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Felonius Gallows last won the day on December 4 2016

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About Felonius Gallows

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  1. I don't remember actually going to Redridge. Like a sleepwalker suddenly awakening, I found myself stealthed, up on a ridge overlooking Lakeshire. Below me, the townsfolk had gathered at the cemetery... a funeral was underway. I could faintly hear the priest reading from a book. Passages reassuring the living that the dead had moved on to a better place. They seemed to accept what the priest was saying despite the fact that the dead lie not ten feet away in a hole in the ground. "A better place." "You need to kill them." The Black Blade whispered. I've grown accustomed to the dagger speaking to me. While I was in the Mountain, the Voice was a constant companion. Now, it seems it has taken up residence in the the Black Blade. I looked at the dagger strapped to my thigh. "Why would I do that? I have friends down there." "Kill a Friend or Kill a Foe. It matters not to me." A tall wolf took a shovel and scooped a bit of dirt, then ceremoniously tossed it onto the casket in the grave. Audro is alive... I smiled. It must be Lucas in the hole. Poor Audro. This must be hard on him. I scanned the others. Magistrate Solomon, Bailiff Conacher, Barkeep Daniels and Innkeeper Brianna, Gloria and Sherman Femmel, Amy Davenport, ... "Ah, you recognize those. Especially the wolf, and that one... Amy. You had a thing for her." "Are you reading my mind?" "Of course not. I would never invade your privacy. I sense your emotions. I sense an affection there. You really should kill them." "Stop telling me to kill my friends." "Look at them down there." The Blade seemed agitated. "Do they look happy to you? They are not mourning the loss of a friend... they are jealous. They want to be released from their miserable lives. They want to be free of their burdens. They wish to be free the way Lucas is now free. You can free them! Help your friends. Give them what they want." "I will not kill my friends or allies. Stop suggesting that I do so." "Friend or Foe, you all must go. It is just a matter of time. You act like you actually have a choice in the matter. Silly mortal. Have you forgotten why you created me?" I pulled the dagger from the scabbard and tried to toss it away. My hand would not release it. I couldn't let go of the damned thing! I think it laughed at me. "What kind of sorcery is this?" "Let me remind you of some facts, Felonius. Did you not want to create the ultimate weapon? Working all those hours to learn the skills you needed to create such a weapon... all those hours spent toiling over the forge and anvil. Did you think you were making a skinning knife? Did you think you were making a tool to carve wooden sticks? No, my friend, you wanted a weapon to use to KILL. And KILL you shall." "I guess it's true then... 'Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.'" "You wanted something of immense power, and now you have it. Did you truly believe that any human could control something as powerful as me?" "Maybe I'll just go down there and have that priest put a blessing on you. Maybe have him perform an exorcism or something." "Do it! I'll stab him in the heart. I DARE YOU." The funeral was wrapping up. I watched as the townsfolk walked past the grave, one by one, then wandered off slowly leaving only the priest and gravediggers behind. Audro headed toward the family farm, alone. Where was Emily? I wanted to run and catch up with him. To make sure he was okay, to try to explain what happened. Do I even know what happened? What can I possibly tell him? Would he forgive me? "Mmmm. Worgen blood. I haven't tasted that yet. You should go talk to him right away." "Shut up! I'm quickly learning that I can't trust you." "Is it really ME that you don't trust? Maybe you just don't trust yourself. You know you want to give in to me. You know that I am right. You want to help your friends. Release them. It is the right thing to do." I pushed the Blade back into its scabbard and sat there watching the men fill the grave. The priest waved his hands over the ground and said something about peace and Light. Then they too wandered off. I sat there thinking, trying hard not to speak or feel anything that might reveal my thoughts. Maybe the Blade was right... maybe I just don't trust myself.
