Trek through the Crypts

Two weeks. It’s been two weeks since the party were forced to kill the members of the Elukin Watch’s prison in an attempt to bust a man out of prison for the old thieves guild of Elukin, Boxer, to aid in the ongoing feud between the new and old guilds of the city. Two weeks of hiding in a safe house, an old dilapidated building covered in moss and spores filling the air, located in the old slums, locally called the “Beggar’s Nest.” Pan, the contact the group has in the old guild, has been moving around the area, keeping an eye on the wanted men and women, to cover his own hide as much as there, and occasionally coming inside to make a few plans with Boxer and the rest of the group. Finally, at the last day of the two weeks, Pan runs inside the building, grin on his face, and map of the city in hand.

After bribing an old priest of Pelor, Pan learned that there is a system of catacombs and crypts that run underneath the lake and has a secret exit on the other side. In case of a city wide emergency, the head caretaker, Brother Desmond, is trained to move through the catacombs, evacuating refugees with the blessing of Pelor. Otherwise, the tombs are filled with the undead.

The second way that he detailed for them to break out of the city was to steal a list of assignments to the different checkpoints around the Dock district, and sneak their way around the least occupied checkpoint. Unfortunately, there is a more likely of a chance that the group has to encounter innocent men, not involved with the gang war between the two guilds.

Naturally, the death of several more city officials would leave a bitter taste in their mouths, so they chose to move through the crypts. Pan informed them that he does not have access to where exactly the crypt entrance is located, so Cora Wittlewood went to a local tavern around the cemetery and began to ask around, with the help of her friend Firah Tyrettln, and learned many things. First, the caretaker works most hours of the day and night, taking a special tonic that keeps him awake, and sleeps only for four hours a day, two after dawn and two after dusk. Then, they found out that he frequently checks on a certain mausoleum every hour that he is working.

The band of outlaws waited for just before dusk, and made their way to the cemetery, moving through the crowds of courtesans and beggars that frequent the area, eventually making their way to the graveyard. Cora, attempting to sneak in undetected, attempted to pick the exterior lock to the graveyard, but found it broken after years of disrepair. Trying to find another way inside, Senten Moor pulled the bars aside, making some noise, and allowed Cora to squeeze her way inside.

Not risking breaking another lock on the inside of the gate, and wanting a key to the rest of the cemetery, Cora made her way slowly to the caretaker’s hut, and sneaked inside. Lifting the keys off of the mantle, she made her way back outside and unlocked the door to the cemetery from the inside. The rest of the group followed her, in addition to Pan and Boxer, making their way quietly across the grass of the cemetery, towards the mausoleum that were detailed in the information they gathered.

The mausoleum, made of marble and etchings of a dead language over the archway of the door, was made extremely sturdily, obviously made to keep something inside, rather than keep something outside. Moving the door and its bar aside, the party then spent several minutes trying to analyze the sarcophagi in the tomb. Moments pass, as the look over the dusty area, undisturbed for hours and accumulated over years, before finding out that the fingers of the sarcophagi pull out. A little confused, they pulled the fingers of every single sarcophagus in the room, when suddenly the lowest one in front of the door slides into the wall, revealing a long dark staircase leading down.

At this point, they give the key to the cemetery to Pan and instruct him to get the key back to the caretaker, and then provide cover for a little bit by distracting the members of the town watch. Then, lighting a few torches and drawing their weapons, the descend down into the darkness. For the first few minutes of exploration, they came across nothing, besides the coffins inlaid every few feet into the walls of the catacombs. Careful and cautious, they progressed further into crypts, coming across two doors that presumably accessed the same room.

Inside, to the paralyzing horror of Senten and Boxer, was a mummy, wrapped in centuries old cloth, and protecting its burial grounds from the intruders. A desperate fight ensued, with Cora and Firah drastically attempting to battle it without the fighter or the cleric, who preferred to take his own path out of the city and buy them more time as he went around, or their mysterious guest. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the monster, it shrugged off blows left and right until the two others were able to move again. Using a cluster tactic, they overwhelmed the mummy, moving the battle to a standstill.

Finally, after the group released its weakness to fire, the party managed to beat down the mummy using their torches, primarily Cora and Senten. Unfortunately, Senten and Firah ended up contracting the dreaded curse of the mummy, impairing them severely throughout the rest of their trek through the catacombs. Moving on, they went further down, exploring some passages until Firah heard the most curious sound…

Following the yipping and reminiscing of her childhood hound, Firah moved towards the sound restlessly with the rest of her fellows following behind. Eventually they stop her when she reaches the door, and not wanting to set off any traps, they decide to burn the wooden door to the ground. Afterwards they found the source of the yipping, a dozen zombified kobolds.

