Guild Consolidation: Part I-Return home
Entry 13: 1 year and 2 months of guild duty
As written by Chance- Company Arcanist Master, Objective overseer, Vision director and Orator extraordinaire- because Risk wouldn’t shut up if I didn’t do this.
The party proves unaware of my awesome efforts to transport us home in such a rapid manner, but alas it is but one of my many accomplishments that will fade away in my everlasting humility.
Risk has seen the wisdom of giving me free reign of our host body so that the party may benefit of my brilliance, and it has the fringe benefit of staying the lust for human flesh that has risen within him. For some reason the party is upset by this, I suspect they are only concerned that my host body will wither despite our efforts and they will lose the assets I provide.
We are received with the honors that are our dues, being risen to the status of banner-men of the guild. Striker and some of the others are apparently unaware of the great fortune that has been bestowed upon us… the bliss of ignorance I suppose….
Risk is displeased with my method of writing “Ruining his annals”…. Shut up fool, your uncultured mind simply cant grasp what I bring to these pages…. No im not going to stop, you wanted it done I’m doing it MY way…. dick
We have been given many tasks that the guild knows they cannot handle as well as us.
The first I stand witness to proves a great success as Jimmy Warph and I reveal to the Wagon wrights the wisdom of accepting the guilds patronage, and with only a slight show of superiority being necessary. Yes Risk, a single beating and a broken knee IS a slight show of force compared to what we could have done. I could have killed them all you know…..
Many other demonstrations are completed, and we proceed to consolidate the roots of the guild with all the Valor and Wisdom of the heroes we are.
Within 4 days we have completed nearly every task given to us, securing the home of the Lady Tha’Vynth, ensuring the arrival of important deliveries and quelling misguided resistance. The people of the city will soon thank us for our wondrous efforts.
The tunnels are teeming with the efforts of fools who seek to take the Guilds hidden treasures…. more investigation will prove necessary.
Daron has become some pawn of the Guild….. apparently the show of gifts and honors has blinded him to reality. We must remind him of the benefits of following our council above all others.
An old comrade, Sin Enish, has rejoined us, proving quite adept at accomplishing the tasks set before us. No risk he is not overzealous, he recognizes what is necessary for the greater good….
Fairheart seems to recognize what a great asset we are and has honored us as is our due.
A great harvest feast approaches, I must prepare so we can present the best face possible. The children of the orphanage prove quite insightful of the goings on of the city. Such wonderful helpers they are.
The date approaches, I am confident all will go well.
No risk I don’t need to add any more, I got everything that matters…. honestly you’d think I was doing this for myself instead of at your insistence…..
Personal Journal Of Risk (Sandvitz Latson)
Section I of Guild Consolidation- During Chances butcher of the Annals
Written in Dukat with every 4nd word in Gladnorean and every 2cndh in Valdasean
I grow weary of chances antics…. but there is no other option. So long as I remain within the confines of my own mind I cannot accelerate my turning by eating the flesh of the sentient… though my body still requires obscene quantities of food.
The end goals of the guild seem benevolant, though I have little faith in the results as our methods are…. dis-reputable.
Striker has become a full officer, lieutenant of the banner men. Against my wishes I have been raised to 2cnd lieutenant… striker has made clear that he wishes to see my issues with turning and my brothers resolved in short order….. drastic measures may need to be taken.
I have hidden away an object of unique power… I may be able to separate myself form my brothers with it… but I need more tools at my disposal or I may lose them forever.
There is talk of a Guild hoard of magical tools and artifacts….. I am intrigued and believe this may be exactly what I need. I will not share this with Chance or Lucky…. between Luckys’ new developed madness and Chances manipulative nature I do not want them scheming in this regard.
When the time comes….. I will take my body back, and resolve my many curses in one stroke……
Personal Journal Of Striker
Section I of Guild Consolidation- During the return to the guild
I awoke this morning to find myself in my quarters at the Handyman’s guild. It seems strange
because I have no recollection of the long trip south I must have taken to return here. I may have
just been so fatigued or it may be some strange dream. I have decided to just roll with whatever
happens next. Time always seems to sort out the strangeness of my life.
Day 1 at the guild:
I am summoned to Master Stone, the current speaker for the guild council. He has requested we
all take the banner man’s oath to the guild. *I am leery of taking any oath, they always seem to
have some sort of backlash you were unable to control of and my word is very important to me,
after all the only thing a man truly has to give is his word and if your word is meaningless so is
the man. I am cautious of Master Stone’s request, he has been known to be ambitious. I believe
him to be sincere in his concern for the people of this realm. They have allowed slavery to be the
norm here which I don’t agree with but I have learned that sometimes it is best not to rock the
boat when it comes to customs of the realm.* Master Stone would like our group and those who
would like to join to quickly resolve some guild issues. *I feel this is a good move between our
reputation and our physical presence will shake up the area and then he can return us to the field
and away from the immediate political situation. I hope he will at least, the backbiting that
happens when nobles wrestle for power is most dangerous for the rank and file.* I have agreed to
help but need a day to decide about the oath.
Next I have requested an audience with Lord Fairheart about the goals of him and Master Stone.
- I believe Fairheart to be generally a fair man from our last interaction with his family. His story
seems to backup Master Stone’s story. Best guess they are telling the truth about their
motivations, to put more free men to work and allow a man to work his way into the noble class
if one is so inclined to.*
Seeking the advice of quartermaster about the overall politics of the city and find out his feelings
on why he chose to take the oath when it seems most who take it are more loyal to Master Stone
than they seem to be to the guild. * I am not sure how that will pan out in the long run but Stone
did say he would step down from the council after some time. I really hate intrigue.*
Quartermaster and I agree we need to hash out how to deal with the spoils of our conquests more
efficiently when our group is separated. *I learned from the quarrel over a damn chainmail shirt
by members of my own group that we need an established system.* We also discussed the men
need a regular stipend to do as they want. *Several feel like they have to beg for coin from
quartermaster. He does come across as a bit tight with money but so has every other man I have
ever dealt with doing that job.*
I have taken Master Stones request back to the group, everyone seems to agree the benefits of
being a banner man is worth the 50% tithe to the guild. They are all willing to take the oath.
Returning to Master Stone I negotiated that we pay 55% tithe and keep first pick of weapons and
equipment we find. I also expressed that the healing allotment to banner man was not enough. He
agreed to the 55% but held some control on rare artifacts and understood my concern on healing
and has reassured me it will not be a major point of concern the men will be well cared for. *our
trade has a tendency to take a heavy toll on the body*
I am going to talk a couple of men and speak with the head of the so called police force the guild
has contracted. The contract is up for negotiation. After some investigation I understand that the
police are concerned about some sort of retirement for those that live that long. * as with all
soldiers they will not save for their own future so if I can sell them on a vested stipend program I
should be able to fund it at least partially by reducing their inflated wage. If I give the top cadre a
“bonus” they will keep the beat cops in line without impacting the guild.* I am glad they have
agreed to my plan *even though they will feel a bit blindsided by the reduced pay. *
We are to attend a ceremony for an official oath taking. *seems like such a pain in the arse to
make this crap public*
*I need to handle Fenril carefully. He has it in for our group and still has some amount of power
or the guild would not be pushing him to retire while he is still capable of his duties. I will try
just asking him despite some suggestions to kidnap him and retire him forcibly. * The meeting
with Fenril was unproductive. He will not be persuaded to retire peacefully. I have decided to let
the boys to encourage him in their own way. * I hope this will work or I may have to burn down
his office or threaten his family, such dirty business strong arming people I don’t like it.*
I have met with the old women concerned with their healthcare portion. We a have come to an
agreement of a reduction in their stipend to 8 silver and a regular delivery of opium for their
Several other items on Master Stone’s list of objectives have been accomplished by other
members of our group. Things are going well it worries me that things are going to easy.