  2. I remember the pain in my eye. Although it was raining when I emerged from the Mountain, I had been living in the darkness for so long that even the cloudy skies were painfully bright. The raindrops flashed with an intense light of their own as they fell, like miniature lightning bolts. I no longer felt weak as I stood at the entrance, my eyes attempting to adjust so that I could focus on the surrounding landscape. There is always the question, when one completes a great task, of "What's next?" When we think of a longtime struggle, or a lifelong dream, then finally, after weeks, years or decades, it is finally done... then what? For some, it is a feeling of despair. For others, it is a feeling of release and impending freedom. Some fear the unknown, while others embrace it. I truly have no answers. I headed over to Thorium Point, said my "hellos" to some old friends. They seemed different now... almost distant. Maybe it is me who has changed. I mounted my gryphon and flew up to an isolated peak, and I just stood there in the rain. It was like I had just woke up from a long sleep... again. Was I still asleep, or was I awake? In that realm of twilight between the two, sometimes it is hard to tell. I looked over the landscape below me and found nothing that caught my interest. Was there something I was supposed to do? Where should I go next? What do I want to do? Do I need anything? It was like I could not decide a single thing. I couldn't even tell if I was hungry or thirsty. What happened to me? I laid down in the mud and let the rain fall across my face. It felt good. My gryphon stood nearby looking at me with a puzzled look. Yet, I just laid there. I thought for a moment about dismissing him, but even that seemed like too big a decision to make at the moment. I ignored him. My mind was in a fog that I couldn't pierce. Memories flashed before my eyes of fire, a forge, the smell of smoke. My stomach turned and I thought I would vomit, but nothing came of it. I lay there, soaked in rain and mud, and let my mind wander. Eventually, the rain stopped and the Sun began to fight its way through the clouds. The sunshine felt warm, but I still felt no ambition to get up. And before long, I fell asleep. I have no idea how long I had laid there, but when I awakened again, the Sun was getting low in the sky. Birds circled overhead and I watched them with amusement. I got up and dusted myself off. My muscles ached and my throat was parched. I dug around in my backpack and found a flask of ale and downed it quickly. The liquid quenched my thirst but it seemed to have no flavor. I wondered if those birds actually taste meat as they eat a fresh kill, or if it is only quenching a thirst. Do Forsaken enjoy consuming a corpse, or do they just feel a need? Do Worgen enjoy the flavor of raw meat, or do they just derive some sort of satisfaction from the kill? I should ask Audro about that sometime... Audro. My mind raced, trying desperately to clear the fog in my mind the way I had just seen the Sun pierce the clouds. Focus, dammit! My mind reeled. Then I remembered... Lakeshire. I need to get to Lakeshire...
  3. The dream no longer haunts me. I don't know if it is because I have gleaned all I can from it and now it bores me, or if my exhaustion just allows me to sleep right through it. I no longer awaken in pain. It is as though my arms have become strong enough to withstand whatever force I had previously encountered. Things have changed. The other voices have gone silent now and even the Mountain Voice has changed. It is no longer the seductive feminine voice that guided me in my work. It has become deeper, stronger, more masculine. It no longer follows me around either. It seems only present at the anvil as I work upon the Black Blade. I have discovered the perfect process for shaping the blade. While the metal is hot it is very easy to work with, almost liquid and it pulses with an energy I have never seen before. And yet, when the metal cools, it seems indestructible. I have tried to break the blade and could not. I have beat the edge to try to dull it and it remains undamaged. I completed the handle and I am quite pleased with the look of the finished product. It seems to have a life of its own, radiating a sort of power. Not one that can be seen, but one that is definitely felt. I received one last instruction from the Voice and that was to "charge" the blade. The Blade requires a sacrifice. I made my way to the Grim Guzzler to celebrate the end of my work. I don't even know how long I have been at it. I haven't seen the sun in so long. Has it been days, weeks? I have no clue. I ordered up a couple of Dark Iron Ales and was finally able to relax. I no longer felt rushed. I no longer felt compelled. I felt satisfied... almost happy. And the happier I got, the more ale I drank. Ah, the sweet release of intoxication! And that is when it happened. In all the time I have been here, I have never seen any Horde come to this bar. But today was different. Things had changed. Three of them came in and seemed to be talking among themselves. I laughed out loud thinking this was the beginning of a bad joke. Two Orcs and a Forsaken walk into a bar... My laughter caught their attention and the Forsaken gave me a look. I heard the Voice coming from the Black Blade... "KILL THEM!" I chose to ignore it and enjoy my ale, but before I realized what was happening, I found myself cutting the Forsaken's throat. I leaped at the Orcs and drove the Blade deep into their chests. The Blade throbbed in my hand. The Dark Irons do not take kindly to any aggression and soon I was surrounded by dwarves wanting to get in on the fight. I was amazed at how quickly my reflexes responded. I didn't need to command my muscles to do anything. I just had to allow the Blade to take over and do its work. Within seconds, it seemed, the floor was littered with bodies and blood flowed everywhere. I looked around at the carnage and felt the Blade in my hand. It felt... satisfied. I looked down at the Blade and it too had changed. The plain blade of dark metal now pulsed as if the metal had once again become liquid. Faces of the dead now looked out at me as though I had captured their worthless souls within the blade itself. With the danger over, I put the blade away and returned to my cave. I felt exhausted again and sleep overcame me quickly. Maybe it was just the ale.
  4. I agree that I keep coming back to Rogue as well. But I am interested in seeing how the changes have affected other classes. Perhaps those that I found unplayable are now within my reach. Since Rogue and Paladin are both melee, I've been thinking about trying a ranged class. Mage sounds like fun and Hunter is interesting, but I've heard a lot of people disappointed with Hunter, so no decision yet... but my main won't change regardless.