Frustrated at the sound the kobolds made, Firah led the charge against the beasts with Senten at her side, killing a good half by herself, in conjunction with a fire trap that she and Senten emulated using oil and a torch, but during the battle, Cora lost her rapier (again) into the ever growing pile of bodies in front of them. Within minutes the battle was over, and the dying embers of the trap faded away as they began to loot the bodies. Following another passage, saving a lone door in the kobold room for last and backtracking a little to further explore the crypt, they moved on.

Inside a small, square room with the statue of some sort of god on it, they found one of the most hideous creatures they have ever seen. The skeleton of an owlbear, lost and killed inside the crypts and forced to protect it from the party, and any other sort of graverobber. A fierce battle took place, but one that proved easier for the group than that of the mummy, with it ending as the bones are cast aside and the spirit of the beast allowed to move on.

Doubling back to the door in the kobold room that they left behind, they continued and finally found their salvation. Past the door, there is another small chamber, with sunlight pouring down a long staircase like one they found underneath the mausoleum. However, silhouetted in the sunlight, was another mummy, with an amulet draped over its neck and jewelry glittering in the sunlight as it provides one last attempt at protecting the catacombs.

Because the group fought the previous mummy and learned its weakness of fire, this mummy proved no threat. However, the sheer presence alone frightened Firah and Cora, leaving Boxer and Senten to face the monster alone. Acquiring the curse from the beast, and coming to an inch of death before Cora and Firah could recover and rescue him, Boxer aided in defeating the mummy. Once the fight was over, Cora examined the amulet and remembered tales that she heard at the tavern about the riches of the founding members of Elukin, and how one was buried with a magical item that allowed him to convince someone of anything. Taking it, they ran up into the sunlight, and began to continue their journey to the Consulship of Aldoreni to deliver the book of evil they acquired what seems like lifetimes ago….

The Break

For several weeks now, the party, with their new addition of Firah Tyrettln, has been traveling towards the Consulship of Aldoreni, and towards the city of Elukin, which is close to the border between the Kingdom of Fyndin and the Consulship. On the outskirts of the city, where they can see the lumber workers and miners of the wilderness surrounding the city, they found a curious sight, a man stepping out of the bushes.

Calling himself Vorik Lamont, he claims that he is on a mission from the Baron of Detoc, who assigned him to the party when they had to adventure to the monastery, weeks ago. Following them from then on, he finally was able to meet them face to face, and tell them of his intentions, and how he sensed the evil emanating from the group. They vaguely mentioned the book in their possession and welcomed him into the group and carried on in their travels.

Walking into the city of Elukin, they made their way to the market district, where they each made purchases including a cloak, Senten Moor got his bear pelt made into a tailor made cloak and hood, and various other weapons and armor. Cora Wittlewood, venturing around the area, encountered a small child, who stole her money and ran into an alley, forcing the Halfling into pursuit. Calling out for her friends, they all converge on the alley and encounter a man who identified himself as Pan. Offering them a job, he asks the party to break an important individual by the name of Boxer from being falsely held by a rival thieves’ guild’s lackeys in the town watch jail. He later elaborates about a gang war that is being waged in Elukin between a new thieves guild and the old one, and attempts to bribe Corah with information that she needs.

After they left the alley, the came across another individual by the name of Dearden who offered them the same job, but instead of bribing Corah with the information, he threatened Firah with the release of information that would lead to bounty hunters finding them.

Seeking information on the history of the city and the city’s penal system, Vorik journeyed to the Chapel of Heironeous and looks into the past. For centuries, there has been an unknown creature that resides in the sewers, something that no one has been able to identify or kill. Whilst he was gathering information from this source, Cora tried out in contacting the criminal underworld not affiliated with either guild. Finding an import-export operation that has had men imprisoned before, they tell her that the warden is bitter and resentful of most people, and one of his underlings, Marlyn, likes to spite the warden by doing things he’s not supposed to, as well as there is an off-the-books dungeon at the bottom of the prison used for torture.

Setting out, the group goes off towards the prison to try to get the lay of the land, as well as possibly an illicit meeting with Boxer. Needless to say, Marlyn did not like a member of the criminal class trying to sneak a meeting, so he denies Cora access to the prisoner. Using a different avenue of approach, Vorik talks to the warden and uses his credentials with a investigative religious group to gain access to Boxer.