We are to attend a dinner at Lord Fairheart’s manor. *Everyone looks sharp even though they
were not told to do so. They really are a good company of men, most of them.* it appears we are
the show at this dog and pony show. The Lords son chooses to dual with one of my better swords
men a mistake for sure nearly getting his leg severed over a foolish game. He did fairly well to
start with. *I am reminded of a feral cat paying with a poor mouse when I was young. My men
are dangerous and great control is not required to be a good agent of death. I am glad the boy
will recover.* I stepped out to the latrine and return to the Lord trying his hand at the dual. * It is
too late to stop and nobles don’t like to be told not to do things anyway. But damn this could be
the end of the entire group in the hands of a youngster could my luck be any worse. I shall cover
my eyes and pray.* Oh the Lord has been run through the arm *it could have been worse I
suppose.* I will be glad for the end of this night.
This morning I am going to let off some frustration in the name of the guild and make an
example of several known criminals. * I feel a little guilty about enjoying thrashing these
Fenril has announced his retirement. * I am not sure I want to know how his evening went. He
looks a little bruised and a few of my men look oddly sheepish one even looks like a damn
I will spend my afternoon resolving a few insurance claims. * I think this is my favorite part of
my job. Making people happy.*
I have been asked by Master Stone to tone down our enthusiasm of doing our jobs. * I am not
sure what he is talking about but shall inquire with the rest of my men. Something must have
gone terribly wrong, but everyone is accounted for and other than some bruises seem fine. I will
need to ask for some better details. I tend to trust my men to get their jobs done as efficiently as
possible and they do. Most of our tasks have been accomplished now, it worries me things don’t
go this well for us ever.*
Today we will split the company. The reserves will escort a merchant out of the city. And the
regulars will meet Lady Vynth’s caravan and ensure it arrives at her lodging. I have also been
informed that the residence is as secure as we can make it.
It looks to be a nice ride back into the city…a horn…*this can’t be good*…fog front and rear
damn magus’…why are you fool stopping thwack four arrows *shit that hurt should have
worn my scale armour* yelling at the wagons drivers to push forward and trample anything in
their way keep moving…as I emerge from the fog there is a bandit just waiting to meet
Wheiapugh at the cleave of my blade. * I need to get off the damn horse I almost missed my
mark* …as I look around for more bandits they are all dead or surrendered …* I am once again
thankful to Her for falling the enemies of my pack* we catch up to the wagons and resume our
entry into the city. * that is more to my expectations of a normal day. I am in need of a bath and
Guild Consolidation: Part II- Cleaning up
Entry 14: 1 year and 2 months of guild duty
As written by Risk- Company Annalist, Field physician, Reluctant Lieutenant
The possibility of eating my friends is a consequence I can live with more easily than watching chance desecrate the history of our party. As such, the annals are written exclusively by me.
Further tasks are being accomplished on a daily basis, the vast majority of the highest priority. It seems that the guild puts a lot of stock into the ‘Lady Tha’Vynth’, some large benefactor of the guild, though not a supporter of the guilds new direction in leadership.
The mob like procedures continue, much to my disappointment, though we have done many things to maintain the peace in our community. Every once in a while the activities of the guild remind me of the caste structure of home.
Quartermaster proves to be adept at ferreting out thieves and embezzlers within the guild members, he and some of the others put a stop to a rather large loss to the guild funds.
The Lady Tha’Vynths home has been swept entirely clean, with the number of scoundrels in our group scouring the place for weak points in security I doubt its even possible for any external force to cause her harm.
We have begun the search for the missing chest of Bodkins, supposedly it holds some rather sensitive objects and information regarding the guilds founding.
We have successfully escorted the Lady Tha’Vynth to town, though not with out having been ambushed. It was a VERY well executed ambush led by a Mercenary band known as the “Red Marauders”. From what we know of them they have been regularly suspected of disreputable acts but nothing has ever stuck. Us having survived this will probably lead to issues with them as we now bear truth of their treachery. (Assault on a noble is a VERY serious crime here apparently, even if it is unsuccessful)
The new recruit, Sweeps, our Groomsman, is proving to be quite the scholar. I have read much of his accounts of what has transpired and I may be relinquishing the Annalist position to him.
Personal Journal Of Risk (Sandvitz Latson)
Section II of Guild Consolidation- Just after the Harvest
Written in Dukat with every 5th word in Gladnorean and every 7th in Valdasean
Myself (Risk/Chance/Lucky), Daron, Kiel, Jimmy and the Grollen have been abducted. We were put to sleep by some means and we awoke in an underground cavern shackled to the support beams.
We tried everything we could to escape but it seemed that our captors had thought of everything. Even our shackles were custom sized, and riveted shut. Whoever this is has been studying us for some time.
Most of our captors are hooded, but one, the leader, seems to not care if we know his face. He is hunting the Amber Blade for some bounty the High King put out. He knows that Striker has it and that it is rarely out of his sight. He apparently intends on gathering what information from us he can in order to obtain it.
The Leader (Later discovered his name to be Davlik Nuemith), is only interested in money and the ability to retire in wealth. The man is impressively brilliant and nearly un-fazeable. After seeing the Grollen nearly rip a mans arm off with his teeth he very calmly gave orders to his men and set about rendering the Grollen unconscious. He then proceeded to starve us as a means of ‘encouraging’ us to talk.
The Grollen proves to be a problem, attacking anything near him and refusing to think the problem through. Food is being denied to us and in my condition I believe I will die before Davlik realizes that my eating habits are far from normal.
Apparently after I was rendered near comatose from starvation the group negotiated with Davlik for me to get food, meat even. I still am ravenous, but I am at least conscious and the risk of the ghoul in me turning feral has been diminished. It seems the Davlik has no desire to kill unless it is absolutely necessary, from what the others say he come across as having a strong sense of humanity, just a stronger desire to accomplish his goals.
Davlik has begun destroying some of our equipment that was captured with us in a further attempt to get us to cooperate. Kiels crossbow and Darons Great sword were the first to go.
After Davlik destroyed Jimmy’s shield (the one that had saved his life several times and he had repaired rather diligently), Jimmy went a little ballistic and without thinking brought his feet up to smash Kiels hand so he could slip his shackles. While the idea to free the one who can pick locks WAS sound, doing it in front of Davlik was moronic.
Davlik looked at what Jimmy had done and I quote: “You sneaky little fucker…” was his completely un-alarmed response. He then tied our legs to stakes in the ground and drove a spike through Kiels broken hand above the shackle. Even I felt a little sorry for him.
Morale was low. In order for us to keep our sanity we took to singing Ducateon worker songs. They are comical to me, but without the context of my upbringing to make it ironic I suppose that they are a little depressing. I think Kiel has lost a piece of himself…
The last thing he destroyed was the party Med kit…. not my possession but it IS my responsibility. Within it was also hidden the only hope I have to give my brothers their lives back…..
The ghoul was awakened by my rage. My body shifted and mutated, granting me a very unnatural strength. Most of it is hazy but I destroyed my restraints and jumped on the captor who had not made it out of the room in time. I know what happened, and I am horrified by it, but I had forgotten what it was like to be full….
I freed my comrades and we gathered what we could of our stuff, and investigated the room.
We knew we were in the future sewer system, and had an idea of what section of town, but what was the most interesting were the runes hidden from all sight but not from those with manna sense. It took some time but we identified them as having something to do with time and space…. After escaping we realized what it was.
There was some kind of time dilation that cause time to progress faster in that room. While not entirely certain, it seems that for every day in real time, those within the room experience a week or so. Davlik obviously spent some serious wealth to employ a magus to do this. It is certainly useful for the use he put it to.
We fought our way out, through several waves of Davliks henchmen, nearly dying in the process. I myself suffered horrendous amounts of blood loss, and Daron fared little better. He was even using the odd ability gained from Maleks Entropy potion, causing him to ‘hulk out’ and take on a very disproportionate muscle mass. It is hideous and unnatural, and he has not done this since we killed the vampire…..