  5. Felonius had made a make-shift camp deep within Blackrock Mountain. He had found a small hidden cavern that gave him a safe place to work without needing to avoid the Dark Iron Dwarves that patrolled the area incessantly. He focused on his work, and when the voices in his head would give him a break, he thought about going to check on Audro. More than a few times, he packed his bag and headed for the entrance. But each time he reached daylight, he could feel the strength drain out of him. He became weak. He hated that feeling. Then one morning, the Mountain made good on her promise. "Come, I have something to show you" she had said. He followed her voice as she led him through various twists and turns to a dead-end. There, in a trash pile, he found everything he needed. All of the materials he thought he would have difficulty obtaining to craft the ultimate dagger, The Black Blade. There was a bonus. He also found a blood-red stone unlike anything he had ever seen. It glowed faintly. The Mountain Voice told him it was a relic of the Titans, with a secret power. She said it was a gift. Felonius felt as though the world was just placed at his feet. He wished he could share the news of his good fortune with someone. Audro. "I need to check on Audro." "But you have work to do now, don't you?" the Voice asked. "Yes. Yes, I do." Felonius waited for the Voice to go silent, then packed his bags for a short trip to Lakeshire. He stuffed the bag quickly and ran toward the entrance. "Need to get out while she is quiet." he thought to himself. Up ahead, he could see daylight shining into the entrance to the mountain. His legs burned. His strength draining. He stopped. I can't. Felonius trudged back to his small camp. The strength in his legs returned. "Maybe," the Voice said "You can make it after you finish your work." Felonius looked down at the plans he had drawn. "Yes, Ma'am."
  6. I awakened this morning feeling stronger than ever. My little make-shift camp in the bowels of the Mountain provided me everything I need... except a few things that will be forged into the Black Blade. "Come," said the Mountain, "I have something to show you." I've grown accustomed to her voice. I find it... soothing. Sometimes I try to imagine what she looks like... the Queen of the Mountain. With a voice like that, she must be beautiful. "What is it?" I asked aloud, "Where are we going?" She giggled. I've never heard her giggle before. I headed out of the narrow tunnel toward where I thought the voice was coming from. She led me through a maze of tunnels and small caverns to a tunnel that dead-ended. "Here we are." At the end of the tunnel was a trash heap. Old crates and boxes, pieces of cloth and bits of rusty metal. Junk discarded by the Dark Irons, no doubt. I began sifting through the trash, digging into the old crates. In one was a bunch of leather... not just any leather, Enchanted Leather and Core Leather! I searched faster, locating everything I had on my shopping list. A small box of Arcanite bars, a bag of Guardian Stone. I couldn't believe my eyes. I couldn't believe my luck. (( Insert Billy Mays voice here: "But wait, there's more!" )) As I moved another rusted metal box, something fell out. It was a blood-red stone that glowed faintly. I grabbed it up and examined it. I have never seen anything like it before. "It's a gift." said the Voice. "But... what is it?" "I can't tell you, Felonius." Another first. She never called me by name before. "It is a secret... a secret power. A special relic of the Titans, like you were looking for. Just for you." "Thank you!" I called over my shoulder as I hurriedly carried my loot back to my camp. Now, I have everything I need to begin crafting. I don't know what this glowy red stone is, but it will look nice in the handle. She said it is a relic, so I will need to fashion a relic socket inside the handle for it to fit. If it is a Titan relic, it sure is small. I wonder what its power is?
  7. I have packed a few provisions to last me a few days. I stopped off in Lakeshire to check on Audro, but he is still unconscious. If he were awake, I don't know what I would say to him... what I should say to him. Sorry? Sorry doesn't cut it. This isn't the first time I nearly killed my friend. There was that time when I first got the motorcycle. We were camped at Thunder Totem and I wanted to show off. I took Audro for a ride in the side-car and we ran a few laps around town. Audro wasn't exactly thrilled, so I kicked it up a notch and I tried to jump the motorcycle over the elevator shaft. We plummeted to the bottom and nearly died. Took me weeks to repair the bike. Then there was that time when I got some Goblin Glider Kits. I took Audro up to Highmountain Peak and convinced him that we should jump off the cliff. I had done it before and glided all the way to Bradensbrook. Audro was really nervous about that, but agreed to follow me. Well, everyone knows how reliable Goblin technology is. The gliders failed after two minutes of flight. And we got caught in a cross-wind. So when we plummeted to the ground, we ended up in Suramar. Another tag-team-near-death-experience. But it was fun. This time... not so much. I think the part that I am wrestling with is that I convinced him to come home, to help his ailing father, and to be there for his daughter. Instead, the result has been yet another burden on Lucas who really has enough on his plate as it is. The voices continue to urge me to continue my work on the Black Blade. They have been very helpful, when I take the time to try to listen to them. Lately, they have been getting louder... I think it is so I can hear them when I am too far away from the Mountain. The whole process of mining the dark iron, smelting it at the Black Forge, then crafting the metal at the Black Anvil is very time-consuming. Traveling back and forth between the Mountain, my Fort, and the Caravan camp has exhausted me. I needed to figure out a better way. On my last trip to Searing Gorge, I made my way down into the Mountain. I discovered a small cavern that is really difficult to see from the Dark Iron Highway. It is sort of a natural camouflage the way the rocks are formed, effectively hiding the entrance. Once inside a short hallway, the cavern opens up into a larger space that has three other small alcoves. I decided that this could work out for a make-shift camp. I can safely sleep here undetected and that will allow me to spend less time traveling. This trip I brought enough supplies of food, water, and building materials that will allow me to craft a bed, table and chair. It didn't take long for me to get those made and set up a small home-away-from-home. The Mountain voice has told me she is pleased that I have returned. The other voices are not as loud now, but there seems to be more of them and they all want to talk at once. And it never stops. They are never quiet, but I have learned how to ignore them now. When I need to know something, I will listen and try to figure out which one is telling me what I need to hear. Sometimes, the Mountain voice will make them quiet so I can hear her clearly... That is interesting... they are silent when she speaks. She must be their Queen. I feel tired, exhausted really. Physically and mentally, yet I cannot sleep. I know I need to. The Black Blade isn't even halfway done. I still have much to learn about how to proceed to complete the next phase of crafting it. I brought along a decent supply of Sulfuron Slammers to help me sleep. It took four of them to get the job done. I was so drunk I could barely get into bed. And when my head hit the pillow, at long last I felt the world slipping away. And not long after that, the nightmare began again... right on schedule.
