Fucking about in Ferelden

A Stab in the Dark - Part 1
Players complete the tutorial...

28 Harvestmere 27th Year of the Dragon Age

On a dark and stormy night, our adventurers begin their journey at The Mabaris Bite, in Briarham. A trio of mercenaries, Sigge’s Shits, are having a well earned drink after completing their first, boring, job together. They are lead by a dwarf rogue, Sigge, who appears tiny compared to her companions; Boreas O Frosthold a mighty Avvar warrior and Mah’jeek, a fleeing Tal-Vashoth trying to keep a low profile due to his magical abilities.

Our unlikely party are approached by a mysterious yet extroverted individual, who offers them a drink in exchange for their time and attention. The man introduces himself as Grigor and cheerfully sits asking for the services of the mercenaries. A strange disturbance at Grove Farm has spread rumours of varying severity, rumours which the man chooses to keep to himself.

The Quest: To investigate Grove Farm, with a clear mind, and to put an end to any trouble or trickery that is plaguing the area.

The Reward: 15 silver pieces each

Though convinced of their charm, the mercenaries fail to strike a bargain to increase the reward in lieu of the dangers they may face. Agreeing to the quest, cheers are shared and the mercenaries finish their drinks, and stagger on to the first part of their journey.

Due to forgetting to ask for directions, they take a little longer than expected, but following the easily navigable road signs, they eventually find themselves journeying towards Grove Farm.

At a crossroad, there is a rustling in the bushes, unlike a wind or a small creature. The mercenaries are jumped by a band of thieves, 3 in number, armed with drawn arrows and costly demands.

The mercenaries opt to keep their belongings and win their first battle relatively unscathed. They do not loot anything because they are fucking noobs.

Continuing without further interruption, our mercenaries find themselves at Grove Farm. They choose to investigate a barn atop a hill first.

Inside the barn, they find a corpse, with multiple arrows in its back. They approach the corpse, but hear a whimpering in a pile of rugs, possibly from a farm dog or similar creature. The adventurers pull off the rugs and reveals a dog, with an arrow in its hind leg, scrawny, weak and clearly in bad shape. Through skilled perception, Boreas and Sigge learn the arrows are coated in a dark liquid that is reminiscent of Darkspawn blood. They cannot be sure, but they agree to act fast. Boreas smashes the skull of the dead farmer, just in case – he has only heard rumours of Darkspawn, and cannot be sure they would be safe otherwise. All three adventurers then turn to the dog. and work to try and save it. Mah’jeek expresses that he would like a dog companion and took an immediate shine to the poor creature.

The mercenaries all try to remove the arrow in turn. Sigge made the first attempt which ended with the shaft being snapped off and the head remaining in the wound. Mah’jeek stepped up next and tried to shake the arrow out of the wound… this was not successful! Finally Boreas pushed the two other fools out of the way and safely removed the remains of the arrow and patched up the wound as best as he could. The dog calmed and fell asleep almost instantly. Sigge had heard of creatures turning into vicious monsters through exposure to Darkspawn, so between them, they decide to tie up the dog to secure it then expose it to healing magic, good bandaging, drinkable water and some rations to help it mend.

The trio then check out their surroundings, seeing nothing of immediate danger, they decide to head to a house with a trap door on the roof down the bottom of the hill. As they approach the hamlet, they notice all of the homes are strongly boarded up, and all windows and doors have been made inaccessible except the trapdoor on this roof. They notice there are stacked created by the side of the house, probably left so that whoever lived there could climb in once they had finished the fortifications around the property.

Boreas and Mah’jeek lifted Sigge onto the roof with ease, and then proceeded to try and get Mah’jeek onto the roof. Their first attempt fails, but the fumble is somewhat saved as Mah’jeek fell on to the crates, saving him from damage, but smashing the crates in the process. The adventurers, believing they are safe as the noise did not attract any attention make a second attempt and Mah’jeek is lifted onto the roof. Boreas stood guard at the foot of the building. Mah’jeek climbed down the trap door into the building, looking around and noticing nothing of interest until he hears a cry coming from a wardrobe, sounding like a human of some description. Mah’jeek demands explanation from the wardrobe, but finds nothing but hysteria in return. He realises that the wardrobe is strongly secured and lacking strong communication abilities calls on Sigge to try and convince the occupant to come out.

Mah’jeek, seeing no danger, went down stairs and tried to kick the door open to allow Boreas into the house He managed to damage the door but underestimated the fortification and injured himself in the process. Eventually Boreas pries the door open enough to get into the house and heads upstairs to reason with the wardrobe along with Sigge. Mah’jeek explores the ground floor to make sure that everything of value is taken, he doesn’t find much.

Through lots of attempted reasoning, eventually a young boy, clearly borderline schizophrenic, (Editor: Or, quite possibly, extremely traumatised having witnessed what he has done!) exits the wardrobe. The boy slowly explains how the chickens and inhabitants of the hamlet were attacked and taken by Darkspawn during the night, but the adventurers are unable to pry any more information from him.

Mah’jeek begins to frustrate with the lack of progress upstairs, and attempts to startle the boy into sanity. Never seeing a Kossith before, the intimidation fails and the boy bails the house and runs into the setting horizon.

Boreas empathises with the situation and notes that the boy is probably running in the exact opposite direction of the potential Darkspawn threat. The adventurers agree not to pursue the boy and head back to the barn to check on the dog and get some rest.

The night brings no difficulty for anyone, and with the sunrise, the adventurers head where Boreas believes the boy was running away from. They enter the Grove.

The mercenaries find tracks at the entrance of the grove, saving them time and effort in tracking the creatures. Eventually the tracks lead to a cave, cool air rising out and light being soaked into oblivion within. The mercenaries find some torches at the cave entrance and enter the darkness, beginning their hunt for the Darkspawn.

The cave is perilous and the slopes are steep, at the bottom of a treacherous path, Sigge sees light from below. The torches are extinguished and although Sigge remains steadfast, the others clumsily fall at the will of gravity, down into the darkness below. Mah’jeek steadies himself using his strength, but unfortunately cannot stop Boreas and ends up falling with him again. Boreas uses his strength and dexterity to land on his feet with sword ready at the bottom of the slope, Mah’jeek successfully stops himself a second time, allowing himself to also be prepared at the bottom. Sigge, baffled by the tomfoolery, calmly walks down and arrived unscathed and undamaged at the bottom.

In front of them, the mercenaries are greeted by a well lit open room, containing 2 Ghouls and a Genlock who immediately attack.

A bloody battle ensues, leaving the mercenaries standing but significantly weakened. They, conveniently, loot a Lyrium potion from some crates, but don’t loot the bodies #fuckingnoobs

Pushed by the desire to get paid, our adventurers rest for a brief few moments before heading into a corridor on a ledge above. The corridor leads to a door, which Boreas charges and breaks down with no problems, revealing a large open cave.

A dire battle follows, despite a Ghoul being instantly killed, a Genlock and larger brute of a Hurlock put on a tough fight, knocking Boreas out. Fortunately, despite fumbling every healing spell, Mah’jeek stunts like Gandalf the mother fucking white and pops that bitch. Boreas lives, and is able to fight another day. Again no looting is undertaken, literally who even leaves swords lying around, this isn’t Skyrim

A Stab in the Dark - Part 2
Players continue to be #fuckingnoobs

30 Harvestmere 27th Year of the Dragon Age

As Boreas recovered from his near death experience, he felt very embarrassed that he was almost killed by the Hurlock. Mah’jeek meanwhile approached the Darkspawn bodies hoping that he may be able to loot something of value from them. As he peered over the murky oozing darkness that was a deceased Genlock, he decided against going near it, telling himself that there probably wasn’t anything on of value anyway.

Our heroes then pressed on and came to a fork in the passageway. There were two ways that the three of them could have gone. On the right was a large room, with nothing to be seen at first glance, while to the left was a dark, narrow and ominous corridor. Boreas picked up a small stone and tossed it into the large room. The clatter of the stone as it hit the ground felt deafening to them in the utter silence of the caves. Even so, nothing responded to this action and so Boreas and Mah’jeek walked cautiously inside. Sigge remained behind to keep an eye out for anything that may come through the corridor.

As the pair entered the room, Boreas came to a sudden halt and ceased to move, as if he had been frozen in time while the rest of the world moved around him. Despite this, he was aware of what happened around him and thus was able to see Mah’jeek trigger another booby trap of some sort that engulfed him in a blast of flame after which Mah’jeek looked a little crispier than normal.

Since Boreas was unable to do anything for the time being, Mah’jeek continued to explore the room. To his left was a tapestry which has faded to such an extent that no one could tell what it was meant to depict anymore. On his right was another similar tapestry, although this one seemed to be moving. Whether it was just an airflow or some sort of magical energy that was causing this, he didn’t know but he decided to leave it for the time being. In the middle of the far wall was a small desk with one drawer. Mah’jeek opened it and found a book, which he picked up. The title read ‘ Davrik’s Journal’, Mah’jeek was unable to understand most of what was written, but he could make out some of the words. He decided to store it for a proper look through later. Finally, the mage looked above him and doubled back in the sheer horror at the sight of several corpses hanging in cages, hoisted into the air. While most were human some of them were Darkspawn. They had all been mutilated, ranging from deep wounds across the stomach to having skin ripped from their bodies, leaving only a heap of shimmering muscle. One of the corpses still had blood dripping from it, meaning that the killer of these people had recently been there.