When our captor was the only one left he treid to escape and when that failed he demanded single combat with Daron. He quite obviously knows much about us, he knew EXACTLY how to manipulate the situation to his best advantage.
Despite being seriously wounded Daron still proved the superior swordsman and Davlik elected to yield. Many in the party wished to kill him but Daron would not permit it.
Oddly enough Davlik was not sore or angry at all about his failure, though he did try to bribe us for his release. We refused. Some how though mention of how useful his mind could be within our group was brought up and he seemed shocked for the 1st time since we met him. He asked if we would seriously consider accepting him as a comrade. It seemed preposterous but we agreed to speak on his behalf to Striker provided he kept our secrets and divulged everything he knew regarding the bounty of the Amber blade. He even volunteered the fortune he tried to bribe us with as a donation to our party fund.
Guild Consolidation: Part III- The Feast
Entry 15: 1 year and 2 months of guild duty
As written by Risk- Company Annalist, Field physician, Reluctant Lieutenant
It is morning of the 7th day since out return home. I have cared for the wounds of our party as well as I could, but we are still in no shape to handle any level of assault such as we did yesterday. It seems that the Red Marauders will wait to handle yesterdays disgrace.
Vast quantities of preparation are taking place for the feast, the guild bustling with noise and chaos as those of every trade and station scramble around on some task or another. With only a few escort missions to handle the Banner-men are a small bit of clam order amid this storm.
The party is well groomed for this day, all of the best trappings coming out, even some extras from the guilds stores. With the help of Chance and Lucky I apply my meager skills to eliminate the worst of my odd features as one of the worker caste for a short duration.
Striker, Quartermaster, and Daron all look as thought they belong to the arms-men of some noble, the guild and Faireheart taking particular care with them.
Aside from Daron and Striker nobody is armed sufficiently, the need to be presentable is that high. Striker is taking his ax refusing to acknowledge any plea that he leave it behind, and Daron is in new riveted chain tailored to him specifically, holding his helmet in the crook of his arm while the other rest upon the pommel of a dueling sword. Comryr has taken to using Daron as a showpiece for the guild, and has provided very fine gear.
There are 3 escorts we have to provide before the feast, all fairly important. The 1st is for Fairehearts’ niece, who for some reason of vanity is not arriving with her father. The 2cnd is the mayor himself, and the 3rd is Comryr, the voice of the Council. We will be technically ‘arriving’ at the feast with Comryr and remaining to represent the guild and add security detail.
The group is split to do the first two escorts since they are timed so close to one another.
The Escort for the mayor has a slight hiccup, some cut purse got the bright idea of making a grab for the Mayors purse and was chased down by Seeker. He showed an odd amount of restraint and did not kill the would -be thief.
The Escort of Fairehearts’ Niece went off quite well. There were some villainous looking types who were ready to ambush us, but they seemed to think better of it when they saw just who was providing the escort.
Unfortunately with Comryr we were assaulted by some protesters, people who seem to think that by fighting for the rights of the low class (The same class of people protesting) the guild is making things worse. Ignorance. They took pleasure in slinging rocks and refuse at us. I was sullied rather heavily, thankfully no one else in our party was.
The evening passes slowly for most of us, with nothing of note occurring, security detail is rarely exciting.
Striker is technically being social, but the way he holds himself and occasionally fondles his ax keeps all but the strongest of nerve away.
Daron is a huge hit, many surround him , though none approach. His aura of light and hope holds them in some sort of awe. Rather than being intimidated by his size and armaments, they seem overwhelmed by the very idealistic picture he creates.
Quartermaster is drug around by Faireheart from noble to noble, where he engages in many conversations. He seems to fair well enough, Faireheart looks pleased. Later Quartermaster even danced with Fairehearts eldest daughter without make too much of a fool of himself. At this point the would be merchant-king was quite obviously pondering possibilities.
Some punk kid messed with Striker, but to no noticeable effect. Later the arrogant youth had words with a local court duelist who proceeded to pick a fight with Striker, An action that nearly led to his death. Thankfully the duelist had the sense of mind to yield. Striker had me patch him up. After that the man was for some reason very wary of me.
A group of the same protesters from our trip to the feast tried to barge their way in, yelling and screaming. It took a large group of us to hold them back, and they did not disperse until the Grollen, Half orc and Half elf went somewhat savage on the crowd. That scared them so badly as to nearly start a stampede.
As this was going on Faireheart and his son were having words. These words grew loud enough that many could hear. It seems that there is some dispute of how the family should be run. Whether this was in reference to their literal family or their business I could not make out. There were some things said about the families ‘true purpose’ and the fools Faireheart chose to work with. The dispute grew until there was yelling, and the son started hurling insults that spread to us as well, particularly towards Daron.
We had to drag the young merchant out, Striker leading the way. The kid was remarkably strong and it required three of us to get him out. In this process we realized that Darons touch was burning the boy. After much deliberation and use of manna sense we found that he was wrapped in some disguised power, one that reacted quite negatively to true light…. just like the orrish and shades do. He did not calm down until quite some time later. We then escorted him to his fathers men who would take him home.
Faireheart was prepared to have Daron honor his sons challenge, even to a point of saying that his son was already dead to him. Even after he was calmed down he still gave the ok for his son to meet Daron in honorable combat. Neither Daron nor the youth declined, and it was agreed that they would meet at sunrise on the guild training grounds. Daron was chomping at the bit, knowing the youth to be a servant of darkness…. his personal codes and beliefs required him to put an end to it.
We did all we could to ensure Darons victory, those of the green church calling the blessing of nature to him, while Daron called to his own master, Ves’Tuul, for aid in smiting this evil. My own talents were available, though we already knew that Daron would permit no dishonor on the field.
When the battle ensued it was an immediate blood bath, the boy striking out with both blade and obfuscated powers of darkness, while Daron infused his blade with raw light and delivered 2 blows that ended the young villains life. The dark powers faded when the true light struck them, and we were able to find the mark of sunstealer on the boy. Faireheart will likely be more angered by his sons true allegiance than he will be by his demise.
Guild Consolidation: Part IV- Stagnation
Entry 16: 1 year and 2 months of guild duty
As written by Risk- Company Annalist, Field physician, Reluctant Lieutenant
It has now been 8 days since our return home, the rush and busyness of the 1st week makes this day seem long and dull, but unfortunately it did not stay that way. We heard that some sickness has been going around, approximately 15% of the population has come down with severe fevers and ache to a pint that they can barely move. Quartermaster is afflicted as well, and has gone to the church of light to seek healing. When he returns he looks little better, and informs us that even the church is unable to identify this disease or even do much to help with out the aid of their holy powers.
Kolkrin and one of the half elves are ambushed in separate locations. The Grollen escapes with only minor wounds and what we believe to be a sprained ankle (It may be a minor fracture, I will take a closer look when he quits growling at everybody) The half elf was not so lucky, the broke his knees. Even with surgery I am unsure how well I will be able to help him.
That evening we were asked by the guilds head bartender to help him keep an eye on the liquor shipment while he gets it put away. It was during this that a few of us were kidnapped. As such the next few days are only based on what the others have told me
Day 9 The Lady Tha’Vynth demands a ‘restitution’ for goods lost. The party is asked to ‘quell’ her ire. Striker tried but leaves her estates rather rapidly and sends quartermaster to deal with her. The exact details of that exchange are not disclosed.
This day the party learned that 3 days ago Comryr Stones childhood friend was kidnapped and a ransom of 20’000 silvers was demanded. Some of the party wonder if the same people kidnapped those of us who disappeared last night.
The party provides escort for a shipment of valuable tiles of damascus and gold. This time it is not raiders or mercenaries who come after the cargo, it is beggars and starving children. Thankfully no one is hurt, and the group used fairly non-harmful methods to quell them. Little of the shipment is lost.