Secretly,Vorik casts a spell that forces people to tell the truth around him, and questions both the warden and Boxer, to figure out why Boxer is in custody. Subtly, it gets shown that while Boxer did commit a crime, the warden and the rest of the guard arrested the man without sufficient evidence.

Revealing the information he found and the layout that he saw of the prison to his comrades, they set out to create a plan to break in. Eventually, they settled on scaling the rear walls using climbing equipment and moving to the main holding cells to get him out. Buying the equipment they need, and a few explosive runes, the party sets out to free the semi-falsely imprisoned man.

After some initial difficulties, the group managed climb over the wall and alerted a prisoner in his windowed cell. Offering to show a guard one of the pieces of paper with an explosive runes, as long as they break him out from his imprisonment. Wondering why he is in prison, he reveals that he is a political prisoner that goes by the name of “Red-Eye.” Believing his story, they give him a slip of paper and he proceeds to kill one of the guards.

The other guards went to investigate the explosion, and Senten and Vorik fired upon the two of them with their bows. Eventually, they finished off the two of them and saw in the open training ground ahead, the warden assembling all the guards to wage an attack on the group.

Trying to appeal to the warden’s sense of honor, Vorik challenged him to honorable single duel between him and warden. Honor-bound, the warden accepted the duel and ended up victorious, after a bitter battle. Not willing to accept defeat and imprisonment, Cora attacked the warden, and a fierce conflict ensued. Using his wits, Vorik managed to stop the battle long enough to “remember” a warrant that allowed Boxer to be
transported with them.

It took one second. One second to read one word. But reading that one word activated the spell that caused an explosion which killed every guard except for two, which were shortly killed by the others. Looking for something while the others went to go rescue Boxer, Vorik went into the warden’s office and found a letter of intimidation that implicated the warden’s family being held by a man named Cicero.

With Boxer and Red-Eye in tow, the group ran into the sewers as means of escape. Inside, they met the beast down under, a horrid mass of submerged tentacles that chased the group for quite a while and pulling a few of them under. Thankfully, those that fell managed to climb back up and onto the walkway. Just in time to meet a very angry large spider.

One short fight later, they managed to get back to the surface and the inn in the harbor district they rented before the heist, and laid low and rested and recuperated. While they did so, Pan, the contact in the old guild, stopped by and collected Boxer and gave them honorary memberships in the guild, complete with discounts in illicit businesses and access to guild services.

Firah and Vorik spurned the memberships, but did not deny them knowing the usefulness of guild contacts in the city. Senten decided to take the membership at full level, knowing that they can progress if they so pleased. Calling a favor from the guild already, Vorik asked Pan to protect the warden’s family, which he accepted.

As this was going on, the guards of Elukin put the entire city on lockdown, placing guards at every gate, blocking all but the most essential ships from leaving the harbor onto the huge salt water lake. Checkpoints are made all over the city trying to find the four that broke into prison and slaughtered the guards. Now, the group needs to break out of the city…

Act of Rebellion

Having no supplies really can be a nuisance. Especially when you have eight hungry mouths, and only a few rabbits to sustain those mouths, let alone when half of those are vegetarian. Hungry, desperate, and in need of supplies, it seemed like a blessing when the outline of a small town could be made out at the edge of a forest. Except, even from this distance one can tell that something is extremely wrong. A makeshift barricade surrounds the town, consisting of everything that the creators could cobble together, including wagons, trailers, farming equipment, and pieces of lumber connecting them all. The guards, just as thrown together as the fence, are utterly malnourished and outfitted with equipment that are ill-fitted or crudely made. When the party, with the new addition of their new bard that they picked up at The Wandering Mare, finally reached the sole entrance to the town, the guards there informed them a little of what happened to cause all this.

Apparently, three weeks ago, the mining foreman, Falcus Henrius, and the captain of the guard, Caius Semperitis, claimed that the city of Haddix was now its own sovereign nation, separate from the host kingdom of Fyndin. After handing over their weapons, the four moved to the general store, where they purchased plenty of supplies, including salted meats, grains, fresh fruits, and others, in exchange for a small gem picked up on a previous adventure. Shortly after, they visited the tavern called “The Tamed Beast”, which catered to the miners that worked the nearby silver mines that dotted the surrounding area. In fact, the only non miner themed feature inside the entire tavern was the dark, drunken mass in the corner.