  8. Felonius returned to Redridge after a day in Stormwind gathering his own supplies. He rode east along the southern highway. Bodies of gnolls littered the landscape. He felt a sense of pride that his new toxin worked as it was designed to. But, regretted that the poison had affected an innocent. Early in his life, Felonius embraced the rogue life. The freedom to do as he saw fit. He bent the laws to suit his own needs. He was very successful in his training as an agent and an assassin. He easily recalled the advice Lord Ravenholdt had given him decades ago: "Know your target." It was advice that served him well. Although he was not a soldier, and resented being treated like one, Felonius became fond of the Alliance. He always hated the Horde, and "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." And "with great power comes great responsibility". He learned to use his skills with surgical precision; to carve out the target that needed to be eliminated without collateral damage. In a land torn by war, there are always civilian casualties, but his skill enabled him to pick and choose. It was a skill that was useful in many covert operations. "Slip in, get the job done, and slip out". But this... This was a major screw-up. This was not just some minor casualty of war. His surgical precision had faltered. The slip of the surgeon's scalpel nicked a heart. The patient may not recover because he had lost his focus. His mind wandered. Felonius swung the motorcycle around and headed back west toward Three Corners, then north towards the Redridge Canyons. More of the same. Dead gnolls scattered everywhere. Some in groups near the camps and dens, some solitary... obviously sentinels who died in their tracks while on patrol. When he got to Render's Camp, he had seen enough to know his plan had worked, and he headed back to Lakeshire. He stopped outside the Inn and shut off the engine. He sat there, thinking. What if Mavis didn't make it? What if he did? What will you tell him? "You seem uneasy my friend. You know what will ease your mind." It was the Mountain voice, the voice in his head. "NOT NOW." Felonius looked around to see if anyone heard him talking to himself. He got off the bike and went inside. The Innkeeper greeted him warmly. "Your friend has gone home, Mr. Gallows." "He.. he is awake?" Felonius questioned with a hopeful look. "Oh no," said the Innkeeper, "they took him home, to Lucas' place." "Ah, Okay. What do I owe you for his room." Felonius reached for his gold pouch. "Already taken care of Mr. Gallows. Nothing owed here." "Thank you." Felonius exited the Inn and mounted the bike. He turned the key and the engine roared to life. "Nothing more for you to do here." It was the voice again. "You have done enough, don't you think? Come back to the Mountain and you will feel better." Felonius waved his hand the way one swats at a mosquito. "Leave me alone." He headed up the road to the Audrapel farm and stopped just close enough that he could see the house. He waited and watched. There were people coming and going every now and then. He felt unsure if he should show his face up there. But he said he would. "Never make an agreement you don't intend to keep." He rode up to the house and knocked on the door. He heard Emily call out from the side of the house, "Hello Mr. Scissors!" Felonius couldn't help but smile. He left the stoop and walked toward the young girl. "How are you today, Emily?" "Okay, I guess. Are you here to see the wolf too?" She looked disappointed. "Well, maybe I came to see you." He gave her a wink. Emily smiled for a moment, then suspected he was teasing her and frowned. "Everyone wants to see the wolf. I think they forgot about me." "Well, I can't believe that." Felonius tried to cheer her up. "How could anyone forget the Princess of the Farm?" "What do you mean?" she asked, "I'm not a princess." "Uh-oh, " Felonius feigned a look as though he had just let out the Big Secret. "You didn't know? Of course you are the Princess! Look around here. Think about who lives here. Can any of them be the Princess?" Emily looked as though she was mentally inventorying the residents. "Uh, no. Their all boys." "Exactly!" Felonius smiled. "Then that must mean that YOU are the Princess." Emily smiled as the logic finally dawned on her. "I am the Princess? I AM the Princess!" Felonius cautioned her with a finger to his lips and a wink of his eye. "It's a secret." Emily laughed, "Okay, Mr. Scissors... uh, I mean... " "Felonius. Call me Felonius." "Ok, Felonius." "And now, Your Highness, if I may, I would like to see your wolf." Felonius made a dramatic bow before the girl. "Yes, you may." She curtsied then ran off laughing. Felonius could hear her muttering "I AM the Princess of the Farm." Felonius returned to the stoop. Lucas was standing there, apparently he had been watching. "Mr. Gallows." He nodded. "How is he, sir?" Felonius inquired. "No change. We have him in the guest room so he will be comfortable. But that's all we know for now." Felonius nodded sadly. "I see. I won't trouble you. I'll be out of town for a few days, but I wanted to stop by and see how he was doing. If he wakes up, let him know I was here and he will hear from me soon?" "I will do that. ... and Mr. Gallows? Go easy on yourself." Felonius waved to the old man as he mounted the bike. He fired up the engine and Emily came running around the corner of the house. She waved goodbye and Felonius gave her a half bow, then swung the bike out on the road. He turned north again toward the Burning Steppes. "That's it," the voice soothed, "come on back to the Mountain. I have something to show you."
