Tuiluilan


Adventure: Sheep’s Clothing
Sessions: 2006-10-30, 2006-11-04
Player: Daniel Thai
PC: Tuiluilan
Status: Fighter 2

Dear Father,

Thank you again for preparing the weapon I mentioned previously. Also, thank you for not chastising me overly much for my behavior. First of all, you’re probably wondering why I’m writing on paper, rather than the significantly cheaper parchment I normally write on. Would you believe that I got it from Councilor Raidith’s house in Sharn? Well, another, adventure happened.

OK, first thing I should mention is that I got along reasonably well with the other adventurers, especially Alain. He’s a fellow fighter, seems to get along reasonably well with the other people, and serves as the leader at times, although I have a strong personality too. Anyway, it all came down to slightly after I sent you the last note. Xame, the coward who stole the torch—you remember the last letter—decided that he wanted a fair share. I gave him all the money I had left after paying you just to make him go away. Alain was most helpful in convincing him that he would be better off elsewhere. Eventually, Mike, the raptoran, gave him 300 pieces of gold, and he went away. Good riddance, I say. I can’t communicate to you how much he and I clashed—both over morality and taste. He had poor taste, especially when it came to rat stew. But I digress.

Anyway, eventually, we had to figure out why some treaty (and they never did tell me which one, or what it was about), was going to be passed. It was between Breland and the house of Cannith. Some guy decided to change his vote with no explanation. Through various spells and interesting diplomacy, we found out that Lord Raidith’s bodyguard had had something to do with a house Cannith official’s death. Eventually, through more intrigue, we ran into a wererat and I struck him a blow that I’m sure he remembered. The thing about wererats is that they have thick skin, but I managed to get lucky. Mike, the raptoran—he kept the wererat safely underneath him. I also remember squashing a rat against the wall with one of my ends of my quarterblade—although I forget which one it was. Anyway, we eventually figured out that he was planning to use wands that eliminate magical auras from magical… things, I guess. I don’t know. Anyway, those who did know about magical things, and I myself, found this serious.

After that, Lord Raidith decided to invite us for dinner, a most unfriendly visit, you can be sure. I decided to talk it over with Alain, who seemed strangely argumentative. I wanted to plan for every detail, while he decided that he was going to only plan for one thing—a standard double cross. However, we did acquire two warforged as reinforcements, should we need them—courtesy of the baron of the house of Cannith—by whose grace Raidith was a councilor.

I wish I could regale Mom with the tale of a battle, but unfortunately, I spent most of it in a stupor. After having gotten into the house (and helped myself to some of Lord Raidith’s paper), I rushed into the room and saw Raidith. As he informed us that he wished that we would could commit suicide, I readied an attack. But before I could attack, his ally saw fit to blast me with a spray of colors. At first I thought they were so pretty, but soon I realized that I couldn’t see anything except a swirling mass of color. Blues and reds sparkling before my eyes in a sea of… something. The next thing I felt was someone slapping me awake. I still was petty groggy, and I couldn’t move, but I could tell that it was a small hand. A halfling’s hand. Then, later, it seemed to lift somewhat, and I heard another halfling voice say something about a musclehead. He only used that word to refer to Alain and me, and I don’t think it was Alain. Anyway, eventually I came to, only to find out that the battle was over, and that I had an aching wound in my side.

He, our adversary that is, was smiling. He was looking at Antinua like she was his long-lost sister or something. Now, he wasn’t fighting, and there were 8 of us to 1 of him, so I wanted to grab him then and there. But strangely, no one else seemed to agree with me. Even Alain, who had seemed reasonably straight forward and decisive didn’t want to. So instead, we posted a guard, and waited for massive reinforcements from the Sharn watch. But, predictably, he disappeared before we could lay hands—or wings in Mike’s case—on him. Oh well. We were treated to a royal feast, and I got a brand new set of shining armor. Magical armor, even. Mom would be so jealous that she doesn’t have one. Anyway, that’s it for this note. I hope this letter finds you all in good health, and may the Sovereign Host watch over you.