To distract him from the horrors that were above him, he focused his attention on the moving tapestry. He decided to move it aside, taking the precaution of drawing his Morningstar, which he used to pull back the tapestry. This revealed a small alcove with two levers behind it, set up side by side. At the same time as the tapestry Mah’jeek moved the tapestry the paralyzing effect on Boreas wore off. However, as his mind had moved on from thinking about the act of walking he was caught off guard when suddenly he regained the ability to move, along with his previous momentum. This quickly sent Boreas moving forward unexpectedly and caused him to fall flat on his face. Deciding that they didn’t like this room whatsoever, our heroes retreated and made their way down the narrow corridor, keeping the levers in mind for later. Sigge shook her head disappointedly at the idiocy of her comrades and followed them through.

At the end of the corridor, they came across a room with a chest in the centre and torches either side of it. Our heroes began to approach it, but suddenly a Hurlock and a Ghoul jumped out of the darkness and surprised them with an attack. The group made short work of their assailants, Sigge backstabbed the Hurlock through the chest and Boreas decapitated the Ghoul. He tossed the head to Sigge, expecting her to slice it in half in midair like a badass, but she had hardly enough time to draw her sword from out of the Hurlock’s chest and therefore did not expect the oncoming head. It slammed into her face and slowly dripped down the rest of her body before flopping to the ground. Sigge was not very happy with Boreas following that move.

With the adversaries taken care of, the trio turned their attention to the treasure chest. Sigge pulled out her lockpicks and opened the chest. Inside they found nine silver – Boreas’ share was taken by Sigge as compensation for the Ghoul head – and a glowstone in a retractable housing, which Mah’jeek took before anybody else has a chance to act. Finding no more exits other than the one way they came in, they decide to return to the levers.

Once again inside the large room, Mah’jeek worried about what the levers might do if they are pulled and despite Boreas’ protest to simply pull them and see what happens, decided to consult Davrik’s journal for any information regarding the levers. The rest of the group meanwhile set up camp in the room, because knowing Mah’jeek, it would likely take a while…

It took seven hours, but Mah’jeek was able to finally translate what he could in the journal. He found no information about the levers but he did learn what Davrik and his Darkspawn had been up to. The group now rested finally followed Boreas’ suggestion of just pulling the levers and seeing what happens. Mah’jeek pulled both levers, The lever on the left easily fell, but had no visible effect. The one on the right however was more difficult to pull. He tried again and succeeded in pulling it all the way down. A false wall on the opposite end of the room then raised slightly. Mah’jeek continued to pull the lever on the right until the wall had been raised half way. Curiously, Mah’jeek decided to pull the left lever once more and the false wall immediately fell all of the way down, causing the mage to have to start again, much to the dismay of his comrades. Eventually though, the false wall was finally lifted to it’s full height and both Mah’jeek and Sigge walked inside. Boreas, however stayed behind beside the levers, ready to pull the false wall down if needed.

The others proceeded into the next room, which was dimly lit apart from a bright patch of light being emitted by a large concentration of candles on the opposite end of the room. It seemed that our heroes had stumbled onto some sort of evil ritual, complete with a stone altar, a hooded figure holding a knife and a sacrifice. Sigge drew her weapon, only to realise that the pair of them were surrounded by Darkspawn. The Darkspawn began to approach, snarling distastefully, but stopped immediately as the hooded figure raised its hand. At which point he flicked back his hood and revealed himself as Davrik. Sigge, however, was just confused, because for her, all she could see was a Hurlock and all she was able to hear was grunting but Mah’jeek could see who was really there and was able to understand what he was saying. Sigge trusted Mah’jeek to get them out of this situation as the Darkspawn hadn’t started to attack them… yet..

Mahjeek tried to convince Davrik that he too was a mage who was in hiding from most of the world and had sought him out to learn more of his Darkspawn-controlling magic. However, being very intelligent, Davriik saw through Mah’jeek’s lies and gave a signal to his Darkspawn minions to attack. Sigge called Boreas for help as Davrik moved to pull another lever near the altar which caused the false wall to shut, trapping our heroes inside. Luckily, though Boreas made it though just in time and ran into the room to join his comrades. Even so, Davrik proved to be quite a formidable opponent and very skilled in his magical abilities (fucking stunting with every fucking spell!) and it took quite a bit of time for our heroes to defeat him. Boreas knocked most of his health down with strong melee attacks and Sigge used her bow to attack from range. However, it was Mah’jeek who dealt the finishing blow, firing an arcane lance straight through the evil mage’s right leg, slicing it clean off.

Davrik fell to the ground and Mah’jeek approached him asking what language the rest of his journal was written in. Davrik managed to be a pompous prick to the end, but revealed that the language was Ancient Tevene just before he flopped to the ground, drawing his last breath. They all looked around to see if there is anything of value, but found nothing. The sacrifice was also dead, killed by Davrik in the skirmish. Therefore, they left the cave and headed for the barn to check on the dog. However as they exited, they came across an elf, who claimed to be a messenger for Davrik. Mah’jeek cleverly tried to convince the elf that they were a new band of mercenaries that were working for Davrik. He succeeded and the elf handed over the message to him. Boreas tried to get some more information out of the elf, but not being particularly charismatic or good at lying, he fucked up and the elf finally saw through their trickery. The elf ran off into the woods and while Mah’jeek and Sigge both tried to take him down with ranged attacks they missed and hit a trees instead, giving the elf the opportunity to escape.

Our heroes made their way back to the barn and the dog (having chewed through his bonds) bounded happily and healthily towards them. Mah’jeek knelt on the ground and smiled with open arms, ready to embrace the dog. However it ran right past him. Bewildered, Mah’jeek looked behind him to find that the dog was instead running to Boreas, recognising that it was in fact he who had actually saved him and pulled the arrow out of his wound. Boreas named him Dog and they started to make their way back to Briarham to collect their reward, Mah’jeek slacked behind slightly, tears streaming down his face like a badly animated anime character, as he watched Boreas playing with Dog.

They reach the fork in the road where they had encountered the bandits previously and found two dwarves, one on top of a broken cart and the other cursing beside it. Upon seeing the adventurers, the dwarf atop the cart called out, the other one approached the adventurers and asked them for their help in fixing the cart. One of the carts wheels had dislodged as it ran over the corpse of one of the bandits that the adventurers had killed last time they were at this junction. Our heroes agreed to help. Boreas and Mah’jeek took the liberty to hoist up the cart and suspend it in the air while Sigge got under it to attach the wheel back onto where it should be. However, it turned out that Boreas and Mah’jeek had no stamina whatsoever and kept dropping the cart on top of Sigge. Even so, they managed to, eventually, fix the cart, but Sigge took the entire reward of three silver. In addition to the money, the dwarves offered to enchant some of Sigge’s arrows and Mah’jeek decided to pay for the service as a form of apology. Boreas made no such gesture.

After some enchanting of arrows, the dwarves offered to drive them back to Briarham. Boreas got up beside the driving dwarf while the others clambered onto the back of the cart. Dog happilly walked beside them on the ground. The journey was smooth sailing until they neared the town, where the rest of the bandit group ambushed the cart.

A battle ensued and although the majority of the brigands were mostly shit at aiming and kept missing most of their shots (though the ones that did hit fucking stunted with six points….), our heroes didn’t do that much better. They were able to hit with their attacks, but they seem to be very weak from not having rested. Dog didn’t offer much help either, having not been trained, he simply danced about yapping at the new company. However, the leader of the band managed to deliver a deadly blow to Boreas that felled him and caused him to start dying, at which point Dog snapped. He raged, killing the leader through biting and ripping off both his face and testes. Sigge was knocked down to the ground also and brought very close to death but quickly downed a healing potion. Meanwhile Mah’jeek stood there being a useless arse with no mana or any potions. The bandits closed in for the kill when suddenly, a pale blue light radiated from Boreas. Everybody looked in his direction as he was lifted into the air on a cloud of frost. A quiet voice only audible to Boreas whispered in his ear saying “Not yet.”

At which point much to the astonishment of his friends and the shocking horror of their assailants, Boreas rose up fully healed. He fell to the ground while performing a superhero pose as he did so and all the ground beneath him was frozen. If music was diegetic at this point, an epic guitar solo would play as he opened his eyes and grinned menacingly at the pieces of filth that had killed him. They were terrified and attempted to quickly steal the goods from the dwarves cart and make an escape, but just before they could lay their measly fingers on the cart, Boreas cut them off with the might of his sword. The bandit screamed and stepped backwards. Boreas then cut the rest of his arms off, causing the degenerate to faint from bloodloss and flop to the ground. Then, our brutish hero sliced the torso in half with one fell swoop. As for the other bandit, Dog bit his fingers off, allowing Sigge to finish him off with a backstab. Mah’jeek stood there being useless, though he did so with a smile on his face and pride in his friends.

