"By Bow, Blade & Staff"
An AD&D online campaign set in the Daleland region
of the Forgotten Realms. This campaign's start date is to be announced. The game will be held in an AD&D channel on mIrc or in one of the gaming chatrooms at the AD&D websight at TSR. Just go to Community and then Chat and create a chatroom account.
An unlikely company of friends, banded together in the Daleland region of Faerun on a sphere Known as Aber-Toril in Realmspace. These stalwart souls patroled the Cormanthor forest and answered the call for aide for commoner and landed gentry alike. These men and women were once children raised from Cormyr, the Dalelands and the Dragoncoast area. As children they reveled in the myths and stories of heroic adventurers told by the wandering Bards at countless Inns and Taverns. So when they came of age, swords and packs were grabbed with hard earned coin and they went forth to add their names to the ballads of the Bards. Or at least this is what they aspire for, since this is the beginning of their tale.
You walk north along Rauthauvyr's Road and are amazed at how quickly your few hard earned coins seem to be disappearing. You spent only one night in "The Watchful Eye Inn", in Essembra in Battledale, and were amazed at the cost of those austere lodgings. You started north along the road once again by early daybreak this morning and find dusk only a few hours away. Ahead in the distance you see an immense worn pillar of rock towering over the treetops off to the right side of the road. You estimate it to be at least an hour or two away. You remember hearing of "The Standing Stone" from the many travellers at the Inn last night and know it marks the Eastern limit of the Riders of Mistledales patrol. It also heralds where "The Moonsea Ride" intersects with "Rauthauvyr's Road" heading roughly North East. You hike your pack further up onto your shoulders, to take the strain off the middle of your back and bend your head low. With iron determination you walk on, hoping to find an Inn along the way for this evenings rest.
By luck or by shear determination, you make it to "The Standing Stone" a half hour before nightfall. As you approach the stone, you hear the muffled sound of horses coming from the direction of "The Moonsea Ride". Cautiously, you move over towards the stone and creep around its base hopefully shielding your body somewhat from searching eyes. Finally, you see the silhouettes of eight mounted riders standing in a group in the center of "The Moonsea Ride Road". They are whispering closely together. You feel your breathing stop and you swallow, hoping to become part of the stone. As you watch them, you think to yourself, "Great, my first two days away from home, looking for adventure and already I am over my head." All of a sudden, one of the horseman breaks free from the group and gallops up to the stone, directly where you are standing. You step back, startled, and fumble for your weapon feebly.
"Ho there Traveller! Sheath your weapon, friend. We are Riders of Mistledale, taking a break from patrol, soon we will be heading back towards Mistledale. Perhaps you are in need of a lift?"
You feel the air escape your lungs in a sudden woosh and feel the muscles loosen in your back, as you realize you are safe. You explain to him that you are heading East from here and ask if there are any Inns or Taverns nearby. He tells you that in another two hours you will see a small wagon-road called "Darthon's Crossing Road", heading north deeper into the forest from "The Moonsea Ride Road". He tells you to follow that road for approximately a half hour and you will come to a small town called "Darthon's Watch" with a decent Inn there. You quickly say your goodbyes and start off east along "The Moonsea Ride".
About two hours later, you see a small road heading straight North on the left side of the loamy dirt roadway. As you approach the road, you can see two waist high weather rounded stones flanking either side of the roadway entrance. They both look to be extremely heavy and nearly five foot in diameter. Deeply engraved on the left hand stone in the common tongue, "Thorass" are the words "Darthon's Crossing". And engraved on the right hand stone are the elder elvish trail runes for "Ullathar: Safe Passage" and "Retniw: Camping Place". You also see two other runes, unknown to you, along with the religious symbol for Mielikki, Chauntea and Lathander. You quickly go through your pack and find your copy of "Volo's Travel Guide to Common Trail Blaizes & Markings" and thumb through the pages. You find that one of the unknown runes is a Dethek, Dwarven Rune, for "Safe Place" and the other is a harper rune for "Safe Haven". You think to yourself that this bodes well and start heading North along "Darthon's Crossing Road".
You walk Northward in almost complete darkness, but can see the small road and the nearby trees quite well. You walk for about fifteen minutes when you notice a small game trail crosses the road in front of you heading roughly East and West. On a hunch you look around and sure enough you find, on the left side of the road, a ranger trail rune for "Safe Campsite" carved into one of the trees hidden from the road along the game trail. For a second, you think about heading to the campsite, but quickly change your mind for the prospects of a bed further on.
You walk along the trail silently, deep in thought. Your mind revels over the stories of heros and adventurers you have heard countless Bards sing of, at home in the local taverns. You wonder if they started off just like you or did they have some grander plan. All you know, is Hillsfar is further North East from here and countless dangers and fortunes must lay between here and there. I just have to be patient. You are quickly startled from your thoughts, when a loud voice bellows from out of the darkness ahead and above you.
