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The Need for Strategy


The Gay Frogs have acquitted ourselves well, and I am proud of the work we have done. We fulfilled our mission. In the process, we have also brought men who sowed chaos to justice. As a result, our payment was not as promised, but instead, the ownership of the Inn of the Gay Frogs. Ultimately, I’m not clear how or why this happened, but as long as we remain a cohesive group, it would appear that we have a base of operations. On the one hand, it is nice to once again have roots and a place which I may call a home. On the other, we are making rather powerful enemies who may wish reprisal, and we are literally advertising our home location.

If we were at my home in the Monastery of Bian Fu near the FeyWild, I would be comfortable in the power of the Masters to repel any attacks. But the Gay Frogs, though growing more powerful, are still novices, and may not be prepared for possible onslaughts as we disrupt the power structure here in Waterdeep.

As Sensei Bri-an would tell me constantly, “The best offense is a good defense.” Having been together for such a short time, I don’t know that the Gay Frog Alliance have a cohesive sense of strategy. And as the great master Sun Tzu tells us, “Tactics without a strategy is simply the noise before defeat.”

With only the one goal for our inaugural adventure as a group, we didn’t really need to think strategically. But now that it looks as though we are going to continue on the path together, we should consider where that path may lead. Knowing where we may go and having some idea as to what our potential antagonists’ methods may be would certainly help us to prepare working tactics that will serve to keep us alive at the least, and help us to secure the goals of our strategy if all works out well.

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Last time
Right after opening the door to the recently under new management Xanathar base, you were face to face with the city watch. With your swords still drawn you didn't look to innocent. However the captain Hyustus Staget took a liking to you as you made his job easier. He pointed you in the direction of a nearby sewer base were they saw Floon being dragged, and said he would look the other way if you were to take care of it for him. During your trip the party was able to take 4 prisoners, kill some intellect devourers, a tiny beholder thing, and a half orc who you know as boss. In addition a mind flayer named Nihiloor got away, but you got Floon so that's what really matters. When you got back to the hotel you questioned Renaer Neverember about why he was in Waterdeep. He told you outside of meeting with friends he was here to get the stone of Golorr which holds the memory of where the now exiled open lord is hiding 500,000 gold pieces (sorry I got the number wrong during our last session).  The stone is currently in the hands of Nihiloor. When you brought Floon to Volo he says he doesn't have the money but gives you a three story manor in a great area called Trollskull Alley. The party who was there excepted the deal, and next time you will all pick your rooms. The last thing I should mention is you all level up! Go through a standard 5e level up; if you have any questions we can talk about them at the next meeting.
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My Origin
Soon after hatching, I wailed in the forest and my adopted mother found me after I rolled and squirmed into the middle of a path. Maria Pindelton found me when I was a day old: a retired paladin of Lathander. Ending her adventuring life because she was pregnant, she lost her child at birth. Walking through the woods she found and took me in. My father did not wish to take in a child so soon after the death of his own child, but Mother, believing that all creatures should know the light of Lathander, decided to raise me as her own, and slowly, Father came to accept me as his own and helped Mother to train me in the worship of their god. The priests were not willing to allow me to enter the Temple, but as they watched my faith and my body grow, many became convinced that I could be a useful member of the Dawn Bringers: Lathander’s chosen warriors. The Arch-Priest of the Temple, Omen Drawn has never been convinced, and I’ve done all that I can to earn his esteem. I strive to bring the light and glory of Lathander to every creature I meet so that I can prove my worth.
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Why Would Anyone Climb a Tower of Boxes?
This world of Waterdeep, and these Gay Frogs are such a far cry from the stillness and contemplation of the Bian Fu Monastery. There, my time was often spent in silence and thought and practice of inner balance. In this world, there is CONSTANT talking or action. And there is little thought to the concept of balance. The exception being Merrybegotten, but her teachings of balance are from a perspective that I had never really considered. The idea of equalization through suffering seems to me to be a bleak outlook on life, but at least it is a governing principle.

Others among the Gay Frogs do not appear to be guided by any type of philosophy. Instead, it would appear that chaos rules for some of my new companions. I do appreciate that our healer is interested in curbing the base murder-hobo tendencies of the Dragonborn fighter. Though he is admittedly lethal, let's just hope that she is able to turn his violence in a direction that is most likely to benefit the Frogs and perhaps influence a greater balance. In all honesty, our Rogue companion confuses me. Perhaps that is her objective. She weaves such a tapestry of words that I have a hard time distinguishing one thought from another as she babbles. For someone used to the quiet thoughtfulness of the monastery, these constant waves of words can be overwhelming.

I don't know that I have ever met an individual with a purer heart than that of the Dragonborn Paladin. He is so generous that I wonder if this world will break his kind spirit. There must be evil in the world. There must be chaos. That is part of the balance that maintains the motion of the world. This young believer seems to think that he alone can create the rigid goodness in the world that will remake everything in the image of his god.

These people confuse me constantly. I had never really imagined such diversity before I left the monastery though I had been warned of it before I left. I just hope that as I continue to journey with these companions, I am able to gain a better understanding of this complicated world. Though I long for the quiet solitude of my upbringing, this life of adventuring is terribly exciting, and I find myself looking forward to each new challenge.

The problem may be that I am unable to adventure while in a jail cell. I certainly hope that the young lordling that we found will have enough pull with the local constabulary that we will not find ourselves incarcerated. At the least, I hope he will appreciate the risks we undertook in rescuing him from that den of evil. Only time will tell. . . .
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Origin Story of Merrybegotten the Half-Orc Barbarian
Merrybegotten’s earliest, albeit most hazy, memory is having had been the only orphan she knew at the Way of the Spirit Convent that had been called a name that was not an invention of the Sisters who attended to the orphans. To this day, Merrybegotten continues to carry with her a rough, worn-through, thin strip of leather with her name crudely inscribed - as if in a hurry - attached to a thin and cheap piece of twine.

Deserted in the early months of her life to the Sisters of the Way of the Spirit Orphanage, Merrybegotten grew to learn that their Convent was one of the final remnants of a religious cult that, for a short period at least, made a considerable impression on Faerun and the entire Forgotten Lands - the Cult of Shared Suffering.

This small convent was devoted to the Crying God, and committed to what many believed was the heretical view that all individuals owed an equal responsibility to share the sufferings of the Crying God, that is, Illmater. Located deep within the High Forest, many miles to the east of Waterdeep, the mostly human sisters who sacrificed to maintain the Orphanage of the Sisters of the Way of the Spirit raised Merrybegotten as an equal sharer of suffering. In line with this, they also taught to her a sense of equality of respect in accord to all the more common race members of the order and of the orphanage proper.

As you might imagine, this kind of education pushed the obviously outsider, half-orc, Merrybegotten, toward a neutral moral stance. All living creatures rightfully share the sufferings of the world. And, in addition, that this must be applied to non-believers just as much as believers….If not even more so. There is a righteousness from stealing from the comforted, as well as a certain righteousness in comforting the afflicted. But, only to a point of equality of suffering, of course.

Merrybegotten has, of late, grown fond of her misfit companions. Despite the diversity of populations in Waterdeep, half-breeds and misfits are not entirely trusted and treated without suspicion. ‘We make a like-company,’ she has thought several times to herself over the first few days of their fellowship.

Working in unison with these new companions could serve Merrybegotten well, she thinks, if they can manage to work together. Lots of signs point to the possibility. And, for the first time since she was first forced to leave the orphanage attached to the Convent of the Order of Shared Suffering, Merrybegotten feels she may have found some well met, and like-minded comrades.

Only time will tell.
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Homebrew (5th Edition)
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