System: Ebberon/ Dungeons and Dragons [D20]
Level attained: 6
Appearance/ Personality/ Background: K’Rin is a burly and busty woman with light auburn hair. She has a very intense temper and is not use to people disobeying her. She usually wears leather trousers and a leather corset over a white sailcloth shirt. She has a dragon mark, which cups her right buttock and winds around her leg.
K’Rin is the unplanned offspring of a barmaid from Tanamar [in the Lhazar Principalities] and an unknowing House Orien courier. At the age of 16, whilst enjoying the company of a close male friend, she discovered the power of her dragon mark by teleporting into the middle of her mother’s bar in just her underclothes. Thereafter her mother forbade K’Rin the use of the dragon mark fearing house Orien would discover and take her daughter away. During the course of her life, her stepfather taught her how to run a bar and to fight in bar-room brawls, finally handing down his fathers knuckle dusters. However, despite her mother’s protection, house Orien learned about K’Rin’s apparent powers and began sniffing around Tanamar. Fortunately her parent’s heard about an expedition to colonise a far island, and K’Rin jumped at their suggestion she leave and start her own bar…
Memorable moment from the game: Killing a T-Rex, by teleporting onto it’s head and punching it through the brain.
How they ended up: Settling into life as a landlady on Farshore
And so our fight with the Stone Golem done, we emerged victorious with Erroll, our guide. Some of us where badly hurt, but at least this section of the island was beginning to heal. Over the next few days, as we journeyed south ever closer to Farshore, we began to heal as well. All except poor Errol that is. Gods know what those demonic monsters did to him, but he had become a broken man, and even our cleric had no clue what can heal a damaged soul.
So we strove ever onwards, and in our walking we noticed we were being followed. We thought nothing of it until we came to a great wall set across a narrow section of the island. As we attempted to gain access through the mighty portal at it’s centre, we became surrounded by what we now now to be an Alman tribe. At the time however they seemed strange and barbaric, and they surrounded us with wicked looking spears before we could draw our own weapons. Ever inclined to a fight, I must confess I thought to strike them down and raised my fists accordingly, unaware that behind me the dawrf and bard, Lorcian, were attempting to converse and arrange safe passage for us with the Alman chief. I became aware suddenly, however, when the burly dwarf stepped between me and my Alman spear-holder and thinking not on the subtle electrics that surround my knuckles, took a hold of my fists and lowered them. Reluctantly I allowed him to maintain the peace and he retuned to his conversation.
I know not what he said, or what he gave to obtain our safe passage, but we were soon moving again, being lead to a small village just beyond the wall, where we were allowed to rest and refresh ourselves before being escorted by the fairest these Alman had to offer to a great feast, apparently in our honour. We talked and ate and where told stories of the Alman, and told the story of our journey and, I must confess we had been at sea a long while and my alcohol tolerance must have lowered, became wretchedly drunk on a delightful spirit made of coconuts.
After we woke in the morning [and I am pleased to say I did not have a hangover] the chief offered his son to guide us to another Alman village where we could get boats Across to Farshore. And so laden with provisions we set off and dully came to this other village. However, as we crossed the waters and looked to Farshore, we couldn’t help to quell the rising panic in our hearts: An unnatural smoke was coming from the small settlement. Farshore was alight!
As we alit from the the Alman boats, finally at Farshore, we could see the flames licking more ferociously at the buildings around us. Not seeing anyone on the streets, hurrying to put the buildings out, we hurried to the closest building, Joe staying behind as always. As we gathered in the doorway, we could see a woman trapped at the back of the building. I paused, to ask our demonic friend to save her [since he was the best suited to run into a burning building] when suddenly, before any of us could stop him, Kipris the mage ran in. I called after him, knowing with his flapping robes he would surely perish, but he paid me little attention. Within instants he was alight. Swiftly the demon and dwarf entered after him, the dwarf to rescue Kipris and Lucio to rescue the woman.
