Darkwood Crossing

Letters to Frostnip #7
Recapping Sessions 11, 12, & 13

Heya Frosty.

Well, I’m headed back. Not sure why I’m writing this when I’m just gonna tell you all about it when I get there. Habit maybe?

Anyway, we totally got Gark, man! The Great Goober is now pantsless. But it wasn’t easy, first we had to get there. The rest of the team didn’t get us off to a great start, getting captured by this T’Kazod guy, who said he was some kind of Emissary for the Great Gark. At first they thought he might be alright, but he turned out to be lying and poisoned the team. Not me of course. I’m too awesome to be captured.

So we convinced Roger and Ret, two of his lackeys, to betray him (natch, they ARE goblins, after all) and wrecked him. Roger didn’t seem very trustworthy, so we left him in the mortal world while using some weird ritual to teleport to Nocturne.

We got ambushed the moment we arrived, but it was cool because we’re awesome and we roffle-stomped their ugly goblin faces. Then we met Batogar, one of His Royal Frostbitten Gonads’ minions in Nocturne (who knew, right?). We faked our way into the city. I pretended to be a slaver, or rather, Barleyrice did. (Dude, you have to let me know if anyone from Nocturne ever comes looking for him. Like, seriously, get Pinebark to take dictation or something, because that conversation is going to be LEGENDARY!)

We snuck into the palace through some nasty-ass goblin sewers (I can still smell it when I close my eyyyyyyyyeees) and we almost died fighting all the guards that showed up when I tripped the alarm basically sleep-walked through stealing the pants. The coolest part is how we got out, though. It turns out Hawkthorn was there (was he a prisoner? It’s hard to say). Anywho, he teleported through some kind of portal to the Feydark. We tried to follow him through, but ended up back in the old elven ruin where we fought that one cultist guy and got the Hand of Vor Thormil (seems like forever ago, right?).

So we totally had the pants, and were all like “Hell yeah! We rule!” when we realized Gark (whose real name is Jareth, apparently) knew we were from Darkwoods Crossing, and we might totally have just started a war (just like old times, right?). So we got back to the city to figure out our next move, I got your letter, annnnd now I’m coming back. Which will be…great. Yeah. Oh, and this mortal guy named Vincent that we rescued back in Shal’d insisted on coming along. So that should be fun.

Anyway, see you when I get there. That really will be nice.

Snapdragon

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Letter to Snapdragon #2

A letter arrives for Snapdragon, Leafcrackle this time let it be (but it does smell funny):

Hey Snapdragon,

Grandma says that, if you guys have anything related to Vor Thomil, she really needs to see it as soon as possible in Mithrendain. She tried to summon you directly but something about a troll’s bone and being in the Feydark and won’t your powers stop working. I dunno, sounds like you’re having fun!

But, yeah, she also wants you to bring back whomever you’re working with to tell them something. Something about “Arya” and being of humans descended from the Feywild. I didn’t know that happened. So, yeah, at least bring her if you can. The easiest way this time of year is to go up the river and into Mount Hummingbird – the place is supposed to be a natural conduit. You can all just fly up the river no problem but bandits better watch out for you!

Oh, right, yeah, the city is kind of under siege. Not so much an army as lots and lots of spiders that eat people if they try to leave the City. Not sure why they’re not trying to get to the big tunnel we’re not allowed near. So Grandma has declared the City closed off and gates closed until the Guard takes care of the issue. As a member of the Elite Guard, you’ll be able to just fly over the walls and Grandma’s protections will let you through. Then I can give you some guest badges for your friends. Don’t kill too many spiders on your way in – I want to make Lieutenant some day!

I think that’s everything. Looking forward to seeing you and hearing more of your stories – letters are not the same as hearing them in person! I hope you can stay. -Frostnip

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Letters to Frostnip #6
Recapping Sessions 9 & 10

Heya Frosty!

I got your letter! Hi Grandma. Aw man, I don’t know about an Eaglethorn, but Hawkthorn totally turned out to be a traitor! He took off back to the Feywild with three of the Vor Thomil Artifacts, the sword, the shield and the hand. We’ve still got the eye, though.