Your Loyal Son,

Tuiluilan.

P.S. Beware rat stew.

Player’s Notes

This is the last post of Tui because he died in the next adventure.

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Adventure: The Forgotten Forge
Sessions: 2006-10-08, 2006-10-20
Player: Daniel Thai
PC: Tuiluilan
Status: Fighter 1

Dear Father,

When you told me to go find my way in the world, I doubt that you thought it would end up like this. I’m sorry that I don’t have a blacksmithy of my own, and that I’m not even working at another one, but distractions seem to come up. And if I’m perfectly honest with you, I find them rather enjoyable. I suppose I should mention what I’m talking about.

I said in my last letter that I’ve been taking up whatever odd jobs I could find. Well, believe it or not, some (if not the most reputable) work that I got came through a tavern. Maybe one day they’ll hire me as a bouncer, I don’t know. But anyway, would you believe that someone ran in yelling that there was a body in the road. Now, I know you’ve never been to Sharn before, but this was in a rather reputable part of town—so much so that I couldn’t even carry my double sword (I know, I know). Anyway, it was on a bridge, and the guy was an older gentleman, clearly dead. I know it was a wound from a bladed weapon, but more than that, I couldn’t tell. Before I know what was really happening, this warforged stepped out from one side of a bridge, and stabbed me. Now, I only had a dagger, which is why I say that no place in Sharn should be too uppity for me to carry a quarterblade. Anyway, this raptoran, Mike, who has some sort of strange name in his native tongue, grappled with him, really taking care of him. I should mention that a raptoran is a tall bird-creature that generally acts strangely.

He did all the right things, that I really don’t know how to do, but that mom’s been harping on me to do—sit forward on the guy when you sit on his chest, ride him if he tries to buck up, and go for a right arm twist. He’s a very good grappler. Anyway, I was trying to stab him when this strange bird flies out of him. His chest panels opened, or something like that. But that’s only the beginning.

From there, I was contacted by a mysterious hooded figure, and asked to go to the Broken Anvil inn. I know what you’re thinking. Not exactly the place for the son of a blacksmith to be going, especially with a name like that. But it all worked out. We were approached by a strange lady—I think I wrote her name down, but the name eludes me now. Anyway, she offered us 1000 gold pieces, with 100 immediate for expenses, if we would go track down something mentioned in the dead person’s notes, supposedly near a sewer. Now I remember wondering: Why on Eberron would they be using us, a bunch of nobodies who only happened to meet on a street corner? The answer is obvious: Because nobody cares if we die. And that’s what made me slightly suspicious of this whole thing from the start.

So we went. The sewer is a place I would rather not revisit. I was considering using parchment as a face mask to keep out the smell, but decided against it. Anyway, we got into a fight with this heavy metal guy—another warforged, who decided he wanted to kill us. Two more strange sewage covered things joined the fight. I managed to dispatch the warforged and one of the shifters, but the others took down the last guy. So we went on, and encountered a swarm of beetles.

Hundreds of them, drawn to our movement, I guess. Beetles are nasty, and it takes fire to beat them. Unfortunately, I did not have a torch. There was this guy—or I should say, halfling, who (the dirty scoundrel), stole a torch that would be necessary to fight this rat swarm, and ran as fast as his little legs could carry him. Fortunately, someone got it back and handed it to me, and I started hacking. As strange as this may sound… I was actually invigorated by that fight, although I noticed the strange bird person felt very sick to his stomach—or stomachs, I never bothered to ask about that.