Striker sets the police force to searching for those of us who had gone missing and employs the children from the ‘orphanage’ founded by chance and lucky to get information about the men who assaulted our comrades. He learns that it was done by a gang known as the “Dotters”, a small organization known for their low profile knives and willingness to do any job. The members all bear a tattoo of 3 blood drops on their left hands, and on any job they do they will send only 1 or 2 actual members, and a group of hired thugs off the street. With the help of a few orphans Striker and some of the others learn where the Dotters tend to meet and get an idea of who the leader is.
Day 10 Faireheart calls on Quartermaster, supposedly to discuss his future. The locals are being disrupted rather heavily by the police forces attempts to find the kidnapped banner-men.
Striker goes to great lengths to get noticed by someone of note within the Dotters. The conversation does not go over well, with the suspected leader of the Dotters walking away in frustration.
Day 11 Rumors of attacks coming from the tunnels at night are circulating.
Quartermasters fever breaks and he is the 1st awake to see Myself, Daron, Kolkrin, Kiel, and Jimmy return to the guild hall. It takes a while but eventually we tell the whole party what occurred., describing our kidnapping and torture, and our captors desire to collect the high kings bounty on the Amber Blade. Our captive, Davlik, we inform striker, was the one who had been hired to come up with the plan. He has an interest in joining us, Daron and I mention that he would be an excellent addition to the group. Striker throws him in the guild jail house.
Comryr suggests that we investigate the tunnels more thoroughly. Striker informs him that he will not do it and tries to convince Comryr to use his influence to get the city to take care of it with the militia. He uses the reason that we are too understaffed to undergo this venture.
Day 12 A local man is ruthlessly beaten in front of the guild house for standing up for the guild against a group of protesters. This and rumors of a group of newly founded eastern merchants are spoken of at length in the mess halls.
We do little this day. We learn that the city has no real militia to speak of, most of the ‘soldiers’ being the nobles personal arms men. None of them are willing to leave their estates unprotected to have some sewers investigated. (Particularly since they don’t want the sewers finished to begin with)
Day 13 Faireheart requests the party investigate a tunnel just in case (Potentially the old guild house magic cove). He wants to have it sealed off so no one can even attempt to access it from under ground. Striker refuses again, insisting that this is the cities responsibility and that he is not going to send his men on a suicide mission when we do not have the resources to properly investigate underground. Even I have a hard time not laughing at that.
Day 14 A large chunk of tunnels collapses, damaging several houses. The party is asked to aid and police force. Some of us help keep the populace back, while the rest of us aid in excavating those trapped in the rubble. Most assume that this was a construction accident or an attempt to sabotage the sewer project. I find signs of the void worms from the tunnels…..
The city decides to hire mercenaries to handle the sewer investigation. The Guild is under heavy disapproval for not taking care of what is seen as our problem. Our party suffers quite a bit of scorn from the people, and even our fellow Guild members have taken to calling us cowards who wont do our job.
Day 15 A warning is issued to the party again, this time as the head of one of the party members horses in their sleeping area. In the heads mouth is a letter reading simply “you have 24 hours to leave” Striker is on the war path, he seems ready to go into the Dotters territory and wipe them out. I’m not sure if he will follow through on that urge or not though.
We make no action today, as we have some escorts to perform for some guild craftsmen. These occur without any severe issues.
Quartermaster receives a discreet letter from Faireheart.
Guild Consolidation: Part V- Into the depths
Entry 17: 1 year and 2 months of guild duty
As written by Risk- Company Annalist, Field physician, Reluctant Lieutenant
The morning of the 16th day since our return sees us in the office of Comryr. The expert of Divination he’d hired has confirmed that the chest of Bodkin is underground, and within the limits of the city. This confirms our suspicions that it must be within the tunnels that have been connecting to the sewer project.
With Strikers insistence that Comryr get some one else to clear the tunnels another issue has risen. The Red Marauders have been hired to complete the job, and with the evidence we have of their disreputable actions they are the last people we would want stumbling onto that chest.
We now know that the Guild has been trying to hide much of its founding fathers actions and secrets. The worst of this being a store room that the founders had filled with the objects and knowledge that even THEY didn’t want to deal with. I’ve read some of the journals of the original handymen, and anything they thought was wrong touches on evils that scare even Chance and Lucky.
It is decided that we will tread the dangers of the tunnels and get the chest out before the Red Marauders go in. With the presence of the void wurms and their area of concentration under the guild, it is fairly safe to assume that we will have to deal with them to find the chest. Someone other than us is looking for the storeroom, and their methods indicate a connection to the church of darkness. Many of us are injured, and not everyone can be sent down or it may raise suspicions.
Those of us best suited for dealing with the void wurms are going into the tunnels. Striker, Myself, Daron, Heart seeker, the divination expert to guide us and Arafin. Fire, life energy and True light are the strongest weapons we have against the creatures. We spend a bit of money on oil and cheap clay pots to use as Molotovs’. Arafin and Striker go to the church of Wheigapugh for aid with this. At first it seems that there is nothing they can do, but the priest uses his power to temporarily imbue their weapons and armor with a minor life force that should serve to reduce the effect of the Wurms tie to the void.
Prepped and ready we meet at one of the entrances of the sewer construction. We send someone down to clear out the few workers that are down there. During this process what seemed like common street traffic turned into a mob of locals who began assaulting the Guild workers. Striker, Daron and Heart seeker had already started down with the Magus, so Arafin and I were left alone up top. Almost immediately we were swarmed. I was pummeled badly, taking a sledge hammer to the head being the worst. Arafin did what he could, but had larger issues when he realized that there were Red Marauder he recognized within the group, disguised as common protesters, but striking viciously at the joints of the guild workers.
The fight ended shortly after Striker made it back to the surface and he worked with Arafin, killing several of the mercenaries and scaring the common workers badly enough to disperse the mob. They elected not to chase them, just gathered the bodies of the deceased mercenaries for future evidence, then dug through the medkit to help me bandage my head. My armor, thrashed beyond repair, had to be cut off to treat other wounds. Somehow nobody else was harmed……
We proceeded down to the tunnels, and began the process of using the mage as a sort of compass fro what we were searching for. After 15 minutes of searching we noticed oddities about the tunnels. Somehow after following a very strict path we wound up traveling back on our tracks. After much deliberation we discovered that somehow some of the intersections had been fused with chaos, resulting in us traveling in random directions while believing we were going the direction we intended. Marks would not last within the intersections, disappearing almost the moment we left. It reminds me of the Deeping, but this close to the surface that should no be possible.
We began marking very clear trails and traveling intersections one at a time, then having the one who made it through to our desired direction pull the others through with a rope. It was arduous and took much longer than the investigation should have, but eventually we believed we were on the right track.
We discovered a few wurms that we killed easily, but then stumbled onto a large open cavern with a stone pillar approximately 20 meters across seemingly made of one piece. Along the walls and ceiling of the cavern we saw dozens of Wurms retreat from our torchlight. Striker used the oils jars to make us a seemingly safe path and had us rush through to another tunnel.
It turned into a dead end with a nest of young wurms and eggs. We lit it on fire and tried to get out, only to get pinned by a swarm of the filthy things popping out of the walls. We managed to cut our way out, but had much of our gear damaged. We also discovered that these creatures can destroy even the two objects we thought to be indestructible. My shield with the Cauld nail embedded in it was disintegrated, and even Darons Virtue-imbued helm has pitting in it as though it was touched by acid. The powers of the Void are terrifying.
We made our way out to the cavern and after much deliberation came to the conclusion that the construct in the center is likely to be the storeroom we are so concerned about. It does not behave like normal stone, and it seems odd that the Wurms had not already created a way in. What could keep out something that can negate even the indestructible nature of Darons Helm?
Arafin, Heartseeker, and Striker perform a divine rite, and fins their powers lacking for the favor the are requesting in aid from the powers of nature. In the way of the animist Arafin offers up his material wealth and reluctantly offers my Ducateon Torc as well. He and Daron swear they will find another way to get me back home. I tell them not to worry over it, home has changed for me. The Ducateons would never take me back anyways….. I’m tainted in many ways.