Devoid of anything else to do, Lorcian ran back to Joe, who stood at the dockside, to douse his blanket with water. Fixer, the warforged, started off west and north along the main road and I headed South along that same road in search of other people. We had just spilt up, when I heard a yell from Fixer. It seemed he had found someone being attacked by some manner of pirate. I was too far away to help, but I yelled back that he should try and help the victim. I found out later he did, and then some, reducing the pirate to cinders with what he call his ‘frag cannon’ – a wand of magic missile mounted inside one of his arms. As I began to search the streets for more survivors I heard a yell from behind me, and out of a window just behind me flew a burning mound of what looked like rags. It hit the ground and went out. Another yell came from behind me, the voice I recognised as the Teifling, calling me back as he had rescued the woman. As I moved back to take care of her, I glanced down at the bundle of rags, stifling as cry as I saw it was Kipris. His robes where blackened and burn, as was his face. I knelt beside him. He was gone. I said a silent prayer to his god and moved on. I would have time to grieve him later.
As I moved to the woman we had rescued, the dwarf shot out of the building also on fire but swiftly putting himself out. I began to question the hysterical woman about what had happened. Pirates, she said, had landed and burned everything. She didn’t know were anyone was, except that most had left the town. She didn’t know who, if anyone, might be in the other buildings. As I spoke to her the dwarf got an odd look on his face before shooting off in the direction fixer had gone. The tiefling, also restless for more action, headed the way I had been going, muttering something about warning others out of their homes. I finished questioning the woman and told her to find Joe and stay there. Joe will always find the safest place in a battle…
That accomplished, I began searching the other side of the street to the teifling. I had come to a corner in my searching when I began to hear the sounds of battle. That explained why the dwarf had run off. I yelled back to demon-boy and started running at full pelt into the action. As I arrived, I saw pirates fighting with the dwarf and fixer. They seemed to be doing fine. All the towns-folk where clustered around one burning building, trying with buckets to put out the flames. I grabbed one man as he ran past. The building, he said, contained all the town records. I didn’t really understand what he was blabbering about so I released him, but just then Lorcian showed up, yelling out the name of our sponsor. It hadn’t occurred to me that she might be here and in danger. Through the smoke, I could see the masts of her ship and started to moved that way, thinking she would be there. Unfortunately my progress was arrested by a pirate. He leered at me, probably mistaking me for one of the simple towns folk, so I smacked him a couple of times in the jaw, before the teifling turned up to help out. He drove his sword into the pirate’s back. One more punch in the face from me and the vile pirate fell the ground. Lorcian and I had a quick discussion about the town records, while the teifling turned to aid the dwarf. Fixer was no where to be seen. Lorcian stayed to help put out the building, as I headed over towards the boats…
My recollection of the second half of the battle is not what it once was, but suffice it to say that we were victorious. Later we attended the town’s meeting at Lividia’s manor where they discussed rebuilding the town, and various of our party split off to do vital work – Joe and fixer to the forges and craft workshops and Lorcian to asses the ships. Lividia revealed that a pirate had survived, and was being held capture, so McKnuckle and myself set off to interrogate the scum. However our attempts where unsuccessful. Until, that is, Joe turned up. He came to ask us what extra armour we might require now he had a chance to sit down and make some, but we asked him if he might apply himself and his magic in getting the cur to speak. He did so, and admirably. We stepped outside while they spoke, and when he came back out he said the pirate had spilled all. It turned out our little sortie was nothing more than against a scouting party for a much larger problem: the crimson fleet – and we only had a month top prepare. So the dwarf and Joe hurried off to speak to Lavidia.
Left with nothing to do I wandered the manor, watching the activity and planning going on around me with a sense of detachment. Maybe I could hold my own in battle, but in this enterprising environment I felt utterly useless. I couldn’t seem to see a way in which to help out. After all, all I was good for was providing alcohol and hitting things, and since I lost my kegs in the shipwreck I could only do one of those things. But then my wandering feet brought me to the Manor’s kitchens, and I recalled to myself I was now a fairly able chef as well. I checked to see if anyone was about [which they weren’t] and began to cook up a thick nourishing stew.
As I walked back through the manor, this time doling out the stew to hungry workers, I heard that McKnuckle had taken two other dwarves to a iron seam just outside Farshore and that Fixer was investigating something called a creation forge.