So to back up a bit, little girls were totally rescued, evil douchenozzles were pwned with great righteousness, and all was set right in the city of Shal’d. And it turns out Arja was like a princess or something, but she’s keeping it secret, so don’t tell any mortals. Oh, and that jerk Tattyboggle got away again. Man, I really hate that guy.

So we finally get back to Darkwoods Crossing, and it turns out the His Royal Grumpiness the Prince of Frost left a message for me. I’m supposed to go beat the crap out of the Great Gark. Now, I know what your thinking- that guy is super bad news, and he’s supposed to be pretty tough, but don’t worry, I’m sure our Great Lord Pooper of Parties wouldn’t have sent me if he didn’t think I could totally do it. Besides there’s all these new people who are helping! You remember Paroom and Paloom, those two guys from the Raven Queen Temple? They’re here, along with some other guy named Moshi Batosai, who is apparently dead.

Anywho, they joined up with the Feyblades and we’re heading south towards a portal in somewhere call the Darklands. We ran into another goblin patrol on our way there. I have to say, I’m kind of worried about our chances of taking on Gark when this random patrol nearly murdered us all this group kicks so much ass that we will probably sleepwalk through destroying Gark’s entire court.

Oh, about Anansi, watch out for that guy, he’s tricky with his lightning magic. So…uh…stay safe and…you know…stuff. Anyway, gotta go!

Totally not worried about everyone back in Mithrendain,
Snapdragon

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Introducing Batosai
"Theory of a Dead Man"

Awake. You are commanded. The voice was definitely male, but otherwise the man did not recognize it.

“Oof, my head. Where am I?” The man said in a gravelly, deep voice. Or perhaps he merely thought it. It was hard to tell. The shugenja thought his eyes were open, but all he could see was darkness.

A difficult question, a second, distinctly female voice replied, as technically you’re not anywhere in particular. I suppose you would call it the afterlife.

“You’re saying I’m dead? That doesn’t make any sense, I’d remember something like that.” The shugenja was completely confident in his logic, but he sensed that the second voice was both amused and perplexed.

Take it from me. You are most definitely dead, the first voice replied.

“If I’m dead, what am I doing here? Shouldn’t I be in Yomi? No, I’m pretty sure I’m just asleep or something. I’ll wake up any time now.” Now he got the sense of befuddlement from the first voice and muffled amusement from the second.

I didn’t think he’d be this clueless, the second voice said to the first one.

Hey, you wanted one who’d take the news better, the first replied. I guarantee it won’t phase this guy.

“I get the feeling I’m missing some context, here.” The shugenja was becoming less confident the voices were wrong. They seemed quite sure he was dead.

A great deal of context, actually. But no matter. I have a task for you, and to accomplish that task you shall be returned to life, of a sort, the second voice explained.

“Oh. So I’m going to be an ancestor?” The shugenja was vaguely pleased at the thought of being an ancestor, although he couldn’t remember for the life of him who he’d be an ancestor to. “Dispersing my wisdom and knowledge to those who came after? That sounds good. I must have been someone important to receive such an honor.”

Ah, not exactly- The first voice tried to interject, but the sorcerer was off and running with the thought.

“Say, how did I die, anyway? Was it in a great battle? I bet it was. That sounds right. Yeah, a great battle where I fought valiantly, but fell surrounded by the bodies of my enemies. And the people would say ‘Poor brave…uh…me’ …huh…what was my name, again?” The shugenja stopped, puzzled. He couldn’t remember his name at all.

You shall be Batosai, the Man-Slayer. The second voice replied.

Make that Moshi Batosai, The first voice added. And don’t worry about your previous life. Trust me, you’re better off not knowing.

“That sounds fair,” Batosai agreed. “Now what?”

The first voice replied, somewhat irritated, Now you do what I said the first time and…AWAKE.

And Moshi Batosai woke up.