Obviously, from being outsiders, the group decided to peddle around the tavern to try to get information about the goings on of the town, while they wait for the manager of the general store to compile their supplies. The bard, and Cora Wittlewood, elected to tackle the drunk, while Senten Snow went to a group of miners playing a card game, and Thokk Warmonger elected to gather any information he could from the bartender over a flagon of ale. The most information garnered came from the drunk, who called himself Thamior Liadon, who informed the two that the slaves, prior to being released and pressed into service in the newly formed “army”, uncovered an ancient set of ruins buried deep into the recesses of the hill side.

Realizing that there is a good source of information present, Cora called for Senten across the bar, prompting a remembrance from Thamior. Apparently, Thamior was an ex-paladin and former member of the Royal Knights of Fyndin’s Royal Guard detachment, that was assigned to escort the newborn bastard child of the King to one of his former field commanders, Fiels Snowe, but after a training accident resulting in a grievous injury in which Thamior thought that the child was killed. Wallowing in the knowledge of failure, Thamior searched far and wide, looking for something to replenish his sense of honor, which resulted in him picking a fight with a troublesome group of minotaurs. The fight was won, but it caused severe scarring along the left side of his face, causing him to blind in his left eye.

Trying to atone for his past negligence, Thamior recommended that party visits the camp of the Royal Knights of Fyndin, and to find what was occurring in the minds that “truly” caused the revolution, rather than the cancellation of an unimportant supply line. Taking his advice to heart, the party decided to pay the Royal Knights a visit…after they gather more intelligence by visiting a few more key areas of the city, namely the local Chapel of Pelor and the town hall.

The Chapel, usually filled with the warm ambience of prayer and divine might, was instead replaced by the cries of the suffering and the feeling of misery. Father Prewet, doing the best he can do by himself, has been trying to heal those that are wounded, but since he has been unable to connect to the magic of Pelor, he has been stuck with trying to use traditional methods of healing. Upon questioning, he reveals to the group that a great evil has risen in the past three weeks, exacting some sort of ancient plan.

Worried by the corresponding events that have come to light, the group moves to the town hall, to try to get the opposing viewpoint as well. However, that doesn’t go over so well, as the group accidentally offends the new mayor, Falcus Henrius, and his captain of the guard, Caius Semperitis. Due to some keen ears, they overhear Caius talking to Falcus about their questioning of the ruins, but due to time constraints, they decide not to tail the two as they went off into a private meeting, and instead they move to the Royal Knight’s Camp.

Once there, they converse with an old acquaintance, Waltin Mayler, the Knight who was passing by The Wandering Mare a week ago. He informs them of the location of the mine, while slowly building a battle plan with this new intelligence taken into account. After a questioning about a guide, Mayler informs the group that most of the Knights and their squires are actually from the city of Elukin to the east. With all the information and orders gathered, the party decided it was time to set off to its final destination: the ruins inside the mines.

Throughout the dark, murky mines they saw plenty of glimmering silver reflecting off of the torchlight in little spots, some here and some there, along the roughly made walls of the tunnel. After twenty minutes of fumbling around in the mine, they finally come across this great stone double door, with ancient writing inscribed onto the stone itself. It required some effort to get the door open due to the sheer weight of the thing, but they finally get it, revealing the darkness inside, penetrated by the light of torches.

Shortly into it, the ruin split into two paths, with the statue of the god Fharlanghn who’s pantheon covers roads and choices, and each hand of the god points down a separate fork. However, before a choice could be made, the adventurers found three guards, created by some sort of foul magic, advancing on them, with only one intent: to kill. Quickly, the bard proved her worth, by bolstering the morale of the team, and taking one out from afar with her crossbow, leaving the rest to the others, who quickly dispatched the group.

It was almost as if some divine hand guided the choice of the path to take, as in the battle a crossbow bolt lodged itself in the statue’s left hand, pointing down the right corridor. Following this sign, the group proceeds down, setting off a small javelin trap that struck Thokk in the side weakly. Afterwards they moved one more chamber down and found a huge room, with large, checkered tiles alternating between two different colors, in front of them.

Using his intuition, Thokk realized that some of the tiles were trapped, and others were safe to walk on, and proceeded to use his ten foot pole to find a safe route. Thinking that he knew what the trap was, Senten tried to take a different route, believing that if they took the same route they would be killed, but ended up setting off a trap, and got sprayed with burning hot flames.

After a while, the group made it through the checkered trap safely, with only a few close calls. Using her wits, Cora made a hand drawn map of the area, and detailed which tiles were safe, and which tiles were not. Along the way, they found a charred and blackened body, with no distinguishing features on it short of a silver ring, with an inscription that said “Daniel Prewet.” Realizing that this is someone related to the priest of Pelor, they bickered a little about what they should do with it, and finally deciding to give it to the Father.