The ritual works and we can all feel the presence of natures essence watching over us. This roves to be quite necessary as we encounter another nest and ignite it as well. We are swarmed even more heavily than before, though at least we are better prepared this time. When the fight is over we have no more shields, little fire left, virtually no armor to speak of, and everyone is exhausted. Still no chest, though the Magus informs us we are very close.
Following the direction of the Magus we push on, and discovering a horrifying sight. Before us is what could only be the queen of the void wurms. Catching it by surprise striker throws the remaining flasks of oil on it, igniting it. The flames do not last as long as they should, it seems the air here is to thin for the fire to stay healthy. The creature shrieks and attacks us with a number of slow moving tentacles that burn much more heavily that their smaller counter parts.
The others hack away at the tentacles, I rush the main body. Darons armor is destroyed, and Arafin nearly loses his living bow. All but striker seem near death. They follow me in, moving faster than the tentacles towards the main body. Daron stuns the beast with a blow of True Light, expending the last of his power. As the creature is immobile we strike blow after blow into it, hoping to kill it before it can recover, to no avail. Heart seeker calls upon the Feral rage and jumps onto the creature, stabbing relentlessly into its side with a dagger, every blow ripping into it with the strength of a frenzied animal. Striker begins to do what he realized he should have done while the creature was not moving and hacks the tentacles off at the base. Daron plunges what is left of his ruined bastard sword into the creature’s’ ‘face’. Arafin rips into the creature next to Striker. I succumb to the blood lust of the ghoul and begin pulling a wound in the creature open to chew on it from the inside….. much to my regret. My face will be permanently scarred. Thrashing, nearly out of tentacles, and oozing from its entire front…. the creature finally falls still.
Daron slumps against the wall, heart seeker is rendered unconscious from the fatigue of his frenzy. It is a heavily wounded and battered group that discovers the chest we are looking for under the queen wurms body. There is another passage out past the queens lair, but the group is unwilling to go forward. Striker states that we will not be doing any other tasks until we are fully healed and our gear has been replaced.
Guild Consolidation: Part VI- protecting the benefactor
Entry 18: 1 year and 2 months of guild duty
As written by Risk- Company Annalist, Field physician, Reluctant Lieutenant
Day 17 since our return. Nothing of note occurs outside of our group, the entire city appears to be sleeping. We have managed to get some of our equipment replaced, and Comryr understands our need to rest,but is more willing to use his authority over us if that is needed to deploy us.
The following day another sickness strikes, affecting much more of the populace and our group. There are suspicions about the eastern merchants at this point. Many blame them. Once again we are forced to seek out divine healing to relieve us of the symptoms. Striker is even volunteering some of his time within the following of the green church to help the flock.
Upon the 19th day the Lady Tha’Vynth must be protected from an aggressive rival. Thanks to our previous efforts and quartermasters presence she is neither difficult to protect or to deal with. Most of us are staying in a room in her manse and taking turns maintaining a watch day and night. It is quiet and it is not unpleasant, we have been given free reign of the kitchens. The grollen and I are probably going to bankrupt the house.
Striker has bribed the Dotters to kill those who employed them rather than us. On top of this Keil has hired one of the more independant orphans from the orphanage as a guild ‘messenger’. In truth the youth is seeking out hidey holes and other such things within the guild that a less than reputable individual might use.
The next morning I was awakened to an outburst of blood projecting from my mouth. Within the day both Striker and Kolkrin were exhibiting the same symptoms. I was able to identify the poison affecting us, but unfortunately we have a limited amount of time to get an antidote together, and even with me making the substance myself the ingredients are both rare and expensive.
It seems that those of us who took the most advantage of the Lady Tha’Vynths kitchen were targeted. Like a simple matter of convenience, it seems unlikely that the lady would seek our death. But investigating is out of the question as we are still stuck protecting the lady and some of us are dealing with healing.
21 days….. 21 days of constant crap and now Fairheart falls ill as the sickness in the city grows. He meets with Quartermaster but little is revealed to us other than the fact the Fairheart is trying to ensure his legacy is preserved.
That night we heard an enormous commotion from the kitchen area, screaming, yelling, fighting. Most of us gathered at the stairwell that is the only path up to the final floor of the manse, and therefore the only way to the lady. Arafel and Keil were unable to make into the stairwell before a substantial group of armed and armored men were rushing the halls, so they hid within a room until they passed, then approached from behind. Meanwhile those of us at the top formed a defensive line and refused to give ground. Slowly we whittled down their front line, pushing back when we could so as to assault the crossbowmen in the middle of the stairwell. No one was killed or even rendered unconscious, but injuries were substantial. Daron looking like he usually does after a combat, Myself not doing well, even striker had suffered injury. Kolkrin has broken the brace that was used to set his broken wrist, this will set back his healing time substantially.
Aside from the fact that we believe one or two of these men MAY have been common mercs within the Red Marauders, we have no true idea of who they were, where they were sent from or even the real reason for the attack. (Though we can at least surmise that Tha’Vynth was the target.) We are finally patched up and ready to attempt to finish our rest when a messenger arrives from Comryr. Our immediate attention is needed elsewhere. Goblins have been sited within the city….. It’s 2 in the god forsaken morning…….
Guild Consolidation: Part VII- Unveiled darkness
Entry 19: 1 year and 2 months of guild duty
As written by Risk- Company Annalist, Field physician, Reluctant Lieutenant
With goblins being sited and the immediate threat to the lady Tha’Vynth having been neutralized we immediately set out to investigate leaving a small unit behind to take care of the mess in the ladies manor.
We interviewed the two witnesses, who both have information leading us to believe that it was indeed goblins and they were ransacking buildings for food. Unwilling to leave any goblins alive and unchecked we set out to find their tracks, proving successful after an hour. At this point it s obvious that they will have had plenty of time to hide but if we are lucky we will find where they retreated to.
Another hour of searching and we discover that the track end at the entrance to the lair of an old nemesis: Double O ‘Cellar. The entrance has been concealed again, but our previous knowledge of its whereabouts make it easy to uncover. Quarter master has me lead the expedition down into the old cellar so we can approach without light revealing our presence.
The cellar proves empty of anything other than our nemesis’ skeleton and the underground river that runs to one side of it. We suspect that where the river goes further underground may have a means of escape, it is far too risky to explore ourselves. Quartermaster decides to have Jimmy fetch our 2 Masons and have them collapse the entrance so this celar can no longer be used. Calin is quite frustrated by this but is not willing to disobey orders. He makes up for it by uttering insults about Daron not quite under his breath. He is ignored.
Arafin is concerned about what these sightings, coupled with the other rumors and troubles of the city, may mean. In light of this foreboding feeling we all agree to rest and recover as much as we can.
The following morning the lady Fairheart and 2 of her daughters fall ill, the girls are dead by evening. This is deeply concerning, we may be losing the strongest ally the guild has. Trying to heal and rest proves difficult for us, and to top it off the Red marauders have come up from the tunnels, laden with a few dead, many injured, and 2 litters stacked near to bursting with gold, valuable goods, and as my manna sight reveals: several magical items. The bannermen do not take this loss well, and it dawns on all of us that it will prove difficult to convince the city that the new heroes have committed any crime, regardless of any evidence we can provide.
A large portion of militia is pulled away to deal with an Orrish hold out 4 days out. Cormyr insists on keeping us in the city, but sends some of the guilds arms men with the excursion. The day proves wearying as not only do the townsfolk seem to feel we are to be ridiculed for cowardice (since we didn’t handle the sewer threat) even our own guild members view us as a joke now. To make matters worse, some of the red marauders have taken to spending their evenings buying drinks for anybody in the guild common room while loudly speaking ill of us.