"Stand to Traveller! You be entering the town of Darthon's Watch, what business do ye have here?" You look up into the darkness and can see the dark outline of two wooden Guard Towers flanking the roadway, with men atop. "I am travelling North along the Moonsea Ride, darkness came quickly and I saw the stone markers pointing to this town. I seek a bed and hopefully a cold Ale in your towns Inn." The Guardsmen begin speaking amongst themselves and in a few seconds you here a wooden door creak open. A handsome middle aged woman, with dark hair, wearing chainmail and carrying a spear with a longsword at her side approaches you. "Well traveller, you certainly don't seem to be the kind to cause trouble. Just mind your tongue with our townfolk, pay up promptly for services rendered and don't cause any trouble and you will enjoy your stay. We have already had a few wierd happenings going around here already. Just follow this road on around to the north and it will turn heading back to the East. In a few minutes you will see the lights of the Inn up ahead. Well get ye going." You head off in the direction she indicated and find yourself passing many small farms and small homes hidden amongst the numerous trees. Along the left side of the road is a dense grove of great trees and smaller trees of Yew, Alder, Ash, Pine and numerous other varieties. You pass by a small stone pathway heading off to your left deeper into the grove. A small section of waist high fence, made from thick oaken boles, stands guard to either sides of the grove entrance. A large wooden plaque, made from a four foot section of split oak, is mounted on the left hand side fence. Burned into it in Common is "Moon Dancers Grove, Visitors Stay Away!". You continue on and in a few minutes you spy the Inn up ahead on the right side of the roadway.
In the darkness, you can see golden light spilling out onto the hardpacked earthen roadway from many windows of the Inn. You see a large half wooden and stone building, with two large chimneys on either end with sturdy red shingles covering the roof, up ahead next to the roadway. The planks are well worn but definently cared for. You see a large painted sign swinging over the entrance to the Inn. A dark skinned silver haired Maiden with her back turned to a Dragon. Written in common above the paiting is "Maiden's Folly". You hope it is a well stocked Inn , for the road from home has been a long and perilous one.
You step up on the front porch and instantly smell the scents of baking bread and dry ale soaked timbers from within and hear the sounds of laughter over the constant din of voices. You hear the lovely sound of a Lute being strummed by a talented hand. Your belly rumbles it's silent approval as you step through the swinging double doors. You are surprised by the well furnished interior. A long bar lines one side of the taproom flanking the kitchens and sturdy wooden tables and chairs of all sizes and shape are set all throughout the room. At quite a few tables you see the landed gentry type, merchants and farmers eating along beside one another in relative comfort in the same establishment. As if it were common as day.
In the far corner around a large round table you see an odd assortment of people eating and reveling together: A male dwarf in chaimail with a large axe; a male elven warrior wearing a blue cloak with a bow in hand and a longsword at his waist; a female elven mage in emerald green robes holding a staff; a female elven ranger in leathers with a bow; a priest of Lathander in rosy red and yellow robes; a human male in field plate armor wearing a rosy red half robe concealing his bastard sword at his hip; a hafling male sitting on the table and a half Elf in flowing finery wearing an elegant longsword and strumming a nicely crafted lute. They are the loudest group in the taproom and the flurry of maids to their table with talltankards and food probably means they just started their revelry. The bard with them seems to be making up a song as he sings, putting each one of them in the story and they roar with laughter as each one of them are named.
As you look at the party at the table, the dwarf looks up at you and stares hard and long in your direction. In seconds you size each other up and dismiss the need to cause trouble in such a nice establishment. Nodding to each other, you make your way to a corner booth and sit, so you can watch the band of adventurers. A few seconds later a young bar maid appears at your table. "What's your pleasure, Milord/lady?" she asks. "I am new here and don't know whats on the menu, please suggest something." you reply. She looks at you and says "Thats easy. One Trencher and a talltankard of Darthon's Dark Ale coming up." As she turns to head towards the kitchen, you reach out and grab her wrist. "Whats up with the party in the corner over there?" you ask. "Why you don't know, they're adventurers like yourself. I saw you come in with that swagger and no farmer wears a sword like he was born with it. That party over there is boasting of coming away from the "Lost Caves" outside of town with quite a bit of treasure." You release her hand and she scurrys on to the kitchens.
A few minutes later, you see your maid walk over to the group of adventurers and whisper something in the dwarfs ear. The dwarf silences everyone at the table and they bend their heads close and begin to talk. One by one you see each one of them nod their heads as if consenting to something. The Dwarf then pushes back his chair, stands up and stomps over to where you're sitting. "Ho there traveller!, I 'eres ya be an adventurer. No needs ta anser dat, I kin see dat ye are. Well we be a swordarm short after our last adventure and if ya be lookin fer sum comp'ny for adventure and trus'worty ones who'd be watchin yer backside ina fight, com join us at dat table o'er der." With that he turns and heads back to his table and draws up an extra seat for you.
Will you go join up with this merry band of friends or sit at your table alone with your grub? You decide, but do it quick...Death waits for no one....
If after reading these pages, you decide you
would like to join "The Carefree Swords". Please send an electronic scroll to DM_Agenor. be sure to tell me which character in "The Carefree Swords" you would be interested in playing or tell me what race/class you would like to play. Also let me know why you think I should pick you over another to join this Company of friends and how much of a commitment you can make to playing once a week for 3 to 4 hours.
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