The dwarves thanked our heroes for their aid and for some reason rewarded Mah’jeek with a lyrium potion. (Editor: They probably felt sorry for him being such a useless fuck) They then continued into town, riding the cart. Our heroes reached the pub and found their contractor, Grigor. Mah’jeek showed him evidence of their adventures in the form of the head of a Genlock. He also showed him Davrik’s journal, explaining it was he who allowed mercenaries to take the farmer’s chickens, and that he was also experimenting with the residents of the farm to attempt to control Darkspawn. Grigor thanked the heroes and gave them their reward of fifteen silver each. He told our heroes that he would have another job for them next week and that he would pay for room and board in the tavern should they decide to stay until then. He then challenged the trio to a drinking contest… Thirty three pints later and Grigor was victorious, with our heroes all passing out beforehand, first Mah’jeek, then Boreas and then Sigge.

After a night of recovery, Mah’jeek and Sigge are offered a secret hangover cure by the landlady. They drank it and were miraculously cured of their hangovers. They then shoved another down Boreas’ throat and with clear enough heads, the bartender told them that the Arl nearby had sent out word that he needed some mercenaries urgently, which could be something for them to do while they waited for Grigor to return. Sigge received word that she is needed elsewhere and therefore can’t join Mah’jeek and Boreas for their next adventure. So she said her farewells and told Boreas and Mah’jeek to keep her informed of where they are and where they’re going so that should a job come up she can get hold of them. She then left Boreas, Mah’jeek and Dog to sit in the bar, preparing for their next adventure.

An Arl's Request - Part 1
A choice is laid before the party...

2 Firstfall 27th Year of the Dragon Age

With Sigge gone off on her own adventure, the two lads and dog head off to the Arl. His castle is decrepit and there they meet Alenka, the Arl’s steward, and Brannek, a fellow mercenary (who’s a sneaky dwarf completely unlike Sigge). Alenka leads the group into the (not-so) great hall, where Brannek demonstrates his nature to Mah’jeek and Boreas by swiping a gold piece dropped by Alenka. The Arl tells the group of his children, Joseph and Hana, who are on their way back to Stenhold from Denerim. The Arl requires the party to rendezvous with his children and escort them back to the keep. Alenka is instructed to accompany them and, as the group exit the keep, the Arl’s wife meets them and offers an extra coin payment in advance to ensure they bring her children home safely. Boreas and (predictably) Brannek graciously accept while Mah’jeek uses the situation to show his moral principles to the newcomer by making the woman keep her job as he says “pay me when the job is done”.

Our adventurers set off, guided by Alenka until they reach a wooden bridge over a chasm which has been destroyed. Suddenly a group of three Genlocks and a Genlock Alpha ambush the party. Brannek is the first to notice and whip out his longbow, shooting the Alpha in the shoulder and knocking it prone. The battle isn’t problematic due to Alenka being a magic user so her, Mah’jeek and Brannek get the weaker hostiles at bay with their ranged attacks while Boreas went toe to toe with the Alpha. One of the Genlocks tried to flee but was caught by Boreas after contributing to Alenka’s obliteration of the Alpha who seemed weaker than the others. The fleeing Genlock was forced to hold his ground and hold his ground he did with the damage he dealt to Boreas – which wasn’t much but felt substantial in stark contrast to the virtually zero damage survived by the other party members. Boreas finished off the last Genlock by crushing it under a (‘bout to be) felled tree.

With the area secure, the group begin their battle with the most formidable foe to date – an open chasm. With the bridge laying at the bottom, they try to cut down a tree such that it straddles the chasm and provides passage. They fail. They try another tree. They fail. Now that they’ve used all Mah’jeek’s rope (and made Alenka hesitant to offer her own) on trees which had both tumbled to the bottom of the chasm, they tried another tree in a much riskier manoeuvre. Thankfully it works (with no magic trickery needed) and Brannek bravely volunteers to go first due to him being the most dexterous of the group. Jump to him filled with self-loathing, trying to keep his little body attached to the side of the chasm midway down. Boreas climbs down and helps him up and his own failed attempt at climbing, before the dwarf starts an existential crisis from staring into the void too much. They get back to the surface and Mah’jeek cuddles the tree, edging his way across. Then Boreas tries to do the same thing. He fails. He grabs onto the side of the chasm (sounding familiar yet?) and climbs back up after taking bad damage from the fall and getting sweet heals from Mah’jeek. He tries again. He fails. But hooray, this time he landed on Mah’jeek’s side so he climbs up and ends up where he wanted to, so all was well (except his heart from stress and pain receptors from unimaginable and completely unrelated sensations). Brannek insists Alenka goes ahead of him and she gets across easily. Then Brannek remembers the rumours about local noobs who never loot their adversaries so he excitedly looks to the corpses from the previous encounter (which by this point happened well over an hour ago) before realising darkspawn corpses aren’t the best things to be up close and personal with (forget about darkspawn bodies that are still alive!). So he then attempts to cross the chasm and miraculously makes it across with no problems.

Alenka leads the group to a safe location up ahead and they stop to have some lunch. Alenka suggest that Mah’jeek go hunting (spoilers he gets nothing) and Boreas O Frosthold stand watch near the path while she and Brannek build a fire a little ways off the trail. Alenka and Brannek get some sneaky (non-)flirty convos in while gathering firewood and she happens to suggest a way to get more money out of the Arl. Brannek says he’s in as soon as “more money” is said. Maybe it was foolish, maybe the combination of a woman and coin murders his self-control. Alenka’s plan was to ransom the children rather that taking them back right away and Brannek went with her back to the others and convinced them to be in on it too (kind of in on it in the case of Mah’jeek with his strong moral code, foolish!).

They rest a little and continue their journey into a dense forest until Boreas notices a big fuck-off owl with red eyes swooping in towards the group. Another owl joins the funfair which consists of Alenka and Mah’jeek being badasses while Boreas and Dog hide in bushes and Brannek acts as a “distraction” as he tries to help with little arrows but really just wastes space and soaks up Mah’jeek’s mana due to heals. The whole fight Brannek imagines himself running away and leaving the others to die while the owls inexplicably let him go. It worked as a happy place to go to while his eyes were almost getting clawed out by massive owls that stayed at least twenty yards above the ground. Then our adventurers continue on their not so merry and rather pain-filled way…

An Arl's Request - Part 2
The party splits due to a philosophical difference...

3 Firstfall 27th Year of the Dragon Age

After their encounter with the Blight Owls the party continued through the forest for an hour. The light began to fail, and so Mah’jeek bound a torch to his staff, while Alenka and Boreas fumbled around in their respective backpacks for lanterns.

They pressed ahead, already an hour late for their rendezvous with Ser Bridget, Ser Blaker and the little turds (Joseph and Hana). Off in the distance a faint glow could be seen. As the group drew closer to the source, they realised a camp had been established…and saw something ominous. A wagon laid on its side, with its contents strewn across the muddy ground.

Boreas started to pilfer the site of the attack, and found a locked strongbox. Off in the distance shrill cries suddenly carried through the still air.

Mah’Jeek, Alenka and Brannek all rushed off in the direction of the panicked voices, while Boreas stood slack jawed and distracted; practically drooling over his fortuitous find.

As three quarters of the group scrambled to negotiate the gorge before them, a group of Darkspawn advanced up the hill leading towards the camp where the Arl’s children cowered along with their protectors – Ser Bridget and Ser Blaker. Their defenders took up positions in the derelict building at the hill’s top.

Mah’Jeek made it over the chasm with ease and fired at the Hurlock leading the group of Darkspawn. Alenka however, stumbled and gashed her head, before scrambling up the embankment to join Mah’Jeek. They spotted two Blight Wolves bearing down on the childrens location.

While Brannek rushed across the gorge and tried to catch up with Alenka and Mah’Jeek, Dog happily chased his tail.

Fearing a repeat of previous encounters with giant ass chasms, Boreas opted for the safer approach and headed down the hill, toward the area where the gorge was at its narrowest.

Before anyone can reach her, the wolves attacked Hana, knocking her affluent buns prone. Ser Bridget and Joseph came to her aid, putting themselves between the wolves and Hana.

Ser Bridget charged at the first wolf with great fury, while Joseph – focusing on the second – chickened out somewhat, swinging at the Wolf but hardly hurting it.

Boreas finally made it over the gorge as Hana crawled back to Ser Blaker, who was positioned on the inside wall of the ruin.

Dog was still preoccupied with his tail. Oodles of fun.

A fight ensued between Brannek and the Hurlock. After a quick heal to Brannek, Mah’Jeek stepped up and bombed the shit out of the Hurlock, before Ser Blaker let fly a deadly arrow. It struck the Hurlock in the back of head, and the resulting exit wound sprayed Brannek with Darkspawn blood, cartilage and brain tissue.

At about the same time young Joseph manned up and – with a furious yell – kicked the Wolf in the face, before thrusting his dagger through its eye in a surprisingly graceful movement.