“Well now, this be a fine predicament. ’Tis not every day I take me morning stroll on the beach and find a man sprawled on the sands like a landed fish. Who be ye, lad?” The man who spoke was older and wore Mantis clan colors. He wore fine, well-tailored robes and had an affable air about him, but for all that it was instantly obvious he was not a person to be trifled with.

“My name is Moshi Batosai, and…uh…I’m pretty sure I cast spells.” Batosai flicked one of his hands experimentally, and sure enough, a bolt of lightning lept from his fingertips, scorching an unoffending piece of driftwood.

“Jumpin’ mermaids, lad, watch where ye be shootin’ that stuff! Yer liable to hurt somebody!” The man in the robes jumped back, though he seemed more surprised than worried.

“That must be why they called me the Man-Slayer,” Batosai replied. “But I’m not planning to do any slaying today. I…uh…I’m not in the mood.” Batosai was pleased that he’d covered for his complete lack of anything approaching a plan. Or knowledge of what it was he was supposed to be doing.

“Aye, lad, well might it be that ye be planning on acquiring some clothing? As right at the moment, ye not be havin’ any. Also, ye seem a mite pale,” the old man said, one eyebrow cocked at an inquisitive angle.

Batosai had not realised until this moment that he had no clothes. Or possessions of any sort. It was odd. He didn’t feel cold. But old habits die hard, and he felt some alarm at the thought of walking around in this condition.

“Yeah, clothing sounds good. And as for the skin thing, it’s probably normal for people who’ve been raised from the dead. I think it’ll wear off.” Despite having no basis for such a pronouncement, Batosai was once again confident he was right.

“Hmm,” the old man seemed to consider him for a moment, then gave him a big, hearty smile. “Well lad, my name be Moshi Kurabu, and while I don’t be known as a great believer in charity, ye’ve appeared at the right time. As it happens, I just might have a deal for ye that’ll provide ye with clothes, and some weapons, too. Don’t worry lad, I’m sure we’ll find a way for ye to pay me back…”


Moshi Yoriko considered the two men in from of her and mentally groaned. When Kurabu had asked to present a new yojimbo, Yoriko should have known there was some kind of scam involved. It was Kurabu , after all. The man was incorrigible.

“And that be the tale of how I found this poor, lost member of our family, Yoriko-sama. So of course, I had to take him in.”

Kurabu finished his introduction, smiling with that wide, innocent eyed grin of his. Yoriko again cursed the day she’d been made Moshi family daimyo in New Rokugan. Dealing with Kurabu simply wasn’t worth it. Yoriko gave Kurabu a long look, glanced at Batosai, then back to Kurabu. Finally, she sighed. “Kurabu-san, is this man dead?”

“What? No, he’s just been indoors a lot lately.” Kurabu gave another smile.

“I’m probably an ancestor,” Batosai added helpfully.

“He’s probably an ancestor,” Kurabu agreed, changing tack on a dime.

“Enough. Look, just keep him away from the capital, alright? I don’t need the other clans asking why we’ve got a revenant member.” Yoriko put her head in her hands. “You’re dismissed, Batosai-san. Kurabu-san, you stay.”

Batosai walked out to wait in the hall, pleased he had done so well.

“Kurabu, what are you planning?” the daimyo asked in a tired voice.

“It really be this simple. There be events afoot in Darkwood Crossing that I think it be best to be keepin’ a weather eye on. This lad be useful, unknown, and if it comes to that, expendable. He be a perfect way to keep tabs on the place. Plus, I’ve seen his magic. He’s actually pretty good. Might even earn that nickname he keeps usin’,” Kurabu said, speaking frankly.

“I can’t deny that Fuchida-san’s reports have been…worrying.” Yoriko frowned, considering.

“Trust me on this one, Yoriko. It be the right move, and I’ll be takin’ responsibility for him.”

Yoriko leaned back and shrugged. “Alright, you have my permission. Just…try not to let things get out of hand, okay?”

