Borders Drawn in Blood

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Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

Owing everything to a little girl

My day began as every other; I went to check the traps. It had been a fairly successful day. I caught some squirrels and even a scrawny rabbit. I couldn’t believe that new snare worked! I could even gather some herbs for cooking. That was going to be a good night.

That was until I came near the end of my trap line. I wandered out into the open, crouched low as always – that much had become habit. And there it was, a trail full of bodies. I could tell some were still alive, little wisps of vapor rose from their mouths. The looters didn’t seem to notice this though. People always made me nervous, but these were soldiers. There even more weapons than armor on the ground!

It would be easy to just leave them to their fate – likely a slit throat. Waking them was a frightening thought. What would they do to me out here in the mountains with no eyes to judge them, and no consequences? If I woke just one I wouldn’t feel so guilty. Guilt is a weakness though, so I left them. However they got here couldn’t be good, and they probably deserved whatever they got, and I didn’t need to get involved anyway… I was careful to be even quieter as I left them to the looter’s knives. And then there was another living one lying in the snow away from all the others. This one I could save, but what if he hurt me?

He was surrounded by bodies, two seemed to be his friends; they wore the same insignia. Guilt won this time. It took a big shake but finally his eyelids fluttered and opened. I warned him to be quiet with a finger, and he was. I backed up so he couldn’t reach me and pointed to his danger. There my job was done, I could leave and not feel bad. But then he did something very stupid. So stupid. He pushed me behind him and raised his bow to fight back! This day had started so well.

The looters had just begun to kill one of the living people when he put an arrow through the attacker. The other looter ran away when the body he was looting stood up and he found himself facing an archer and a swordsman. I really hoped I wasn’t seen… Please, please I couldn’t have been seen…

The two living (now walking around) bodies met each other down the hill and started seeing if any more were still alive. On second thought this might not have been so bad after all. I did just save them, maybe they could give me food as a reward. I’ll just wait here and see what they do.

They took a very long time arming themselves and separating the dead from the mostly dead. They all looked very cold. But then they got together and began talking, the man I woke up pointed at me and they both looked at me. I knew it! I should have left them. Why was I so stupid? Why did he fight back? Stupid! I left as quickly as I could, stumbled over a rock and dropped my dinner. I couldn’t go back for it; they’d surely get me. Tonight wasn’t going to be good at all.

The next day started very differently. I’m going to follow them. They have to hunt, and they’re so stupid they’ll probably try kill something way to big and just wound it. Then I’ll have an easy time. They’ll never even know I was there.

They seemed to get everyone conscious – miraculous – and were traveling south. Good, there is good hunting south. I followed them for two whole days eating berries and eggs when I found them. So far they’d only killed small things. They were a curious bunch and I must have been staring too long because he snuck up on me from know where. I knew that other looter saw me! And stupid me I let out a shriek when he grabbed me. It let me get away, but the others heard to. I’m fast, but his legs were longer and he had me after just a few steps. He also had a knife and smelled like sweat and rotting meat.

Why couldn’t anyone just leave me alone? Why did I interfere? Now I’m going to die for my trouble, but the scariest part is what he might do to me before he cuts my neck. He dragged me by the hair into the camp of mostly dead people. I could feel it being torn out by the roots; it hurt so much. The others raised weapons and he pressed the knife to my neck. I tried to kick and punch, but he was so big. He didn’t even notice. And then the strange one looked at the looter with so much hatred I was suddenly more afraid of him than my captor. The man with the knife felt it too. He started to tremble and pushed the blade further into my skin. It would be over soon…

But then the strange looking one ran up and near cut the man in two! And then he was right there over me, curved blade waving, but all I saw were the eyes he used to disarm the man who had overpowered me. They still scared me more then the knife. He was talking and moving away, but all I saw were eyes.

After some time, I thought they didn’t mean to hurt me, or at least they hadn’t yet. And, as it turned out, they saved me from the looter. They were camped in a very dangerous spot – the wolves would be chewing on them by morning. And there it was again, guilt. I hate guilt. I brought them back to one of my camps – they did give me some food, which was good.

The next morning they left – out of the mountains and to the cities where they belonged. They’ll probably stop being mostly dead and finish the job in a few days. But I did what I could; now they’ll have to fend for themselves. Always avoid people – no good comes of it. Hopefully it will be another few months before I have to worry about any decisions like that again.

(and for Alex…

after leaving the mountains the party gets price gauged to sleep on a floor, accused of having the plague, avoids a plague infested town, gets attacked by plague infested dogs, bitten by plague infested dogs, and is now wondering if this has become a plague infested party…)

The World According to Ettore

Note: Ettore would not have written this down … it would have been told. While he can read canal signs in order to navigate his gondola and simple notes, he does not have command of the written Venetian language.

::sighs; relaxes:: We made it to Venice finally. I was so excited about seeing my mother and father. I missed them so much… a little anxious about them meeting my new friends too. I hoped that they had not found my broken gondola!

I lead the group around because I knew where to go. I felt important, like I was helping out. We sold some stuff and had to sell our mule. I got new clothes; I have armor and a dagger of my own!

::lowers voice slightly:: I killed someone with it. I snuck up behind him in an alley. We think he was working with the same bad guys that took me and Lilo and others.

When I got home, my family wasn’t there. ::eyes water:: I got really upset and scared. We figured out that my family was taken by the same bad guys that took me and probably killed them.
::cries:: I saw so much blood.

::sighs; relaxes:: All we found was a note. I still have it. ::takes it out, stares at it, puts it back in pocket:: Nothing was there; all I have now are my memories.

Lilo insisted on going back to the house he stayed in so he could get something. I’m guessing it is something important if he is standing his ground about it. He won’t tell us what it is.

::excitedly:: The house was the same house my best friend and I tried to break in to! Through the window I saw something that really scared me; the club thing that a bad guy used to kill my friend. ::eyes water again:: …

::shivering slightly; anxious:: I feel really scared.

::sighs deeply:: I’ve never been so tired.

