Tales from the Road Less Traveled
Baalthazar's Quest Log
Herein leis the tales and exploits of his magnificent excellence, Champion of the North, the slayer of the Grumsh orcs, destroyer of the Ankheg menace, Knight of House Wyvernspur, Leader of the Blue Company, Sir Baalthazar Kimbagktuul; as written by his faithful herald Renny Nimlick Rustkettle.
The Flaming Tongue of Lathander (Flame Tongue)
A flaming sword is a sword glowing with flame by some supernatural power. Flaming swords have existed in legend and myth for thousands of years. According to the Lux Vade Mecum, the holy book of Amaunator, Lathander, in the form of a dragon, pulled out his flaming tongue and fashioned it into a sword for the avariel hero Uriel the gates of Elysium to fight the Demogorgon.
Sir Baalthazar heard tales of a flaming scimitar from the Kilij Ejderham which after some effort I found means Sword Dragon, a sect of warrior dragonkith that blend their innate knowledge of magic with sword play. When Baalthazar learned of a story that the bearer of the flaming sword was in the northlands of Cormyr, he travelled from his home in the south. Baalthazar claims to be on a holy quest of Lathander to find the flaming sword, but deflects any questions as to whom gave him this quest.
A flaming sword with immense destructive power appears in some manuscripts of the Northlanders of Cormy. It is said to be wielded by Surtr, the leader of the giants of Muspelheim. This sword has the crossgaurd depicting two dragon heads, I wonder if this is the same flaming blade that the errant knight seeks.
The Sage Saraphus of Tilverton relates that there is rumor of a Flame Tongue sword, possibly in the form of a greatsword or falchion, is in the possession of the forbidden Cult of the Dragon which is said to operate all along the northern Sword Coast between White Beard’s Landing and Candlekeep.
Sir Baalthazar has been quested by Giogioni Wyvernspur, to find ruins in the Northern hinterlands that can be rebuilt as a bastion against the growing threats of orcs invading from the lands of Morridan. Baalthazar began his quest to search the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar, but was soon distracted by the orc menace in Eveningstar.
Sir Baalthazar traveled to the fallen stronghold of Trelayn Mor Alguatha; The stronghold itself was but a shell of its form self. The walls were decayed and crumbling, huge areas were no more than rubble on the ground. The section that still stood were a mere chest to shoulder in height. The main area had fallen into a sinkhole inhabited by kobolds. Further inspection lead down to the the old treasure room, but a natural hot spring had erupted cause the place to be rather unpleasant. The ruins too far in disrepair to be rebuilt as a suitable Bulwark.
His quest took him north to the town of White Beard’s Landing, the fell place where frost giants come to raid the northern shores of Cormyr. He had heard the baron had fallen and giants need to be slain. The keep at White Beard’s Landing had been laid to waste and White Stag Keep a day to the west was in little better shape. Baalthazar has been granted the title of Baron of White Beard’s Landing and he seeks to rebuild the keep there.
Chainspire Fortress was built two thousand years ago by a tyrannical elven prince from which to watch over his holdings. It changed hands a many times since the shattering of the Elven Empire, and the upper walls and towers were heavily damaged during the great war. However, the majority of the structure is still sound, if not well equipped for military defense anymore. Various owners have tried renaming it, but the old name has stuck in the imaginations and memories of the populace – local and regional.
Against the Giants
Baalthazar’s travels in the Northern Marches has lead him to encounters with those foul brutes known as Jotens in the northern tongue. In Cormyr they’re simply called giants.
The Orcs of Gruumsh
Amongst the outlaying hills of the sleepy village of Eveningstar, prowled the orc clan known as the Blackgougers. This vile band of orcs had come down from the hinterlands known as the Grimhold, and were led by a cleric of the foul deity Gruumsh. Gruumsh is a dark and evil god, left with a single eye after a battle with the elf god Lebalas Enorath. To gain favor from their god, his clerics would maim one of their own eyes. It is said that this gives the clerics a terrible foresight, and this ability had allowed this band to travel so far south into the Heartlands of Cormyr without being killed or captured by the Purple Dragons. Unbeknownst to the village of Eveningstar, this band of orc, warriors one-hundred strong planned a raid on their little farming village.
As luck would have it, or unlucky if you were the Blackgougers, their cleric had an old elven staff they had looted from a passing caravan. This staff was sought by the elven wizard Cerulyiann the Blue. On a fateful night, Cerulyiann met Baalthazar the Mighty, knight of the realms, seeking fame and fortune. Cerulyian hired Baalthazar and a rag-tag team of adventures in an inn name Rutgar’s Big Ass. The newly formed adventuring troupe took the name Blue Company, in all actuality, that was my idea, and struck out to the caves where the Blackgouger’s hid.
The Blue Company attacked the Blackgougers at night, when most of their warriors were awake. And while the group fought valiantly, they were soon dispatched by the superior numbers of the orks and left broken and dying at the foot of the caves.
