Now Entering: Promise Junction

From Ardrana

This adventure began with the group of adventurers led by Bardo disembarking from the Mutaradat al'Barq, having failed to retrieve the blue dragon egg. They were made an offer by an Elven artificer named AutumnRose, and arrived at the janni encampment to hear her out. After meeting with Jessa to barter with the magical items they'd found in the dragon's lair, Siege procured a suit of magical armor and several bags of holding were acquired. Solidus was also able to purchase an uncharged wand of fireballs.

The group then gathered, and Rose transported them to a Red Dragon Inn -- or at least, that's what was claimed, as there were some distinct differences from the usual, including races nobody present had ever seen. Rose then brought them down to meet the proprietor, Percy, whom Klaven recognized as the former barkeep of the RDI in his old stamping grounds, Semmarch. Percy noted that they were no longer on Ardrana, but in a place called Oberon Base -- the first RDI on another world.

Percy and Rose explained that the Red Dragon Inn was opening up a new location in Promise Junction, a town in eastern Arin that the organization saw as having potential. They wished to hire the party as trouble-shooters, performing tasks in the area for both the RDI and for the locals. Specifically, they were having particular trouble with Gar-Bears orcs, and were especially hoping that Eckhorn would become their strategic planner while also serving as a cook. They also enticed Solidus with the prospect of founding a temple of Varice, Bardo and Zammocaz with the possibility of founding a school of the arcane, and Emi and Makoto with establishing a thieves' guild. Gilbert would also have a permanent venue for his performances.

While the party mulled over the offer, the two mages decided to decline, wishing to continue their education at the University Al Maneera. Noting that this would leave the party short on casters, Siege brought up his friend Alvin Haler, who had been left behind in Gascar. After some further discussion, the party agreed, and they were brought through the Astral conduit that links the Red Dragon Inns to Promise Junction.

A New Red Dragon

The group arrived at their destination to find it almost entirely empty. The only people were a bartender, a barmaid, and one man sitting at a table. Rose introduced the proprietor, Sinjamin Brovory, and the maid, Kringa. Klaven soon joined the one apparent customer, who instead turned out to be Bramus, a warrior who would be working with the group. They were soon joined by Toshiro, a mysterious figure who said little but seemed to form a bond with Eckhorn, presenting him with a book.

Lunchtime arrived, and a few customers trickled in. One was a Dwarven merchant named Brox, who invited Klaven to check out the Dwarven shops along the road to the south. He mentioned that they were building that road to eventually connect to the Thair Mountains for trade. A bit later, another past acquaintance of Klaven's arrived: Airlia, who mentioned that others who frequented the Semmarch inn had come to the area, including their mutual friend Rodney.

After lunch, Bramus led the party on a brief tour of the village. The party took special note of the temple of Gruumsh along the main road and the ruined temple of Perasin across from it before moving on to the Dwarven settlement. Brox showed the group the road being built, then visiting the forge and the makeshift bar. Finally, they paid a visit to the shrine of Sedric, where Solidus purchased a charm from the attendant, Meether.

Meanwhile, back at the RDI, Toshiro took note of a newcomer, casting detect evil and detect weapons to clear him for entry. The party soon arrived, and Klaven engaged the new arrival while Solidus went with Toshiro to look for the mayor, a half-drow named Labeese, at the general store. The man identified himself as Ulsi Taligus, a messenger from the capital. They each confirmed that the other was staying the night. Solidus and Toshiro returned, having found that Labeese was likely at his manor.

The party set off, with Siege remaining behind to guard the inn. They crossed a walled-off area behind the inn to a large building, where they descended to an underground tunnel left over from the days of the Wars of Arin. After chasing off some giant rats, they emerged in a storage cellar, where they were met by Skwatch, the bugbear bodyguard of Labeese. He brought the group upstairs where they were introduced to the mayor and his two advisors: Shirella, a Human wizard, and Oashute, the Gnomish head of house.