Dog loves his life. Chasing his tail and licking his balls.

Boreas struggled up the steep hill at first, but – spurred by the battle cries of his comrades – rallied and stormed up the final 100 yards. As if being repelled by his mere presence, Brannek chose to leave the fray and hightail it back over the gorge (‘cos he’s a pussy). Some may say that discretion is the better part of valor…

The divines clearly found issue with Branneks retreat, as on arrival at the edge of the wood, Dog finally decided to leave his tail be and took a piss over Brannek’s cowardly shanks.

In a stark contrast to Brannek’s very rogue approach to the fight, Joseph straddled the second wolf, reached down and grabbed it’s legs, pulling them backwards and outward, bursting the wolf’s heart.

Ser Bridget engaged in some questionably timed group hugging with the children, while Ser Blaker had seven shades of shit kicked out of him by a lone Genlock wielding a battleaxe.

Alenka, Mah’jeek and Boreas take their sweet time trying to kill the remaining Genlocks.

The party debated later on the matter and Mah’jeek tried to argue that this was due to the insane abilities that the Genlocks possessed. But Boreas and the rest of the crew knew it was mainly due to a combination of their sub par skills at the time, and Brannek the Moist’s (as he became known from that fateful day) premature departure.

Ser Blaker eventually finished off the lone Genlock, but was badly injured.

Alenka pulled off some pretty noobish maneuvers, and a handed some potions to the wounded before Ser Bridget finally decided to stop playing matron and returned to the fight drawing both Genlocks attention from the faltering trio.

Boreas flipped off the Genlocks like a cool badass as they fell – one in quick succession of the other – to the ground.

Finally with the battle ended the party and their allies could take a few moments to recover. It had only been a few minutes but it had felt like hours! Alenka and Ser Blaker discussed the outcomes of Alenka’s discussions with the party about ransoming the children and they decided to make their move.

An argument broke out between Ser Bridget and Alenka and Ser Blaker with the party reluctant to pick sides. Ser Bridget placed herself between the would-be ransomers and the children drawing her sword and saying ‘Over my dead body will you kidnap these children.’

A fight broke out – Alenka, Ser Blaker and Brannek versus Ser Bridget and eventually Boreas and Mah’jeek joined her side. Ser Blaker was knocked out and Alenka was slain by Mah’jeek – causing Brannek to surrender.

Ser Bridget then led the party back to Stenhold and Arl Neruda with Ser Blaker and Brannek in shackles. Brannek pleaded with the rest of the party to be freed, whining how he was sorry and wouldn’t do such a thing again and the fools believed him! They set him loose and arranged to meet up again in Briarham.

When they returned to the Arl he paid them their wages and not a silver more, throwing Ser Blaker into his dungeons.

The party returned to Briarham meeting up with Brannek and then awaited Grigors return. Boreas O Frosthold took the opportunity to visit Brevin the blacksmith and order some new armor to be made.

An Unexpected Journey - Part 1
The party have a fun start to their journey to the Circle Tower

9 Firstfall 27th Year of the Dragon Age

The party, spent a few days recovering (drinking) in Briarham, waiting for Grigor to arrive and give them their next job. Branneks misdeeds in the previous adventure were forgiven for the most part, at least superficially.

After returning from a walk they enter The Mabaris Bite, Briarhams lively pub, where they found Grigor surrounded by enough beer and food to satiate a horde of dwarves. Grigor hailed the shits, and asked that they share his feast in exchange for him turning their ears for a brief moment. He paused, wary of the unfamiliar face in the party. Brannek then introduced himself, badly, to the eye rolls of Mah’jeek and Boreas.

Grigor explained that he is trying to track down the elf messenger mentioned in Davrik’s journal. Mah’jeek and Boreas], informed Grigor that they had already met the elf, Eladril, and shared the message they persuaded from him as well as providing a description to aid Grigor in tracking him down. Grigor, now understanding the situation a little better, hailed another elf, Yeran, who introduced himself to the party (competently, unlike Brannek). Grigor explains that he has hired Yeran from the Circle, primarily to translate the Ancient Tevene writings in Davrik’s journal but also to aid the party in their next quest.

The Quest
Investigate the group of blood mages and their associated studies and research. Travel to the Circle Tower on Lake Calenhad and ask questions Davrik and his studies. Look into any records they have about Davrik and Gianna and learn anything they can about them and their magical specialisms. The mercenaries were given 6 weeks to complete their research before Grigor would arrive to meet them at the tower expecting to be briefed on their discoveries.

The Reward
60 silver each

The band accepted the quest and Yeran joined them. Grigor gave them directions to the Circle Tower, as Yeran was not paying attention on his journey outward. Prior to leaving Grigor added an additional condition, he expects no violence or trouble to be caused by the mercenaries, while at the Circle, otherwise he will ‘handle’ the mercenaries.

Boreas then set off to see Brevin about the armor he had ordered. While selling his old armor to the blacksmith he is offered an extra silver for a small task. Brevin asked Boreas to piss on the door of the shop opposite, the closed supply store. Boreas, gladly accepting headed, over to the shop and whacked out his mighty wang, his fearsome phallus, or as it will now be known, his teeny twanger.

Before Boreas could release his bladder, the door opened and the Elven owner, Rylock, appeared. Boreas dumbfounded by the sudden appearance of the elf could only mutter something about the cold morning while Brevin howled with laughter from the over side of the market square. This drew Mah’jeek and Yeran out of the inn and into Rylock’s shop. Brushing past the disheveled Boreas to browse the wares.

Yeran struck up a conversation with Rylock, inquiring as to how an elf managed to find himself owning a shop. Mah’jeek and Yeran buy some goods, including some fine wine, he then pulled them aside and asked a favour of them. In exchange for some very fine ornate daggers, a matching pair, he asked that they put a mysterious vial near the fireplace of the blacksmith at night so that when it was lit in the morning it would ‘surprise’ Brevin. This would require breaking and entering, and avoiding the guard, Valron.

Yeran and Mah’jeek share this news with the other members of the group, and the ever greedy Brannek offered his sneaky skills to get the task done, and get the task done he did. Come nightfall, Brannek picked the lock at the back of the shop and made his way to the forge without so much as a murmur, perfectly placing the vial undetected. The next morning was accompanied by a large bang, and the shattering of glass and door hinges and an incredibly itchy blacksmith and guard fled the shop which was billowing yellow smoke. They swore death on whoever caused them such humiliation!

Rylock kept his word, and the daggers are handed to Brannek, granting him extra style in combat. The daggers have a strange language written on them, Mah’jeek initially believed it to be elvish, however Brannek, well known as a learned scholar, convincingly steps in. Brannek bullshited more than an Angus after a wild night on the fields and explains the meaning to the party; the text on the black blade reads “The dark extinguishes the light” and the white blade reads “All light is an illusion”. Filled with self doubt, Mah’jeek shrugs and move on.

A day late, the party set off on their quest with Yeran navigating. The party opted for a route that stopped at inns etc, although expensive it will mean they are well rested for all legs of the journey. They estimate that route will take 4 weeks and a day to travel in total, however life is rarely as simple as that.

Literally 30 mins into their journey, a random distressed pedestrian burdens the goodwill of the mercenaries. He frantically explains that his friend has been dined on by wolves and needs healing urgently. Reluctantly, our adventurers ran over and found a man lying in the road, they approached and suddenly the staff of the fallen stranger lit up, firing a column of flame into everyone except Dog, who avoided the blast by chasing his tail, as per usual.

A battle ensued, 3 vs 5, the stranger who was supposedly dying was actually a trained bandit mage, while a rogue and a warrior jump out from bushes behind the party and begin to attack. As the battle continued Boreas found himself maneuvered into an area where the bandits had set a rock trap in the bushes and was injured, but not seriously.

Dog, hungry for human flesh pulled off a stunt to fill his stomach and then chased his tail to burn off the calories.

The first casualty of battle, the bandit mage, has his head caved in by Boreas after a seriously brutal set of stunty stabaroos. In his bloodlust, Boreas turned to the bandit rogue, stabbed him in the face and cut him straight down the middle Mortal Kombat style.

Inspired by Boreas, and needing to fill his second stomach, Dog bounded at the bandit warrior. He jumped at her hoping to rip off her testes, but found no h’orderves. In a fit of biological crisis Dog turned to the next plumpest thing around and dined on her lady parts and breasticles. Dog is not one to discriminate and finds all genders equally delectable. Dog then went to town on her face leaving it looking like something out of a shitty zombie b movie.

With the would-be assailants dead and/or devoured, our party bagged some loot. A total of 9 silver (woo!) and a note, which requests the death of the party and signed by Ser Blaker Corbyn, who in retrospect the party decides should not have been allowed to live!

Boreas decided to be discreet with the corpses and strings the body of the warrior up in the trees. Mah’jeek desiring to join in the fun dragged the body of the rogue into a bush, setting off another rock trap, knocking himself out and beginning the process of slowly internally bleeding to death. Thankfully Yeran saves Mah’jeek, who then continues as if nothing had happened and positioned the body in a thoughtful Hamlet position with the corpse’s skull in its hand, with the aide of branches of the bush.

