Adventure 21: Consequences

Adventure 21 Synopsis

23rd of Barrakas (3,100xp)

Valten appeared to be in the minority with his firm held belief that Mirand’s ritual book needed to be returned to the university but he at least help to convince everyone that they needed to remove themselves from the multiple hordes of the undead standing rank and file nearby.  The group pressed back toward their entry point only to be met with a surprising sight, Malen Torr stood above them on the balcony they so recently leapt down from and he was not alone.  Seven men stood with him, one a formidable looking Kalashtar, between two of the men an unmoving form was propped up for all to see.  It was Kanarr, and it look as if he had paid dearly for his betrayal of Malen.

Malen cleared his throat and started a slow mocking clap.  He praised the adventurers on defeating his undead beholder, named Kransis apparently, and for finding the book.  He then stated that he expected them to hand it over.  He laid out his threat, either hand over the book or he would utter the command phrase that effectively loosed the myriad of undead present on the city ofSharn.  He followed up explaining that the undead would be free of all command and unable to be brought back under any command.  He ended his tirade with the tossing of the “traitor” Kanarr down off the balcony to the group below.

There were a few attempts to talk Malen out of his course of action, Valten attempted to bluff the man into thinking that the university was already aware of Malen’s treachery, to which Malen countered that he intended to be long gone from the city before any kind of response could occur with or without the book.  Diplomatic reasoning didn’t help either and a shot fired by Gerrick at the Ambassador resulted in a psionic flare from somewhere in Malen’s group that protected the then laughing man.

It seemed a choice had to be made, Malen was desperate to get the book and the men of Folly’s Investigation were unwilling to part with it.  At this point Gerrick opened fire at the entire group on the balcony and chaos ensued.  Malen’s group ran though three of its members fell to Gerrick’s pistols, but not before Malen shouted the command words that woke the slumbering creatures.

With that a desperate struggle to survive the incredible press of zombies and skeletons began.  Gerrick followed his attack on the fleeing group by attempting to maneuver through the horde to get to the balcony escape route.  Lyca, calling upon his sense of underground structures, pinpointed that a number of the side exits the undead would soon use appeared unstable and began helping to direct cave ins with the help of Valten.  Krint and Markas began a direct attack on the creatures in order to push them away from the group and to rescue the apparently unconscious Kanarr.  When Gerrick reached the balcony he discovered that Malen’s group had caved in their exit as well, so he turned and began a focused fire on some key areas of assault.

Fortunately for the group these monstrous enemies were not utterly mindless, because of the expert crafting of Karn necromancers, and the undead warriors decided to flee rather than fully assault the difficult foes, and though Lyca and Valten did their best to have cave ins fall directly on fleeing undead an estimated half of the horde escaped into Khyber’s Gate.  A quick conversation was had regarding their next move.  They wanted to pursue Malen, but there was no way around the fact that the currently roaming undead were at least in part a result of their own decisions. It was decided Gerrick, Lyca, and Kanarr would be heading after the fleeing Malen while Markas, Valten, and Krint would attempt to somehow stem the tide of the undead.

Malen’s pursuers decided to clear the cave in at the balcony exit to head after their foe while the others took off through one of the side exits.  As soon as Lyca cleared the last of the barrier they headed to the surface following the fleeing ambassador’s tracks until they came to the surface of Khyber’s Gate.  It seemed once Malen had arrived there he must have taken some form of airship because the trail ended and markings seemed to indicate a parked vehicle.  A realization sunk in that here in Khyber’s Gate there would not be any Sky Coaches so they rushed to the nearest known exit from the steamy depths and hailed the first coach they saw.

Meanwhile, the team tasked with chasing Malen’s released minions found that the exit they chose became less and less like a natural cavern and appeared to branch into some old ruins that lead to the outside this made the chase easier.  Regrettably this must have made it even easier for any fleeing foe as well.  When they breached the surface their hearts sank as they discovered it led directly into a shanty town nearby.  An attack was already well underway.

Lyca and Gerrick quizzed Kanarr as to where he thought Malen might have gone, and the guard stated that Malen would have either headed to the embassy to hole up or to his estate to pack for a hasty retreat.  They assumed Malen was more likely to leave Sharn as there was just too much evidence out there that could eventually get back to him so they headed to the Karn Ambassador’s estate.  When they arrived they saw a landing pad with a small personal airship docked, they decided to leap from the coach and down to the pad.  Kanarr stated he was going to make haste to the Karrnath embassy to inform the other, more politically minded, ambassador Lady Syra ir’Talann. They went to work disabling Malen’s aircraft and ducked inside his home.

Back in Khyber’s Gate Krint, Valten, and Markas waded into battle with a number of attacking monsters and drew their attention away from the impoverished citizens of the shanty town.  Above them in the lavish Mithral Towers District Gerrick and Lyca had just launched their attack on Malen, who until Lyca leapt on his head from the above ledge was busy ushering his men to pack boxes faster.  Their respective fights had begun.

The fight against the undead went well; Valten used an enormous blast of energy to initially take down a sizeable number of the weaker breed of zombie while Markas and Krint headed directly into the fray.  Krint kept his enemies close and allowed Markas to work their flanks.  Only one enemy escaped Krint’s directive fighting techniques and it headed for Valten.  Using his innate wild magiks Valten created a formidable defense against the oncoming foe but ended up defeating the Zombie before it could meet in melee with the sorcerer.

