Keeping the peace

Gangrim's Death
"Gone are the Great"

Gangrim’s Last Will & Testament

Well I don’t see this as being necessary but my lawyers insist, now that I’m a lord that I make a will in the case that life ceases within me. The thing is that the Grim’s kind of worshipped an old dwarven God of death and that means we can’t be reincarnated because of some pact we did, way back, that infects the blood or some such. In any case I don’t believe in this stuff but I’ll write something down it’s not like I’m as dumb as the rest of my clan who died out because of their love for aquatic beasts.

Firstly in regards for my body and possessions:

My remains are to be buried in the crypt under my keep and then to be enchanted by the circle of mages I created (all possible sorts of nasty stuff you guys can think of would be great) so that there will be no grave robbery.

Possessions are to be cursed to cripple the user by reducing all attributes to zero while holding the weapon or wearing my armour.

My crypt is to be heavily defended by complex puzzles, magical traps, mythical creatures and my pet snuffles (though he may die with me).

Now onto my lands, wealth & Independent organisations:

My lands will be handed over to the Earl of Ashridge in hopes that he can lead the region to stability in these troubling times. All forces are to be incorporated into the existing armies of the Earl with the goal to defend our lands as a whole.

The great forge will continue its work with funding from the “Grim Times” foundation which will receive all of my worldly wealth. This also applies to those who study at the circle of magi they are free to remain and study but will now be under the observation of the arcane university in Ashridge and subject to their rules and regulations.

The specialist combat units such as the APU core and The Grim Reaper Rangers are free to become Mercenary units or adventuring bands and are not bound to defend Ashridge or its neighbours, you are free men not of this land and do not need to subjugate yourselves to it. However this place has been good to me over the last few years and I feel I have made a difference in the lives of many, particularly the poor. And if you can see that place has the potential to change good men into the great, like many before me, defend it, so that others may have at least the opportunity.

Other:

You know who you are, be good if you can’t be that, be decent, if not that be frugal and if you can’t please refer to section below.

Nightstalkers:

Kill those who are too evil, not petty evil, just when people take it too far don’t be afraid to just go nuts.

Lastly if I am the last Grim to die and it happens in a tomb of my people, you know that curse I told you about earlier? Well there is a good chance I’ll be reborn as an evil elder God, but what’s the chances of that happening?

Signed Lord Gangrim Flameheart, The Troll Hunter, The Dragon Slayer, King of Beasts, Defender of the People, Defender of Ashridge Port, Saviour of Travellers on the road, Hero of Ashridge, Victor of the battle of Awesome: 1 Midnight Kingdom: nil, Lover of Small Animals, two times Pub Crawl Champion and leader of associated clubs, loving father of three, captain of the “Almost At Retirement”.

PS Jimble is not to get anything of mine, EVER, he’s the type of guy to piss on your ancestors, he will not get anything. In fact my entire military might is herby ordered on my death to annililate his esistance if he takes a single copper.

PPS If Mc’Cloud ever comes back from that portal tell him I said hi.

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Gangrim’s Journal Vol 3 – Dealing with Evil
I Fought the Law and the Law Won

Day 1

Admittedly setting a defenceless, small screaming sentient creature on fire and using it as a projectile might be perceived as evil but I was low on ammo at the time. And sending the goblin army after Neko might have been a little childish but he set me on fire! I see now the disadvantages of travelling with a paladin as they go all “Righteous Fury” on your ass .I now have the Pope wagon after me as I managed to sneak out of the cave while the two of them were bickering. I’m guessing that warhorse will catch me and pony soon my best bet is to head for the forest near Ashridge.

Day 2

Not looking good I saw a giant head on the horizon so Mc Cloud is only a few hours behind me. Pony and I have bonded through this whole experience, its good to know I have a true friend that will stay by me through thick and thin.

Day 3

PPPPPOOOOONNNNYYY NNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Day 4

In jail, got Mc Cloud in trouble for racism, back soon got shit to do.