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Our Story So Far...
Cliff-notes for new players

After years of not talking to each other/war, the Kingdoms of Othonia and New Rokugan decided to give peace a try and worked out a deal for neutral trade city to be established between their two borders. Lord Zealand and Master Phung (and others, to a lesser extent), are in charge of this town. Our heroes have been given various dangerous tasks to perform in this area and along the way have come across a set of powerful magic Artifacts of the Fomorian City of Vor Thomil. The party has learned that these five artifacts- a sword, a shield, a hand, an eye, and a mouth -were in use during the previous war between Othonia and New Rokugan. However, an unknown God (maybe the Raven Queen) appears to have scattered them across the land and torn the memory of their use from the minds of men to prevent them from being used together again.

Unfortunately, it seems Dark Powers are on the move. Two henchmen of an unknown Archfey, Tatty Boggle and Anansi have been found trying to gather the various artifacts. Though defeated by the party a number of times, the two have proven difficult to defeat for good due to their ability to dissolve into an invincible swarm of tiny insects as a last-ditch escape move.

At one point the group had the sword, the hand and the shield, but it seems Hawkthorn may have betrayed the party and taken those items back with him to his unknown master among the Unseelie fey.

The group has recently acquired the Eye, and thanks to a letter received by Snapdragon, it seems likely that the mouth may be in the secret possession of Princess Hellebore in the Feywild, as Anansi recently launched an attack on her vault. Snapdragon is worried about his home, and will likely be trying to go back there if possible…

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A Letter *From* Frostnip to Snapdragon

A letter arrives for Snapdragon, Leafcrackle accepted it and was starting to tear it up for further bedding: (no date stamp)

Hey Snapdragon, Good to hear all your exciting doings. Sounds like you’re getting to be even more of a hero than before! Things have been interesting in the Feywild and even in the City of Autumn – just last week, a spidery guy named Anansi tried to break into Hellebore’s vault but we totally drove him off! He was gross anyways.

On patrol just today, we ran into him again and he gave me some sort of message to give to Hellebore. She didn’t much care for that message so she is mobilizing all of the fey in the City of Autumn to be prepared for an attack any day now. Something about Queen Connomae and revenge for King Gheganith – I totally don’t know what the speech to the city was about but I do remember Gheganith (as I’m sure you do). Anyways, she also told me to write to you to be careful and not trust someone named Eaglethorn or something. Oh, and to say hello or something. She’s really busy these days.

So, yeah, defense of the the city, danger in every alley. Exciting! Almost as fun as when you’re around. I’ll keep you updated as stuff happens but who knows when these letters will find you. -Frostnip

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Letters to Frostnip #5
Sessions 7 & 8 recap

Heya Frosty!

Oh, it is about to GO DOWN here in the mortal world! So check it out, Arja (the paladin girl), came back and asked us to help her out with this super-important quest, right? Something about her home city being occupied by a bunch of Othonian guys (who are up to no good). So, we figure it’s time to start some trouble in the neighborhood and mess up some oppressors in this biznatch.

But first we had to get there. Shal’d (Arja’s city) is like, a billion miles from Darkwood Crossing and it took FOREVER. Fortunately the goombas who were after Arja seemed to have caught wind of her return and tried to ambush us at this town called Amadora. Some poser named Richard Thornbrook was in charge of the assassins, and we beat the crap out of him without too much trouble, but man, he had the SWEETEST GEAR. He had these mechanical BOOTS, and a mechanical ARM, and these ridiculously cool mechanical dragonfly things. It was sick. No one had ever seen something like that before. We swiped all his cool stuff, and his conveniently incriminating letter, and then packed his ass off to the big house.

Oh we were doing all kinds of cool spy stuff in Amadora too, like doing dead drops and meeting shady contacts and stuff. It was awesome, but I couldn’t keep track of like, any of it. We finally met this guy Jonathan Rikes who was going to show us a shortcut in return for helping him out with some dwarves who were tearing down his mountain.

Now, I have to tell you Frosty- I think Rikes might be a dragon. See remember when Grandma told us about these dragons who were assigned by the Court of Stars to guard certain mountains for all time? I think Rikes was one of them! Now I never actually SAW him turn into a dragon, but trust me, it was totes suspicious how he would disappear sometimes for no reason and then we’d see a flying thing in the distance (NOT a bird. I wouldn’t make that mistake twice. Stop grinning at the page like that, it wasn’t as funny as you always make it out to be).