  9. I don't know how long it has been. I never seem to remember to date these entries, not that I am even certain what day it is today. The Caravan is in need of supplies. Our usual custom is to barter our trade goods for whatever we need. This time of year, we tend to stockpile things for the winter. Now that our trade goods have been stolen, we are essentially penniless. Audro gave me a good tip that harvesting had not been completed yet in Redridge due to an increase in gnoll attacks. He felt this would be a window of opportunity for us to negotiate a deal, in exchange for ridding the area of gnolls. Since Audro has experience in farming, and is from Lakeshire, I trusted his judgment. I met with the Magistrate, Solomon, and worked out a deal where the town would provide us with the supplies and I would remove the gnolls. I scouted the areas all around Lake Everstill and found that their problem was much larger than I anticipated. The shear numbers of dens and camps of gnolls all around the perimeter of Redridge meant devising a more practical way of removing them. Rather than attempt to slay every one of them, I thought it better to concoct a long-lasting poison. Most poisons evaporate quickly, only lasting about an hour. I could make one that is oil-based, but to use it as bait, it will need to be both odorless and tasteless to prevent premature detection by beasts with heightened senses. I figured out the right combination and made a rather large batch. I then spent a couple of days hunting boars and rabbits. I then tainted the meats, and left chunks of them lying all around Redridge. I had warned the Magistrate to ban all hunting for two weeks to ensure the safety of the citizens. I met Audro's family, but did not let on that I knew him. His father is not well, and seems to be having a difficult time. I sent a message via guild-courier to tell Audro about the situation here. He has told me in the past that he cannot return home. He fears many things, but mostly it is a feeling of prejudice against him because he is Worgen. I have never seen him in human form, and from what I gather, he is subconsciously unable to change out of the wolf form. He told me that, even if he could change into human form, everyone in town still knows what he is... the prejudice would still be there. I don't know Worgen, truly very little about them. Audro is really the only one that I have befriended and who was willing to talk to me. He told me, indirectly, about his need to hunt. That somehow the beast inside him, sort of takes over, and he must let it go and do its thing. I don't really understand it except that it is just some overwhelming compulsion that cannot be refused. It never occurred to me, that my letter to Audro about his father's health might actually convince him to return home. But, apparently, it did. Also apparently, he still needed to hunt... and was not aware of the hunting ban in Redridge. They found his body while I was still in Lakeshire. He was alive, but not by much. I can only assume that he did not eat the baited meats, but ate something else that did. It appears that he did not receive a lethal dose, but he could surely have died had I not been there to give him an antidote. I am deeply remorseful over this. Yes, I have had a few drinks but it still seems that all of my attempts to help have somehow reversed on me. I wanted to help the Caravan obtain supplies. I wanted to help Lakeshire get rid of gnolls. I wanted to help Audro understand how is family was doing. Then with a twist of Fate, all of that resulted in my almost killing my friend; the very friend I was trying to help. Then, I had to break my promise to my friend about remaining silent, so I could explain to his father what I had done! No, what I did was not intentional. Some say it wasn't my fault. Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Audro had better pull out of this... then I can tell him the good news: He is the first person ever to survive a lethal poison crafted by Felonius T. Gallows! "Cheers to you, my friend. Get well soon."