A few days passed, again with almost everyone I knew and saw indulged in some form of industrious activity. I went to the two and tried to lend a hand where I could. It was in this activity I learned that that the landlord of the islands only pub had tragically died in the fighting. Part of my purpose in coming to the Isle of Dread was to create my own such establishment. I asked around and found that it was not due to pass into the hands of any relatives, nor had anyone else staked a claim to it, and so it belonged to the town. With the mayor also dead, I hurried to Lividia to ask her permission to purchase it. She told me it was 800 gold pieces, and that she gave it with her blessing. Should I wish, she also added, she would pay half and have 50% of the profits. I thanked her and hurried to the town records office where I asked again to purchase it. The clerk asked if I had the money and I handed him a rather heavy bag. He nodded and fetched the deeds. Brimming with excitement, I made my mark as he directed, and with a smile he handed me the deeds. ‘It’s all yours,’ he said.
I went at once to the pub. It’s outsides where scorched, but other than a kicked in door and some turned over furniture, it seemed to have escaped without harm. I asked around and some people said they had worked in the pub, and I asked them if they were interested in continuing their employment. Again they seemed happy with the situation, and so I directed them to begin to straighten the place out. I went down to check the stock levels and brewing equipment. Word must travel fast because when I returned from my inspection, there sat three dirty, sweaty and thirsty dwarves.
Through his ale McKnuckle told me he had visited the Alman chief and found that to employ their aid in the coming battle we had to find and destroy a couple of evil magical beasts for them. He also informed me that Fixer and Joe would not be joining us, but that one of the dwarves with him, Murdok Sprocketheim would be taking their place. It seemed a simple enough task, so I left my new employees to continue repairs and went to prepare for the fight.
Much had happened since the acquisition of my pub.
We fought a shambling mound, with a small detour including fire and spiders, to secure the Alman’s loyalty in the coming battle. They agreed to post warriors either side of Farshore, to protect the channels at it’s back. McKnuckle and Kaskus Kiel, one of the jade ravens, went out into the wilderness to secure the help of some ‘terror birds’ who would protect the rear of the town.
That night we gathered in the ‘Brass knuckle’ to discuss the defeat of the shambling mound and have Lorcian tell us of rescuing the vessel we arrived on. Suddenly the door to the bar swung open, and there stood a War Forged, one we hadn’t seen before. We all stared until Joe broke the silence. He stood, perplexed as the rest of us. “Fixer?” The War Forged smiled.
“Hi meatbags!” I also stood, and looked him up and down. He shone in a way he hadn’t since I’d met him on the shores of sasserine, and his whole demeanour seemed more aggressive.
“I think I need a bigger doorway,” I muttered. Hyper Fixer ducked under the frame and came to sit with us.
“I guess you do,” he said. “Got any oil?”
The next day, we continued with our work. Lorcian and I set to training the town’s people – anyone who could hold a sword was pressed into service. Fixer worked with the town’s alchemist to make quicklime, a deviating substance, while McKnuckle set up stations from which it could be hurled at the invaders. Murdock supervised the repair of the towns palisades. We had our hands busy until the morning of the attack.
We were woken by the church bells tolling. Five Pirate ships had been spotted. We ate a hearty breakfast and took up our defences, as they grew ever closer.
Soon the battle had commenced: We fought tooth an nail against the pirates who landed, calling encouragement to those we had conscripted. Soon after the battle was joined however, McKnuckle noticed a small band of pirates that had broken through our ranks. We chased after them. They flung flares hither and thither, and an instant later mighty fireballs fell from the sky onto the flares. With renewed vigour we engaged the pirates and stopped them from flinging a flare into any of the major buildings like my pub. Instead it was dropped into the fountain. We continued fighting, forgetting for the moment the massive fireballs. The skirmish went well, and in our favour, but as it drew to a close, Murdock suddenly looked to the sky, shrieked and began to run. I, confused, glanced skyward to see one of those massive fireballs making it’s way towards us, and followed Murdock’s lead.
