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Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Manon's Journal
« Last post by Fiverine on April 21, 2024, 09:39:01 am »
Zephor contacted me to let me know he and his group were assembling in Laketown and I could meet them there for an outing.  I had lots of family matters I had been directed to attend to, so naturally I skipped those and went to Laketown.  I was expecting just him and Lezkin but was a little alarmed when he had two other companions.  A mage of few words who kept his helmet on at all times, and a kobold who proudly said he was "Zephor's first disciple".  They were seeking a tree by Lake Vyctoria and wanted me to come along for reasons that still escape me.  My initial thought was they wanted a human along to negotiate but it became quickly apparent they weren't terribly interested in much I had to offer.  Oddly enough the addled lizardman Lezkin was the only one who had anything resembling a normal conversation with me.  He's a bit witless but easily the nicest one of the lot and even asked if I'd had any luck finding Nael yet.  I thought Zephor seemed a decent leader until later events showed him to be disturbingly unstable. 

I accompanied this motley group on a rowboat trip across the lake where we arrived at a neighbouring estate owned by commoners.  I didn't know them, and the guards had barricaded our path and ignored our hails.  We found a cave opening hidden nearby and entered.  My thought was we were bypassing the estate though Zephor told us he expected danger, so we all went in fully armed and prepared.  We emerged in the basement of a building and were attacked by human guards.  In the chaos we slew them all but one, and in the interrogation I learned that this estate belonged to another half-dragon, a silver. one.  Our party seemed surprised at this development, but Zephor's comrades were also delighted by the possibility of their leader meeting a lady half-dragon. 

We fought our way through more rooms.  Diplomacy was of little use for we were invaders.  Eventually we confronted the lady of the estate, a silver half-dragon named Argentia.  Things seemed calm if a little strained at first.  Zephor said the entire matter was a misunderstanding and he merely wanted information.  Some gibberish about apotheosis for his friends.  Lezkin then accused her of committing some massacre.  Things turned even darker when someone mentioned the word "hoard".  This changed Zephor's mood completely.  He seemed consumed by greed and rage and a fight broke out.  I wasn't sure what to do at first but Argentia was powerful and I feared what might happen if she was victorious.  So I stepped in and joined my scaly allies and Kozah willed that it was my blow that felled the woman. 

The rest of them lost all control then.  They began frantically searching the manor for this hoard of Argentia's, even as more guards stumbled upon us.  In the chaos I was separated and forced to fight some of the guards alone.  They were not impressive warriors but there were a lot of them.  Fortunately I stumbled out of the estate alive and joined the rest of them.  They were ecstatic.  They'd found treasure and even more they'd claimed the estate for their own.  The wizard paid me an insultingly small share of the coins of their plunder, but they did allow me to keep a nice pair of boots from the hoard.  Then the group then split up and departed.  I headed home, confused and a little worried. 

Zephor and his friends, assuming they are able to retain control Argentia's estate, are now my family's neighbours.  It is fortunate that I seem to be on good terms with them, but I highly doubt my parents will be pleased by this development.  I fear too that I was manipulated into being a part of their raid on the estate.  Was it all a misunderstanding or did they go in there intent on murdering that creature and stealing its home?  I honestly didn't want to kill that half-dragon woman, but my newfound allies are unpredictable and don't listen to me.  First though I must find a way to tell father about this that doesn't make me sound gullible or incompetent.  I'd rather let him assume (as usual) that I am those things than have it immediately obvious from my words. 
General Discussion / Re: Small Pleasures in NWN
« Last post by Leyoz on April 17, 2024, 10:02:03 am »
I guess that level up ping counts as a big pleasure.
General Discussion / Small Pleasures in NWN
« Last post by Fiverine on April 17, 2024, 07:10:03 am »
Here are a few of mine.  Feel free to add yours!

When my opponent drinks a healing potion and my attack of opportunity is a critical hit

When I pass the spot the arch-rival of my previous PC died at

When an undead monster drinks a healing potion

The death animation of giant frogs

When an enemy mage casts magic missile and I've got shield or blur up
Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Manon's Journal
« Last post by Fiverine on April 14, 2024, 08:57:13 am »
I stayed in Laketown Hamlet a few days waiting for the next ogre movements.  It started with another rain of boulders from the hills upon the farmlands, and an ominous shaking of the earth.  Hastily I donned my armour and rushed to the scene.  None of the Laketown guards followed me, insisting they needed to protect the town.  The farmers were both relieved and surprised to see Lord Sadardiel had apparently sent one of his own children to the scene. 

