Port Noonan

All my life I waited for great adventure, far from this place called Egersund. Sure enough, adventure presented itself, albeit under unfortunate circumstances. My parents managed to survive, my two best friends are with me, and it sure feels good to be alive.

The last few months have been unbelievable. It’s the first time in my life I’ve awoken each morning with drive and purpose. Living in Egersund was mundane but I did the best I could to keep from total boredom, but tedium won more often than not. The scariest part of remaining in Egersund would have been taking over the family business. I saw what it did to my father and I didn’t want to turn into him. My mother told me what an exciting and adventurous man he had been when she met him, but now he was only interested in business, a hollow shell of his former self. I didn’t want to become my father so I took matters into my own hands. I started running away from home when I was twelve and I finally left permanently when I was fifteen, dividing my time between the city streets and an orphanage, where I met Hans and Dolf, my two best friends. Picking up skills from the local hoodlums became my obsession, along with pit fighting, which I found more exciting than anything. Luckily, I was naturally gifted and a quick learner. I was probably too spoiled as a child but leaving home made life more bearable. I probably should have been more thankful for my comfortable life, but that’s not what I craved.

Then the plague hit and the world was flipped on it’s head. Several months, and adventures later, I find myself thankful and amazed to be alive.

May 28, 1136

Captain Jean

We finally made it to shore, after our near miss with the aboleth. Our safe arrival was doubtful because of the damaged rudder, but Jean, the master sailor that he is, managed to cobble it together enough to make it. More repairs were needed but he was confident he make The Swift steerable enough to make it to Port Noonan.

Salithius seems to be sending more dangerous foes to see how we’ll do. I don’t like how we’re being toyed with, but at least he hasn’t become too bored with us, nor has he deemed us too credible a threat. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if he really wanted to finish us off. These thoughts make me both apprehensive and excited.

In any case, I feel relaxed for the first time in weeks. We seem to be on a remote beach in an uninhabited part of northern Atlin, bookended by open sea and thick northern forest. It’s peaceful and quiet and, boy, am I glad to be alive. I’ve been enjoying the excitement of the journey so far but I guess there is such a thing as too much excitement. The recent loss of Jensa and Mari have been terrible but, amazingly, the rest of us are still alive. Maybe Dolf is right and Helga actually does have further need of us.

The addition of Amy has been a great injection of much needed energy to our group, even though she’s a bit of a petulant bitch. Her archery are clearly refined which makes me very curious about these other companions of whom she often speaks. They must be an interesting and exciting bunch. I can’t wait to meet them one day.

Jean spent the evening fixing the broken rudder. I think he wanted a few hours to himself after the realization that his life is going to be a lot more dangerous since he decided to help us. We sat around a beach fire and talked about the days ahead on the open water. It was a solemn, yet pleasant, evening and the future weighed heavy on the minds of most, it seemed. I’m just excited about the adventures to come.

Jean yelled for us to get back to the boat once repairs were complete and we had an uneventful and restful sleep.

May 29, 1136

We woke with the rising sun and ate a salty breakfast of fresh fish and spring-time herbs gathered from the nearby forest. Jean bellowed at us to weigh anchor and, after we figured out what that meant, we all rushed to pull the damn thing up. Jean seemed to be in quite a sour mood so we all asked him how we can make ourselves more useful. Without hesitation he put us to work for the entire day washing and scrubbing The Swift. This seemed to touch Jean’s heart and he finally started warming up to us as the sun was going down.

In the days ahead, Jean taught us how to sail and navigate and all things nautical. He had a wealth of knowledge on the topic and we were all eager to learn. I even managed to learn to swim better during and I’m no longer petrified of water.

A month went by. We sparred regularly with weapons and fists. Amy taught me the finer points of archery which was amazingly difficult on a moving boat. Sparring sessions with Aija, Hans, and Eric were the highlight of my days. Nothing came after us and after a while we all relaxed and enjoyed the journey.

We sailed south toward the river delta and through the wide passage towards Sweetwater Lake. Summer was definitely here and the sights and sounds were refreshing and exciting. Again, I felt lucky to be alive and excited for the adventures to come.