Day 5

Out of jail operation Vengeful Pony in effect.

Stage 1

Build power base among the poor of Ashridge. (Done)
Find Investors for evil empire. (Working on it)
Build Arms Factory and Doom Fortress. (Skeletor is giving me estimates)

Stage 2

Remove existing criminal infrastructure.
Secure puppet government in Ashridge.
Rally Army and move to take the throne of Ulol Rovol.

Stage 3

Unify Neutral Zone!

P.S.
Don’t forget to get some cake and crispy kobold for Marla’s Birthday Party next week.

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A Long Time Coming (Part 1)

We last left our band of adventurers in the go-to seedy bar “The River Rat” discussing what to do next. Since taking on large quantities of orcs or undead didn’t appeal to anyone it was decided they would first investigate the mountain mine to the north, which according to what they had already learned was currently filled with enslaved Kobold.
This decision was further pressed when Lord Farnsworth asked them to check up on the mining town as they hadn’t heard or received anything from them in a while and with the possibility of a battle, low resources could mean doom for Asheridge. So after buying appropriate mounts Gangrim , McCloud and Neko set off in the name of money, justice and shiny things respectively. Fred the orc had decided to continue his search for his fellow clansmen and the battle mage had for now found less dangerous work.
Just as they reach the mountain track however they were confronted by a bandit who, not one to break tradition, asked for all their money. The group refused and was met with the prospect of many arrows in their direction and so battle commenced. The first to go was the ‘speaker’ who was struck by a fatal blow from McCloud cleaving his head in two, Neko used a large boulder for cover while letting loose some throwing daggers and Gangrim, a ranger by nature, dived to the forest for the many advantages it would give him. The fight did not last long as from the cover of the forest Gangrim took down many of the bowmen and the rest, save one, were confronted by blades of various sizes.
The last one ran off to gods know where and our trio continued on to the town. They reached the town to find nothing but cold and silence. Upon further searching they found the townsfolk were keeping indoors to avoid the wrath of both the now bandits and the strange creatures in the mine. After consoling the townspeople and Gangrim accepting a job to discover the fate of a bar women husband they set off up the pass to the mine. The weather and altitude were not kind however and a blizzard soon began to descend on them making the going tricky.
This was further complicated by Gangrim deciding to go and explore on his own. After almost getting lost in a snow storm the three managed to make it to the entrance to the mine and what they saw was not pleasant, the small bonnie reptilian creatures that were the kobold, covered in dirt and grime being hounded constantly by the whips and high pitch screeches of a few goblins. For what was a first for these adventurers they tried to talk there way instead of cleaving and it worked.
Under the guise of members of the mercenary band they went through the cave to see what they could find, unfortunately McClouds bad habit of goodness before common sense kicked in when he tried to reassure some kobold, for once though it did not back fire and they continued through the cave. Eventually they reached a large chamber occupied by a few kobolds, one smug goblin and one troll.
The goblin being the trolls handler and therefore on a power trip was not as easily fooled and called the troll to attack them. The goblin had forgotten however that trolls are slow in both brain and speed and so the goblin was dead before the troll laws even in striking distance. Once the troll was closer however things got desperate very quickly.
McCloud was the first to get hit with no option but go within melee distance which earned him a critical blow the chest calving through his breastplate, Neko was next when an attempt sneak attack failed to pierce its hide and he too took a heavy blow. Gangrim, who had been attacking from a distance decided that this called for a plan and tried to exploit the trolls stupidity. He persuaded a kobold to wear the dead goblin handlers clothes and threatening to kill his friend (again) if it didn’t stop.
Unfortunately the troll saw through Gangrim’s rouse. It was then that they found in a dark corner of the room a barrel of oil presumably used for lighting fires for cooking. McCloud tried to go at the troll again, this time with a sword covered in burning oil. Damage was done but mostly to McCloud. In a moment of desperation Gangrim came up with what, to date, has been his worst plan ever. He took the kobold, tied it to a javelin, dunked it in the oil and set it on fire and threw it at the troll.
As well as being an act of severe cruelty he also missed making it a pointless act of cruelty. McCloud stared in horror as the kobold was burnt alive Neko of course just thought it was funny. It did however provide a source from which Gangrim could set his various projectiles on fire which was something at least. Neko feeling left out felt he should do something with the oil and decided it would be a good idea to cover the troll in oil and set it on fire.
So he and McCloud combine there strength and hurled the barrel at the troll, but they botched it and got Gangrim instead who was then set on fire by the near by remains of the kobold. His beard burning away by the second Gangrim became a walking +1 fire weapon of fury. He hurled himself at the troll, clambered onto its shoulders and cleaved its skull in two. After which he dropped to the ground and rolled around yelling trying to put the fire out.
The troll was dead and all was quite but there was an added red glow to the room. Gangrim’s actions had earned him a light evil aura and so things suddenly became very complicated.