Then it was my turn to be surprised when two saurian creatures arrived behind me.  For one awful moment I thought they were part of the attack but in fact they had heard the ruckus and come to aid the farmers.  One was clearly draconic in origin, and called himself Zephor.  I had never met such a being before and had in fact thought them to be legendary.  He seemed cultured and friendly, though had the greedy gleam in his eyes I had been told the draconic possess.  His companion was Lezkin, a sadly addled lizardfolk who was adamant that he is a half-dragon too.  Lezkin was a less comforting ally, being crude and incapable of being silent for any length of time.  But without them I would be venturing alone, so I accompanied them into the farmlands. 

The ogres were atop the hill as expected and quickly fell bloodily to our assault.  I spotted the mine entrance they had used to reach the hilltop and we followed their trail in and confronted a much larger band of ogres.  This battle was much closer fought and we were separated on a few occasions, but once again we broke the ogres.  Their leader was a shaman who in his grunting speech swore retribution upon us as he fled.  His spells were far more impressive than his nerve.  I allowed my saurian allies to keep the bulk of the creatures' plunder, only taking those things for myself that obviously belonged to my family. 

There were two such things- a sword and a shield.  Both were magnificent items of war and bore the heraldry of the Sadardiel family.  A hidden compartment on the shield contained a letter written to my brother Nael.  They were his!  This did not bode well for his fate, and I wondered if his bodily remains were in one of the piles of ogre dung in the mine.  Intriguingly, the letter and some other paperwork in the shield detailed the requirements and construction of an artifact of Valstiir.  The Lake of Tears was originally named after Archmage Vyctoria Valstiir so surely anything bearing her name must be powerful.  Indeed, the lakeside cultists I used to fraternise with worshipped her as a goddess.  I don't have the required apparatus to build it yet but it is certainly something worth pursuing. 

There is only one complication.  Nael.  I already suspected he was dead, but finding his personal sword and shield amongst ogre loot is all but proof of his death.  I suppose I will have to tell my parents about it.  I'm keeping the sword and shield whatever they say.  But I shudder to think how father will react.  The letter hidden in the shield indicated that Nael was searching for the items to build Valstiir's  artifact on behalf of someone else.  Was he working outside the family?  I suppose he always did seem just too perfect.  Perhaps before I inform my parents I should do a quick search of his chambers, assuming I can get in at all...

Public Notices / Re: Issues of the Conch Champion (For public reading)
« Last post by Fiverine on April 10, 2024, 06:08:14 am »
The Conch Champion.  Independent & Accurate, Always.

A New Moon
Greetings citizens of Conch, I am Perrina Layne your new editor!  Longtime readers of the Champion will know that statement is not entirely true for I edited this publication until I retired two years ago.  I watched on with frustration during Giona Morton's tenure and was delighted when Mr Hurstport asked me to return as editor.  Conch has changed somewhat since last I edited this newspaper.  The Kolumbos no longer dominate west Conch and the threat of the Empire has receded somewhat.  I feel this is a new chapter in our fair city's history and a more hopeful and prosperous one. 

I have been spending this past week personally delivering newspapers to our loyal subscribers and meeting people about town.  My initial goals as editor are to restore trust in our newspaper, promote worthy businesses and individuals of Conch and to rehabilitate the Champion's relationship with Conch's adventurers after Mr Morton's stint.   When I was a young lass I was an adventurer myself and know of the good work many of them are capable of.  Indeed, this week has seen me don my armour and pick up my mace and shield once again to do some small deeds for the needy.  My equipment is far heavier than I remembered!

My office is always open to tip-offs and requests for stories and you are all welcome to have a chat with me if you see me about town.

-P. Layne, editor.

Strange Sounds
Parishioners at the Market District's Temple of Tyche have told the Champion that they have heard eerie sounds coming from the crypts during services.  The sounds were described as a dry scrabbling or rattling.  Priest Zolo declined to make any comment to the Champion.  But one of his staff told this reporter on the condition of anonymity that some of the dead interned beneath the temple have risen for unknown reasons and must be forcibly laid back to rest.  They pleaded for adventurers or mercenaries to come to their aid. 

-S. Hellsworth, reporter.

The Man-Bat Returns
After some months of quiet, sightings of Conch's own boogieman the Man-Bat are being reported again.  The creature is said to resemble a man with a hideous face and wings sprouting from his shoulders.  Some tales say that the Man-Bat is a supernatural portent of doom and appears in Conch just before a major calamity occurs.  Others say that he a mutant child of a forbidden relationship, to be pitied as much as feared.  The more rational insist he is merely a Nebular student playing pranks in an outlandish costume.  What is known for certain is that Man-Bat sightings almost invariably occur in wine cellars. 

-A. Nutt, reporter.

Rain of Boulders
Ogres are continuing to raid and sack farms owned by the Sadardiel noble family near the Lake of Tears.  When not committing full assaults, the creatures hurl huge rocks upon the farmlands, causing much damage and effort to move.  The Sadardiels have been suffering from a shortage of retainers and their terrified farmers can generally do little but cower in their farmhouses when attacks begin.  However there have been unconfirmed reports this past week that the noble family has begun making counterattacks.