I hope this all ends soon …

Nizar's Truth
Week 3

Venice is not turning out to be the refuge we all thought. While food and shelter are available, that takes money and we have very little. Why did the memory of my beloved Aaliyah prompt me to take on the responsibility for these unbelievers? I was hired as a caravan guard, I needed the money after I fled, and I never thought to ask what the caravan was transporting. Had I known it was slaves I would have turned the job down, I have that much honor left…

So here we are in the middle of the night breaking into a house where Lilo has something hidden. She says she was a guest of the owner before she was taken, and I believe her. While she is a spoiled, whinny little girl she has not shown herself to be a liar. Ettore has picked the lock and seen something inside that causes him the freeze. Even in the dim light of the moon I can see the blood has drained from his face. He mumbles something about a club that killed his friend, and backs away from the door, leaving it cracked open. I look inside to see an iron bound club leaning against the table. We hear footsteps as the owner of the club returns. He is a large man, but so am I, and he has murdered a child. If Allah is with me, he will be in hell before the night is out. I glance back and Ettore is still shaken, the young man has been through so much in the last few days, not the least of which is the fact that his family is dead or taken for slaves as well. He killed a man for the first time earlier tonight saving me. For if he had not I would have gone down under the spy’s short sword. My wound still pains me after only a few hours of sleep. Lilo, I hope this Item is worth it.

We plan our attack with my wound in mind, so Fredrich and I will shoot our bows through the open windows and Dominic will rush him through unlocked the door. Fredrich moves to the far window trying to be silent, but as a scout he is more accustom to the outdoors. He is a good man, steady in a fight, but definitely prefers his bow. He has thrown in with us as he fears he has been named a deserter while he lay unconscious in the snow. I move to the near window and open fire. I catch the murderer in the shoulder with my arrow. Dominic enters the room, but does not close with the wounded man. The Armor he wanted us to buy him is weighing him down, and he seems hesitant in a fight. He has had some training as a soldier, but mentioned being a jailer, so I doubt he has seen much fighting. He tends to talk to himself and go into trances, so I am not sure how reliable he will be. The strain of being enslaved may have unhinged his mind, only time will tell if he will heal. The murderer flees up the stairs. Ettore whispers that he saw a light go out upstairs and thinks the murderer may not be alone. Ettore is very sneaky as I did not see him enter the room. Fredrich follows Dominic into the room, but is unable to get a shot because the target has fled into the darkness. I enter the room part way and light a sunrod to illuminate the darkened staircase. Dominic follows the murderer upstairs as Lilo follows the rest of us in the house and starts to play the Harp she insisted I help her buy. At least the she is not whining when she is playing. And oddly the music does make me feel more confident. We make our way upstairs to find 2 hallways, several closed doors and an open door to a balcony. I move the balcony glance out and open a door to an empty bedroom. Fredrich reaches the top of the stairs with the children in tow, just as Dominic kicks in another door that was locked. A short sword emerges from the darkness and pierces Dominic’s breastplate, the wound is grievous. The light reveals another man in a breastplate, Ettore was right the murder has a friend. My rage boils forth and I can see the man recoil before my wrath, I attempt a slash but the armor foils my attack, perhaps Dominic’s choice of armor was not so unwise. The man slashes me with the short sword and steps back. Fredrich rushes the man and forces him further into the room. I glance around and see Dominic trying to hold his wound closed with his hands. Lilo is crouched in a corner and still playing her harp. But there is no trace of Ettore, he has disappeared again! The man attempts to flee to the window with Fredrich still pressing his attack. I charge him and slash open his belly just beneath his breast plate. If he is not dead then he will be shortly. At this point Lilo stops playing and rushes into the room. I leave Fredrich to watch her and go back into the hallway to find Ettore and Dominic. As I glance back Fredrich is knelt over the body doing something. I find Dominic at the end of the other hallway looking into another room. What is Dominic thinking he can barely walk! But there in the room my light reveals the murderer!!! Before I can charge him, he jumps out the window. We do not hear the splash we expected, as the house is on the canal. Looking out the window we find he has jumped into a boat. I fire a couple of arrows at him hitting him a second time. But he takes cover behind some boxes on the boat and manages to push the boat around a corner and out of sight. Allah why did you let the murderer live, have I not been devote enough? Or are you trying to teach me another lesson. May your divine guidance enlighten me at the dawn.

We strip the body and search the house and clean up a little. The only odd things we find are crates of straw cushioning clear glass panels. I have never seen any so large and clear, they much cost a small fortune. While I would like to take one of the crates with us, that is not why we are here. I ask Lilo if she has what we came to get? Getting a positive response, we dump the body out the kitchen door into the canal and exit the house into the darkness. We make our way back to our inn, where Lilo distracts the night guard with a song, so the rest of us can get back to our room with our wounds unnoticed. We then demand to see what it in the velvet bag that was worth risked all our lives. It is a harp!! A beautiful wood harp, with silver pegs and gold inlay, and it has a noble house insignia on the crest. Lilo insists it is hers…
Morning comes and we are going to rest for the day as all three men are wounded. Lilo says she can do the shopping for new clothes and Ettore volunteers to go with her. We would all use the peace and quiet so I give her 5 silver. Hopefully she and Ettore are gone for a while so we can rest. Several hours later the youngsters return with the clothes and food, but no change. I notice that Lilo’s clothes are nicer that ours and the Ettore has jam on his face from some treat they bought themselves, but I do not mind as they appear happy. Almost as an afterthought, they tell of the increased guard presence in the city and that Ettore has seen some of the family he believes killed his parents. We agree that we should stay at our inn the rest of the day.

We have finished our evening meal, and I am enjoying a hot cup of tea. The server tried to warn me hot water is unhealthy and offered me wine instead!! It is a wonder that these drunkards ever took Jerusalem… Lilo is onstage accompanying the entertainer, Lilo is really quite good, and she is wisely using the harp we bought her. I notice Dominic is staring at the candle flame intently. He jumps to his feet and goes and gets Lilo, who just finished a song, and starts herding the rest of us upstairs saying we have to go now and maybe leave the inn. Once in the room everyone is packing and Dominic cannot give us any reason we should leave. Lilo is insisting she get her coppers for playing and I agree to go back down stairs with her. When we are almost at the bottom of the stairs we notice the common room is almost silent, the only voice speaking is asking about a young girl who plays the harp. The person speaking is a city guard, but wearing the black cloak of the corpse collectors. She is to be taken into custody, and I do not hear why because Lilo is dragging me back upstairs. We lock the door and determine going out the second story window is the only way to get out unseen or without a fight. So out the window we go, although it takes the guard’s using an axe on the door to get Lilo to leave.