By the morning of the 25th day since our return nobody seems to even want to rise to eat in the morning. It does not help that the 1st thing we here is that cattle and goats are being stolen in the night. While there is no proof, we know that it is the efforts of whatever orrish are hiding within our city. We rest further,but the desecration of our reputation proves to be too much for Jimmy. For a man of humble origins he takes a lot of pride in his position as a bannerman. He attempted to reconnoiter with a few of the soldiers from the red marauders, but from the corner i sat reading it was very clear he was trying to hard,and came across as a desperate fool bragging. He goes to bed very drunk, and very pissed off. For a sailor, he is severely lacking in his understanding the basic principle of male interaction.
More cave ins throughout the city in areas no tunnels should exist. The eastern merchants have been seen wandering at night. The people are scared and suspicious, looking for anybody to blame. Quartermaster is trying to wrap up some issues quickly, and is speaking with the same magus who guided us through the tunnels before. Apparently he believes that the red marauders did not investigate thoroughly and is sending us down again, but is looking for some means of navigating the chaos traps without losing our way. The Magus agreed to help us, but we had to pay for materials and his labor, and there is no guarantee that he will be successful. Despite this the fee is paid, and the Magus delivers a stone that will eliminate the effects of the chaos traps.
Knowing we return to the tunnels in the morning, most of us resorted to drinking until we could forget what was going on. Jimmy found other means of coping. He sat down at the same table the red marauders have been occupying since their triumph. Within minutes of him sitting down he was being ridiculed by the 3 mercenaries without any opportunity to speak. At this point Daron approached the table and put his arm around jimmy and asked the mercs if they had heard of the fenlands demon. After hearing this I felt i knew where he was going with this. Before he could get into an exposition about his own deeds I bought a round fo drinks for the table and delivered them to Jimmy and Daron. Under My breath i said to them “follow suit dumb-asses!” and left a bag of 10 silvers on the table. They took the hint and proceeded to buy drinks for the mercs as Daron told his story.
This is where i witnessed something i never expected to see. Daron told his story, but he lied. He did not tell it as his own story, he told it as though Jimmy was the hero of the story. I was there for this. I was there when a 10 foot monster rushed forward, ignoring my crossbow bolt to its gut and my sword to its collar bone. It was only a shield rendered indestructible by the Cauld Nail and my natural armor that kept me alive when this creature swung a grollen war flail like a toy in rapid succession. Daron came out of nowhere and cut off the top half of the creature’s head with a single blow from his 2 handed blade. He saved my life, and possibly others of our group, yet here he was telling the Red Marauders that JIMMY, a man who wasn’t even there, had not only slayed the creature, but had rushed forward, yaning Darons sword out of his hand while he stood shocked, and had cut the creature’s head off after receiving a blow himself.Daron even had me retrieve the creature’s head from the wagon. I’ve been with Daron for a while now, and he is a self righteous glory hound…. But he displayed a side that i could not believe existed in him. He was sincere, generous, likeable, and all while he was LYING HIS ASS OFF!…. For the purpose of helping his comrade complete his goal. For a man who hate lying, he executed this con to perfection. Chance and lucky both sat quiet in appreciation of his performance. The end result of this was astonishing. The 3 mercs decided that the loyalty and self sacrificing nature of Jimmy wharf was a testament to our entire party, and has deserted the Red Marauders to join with us……. What in the name of Him?
Jimmy’s entire goal was to get information on what the mercs had found in the tunnels, but upon mention that we were returning the 3 new recruits found reasons to disappear till morning. Can’t blame them. They went through more than just a couple of passages with the void worms…. I imagine that the depths of the tunnels have much worse to offer.
Morning and hangovers hit, along a large wave of illnesses, killing 1 in 4 people (mostly the weak and sick). The church of light warns that the essence of the dark gods is seeping across the skies, The public and particularly the church of balthazaar call for the interrogation of the eastern merchants. Quartermaster sends us into the tunnels to investigate, he is remaining topside to try and save the merchants from a witch hunt.
It is a small group that Enters the Tunnels again. Myself heavily wounded, Daron little better, Kolkrin with his broken ankle and wrist, and Jimmy, who thanks to his unsavory tie to the trolls is completely healed. Nonetheless… 4 of us, and most wounded. We enter the tunnel from the other end of the sewer access as we had explored before. Due to his nature Daron leads, I am not against this and only offer advice when he shows the inherent lack of intellect of his species. Jimmy comments on the fact that he finds it odd that the second in command of our group never seems to lead. We travel north until a fork, and realize that both paths lead to a dead end, the one to the left leading to an odd black wall of sorts, not too unlike the wall to what we believe is the guilds magic storeroom. The main difference being that this wall seems to drain the light from Darons natural glow. We decide to leave, as I advise that it would be prudent to explore the rest of the tunnels and take care of what we can before tackling that which we don’t.
Down the other end we find a tunnel that shouldn’t exist and decide to explore it. Signs of other heavily armed humans traversing this are is apparent. I would assume the Marauders. Continuing on we find a small hold out of goblins that is easily dispatched. There are signs of of previous combat. These must have been th goblins that his or were simply not present for the previous raid. There is no loot.
Continuing on we find a chaos trap. We discover that the stone allows our natural Will to resist the effects of the trap, but while the stone is in Darons hands it glows brighter and constantly rather than a dull flicker. While he is holding it it seems that the combined will of our party resists the chaos for all of us. Upon passing the trap Daron announces that he is being called back to the dark wall by Ves’Tuul. The others are unwilling to let him go but i set my foot down as the commanding officer. I myself have a loose tie to Ves’Tuul and am unwilling to stand in the way of the dragons will for his agent. We take the stone and allow him to leave.
Continuing on we find the same tunnel that some of us had been held captive in. It feels like we should’ve remembered the way to this but i believe the chaos traps may have distorted our memory of it on our way out. More combat has taken place here. It makes me think of Davlik. I sincerely hope he is allowed out of prison soon. That is a mind that should not be wasted, regardless of his previous slights against us.
The tunnel continues, and too late we realize that we have stumbled upon one of the strongest traps of all. It weighs on our minds and threatens to break us. We pull through, looking back into the chaos with a keener understanding of what we must face. There is a newfound sense of security and confidence in my comrades as we tread forward. (Sanity increase)
We move to the left when the trail forks, continuing for miles. We find another chaos trap, but we manage to travel the right direction. This leads us to a room that appears to have been looted already, but closer inspection reveals that some of the random crates have not been opened. The reason for this is made apparent very quickly. A troll lies sleeping, chained and restrain to a small portion of the room. The un-looted boxes are quite clearly within its reach.
It takes both Kolkrin and Jimmy to convince me not to assault the troll, and that we will come back with the group to destroy the foul creature. In anger i leave the cavern while jimmy decides to sneak a few loads of rare furs out from under the sleeping troll.
We leave the troll and move on. We find a cavern offshoot that has orrish corpses piled high. We find a living half orc buried under the bodies. He is desperate and claims that he has only followed for fear of his life. Despite my desire to kill the creature the other wish to communicate with it further. Seeing as the Red Marauders broke both the creature’s knees in an obvious act of torture i doubt it poses a serious threat, and i acquiesce Jimmy and Kolkrins request. We can use this beings intel later.
There is another chaos trap at a 3 way intersection. Navigating this we manage to find that the path to the left leads to what can only be another portion of the black wall discovered earlier, which after a little bit of study we conclude must be a square room. It also branches off to a room that quite obviously used to hold a large quantity of food and other loot. The Marauders beat us here…. My manna sight makes clear that this was the room they pulled magical objects from.
The other paths lead to an exit from the tunnels that is just outside of the north eastern part of town, and a staging point of some sort that has no entrances and exits out of it. This still does not tell us how anyone got in here or what danger may still exist. Is it possible that the sewer tunnels are not the true point of origin for our troubles?
We meet up with Daron on our trip back, who informs us that his meditation at the wall has led to some answers from his patron. The tunnels are key to the objectives of many in this city, including the source of the black wall, yet the black wall itself is not an issue currently. According to Ves”Tuul the black wall IS a potential threat, yet for the time being must be ignored for the sake of the city as a whole. The dragon may not be a god, but his warnings are as vague as a deities.