The mercenaries continue on their journey and during this time Yeran deciphers the message from Eladril (see previous log). The message is essentially a threat from some guy called ‘F’. It states Davrik has had too much money with too few results despite having a promising project. It also explicitly mentions Gianna.

The mercenaries come to the village of Rillenhall. The village had a lively market, which is currently stocking animals and pet supplies. Brannek noticed that lots of people were staring at Mah’jeek and also lots of lootable purses hanging from the onlookers waist belts. He asked Yeran to create a distraction with Mah’jeek to draw attention away from him so that he could steal some money, Yeran refused, feeling some loyalty to Mah’jeek since the wine was a gift. Brannek however perseveres and asks Boreas, who doesn’t give a fuck, and agreed to help. Boreas used his newly trained command with Dog to get him to attack Mah’jeek causing quite a lot of commotion and drawing the attention of many in the market. Brannek manages to steal 18 silver in total while Dog and Mah’jeek fought. Dog caused a lot more damage than the wildly flailing Mah’jeek, who even drew his Morningstar, and was still less effective than a wet flannel.

On his last pickpocket attempt, Brannek was caught. He decided it best to throw the guy who caught him into the fight between Mah’jeek and Dog and then just slip off unnoticed. This works, and as the commotion dies down, the party regroup in a tavern and Brannek buys a round.

Mah’jeek purchased a Falcon, whom he names Falcon’t. Boreas kindly offered to train Falcon’t to attack under Mah’jeek’s command.

Following Sigge’s advice from a messenger pigeon, they meet another member of the Shits at the local pub. Naswe introduced herself and both parties talked about their current work. Naswe learned about the trip to the Circle Tower and explained how hard it might be to get in, or more accurately, out. She informs the party that there is a secret society of Mages and Templars called The Mages Collective and explained how and where to find a contact, Zeke.

Naswe gave Mah’jeek her Ring of Spellpower and said that it will show Zeke that they are a friend of the collective. After some drinking, chatting and resting, the party continued on their journey to the tower.

After another week of travel the mercs arrived at Lothering and rested at the inn. With full stomachs, they entered the Chantry, wherein they spoke to a young priestess who pointed them in the direction of Zeke in the southern cluster. After a rude introduction, Zeke showed the mercenaries into a quieter room and reintroduced himself, he does after all have to keep a proper image up to the public!

Zeke offered to help with the challenge of getting Mah’jeek in and back out of the tower. In light of the level of challenge presented, with getting not only an apostate in, but a Qunari apsotate at that, he requests that the party complete a few jobs for him in return. The first job is a simple dead drop, which seemed easy enough and the party get going on their way. Brannek can’t help himself as usual and took a peek at the contents of the delivery, the package is mostly potion making materials and nothing of massive interest. As they left the Chantry, they noticed that one of the Templars standing guard outside was missing… Ooo Spooky…

An Unexpected Journey - Part 2
The return of Sigge!

24 Firstfall 27th Year of the Dragon Age

As the party headed from the Chantry Brannek continued to survey his surroundings in search of potential loot. He weighed up the potential profit from staying in Lothering versus going with the rest of the party to the middle of no where. Brannek’s eyes gleamed as he ran into Lothering hoping to find some coin and other loot. The rest of the party seized their chance to be rid of him for the time being and ran off, stopping for a breather in the forestry outside of town.

As Mah’jeek caught his breath, he felt a hand caressing his buttocks. His eyes widened and he looked to where the hand was coming from, only to find Boreas to be the only person in that direction. Mah’jeek was stunned and flustered, but Boreas didn’t have a clue what he was getting so worked up about. After a very awkward pause, the pair heard a cackling coming from the shrubs behind them. Boreas and Mah’jeek approached cautiously and thrust their hands into the bush. They pulled Sigge out of the shrubbery, flailing with laughter, though Boreas and Mah’jeek didn’t share her amusement.

Mah’jeek introduced the leader of The Shits to their latest companion, Yeran, who she took a liking to, noticing his certain… manliness. After catching up with the party as to where they are headed she offers to accompany them and aid them in delivering the package.

The party follows the rough directions given by Zeke but find the track to be hard to follow. Boreas in particular had to be stopped from wandering off in the wrong direction several times.

Eventually, they found a stone circle but are unable to figure out which one was the bear stone that Zeke indicated was the location of the drop. They search around the various stones, one of which Boreas bangs his head on after critically failing to mind his head when getting up and giving himself a minor concussion. However, this knocks some sense into him as he finds a note hidden inside a wooden bucket behind the next stone he searches. The writer of the note warns travellers of Blight Wolves that prowl the surrounding area. The writer also requested that they bring any package intended for him directly too him, as he is too scared of the wolves. The group see his tracks, but Boreas convinces the others to spend the night back in town, as he too is scared of the wolves, who almost killed him before.

The Shits return to Lothering and rest up. The following morning they returned to Zeke and showed him the note found in the bucket. He informs them that the writer is a fellow member of The Mages Collective by the name of Marruk, and that the package that he had given them was intended for him. The party then returned to the stone circle and followed the tracks seen the night before. Zeke’s directions were incredibly vague, as he merely told them to head east with a shrug. Sigge therefore took the initiative to guide her Shits.

They soon come across a grove which, while beautiful with the God rays shining through gaps in the leaves on the trees, was also infested with rats, and not the small type that some may find adorable, mind you. These were big rats. Like, waist-high ‘able-to-rip-your-face-off’ rats. Surprised at their extraordinary size, the group hesitated, allowing the rats to get the jump on them, initiating a battle. Thankfully the rats were not able to do much damage, but the mages having no armour were susceptible to a series of biting attacks, as was Dog. Yeran cast Heroic Offense on Boreas, giving him a strength buff until the end of the encounter. Falcon’t also flew in to aid The Shits.

The rats were soon beaten, especially with Dog’s amazing stunting towards the end, and the few remaining rats ran away, scared of Dog’s ferocity. Sigge lead the party onward and they soon coming across a hovel built into the side of a small hill. They heard a faint humming coming from inside. There was a door of sorts, which they opened to find a messy room littered with papers, empty bottles and general clutter. In the corner, they saw an old elf, who introduced himself as Marruk a Mage and writer of the bucket message.

Marruk was delighted by the package, which contained potion-making materials and supplies. However, in his attempt to thank them, the group found that he had a speech impediment, speaking worse than Mah’jeek.

Suddenly, a Blight Wolf burst through the thin, earthy wall and everybody heard the growling of two others lying in wait outside the open door. Dog tried to attack, but monumentally failed therefore inspired by the wolf who had burst through the wall, he attempted to do the same. However he only manages to crash into the wall and hurt his head. The wolves attacked Mah’jeek, almost killing him, so Boreas blocked the doorway and defended his allies, overcoming his fear of the wolves. Sigge, meanwhile attacked from afar with her bow. The wolf who had burst through the wall almost killed Marruk, who had taken to crouching in the corner of the room, but Yeran heals him.

Boreas killed one of the wolves, cutting off its head and spraying the blood over both himself and the other wolf attacking the doorway in an attempt to deplete its morale. He then gave a mighty war cry to intimidate the already demoralised wolf. Yeran was kept busy as Marruk kept getting mauled by the wolf inside the hovel. Boreas turned his attention to the remaining wolf at the doorway, felled it, and then, as a joke, threw the blood-dripping corpse into Mah’jeek, because why not?

Sigge rushed inside to help with the wolf that was attacking Marruk, while Mah’jeek, showed his great prioritisation skills by getting his revenge on Boreas and attempting to Mind Blast him. However, the spell only succeeding in knocking him prone, Boreas puts his success down to his awesome armour which has kept him from taking any real damage thus far. Sigge then made the finishing blow on the wolf in the hovel, impaling it to a wall with an arrow.

Marruk thanked the Shits as best as he was able to and sent them on their way back to Zeke. the party stopped to clean themselves off in a river on their return to Lothering. Upon their arrival at the Chantry they informed Zeke of their success. As a reward, he gave the group a lesser healing potion, which Yeran took.

Zeke then gave The Shits another job, to purchase some Lyrium from Dwyllan in Falldale. This time, Zeke gave the party adequate directions and handed them a pouch of coins. Outside, the group opened the pouch and thanked the gods that Brannek wasn’t with them, for inside they found 30 gold. They discussed the possibility of sharing it between them, but (much to the disappointment of Sigge) gave up on the idea after considering the consequences that may be dealt by both Zeke, a powerful man in both the Templar Order and The Mages Collective, and also what their employer Grigor, the mysterious man who they knew so little about, would do to them if they didn’t complete their mission.

They reached Falldale and found that it was simply a farmhouse. They knocked on the door and heard the sound of many locks and bolts being unlocked. An old dwarf with a scruffy grey beard and a balding head, but also similar distinguishing features as Sigge (ed: because apparently shifty dwarfs all look the same in the eyes of this GM!), opened the door. The group asked him for some Lyrium as requested by Zeke. The dwarf handed over a pouch, but Sigge (being ex-Carta herself and knowledgeable in the Lyrium trade) informed them that the pouch they were given was only worth about 15 gold.