We need to leave Venice, but for that we need a boat. I suggest stealing one, but am informed that is a quartering offense. Ettore suggests we go get his gondola and go Murano tonight and not tomorrow like we were planning. We make it the the gondola and find is has been repaired and his house symbol has been painted over and replaced by the enemy’s house symbol. We take the gondola and several hours later we are traveling across the lagoon to Murano. Once there we wake a old man with a room to rent, and stay the rest of the night in one cramped room. Lilo got the floor as she was not hurt.

The next day we sell the breast plate and shield and asl a former soldier about the black feather badge. He thinks it is a house symbol and suggests we talk to the Monks on San Majore to find out whose house the symbol belongs to. We also Talk to the Glass makers and find out the Crystal glass panes are worth 100 gp each and the house being renovated still belongs to Luca’s friend. He is rumored to have done well in trading recently and come into a large sum of money. So this afternoon we are taking a barge to San Majore…

Allah what have I gotten myself into… I cannot abandon them, they need me and Aaliyah would not approve of me leaving the children in danger.

The Monk Stop!

It is obvious to anyone, that has been around Lilo for more then a few minutes, that her music is everything to her. On the trip over to the Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore she played her harp quietly, seeming to entertain only herself. She might have been practicing some new song.
As the docks came into view Lilo stopped playing and stared wide-eyed as they approached. As she stepped off the ferry she tried hard to take in everything she was seeing. It was amazing and beautiful. Not paying much attention to anything else she was ready to explore but suddenly realized they had been asked to wait. sigh Formalities, but one does get used to them. She passed the time working on her new song, or perhaps songs as this one seemed a little different than the one on the boat.

It seems Nizar’s appearance has prompted the attention of 2 Templars. I suppose we will soon find out if he is a bad guy. Even though she gives Nizar a hard time he does seem to be looking after her and the group. But he sure is odd and stingy. Lilo was super excited when the Templars directed the group to the library. It had been so long since she had been able to read. Well it turned out the library was full of monks that wouldn’t allow her to touch ANYTHING!! What is the point of all those books if you can’t actually touch them? hrumph One of the brothers told Nizar that it would be a little while for him to find the information on the patch we brought. He asked us to wait here.

Nizar seemed to think the monk meant right where he stood. Who could wait so long in one place with no music or reading or anything? It was definitely time to explore. Ettore and I spent the next few hours wandering around and checking out the place. It had an amazing garden and there were guards practicing with wooden swords in the huge area. It was very impressive. We were eventually summoned back to the library and told that the Abbot Federico Morosini himself wanted to meet with us. I am very excited to meet him. His name sounds vaguely familiar but I can’t seem to place it.

We get to meet in a private room with the Abbot. Only his Templars are present. He told us about the patch being the Corvo family crest. It seems this family, well Cadalous Corvo, thought he could just make himself Pope. How crazy is that?? You just can’t decide you are THE Pope. It has to be official and everything. So the Church took offense and hunted down the crazy man and his family and wiped them out.

I think they missed one because this patch is turning up everywhere. We found another one in the house where my harp was and where Luca and I were taken from. I am not sure why but Nizar failed to mention we had another one. Oh well he must have had a reason. So the Abbot asked us to stay for few days and I delighted. A bed and hot meals and no one trying to take her to some plague people island sounded like paradise. The Abbot wanted to do some more research on the Corvo family.

Well everything was going along great. We had a delicious meal served on the most expensive place settings I have ever seen. We got to sleep on beds that were not fancy but waaayy better than sleeping on the floor or out in the wild. I don’t even like to think about that. I thought we were finally safe.

I had a terrific day, even though the Abbot said I couldn’t go into the library. But he did say I could practice my harp as long as I didn’t disturb the monks. The best part of the day was when Nizar and Dominic decided to fight, after a lot of encouragement from the guards that were practicing. They were taking bets and everything. I have to say it was a lot of fun to watch until right up until Nizar went and pulled a dirty trick, and hit Dominic for real. I thought that would be the end of it but Dominic was really mad and came at Nizar again, and, well Dominic was eating grass at the end of it all. Poor guy he seems a bit nutty but not in a bad way. He gets a little kooky around fire. Maybe he was burned as a kid or something. Well a good day was had by everyone, except maybe Dominic but I think he and Nizar made up and are friends again.

The next morning we were awoken by banging on our door and rushed out of our rooms. They said we had to come with them now and they seemed awful insistent, and a little worried. We were rushed into the sanctuary where Abbot Fedrich was waiting. He had the two Templars with him and there were a whole bunch of other unfriendly looking city guards there was well. There was one who seemed to be in charge and was talking to the Abbot. He was telling him that we all had the plague and had to be turned over at once. As this man continued to talk his voice seemed very familiar. I peeked out from behind Fredrik and realized it was Donato!! It was Luca’s friend and if he was here then, but no, he wouldn’t. Luca wouldn’t have done that to me. He couldn’t, he was, is, my friend. I don’t understand. tears

All of a sudden I realized the city guards were attacking. They were moving up and swinging their big swords at the Templars. There are only two of them against so many. I think we may be in deep trouble. But Nizar immediately moves to join the fight. He is reeeeeaaly scary in a fight and shops off arms and stuff. I hope he doesn’t die. It looks like Fredrich is being to shoot his bow and I am not really sure where Ettore went. She was sitting next to me a minute ago. I really had to do something to help there were so many against us. My song will lift their spirits and give them all hope that we can win. I started playing and began to move up a bit. Things got bloody very quickly and it looked as if one of the Templars, Benedetto I think, was in trouble. Nizar moved in to help him and Fredrich provided support for Sir Clayto. Dominic began to make his move but insisted I stay back. I waited for him to move up before following behind him.

