Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Happiest Place on Faerun

From: Fulhoff of Clan Balderk
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk

Mother & Father,

The road to Goldenfields was remarkably free of incident, and well maintained, and we spotted the great walls of the city long before we arrived at its gate. The architecture is something to behold, as the walls loom 60’ off the ground, with regularly spaced watch towers that stand even taller. Even more impressive is that these walls go on for miles. Even the gates themselves were massively oversized.

Thankfully the guards were the usual size, and after a quick rummage through our things (where the confiscated the poop-potions we’d taken from the orcs) we witnessed a severe looking woman in simple garb arguing with a rather put out looking half-orc who has clearly spent too much time drinking, and not enough time working with his troops. We were told by the guards that he was Strog Thunderblade, the city’s castellan. The woman arguing with him was Ze Ling, an adept from the city’s cloister who has strong opinions on… everything. They parted ways while our gear was being rifled though.

After we entered the city, just past the gate, was a small market area where a bubbly Halfling druid was giving out blessings and seeds. I left a small donation, and collected some barley and hops seeds. One of these days I’m going to get back into craft brewing.

Yes, I know what you’re going to say… but everyone needs a hobby. And I only had one cask explode on me. And I am still sorry about grandmother’s gas lamp.

There is something off about Goldenfields. It is unlike any other city I’ve seen. The massive walls encircle not just the city, but wide open expanses of fields and orchards. Very neat, tidy, and bright fields. The air is fragrant with the smell of growing things, flowers, and some manure. The people seem… overly content with their lives. They are all comfortable and completely secure. There was even a tree-shepherd playing with the children of the city.

We stopped along the way to ask directions of a shepherd, and Journey was actually flirting with him. I think it was the nicest I’d ever seen her be to anyone in the short time I’ve known her. His (distracted) directions were clearer than the ones we received from the guards “Oh, you’ll take a left at the red barn, bippity bop bop bop, then hang a right at the fork, bip bip bip.” It’s a strange dialect they speak here.

The urbanized area is almost entirely large long log houses, each individually carved and painted with a variety of woodland and agrarian motifs. We found our way to the inn, and were welcomed by the Yeti proprietor Muros. Telling our tale, we discovered that his parents were among those killed by giants in Nightstone. Always awful to have to deliver that news. Worse when you aren’t expecting to be doing it.

Naxine the scribe, who also stays at the inn, collected the various artifacts we’d gathered to examine, and promised to tell us what she discovers. She does tell us that the giant king has 3 daughters. Not sure if that’s important, but worth noting anyway.

Bran seems interested in finding out what Ze Ling was arguing with the castellan about, so we set off for the cloister, and meet with the abbot, and then Ze. We tell them of the issues with the giants ordaining being sundered, and they tell us of a recent assault by some hill giants. Ze pushes again for the abbot’s support in arguing for more guards on the walls, and our news sways him to her side. Now to convince the castellan.

A 3 mile hike later (I told you this was a big walled community) we arrived at the brewery (where they don’t serve the beer) and find Strog Thunderfart, who is as lazy as our first impression suggested. Thankfully he was a little tipsy, and the idea of letting someone else do the work, while he gets the credit appealed to him. And as Ze was a pain in his daily life, pointing her in another direction to have her HELP him… Well, we were back to the cloister for services, and to share the good news. After dinner, we returned to the inn, and as this is a completely agrarian city, everyone was to bed not terribly long after sunset.

Unfortunately our rest was interrupted by screams. A raiding party had apparently scaled the walls. We came to some ogres, bugbears, and goblins, and went to it, aided by some of the others from the inn. Naxine was especially helpful by sending a lightning bolt into the massed enemies, killing several outright. She then blasted an ogre with magic missiles, and made Thorin fly.

Dwarves were never meant to fly.

I focused on taking out a particularly nasty bugbear, who hit back with a javelin hard! Going to have to get my mail patched before leaving town. The tree-shepherd woke several of the trees around the clearing where the fight was happening, and they clobbered the ogres with their branches, keeping them away from more squishy targets.

As the last of them was put down, we heard more approaching…

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