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Gangrim's Journal Vol 2
Bad Luck Leads to Bad Decisions

Nothing like a good bar fight to get the blood pumping and set thine enemies flowing.
As I write this I am currently recovering from a serious beating from some thugs that bastard trader hired. In retrospect maybe he should have spent more on the caravan than his private security, not that it helped him in the long run.
Before I get into that I should probably start off with how I got into that particular situation. I was escorting the survivors of the caravan attack to the city of Ashridge with the recon team of the would be lord of the area. When we got within sight of the city two Goblins charged the paladin and… embraced him. Needless to say I thought these mad little creatures should have been put out of their misery but the goodie-two-shoes actually shielded them from me. I could hardly believe my eyes; he said something about redeeming them, personally I think they’ll probably slit his throat when he goes to sleep. Trying to redeem a Goblin would be like putting a paedophile in charge of a school for Halflings.
Anyway, after an unsuccessful episode of pest control we continued towards Ashridge to be greeted by the cheers of the entire city, it didn’t seem to make sense that these people would be so excited to know that a few people survived the caravan attack. It turned out that they welcomed back their army from butchering my kinsmen of ulol rovol, so when I saw their commander I slowly loaded my crossbow. With my blood boiling at the news of so many dwarves being killed I didn’t seem to notice several guards motioning towards me. Luckily Mc Cloud (the paladin) managed to pull me away from the scene while the butcher made a speech to his sheep.
Needless to say I wasn’t in a good mood while we made our way with the wounded towards the temple. While the paladin went to see if he could return a priest’s robes to a nearby cleric, while I tried to bargain with those, whose very lives I saved, to see if they could reward me in some way. Unfortunately as I was about open my mouth my belt buckle decided to introduce my bottom half to the public. This did not seem to aid me in convincing them so in a moment of divine inspiration I thought I could pull down my remaining undergarments and shock them into silence. At that exact moment the gods chose to cast a cool gale between my legs reducing my dwarven hammer to something only a gnome could be proud of.
Fleeing from the roomful of people now collapsing in laughter I went in search of my contractor, my hope was that I could get something good out of the trip. When I found the arranged meeting place to be a seedy bar on the edge of town I was glad to see that the Orc from the recon team was heading in as well. I went straight for the booth where the merchant waited only noting two things about the bar, it was full of lowlifes and the owner was another Dwarf. I stood by the entrance to the booth and requested my payment plus hazard pay for rescuing his people. I was promised two hundred and fifty pieces of gold for the initial escort job and the average cost for hazard pay is the same again. But instead of the five hundred gold pieces I expected he offered fifty, just fifty. Realising he was going to stiff me, I drew my crossbow to help persuade him to see what a valuable employ I had been. As soon as I did this several men nearby stood up and drew long-swords and the owner began to bar the exit, when the bolt slammed into the wall every eye in the bar turned to our booth. I shouted to the owner hoping he would lend me a hand but he simply shook his head and went back behind the bar. Seeing that I was trapped and in serious risk of getting the beard beaten off me I loused two bolts into the merchant’s chest, drew my great-axe to face the crowd of thugs. I didn’t realise how many of them stood at first but within a few moments I was surrounded and taking a serious beating. I struck at one of them wildly but was rapidly being overwhelmed and forced into the booth. At