I had a few special songs that I had been practicing just in case we got into more trouble. I tried one on several of the city guards and they seemed to actually stop and listed for a second. I know it wasn’t much but maybe it would help keep one of my friends from being attacked, even if just for a moment. There were still so many left. Things were starting to look up a bit as Sir Clayto tore through another city guard. He was an even better fighter than Nizar and not nearly as scary. Nizar was doing his fair share to the guards as well. Benedetto was very injured, but kept fighting, and managed to take several down himself. As the battle slowly turned in our favor Donato decided he would run. What a coward!! He is probably a member of that bad family that thought they could make their own Pope.

Somehow in all the madness Ettore managed to get on the other side of the battle line and was lying on the ground with a terrible gash in him. I hope he doesn’t die. Fredrich and Dominic are hurt as well but there are only a few left. If we can just hang on!! Oh! I know! My new song. I’ll try it on that corpse collector and maybe he will be so impressed he’ll stop hurting my friends.

Oh Oh Oh!! He did, it worked!! He stopped attacking my friends. And wait now he’s attacking HIS friends. WOW! It looks like we are going to make it. All the bad guys are dead except that one corpse collector who….oh well, he’s dead now too. Sir Clayto put him down. This is almost as bad as the day I left home, almost.

The Abbot says we have to leave. I thought I was going to be able to stay but it looks like he is right. They know where we are now. cry I don’t think we are safe anymore.

1 drink,2 drink, 3drink, drunk
Dominic rants

" And then these very polite guards politely showed me the correct way to tuscanny. I dont know why everyone fears the guards, most of us are nice guys…"

“I mean, Id rather trust a local than this 12 year old we’ve been following, in fact, for some reason these children get us into some serious situations. Id rather follow the carpet-kisser, now hes right most of the time! Oh..and dont fight with him, he fights dirty… but thats’ another story.” dominic says while shaking his head with eyes wincing.

" So we end up in another over-priced inn. Which, by the way, at this point Id get better sleep in the woods..‘cause frankly these kids get us into trouble I swear! Lilo. Lilo, Lilo, Lilo.. she can make the most beautiful noise, until she speaks. Then its waaa, waaa, waa. This girl could complicate a free lunch. Listen to me, if she ever asks you to go somewhere in the middle of the night, you stay in, or you’ll spill your guts…and I know first hand!" As he lifts his shirt to show one of his many scars.

“You mind your P’s and Q’s … and yes, I would like another pint.”

“So after a hot meal and a bath we are in our room and it happens. You know… " He looks around and relays in almost a whimper “God… He speaks to me. In his almighty and powerful way he does…and no, not in a mysterious way, in a fierce and frightening way! Like time stops, the room darkens, and everything besides the fire becomes stale and unimportant. It rises and a thunderous voice speaks in a language I have never heard but somehow understand, and says ‘You have found your ruler, when she asks, you must burn the city of usurpers!’ and then things go back to boring and my friends are apparent again, all gazing at me in fear… and this is when Im supposed to sleep, HA!” and takes a giant gulp of beer.
“So we take shifts at the inn, we ll .. because frankly, people dont like us, probably the kids, they always get us in trouble. well, i cant sleep so i keep Nazar company. When i hear a click, and with this fragile’s just hoping its real. So we check by the door armed and waiting for the next scar, i know somethings there. Nazar doesnt believe me,i think he thinks i’m crazy! which may have some truths..but with a leap of faith i swing the door open, just in time for a club to kiss nazars belly from the bad man outside the door.”

" now, with my elite training and natural agility ,i spring into action thrusting my sword like an arrow from god through the air striking this beast of a man paralyzing his arm, i believe he cried.i do, and poof!… he s gone and we never saw him again that night. Like the devil’s magic, my friend, he vanished. I, myself, would doubt it if Nazar didnt witness and attest himself. we did see the inn keeper and was assigned a guard for the night. So the next night we camp in the woods. We hear something alarming. Please, God, not again! On closer inspection, I see a monster, of sorts… 12 ft. tall in the brush. All awake, we approach… but I hurt the last guy, so maybe its time for another to spill first blood. So I give them the opportunity. To our suprise, it’s a nobleman hanging while his guard lays dead as well. But at the scene there is no indication of why or what was here. Nice full-plate though, and fits! They wont need these possessions in heaven, God gave them to us! The party is weary though, there will be an investigation of this."head slumps down in regret at the bar.

“But we venture on, we make it to the city. I was finally recognized as a hero in my armor…like on parade through the town. I like the attention. But just like we thought, we drew too much attention, and by the next morning I was on the reverse side of the cage… again. You know these cells were not to my standards, sewage and all. The word is we will be hung by morning which was not to my liking.
“Anyway, then Gods light shined again from a dagger dropped down from the sewer grate from above, the angel has bestowed upon us a weapon. with a note with a blue rose on it and directions on where to meet our rescuer. Eventually a scary man comes in to interrogate his soldier on abandonment of his position…which then reminds, i never told anyone where i was… anyways. He approaches our cell and then demands that the boy/girl…Lilo, carve deserter upon the mans chest with his blade. I take notice that Freddric is a little extra queasy. And eventually , somehow she did, but i dont want to speak of these matters..” While getting choked up, he takes an awkward pause to regroup, shifting uncomfortably in the old well-worn barstools.

“‘After slaying the imprisoned guard’.. he says to the jailor, ‘it would be a shame for a girl to die so innocent..’ says the evil man..or something of that dispicable manner… and after the brute leaves, the jailor approaches in his randy way. Nazar, implying hes going to assist holding lilo, enticed the jailor to foolishly open the door.. we storm him! like water spilling from a broken vase.. we escape the cell in a blood thirsty attempt for freedom! Me, having the blade.. for obvious reasons..cuts this sinners throat for his final injustice!” He gestures victoriously. “We must go.there isnt time . We grab our belongings that were in the room and we shuffle our way back to freedom narrowly avoiding guards. Of course we are on the wrong side of the city .. like usual…when we ask for a street boy to guide us. if not for him we would of been found. When we reach our mysterious destination the boy looks scared approaching a woman, our contact. but we live amungst fearful things now so we approach. In refuge our only hope. it seems now a days thing are reversed and the shadows shine the light. ‘Come with me!’she says . And that is what lead me here , to enjoy this brew with u my new friend. And now i must do a small favor for exchange of my life which is fair. and at this point I’m along for the ride, and to see my new friends of mine to a safe life again." dominic says in his cascading stuper inside the secret lair of the think tank.
Fredrich's thoughts

We once again head out on a “grand” adventure, an Arab, a deserter from the Holy Roman Empire, two children, and a Lombard who seems to be on the edge of madness. What a sight we must be. Although I do not enjoy being strong armed into our situation, at least we have a clear goal this time, you know besides run and hide. We have to find some Dante guy who apparently wrote something that now has the church in an up-roar. I don’t know much about politics, or reading for that matter, but he must be either a fool or extremely gutsy to write something like that. Before we left, I asked our “host” to do some checking for me. She says she doesn’t have any contacts as far north as the Empire but I told her that even if she just pointed me in the right direction or to the guy who could point me in the right direction I would do anything that she asked. I can’t wait to find the dummkopf who sold out my company, and give him what he deserves.