The world around us momentarily became something like the pits of hell: searing heat, exploding chunks of rock and tortured screams. As magic of the fireball faded away, most of us where left only slightly singed and tottering. Poor McKnuckle though. I don’t recall if I have mentioned it before, but at some point he and the ice elemental in his war axe entered some sort of communion, whereby the dwarf becomes infused completely with the Elemental’s power. Unfortunately for him, this power was ‘switched on’ when the fireball landed, and he was greatly more injured than the rest of us. It deterred him not and after downing a couple of potions, and a quick healing spell from Lorcian, he was fit as ever and if anything more ready to fight.
As we were recovering form this, we noticed more pirate bands had snuck through our lines, each of them carrying several flares, obviously intending to completely raze Farshore. Joe advised that we wouldn’t have enough time to run around and take all of them out, so we decided to take a dingy and row out to the ship from which the fireballs where coming. With myself and McKnuckle taking the oars, we sped through the water and swiftly climbed aboard.
Once aboard we were faced with several lizardmen, and on the ship’s forecastle, the sorcerer we had vowed to destroy. Getting through the sorcerer’s mooks was easy, however the sorcerer had a few tricks up his sleeve and began to levitate beyond our reach. Murdock shot at him with his crossbow, but was rewarded only with a sizzle of lightning that very nearly killed him. At this point McKnuckle and I had the same idea: to climb the mast and grapple him from the air. We reached about halfway before the sorcerer let loose one of those gigantic fireballs at the party. Fortunately for McKnuckle and I, were were not him. However not so lucky where Lorican and Joe. Doubly unlucky was Murdock. While Lorcian and Joe somehow managed to escape death, Murdock fell to the Grim Reaper1. With that the whole party become enraged, and with the situation seeming desperate, I determined that as soon as I had the chance I was going to use my secret power and knock the lizard scum from the air. However, by some fortunate chance, my powers will remain secret, for before any of us could act, Lorcian had skewered the sorcerer with magic arrows and his piercing wit.
At some point Fixer had appeared on deck. We had sent him off early on in the battle to scupper some of the ships, given that he does not need to breath. He informed us that there was now a large hole in the bottom and we should probably leave post-haste. With unusual reverence McKuckle picked up the charred remains of Murdock Sprocketheim, and carefully placed them in our boat, and as we began to row away, we watched the ship split in twain and sink beneath the waves. With sorrow for our downed companion, we headed toward the Blue Nixi to assist them, as it seemed they had been overrun with pirate scum.
That battle was swift and short, and we stood panting in the now midday sun, covered with blood and viscera. Suddenly though there was a scream of pain and rage from the end of the boat. We all turned to see Lavidia, our noble employer, being confronted by a terrible beast. I was astonished to hear her call it ‘Brother’ as they yelled at each other. Lavidia seemed closer to true rage than at any other time I had seen her. This monster was obviously causing her pain of the deepest kind – the kind only a family member can bestow. Needless to say, we all saw red, myself included. I threw caution to the winds and used the power of my Dragon Mark. I Leapt for the beast and dealt it two stinging blows to the back of the head. McKnuckle wasn’t far behind me, with his Urgosh held at the ready. Lorcian and Fixer followed too, while Joe and Snappy took Lavidia to safety. We surrounded the brute and beat on him until he lay dead at our feet. [Strangely, even though I have never used my power in front of the others, except Joe, none of them commented on my Leap. I guess either no one was paying attention or they put it down to a trick of the light]
With this the victory of Farshore was secured. I learnt later that we lost around 40 souls that day, and we held a mass funeral and memorial service for them. Murdock was interred in the mines by McKnuckle. We held his memorial at The Brass Knuckle, and toasted to his memory, and the memory of all those who fell. There was much damage to the town, but I had no doubt that with hard work and perseverance we would see it become a thriving commercial centre. It may have been difficult and frightening at times, but never a day goes by I am not glad that I came to Farshore and the Isle of Dread, for I have good friends and a thriving business. All that is behind me now, and I have only to look around to know my future is secured.
1Feel sorry for Gregmandu. This is the second character he’s lost to fire, and the fourth to die in the whole campaign. It’s not that the GM has it in for him – he’s just supremely unlucky.
Year Played 2008