Anywho, we found the dwarves, but they turned out to be pretty reasonable and just in it for the gold. So, we showed them a better way to dig than blowing up the whole mountain. Or rather, Tek did (that guy is pretty smart for being a plain old human). They seemed to be in danger of blowing a hole into the Underdark though…or, you know… something. There was a LOT of talking and I honestly lost track. I’m sure it wasn’t important.

So we FINALLY make it to Shal’d (I’m probably only like, half-immortal now, THAT’S HOW LONG IT TOOK). But we have to sneak in. I am, of course, the sneaky MASTA and could have gotten past the guards without a problem if it hadn’t been for the others. We got through fine. I told them my name was Barleyrice, and now I have official papers that say I’m Barleyrice btw. You can only IMAGINE what I’m about to get up to with these things. If he ever sticks his nose into the mortal world, they are going to kill him. It will be hilarious.

So we go to the temple where they’re hiding Arja’s sister, and no sooner do we arrive then WHAM a bunch of punks come by trying to take her. And you KNOW I wasn’t gonna stand for that. I was all like, “If you step across this line, you will regret it so hard everyone you know will weep blood for a week!” And that worked until the priest of Orcus told them to go in anyway. So we threw down, beat up the leaders and then the regular guards surrendered. So we go to sleep knowing justice has been done, and THEN ARJA’S SISTER GETS HERSELF CAPTURED ANYWAY. I know, right!? What the heck? So we sneak into the hearing and Mayor Douchenozzle McButtstank (not his real name. I’d actually have been kind of impressed if it was, anyone who decided to live down a name like that is going to be hardcore. You know, like Captain Pussywillow in the Elite Guard) says he’s gonna execute her. So we can’t have that.

It turns out that Mixmaster Z has a cousin who is on the town council and doesn’t agree with the execution, so he helped us sneak in and grab some evidence to take down the mayor and his clan of Orcus-worshipping asswipes. And we totally did it, mostly thanks to everyone pitching in for invisibility potions me. So now we’ve got our evidence and it is ALL gonna go down at the execution grounds tomorrow. I can’t WAIT! It’s gonna be awesome!

Totally about to rescue a little girl in the most heroic rescue OF ALL TIME,
Snapdizzle

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Letters to Frostnip #4
Session 6 Recap

Heya Frosty.

Kind of hung over from the town-naming celebration, so I’m writing reeeeeallly quietly. SHHHHH. Also, may still be drunk. I had four shots of whiskey did a keg stand with a whole barrel of apple cider. Everyone was super impressed.

They named the town Darkwoods Crossing. It’s okay, but Snapdragon’s Awesome Metropolis is still a better name. I got voted down.

We got another one of those Vor-Thomil artifacts, a sword. We…how did we do that again? Oh, right, we had to fight a bunch of giant spiders for it. One of them could throw lightning and that was completely uncool. He did the dissolving into flies thing again. Starting to get a bad feeling about this one. It costs a lot for a Fey Lord to do that, but whoever it is has done it twice in the space of a week. That’s a bad sign. Means they’re really strong.

Hey as long as I’m drunk and being honest, can I tell you a secret? I actually do kind of miss everyone back in the Feywild. I mean, they were jerks some of the time, but that was my fault for not being good at anything. Except you, Frosty. You were always awesome. I worry that’s true here too sometimes, you know? Like, I get beat up a lot in the fights we get into. No one says anything, but what if I’m just not very good? What if I’m really dragging the team down? It bothers me sometimes.