We return to the surface shortly before midnight. 17 hours underground, under constant stress. Even being in my own element is not enough to alleviate the strain. I still do not know how Kolkrin remains standing on that ankle…..
Guild Consolidation: Part VIII- Fruitless endeavors (Final Chapter)
Entry 19: 1 year and 3 months of guild duty
As written by Risk- Company Annalist, Field physician, Reluctant Lieutenant
Despite some of us spending many hours underground, there is no time for rest. The trial for the eastern merchants is taking place and on top of being sure that the trial is a sham, the officers are convinced that the trial will serve as a large distraction allowing quite a bit of uncouth activity to go unnoticed Striker and Quartermaster will attend the trial, and the rest of us will split into teams and roam the town, working as security. In the midst of this Quarter master is trying to keep Fairhearts affairs in order, and was forced to put sweeps to work on that, who now seems to be in a permanent state of drunken rage. Though he is efficient.
The trial is indeed a sham, it is broken spirited men who are brought to the court, men who seem like they would confess to anything just to have it done and over with. The odd thing is that while they DO confess to being followers of the Dark, and having come to aid in the destruction of the light bringers, they still deny having any knowledge of the orrish in the area, the sicknesses hitting the town, or even of any of the disturbances underground. Even without those aspects though, even being part of the church of darkness is enough to get yourself hanged in these areas.
Quartermaster is disgusted by the proceedings and leaves the trial before it is over, informing Striker that he has seen enough.
Striker remains till the end, growing uneasy as the crowd begins to feel more like a mob. They seem to be working themselves up into enough of a frenzy to rush forward and lynch the merchants, city officials priests and guards be damned. At this point the church of balthazaar splits itself into 2 secure units on either side of the court. It is obvious that they will defend themselves but will not stand in the way of the mob, leaving a clear easy path. Unwilling to see the laws (and morals) of our land flouted so directly Striker steps through the crowd, and stands in front of the merchants. He addresses the crowd and says simply “you will not behave in this manner!” For emphasis he ignites his ax, forming the familiar flaming silhouette of a wolf head around the blade.
The crowd pauses, the church grows nervous, and silence echoes through the court. A rock flys from the back of the crowd, landing to the side of Striker,who only glances at it briefly. A voice from the crowd stammers “G-g-get him!” A few weak voices murmur agreement, but the whispers and murmurs of others are heard above them The crowd is unwilling to fight the one that they know as the ‘Burning Wolf’, the leader of the Guilds Bannermen. The crowd disperses, and the merchants are taken away to await their punishment.
In this time I myself watched the varying entrance of the sewers. I saw several people enter or leave, but there was little i could do to stop them as i had to keep my distance to avoid suspicion. Most of them seemed common criminals, but some were covered in robes. This is not uncommon in this area due to people trying to protect themselves from the sun, but it does allow you to hide much.
This proved to be an issue for Kolkrin and Jimmy wharf, who were simply looking for suspicious activity. Jimmy had seen a couple figures covered head to toe and had dismissed them, but upon seeing a 3rd it triggered his suspicion. He later realized it was they way they were moving. Following this person and trying to remain unseen proved difficult and son both he and the individual were fully aware of each other. The robed figure tried to run. He may have succeeded, but few can outrun a grollen.
Kolkrin caught up, broke the persons collar bone with the haft of his spear, then tripped his feet out from under him. A brief tussle and Kolkrin had the head wrap off of them, revealing a goblin who was now burning in the sunlight. Jimmy and Kolkrin dragged the creature to a nearby tent, retrained it and took it back to the guild hall.
Already there was Keil who reported that he discovered that the members of the church of balthazaar who had headed up the investigation and trial of the Merchants did not reside within the church grounds, and apparently were not overly welcome within the church despite being high ranking members.
We interrogated the goblin, to little success, mostly getting insulted. The creature bore a holy symbol of everdark and was obviously a zealot. The only truly remarkable thing about the creature was it’s wit and near human size. It was obviously chosen for its task due to it’s ability to blend in with humans.
He died during interrogation, only revealing that we were “all doomed”, and “The dark lords are coming”, along with comments about how we “have no idea how dead we already are”. Unfortunately very common claims from the orrish.
We disposed of the body and collected the bounty on it’s ears.
We spend the next day resting, trying to recover from our wounds. I am doing what i can for everyone, but we are trying to accomplish too much to truly rest. Any attempt to rest ends when in the evening a rider, nearly dead from exhaustion, gallops into town. He bears the message that the Orrish hold out was a trap! The militia are all dead, the was a large force backed by priests of darkness, who called upon powers of both the dark gods, and more horrifyingly, the void.
A war council is called. Striker, quartermaster and Daron attend. Striker and Daron work together to ensure that Daron does not make a fool of himself. Quartermaster works to change the perspective of the city nobles so that we are seen in the best light possible. This is a difficult task as we are being left behind as a final defense, while the red Marauders are going forth as the core of the army being sent to wipe out the orrish army. He does prove successful with all but the 2 leading officers in the council.
The army is mobilized, consisting of over 80% of the fighting force of the city, including the nobles arms-men and the varying holy orders. We spend our time organizing what is left of the fighting men and having fortifications built around the city.
All day and into the next we worked and trained the levies. Normally this day would be one of joy and celebration as the city would bring blessing over the successful harvest. The city is somber and tense. The concept of hope or joy appears to be lost to the people. Striker tells Quartermaster to pull from the party fund and throw the city a party, hoping to bring spirits up a little.
Quartermaster is very reluctant, and confesses that funds are not high right now, after the month of intrigue and wounds we have gone through. I solve this by digging into chance and luckys box, where i pull out 3 gems that were found in Viscount Varenus’ hidden everdark altar. Not knowing what they were outside of magical we had kept them hidden, but i was willing to bet that the Guild of Solaris would pay quite a bit for them. I was correct, and they agreed to fund the party for the city.
Drinks and food flow late into the night, it almost masks the construction of the fortifications in the city. Most seem to have temporarily forgotten the majority of the problems facing the city, including us for the time being. Shortly before midnight that all ends.
Screams and fire erupt from multiple points in the city. Chaos is everywhere as people scramble trying to find safety. We can see from where we are that the majority of the concentration of battle appears to be coming from near the guild. Though caught off guard, none of us are surprised. We set out to defend the guild, and I remind striker that there was a lot of focus from our enemies to try and get to the guilds old magic storeroom. He nods and makes sure everyone understands that our primary mission is to keep the contents of that storeroom out of the wrong hands.
Almost immediately we are set upon by what appear to be the skeletons of giants, but upon closer inspection they turn out to be the bones of many creatures fashioned into a massive humanoid shape and animated. They are not too difficult to deal with but not everyone has encountered the undead before, and it shows as they are too shocked to attack initially.
Striker looks out to the burning city and then pulls the amber blade off his back. He hands it to Arafin and tells him to use it for now. Arafins’ true past is made abundantly clear to us as the spirit inhabiting the blade awakens. We knew he was not a typical elf, but the swords full power only works in the hands of a full elf of noble descent. He admits that he is heir to what could be considered a throne amongst the plains elves. Why he is here is not explained. He informs us that the blade has agreed to aid him for now, but that the bod will be temporary. It is immediately apparent that there is a great power within the sword actively protecting its wielder.
What would normally be a 15 minute walk is instead a multiple hour fight to reach our home. Knowing that it is more important to secure our objective than to fight every enemy we come across we set out to avoid what combat we can. At this point we have to hope that the militia can hold on without us.
Keil and Arafin use every skill and trick they know in order to find us the fastest safest route back to the guild, but combat is unavoidable. Time after time we encountered squads of goblins, Zealots of the Dark gods, and even strike forces of orrish and human mix with divine powers at their command.