We leave Verona on our way to Florence to get Dante, a round trip which will take us almost 2 weeks. I am just happy we are out of the town which is trying to lynch us, suppose that is the second time I escaped a hanging, both times wrongfully accused, and third time I escaped death. I am not sure if I have the best luck or the worst, might try taking up gambling as a profession for a week and see what happens. Along the way I find several covered areas that avoid encounters with bandits, not bad considering I am not from here. About half-way to Verona, we come upon a overturned wagon, Lilo races toward it, to see if anyone needs help, only to stop part way once she spots a body (well what did she expect to find). Fearing a trap or that the people who did this might still be around, I move away from the main group to see if I can see anything fishy. Nizar and Dominique move toward the investigate only to find a severely injured man and a woman, and a feisty one at that (she reminds me of home as I chuckle to myself). Lilo patches the man up, quite well actually could have used someone like her in several of the battles I was in, and we eventually decide to take them to the next town. Some suggest that we should take them all the way to Florence but we should lose them as quickly as possible I think.

After 6 days we make it to Florence and proceed to search for Dante and Rose’s contact within the city. Apparently he has garnered a reputation for his writing, ranging from an intellectual to a heretic. Eventually we find what we to believe to be the contact’s house. After Ettore picked the lock, we enter the house to find a body slumped against the back wall. On further inspection we see that there is a hand shaped wound on his chest, it looked like his blood was pulled strait from his body. There is only one way that could have happened, witchcraft. After searching the house and coming up with nothing but an ornate dagger, we realize that we are being spied on. Looking out the window, we see 6 men in red tab-bards waiting for us to come out of the house. After determining that we searched the entire house, Nizar proceeds to leave the house as the men try to stop him, and take him into custody, wrong move. Nizar draws his sword and begins to fight with them, Dominique close behind. For an outlander, Nizar is nothing like what I have been told, bearded infidels that would stab you in back as soon as you would meet them. There is one thing that was correct about those stories though, that stare of his, the devil himself would think twice about fighting him after a look like that. While Nizar and Dominique fight them in the door way, I shoot them from a window, Ettore climbs through the window and disappears again then out of nowhere stabs a guy in the back. One of the men hit Ettore and Nizar immediately goes after him, saying that he shouldn’t hit children. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t want harm to come to Ettore, but he did just stab the man, if I was in his place I would probably hit Ettore back too. After dispatching all but one of the men-at-arms, we take the last one prisoner and place the bodies into the house. After questioning him, Nizar kills him despite the protest of most of the rest of us. Aren’t we suppose to let prisoners go after we are done with them?

After questioning more people and showing off the rose hilted dagger, Nizar, Ettore, and I retire to the inn while Lilo stays out, playing her instrument while Dominique stays with her. After several hours at the inn, Lilo and Dominique come back early with someone in tow. Turns out to be the guy we are looking for, and not surprisingly he wants to leave as soon as possible. So we gather our stuff and sneak out a postern gate. We travel for a day and I think we are in the clear but my hoped was dashed when we see several armored knights galloping from behind us. We had in some trees but they spot us and close in. They say they are looking for fugitives and describe us. Unfortunately they will not leave and dismount and approach with their swords drawn. As I draw my bow, I can see by their armor that these men are not your run of the mill guards, this is going to be one heck of a fight.

Ettore Becomes a Man

Note Statements made in Italics denote Ettore’s observations of events around him. Regular font is his thoughts and actions. If there are things missing it is primarily my fault as player but it works for the character too, since this is from his point of view. He might have been lost in thought, distracted, etc.

The party retreats into some woods when they notice a group of soldiers closing in behind them. They are traveling back North to Verona.

I hear Dante say something while I am hiding out and away from my party. ::shakes my head:: He needs to calm down. Why do we trust this lady from Verona? I wonder if she is the contact that the Monk reached out to on our behalf. I hope she keeps her end of the deal.

Five soldiers dismount and advance into the woods … the remaining two soldiers advance on horseback.

::cold sweat. prays silently and crosses self:: Okay, this time I am going to be patient. ::takes a breath:: Stay calm; get behind the enemy before I strike. Remember Nizar’s training.

Fighting breaks out as Ettore prays. Lilo’s beautiful voice rings out over the noise of fighting. Eventually one of the five soldiers retreats back toward the road and their horses

::swallows:: Now is my shot. Make no mistakes; make your party proud. ::prays silently over the dead enemy before hiding in the woods. heavy breathing while watching the fight:: Oh no, one of the horsemen is talking to Lilo. I hope she is okay!

Another soldier retreats back toward the road and their horses

::hard swallow and watery eyes:: Here comes a second. Make no mistakes; make your party proud! ::prays silently over the dead enemy::

The party regroups; prepares to leave

Hearing and catching glimpses of the fight is nothing like seeing it when it’s over. I hope I never end up an enemy of Nizar, Dominic, and Friedrich! Lilo doesn’t seem to be injured or shaken up by that interaction with the horseman. That’s a relief. Seems Dante was not injured; good I guess. ::deep sigh:: I’m exhausted!

Nightfall arrives quickly as the party leaves the woods for a spot to rest. Night passes uneventfully.

As the party begins the next day’s travel, they notice a nearby camp has been looted. By mid-day, they see up ahead a group of people blocking the road. Friedrich and Lilo speak in German to one another as the party advances closer to the blockade.