Anyway, I tried setting fire to my bedroll to squash them with a blanket of flame, (quite literally), but that didn’t work as well as I had thought. Eventually, it seemed like they had had enough. After that, we reached a door and had to fight some strange metallic dog creatures. They didn’t want to fight me, which was fine by me. Eventually, we killed them as well, or at least, the two that hadn’t already been squashed by a piece of the ceiling of that room. Finally, we got the item we came for—some sort of schema. I’m still not sure what that is. But we had one final task before we could return it to the lady. It was another warforged who, in the name of the Lord of Blades, demanded the return of the item. We were not feeling in good shape from our previous encounters, and ran. Alain had the bright idea of throwing a dagger in place of the schema, which kind of looks like it, and the warforged went after it. We were going to just escape, when we realized—both that a pair of giant rats were going after the warforged, and that Xame (yes, the coward), had become trapped. Despite my dislike of him, I decided that I was going to help save him. After the rats took care of the warforged, we took care of them.

So that was the adventure. When I come home, I’ll tell you of my companions—a strange bird fellow named Mike, a shifty and craven halfling named Xame, a distant elf named Antinua, and a fellow fighter named Alain. By the way: Alain strikes me (no, he’s never struck me, at least not yet) as a really nice guy—and his flail (ball and chain) comes in real handy at times.

So much for that these adventures. Anyway, I’d like to purchase a double sword when I arrive, and I’m coming soon—and I’m willing to pay extra for your very finest work.

Your Loyal Son,

Tuiluilan

Player’s Notes

Tui is highly connected with family, and I like what Rachel did with writing home that way, so it’s a logical choice to do stories this way.

Player: Daniel Thai
PC: Tuiluilan
Status: Fighter 1

I want, above all else, to do the right thing. To uphold what I believe to be right and true, even if it puts me in danger.

But let me tell you a bit more about me. I was raised in a very fine home, to a pair of human parents, Jonas and Higgar Flax. Themselves raised by half-elves (though they themselves were not), the understood how to stride the line between the complexities of the elven culture, and the fast paced lives of humans. And they loved me, ever so much. My father was a blacksmith, and made the very finest steel blades that are to be found in the land. But I didn’t want to be a blacksmith. What fascinated me was not the forging of the blade, the hammering of it, the tempering of the steel, the minute additions of the impurities to the iron that gave the steel its great strength, its great ability to cut. It was the design of the sword that fascinated me. How long should the blade be for a given arm, and a given strength? How heavy should it be for a given strength? Is it to used primarily for stabbing or for slashing? Do you have to block with the sword? How large should the grip be? So I suppose that you could call me a blacksmith if you wanted to. But my father understood. During his apprenticeship, he told me that he learned how to make swords. But not how to dream swords. He also had a few big ideas which he was able to try out—creating some of the finest swords in the land. But when I was born, and when I manifested, at an early age, a keen intelligence, he realized that my destiny was more than simply a trade. My father is a wonder, a genius when it comes to making swords that someone has already made. Through care and diligence, he makes swords that were as good as anything ever made, better if the person making it before was not a master. But he’s not quite up to the challenge of making new, better ones. And he looks to me to do that.

My mother was similar to my father. Smart, although a little forgetful, she tried to raise me in the way I should go. It was she who punished me when I went astray, who really instilled in me, at the same time, a great kindness, I would hope, and a great love of what is right. It is because of both of them that I am here today. She was also musically inclined. No one could play the lyre better than her, and her voice, although my brother and I used to make fun of her, was really very good. She told me that her mother, or actually, the person who adopted her, instructed her in voice lessons. They were made for each other. They were made to raise me and my siblings too. I’ve met a lot of other people, but I assert that my parents were the best to be found in the land. Of course, others probably think the same thing, and that’s fine.

Through many evenings spent together as a family, my parents basically instilled in me a great love of what is right—or at least, what I think to be right. I’m not naïve enough to think that what I think is right, and what is right are necessarily the same. But at least, I’ll try to do it. And the other thing is, that might be a little weird is, I like authority. I like being told what to do. If there’s a law, then there’s no ambiguity about—if not the right thing to do, then at least what the authorities want you to do. And unless there’s some clear reason not to obey the law, I’ll generally obey it. Besides, most fences are to keep you from running off of a cliff.

The other thing that really influenced this attitude was the war, but I’ll get to that a bit later.

