Good day to you all, readers! I am starting a new chapter in my journals this week, and so if you are picking up here, then let me give you a quick introduction.
My name is Jaximinom Jinglebing, and I am a gnomish bard extraordinaire! I’m pretty sure that means I’m an extraordinary bard, which is the case, so I plan to tell this tale extraordinarily. Hopefully it merits such a telling. It certainly has some interesting parts so far… Unfortunately, it doesn’t begin that way, so bear with me here.
Also, keep in mind that I am a singer and a story-TELLER, not story-WRITER. So, if you get get confused or bored, well, these are just my notes. Ask me to tell the tale in person! Stories are much better in person. You can buy my friends and I a drink – I promise it will be worth the price. They drink a lot, though, so bring your big purse.
So, to begin, I was headed home to Sandpoint from another of my ventures into the world. I spend a lot of time wandering the wilds of Varisia, as it is such a wonderful place. There are all kinds of things to see and do, people to meet, and stories to learn. I love stories, in case I didn’t mention that, especially mysteries.
Right now, I am trying to unravel the mystery of the Thassilonian empire, which thrived here in Varisia before any of the people and places you know about existed. All of those old ruins you see about the lands, those were a huge civilization before we all got here! Well, maybe not all of them – like see that ugly little hut on the road there, the one with the collapsed roof – that was probably not Thassilonian, but still, there are a lot!
Anyhow, you can read my last journal to see about where I was before i was going home to Sandpoint. This journal is about what comes after that.
So, I was heading home with a merchant caravan. Lots of merchants were headed towards Sandpoint, delivering things for the annual celebration of Desna, the Swallowtail Festival. It was a pretty boring trip, other than meeting a new friend. He is a dwarf. although kind of a skinny one. Most dwarves are burly dudes, but this one, he’s kind of scrawny. He also doesn’t wear much armor, which again is kind of weird. Don’t see many dwarves without armor, unless they are bathing, and then you probably don’t want to see them anyway, unless you like that kid of thing (I don’t mind, so if you want to know about naked dwarves, but don’t want to look, you can just ask me).
Back to the point, my new friend was a dwarf, and scrawny, with no armor, but he was very interesting. His backside makes noises like a bagpipe when he drinks (he says it is because of his uncle, so I stopped asking after that, even though it sounds interesting). His name is Cian, Cian McGrundle of Janderhoff, and he is traveling to Sandpoint to see the new Cathedral, and maybe even catch the dedication ceremony. He likes religion, and anvils, and beer, so maybe he is a normal dwarf. Anyhow, we spend the entire trip talking about ourselves, and swapping stories. It helped make the journey pass smoothly.
We arrived at Sandpoint the day of the festival, so just in time! I knew Cian was excited that he didn’t miss the ceremony, and the festival is one of my favorite things, so we rode ahead of the caravan and went straight to the heart of town. Everyone was there, so it was really easy to find my friend Beldar Glittereye – which is nice, since I didn’t want to have to run to every sage and bookstore in town to locate him (he does a lot of scribe work).
Beldar is your typical halfling, other than the scribe work. He’s constantly on the move, bouncing from place to place and thing to thing like a bumblebee in a field of flowers. He’s good people. He likes stories and drinking and fun, so we get along great. He takes pranks well, which is good, because I can’t help myself sometimes. I have missed him over the last year, and it is really good to see him again.
I introduced Beldar to Cian, and then the festival began! Lots of important folks, like the mayor and the sheriff, gave some pretty boring speeches. So, in the meantime, I caught up with some old acquaintances. included Kimiko Kaijitsu (she’s growing up fast) and her older sister Ameiko (she’s grown up just right, if you know what I mean – yowzers). They both said hi to Fezzik as well.
Oh hey, I should probably tell you about Fezzik! He’s only my best friend in the whole world. He’s a giant kitty monster thing from the outer planes, and we have been best buds every since I summoned him back in my childhood. He’s as big as a regular person, and he lets me ride him everywhere. We talk all the time, I give him treatsies, and he keeps scary things from trying to eat me. You’d really like him, if you met him.
Back to the festival – after the boring talking that I mostly ignored, the games were afoot! They had lots of games this year, like Goblin Toss, Dragon Racing, and the best one – Mini Catapult Shooting! It was a great time, and I won a medal and a toy catapult and a shiny toy, although that one came later when the Dragon attacked! Not a real dragon, it was a fake dragon, like the ones in Tian Xia, where a few people get under a dragon costume and they chase people around and shoot fake fire streamers and then we have to raid their horde. Well, we did all that, and I got a fancy toy! Woo me!
So, after the fun and games and a bunch of drinks and food and fun (again), the Cathedral dedication ceremony started. This was when the bad stuff happened. Right in the middle of the speeches, we heard a scream, and then a bunch of singing and chanting in Goblin! Suddenly, they were everywhere, attacking dogs, horses, and people while attempting to burn everything in site! Fortunately I had Fezzik with me, and i summoned some big magic dogs to bite those nasty little buggers right on their backsides! Turns out Cian and Beldar aren’t too bad in a fight either, Cian with the wicked magics and Beldar with his knives of fury and his prayers to Cayden Cailean. Together we helped the guards to drive the goblins right out of town, either off the cliffs or out the gates.
We saved a lot of people that night, including Ami (she was bitten) and a nice man named Alden who invited us boar hunting later. I’ve never been boar hunting, so we are totally doing that once we get a spear or three and figure out this whole goblin mystery. I just happened to notice that the goblins were from a variety of different tribes, and they seldom work together in this region. It was odd, so we questioned a survivor/prisoner, and he confessed (under my brutal interrogation) that some longshanks (the goblin word for tall folks) put them up to it! He didn’t know much more, since he was a goblin and they aren’t that bright, but still, who would do such a thing? We may need to find out more.
That will all have to wait for the morning, though. Ami has offered us free room and board for the next week, at her fancy new Rusty Dragon Inn, so we can catch a few hours of shuteye before we make our next move. I am completely worn out after such a long day, and I’m sure my friends are too.