::swallows hard:: I have a bad feeling about this…. Could they be the ones that looted the nearby camp we saw this morning?

Friedrich suspects these are the same bandits that ransacked the Canossa woman’s camp. Two armored men out in front turn and stand to greet us as Lilo maneuvers her way to the front.

Why do we allow her to do all of the talking? She sounds so much more beautiful when she sings.

“Stand down or die!” Nizar shouts. The two armored men turn aside to allow the party passage; however the men off the road still have their weapons drawn.

::scans the party and suspected bandits:: I have a bad feeling about this….

Dominic and Nizar say something briefly then split off. Dominic advances forward, Friedrich behind, Ettore follows, Lilo and Dante are behind, and then Nizar. As Dominic passes by the two armored men out front, the three men with their weapons drawn loose an arrow.

Nizar comes charging up from the back and tramples one of the armored men knocking him over.

::huge gasp and jaw drops:: Holy Mother of Jesus! They just killed a horse! Ouch! ::gasps:: I’ve been hit by an arrow! I need to get to some cover or move away from the fight!

Ettore positions his horse toward the man that lost an arrow at him and yells, “CHARGE!” He continues to gallop away from the fight after knocking the archer down.

::heavy breathing:: Okay, now. I hope that bandit doesn’t follow us. ::dismounts; calms the horse:: ::watches the fight to plan his next move. gasps again:: Unbelievable! Who or what are these people!? They injured a horse! I hope my friends manage as well as they did yesterday. ::prays silently::

A bandit approaches Lilo and Dante. A dagger is drawn threatening her leg. Words are spoken, gazes shared; not a moment later Lilo backs her horse away.

::gasps:: What ever she did worked; she’s backing away! ::confused, contemplative expression:: Hmm, I wonder what she said; was it something she did? Either way, it worked! ::sighs::

Friedrich, Dominic, and Nizar are still fighting the two armored men while two archers ping arrows.
Watching his fellow bandits struggle with this party, he (who approached Lilo and Dante) retreats.

::gasps:: A retreat in the wrong direction! That can’t happen again; I must rejoin my party! ::runs quietly:: Oh how I dislike being out in the open like this!

One of the armored bandits, with an axe, drops Nizar. Ettore yells out from beyond the shrubs, “Nizar! Nooo!” Sword above his head, he strikes down the archer in the shrubs with one swing.

::chest heaving, eyes glassy; ears catch Lilo’s song. breathing slows. opens eyes to quickly scan the road; gasps:: The bandit I trampled with my horse is standing on Nizar’s Scimitar still pinging arrows! Nizar hasn’t moved yet either….

While Dominic is impressively fighting off the bandits, Friedrich is missing his target. His determination and unwillingness to surrender is honorable. Lilo is keeping Dante calm with her beautiful song. Ettore, sword above his head, yells out and strikes down the bandit archer.

::chest heaving, eyes glassy; scans again:: Hmm, Dominic doesn’t look as wounded as the others.

The axe-wielding bandit takes a swing at Friedrich. As Dominic lays his hands on Nizar he says, “Jesus is not done with your journey yet.” At that moment, Ettore yells with sword above his head and strikes down the axe bandit. He pauses for half a moment then yells out every curse word he knows while taking a couple more swings out on the bandit.
“Ettore … I think he’s dead now” says Lilo.

::chest heaving, eyes tearing; sword drops. dries eyes::

As the party loots the bandits and heals the wounded, Ettore notices Nizar rouses slightly. He retrieves the Scimitar and lays it on Nizar’s chest.

::goes to both archer bandits and prays silently. retrieves his sword and sits on a rock to clean it::

The party is almost ready to leave when Friedrich walks over to Ettore and gives him a noogy. “You did a good job today, kid.”

::eyes tear up a bit but quickly wipes them away::

The party travels on for a bit, uneventfully. Night falls about a day’s journey from the city of Verona. Off in the distance, a camp is over-lit by a fire. For fear of that camp drawing attention, the party moves beyond them to make their own camp.
Late that night, someone from that camp comes to see the party. Turns out this camp works with Rosa and they are instructed by her to make sure we do not enter the city. Yet. They are also instructed to take Dante into the city. The party hesitates to believe this messenger. So this camp offers to send a messenger to Rosa. They stay with the party for the rest of the night, uneventfully.

Rosa arrives at the camp the following evening. She updates the party of events in the city that have gone on since they left. Ettore tries to pay attention and understand what is going on but can’t; he is far too exhausted. Lords are arguing over the party about which one is responsible for our escape. One Lord is claiming that their people aren’t safe because some other Lord couldn’t keep us contained. Lords blaming us for murders we didn’t commit….
Rosa suggests killing those who have seen the party.

::shakes head:: We were at the wrong place at the wrong time; I hope that doesn’t happen again! I hope she helps us find who is responsible for the caravan Lilo and I were in; those people deserve justice!

Rosa stays at the camp. The party shares our story with Rosa, hoping this information will help both sides fit the pieces of the puzzle together.

Although I’m not picking anything up from her I still have slight suspicions … there is something I don’t like about all of this…. ::deep sigh::

Becoming a Leper to hide?