Annoyed, the group turned to the dwarf and Yeran attempted to sweet talk Dwyllan into giving them the correct amount for the gold that they had, but failed. Boreas then tried to intimidate him, but also failed. Yeran then tried to offer 15 gold for 15 gold’s worth of Lyrium, but failed to overcome the dwarfs greed.

Dwyllan growing tired of all this offered to have a game of dice. If he won, the group would have to stick with his terms and pay 30 gold for 15 gold’s worth of Lyrium, but if The Shits won, then they could have a fair trade of up to 30 gold for 30 gold’s worth of Lyrium. The party accepted his offer and nominated Mah’jeek to represent their group, fuck knows why. Even so, he somehow wons with four fives on his die collectively. Dwyllan reluctantly handed over all the Lyrium.

The Shits then returned to Zeke who was surprised at how they were able to get a fair trade. He also informed them that his plans for providing the group with a means to get Mah’jeek into the Circle without raising suspicion were on track, but they would need to do one more job for him. This one would involve grave robbing at a haunted graveyard. He asked them to find The Handmaiden’s Necklace, a magical amulet that was buried with Meredith Kutcher. The Shits decided to rest up before heading out the next day.

An Unexpected Journey - Part 3
Shit just got real yo!

26 Firstfall 27th Year of the Dragon Age

The Shits, now well rested, set off to start their latest assigned task – the acquiring of a certain piece of jewellery from a woman, a dead woman, a dead buried woman in a nearby cemetery. On their way they come across a lone guardsman standing watch by a small, injured criminal in a cage that hung two feet from the floor. Boreas realised the criminal was Brannek and fought the temptation to just keep walking but made the other party members aware. The group reluctantly paid all their money to keep the dwarf from his (probable) death sentence while recalling how much he owed each of them anyway. For his own pleasure and to secondarily teach Brannek a lesson, Mah’jeek used his rope to tie a harness around Brannek and kept him on a leash until they arrived at the graveyard, Brannek was just glad it wasn’t a collar.

The Shits arrived at the cemetery and could not find any clues as to the grave they were looking for by examining the old headstones where they were present. So they split up and start to dig up graves with the magically-inclined staying together. Once they had made some headway, Skeletons climbed out of each dug grave. Boreas obliterated his straight away. Brannek knocked the spear out of his enemy’s grasp but it gave zero fucks are fully decked the dwarf in response. Brannek dusted himself off and hid behind the hulking Boreas who came to his aid. Then the Skeleton ends up being more dangerous without the spear and strangles Brannek for awhile before getting beaten down by Boreas. Meanwhile Mah’jeek finally finishes off the Skeleton that was getting really confused by all the magic stuff it’s two enemies were throwing around.

Finding only a few coppers in loot and most importantly no magic necklace the squad returned to digging graves with the magic users being silly and picking an area with lots of graves around it. This time 6 Skeletons and a large mass of shadow, a Shade, came up to join the grave robbing party and the shit hit the fan (and some of the Shits hit the floor).

Boreas headed for the Shade and made one of the most impressive looking attacks he had that day, slicing a great gash through the apparition. He could only watch on in horror as the gash sealed up before his eyes. The Shade then cast Weakness on Boreas which left him with only enough strength to stumble a few steps at a time finding the weight of his armor just too much. Mah’jeek however was absolutely petrified of the Shade and spent the entire battle avoiding it.

Not too soon after the fight had begun Brannek found himself being strangled again, this time by a Skeleton that had been Walking Bombed by Mah’jeek which caused the dwarf a lot of concern. The little dwarf broke free but the Skeleton was not stopped so easily and at the first opportunity started strangling Brannek again. Meanwhile Dog ended up getting strangled and was killed before anyone could get over to help… RIP Dog you yappy little thing. Then Mah’jeek got to execute his plan with his pet Falcon’t by casting Walking Bomb on it and then instructing it to fly down between lots of enemies and using it as a suicide bomber. Except the plan only ended up hitting one Skeleton for a little bit of damage with Falcon’t becoming a shower of giblets, so RIP Falcon’t too.

Then Mah’jeek killed another Skeleton with a Walking Bomb which was the Skeleton still strangling Brannek. Just as Brannek had realised what had happened and was able to get a lung full of air it gets worse as yet another Skeleton started to strangle him. Then Mah’jeek killed another Skeleton, while Brannek repeatedly attempted to break free of the strangle hold he found himself in, eventually succeeding. Unfortunately Boreas then found the Skeleton trying to strangle him instead but immediately was able to break free.

Yeran had spent the entire fight trying to keep out of danger while keeping the party well healed, but he was not sure how much longer he could keep it up as his mana reserves were running low. The party had nearly consumed all of their potions as well.

Mah’jeek and Boreas (re)killed another Skeleton each while Brannek found himself getting strangled yet again. The party should probably ask him if he has a particular fetish for that.

The fight looked like it was nearing its conclusion only a single Skeleton and the Shade left. However the Shade moved off to another area of the graveyard and unleashed magical energy. The party looked on in terror as a fresh horde of skeletons rose from the graves near the Shade.

Was this the end?…

An Unexpected Journey - Part 4

26 Firstfall 27th Year of the Dragon Age continued…

The hapless group found themselves in a dire situation: Branneks face was a twisted expression of torment gradually turning from blue to purple as a Skeleton stranggled him. Boreas was equally close to death and shaking off effects of the Shades weakness spell, and the magi of the group were both running low on mana.

Fellowship of the Shits indeed.

But just as all seemed lost to the fade – and as if guided by the Maker himself – the group overcame their anxiety to flee and instead focused on kicking some ass as a collective.

The mobile members of the party positioned themselves to gain a tactical advantage, with Boreas putting himself between the Skeleton strangling Brannek and his squishy mage companions.

Yeran backed away while fumbling around his belt for his last Lyrium potion. Mah’Jeek joined him, and together they attacked from range. As the group wailed on the Skeleton the Shade began to circle.

The Skeleton charged at Boreas and knocked him to the damp ground.

Yeran necked the delicious nectar of the Lyrium potion and started casting Heal spells on Boreas, who was crawling away. Boreas then picked himself up and retaliated with a massive strike on the Skeleton. Mah’Jeek attempted to cast offensively, but failed quite miserably. Brannek eventually broke free, but was immediately weakened by the Shade.

All the while, arrows were flying past at regular intervals. Neither of the two Skeleton archers were particularly good shots. But the members of the group knew that just a single arrow to the knee could be enough to end an adventuring career, relegating them to manning the night watch of some dull town or dank farmstead. All members of the group that is except Mah’Jeek, who didn’t care much for the seemingly obscure and frivolous concerns held by his friends.

Now somewhat recovered from his sexy choke time with the Skeletons, Brannek pulled an awesome stunt out the bag and unleashed some pain of his own. Yeran attempted to hex the ghastly Shade, but fumbled the cast.

The Shade closed in on Boreas. Between it and the Skeleton, Boreas was surrounded. Like a stern badass Mah’Jeek roared at Boreas “Kite!” before launching one arcane lance after another, in tandem with Yeran.

After a brief nod of acknowledgement to Mah’Jeek, Boreas took the attention of the Shade and the Skeleton away from the others. The Shade meant business, and begans spanking Boreas slicing right through his usually awesome armour. Wary of Boreas’ waning health, Yeran ceased lancing the Shade, and concentrated on healing his favourite meat shield.

In one singularly focused maneuver, Brannek stunned the Fanged Skeleton: grabbing its skull, and pushing it down on to Boreas’ sword. Yeran and Mah’Jeek shared a silent, awkward look as Boreas stared down at the dwarf, nostrils flaring in shaking rage.

Mah’Jeek and Yeran adjusted their positioning and double teamed one of the ranged Skeletons with their mighty arcane lances. While the Shade separated and headed towards some new graves to summon reinforcements. Brannek stunted and unleashed a Spirit Bane arrow upon the Shade. To the great joy of the party, the Shade evaporated out of existence in a flash of magical energy.

Whatever it was that stuck in Boreas’ craw about Brannek’s death strike on the Skeleton, it was probably for the best. His enraged state conferred the benefit of relieving the remaining Skeleton of its head.

Boreas picked up the skull of his slain enemy, and with a booming voice yelled “BRAAANNEK!” The dwarf slowly turned in the direction of the fell voice, unaware that Boreas had hurled the skull directly at him with some force. With a cracking thud so bone chilling it made Yeran wince, the skull hit Brannek square in the face. The hero of the moment fell to the ground to the sound of Boreas’ laughter. While Mah’Jeek enjoyed his victory over the remaining Skeleton, Yeran rushed over to his fallen comrade and cast Heal with his last reserves of mana. The battle ended, our – somewhat less than faithful – companions returned to Lothering to rest up.

The party left at first light the next morning, having little choice but to return to the graveyard to complete their mission. As if graced by Lady Luck herself, their goal, the Handmaiden’s Necklace was found almost within an hour of arriving. Buoyed by this good fortune, the group decided to continue searching intrigued as to what other delights rested here.