My father looked to me to help fight, with my mother, in the war, when I reached manhood on my 15th birthday, he realized that I needed a weapon. He asked me to ask him for a weapon, and I described my favorite weapon. 6 feet long, with a 3 foot hollow steel center, and a pair of steel blades on each side, it was a derivative of a double sword. More similar to the quarterstaffs that I had been using before, rather than the more traditional double swords that I saw. Real double swords are so hard to use. And so, I went to fight in the war.

Anyway, the war really hit me hard. Somehow—adolescent feelings of superiority, I thought that I could be invincible, at least at first. Actually, it’s really not that straight forward. Say that I knew that we’d be scheduling an attack at dawn. Right before the battle, I’d be nervous, and it’d be obvious that I was nervous. I’d be talkative, too talkative, with my comrades. But once the battle actually started, the training took over. It was at that time that I thought myself invincible. It was like performing or something, I guess, except that instead of my mom scolding me for another disappointing performance on my swordplay drill, it was real combat. But in combat, it was different. I could scrape my arms, or receive minor wounds, and not even feel it. My arms could be sore for days afterwards, and I could have a bunch of red gashes on my skin, but during the combat, I just wouldn’t feel it. I guess that that’s normal. Anyway, I got out of the war relatively unscathed—for me it only really lasted two years, though it was an eternity. I’m glad to be out of it. Really glad to be out of it.

The war didn’t so much change my personality so much as confirm it. It was absolutely necessary to be lawful during the war, lawful to the orders of my captain, as well as the established rules of war. It was pretty simple, for two reasons. The first was that loners that charged forward out of the group quickly were focused on by the enemy and killed, and rather quickly. The other reason was this. Those that didn’t work together couldn’t properly form the necessary bonds of camaraderie. Once those bonds were formed, then in those groups, I saw men willing fight to the death. If those bonds were not formed, people broke and ran when they thought they might be killed. So obedience to the rules, and working together, in general trying to obey the laws and not make anyone mad at you—that’s very important.

The other thing is that people will obviously fight for what they believe in, but more importantly, they fight for people. Humans, at the core, are sociable people. We thrive on relationships. As motivating as it was for me that I was fighting for the righteous cause of Mishann, whose claim to the throne was uncontestable, even more so was the fact that if I lost, the enemy would do who knows what to my parents and my sister. Ironically, it was the value of life that was impressed upon me in this time of conflict, despite the fact that I was killing people. It’s really what you’re fighting for, more than anything else, that motivates you to fight. People that have nothing to lose, often also have nothing to gain from fighting, and therefore no reason to fight. It’s those that have everything to lose—their life, their country, and especially their family—that fight to the death. In those, you read hatred in their eyes in combat—or maybe just resignation. For those that have nothing to lose, you often times read fear in their eyes.

The other thing is, having seen what death is, I’m not necessarily afraid of it. Either I die now, or I die later, and I’ll still suffer for eternity when I get there. A finite number over infinity is zero, so it doesn’t make a difference. I might as well make my mark on the world now, fighting and dying for what I believe in. It wouldn’t be much fun trying to live it up, anyway—that stuff gets old really fast. The other thing is, it’s a place of despair, and I won’t much think of myself as Tuiluilan anymore, so what does it matter?

Obviously, not knowing much else, I went home. My Father and Mother then informed me of some very bad news: I was to part ways with them, and make my own way in the world. As my father informed me, the sovereign host had loaned me to him, and now, the lease was up. Now I was to trust the Sovereign host, and more importantly, my own kills, and not my family as my primary refuge. That there was only so much that they could do for me anyway. After my time in the war, I was looking forward to a more ordered, if not an easier way of life, but that was not to be. So I set off to seek my fortune in the world. As terrible a world as it is in many ways, it’s sure better than fighting. And it’s a lot better than having to look people in the eyes as they die.