We are back in Verona, hiding at Rosa’s. Hiding because we are wanted for escaping the prison. We escaped prison because we were falsely accused of murder. And I was not going to let them hang me for a murder I did not commit.
Rosa says we need to take care of the people who can identify us. Like the Guard Capt. and dettachment that arrested us. Rosa suggests they can be bribed to forget our faces. Oh and the street urchin that guided us to the meeting place with Rosa. Not sure what to do about him. Maybe bribe him with something besides money, an appreticeship and security? We will see, I hate killing children…
So we get Rosa to sell our looted equipment so we have money for the bribes.
Next is the question of moving about the city. The description being circulated about the group is a tall Arab, 2 children and 2 men. Well I do stick out in this landlocked city, why are all Italians so short? So how disguise me? I know as a leper, no one looks at a leper closely or even comes close if they can help it. Lilo gets some paint from Rosa’s actors and does a good job of fake sores. Add a hooded cloak and if I slouch on horse back it might work.
She also works on the rest of the party. We cut Ettore’s hair, dye Friedrich’s and Lilo does something to make herself look older. Dominic does not stand out other than the plate armor.
We are ready, we know where the Capt. is stationed and have Ettore follow him to a tavern once he is off duty. I watch the horses and the back door as the rest mingle with the crowd at the tavern. And I wait and wait what is taking so long? How hard is it to talk to one man?
Finally He comes out with Lilo on his arm heading for his barracks. She is posing as a whore!! That is beneath her, but he is outside now. He steps into the alley to releive himself and Lilo follows. I see Dominic and Freidrich moving into position in case things go badly. Ettore is missing as usual.
Lilo takes forever to get to the point, but eventually he agrees to accept 20 silver for the silence of all his men but 5 new ones. He also suggests a more permanent solution, identifying some dead bodies as us for more money. Lilo agrees and then kisses him!?! What is she doing he is to old for her and not handsome…
That done we go looking for the 5 men he told us about he says they are probably at a brothel this time of night. We locate the brothel and wait outside for them to come or go. hours pass and it is approaching midnight whe we suggest Freidrich go in ans see if they are even there tonight. As he gets to the door a soldier come out and sits on the stoop. Friedrich only glances at him and goes inside. It is too dark to make out his features so I can’t tell if it is one of the men we are looking for.
About 15 minutes passes and another soldier comes out the door turns to talk to someone inside and kick the one on the stoop. Both draw swords and re-enter the buildiing. Friedrich is in trouble, time for us to rescue him. As we cross the streeet I pause and pray to Allah for Protection. So Dominic reaches the door first, just in time to see Freidrich draw his sword and engage the 2 men. I can hear Lilo singing behind us as we enter the brothel, somehow that always makes me feel more confident. The 3 of us engage the 2 soldiers, Ettore is no where ot be seen. I need to talk to that boy about tactics. Then and a third soldier comes down stairs. Lilo pleads with him to help us and all he does is demand everyone put down thier weapons in the name of Con Grande. We drop one Soldier as the 4th and 5th join the fight. Friedrich is bleeding from a wound, but Dominic Platemail and Allah’s protection have prevented us from harm. We kill a 2nd then a 3rd. We hear women screming in the room behind us. Damn more witnesses. The Barkeep tries to run upstairs and Freidrich lays him low. The 4th is dropped by Dominic and he cleaves the last soldier shouting that Jesus has declared he must die. (Why Dominic thinks the lesser prophet Jesus would want this man dead only Allah knows.) The Soldier finally stops shouting for everyone to lay down thier weapons and defends himself. Ettore appears as he leaps the bar and attacks the last soldier. Better late than never, but he did take my spot so I can not get the last man. Dominic lays him low so thankfully my help was not needed. We dress Freidrich’s wound, strip the bodies including the money on the barkeep and load them on to the horses, which are out the back door. Lilo disappeared during this, She must be taking lessons from Ettore. Lilo returns as our preparations to leave are complete. She says she took care of the women, as there is still no blood on her dagger, I assume she bribed them.
We hid the armor and weapons, then take the bodies and tabards to the down stream part of the river and dump them in without incident.
We return to Rosa’s which is strangely quite, no poets, musicians at all. Just Rosa and one man who looks like a fighter. She asks if we found the street Urchin and we say no. She then removes the sheet covering something on the table. It is the urchin’s body with a hand print burned into it just like Rosa’s man who was hiding Dante. Poor child, at least I was not forced to kill him to protect our group.
Rosa is very disturbed, which is not a good sign at all…What have we gotten ourselves into??

Something Decent to Wear

Another long and gruesome night. It seems that normal has become fighting for our lives in various, well actually, wherever we go these days. After that awful fight in the brothel and dealing with Antonio I just want a hot meal and a warm bed. Hmm Rosa’s is oddly quite. Please Lord don’t tell me she has been taken or even killed.

As we enter it seems Rosa is still in one piece but all of her “friends” are gone. But she does have someone with her and he does not look like any philosopher I’ve ever seen. Rosa begins by asking us questions about the street urchin that helped us locate her. She wants to know if we found him. After telling her no she seems to press the issue and we tell her what we have been doing and assure her we have not even looked for him yet. Once she seems satisfied with our answers she walks over to a table with something on it, covered by a sheet. When she reveals what is under the covering we are all shocked to see the street kid with the imprint of a hand burned into his face.

It seems Rosa thought one of us may have burned the hand print into him. But from the the look of shock on all of our faces she seems to realize we had nothing to do with it and relaxes a little. I finally realized that we have been discussing all of this in front of Rosa’s companion. So I ask “Rosa, who is your friend?” She introduces him as Valentino Montesino, a member of the city guard. We explained that was the same mark we saw on the man that was guarding Dante Alighieri in Florence. The mark was on his chest but still much the same burnt hand.

Valentino offers to take us around the city and show us what has been going on lately. Apparently things are really heating up between Cangrande Della Scala and Lord Cavil’s supporters. He also told us that Lord Cavil’s wife and young son seem to be missing but his daughter still resides at the main house. We were all tired and still a bit shocked by the boy so we asked if he could take us tomorrow. He agreed and took his leave.

Rosa told us we were going to have to decide if we wanted to stay here and try to figure out what is going on and perhaps clear our names or move on to another city or even country. She also told us it is not safe to stay with her anymore. I wanted to cry She did say she had a safe place for us for the night but that we may not like it very much. Everyone agreed that we would rather stay here no matter what the accommodations, then try to hide on the streets or at an inn. Inns bring us nothing but trouble anyway. So she led us down a very old staircase which eventually led to our quarters for the night. As I left the narrow stairwell I realized we were in a CRYPT!! I just look around stunned but resigned. Rosa leaves and tells us not to go up the other set of stairs as that leads to the Cavil’s main house. Of course it does!

Ettore seems even more distressed than I am, which is saying a lot. He seems to be a bit off center with the fact we have to spend the night in a crypt. I am a bit surprised by his reaction seeing how he has become as bloodthirsty as Nizar lately.