June 30, 1136

We’ve been sailing upstream for weeks when we reached the opening to Sweetwater Lake. From the crowsnest, Jean yells that Port Noonan is up ahead. We all get excited and run around the ship getting ready. We definitely look like we’ve been on sunny seas.

At 11am we circle around the protective structures of the man-made harbor and dock at Port Noonan. It’s a small, but bustling place. Jean says it’s population is 700 and that it’s very vibrant. He didn’t lie. The place is hopping with merchants, traders and artisans.

Jean tells us he’ll re-supply The Swift for the next leg our our journey to Sweetwater, 100km to the south. He tells us to head to the eastern part of town and find the local blacksmith where we can repair our weapons and armor. We eagerly do so.

Minutes later Aija asks an older gentleman for directions to the blacksmith and he is immediately drawn to us for some comical reason. PJ is his name and, of course, the first thing Aija does is ask him about the large scar on his cheek and neck. He looks around like his friends are pulling a prank on him and, upon realizing we are for real, grins and tells us everything we want to know about the encounter that gave him the scar. A hill giant, he tells us, and he shows us the giant’s tooth around his neck to prove it. I like PJ. He seems like a man who doesn’t shy away from adventure and excitement.

For fear of missing out on our ridiculousness, PJ insists on taking us to Irwin the blacksmith, who happens to be PJ’s long-time friend. Irwin possesses the stoutness one would expect from a blacksmith and welcomes us into his store. He is leery at first and then PJ convinces him that we are an endless source of folly. Upon realizing that we have real gold to spend Irwin sells me a well crafted composite bow. I know I overpaid but, recently, money has not been as major a concern as quality weapons, so I pay my nagging friends no mind when they protest. We also give him some of our weapons and armor for repairs. My rapier is fine but I ask Irwin to stud my leather armor to make it a bit more protective.

Amy grabs my new bow and tries to pull it without any luck. She starts bitching about it and Irwin goes to the back room to dig around. He comes out with a type of bow I’ve never seen before. It’s a strange concoction of pulleys and ropes and Amy is eager to give it a try. We head outside, behind the blacksmith shop, where a target is set up. Amy can’t believe how easy this bow is to draw and fire. At PJ’s insistence, she puts on quite an archery display, accurately splitting several arrows in the process. So much for our plan of not drawing too much attention to ourselves. Much to Amy’s chagrin, Irwin took back the fancy bow.

We leave Irwin’s shop and PJ gladly takes us to a nearby mercantile where we try on some clothes. At this point PJ clearly thinks he’s found some pigeons ripe for the taking so he thinks he’s going to parade us around town from shop to shop to see what we will do next. He even tells me that he’s writing a book which makes me think we’re going to be his inspiration for comic relief. He seems truly amused by us, which is quite wonderful. I wind up buying a nice brown cotton button-up shirt and my friends easily convince me to pay for some of their clothing as well.

Irwin the Blacksmith

We make plans to meet PJ at a pub later and head back to our ship. Jean tells us that Irwin is a seasoned adventurer and that he can be trusted with our story. We bicker for an hour and finally decide to go back to the blacksmith for some advice. Irwin gladly listens to our story about the zombie plague of Egersund and finds it very unsettling. He tells is what he knows of the Wizard Council (Servants of the Order of Conscious Influence) after Amy tells him that she knows Willard. He also tells us that he thinks that we need to get to the council and get them to deal with Salithius. He’s also heard of the Douglas family in Sweetwater but he’s not sure how helpful they may be since they are in the fishing business. He agrees that contacting the temple of Helga in Sweetwater may also prove useful. We ask him if he has any contacts in other cities if we are in need of help and he tells us to look up Colonel Smuts if we ever find ourselves in Bastion or Finnsbury. According to Irwin, Smuts is a trustworthy man.

Irwin seems supportive of our cause and gives us some special armor and bracers. Aija got an amazing looking chain shirt and Hans got a pair of bracers which Irwin said would help him in battle. Dolf also got similar bracers.

Irwin also tells us a little about PJ and that he’s quite skilled with a rapier, which is odd considering he made fun of my blade earlier. I hope he’ll be wiling to discuss the finer points of swordplay with me after a few pints.

We leave Irwin’s and head towards the pub to meet PJ.

~~~

Session ends 4pm Jun 30, 1136