Moving on, they make it to another hallway, and realize that they should have Cora, the stealthiest, sneak ahead and gather some recon. However, she was so focused on sneaking around, that she accidentally stepped on a cloth designed to look like the flagstone floor…which also hid a deep hole underneath.

Falling and yelping, Cora hit her head on the descent, knocking her unconscious by the time she landed. Now, there is a problem. Add that to the fact that two more of the undead construct things, made aware of the party’s presence by the screams of the falling halfling, rounded the corner, and began their slow robotic march towards the intruders. Showing an unknown amount of bravery, the timid little bard tied a rope around herself and gave it to the fighter and the barbarian, and leaped down into the hole to rescue her rogue friend.

Making it down there safely, she tied up the halfling, and called out for assistance in raising her body. Reacting instantly, Senten literally pulls on the rope hard enough for the pair to fly up into the air, to be caught by their companions. Afterwards, they commenced their attack on the two dread guards, giving cover for the bard to heal the rogue. The fight ended seconds later, when the two constructs fell down into the pit below. After placing a ladder across, that Thokk carried, they climbed across and found something…interesting.

On the other side of the pit, and a little curve later, they found a room, filled with tables, along with a few book shelves and a small altar dedicated to [[St. Cuthbert]]. On the tables, the group found multiple maps, of Haddix, of the surrounding region, and a hand drawn map of Knight’s Camp, with arrows drawn in of some sort of invasion plan, as well as a small journal with “Sanguis” penciled in.

The bard, with some knowledge of dealing with codes, found out what the book actually said, including how Sanguis and another spirit “found suitable hosts” and “disposed of the local leader”, and how they were going to “exact their longforsaken revenge.”

Cora, curious about the altar, decided to investigate the alcove that it was in. Nothing noteworthy, besides a few ancient bloodstains, and layers upon layers of dust. In fact, dust layers everything, from the tables, to the flagstone floors, to the altar, actually just about the only things not covered in dirt are the bookcases, the journal, and the where the party stepped as they searched the room. Realizing the significance of this, Thokk and Senten each moved a book case, eventually finding a double door behind a double bookcase.

This double door is much weaker than the ones on the entrance, and much newer. Inside, is a large room, completely featureless except for one thing: four stone coffins resting in the middle of the room, two of which have been opened. Splitting the team up, with the bard by the door on watch, Thokk and Senten investigating the two open coffins, and Cora skulking around in the shadows.

Thokk, opening one up even farther, found scratch marks along the inside of the sarcophagus, like something was inside of it and was alive. Although now, all that is inside is barely a skeleton, but mostly dust. Suddenly, out of nowhere a voice rang out from behind them, and into the darkness.

There, in shadows at the edge of their torchlight, stand Falcus and Caius, with both their eyes glowing red, and their hair rising up into the air. Speaking together, like some infernal chant, they gave one last warning to the group: their deaths will fill the Resurrection of their two brothers. And with that, they stepped into each other, and their bodies morphed and twisted around each other until they were one single, red, pulsating mass. Then, the mass formed into the shape of a large, red man, about seven feet tall, and completely furious.

The ensuing battle was fierce, bloody, and brutal. Drawing attention to himself, Thokk ended up getting knocked unconscious while distracting the bloodhulk for a few critical shots by Cora. Eventually, Senten landed a good blow against the brute, directing its attention on him and away from his two weaker counterparts. A furious duel took place, where blow was exchanged with blow, giving Cora enough time to run over to the unconscious Thokk and revive him. Shortly afterwards, he plunged himself back into the fray.

Finally, after a long and drawn out fight, Senten finally gets around to the nightmare’s back, knocked it on its knees, and put his sword to its neck. Heaving backwards, and with a sick popping sound, the head flies into the air and into one of the opened coffins. Realizing the need to seal the area up, the scrounged around the prior room for any sort of alchemical device they could use, finally founding a small jar with black liquid inside. Pouring it all over archway and door frame, and leaving the rest stacked next to it. Then, using their torch, they lit the stream and boom. No more access to the coffins.

Realizing the need to rest up and heal their wounds, the group flees back to the Tamed Beast and rent out the common room, setting up and falling asleep there. After a quick conversation with Thamior and the general store manager, Parker, they found out that the Knights swooped in on the town while the party was out, using them as bait to get the two leaders of the revolution away from their forces, to make it almost effortless to subjugate the rest of the population.

