those parodies of a “hippy” I recall from my youth back on Earth.

After preparing the danger room I have a group of six orcs brought in. One of them immediately attacked me, as was expected, and I swiftly removed his head spraying his fellows in his blood to get their attention. I tell them that should they pass my test they will be returned home alive.

I have the students look over the danger room then send them off to strategize while the orcs set up. I have the students brought in and let the games begin. I try not to cringe as immediately Falls Quickly leaps off the starting platform for one of the earthen mounds, Kevin follows after and Margine tries to race down the ladder. Falls Swiftly to my surprise lands safely but Kevin falls and sprains his ankle and Margine pulls a Falls Swiftly down the ladder to eat dirt. Jax and Lina however took some time to look around, shout out what they see out of place then proceed down the ladder safely.

I must confess to myself the orcs were clearly too strong of opponents for this group and had far too good of armor. But only through adversity does one grow, if one survives that is.

I was most impressed with Kevin’s resolve and effort. His weapon was useless against the orc’s armor but he used his wits to down a foe by leading one orc into a pit trap and then his tenacity wrestling with it like a determined badger only to finally pluck out its eyes rendering it helpless. I make sure I do not smile as I recall the YouTube Honey Badger clip from my youth, the scene of that vicious little animal ripping a snake in half comes to mind as I watch Badger fight.

Falls Swiftly I too was much impressed with her progress since the last time she was in this room. Not only did she land safely but she used her bow accurately and struck at an orc successfully with both of her katanas. Her blows were not successful penetrating the orc’s armor though showing she still has much to learn. She did however then switch to her clerical duties and assist the wounded.

The spellcasters, Jax and Lina, both did quite well. Having not seen them fight before I did not know what to expect but liked what I saw.

Jax showed quite a bit of cleverness in freezing a patch of ground in front of him causing the charging orc to nearly fall and later turning the earth to mud around one of the platforms causing it to collapse and the orc shaman inside it fell into the mud only to be frozen in place by Jax and suffocate.

Lina identified several targets and hit them with balls of fire and she entangled the feet of a charging “troll” stopping it in its charge. The orc which had attacked Jax she paralyzed rendering it helpless. The other orc shaman she torched inside its platform from afar. She was most effective with her spells.

Most of the group stayed together and supported each other’s backs which was good. All but Margine who took off on her own and ended up falling into a pit trap and was then ambushed by orcs. Sadly I do not think her days of adventuring will last long.

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Danger Room Training Session

Jax’s Journal

Kenzie Miyamoto an earther martial artist kindly invited myself and other likeminded adventurers to a “Danger Room” training session at Southern Cross’ Adventurer’s Guild. New to Southern Cross and the Adventurers Guild I eagerly accepted the invitation.

I was grouped with folks whom I believe were local to the town and members of the adventurers guild themselves – they seemed to know each other at least.

Kevin – indicated he was a fighter – in this case our only one! Apparently he’s very handsome…
Asta – Cleric of Dixon – the cleric was not new to the Danger Room and apparently did much better in this session that previous ones – at least she didn’t fall down as much!?
Margine – not exactly sure how this individual supported us; she did preach a lot about unity and community – before running off on their own during combat.
Lina – a spell caster; appeared to use her spells well – I think she was new to the guild and town as well

We were allowed to view the room in which we’d be tested an hour prior to the session itself. The room was large a large open space inside the tower – it was created to be like we were outside (the trees were fake). The space taken up inside the tower was approximately the same proportions as that which could be housed within the tower as well. There were several platforms built up across the room as well as several mounds of earth making for various level of terrain. There was a large window in the wall where the group could be observed. By whom? I didn’t get an answer to this question…

The Cleric of Dixon went on about what we’d be fighting, did we have to kill them? Would we be killed? Would Dixon approve of our killing it\them? Not much information on our test was given – except that Dixon would not disapprove of our actions.

After being allowed to examine the room we were taken to a staging room and told we have 1 hour to prepare. The groups did introductions and discussed some of our strengths and how we could work as a unit during this test. Kevin indicated that after the last test you really needed to have eyes in the back of your head…

I temporarily enchanted each member of the groups weapons – when needed each party member could activate the enchantment by saying “SHAZAM!”. In retrospect since this took an action on the part of each character the activation should probably be made to the drawing of ones weapon from its sheath… (mental note what about weapons that don’t need to be drawn?)

Entering the room once more prepared for combat I took the opportunity to again scan the room – what had changed? Near as I could tell nothing had changed – except – a mound of earth to the west… it wasn’t “right”. It didn’t jive with what I remembered… I informed the rest of the group and they proceeded down the ladder – some rather clumsily…

In our planning session we had determined that we should take the first hill south of the ladder. It was about 6’ high. Although we failed to notice we all couldn’t fit on the top of this “hill”.

Lina threw the first blow – a well-aimed long distance fireball revealed a not so cleverly hidden orc in a mound of dirt.

Summarizing the fight

  • There were a few casters in towers to the north and south of us who summoned trolls to fight us
  • Other orc’s hid in the dirt and dug pit traps (Kevin almost fell in one, Margine did…)
  • At one point an orc started to attack Kenzie and was told to stop by one of the casters
  • Orcs are dumb – they argue with each other on the battle field and fail to remember where they dug pit traps
  • Enhanced Tracking is important
  • Acrobatics – might be important…
  • Haste makes waste… take your time going down a ladder
  • Don’t fall down – it takes 2 rounds to get back up!

Eventually lightning bolts came down from the heavens and zapped the orcs – Lina and I think a figure in the window watching us did it…

I’ll let Kenzie submit the evaluations…

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