After finding a little copper, two Skeletons rose up from their sodden graves. Dripping in putrefied mulch, and foul as the scourge itself. A fight ensued, quick compared to the previous day’s encounters, but no less bloody. After the battle, Mah’Jeek found a chunky sword. He examined it closely for a few minutes, his eyes caressing the colossal blade, before he snaps out of his trance like state and held out his arm saying:

“Boreas. You take. I no need”

Boreas’ eyes widened as they moved between the honourable mage and the giant ass sword. “Thank you, Mage” Boreas said, as he held his fist over his heart and bowed.

Yeran and his entourage continued “digging for treasure”, and the reward for their greediness was borne by freshly raised enraged Skeletons. Be it through fatigue, or arrogance, the party lost the focus they had held so far.

The battle did not go well. Yeran, too bloodthirsty to realise Boreas was in dire need, thought only of taking his Morningstar to a Skeleton’s head. When Boreas fell, the tide turned to favour the undead. Yeran healed Boreas, but it was too little too late, Boreas was out of this fight however his condition was stable. Yeran fell shortly after as the Skeletons beat down on him. He was shortly joined by Brannek.

Mah’Jeek was left alone to face the remaining Skeleton who had brought down his 3 comrades. He started running around the edge of the battlefield and fumbled a healing spell. He was running low on mana and had to make a difficult choice. Who to save? Yeran or Brannek? And would it matter if he in turn ended up falling to the Skeleton? Should he use his last bit of mana to use an offensive spell instead?

Mah’Jeek made his choice and healed Yeran and then used the last of his mana to cast Walking Bomb on the Skeleton. It was the right call as shortly afterwards the battle ended when the Skeleton exploded sending shards of bone everywhere.

But Brannek was gone.

Boreas, Mah’Jeek and Yeran stood over their friend. Lying on the wet mossy ground, Brannek was smiling and being rather jolly as he slowly stepped out of this plane of existence and entered the next. It couldn’t be any worse for him on the other side after all.

In the following days, while sat by many a roaring fire, and drinking many a pint of their fallen friend’s most prized ale, the three would often remark how good Brannek had been about all this.

And they comforted themselves with the knowledge that Brannek had died as he had lived.


But in the dreary, cold present the adventurers were broken. Spent and utterly fallible. They began a somber journey to return to Zeke and turn in the necklace.

During their journey back to Lothering the group heard a rustling in the bushes and as if sprung from the ground itself, out popped a tall, fair elf maiden.

There was a pause and nobody quite knew what was going on. But then Yeran decided that it’s not every day a cute elf comes along.

“Hail, fair maiden!” he exclaimed, bowing dramatically like some kind of flimsy Orlesian Aristocrat.

“These are my companions.” he continued. “The hulking goat over there is Mah’Jeek. He doesn’t say much, but he is honorable.”

“And the angry giant making his way in our direction is— hey!”

Boreas, as if reading Yeran’s mind, snatched the Handmaiden’s Necklace from Yeran’s small feminine hands.

Yeran then continued “That’s Boreas. He’s like a slab of beef. No brains, but knows how to take a pounding.”

Boreas snarled at this remark and raised his hand in a threatening manner. Yeran may or may not have peed his undergarments a little.

The elf looked around at the group of adventurers who were generally dishevelled looking and still covered in dried blood and sinew from their graveyard battles. “Hello…um… I’m Elodie…. Are you alright?”

Yeran explained that the group have had a rough day, and were heading back to Lothering to camp for the night.

Elodie explained that she had found herself completely lost and would welcome some company back to civilisation. Yeran suggested she camp with them that night. Elodie agreed, much to Yeran’s delight, who then attempted to make sleeping arrangements that benefited himself greatly.

This was met with awkward silence and stern looks in stereo. Feeling deflated, Yeran climbed into his tent and guzzled the fine wine Mah’Jeek had so kindly bought him back in Briarham.

The sun set and the moon rose. Not one of the adventurers slept well that night. The tide was against them, and their mortality felt as close and as real as ever.

An Unexpected Journey - Part 5
I'd like the pain please, with a side of agony and a desert of death

28 Firstfall 27th Year of the Dragon Age

The party wake up from their slumber. Elodie was the first to wake, followed by Mah’jeek, who decided it was best to grunt and ignore his new companion than share any pleasantries. Elodie was shaken up from the night, suffering from nightmares. She regularly had nightmares about her time as a slave and being recaptured. She caught sight of her Masters henchmen as they observed the camp but they were gone before she was able to take any action against them.

Eventually the rest of the party awoke. Yeran rolled out of his tent looking and smelling like shit due to his raging hangover from having to settle for going down on a bottle of wine instead of Elodie. Boreas and Mah’jeek are the first to finish packing up their gear and start to head over to Zeke, with the others eventually catching them up.

Zeke was delighted to be given the necklace however he questioned the lack of Brannek. After being informed of Branneks death, he shared his unwelcome condolences with the party – who wholesomely did not give a fuck about it. Zeke shrugged and then explained that his preparations for providing a means for Mah’jeek to safely enter the Circle. He explained that Mah’jeeks is to pose as a Mage from the Circle of Dairsmuid in Rivain who has been granted leave to go to Ferelden for botanical research. Which he was happily doing until he the rest of the party requested his assistance. Zeke says if questioned he can present some faked Circle documents and explain that the rest of the paperwork has been filed with the Chantry in Denerim. Zeke also gave Mah’jeek some Rivaini Circle robes. As an additional gesture of good will he gave the party a lyrium potion and a health potion.

The party wished their best and moved onward towards the Circle tower. They came upon a ravine with huge towering cliffs and a claustrophobically tight path. The ravine sheltered them from the weather. As they neared the end of the path, the party was blocked by a towering Templar warrior, who was suited and booted for ass whooping. The cliffs and ravine filled with Templars as they sprang from bushes and closed from behind brandishing their crossbows and swords while taking flanking positions. Mah’jeek shouted “ME HAVE PAPAS!” “LET MAH’JEEK WALK” “LOOK DOCHEWMUNTS”. Yeran pushing Mah’jeek aside strolled towards the lead Templar to try and show him the papers in a more elegant fashion. However the Templars could not be discouraging and persisted in pursuing an arrest of the party.

The party surrendered, and were lead forward, rudely, to an area with some carts. The Templars proceeded to remove all of their gear and threw it into one of the two carts. Mah’jeek did not resist, Boreas managed to successfully hide a dagger in his under armor. Yeran ill advisedly tried to hide his Morningstar somewhere between his butthole and his undergarments however this was noticed by the Templars, obviously, who then proceeded to use his Morningstar to beat him with costing him what felt like just over half his health. Finally Elodie was discovered trying to hide her shortsword but used the distraction to keep a single lockpick – the rest of her lockpick set was destroyed by the Templars in spite.

The party were then tied up in every way possible and bundled like spit-roast pigs into the second cart. They travelled with their faces covered with hoods before they eventually arrived at their destination. Their bonds were loosened enough to shuffle along and they found themselves being pushed down into chairs, then tied to them. Their hoods were removed and they saw a well armoured Templar woman staring back at them. The party sensed the presence of two other Templars standing behind them on guard. The room was stained with blood and had an array of torture implements along the walls along with other intimidating paraphernalia.

The lady Templar introduced herself as Sasha Redmontford, Knight Commander of the Order of Templars. She is after information concerning the Mages Collective and believes that the party can aid her in this endeavour. She knew the party had been involved with them recently. Sasha demanded they tell her EVERYTHING they knew in exchange for their lives.

Yeran felt a lightbulb above his head and came to the realisation that the girl he had bedded in the Free Marches which eventually led to his exile to Fereldan had a most uncanny resemblance to Sasha. Sasha was just the right age to be the mother of said strumpet and in his infinite wisdom decided that he would use this knowledge to attempt to blackmail his way to freedom. Sasha, wisely, followed this up by knocking him out with a punch to the face. Elodie then followed suit, and attempted to tell a story by song. Elodie holds out for 4 punches, timed to the beat, but was also knocked out for her troubles. Sasha tires of the partys uncooperative attitude and has the party thrown into a cell, while some heavy duty equipment is brought up.

Once everyone had finished their involuntary sleepy times, Yeran filled the party in on his shagging of Sasha’s daughter. It was decided that a plan was required, but also that more information was needed. Mah’jeek decided to pull Yeran’s hair to make him shout out like a little girl, in order to bring a guard in. This worked but the guard didn’t really give a shit and left.

The party then pretend to sleep, allowing Elodie to call out and try to seduce the guard with song and titties. What kind of guard would be stupid enough to fall for that? This one, apparently, the guard unlocked the door and reached in to collect his moistened prize. But was met with battle shouts and lunges. His reactions were quick, but not quick enough to shut the cell door before a fight ensued!

This fight was over very quickly as he was pummeled and stabbed by Boreas’ smuggled dagger and a few fistycuffs from Mah’jeek. Elodie managed to get a couple of chokeslams in too. Boreas covered the dying guards face in shit from the potty bucket with a nice fat turd a la Mah’jeek. They cut his throat, took his keys and moved on.