Everyone present discussed some of the issues facing the village, and when Solidus mentioned building a shrine to Varice, Shirella advised him to be wary, as many of the locals were of an extreme chaotic bent. Labeese mentioned that the nearby forest, Eskalikor, was home to a newly-assigned druid named Tara Goldmoon. Nyla recognized the name, but wasn't sure of its significance. The conversation turned to the local orcs, whom Labeese said were the Chipmunk orcs, led by Chief Dadbod. The party was advised to keep the peace between them and the Gar-bears orcs, who often came to the village to push them around. After a brief discussion of the small arcane library in the walled compound, the party was dismissed.

As the party returned to the RDI for dinner, they heard dogs barking in the compound. Pausing to investigate, they encountered Quaithan, head of security for the compound, and his two blink dogs Morelen and Varice. Arriving at the inn, they were greeted by Jambanov, the minotaur serving as the night-time barkeep, and a Dwarven barmaid named Leeva with whom Klaven quickly hit it off. They found Gilbert at a table with Drusank, owner of the general store, and Noxin, the local exterminator.

Klaven went upstairs to rouse Ulsi, and the two came downstairs. Ulsi mentioned that he was bound for the small town of Spittlehobble in the scrublands to the east. Not long afterwards, Oashute arrived with two other Gnomes, whom he introduced as Oashirt and Oashelf, the latter of whom Emi recognized as selling trinkets on the street earlier. A bit later, three orcs came in and began to get rowdy. Gilbert changed his repertoire to attempt to appease them, but that made the Gnomes angry. One of the orcs, calling himself Sub-Chief Bogrod, went nose to nose with Bramus. The fighter looked for backup, but only Klaven obliged until Jambanov threatened Bogrod with a broken bottle, chasing them off to end the night.

First day on the job

The next morning, the party woke to falling snow. As they gathered for breakfast, Quaithan notified them that there was to be a staff meeting downstairs. There, they met the compound's healer, Lennoy, along with several of those they'd met over the past day. After checking in with everyone, Quaithan officially asked the party to investigate a report of stolen animals at one of the local farms. Since jeks were the primary suspect, the group's forces were split between the farm and the ruins of the mill, where jeks had been seen the previous day.

The farm was located among the humanoid settlements, and was owned by a goblin named Oczuk. Toshiro spoke to him, learning that the animals were stolen from his barn. After they were led inside, Makoto transformed into a fox in order to get the culprit's scent. This scared Oczuk, who ran outside screaming about "weres". This forced the party to quickly retreat, but not before Airlia thought she detected a trail leading west. Suspecting the Gar-bears orcs, they decided to meet up with the rest of the group before proceeding.

At the mill, the other half of the party searched the area thoroughly without much luck. They decided to search the nearby hillside the jeks had been using as a lair, and were soon joined by the remaining group members. On their way, Rin thought she saw something peering at them from the fetid pond behind the mill, but nothing else was seen. At the hill, the party found a large opening on the south side. It was decided that they would head inside immediately, with Siege and Airlia stationed atop the hill to shoot down any jeks that might flee.

As the group made their way silently through the tunnel, Makoto fell into a grass-covered pit, alerting the jeks to their presence. Klaven charged down, and dodged a thrown spear on his way to killing one of the jeks. The rest of the party followed him, with Klaven killing two more of the creatures before they panicked and scattered. The stolen mule was recovered, but it was surmised that the remaining animals had likely been eaten. Nyla was able to rope in one of the stragglers, and the party hauled him back to the compound for questioning. While some of the group brought the mule back to Oczuk, the rest helped Makoto back to the RDI.

The Gar-bears orcs make trouble

After Makoto's ankle was treated, several party members went into the tunnel below the compound to light the near end with continual light. Gilbert and Makoto performed for a while outside the general store to try and attract customers, while Rin created a poster to do the same. There were a few more customers that night as a result.