Trelayn Mor Alguatha
Several days west of Tilverton lies the ruins of Trelayn Mor Alguatha, an old elven fortress that has been ravaged by time, the keep itself is little more than a low wall that rings the area that was once the bulwarks outer wall. A small group of orcs from some unknown tribe had taken up residence here, the proved little difficulty for The Blue Company as each member slaying an orc and leaving the remaining dozen for the mighty Baalthazar.
In the center of the ruins lay a sinkhole that lead down into caves that had been taken over by kobolds. The caves were warm, probably why the cold-blooded dragonkin moved in. Baalthazar ordered their surrender, but kobolds are emboldened by numbers and attacked the group. Baalthazar exhaled a brilliant fire on the hordes killing all but three of them. The survivors immediately dropped prone and swore servitude to the mighty Baalthazar, as is their custom.
Zashier found an old iron door set in the floor that lead down into the steamy underbelly of Trelayn Mor Alguatha. A hot spring kept the air uncomfortable warm and humid, but seemed to not bother my lord. They were beset by several Ankhegs, that even my lord was hard press to put down, but proved victorious against the beast.
Small sections of the caves had been built out and proved to be the untouched treasury of the elves. The Eldritch Griffin Falin claimed an ancient elven tome and the group brought back much riches. My lord, in his infinite charity, donated a portion of his share to the town of Tilverton as well as the Church of Lathander.
The Hill Giant of Jotenfell
I can tell you first-hand what happened at the Jotunfell for I was there. You see it was a hard four-day ride from White Beard’s Landing to find the giant’s lair. A snow storm had moved in, and many of us were worried that we would not be able to return to our camp, for fear of falling to winter’s last grasp. Sir Baalthazar never wavered; he took the time to breathe fire to keep us warm and dry on our trek and spoke with us of the need to fell this vile invader to our north lands. Now the cave itself was no hidden secret as hill giants do not fear much, but hike up to the opening was taxing.
We entered the cave in the early morning; Baalthazar believed this would be the best time to attack, as we would have the blessing of the Morning Lord at our backs. The cave itself was cold and dank, a fetid odor hung in the air that could only be the smell of foul giants latest victims. From the cave entrance, Baalthazar sent his trusted scout into the cave. What we had not counted on was the scores of orks that had gathered to the evil giant’s side. The caves were literally crawling with the foul beasts. No sooner than the scout turned the corner than he was beset by them.
The group ringed its defense, but Sir Baalthazar knew the group could not withstand an onslaught of orcs. The Mighty knight ran forward to stop the orcs from swarming from the main passage. Sir Baalthazar is truly blessed by the Morning Lord, he stood valiantly as the rest of us dealt with the few orcs that made it past. Suddenly, the ground began to shake and we could hear the large footsteps as the giant approached. What we had not expected, was that the giant was not in the caves. He came up behind the Blue Company from the entrance, and scattered us with a swing of hulking club. The foul giant was titanic, easily 3 times the height of even Sir Baalthazar and his club was actually a small tree stripped down to an enormous cudgel, twice the size of a large man. I look to my lord, but the orcs, emblazed by the appearance of their leader swarmed Sir Baalthazar. Three orcs, then half a dozen, then a dozen, then a score; wave after wave surge against the mighty Baalthazar until the unthinkable happened, Sir Baalthazar fell. For the first time, I feared for my life and I am ashamed to say that I thought about abandoning my liege lord.
The giant stood in the cave entrance keep us at bay. The wizard managed to obscure the thing’s sight, and it was swinging its huge club blindly through the air just trying to connect with something. It kept the others from being able to approach the entrance. I was fairly certain I could slip out, but something stopped me from making my escape.
A mighty roar arose from where Sir Baalthazar had fallen. As I looked hopefully to my lord, I saw the orcs engulfed in flames, writhing in agony. The ground shook and rocks fell, and Sir Baalthazar stood unscathed in the flames of his kith. Sir Baalthazar strode forward and let out a mighty gout of flame on the giant as the bodies of the orcs burned behind him. Their pitiful wails were unnerving, even to this giant, the scourge of the Northern Marches. Blinded and burnt, I think the giant knew the battle was lost, because it tore out of there like scalded dog. I think we all exhaled a sigh of relief, but Sir Baalthazar did not hesitate; he gave chase to the giant. We were hard pressed to keep Sir Baalthazar in our sights. Luckily, the giant’s path was easy to follow for all the trampled brush and uprooted saplings.
When we finally caught up to Sir Baalthazar, he had the giant corned in a small glen. The beast swung his great club in wide arcs, and threw rocks the size of a small man at us. It snarled like a wolf caught in a hunters trap. We attacked from a distance hurling arrows and spells at the thing, yet it did not fall until Sir Baalthazar ran forth and buried his twin swords into the giant’s chest and the thing pitched backwards like a fell tree.
As we sat there in the glen, joking about the battle the battle, I ask Sir balthazar, ‘Why did we come all the way out here in the backwaters of Cormyr to fight this giant?’ and do you know what he told me? He simply said ‘it needed to be done.’
The Giants of White Stag Keep
The Tale of Ohgg and Mogg.
The Tower of Tel Amn Coran
Sagonosh Deep Orc Tribe
Corrupted Hill Giant
The Mines of Althanclanngorr