the moment when my confidence was leaving me the Orc came to my aid and in a terrifying rage he killed two thugs that rushed him. With that I managed to regain my stance and with the help of the barbarian dispatched two of the three remaining thugs. The bar slowly began to murmur again and several more thugs moved towards the booth where I, Fred and the one remaining guard waited. I turned to face the guard who had dropped his sword and was backing into a corner and said “No witnesses…” while decapitating him. I turned grabbed the trader’s substantial purse and jumped through a nearby window hoping to make a dramatic exit.
Now at this point I was feeling like quiet the badass after all I had taken out more than half a dozen armed men and escaped without losing a considerable amount of blood. But as I looked around and saw that I was in fact falling into a river I remembered that I was having a string of bad luck today. It didn’t change when I reached the water as I was wearing a mail shirt that promptly decided to try and drown me. As my head sank beneath the water I began to wonder if my life was some sort of comic relief for the gods.
Thankfully the Orc pulled me back into the bar and to my astonishment the patrons had completely cleaned the scene, bodies and blood included. I promptly made my way over to the owner and made a sizable investment to his fine establishment and thanked him for the service. When I got outside it dawned on me that I had just embarrassed myself in front of the temple district and the riverside and it might be a good idea to hightail it outta town. I quickly made my way to the trade district and sold the wares I had found in the goblin cave but after a short while the extent of my injuries became frighteningly apparent to me. I decided the best place to stay was the riverside inn I had invested in. When I got there the paladin and his team were leaving to go report to the mayor about the forces massing against his town. The paladin told me to stay at the inn as he had questions for me; little did he know I couldn’t leave even if I wanted to. I also stopped the Orc and gave him a large bag of gold and begrudging thanks.
I went in and asked for a room noting two particular people in the bar; a battlemage who was one of the caravan guards and a woman with white hair sitting quietly by herself in a booth. Both of which would not be usual patrons in such an area, there is something more going on here and when I find out I’ll show everyone that I totally called it. I went straight into my room, barricaded the door with the bed and wardrobe and rolled out my healer’s kit; bound the cuts and placed salves on my many bruises, then went to sleep. I awoke to find the paladin banging on my door; he had a bag of money and a stern warning about unnecessary violence and killing. He had a strange golden glow in his eyes while I recounted what had happened, which I found very surprising as in my opinion I had been given the shaft by a greedy merchant, taken what was rightfully mine and the rest was self defense… sort of. Maybe you could see it as mass murder but it was a picnic to what I’ve seen in the rest of the neutral zone.
We came downstairs to find the rest of my new group sitting around a table with a map, it looked like a small war meeting and I’m beginning to wonder what I’m getting into. Clearing out a cave of goblins is one thing but being part of a strike force for a major power wasn’t really what I signed up for. Pointless to complain as I owe these people now, the Orc saved my life and the paladin didn’t throw me into the stockades. So it looks like we had a choice between a necromancer filled graveyard, an army of Orcs or a mountain full of Kobolds. I also waved over the elfin battlemage since he probably would be looking for new employment. Looks like we are going to have to wait though, our cat person has to prowl around town for a few days and help with some sort of rodent problem.

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Gangrim's Journal
People don't understand when to duck.