The party explored onwards, finding some boring rooms but also the storage room with all their gear! Hoorah! They also got their hands on some acid bombs, lesser lyrium potions and lesser health potions. Eventually the party entered what looked like the main entrance room with a grand door at one end. The two Templar scouts in the room engaged the party. Boreas cleaved the throat of one scout fairly quickly – pinning his draining corpse to the wall with his two handed sword. Yeran gets injured but is healed in time, meanwhile Elodie dribbles her healing potion down her top and doesn’t gain much benefit from it. Fortunately the second scout is turned into mincemeat shortly afterwards. Mah’jeek peers through the keyhole of the grand door to see many Templars on drill duty. The party decided that way is a big Nope.

The party then stumbled into the interrogation room, with Sasha and her two guards. Sasha repeated her demands and didn’t seem to give a shit about the dead guards outside her office. The party attempted to lie and also dob in the dwarf, Dwyllan, for his lyrium smuggling. Again, Sasha tired of their attempts at deception and in-cooperation and ordered her guards to kill the party while she continues to write what the party decided was sexy fanfiction.

The fight was bloody, the party fight close as a unit for the first time ever. They chipped away at the guards until one of them lay dead – this enraged Sasha, especially as Boreas intentionally spilled blood over Sasha’s reports/erotica. She got up and joined the fight, which rapidly turned against the party. Despite the party being more coordinated than ever Boreas goes down, but managed to muster some strength to get back up to tank the fight (Ed: Obviously divine intervention or something…). With health and mana looking dangerously low, we end this chapter.

Will the party prevail?
Will Yeran learn to shut his mouth?
Will the sexy fanfiction be saved?

To be continued…

An Unexpected Journey - Part 6
Escaping the compound in one piece, mostly

01 Haring 27th Year of the Dragon Age

Boreas could tell that the tide of battle was turning against the party and quickly wracked his brain to come up with a way to save himself and his friends. He formulated a plan and tried to get Sasha’s attention, whilst also clashing swords with her. He exclaimed that he had a proposition for her, but she wouldn’t listen and dealt a devastating blow to the Avvar. She gripped him by the collar and put her sword to his throat. She then bellowed to everyone in the room, demanding that The Shits stand down and surrender. Our heroes complied with her demands, fearing for Boreas’ life. They were then taken to individual cells in the dungeon, though Sasha ordered the guards to leave Yeran with her, where she bound him in a certain… uncomfortable position.

Sasha then walked over to the roaring fire while Yeran tried his best to sweet talk her into not doing anything too rash through his gag. Sasha was deaf to his pleas and told Yeran that she would get the information she was after about the Mage’s Collective, however she needed to ensure that was fully understood by the party and that Yeran would assist her in that effort. At which point she pulled a red-hot brand from the fire. Yeran’s eyes widened in sheer terror, but the wuss passed out before she did anything. Sasha calmly pressed the brand onto the elf’s left eye and ordered the guard to take him to a cell.

In the dungeon, The Shits rested. After such an agonising battle, they could do little else. As they did so, the mages regained some of their mana, but Yeran still lay unconscious. Boreas proceeded to ask Mah’Jeek about the Circle Tower, only to find (with much difficulty, because Mah’Jeek was explaining) that it was not operated by mages at all, rather it was a prison of sorts that was run by the Templars, which meant that Boreas’ plan of asking Sasha to become spies for her in exchange for their lives was useless. He then sat in the corner in self pity.

Yeran woke to pain, confusion and half blindness. The group asked if they could see his eye, and upon showing it, they were disgusted. The left side of his face had become a melted mixture of blood and pus. Despite it all though, he still retained his positivity and suggested that they should begin to devise a plan to escape the Templar compound.

All was not lost, however. Elodie suddenly found that she had somehow been able to keep the prison key that she had taken from the lustful guard before their fight with Sasha. She unlocked her cell and went over to the main door to peek through the keyhole, keeping a watchful eye for any guards while the group formulated a plan.

Not long after though, she saw a guard and raced back to her cell, closing the door behind her, just as a Templar waltzed in, holding a plate of food and mugs of water. The “food” turned out to be mouldy bread, but our heroes still held hope for the water. However, that hope was soon splashed in their faces as the guard threw the mugs at them, spilling the water all over the floor. The guard then left the room, laughing hysterically, leaving The Shits to continue making their plan.

They waited several hours before making a move, allowing the mages to regain more of their mana, but also to wait for the guards to go to bed. With the hallway on the other side of the door silent and devoid of people, Elodie unlocked the others’ cell doors and they all exited the dungeon and went to the storeroom to reclaim their gear, for the second time. With his staff back, Yeran healed Boreas, who had taken a significant beating in their fight with Sasha. They then crept through the hallway into the next room with the main entrance to the compound.

They decided to investigate the suspicious door across the room that they had been too busy dealing with Templar scouts to look at before. Elodie went down the spiral staircase first and found that all that was down there was various torture devices, obviously belonging to Sasha, likely to satisfy some kind of fetish, which the group concluded with the thought of her writing erotica during their fight before still planted in their minds. With nothing of value to take from the room, they all headed back upstairs.

Upon returning to the previous room, our heroes noticed that the main entrance had large pieces of wood next to it, for the purpose of barricading the door in the event of a siege. Elodie once again peeked through the large keyhole, but only saw one scout, one guard and darkness. The Shits agreed that it was highly likely that there would be more guards outside and so made the decision not to go out there. Instead, they decided to use a couple of the wooden planks to barricade the room leading to the dormitories and the dungeon, thus slowing down any guards that woke up. The group blocked the door quietly as to not make any noise and then headed over towards Sasha’s office once again.

Yeran cast a precautionary Heroic Offense on Boreas before kicking him through the door. The spell was in vain however, as no one was in there. The Shits searched the room, particularly Sasha’s desk and found various documents relating to the Templar Order, as well as some incriminating papers with all their names on, including Sigge’s. Mah’Jeek also found three gold pieces. Lucky him. There was no time to read through the documents though, so they simply gathered them all up to read later. They then surrounded a door at the back of the room and kicked it down, only to find Sasha, sword drawn, dressed in her under armour and ready to fight.

Sasha managed to push our heroes back into the office, but after that, she tried to get to the other door to alert the guards. Without her lackeys however, she was outnumbered and without her full armour, she was vulnerable, and so The Shits bested her relatively easily. Elodie dealt the final blow, though she opted to simply knock her out rather than kill her, believing she may prove useful, maybe even rewarding if she was brought to Zeke. Boreas therefore hoisted her up over his shoulder, while also replacing his two-handed sword with her slightly fancier two-handed sword.

Our heroes headed back into Sasha’s quarters and searched it. To their disappointment, there was no erotica, but Yeran did find some enchanted mail armour in the wardrobe. As he took it though, he felt a gentle and cool breeze coming from the back of the wardrobe. Upon further investigation, our heroes found that it was a fake panel which when removed, revealed a secret passageway. Sasha stirred, but Boreas knocked her out once more and likely gave her a concussion. There was the sound of banging coming from the door and the party made a quick escape with Mah’Jeek pulling out his Glowstone. The secret corridor, led on and on eventually reaching an exit, leading out into a forest. The refreshment of the fresh air didn’t last long however, as they soon heard cries of alarm coming from inside. They therefore decided to simply make a run for it.

Mah’Jeek took off running with the light, leaving the others to fumble in the dark, taking damage as they did so. They all regrouped at the edge of a lake and spotted two rowing boats. Each boat was only big enough to carry two people each and with the Templars closing in on their position, they decided to get rid of the excess weight and killed Sasha. They then got into the boats and rowed across the lake to the other side, where they heard a continuous and ominous rumbling. Sensing possible danger, our heroes ran further into the forest and up a hill. There, they found a concealed grove where they set up camp for the night to rest.

The next morning, the group opted Yeran to be their navigator as he was the only one who had actually been to the Circle Tower. However, that didn’t help much as his rubbish sense of direction cost them a week of wandering in circles in the forest until they eventually found a road that Yeran recognised.

On their travels, Yeran’s eye only got worse and as they traipsed along the road. He had to frequently stop to tend to it and called upon Elodie to help. She managed to clean the majority of the oozing pus that trickled down his face, but stopped when the actual marking that the brand had left was revealed. Yeran had been branded with the symbol of the Templar Order. This would likely be a hindrance in the future…

Boreas spotted some merchants approaching them in the distance. To hide his brand, Yeran quickly made a makeshift eyepatch with some fabric ripped from his circle robes. However, the patch kept falling off his face and so he had to resort to covering his eye with his hand when the merchants arrived. Luckily, one of the merchants specialised in cloth and clothing and so Yeran asked her to make an eyepatch for him, which she was very happy to do for a small price of ten copper.

After thanking the merchants, and after Elodie finished dressing Yeran’s wound, The Shits returned to their journey and finally reached the Circle Tower…. On the day that was their deadline for Grigor’s mission…


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