I find a place to lay down, but sleep does not come right away…

Good Lord, what have I done to deserve this. I was a good little girl, okay maybe not perfect but I listened to my parents, mostly. I don’t think I have done anything bad enough to warrant life on the run and sleeping in crypts. I want my family back. I want to be home in my warm feather bed with mein Vater kissing my forehead as I drift off to sleep

I awoke the next morning with a backache and a sense of hopelessness. I have no idea what we are going to do to get out of this mess. Our only hope is that Antonio comes through for us and we can some how figure out what is going on with the Cavil family. Although I am not sure how that will help us. It seems to me Cavil did all this to make his play against Cangrande and we just were the unwilling patsies that walked into his plan and helped it right along. Then there is Cardinal Durante who wants Dante for writing his book. I am sure they are in league with the devil because the man tracking us is leaving burned hands upon anyone we contact. Oh and let us not forget the matter of the Corvo’s. Are they still after us? Does Donato Dell’Aqui know where we are? If he does would he actually bother to follow us all the way here.

How did I get here?

Ettore seems to have disappeared. Nizar, Dominic, and Fredrich seem to be a bit worried. All I can think about is getting out of this crypt. As we are heading up Ettore comes back down babbling something about a man with a dagger…he seems awfully upset for someone who is in one piece and has not been threatened with any harm. I suppose this is what boys go though when they become men. Sometimes they are tough and sometimes they are still little boys.

We make it back up and Rosa is there to greet us. She has a note addressed to me that came by raven. Before I can even read it Ettore starts rambling again. Maybe the stress of things is starting to get to him. He has certainly been a bit off in the head the last couple of days. Or maybe it’s still the boy, man thing. Is this the man or the boy? He certainly is mad about something that does not concern him.

While Ettore is ranting about the evils of Rosa reading a message addressed to me I pick up the note and read it to myself. The color drains from my face. I read it again, this time out loud and then I notice who it is from and I am elated. “I am dead! I am dead!” I shout as I dance around waving the note. The others give me a curious look and I explain it is from Antonio and he has come through for us. Finally some good news. Maybe we can walk around the city without the big angry Arab giving us away every place we go

Rosa tells us how she intercepted the raven at the inn where we told Antonio to contact us. The innkeeper is dead and he has the same burn mark on him. Outstanding! More trouble and more people dead because of us. How will we ever get out of this mess? Apparently Nizar’s only concern to this news is the well being of the raven that delivered the note. Oh no I hope he’s not cracking up too. Dominic is already a little off and Ettore seems to be in some sort of man/boy struggle. Only Fredrich and I are still holding it together.

Ettore is still blabbering on about the note and seems to think I called him a child. When he acts like this who can blame me. I try and explain what I meant but he just keeps rambling on. I hope he figures out how to be a man soon. This whining is getting tiresome.

It seems Valentino arrived. Thanks goodness now maybe we can focus on something important.

Valentino is going to take us around the city today. He decides the coliseum is the best place to show us what we need to know. Before we can get there we see Cangrande Della Scala coming down the street. I am so frighted I hide behind Fredrich and try to make myself as small as possible. Wait! What are they doing? They are firing at the men attacking Cangrande. Oh my Lord we are all going to jail again. After several deep breaths I manage to summon up the courage to begin playing to help my friends. I try to sing but the words won’t come so I just play. My fingers are shaking so badly I can barely pluck the right cords. I can do this, I can do this After what seems an eternity the battle is over and Valentino is speaking with Cangrande. He actually doesn’t seem to pay any attention to us at all!! It seems Valentino had to assist so the others felt this might buy us some good will with the very scary Cangrande. I am not sure it worked but at least we are not in jail. I will call that a win.

We manage to get the coliseum and Valentino points out many different families and who they are siding with. He also shows us the Cavil house where the Lady Cavil and her son should be staying. They have not been seen in a long time. We decide that we should find out what has happened to her. Perhaps it will help us figure out why Cavil has decided to make a move against Cangrande.

Many different ideas are discussed but the one everyone is leaning toward is breaking in and questioning the servant. Well I know what THAT means. Nizar will kill her once we are done. I just can’t bear the thought of it so I suggest that I dress up and pretend to be a noble from another house. I will knock on the door and ask to see Lady Cavil and then find out what I can. I reassure Nizar that if I fail he can always beat the poor woman to death at a later time.

After squeezing a few silver out of the stingy man I go about making myself look presentable. First order of business, get some clothes that did not come off a street urchin. Next a bath. I found a brothel that offers this service and I spent about an hour getting the grime off me. Then donning my clean garments I went about the real shopping. After 2 shops and 45 minutes of searching I found a beautiful yellow dress. It is simply perfect. They had a matching yellow ribbon for my hair too! Off to the cobblers to find the perfect pair of shoes. Oh the cobblers wife was very helpful in picking just the right ones. They remind me of a pair mein Vater got me on one of his trips. Now some jewelry and a bit of powder for my face. Now to really clean up and get ready. Off to a different brothel this time. I make sure the water hot and scented. Now this is how a bath should be. I sink into the hot tub and this time I pay the servant girls to bathe me. They are very good and soon have me looking and feeling better than I have in months. I pay them to have my hair done and then tip all the girls a little extra keep my visit to themselves. I let it slip that I am going to meet a gentleman and his family would not approve of me.

Feeling fairly confident that no one will be looking for me dressed like this I take the main roads to Lady Cavil’s house. I walk up and knock on the door and wait. I was beginning to think no one was home when the servant answered. I introduced myself as Delicia Della Torre and asked to speak to Lady Cavil. She seemed to have a nervousness about her when she was telling me that the Lady and her son had left town to travel abroad and would not be returning soon. As I peered into the house beyond the woman, I noticed some oddities. The house was sparsely furnished and very dusty. There were no candles about the place to light the way in the dark. It felt as if the only one living there was this servant woman.

I reported what I found out to the others and Nizar seemed to feel as if the woman knew more than she was telling. I am not very good at sensing these things so I can’t say for sure. I just no she seemed nervous. We still were not sure how to proceed so we decided to go talk to Antonio that evening to thank him and pay him the rest of his money. We found him without incident and I made the final payment to him. I told him we might be willing to pay for any useful information about the Cavil’s or specifically the daughter or the wife and son.

We are left with deciding our next step.


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