That caravan I joined got attacked predictably, I did tell them not to go into the spooky forest (failed diplomacy check with now dead merc captain). Well I was on top of one of the caravans with my crossbow loaded while the rest broadcasted our position singing merrily along, I picked up on the foul smell of Orcs in the trees but it was too late, arrows pretty much crushed our fighting force before any resistance could be mounted. I found myself standing back to back with the captain and to his credit he held his own till a goblin shaman took him off guard. With him dead his men legged it, humans and elves what can I say, unfortunately that left me at a disadvantage so I threw a javelin that took the shaman in the shoulder and followed them away from the battle.
Annoyed that I lost my javelin, was in the company of cowards and unlikely to get paid this week I went back to the battleground to see if I could pick off a few scavengers. When I got there I found tracks indicating that some survivors were taken, mainly women or men with small feet. When I told the surviving mercs they said I, and I alone, should go find the enemy base, kill everyone inside and take the hostages out and escort them back to town. I hate people.
Since I didn’t want to leave defenceless women to the mercy of Orcs and goblins, that and it’s got to count towards hazard pay I went looking for trouble. It wasn’t long before I found some tracks and followed them to a cave. This is where things got strange.
I heard a massive explosion and ran inside to see flambéed goblins and a pair of fighters and one blabbering Orc in the corner fighting to hold a doorway which was rapidly spawning rather large goblins. This spooky looking pretty-boy screamed for help so I shot a few bolts into the doorway but these guys didn’t seem to realise you can’t get a clear shot if you have someone you’re “not” trying to hit in the way. The fighters seemed to be doing well enough and I only had to take down one or two goblins that slipped past them. The Orc seemed to come to his senses and promptly cut a goblin in two. This seemed to dishearten them as they fled back the way they came but then one said something about my mother, needless to say that meant his head is now being used as a lantern as I write this.
The fighters ran on after the last goblin as I continued through the cave, they caught up with me when I found the stolen caravan goods, we proceeded to grab as much as we could carry, I even found some new javelins.
When I turned around the pretty-boy and the cat transvestite had disappeared down a tunnel so I thought I would leave them to their love making, each to their own after all. I moved on ahead into a bigger chamber, looked like crappy dwarven work which means it probably was gnomes. I turned around to see the Orc following me but after a few racist slurs we went our separate ways.
So much for the help, I bump into the most random love triangle in existence and still no sign of the civs. Well don’t worry it got even better; the next chamber I found turned out to be a host to a goblin city. I toyed with the idea of bringing the roof down on their heads but I didn’t have my trebuchet handy. That being said there didn’t seem to anyone at all down there.
The two love birds caught up with me while I was preparing to climb down to the camp and the pretty-boy told me he was a paladin doing a scouting mission for Ashridge. Something about the build up of some force of evil that he had to smite, I told him if he helped me get the civs outta here I’d help you get your intel. The furry lookin girl told me to look over the edge cause there was some beer or something but if I trusted every girl who told me there was beer over a cliff, I would have fallen down more cliffs. The paladin found the civs and a goblin map showing the positions of enemy build ups but the real surprise was looking over the edge to see a flaming ice dragon and the leaders of this would be army having a chat about a whole lot of stuff I didn’t understand. Something about a weapon or training to be completed in a month. Needless to say we legged it outta there asap. Looks like this area is going to become a warzone soon, I should get my pay and get the hell outta here.
Interesting note the furry chick is something called an Arasi.
A half-elf fucked a cat… who knew?