Heading back out, they realized that the second half of the dungeon, which felt nowhere near as big as the first half they visited, was much less strenuous. Sure the party members had to figure how to get Corra, the small little halfling, across a chasm to get a chest filled with gold and a shield (COUGH COUGH COULD BE MAGICAL) and again when she had to cross back. Both times, she fell and hit the side of the wall, the first time using a grapple hook as a piton and digging her way into the rock face, and the second time (after a utterly failed leap) requiring the help of the two friends at the top. All that was left inside the rest of the dungeon was a small barracks covered in dust.

At the end of the day, the four finally returned to the town with no intent of ever coming back to the mine. Following instructions, they found Waltin Mayler organizing the reconstruction of the town and told him of their exploits and grand duel with the revolutionary leaders. Trying to reward them, Mayler offered the group a small chest filled with platinum pieces, cobbled together by the wealth of the noble knights. After much debate, and mutual agreement, the party decided that the wealth should instead go to the town, to help them recuperate and reach the prime of its time. Maybe opening a new mine, establishing a caravan route with Freton, or the like. Either way, it will help in the long run.

Insistent that they should accept some sort of reward, Mayler offered a large tract of land that the old mayor bought to create a small villa for himself. Thinking of creating a grand fortress eventually, they accepted the agreement and told the Knight that something “evil” was in those ruins, and must never be unearthed again. Taking their advice he posted somebody at the mine entrance until it could be sealed. Permanently.

Then, with everything in order, the adventurers set back off.

The Wandering Mare
The journey has just begun...

The heroes, now with a goal of safely delivering the books of evil and good to the dwarves and elves, are suddenly at a loss of where to go from there. Do they go straight to the Dwarven United Halls or the elven Consulship of Aldoreni? To whom do they give the books to? After much discussion, the party decided to give the book of good to the dwarves, and the book of evil to the elves, hoping that their respective governments had the power to safeguard such artifacts of infernal and celestial power. To dispose of the more vile book as soon as possible, the party decided to move to the elven lands first and deliver unto them the book of evil. With mutual agreement, Mancar Loxley was going to go ahead of them and meet them at their destination with the books in his possession.

Whilst traveling across the land, the heroes decided to avoid the city of Detoc, lest the corrupt Baron, Malthor Snidet, got wind of their plan and attempted to stop them. After two days of travelling, they came across an old inn named The Wandering Mare. The light emanating from the inn was cheerful enough, and anything beat sleeping on the cold hard ground at night, so the party decided to rent three rooms, one for each of them, and converse with some of the locals.

The half-orc, already used to blatant racism, did not experience much reprieve here, as most of the patron and staff shunned him, and charged him extra just for his presence. The other two, the fighter and the rogue (the wizard had to attend other matters in a spiritual part of the forest so he can meditate) experienced much warmer welcomes and mixed with the local color well enough, particularly the dwarven bartender and the fighter. After a few minutes of socialization, the bartender mentioned how there was a strange man in the back room who was asking for travelers who matched their descriptions.

It turns out that the man, who introduced himself as Aliray Jenkins, was seeking information on why Mancar Loxley, an “old retired adventurer, and hero to the kingdom” was reviving his old contacts and networks after a twenty year hiatus from the public life. The group, trying their best not to indulge the man with his thirst for information, got a stern warning that other groups have felt a evil being released upon the land after they left the monastery, and that they would soon come.

Jenkins, and his two guards who were waiting outside the back room, soon left the view of the public, leaving the group back to their socialization patterns. Suspicious of any dangers that might be coming, they organized a system of watches for the night, just in case something might happen. After making a few requests from the bard and talking to the elven barmaids and their dwarven boss, the group went to rest for the night.

Deep into the night, halfway through second watch, the inn was attacked by an as yet unidentified force. Spying into the darkness the rogue, who was on watch at the time, witnessed what looked like Gray Dwarves, otherwise known as Duergar, assaulting the inn and setting up ladders on the second floor. Swiftly, she ran up the stairs and attempted to wake up her friends, but ended up being trapped between two of the attackers outside of the fighters door.

While she held her own for a little bit, the two others managed to wake up and assist her in dispatching the two, as well as another wave of three dwarves who made their way upstairs by a way of a ladder. Soon after, and many wounds later, the three made their way to the common sleeping quarters and witnessed four dwarves slaughtering two other people and combating a third. Effortlessly, the trio instant killed three of the invaders, shocking the last into submission. After some interrogation and tying up, the surviving gray dwarf revealed that they were sent there under command of the “”/campaigns/malidor/characters/empress-1" class=“wiki-content-link”>Empress", the ruler of his clan of Duergar.