It seemed as if it would never end. Keil and quartermaster unloaded more bolts than I can recall, many fired from the crossbows upon my back. For the first time since i met him striker begins using his shield. The normally grim and stoic face he wears in combat shows signs of worry. I don’t think he has ever before realized the full meaning of his mortality. Despite this he fights on, taking wounds and laying waste to anyone in front of him as usual.
We did thankfully pick up some allies, and have opportunities to plan our attacks when a fight could not be avoided. Even with Daron missing we are not ignorant to the nuances of warfare. Our allies consisted of a local merchant, 2 farmers who had been pulled into our levy, and a former soldier. We had them fire volleys into our enemies to slow them down and soften them up as they rushed us.
We reached the street of the guild hall, and crossed to approach from the back. At this point a movement ahead caused all of us to raise our weapons in near panic. Many of us were wounded, and we knew that we would have no chance to recover upon reaching our destination, so we were paranoid about any further conflict. Thankfully it proved to be a white sister, one of the famed healers of the Goddess Aerina. The normal disdain that her kind (pacifists) showed us was gone. Apparently when the lives of an entire city are at stake it’s slightly less repugnant to fight. Not only did she spare us the normal treatment, she used her powers to completely heal us, bringing some back from near death (me), and most of us feeling better than we had before this disaster had began. She even mended the breaks in Kolkrins ankle and arm.
Reassured and much more confident we entered the guild. We needed the key to the storeroom, which we knew Comryr had secured in his office. Before reaching it we heard voices in a language we had only heard once…. A dark sounding language that Path had used to convince 3 goblins to bow down to him in absolute fear. I had Chance turn Striker, Quartermaster and Arafin invisible while the rest of us prepared our ranged weapons. Striker finally saw through the visual illusion and his eyes narrowed for a moment. He probably suspects some of chance and luckys actions in the past…..
Around the corner at the door of Comryrs’ office stood 2 enormous orcs and what we assumed was a priest. Thankfully everyone invisible managed to stay quiet enough to get behind one target each. Even striker in his full kit was eerily quiet. Simultaneous blows followed by a hail of arrows and bolts insured that our enemies never even got a chance to strike back.
Withe enemies dispatched we tried to convince Comryr to open the door, but it seems that the priest had been using illusions of Comryrs friends and comrades to do the same thing. He refused to let us in. It only took a few minutes with the Orcs 2 handed axes to realize we would not be breaking the door down any time soon, and time was a factor. Striker calmed down and took a few minutes to recall information that only he and Comryr would know. It turned out to be our patrons confession of his true intentions with the guild and it’s place in our city. The door opened.
Comryr instructed us to take Bodkins chest, and to use it’s contents to find the storerooms entrance and gain entry. From there we were to ensure its protection by any means we deemed appropriate. He would gather the forces of resistance within the city and attempt to repel the attackers. It is with certainty that we will not see one another again that we depart. No farewells or goodbyes are said.
Knowing that the storeroom resides directly beneath the common room we gather there. A deep search reveals no secret compartments or doors. We can only deduce that the entrance must be elsewhere. Our discussions with each other deduce that the entrance must have been one of the additions built on the the original inn that had been the guild house. The common room itself was converted from that in. Quartermaster recalls from guild history that one of the first additions created was an expansion from the larder, because the guild members grew tired of the parties alchemist constantly starting fires and accidently destroying the rooms in which he worked.
The addition must have been the start of what later turned into the storeroom itself. We move into the larder to search it’s depths. The room is a mess, and it is not until we move the casks and kegs from the back wall that we find a plethora of hidden compartments and hidey holes. Most of the contents being molded and rotted from being left too long. One such discovery is a plate embedded in stone, with some odd markings and a symbol of a black handprint. Much deliberation and opening the chest reveals that we can attempt to decipher the means of entry by using manna sense and knowledge of a common magus script utilizing both Gladnorean and Feyloise.
3 of us working causes us to realize that the key is in actuality a spell that creates a sort of flame touch. We cheat by having quarter master instructing his fire elemental to ignite my hand while it’s placed on the hand print. Miraculously it works. The stone becomes a strange archway with a purple film cast over the hallway beyond. It is decided that Arafin, Striker, Keil and myself will enter, while the others will guard the entrance.
Upon entering there is a voice, feminine in nature but seemingly lifeless. It announces “Guild member access, authorized by rank 2. Last access granted by rank 1, 45 years, 4 months and 3 days ago. All threats secured. Focuses Beta through Gamma still unknown in nature. Alpha Focus inaccessible. Lockdown Focus 3: Latent, Lockdown Focus 7: expired, no threat. Primary Lockdown Focus: Volatile. Would you like the entrance sealed until further notice?”
Confused we looked at each other, a few eyebrow raising at the words ‘primary lockdown focus: Volatile’, but We instruct the voice to seal the entrance behind us. “Entrance sealed, Rank 2 or greater required to unseal doors.” The entrance looks the same but a quick test shows that no one can pass in or out of the purple sheen.
Space seems to twist and reform as we go down the hallway, and we realize that some potent magic was used to manipulate the space needed in the place to fit inside of our world as a slim pillar that plunges into the earth. What appears from the inside as a large room with filled with large quantities of shelves and benches with a few large storage rooms branched off the back end, is in fact on the outside a 20 ft by 20 ft pillar plunging several hundred feet into the ground.
There is power in this room, not just that of the enchantments but a plethora of items, weapons, books and materials that almost all seem to be magical in nature. I warn Arafin not to use his manna sight in here as i am concerned it may be bright enough to blind us. I don’t know if it would actually work that way but i am reluctant to test it.
A strange voice calls out to Kiel from what appears to be a well in the center of the room. He approaches it and grows wary as the voice continually asks if he would speak with it. Keil tries to question it and get answers as to it’s nature, but it only continues to ask if he would speak with it. Kiel finally says “yes i will speak with you” and a spectral shape rises up from the well.
The man-like from introduces itself as Killik, the former divination Magus of the handyman’s guild. After much conversation we learn that he was one of the people who founded the guild, and was placed within the well to guard the storeroom from intrusion and to ensure it never fell into the wrong hands. According to him much of the things collected by the original party went unidentified, much of it being dangerous in nature. Some of it is understood, and Killik can help ensure that we do not accidently kill ourselves down here.
Stryker asks if there is anything in the storeroom we could use to drive the dark army assaulting the city away. Killik seems hesitant but then declares that the most expedient way would be for us to release him, so he could leave the storeroom and draw upon its power to expel the army. Striker states that he does not know how to release Kilik, nor does he feel he has the authority. Killik assures him that the authority is indeed his as the ranking officer of the party. Apparently the magic of the storeroom recognizes the heirs of the adventuring party as a higher authority than the guild itself. Killik also informs us that simply uttering the words “I release you: Killik” are sufficient to end the binding spell that has kept him here as guardian.
Striker still feels that even though he has the ability to do so, he shouldn’t release killik without the authority of the guild council, or at least Comryrs say so. At this point a odd feeling i have had since Killik emerged becomes clear to me. I can sense undeath with him, a taint similar to my own. Upon closer examination i find out why. “He is a lich.” I announce to Striker. Killik does not deny this but explains that the original party felt that this was the only way to ensure Killik would be around as long as necessary to protect the storeroom. He is not thrilled with the means, but tries to assure us that it was the only option in dire times.
Nothing in the Lich’s’ explanation seems inherently wrong or untrustworthy, but neither Striker or I have much tolerance for the undead, Striker especially being from the frozen north. Striker refuses to accept the release of the Lich as an option for now, and sets about trying to search for other options. I take some powder that Arafin has hung onto for awhile from when he was working with sweeps. The powder changes the color of fire, and was used as a signal for Sweeps. I exit the storeroom (thankfully i am sufficient rank to open and close the door.), and then proceed to the top of the guild hall to light a fire. Once sweeps responds I send him out to gather the others and bring them to the Larder. Within the hour everyone is safe in the Storeroom.