  10. Felonius greeted the Magistrate as he entered the Lakeshire Town Hall. The Magistrate appeared busy with stacks of papers across his desk. He looked up, surprised to see Felonius. "You can't possibly have finished the job in one day!" Felonius smiled at the Magistrate. "I work smarter, not harder. But, no, it isn't done yet." "I see," said the Magistrate, "How did it go?" "Well, you do have a gnoll problem here. Worse than I remember. I found dens and camps all around Redridge. From Three Corners in the south, up through the Redridge Canyons, all the way to Render's Camp in the north. They are also all along the south highway going east into the valley." "That's what I've been told." Solomon looked concerned. "And we just don't have the manpower to to purge them ourselves. Bravo Company left this morning for the front lines, and citizens are busy with the harvest. How long do you think it will take you to clear them out?" "Well, once I realized how many you have here, it just doesn't make sense to try to hack-and-slay your way through them. I don't know if they are just breeding faster than rabbits, or if they have reinforcements coming in from somewhere else. I've used a different approach that I think will work out much better." "Oh? How is that?" "I went into their camps and I left behind chunks of boar and rabbit meat that I had 'seasoned' with a long-lasting poison. Once the poison is exposed to air, it starts to degrade but will still last a week easily. This way, we can kill off entire clans in one shot, even if more are arriving. The secondary benefit is that there is enough of that bait lying around, it will also take out any other meat-eaters like the wolves, hyenas and spiders. If the gnolls eat those, the poison will last long enough to still affect the gnolls that do eat them. So there is the possibility that by tainting their food supply, they may decide to move on to a different area." Solomon laughed, "It's a nice thought, but gnolls are not that smart." Felonius laughed, "Well we can hope. So the traps are set. I don't expect payment for a few more days when you start to see them dropping like flies." Solomon relaxed a bit. "Sounds fair enough." Felonius' ears picked up the shouts of a guard outside. The guard entered the Hall and whispered something to the Bailiff. "What is it?" Solomon asked. "A Nightbane, sir, " the guard replied. "We think he must have crossed the river from Duskwood and was hunting in the mountains. Some kids found him. He is unconscious, but the boys said something about a reward?" The Bailiff looked at Solomon, "We haven't offered a reward on Nightbane... have we?" Solomon shook his head, "No. The only reward for any worgen is for one of our missing citizens. Lucas Audrapel's son." The Bailiff questioned the guard, "Are you sure it is a Nightbane?" "Uh, no sir. Not sure how to tell them apart" the guard stammered. The Bailiff raced outside, calling to other guards to retrieve the worgen quickly. Solomon rubbed his face. He looked tired. "If this is Lucas' son," Solomon looked at Felonius, "it will not be good. Lucas has enough troubles right now. He doesn't need to lose another family member." Felonius looked at the Magistrate with concern, and thought for a moment. He knew he could reassure the Magistrate... but it would mean revealing a secret. "I don't think you have anything to worry about," Felonius told him. "I didn't say anything before, and just between you and me... I know Mavis Audrapel." Solomon looked up. "What?" "It's true. I can't say how, or give any details, but last I saw him he was in the Broken Isles... a week ago. The guard is probably right, it probably is just a Nightbane that wandered across the river looking for food." Solomon seemed relieved, but then began to contemplate why Felonius hadn't mentioned anything to Lucas, or even to him when he told Felonius that it was Mavis who was missing and not Gavin. Felonius stood up "If it is a Nightbane, we had better put it down before it gains consciousness. I'll go give them a hand." Felonius exited the Hall and fired up his motorcycle. He headed toward the bridge then stopped for directions. A guard on the bridge indicated which way the group had gone and Felonius swung the bike around and headed out. He quickly found the guards carrying the unconscious worgen, struggling with the dead-weight of the over-sized beast. Following along behind the guards were three boys loudly discussing how they were going to divide the reward money and what they planed to do with their new-found wealth. Felonius stopped the bike and pulled his daggers. The guards dropped the body, seemingly glad to take a break. The guards, noticing Felonius' weapons drawn, drew their swords... they just didn't know if they were defending against Felonius or the unconscious worgen. As Felonius got closer, he recognized the wolf. It was his friend Audro! He yelled to the biggest boy, "Get my pack from the bike!" then began to check his friend for wounds. There was blood on his pants, but no wounds at all. He checked his eyes: non-responsive and slightly rolled back in his head. The Worgen's tongue was dry and hanging out of his mouth. The guards looked at each other, confused. Felonius put his face next to the wolf's mouth, he was breathing, but just barely. "I know this man," Felonius explained. "This is Mavis Audrapel." The two boys looked at each other, clearly agitated that this seemed to be a medical emergency, but wrestling with glee at having just qualified for the reward. The third boy brought the pack, setting it next to Felonius. "Is it really him?" He asked, looking to the other boys for confirmation. Felonius worked quickly. He reached into his pack and retrieved a vial of a purplish-colored oil. He quickly unscrewed the pommel of his dagger and removed the poison vial. He then replaced it with the vial of the purple oil, and screwed the cap back on. Knowing Audro's "need" to hunt, he surmised that he probably did not eat the baited meat lying around. He would have gone after a live victim. This meant that he must've hunted a poisoned gnoll. He just hoped his friend did not get a full lethal dose. Otherwise, this antidote might not work. Felonius tried shaking the wolf and calling his name to see if he could get any response. When there was none, he realized he had no choice. You cannot get an unconscious person to drink a liquid, they will likely just drown. Felonius armed the dagger to ready it for injection, only instead of poison it would inject the antidote. Felonius looked at the wolf. He was truly worried. "I am so sorry my friend. By the Light, may this work." And with that, he pushed the blade deep into Mavis' thigh.