Interesting People I Met During the War

Marish Kethstar

I didn’t really know where he came from, but I did know that he was an enemy fighter. His name was whispered on our side during the war. Rumors flew around. How he had killed ten men with his bare hands. How it seemed like he knew when the enemy attack would come before it happened. How his unit was always ready when we attacked.

I had the misfortune, one day of attacking his unit.

Now I never got any command rank in the unit, but after a year of combat, you develop a rhythm, a method of combat. The leaders recognize that. Anyway, one day I was told that we would be attacking, and his unit. I put on my armor, and then it was on. Although I kept my eyes upon my opponent, who happened to be a nervous, dextrous human about my age, I could tell that things weren’t really going our way, but neither was theirs. Eventually, he worked up the courage to strike—a decent strike, but one that was ineffective against my weapon. I dropped to one knee and blocked up, catching the sword with the middle hilt of the weapon. Then, I pivoted, and sliced deeply into his neck. I wasn’t good enough to chop off his head.

Then, as I stood up, and as the blood drained from the wound, staining the ground a red color, I saw him, the enemy. However, during the combat, I didn’t recognize him as being the one whom I feared—we had no physical description of him, only a name. He thrust straight in at me, always a hard attack to block. I tried to pivot, and couldn’t in time, but I got lucky. It hit one of the metal studs in my leather armor, and only bruised me. Then I tried to sweep his legs out from under him, but he dropped to the ground and used his shield to block the strike. Down like that, he made a tempting target for a kick, so I feinted the other way, made him raise his sword, and then kicked him in the forehead.

I would have killed him, but the call to retreat was given, so I left him there, dazed. As I backed out of the fighting, I heard him call out after me.

May we meet again. And when we do, you will be dead

Later on, I figured out exactly whom I had been fighting, and went pale. I also realized how lucky I had been that that opening blow hadn’t sliced me open. It’s something to think about for a long time to come.

Mendorst Harkine

My commanding officer. He operated on the rule of the velvet glove and the iron fist. Gain his trust, and he’d be your friend. Betray him, and he would be an enemy. Betray him in battle, and face instant death—or at least as instant as he could deliver it. I managed to get on his good side, which wasn’t hard to do. Sounds simple, like I could dissect this person’s personality. It’s battle. You want friends in battle. I suppose the cliché is that you want friends in battle to support you, because it’s combat after all. But there’s more to it than that. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s all about the formation of these primary groups. Loners and malcontents can’t integrate themselves properly into the group—and they often wind up dead, ignored by their friends, and unsure who to trust.

My commanding officer learned that a long time ago. But there was more to it than that. He would be the one in front. Not as a loner to charge the enemy, but to lead us. It’s hard to lead from behind, and he knew that. Also, with the exception of my mother, who fought in a different battalion, he was the most formidable warrior that I have ever encountered. No matter how hard the enemy attempted to focus and kill him, they never did. Once, they pulled a tactic specifically for that purpose—rush us, and cut him off from the rest of the squad. He held out gloriously while we slowly moved through the enemy forces separating us from him.

As far as I know him, which isn’t very much at all, I admit, I’d like to be like him.

Player’s Notes

All of the other player characters have written something about their characters and their motivations for creating the characters, so I suppose that I shall do likewise. Basically, I wanted to play this character as straight-forwardly as possible. With low Wisdom and Charisma scores, it definitely gives me the opportunity to say kind of what I want, even when it doesn’t necessarily advance things or even when it’s not the most tactful thing to say. Also, I bought a big and shiny weapon (a double bladed sword), that I thought was really cool at the beginning of the adventure. Get in, bash some evil heads together, and then do it again. Preferably while not dying in the process.

From a role-playing perspective, Tui is the ideal character to be doing something like this. He was absolutely obsessive about grabbing parchment and writing something down. Unfortunately, I write this after Tui has actually died, and remembering what happened may be a challenge.

Attributes:

  • Str: 15 (+2)
  • Dex: 15 (+2)
  • Con: 14 (+2)
  • Int: 11 (+0)
  • Wis: 8 (-1)
  • Cha: 8 (-1)