-P. Krellin, reporter. 

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Manon's Journal
« Last post by Fiverine on April 08, 2024, 10:12:49 am »
I did something a little reckless.  Not wanting to accompany my father and the twins on their ogre patrol, I found out from a retainer named Kashia where they planned to go.  Then I went there alone ahead of the others, thinking they'd arrive to find me sitting atop a pile of ogre corpses.  I'd never fought an ogre before but imagined I was more than a match for any of them.  I wasn't exactly wrong.  One on one or even one on two I could dispatch the brutes fairly easily, but once they were aware of my presence and charged me en masse I had to beat a hasty retreat.  I expected them to be heavy hitters but underestimated how difficult they would be to injure, let alone put down.  Naturally, father's party then conveniently came riding over the crest to rescue me.  At least they didn't find me roasting on a spit, I suppose.

I know I should be grateful.  And I would have been if father hadn't launched straight into one of his "Manon you have disappointed me!" lectures, with the twins sneering and rolling their eyes at me in unison (which never stops being creepy).  They also entirely overlooked that I'd slain nearly a dozen ogres entirely on my own.  Father turned it into a big triumph for Yanis and Anais and told me and the slightly embarrassed retainers at length how amazing they are.  Nearly as good as Nael, he said.  The twins lapped it up, but once the accolades were over they began accounting for how many ogres each had slain, how effective their orders to the retainers had been and so forth.  I'm sick of them already.  They'll seize every opportunity to remind each other who should be heir now and remind me that I'm the black sheep who can't do anything right.  I decided right then that I would deny them their next opportunity for either.

The next morning, fate gave me my chance.  Whether intentionally or by mistake, Kye the steward left a letter to father on my desk.  The plantation farmers are having trouble with boulders being hurled at their defences and begged for father to send someone to do something.  I sent a reply to this Farmer Jason assuring him I'd investigate personally.  A few boulders thrown at a farmyard without a major assault following sounds like a few stray ogres, not a warband like the one I encountered on my solo patrol.  I can handle this, and I'll grab all the rewards and praise.  Not because I really want them, but because I don't want father or my siblings to get them. 

Feedback and Bugs / Re: Known Issues
« Last post by Rainman on April 07, 2024, 10:53:29 am »
Please refer to #bugs on our Discord channel or in game use the Bug Tool

Of course if it is urgent please contact a DM directly

Public Notices / Re: Rumours, Gossip and Whispers.. ((DM Posts Only))
« Last post by Rainman on April 07, 2024, 07:34:36 am »
The rumors swirling around Nebular University regarding their research into the Columns of the Sky and potential artifacts have certainly sparked curiosity among scholars and adventurers alike. The university's focus on arcane arts suggests that they might be delving into the magical properties or historical significance of these enigmatic structures. However, without concrete details, speculation is rampant, and many wonder if these artifacts could hold untold power or secrets from ages past.

The concerns of the West Netheril Trade Company regarding the Isle of Death and the Cult of the Dead are equally troubling. The notion of a cult gaining control over an entire island raises questions about their intentions and the potential threats they pose to trade routes and the safety of travelers. It's likely that the Trade Company is monitoring the situation closely, considering possible actions to mitigate any negative impacts on commerce and the reputation of the city.

As for the new Inn Proprietor planning to set up shop in the Slums, it's not uncommon for such establishments to emerge in less affluent areas of cities. The contents and location of this new inn remain shrouded in mystery, adding an air of anticipation and curiosity among the locals. Whether it will become a hub for adventurers seeking respite or a den of intrigue and danger is yet to be seen.

In a city as diverse and vibrant as Conch, these rumors add layers of intrigue and excitement to daily life. Adventurers, merchants, and scholars alike are sure to keep their ears open for any further developments on these intriguing topics.
Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Manon's Journal
« Last post by Fiverine on April 04, 2024, 10:31:47 pm »
Today was my formal presentation back to the family.  We did the ceremony before breakfast.  It wasn't bad so much as creepy and strange.  These aren't quite the people I left behind those years ago.  I immediately caused a problem by refusing to wear the body-crushing armour and surcoat I'd been provided with.  The armourer and tailor both had to improvise.  I was quite happy with the result but my father's dropped jaw when I entered the hall indicated he was not.  I bowed, as is expected.  Even after my absence I'm still quite adept at going through these motions without feeling a thing.

Father hugged me with a manic intensity that frightened me.  He welcomed me back, then spluttered into loud outrage about my weight and "disgraceful" custom livery.  Mother's hug was stiff, but warm.  I could tell the poor woman actually was glad to have me back.  Valentin was the happiest to see me, however.  He began rattling off everything he'd learned in numismatics while I was away, at least until father barked at him to shut up.  The twins just watched the whole scene without saying a word.  Merely nodding at my greeting, they both perched in their chairs with their arms folded.  To me they looked like a pair of praying mantises waiting to strike.  The only words I heard them speak was a quiet argument between them about who has slain the most ogres this week.  Father continued to grumble about my appearance and twitch nervously throughout breakfast. 