Rushing downstairs, a fight was clearly underway in the corner, where the dwarven bartender sat behind his bar and fended off two of his evil counterparts with an old sword, whilst two more interrogated one of the two elven barmaids and the bard sat unconscious in the corner. After killing the two interrogating the barmaid and one of the ones attempting to kill the dwarf, the metaphorically backed the last surviving Gray Dwarf into a corner, forcing him to take the elf hostage.

Through multiple ways of diplomacy, including the attempted hostage exchange with the tied up dwarf upstairs (which went horribly awry, resulting in the halfling’s sword being stolen), the dwarf ended up releasing the woman in exchange for safe passage outside with the rest of his friends. Knowing that a final assault was incoming, the bartender and the party decided to barricade all the windows and doors on the first floor and holing up in the cellar while the bard and elf hid in the kitchen cupboards.

Part of the initial invasion strategy of the Duergar was to dig a tunnel into the cellar for the element of surprise, resulting in a large hole in the side of the wall. Curious to see the depth of the hole, the party pushed a leaking barrel of ale into the hole and lit the alcohol trail on fire, resulting in an explosion that alerted everyone to their location.

After a fierce battle, the heroes emerged victorious, with many near death situations at the hands of a Duergar lieutenant, who singled the fighter out for honor-bound combat. Both the fighter and the dwarven bartender, whose name was finally revealed as Drogan Hammerfist, included among them.

The day after the battle was a somber one. Individual funeral pyres were built for the two killed patrons and the barmaid’s twin sister, as well as for one massive one for the twenty or so killed invaders. The immense amount of smoke alone resulting in the inquiry of a wandering patrol of Royal Knights of Fyndin, who asked about the invasion and were impressed by the skill of the defenders. Upon questioning about Mister Jenkins, they revealed that he was an information broker that is well-known throughout the land, with contacts in every city, port, brothel, and manor. If he wanted information on something, he would find a way to get it. The knight also mentioned that he was untouchable, with connections to the law and to the thieves guild, and was immune to any sort of investigation. The three knights soon left to investigate a rebellion to the east, as they put it.

Once the party finished their discussion with the Royal Knights a new matter was brought to their attention: Drogan’s old contacts in the United Hall’s Army and other portions of the dwarven government. After some discussion, they agreed to tell the old dwarf a limited amount of information involving their quest, information only relating to the book of good and the dwarven kingdom. Forever in their debt, he offered for himself to travel on ahead of the party, revive some old contacts, and make some progress in securing a safe haven with the Hammer of Moradin church there. So, after telling the party that they are welcome to whatever food, drink, and lodging they required when he reestablishes the inn, he sets off for the dwarven city of Torkin.

The barmaid, with her boss leaving and the establishment ruined by the attack, as well as the death of her twin sister, decided that she would adventure back to her family’s ancestral home in the elven city of Foxhund, offering them any favors that they wished should they find themselves there.

Three more days of travel later, with bellies filled with free food and drink, a good night’s sleep and the company of a traveling minstrel who decided he was going to chronicle their journey, they came across yet another “chance” encounter. This time, Mister Aliray Jenkins sits in the trees, waiting for them with four of his cronies (after making it out of the inn and leaving a note saying “told you so” [in essence] to the adventurers). Avoiding him didn’t work, so they were stuck with being forced to listen to him try to worm the information he required out of them, but yet again, they did not budge.

Seeing that he was making no progress with the heroes, he decided to play the role of the benefactor to them, offering up four of his finest steeds, Lightning, Maybelle, Fox, and Diamond, free of charge to the adventurers. After much discussion, and trying to figure out an ulterior motive, they decide to take the steeds to assist in accelerate their journey to the Elven Consulship.

The Monastery
The beginning...

The fat baron, one Malthor Snidet, sits on his lavish throne as the four adventurers approach his throne, following the special summons he made for them. From here, he explains a dire situation that has developed: two days prior, a monastery near the outskirts of Detoc was invaded by a band of hobgoblins. No contact has been made with the monastery since, and the town guard does not have the numbers nor the experience to mount an attack on the monastery itself. Thus, the Baron has to turn to the leading band of adventurers in town, only to find that they left for the capital a fortnight ago. This leaves him to his last plan: form his own mercenary squad, deputize them, and send them into battle in place of sacrificing the protection of the town.