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A Fuzzy Recap

WARNING-RATHER LONG

So firstly the goblin did not die, that didn’t happen also the wizard asked them to retrieve a magic orb not a dragon but the info from the goblin was still regarding a dragon. The quest for the orb wasn’t to strenuous until for some reason the paladin tried to pull an Indiana Jones on the orb, instead of letting the rouge do it, thus triggering a water trap. The rouge got out fine however the half-plated paladin ended up with a lung full before managing to get out. The orb was returned and they got paid. So the little information they had on the goblins was relayed to the mayor and our mismatched pair went about their business in town. Which for the thief was pick pocketing and being accidentally exposed by a stupid but friendly orc, he had a piece of paper to prove it and every thing, which in turn attracted the attention of McCloud who heard the words orc and stealing and rush sword drawn to the market whilst in the middle of sweeping the temple. Once there however he learned that the orc’s apparent nature and his reasons for travailing. The orc who according to the paper is called Fred, had been part of one of the newer ‘honorable’ orc clans and had returned from travailing to find the camp deserted so he set of in search of answers the best he could. McCloud decided that there was a good chance that this was somehow to do with the increased activity in the area, and if not then it wouldn’t hurt to have the orc around for added muscle and to keep an eye on just in case. Mean while Neko had fled to his hideaway which apparently was not hidden away enough as there he was approached by members of the thieves guild who did not like a freelance thief operating on there turf and ‘requested’ he join so that he could make use of all the ‘benefits’ that entailed. The new trio met up and went for more work which again came from the wacky wizard Wesley who gave them a shopping list of artifacts, after failing to find anything useful in what the wizard guild passed for a library they enlisted the help of a helpful (by wizard standards), and as a bonus attractive female, wizard who would do the research for them for a ‘modest’ fee. Then came some stuff with a crashing airship, another goblin fight and an escaped fire elemental. Then shortly after they got a job guarding a caravan for the most wealthy business man on the neutral zone. Who apparently called it right when hiring more guards as they were indeed attacked by a band of goblins and orcs. Now while orcs and goblins working together is strange enough Fred recognized an emblem on one of the orcs as that of his uncle’s clan, another honorable tribe. All became clear though as after the battle another goblin minion and all the useful information he had was acquired. There was an army being gathered, made up of at least all the goblins and orcs in the region and any who did not co-operate where force into it by threats from the white dragon ‘Coldsnap’ and his half brother Yo’Gaarth, a half goblin half dragon. After this they finished the route which turned out to be pointless as the town from which they were gathering goods, including airship parts, had been burnt to the ground. They returned to town and quickly re-laid this new information to the mayor who gave them a reconnaissance mission to the goblin hideout to try and ascertain what they were up against. Some other things happened before or after this, a check in with Jessica Jones on the research where they gained info on one of the items and McCloud either threw stupidity or embarrassment failed to deal with the flirty mage. McCloud also met the draconian Paladin of the silver claw Brother Joseph. So they were finally of to the base of this gathering horde. Things went ok at first nothing but simple goblins who only proved a problem due to a spot of bad luck. Revenge was gain (and some sanity lost) when our ‘heroes’ used some barrels of strong liquor to blow up the last goblin who had barricaded himself in a room. Sanity checks were made with no help from Neko who went around slapping the others with a crispy splintered goblin hand. When the trio went to investigate the next part of the dungeon on this ‘information gathering’ mission they were met with a large group of goblins, and not your average goblins. They were better, stronger, faster but thankfully not much brighter as they were bottlenecked and a second barrel of drinkable paint stripper was rolled and then punted by Fred into the front one, covering him in the booze and in turn setting him on fire. So more sanity checks had to be made leaving Fred in a temporary state of gibbering with the other two in a tight spot. Queue new arrivals and thank god a new scribe for these recounts.

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A Foggy Recap

It started with two adventures: one a paladin, the other a thief so from the start there were some issues. They were hired to find and rescue a nobleman’s daughter, upon the way they discovered the carriage she had been in, there was much gore to be found. There were some goblins who reluctantly gave advice as the kidnappers, some orcs, were not on good terms with them. They bluffed there way in (despite killing a guard) and after some diplomacy were about to walk out with the girl when in an attempt to reassure the girl the paladin whispered his true intensions regarding the evil scum. Unfortunately the evil scum had good ears and battling ensued. There was much death and gore unfortunately not just for the bad guys. But the two managed to pull out a victory and rescued not just the girl but all the kidnapped women. During the journey back it was discovered that the nobleman’s daughter had failed her sanity check while being kidnapped and raped and so was now a mute. She was returned our heroes were paid and they went off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of…. whatever town they were in. he hired them to retrieve a dragon, I think, they accepted and went of again. Somehow they ‘acquired’ a goblin informant who told them the location of the dragon, inside the goblin cave settlement.

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