After spending the night camped in a secret room, we took stock of our gains and losses and decided it was time to return to town and reprovision. Having scouted the ruins (and more importantly the path to and from) we could plan more effectively for our next expedition, and with more funds to boot. Buying a mule to carry provisions for example. Though I hear rumors of a mule thief in town lately..

The little kobold Tartuccio was a problem though. We discussed it and figured Eastdale would not be enthusiastic about a kobold pet, no matter how cute. Dressing him up in a thick cloak and claiming he is a little kid would probably not fool anyone for long. Eventually we decided to tell him to keep the section of ruins we had just explored safe, and that we would come back in “many moons” with food and riches, and to tell all the little kobolds to expect us and obey us when we returned. Perhaps they could hold the cave system for us, and we could have a secure base in the ruins and eventually an army of kobolds?

Sometimes you gotta get creative with your alliances.

Heard that from a special-ops guy in Helix. People called him Brighteye on account of his single glowing red eye. (The other one was … Y’know I don’t even recall, except not glowing red). And he lived through the Great Undeadening, so he knew something about surviving.

So we gave Tartuccio a bunch of shiny stones and snake scales as a down payment on riches and headed home to Eastdale.

On the way home we stopped to camp at the henge. There were 6 bodies there, probably human, killed and stripped. Too late to do anything for them but burn the bodies so they wouldn’t rise as undead. We did that, then camped. Bit of a storm overnight made my cough act up again. Resolved to spend some time contemplating what I have learned from the adventuring life and eating some health food. I need to get my stamina up; standing around as a guard in Helix does nothing for that. It’s a sedentary life in bad air, beats the wind right out of you.

We finally got back to Eastdale and made inquiries about selling what we found. Almost a thousand gold for the lot, not counting the spell book which Oooohya won’t allow out of his sight. He’s keeping that, but says he’ll allow other wizards in our group to learn from it, if any even join up.

Then we split up to tend to our individual needs. I found a merchant in the market offering medical advice for a small donation to Denara. Went there on the regular and followed his advice. (Well not the bit about praying to Denara, beyond those donations). I guess it worked? I’m coughing less and feeling better.

So if that works I figured I would try something similar. Shopped around for hard labor jobs, real brute strength work. That went really well. Made a reputation for myself as a hard worker with strong hands. I worked those jobs and practiced with the sword and bow at night. I think I learned some good new tricks.

Finally I tried looking into the ring I found, the one that makes you immune to the troglodyte stench. Guess what? That is all it does. I feel like I wasted a few months there when I could have been working.

Something felt different in the town after that time. People were complaining about Saint Ygg a lot more. And besides that guy in the market, Oscar he said his name is, someone came by asking for donations to the cause of building a temple to Denara nearby. Sounds good to me! I donated.

There were rumors about some nobleman who got himself in trouble somehow. The name Gloommist came up. Or was it Gloomiest, as in the most gloomy? Either way, the doings of the nobility are no concern of mine.

u-Heury went off in search of other barbarians. I think he found them – or maybe they found him when he needed saving from a snake thing.

Hard to believe a year passed that quickly. But now I’m stronger, healthier and wealthier than I have ever been. It’s been many moons, and probably about time we checked on Tartuccio..

Ooohya Punchman

It’s been a strange year since we were saying goodbye to our kobold friend Tartuccio and heading back to the town of Eastdale. I remember throwing him a final snack of two stirge proboscis before we headed back home – with what seems like a pretty nice haul of antiquities! I never made money this good back when I was a butcher, but still . . . it’s not enough to research this new spell I have in mind. As a precursor: I believe if I combine what I’ve learned of summoning light orbs with the teachings of my old mentor, I could create a potable phosphorescence! Maybe someday . . .

When we returned to Eastdale, I was anxious to offload those antiquities, and after bribing my way in to see Murrion the Magician (side note: bring pastries for the butler when you’d like a more timely audience) and talking “a good show” around the value of the antiquities that we found, we netted a nice profit that was worth upwards of 100 platinum, split 4 ways. It would have been split 5 ways, but unfortunately, we didn’t return with Bayonetta in our company. Feverborne looked pretty sad about that. Poor man.

Since that time, I’ve spent two seasons of the year intense on some new studies. As a butcher and the son of a mason, I didn’t really gain much in the way of a proper education – thankfully the library here in Eastdale has a lot of information, and I’ve been able to “graduate” as it were, to what I’d call an elementary education. That said, pretty much all of Summer was a waste though. It’s too difficult for me to concentrate with Miss Tuesday at the library. We continue to exchange pleasantries and I keep a nice supply of pastries coming to her. At some point I may actually become brave enough to gulp take her on a date?

Speaking of the library, I am extremely interested in the quote unquote “door” at the library. There is some kind of warding magic that seems to want everyone to completely ignore its existence. If I only had some kind of invisibility spell so I could sneak in there . . . hmm . . . or perhaps if I could hypnotize someone and have them investigate the door for me. I certainly couldn’t see myself using hypnotism on sweet Miss Tuesday.

OH! Didn’t I tell you the exciting news? The local illusionist mentor in Eastdale just surprised me with that very knowledge of hypnotism! I’ve yet to use it in any capacity, but I have inscribed the spell into my spellbook and am prepared to use it to benefit the Butchers of Helix. Imagine me hypnotizing our enemies and convincing them to “lay down their weapons and walk away slowly.” I don’t think you’ll have to imagine for much longer!