Accepting the plan readily the four adventurers set out, consisting of a half-orc barbarian, a elven wizard, a halfling rogue, and a human fighter, for the two day journey to the northwest to reach the monastery. Whilst traveling, they were attacked by a startled bear, running from some unseen threat, which inflicted severe lacerations to the barbarian and the fighter. After slaying the beast, the band set up camp, skinned and gutted the bear (eating him in some stew), and kept the pelt for the fighter’s idea of a new fashion trend.

Two more days follow after there campfire roast before the catch their first sight of the monastery. Its dark gothic architecture was evenly balanced with a surprising amount of light wood and bright stained glass windows along the side of the building, creating an aura of neutrality that eminated from it, a place where good and evil lived in harmony, rather than at conflicts like the rest of the world. Though, forces of evil did invade the sanctum, resulting in a hobgoblin sentry on the balcony above the main front doors that spotted the party as the round the last stretch of road.

After a brief scuffle between the sentry, and the three buddies he summoned on the downstairs to assist him, the party was now free to investigate the monastery in depth. Inside, each room, besides the two storerooms to the side, they found destroyed, with every book and scroll in sight ripped open and torn to shreds. The few hobgoblins inside the rooms were more busy trying to follow their orders and search through the shelves of books then they were to actually fight off the mercenaries. As a result, the monsters lay dead at there feet within an hour of entry, all except for anyone in the main hall, and the second floor, as both were yet to be explored.

By the time the heroes made their way up the wrought iron spiral staircase, the hobgoblins on the second floor, which consisted of only one large library stretching to the ceiling and a small enclosed office, had time to prepare and set up a hasty barricade of podiums and lecterns facing the staircase. Before the battle was won, both sides suffered quite a few casualities, as a few of the adventurers sailed close to the sea of death whilst hobgoblin after hobgoblin was slain in a fit of rage by the rest of the party.

Quickly, the party entered the small enclosed space expecting more hobgoblins but found, much to their surprise, a bugbear, gripping the throat of a monk who survived. After a bit of negotiating, the rogue agreed to do the bugbear a favor, that of getting his lieutenant, a hobgoblin the the main hall downstairs, up in exchange for the release of the prisoner.

As she was doing that, she questioned the few hobgoblins that survived what their plans were and what they were searching for, while the busied themselves with chopping up little chunks of the corpses of acolytes and put them in a stew pot. They told her that they were looking for a book of evil, and the rogue, unknowingly, pointed out a room that was magically shielded from sight to those of ill intent. Running the length of the wall, one of the hobgoblins found the book of evil, along with the book of good, and the three hobgoblins tried to leave the bugbear behind to please their master.

Trying to keep the book, the rogue attempted to ambush the three from behind, missing and resulting in a scuffle as two of her friends tied a rope to the banister and climbed down to assist her. Once the battle was finished, and unknowingly corrupted to the books sinister charms, they realized that they had to hide the body and proceeded to chop it up and pour it into the stew pot. Afterwards, they attempted to con the bugbear into thinking he had the book of evil but instead give him the book of good, while having the wizard hide in a storeroom with the actual book of evil.

Needless to say, the bugbear failed to buy into their ruse, and felt the good emanating from the book instead of the evil that he was looking for. Possibly tainted by this good, he agreed to meet the group downstairs and leave his hostage upstairs while they showed him where the actual book was.

As he entered the store room, the wizard, along with the others, ambushed him and decimated him, along with more injuries inflicted onto the party themselves. With the monastery cleared, they traveled back upstairs to question the man, whose name is Mancar Loxley, about the books and the hobgoblins. He informed that the books, after a century of religious conflict resulting in the creation and use of the two books, were trusted onto the creator of the monastery’s care, as he was a major general in the war who fought under the banner of Boccob. Trying to stay neutral throughout the conflict held its benefits, as the monastery was fitted with a number of enchantments as more mundane securities on the books themselves (such as locks that can only be opened by the keys guarded by the Paladins of Heironeous).

The party, wary of the monk’s belief that he could continue to keep the books safe after centuries of magical decay and combative deterioration, issued him an ultimatum: the books shall be separated and guarded by two of the three major kingdoms of the realm. The fighter, with his bloodline tying back to King Olphus the Wise, pushed that the humans should get this book as well as the elves. After much debate, with Mancar included as well, the group settled that the Elven Consulship of Aldoreni and the Dwarven United Halls should possess the books, as they were far older and wiser than the human governments, which are constantly shifting about.

After this, the heroes set their eyes away from their home in Detoc, and towards their destination…


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