  11. Core of Earth powdered... equal proportions to the iron... I know! Fiery core with a Heart of Fire... smelt until... SHUT UP! I know that part. When do I add the first socket? You mustn't be rude... never forget who you are speaking to... I'm sorry. You were saying? ... Hello? ... Look, I'm sorry. It's just that it's hard to think with all of you talking in my head at once. Please come back. ... Great, now I did it. I need a drink.
  12. Audro, I normally do not interfere with other people's business, especially friends, but I think the situation here is worthy of your immediate attention. I have met with Solomon and made arrangements for supplies if I take care of some errands for him. He introduced me to Lucas and Emily. I did not indicate that I knew you, nor did I discuss you in any way, as you requested. But Lucas is quite ill and honestly I don't know him well enough to know how ill he really is. He is clearly trying to appear strong. I spoke with Solomon briefly and it appears that Lucas is having a difficult time between running a farm, taking care of Emily, and his health... your absence also weighs on him heavily. I think he could really use some help from family and friends. Solomon has agreed to get friends and neighbors to help with the harvest and get us the supplies we need. I will not be there, as I have other obligations to attend to. The supplies should be ready for me to pick up in about a week. I know you said you felt you couldn't go back there yet, and it is not my place to tell you what to do. I am only relaying first-hand information to you. But, I also think you should reconsider. Your family needs you. ~~Felonius
  13. The shipment of Core leather arrived today. It was expensive, but will be quite useful. I have drafted up the plans for the Black Blade and it is going to be incredible! It is going to take a long time to build though. Due to the way that each part interacts at various stages of the process, the process will be slow and methodical. Each of the phases of smelting, forging, and crafting have intermediate sub-phases that require specific processes over time, and key checkpoints at which the gems and relics must be incorporated. At first, I had a hard time visualizing each process. But now that the nightmare visits me every night, I learn something new... I see the process more clearly. The pain is excruciating, but I try to focus on the beginning of the dream... what leads up to the finished product. Sometimes I feel stuck and actually go to bed early wishing for the nightmare to teach me its secrets. I still need to acquire some Guardian Stone. The only place I know to get it is Un'Goro Crater. That place is infested by the Steamwheadle Cartel and with their Kill-On-Sight bounty on me, it will be difficult. I would normally just hire a contractor to obtain it for me, but this is something I must keep secret. So I will have to do it myself. Might give me a chance to take out a couple hundred of those damn goblins. The rash seems to be returning more and more often. I have exhausted my supply of the dark iron residue, so I will need to make another trip to the Mountain. Soon. Very soon. Sometimes, I catch myself thinking out loud... or I think I was talking to myself... but sometimes it isn't my voice that I hear. It's weird. I want to just scream and tell them all to shut up! But then the other voice... the Mountain voice... she tells me I should listen to them. They are telling me how to get this done. So I listen.
  14. Solomon and Felonius seemed to be in agreement. The two men made the short trip to a farm at the edge of town. As they traveled, Solomon mentioned that the farmer's health was failing and that he seemed a bit concerned about next year's crop. He said the farmer's son went missing awhile ago, and the old farmer has been a bit stressed over that as well. Felonius remained silent and listened. He wondered if Solomon was telling him a sad story to get him to give in a bit more on the deal they had just made. Before long, they arrived at their destination. The farm was not nearly as dilapidated as Felonius had expected. It was obvious that the farm was still being maintained, but things did appear to be falling behind a bit. As Solomon knocked on the door, Felonius noted the front yard had a few wooden toys lying about. They appeared to be the toys of a young child, certainly no older than seven or eight years old. His attention returned to the door when he heard it click open. Their greeter was a small girl, about five years old, with long black hair. She recognized Solomon instantly and her brown eyes lit up. "Sully!" "Hello Emily. This is Mr. Gallows. He is here to help us. Is your grandfather here?" The child seemed full of energy and curiosity. She ignored Solomon's question, and forgetting her "inside voice", yelled up to Felonius "Why do you have an eye-patch?" Felonius knelt down so he was face to face with the girl. He smiled so as not to frighten her. "I don't remember... maybe... maybe I was running with scissors in my hand." He did a tongue-in-cheek funny face to make her laugh. Just then a figure appeared in the doorway and Felonius stood up. The old farmer looked rather weak. Felonius could imagine him in his younger days as healthy and strong. He definitely looked like a farmer, but could just as easily have been a soldier. He had an air about him... like a person of strong will. But physically, the old man was but a shadow of this former self. "Hello Solomon, good to see you." The old man wheezed a bit, then asked Emily to go play so the men could talk. The child hugged the old man's leg briefly, then scampered off. Solomon began the introductions, "Felonius Gallows, this is Lucas Audrapel. Lucas, Felonius Gallows." Felonius recognized the old man's name, but didn't let on. He shook the man's hand, noting