Think I’m starting to wake Leafcrackle, so I’m gonna go get some more sleep now. Talk to you later,

Snapdragon

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A conversation with Brain Pox

BP: For the last time, it’s Brawny Potts.
F: You don’t look very brawny…ok, ok…but everyone else already thinks you’r called Brain Pox, so it’s going to be hard to change now. What makes you different than those pixies anyways?
BP: Stop trying to change the subject. Besides, I look nothing like them, how could you possible mistake us.
F: Oh, right you have 6 wings instead of 4. And why can’t you lift a horse like that other one.
BP: Who said I can’t. We don’t take sides, remember, advisory capacity only.
F: OK, then advise.
BP: Fine then, so far it looks like the town has a number of enterprises that are spoken for. The only thing you seem to be good at is turning enemies into adventurers. And I’m being kind her. Who’s to say they aren’t going to slit your throat the second you fall asleep.
F: You’re right, I am good at turning enemies into adventurers. There was always a fine line between those two anyway. But think of it, what’s better than killing a bandit?
BP: Looting them after? Having your way with their corpse?
F: What, no. Taking a bandit and turning them against other bandits is way better than just killing them.
BP: If they don’t slit your throat.
F: Right. Right.
F: No, what town needs is an adventurers guild. I’ll recruit the members from our enemies, if I have to. I’ll use my magnificent story telling skills to promote the guild, and I’ll take a piece of the action. I’ll be sure to cultivate groupies, in order to provide free services for the adventurers, which they will be charged for of course. And I’ll use my streetwise to find them jobs, the job’s I don’t want for our own team of course. How could this possibly go wrong.
BP: I think of a few.
F: Who asked for your advice. OK, I did. Your concerns are noted.

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Letters to Frostnip #3
Session 5 Recap

Heya Frosty!

Okay, so I know it hasn’t been that long since the last letter, but so much stuff happened last time!

You know that coin I talked about? It’s some kind of staple magic item of Karontor used for communication over long distances. The coins work in pairs, each pair being unique. Apparently, these things were, like, EVERYWHERE during the war since they’re so handy, but the downside is they can kind of corrupt your soul. Otherwise, I’d totally nab a pair and send you one.

Anyway, so one of the guys smart enough to surrender to us, John, was talking to his dad Robert using a coin, and when Robert went missing, John knew there was only one crew awesome enough to take on the task of tracking him down. Seeing as we were going southeast of the city, Mixmaster Z asked us to be official super-duper emissaries of the town to all the farmers and trappers and stuff out that way. It’s on an actual piece of paper and everything! Like I said, I pretty much run this place now.

On the way we got ambushed by some goblins! Well, I wasn’t surprised, since my razor-sharp battle instincts immediately alerted me that something was up. We beat them down, and then talked to their leader Zahp and his wolf Zero. Thanks to some l33t negotiation, he agreed to give up being a bandit, but he warned us about his boss Tatty Bogle, who apparently has a whole bunch of goblins and stuff under his command.

We found Robert’s house, and, because of my mad investigation skillz, found out that he had probably been ensorcelled by some kind of magic shield. We also found a pendant belonging to his old group the Longbows (He didn’t use a bow though, it was kind of weird). His old friend Richard contacted us, and we realized Robert must have gone to fight Tatty Bogle due to the Shield’s enchantment, which makes you think you’re an awesome hero. (As opposed to actually BEING an awesome hero, like me).

We got there in the nick of time, and I was totally just about to wreck Tatty Bogle’s day, but he was really tricky with this weird long range grab and got me the sun was in my eyes, and he ended up getting away. Looks like he might be a servant to some kind of powerful fey person (Do you think Grandma would know which one?).

We managed to get the Shield away from Robert, and it turns out the Shield is another of those artifacts of Vor Thomil that I told you about! Now we got two of ‘em, so the pressure’s really on!

So Richard was really grateful that we helped out Robert and made us all members of his group and gave us pendants so that we can talk to each other. We still need a new name for the group though (FeyBlades?).

Speaking of names, the town is gonna get to vote on our name pretty soon, so let me know if you’ve thought of any good ones. Snapdragon’s Awesome Village was immediately rejected (which is totally bogus, by the way), so I’m out of ideas.

Oh, and I picked up a new flunky! He’s a goblin I’ve named “Pleasedon’tkillme” since that’s all he says. It’s not too surprising since I kicked his ass so hard his grandma spit out my shoelaces, but still, it gets a bit monotonous.

Definitely not missing Mithrendain or anyone in it,
Snapdragon

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