Then mother took over and and updated me on the situation.  House Sadardiel was indeed the only remaining noble estate at Lake Vyctoria.  The increasing frequency and intensity of ogre raids drove everyone else away.  With no other holdings my parents have agreed to stay here to the bitter end.  Many of our retainers have been killed or wounded over the years of my absence, including a few of my cousins.  But the heaviest blow was the recent loss of Nael.  He was leading the defence against an ogre raid and became separated from his lifeguard.  He was overpowered and subdued.  Rather than continue the battle, the ogres then unusually withdrew with their prize.  Father is convinced that Nael is still alive and that any day we will receive a ransom demand.  Mother did not disagree but I could tell from her grief-lined face she suspects he is dead.  Ogres generally carry people away only to eat them later so she is probably right. 

Though I've barely arrived, I was then given weighty tasks.  Using the skills that Druon taught me I am to investigate a labyrinth near our estate.  Some of our plantation workers disappeared in there recently and I am expected to venture there and learn of their fate.  I was given no information about what I might face and the retainers are refusing to go in there.  Unless I get some other help I will be delving in there alone.  Assuming I don't die "or just make a complete arse of things like you usually do" as father put it, they want me to join the search for Nael. 

Meanwhile I must make some plans of my own.  This place is going to the dogs and I need to do something.  The most we are likely to find of Nael will be his marrow-sucked bones, and who knows what dangers await me in this labyrinth the retainers are so deathly afraid of?  I fear father will completely lose his mind if Nael is confirmed dead.  Yanis or Anais are going to be made heir eventually, and I don't want to be around for that.  Mother is going to work herself to death.  But I'm bound by law and honour to my oaths to my family and this land, however I feel about that.  There aren't any nearby noble families left with a witless son I could marry myself off to.  If I just walk out I lose all the privileges that come with our title and I am certainly not giving those up.  Will finding Nael fix all this?  What if that is not possible?

I'm going patrolling for ogres with father, the twins and some retainers tonight.  After breakfast, mother quietly warned me to watch my back saying "Leon loses his wits and discipline at the sight of an ogre now, and your brother and sister care only for their headhunting."  If I am going to do anything fun or constructive around here I will need people at my side I can trust.  Nael used to have his own personal retinue, and I can understand why right now.  Odd too that mother called father "Leon" rather than "your father" when she spoke with me today.  I'd forgotten that the servants used to gossip that she'd had an affair before I was born.  Was she making a reference to that, or am I reading too much into this I wonder?
Public Notices / Re: Issues of the Conch Champion (For public reading)
« Last post by Fiverine on April 02, 2024, 11:29:21 pm »
The Conch Champion.  Free of Thinking. 

Readers, I have made no secret of how much I detest having to be acting editor for this publication.  In pure desperation I reached out to the Champion's former editor Perrina Layne.  To my great relief she has agreed to come out of retirement and become the Champion's editor once again.  Her first editorial will come in our next issue as she must take time to reacclimatise to her role.  You will likely see her about town this week getting to know her readers once again. 

-R. Hurstport, owner and acting editor.

Festival of the Egg
The Church of Tyche held a celebration over the past weekend by hiding special eggs about Conch.  These could be cracked open by lucky citizens who found them to reveal confectionery and trinkets.  The event was a great success and attracted commerce and tourists to Conch.  However, some citizens and business have expressed displeasure at having strangers poking around their premises all weekend, and at least one reader complained that adventurers were finding all the eggs. 

-S. Hellworth, reporter.

Travel Restored
Recently Captain Shilah of the Creek Farms has been refusing to take travelers to Sable's Swamp or the Isle of Death.  She has informed the Champion that travel is once again available to paying passengers.  The good captain did express her concern about a "cult of the dead" operating in these areas, but could not offer many further details.  The Conch Champion is curious about this cult and also a village known as Gateway Haven.  Intrepid souls who can provide information about them will receive a reward from our grateful publication. 

-A. Nutt, reporter.

Positions Vacant
Several organisations in Conch have asked the Champion to advertise their need for staff.  West Netheril Trading Company is doing an intake of staff in a variety of roles, such as administration and security.  The Nebular University is about to begin a new semester and still has some places open for students.  Diiri's Boys of West Conch is seeking alchemists and guards.  House Sadardiel has expressed a need for warriors and spellcasters to help defend their holdings at the Lake of Tears.  Finally, the Meriwether Tannery has a few vacancies for hunters, trappers and leatherworkers but have asked that only humans apply.

-P. Krellin, reporter. 
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