that he had the calloused hands of a worker and a firm grip. Not strong, but firm. "Pleased to meet you." "Likewise." Lucas motioned for them to come inside. The old man led the way, his gait was slow and deliberate. He casually put his hands on furniture as he passed by, in case he needed them for support. Lucas led them through the main room toward the kitchen. The main sitting room was covered with toys, one of the most prominent being a wooden train set. Felonius recognized the workmanship and design of the train as one made by fellow Caravan member, Atticus Scatlocke. Felonius glanced around the room as they walked through. He noticed a case of military medals on the wall with a photo of a young man in what appears to be a memorial. Next to that is a photograph of two grown boys, one with a resemblance to Emily and the other appearing to be the older brother from the memorial, a younger girl around 16 or 17 is with them. There’s also a framed grapho of a woman with long black hair. As they entered the kitchen, Lucas grabbed the nearest chair and took a seat. He began to cough, seeming a bit exhausted from the walk. He quickly pulled out a handkerchief and tried to disguise the cough. He waved his hand, motioning for the other two men to join him at the table. As he wiped his mouth and put away the handkerchief, he mumbled something about all the harvesting creating dust in the air. Before taking a seat, Solomon put his hand on the old man's shoulder. "We won't take up much of your time, but I wanted to tell you what we discussed at the Town Meeting today." Solomon took a seat closest to Lucas. Felonius heard Emily in the other room making choo-choo sounds, apparently playing with the train. "Mr. Gallows here is a traveler. He and his caravan are in need of supplies for the winter. He has offered to get rid of the gnolls that are attacking our farms in exchange for supplies." The old farmer appeared to get dizzy for a moment, but played it off as though he was adjusting his seat to better listen to the Magistrate. "We can get some people over here to help you with harvesting and repairs. But obviously, that doesn't put any money in your pocket for your own needs. We can purchase your crops out of the town treasury, but our funds are not unlimited so we would need a really fair price from you." Felonius observed Lucas to see what his reaction would be. The old man's eyes were almost closed and his breathing was slow and steady with a slight rattle in his chest. He didn't move, and Felonius wondered if he had fallen asleep. Lucas began nodding his head, then slowly opened his eyes. "Yes. I think we can come to an arrangement." Felonius leaned forward as if he was about to speak. His arms were beginning to itch again. He leaned far enough so he could scratch under the table unseen. He felt sorry for the old man. "Sir, I am not farmer. I am a blacksmith. So if you need any hardware... tools, nails... or if you have tools you need repaired. Just let me know and I'll see what I can do." Lucas looked at Felonius and nodded. "Much appreciated." Solomon and Lucas began discussing the details of current prices of crops in the area. Felonius was becoming distracted by the itch and finally excused himself to "use the outhouse". As soon as he was outside he glanced around to be sure Emily hadn't followed him and there was no one else around. He stealthed around the corner and ducked into the outhouse. By now the itching was becoming severe. Felonius rolled up his sleeves and reached into his pocket for the vial. The rash had returned, almost bleeding where he had been scratching. He poured the last of the dark iron residue into his palm and rubbed it into his arms. The cool gray powder stained his skin, but soothed the rash quickly. Felonius looked at the empty vial. "Note to self: Refill this vial very, very soon." He rolled down his sleeves and returned to the house. When he entered the front door, Felonius noticed the two men standing in the main sitting room. Lucas was leaning heavily on the back of a chair and the two seemed to be exchanging small-talk. Apparently waiting for Felonius to return. Felonius pointed at the pictures on the wall as he moved in to get a closer look. "That your family, Lucas?" "Yes, it is. That's my wife and children. That's Gavin, Mavis and Susan. We lost Gavin at Icecrown." Sensing a delicate subject, Solomon interrupts, "Well, we better get going. It was good to see you again Lucas." The men said their goodbyes and headed outside. Emily was outside in the yard and saw them leaving. "Bye Sully!" she yelled. "Goodbye Emily." He smiled at the child. "Goodbye Mr. Scissors!" She giggled and ran like she thought Felonius was chasing her. When they were on the road Felonius asked Solomon, "You mentioned earlier that one of Lucas' sons went missing. He said he lost Gavin at Icecrown and I saw the medals. Gavin was Missing In Action during that battle?" Solomon shook his head, "No. Gavin is dead. Mavis is missing." "And Emily?" "Mavis' daughter. Lucas is taking care of her until Mavis returns." Felonius shook his head. "That has got to be tough. Being ill, raising a child, running a farm... and no family around to help?" Solomon looked at the ground. "Sadly." Back in town, Felonius bid the Magistrate farewell with a reassurance that he would start on eliminating gnolls first thing in the morning. He made his way to the Inn, rented a room and ordered a flask be sent up. He was just getting settled in when the ale arrived. He tipped the bartender then locked the door, opened his backpack and took out paper and quill. Felonius drew the logo of the Cup and Blade Caravan on the back of the paper, as is customary to signify member-to-member communications within a guild. Under the logo he wrote: URGENT IMPORTANT. Then turned the paper over and began the letter... Audro,