Just as the dinner rush was winding down, the front door burst open and five Gar-bears orcs strode in. While Solidus detected no chaos, Toshiro noted the orcs' evil intent, and soon enough one of them threw a mug at Gilbert. Bramus, Toshiro, Klaven, Siege and Nyla stood toe-to-toe with them, and with a little help from Makoto's illusions drove them off, with one orc dead and the rest departing and swearing vengeance.

The next morning, A Halfling named Borble arrived, sent by the RDI to question the captured jek. He attempted to communicate to the jek that his people were not to steal from the other residents, but he was dubious that it would do any good given the nature of jeks. Toshiro offered to provide food for the jeks if they agreed not to steal, and if they did work around the town. The party then presented this to Sinjamin, who was also dubious, but suggested that they discuss it with the mayor.

Meanwhile, Siege began work on a drum that the party intended to present to the Chipmunk orc tribe as an overture of friendship, with Makoto and Rin contributing to its construction. Also, the party continued installing lights in the tunnel, and began training to learn subdual techniques from Eckhorn. After lunch, Bramus and Nyla spoke to Labeese, who told them there would be no food to spare until growing season, and suggested they advise the locals to take precautions against further thefts.

Business picks up

That afternoon, a visitor arrived at the inn. Hailing from Odiferous, the man was a cheese merchant named Vulgarda. He had heard tales of the RDI from Great Priest Molbo, and traveled to Promise Junction to sell his wares. After samples of the cheese were tasted (or not), the group decided to see if the captive jek liked it, but it apparently did not. The party discussed how to proceed, and decided they would talk to the mayor once more in the morning. That night, Toshiro procured what little food waste there was from the inn's kitchen, intending to bring it to the jeks the next day.

The next morning, Quellit, the Gnomish nightwatchman, reported that the light at the center of the tunnel had been extinguished. Toshiro went with Eckhorn and Siege to the mayor, who told them he would give Toshiro a week for his plan to work, but in the meantime would call a town meeting, intending to include the jeks. Siege also got his approval to present the drum to the Chipmunk orcs.

After they returned, they were accompanied by the rest of the group as well as Shirella to investigate the doused light spell. While searching, Emi set off a magical alarm, which both Shirella and Solidus confirmed. They also noted that the blockade that had been there previously had disappeared. The party doubted that this was the work of orcs, and after resetting the light they resolved to investigate further.

Shortly thereafter, Alvin made his return via the RDI transport system, and after some catching up was quickly put to work in the kitchen, where he met the head chef Cellani. While Emi and Bramus delivered the invitations to the town meeting, Toshiro delivered his collected scraps to the jeks, who did not respond to the exhortations of him, Klaven, or Siege. Once everyone was back, they went to the jek's cell, describing the situation before freeing him.

Makoto followed him back to the hillside, then returned after a close encounter with a giant magpie. Meanwhile, several members of the party then commenced their investigation of the tunnel. They found no further tampering, so they began exploring the side passage. After finding a four-way intersection, they decided to gather the rest of the group before returning.

After dinner, Solidus and Toshiro went to the temple of Gruumsh to present Siege's drum. They met with High Priest Shazbot of the Chipmunk orcs, who accepted the item as tribute, and agreed to visit the temple of Varice once Solidus had completed it.

Merchants in Peril

A bit later, Airlia returned to the RDI along with Rodney, who greeted Klaven and Rin, whom he also remembered from Semmarch. As they listened to Gilbert's performance, Rodney told a tale about the Gar-bears orcs attacking merchants on the road into the village. The group discussed how to stop them, and began to lay the plans for an ambush. It was decided that the party would procure a cart and horse, then travel somehow past the Gar-bears orc village, then appear to be returning from the capital in order to lure them in.

The next morning, the party learned from Feetig, an attendant at Sedric's shrine, that there was a dirt road about 20 miles to the south, and set off in that direction. Once they reached that road, Rin used cloudview to survey the area, and spotted two Humans coming from the east...

Cast of characters

This adventure is currently being run by John Proulx. Below is a list of characters who have been involved at one point or another:

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