Adventurer's Journal

4th of Cloudsreach, 2nd year of the reign of Cailin, King of Ferelden.
10th Age, Age of the Dragon

I am Wulfric Aeducan only surviving son of Thori Aeducan who was once second-in-line for the throne of Orzammar. My father was wrongfully exiled for the murder of Trian, the heir, leading to a war of succession between the last surviving Aeducan - my uncle Balen - and the Lord of House Harrowmont. Though my mother and I had lived our lives quite peacefully in the halls of Orzammar, supported by my father and uncles, since the succession war began we have been forced to live in exile in a remote Thaig. For nigh on two years I have dwelt thence, but will do so no longer. Assassins from Ozammar came for me recently, killers hoping to catch me in my sleep. I know not from which claimant, only that they found my mother instead. They are dead now, but I will have no peace without vengeance. For tonight, I depart. I am a warrior, forged in battle on the Deep Roads and never made for a solitary life in the mountains. Neither can I hope to reclaim my place in House Aeducan. In going aboveground, I seize the chance to make a new name for myself, to find new fortune and find new adventure. I shall become a surfacer, part of a large community of entrepreneurial forebears only barely above casteless in the eyes of my old House. But I feel the strength of my ancestors in my blood, I feel the weight of my family's honour on my shoulders. The Surface Dwarves are a proud and hardy people, more worthy of my respect that the bickering villains who plot and politik in the shadows of the Paragon's City. I leave the matters of court to my uncle, for they have claimed enough members of my family. Gorim, formerly of the Smith's Caste has agreed to bear me in his caravan to Denerim. There I will begin my life anew.

SESSION 1

I have served with the City Watch for some weeks. King Cailin, son of the late King Maric has recently wed lady Elana, daughter of Teyrn Loghain, and the wedding called for increased security on the streets. Many mercenary houses were drawn to Denerim and I have saved a few coins to purchase simple arms and armour for myself settling their brawls and rounding up thieves. With the wedding now past, the King has turned his attention south, towards rumors of an increase in sighting of darkspawn. Having no wish to be conscripted, I recently threw in my lot with a merchant caravanner by the name Bannen. We will travel to Southbridge in a few short days.

Some days have passed without incident, Bannen's column of silks and furs troubled only by the rain. My fellow guards are a curious pair named Heldane and Alrick, a pair of human trainees from the Tower of Magi, first of the Templars, the other of the Circle. Callisar is a stormy young man, quick with a jibe and quicker to brandish his claymore in anger. The other was once the apprentice of a Druid, and has demonstrated a skill at hunting and woodcraft that are uncommon among his fellow mages. There is also Irrynael Darkwyn, a city-elf who calls himself a Duellist. I have heard of this breed, who prefer a dagger-thin 'quicksword' to a proper axe. Well, the world takes all kinds; apparently even surface-dwarves are known to use swords in this realm! Despite our diversity, we four have fallen into an easy camaraderie.

As Alrik stood watch this night, thieves and brigands crept in towards us. A gang of cut-throats were making a stealthy aproach upon our sleeping forms, and only the wizard's warning shouts spared us their knives. A battle erupted around the wagons, and we each gave good account of ourselves. Firey bolts, battle-cried and fierce blows were exchanged, until the last of the bandits were driven off. A blood-soaked Heldane gave a victorious cheer, but Master Bannen was dismayed to find that the prize of his cargo - a precious jewel - had been stolen in the confusion. We set off in hot pursuit.

The tracks were muddled, scattered with traps, and doubled back continuously. With some difficulty, we finally followed them to a farmhouse, but found only a harmless peasant within. Our questioning was interrupted by the howls of a Blight Wolf pack, and we stormed without to meet their charge. Arrows and spells erupted amongst their ranks and the final charge crashed heavily against my shield. Impetuous Heldane slaughtered deep into their lines as I held back the beasts' advance on my lightly-armored comrades. Though my wounds were many, and deep, I felt Alrik's magicks work on me, keeping me standing. Irrynael darted back and forth with his blade flashing, and soon we stood on a field of carcasses, the last of them yelping in retreat. My suspicions raised, I urged the party to pursue them, and so we did, finding them and rooting them out of their foul lair. But the scent of rising smoke drew us back to the farmhouse, where it became clear the bandits had returned. We left the smoldering wreckage and followed the fresh tracks to a ruin, deep in the forrest.

Within, a gruesome ritual had begun. An apostate had dragged the farmer onto an altar, assisted by his Cultist enforcers. There he had drawn blade, and by their familial resemblance it seemed clear that these monsters intended to sacrifice their own father. Irrynael signaled us from his hidden vantage, and the hall erupted into combat. I barreled into the foe with a shield-charge, as Alrick's firebolts flashed over my head. Ablaze, several of them managed to claw me off my feet, before Irrynael's blades plunged into their backs. Heldane's great swings sawed down whole ranks of cultists, before he finally plunged his blade into the Apostate. A foul presence lifted from the chamber with his death, the receding gloom revealing piles of gleaming gemstones, as well as Bannen's blood-soaked jewel. We pocketed as much of the bounty as we could carry, then hurried back to the waiting wagon-train. As dawn broke, we sighted our relieved and profoundly grateful employer waiting beside the road.

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