ACTION LOG by ARTIFICER 2nd Class Ginson, formerly of Cannith East
DATES: March 7-21, year 80 AKR (After Khyber’s Rise)
Since there is some indication that House Cannith may exist still, I have elected to restart the process of recording a log; however since it is inconceivable that any other members of the Sprocket project remain, I will no longer focus as extensively on Sprocket.
During the course of this period our group travelled to Woodhelm (discussing our motivations along the way), met with Sir Arturo, and decided to address a local issue – “half-forged” bandits extorting the town.
Following the gnoll attack on the logging outpost, we took part in the general evacuation of the outpost, joining Marcus for a 2 week ride back to Woodhelm. Marcus turned out to be relatively educated – he both spoke Cyrean and was literate in both New Brellish and Cyrean.
I took advantage of the time to engage my companions in a discussion of motivation. It’s clear to me that all of our previous sources of authority are dismantled and we need to find our own path in the world. Some of the members were resistant to talking too much but I was able to learn at least this much:
- Damocles primarily wants to grow a lizardman colony. I was surprised to learn that Damocles is female. It’s unclear to me if she can lay fertile eggs without a male.
- Sprocket is very committed to finding others of his kind and preserving the remaining Warforged – ideally even finding a Lifespark Machine and creating new Warforged.
- Frederick didn’t give any clear goals aside from learning more of the world and helping where feasible.
- For myself I would ideally join up House Cannith again; however I have no idea whether this remains in Sharn in a form that I would recognize, and in any case I never had any connection to Cannith South, so I consider this unlikely. Failing that I would like to master this apparent mist-repulsion technology and establish our own outpost or society.
We also discussed what to do in Woodhelm in light of our goals and situation. We agreed that we didn’t necessarily want to join up with Sharn per se, but we want to gain the city’s favor, so we saw addressing the bandits as a means to that end; furthermore Sprocket had strong feelings about their habit of killing Warforged and taking their parts. We also agreed that we should meet with Sir Arturo directly, since it’s impossible that he wouldn’t learn of us. Finally we agreed we would be forthcoming about our situation, concealing only the particulars about Steelhearth.
So we arrived in Woodhelm. A brief description is in order. It’s a town of about 500. The town is surrounded by a wooden palisade, with wooden guard walks at least at the gate. The guards, except for some leaders, are local men trained to serve; even to my non-martial eye they were unimpressive. The leaders are from Sharn and were defined as: Sir Arturo, his bodyguard, the captain of the watch, and 4 guards.
Walking through town I saw no sign of House Cannith manufacturing; all the metal goods (weapons, armor, horseshoes, wagon parts, etc) appeared to be built by competent local blacksmiths.
In the center of town is a second wooden palisade, and behind that was the keep; which presented two surprises. First the keep itself was obviously built through arcane means – it is smooth stone with no joints or mortars; this would take a practitioner at least 2 orders higher than me. The keep itself was not overwhelming – a square base 30′×30′, approximately 20’ high.
Second the first guard we encountered was very surprising. His name was Dog and he was just that – a large (200 lb), walking, intelligent dog dressed in full armor. Marcus, who was guiding us, referred to 3 others: Owl, Lizard, and 1 other.
We were shown into see Sir Arturo. I was surprised that he was in fact an arcane magician; he was surprised by our situation. We had a long discussion, where he was remarkably forthcoming about certain topics but was completely reticent on others. Damocles was extremely rude in the conversation, even I recognized that; luckily Arturo didn’t seem to find my questions as rude.
Some key results of the conversation:
- Arturo is a ‘baron’; he studied at the University in Sharn, among other things he is able to repel the mists. Similar ‘barons’ run the other outposts. Other graduates produce the beast men such as Dog.
- Arturo keeps the mist repelled to 5 miles distance. He can’t move locations easily. (We presume there’s a device or enchantment that is necessary).
- The power structure in Sharn is remarkably secretive; Arturo shared that he knows there is a leader but doesn’t know the gender.
- Elves are unknown in Sharn.
- The half-forged raiders appeared 5 weeks ago. They initially raided the outlying farms and houses, and then demanded payment. Two payments have been made, a 3rd is due in 3 days; Woodhelm won’t be able to afford a 4th. They know where their base is – 1 day’s walk away, inside the mists. They usually send 5 people to collect the payment, and leave pulling a sledge.
- He has no idea why the bandits ask for coins; and he doesn’t know who they’d spend the coin with.
After some discussion we decided on a course of action:
- Sprocket will scout the bandit base, and monitor the extortion group leaving, and then follow them back.
- The rest of us will prepare an ambush, with the goal of forcing the group to surrender; and then we’ll interrogate.
- At that point we have 2 days to get back to the bandit camp (since pulling the sledge it would normally take them 2 days to get back).
This roughly went according to plan. Sprocket found the base, saw the group leave, and followed them back. We prepared the ambush and surprised them. However they didn’t surrender; as a result 4 of the 6 were killed; I was able to stop Damocles from killing the leader and we were able to capture 2 others. I personally performed miserably: I was surprised by a wolf and 1 raider, and in my surprise I forgot to use my shield, resulting in almost deadly wounds; luckily Frederick rushed to my rescue.
More on the interrogation next time.