Battlebetween Malen’s forces and Lyca and Gerrick did not fair nearly as well.  Lyca and Gerrick took heavy blows early and frequently.  They took a few down but if not for Lyca’s druidic Good Berries and use of other healing implements their doom would have been ensured early.  Malen took flight at the first opportunity leaving three soldiers and his Kalashtar psionic to hold off the attacks of the two investigators.  Eventually Lyca found an opening though and with his increased speed from shifting into wolf form he made up for the head start Malen had.  Only two enemies remained to make chase after Lyca, but Lyca had speed on his side.  Gerrick had fallen unconscious but somehow his body dug deep and he awoke groggily and shambled up the stairs after the fleeing men and Lyca.

Soon Markas fell the last of the undead, and though they had a breath looked around to see that other creatures had moved on from this area and into the night.  It was readily apparent that they would need to do some quick and inventive thinking if they were to form a strategy to take on the many enemies that were left.

Lyca blasted through the door a bloodied wolfish monster and rushed onto the airship landing pad.  He saw Malen staring in disbelief at the ruined airship.  Lyca growled at Malen to stop and quickly closed the distance between them.  He demanded that Malen force his men to stand down when they appeared and Malen finally, reluctantly raised his hands in defeat.  When the Kalashtar and last soldier came through the door the sight before them was a defeated Malen being tied up, they soon followed his surrender and Lyca bound their hands and feet.  Lyca was finishing his binding on the last soldier and was ready to ask what had happened to Gerrick when the Changeling stumbled through the door and blindly fired a pistol at the first enemy he saw, the Kalashtar.  There was no way to avoid the attack and the Psion took a head shot collapsing to the ground.  Lyca screamed in protest, informing Gerrick that they had surrendered and Gerrick lowered his weapon stating that the Kalashtar was “an asshole anyway”.  To this Malen stated “Yes, the closest friend I had in this world was “an asshole”!  You sir have killed he who was closest to me, and you had better do the same to me because this execution will not be forgotten”!  Gerrick paused and then as if to say “okay” raised his pistol again.  Fear flashed across Malen’s face and Lyca leapt to stop his comrade from the murderous shot but it was too late, Malen’s head snapped back from the shot and he too lay dead.

Lyca was beside himself with disbelief, fury, and confusion but never got the chance to speak his mind as a myriad of airships descended on the platform and Kanarr stepped out of the first with a woman in tow.  She was Lady Ambassador Syra ir’Talann, the second ambassador for Karrnath in the city, and the scene she saw before her was gruesome.  To her it appeared that two men had been tied up post surrender and then brutally executed.  She ordered both Lyca and Gerrick arrested and were it not for the one living soldier vouching for Lyca’s fair dealings in the situation they both would have.  However, Gerrick was taken into custody.  They shackled his wrists with the very manacles that had been brought for Malen.

Adventure 20: Responsibilities and Prophecies

Adventure 20 Synopsis

21st – 23rd of Barrakas (xp)

On the morning of the 22nd of Barrakas, the men of Folly Investigations awoke feeling like all the routines of their old lives had fallen back into place, with the noticeable exception of old friends and inclusion of new that is.  They had returned to the office beleaguered and sore from a near death experience and had laid claim to a piece of cryptic uttering from a fallen foe.  Yes sir, back to normal indeed. 

They spent some of their morning hashing out plans for how to approach their findings, including one bit of physical information.  On the body of Jangleft Crowfeeder, they had found an odd coin.  None had recognized the item and they set about planning how to figure out its importance. At this point in time Valten spoke up and declared he needed to check in with the university anyhow, being a professor on a self inflicted indefinite leave of absence, because they would like to know he was back in the city.  He stated he could take the coin there and see if it had any kind of historical, archaic significance and Lyca decided to go with him. Gerrick made mention that he would like to visit Jangleft’s room back at his inn for clues.  Seeing that the coin was being investigated and that Gerrick had a mission as well, Krint and Markas decided to visit with Kilvar to get a better idea what was troubling the Half-Elf.

Krint and Markas arrived at the local watch garrison and immediately picked up on a different feel to the place.  The men and women of the watch were disheveled and did not look to be the upstanding soldiers so recognizable to the Harath’s Folly watch station.  They also noted, after inquiring, that Kilvar’s office had been re-positioned to a tiny room far back in the garrison.   Kilvar was startled to receive visitors and quickly ushered Krint and Markas inside.  The Dwarf and Halfling quickly made their observations known and Kilvar practically deflated before their eyes. 

He then regaled them with what had occurred while they were gone.  He started with what they already knew, that Phineas and Grath had left the area not long before Folly Investigations routed the attempted drug smuggling that had taken place.  After that it seemed the Boromar Gang had left Harath’s Folly for good.  Kilvar had relaxed but obviously too soon.  About two years ago, Kilvar was given a commendation for his service to Harath’s Folly and was told he was going to be promoted, but in order to accept he was going to have to leave the area to its new Captain of the Guard, Olnwick Boromar.  Kilvar had lost his temper, refused to allow a Boromar take any such assignment, and stormed from Lord Iyan ir’Talan’s office.

From there it became a lesson in defeats, Kilvar was demoted to just a watch officer and placed within the Harath’s Folly’s regular guard detail.  Olnwick Boromar was placed in Kilvar’s old position as captain of the watch in Harath’s Folly and soon the men Kilvar was accustomed to working with were slowly reassigned to other wards and the riffraff seen today became the new standard.  Now Olnwick is entrenched and Kilvar has lost all power in the ward, usually forced to work at his desk accomplishing any number of mundane assignments. 

Krint asked Kilvar why he didn’t just quit that watch and join up with Folly Investigations.  The Half-Elf seemed to consider it but ultimately declined citing that he still held the belief that the watch was his true calling, and he intended to see it purified.  With this Kilvar ushered them out of his office lest they become further associated with the ex-captain, he feared it could cause trouble for the group.  Though Krint and Markas scoffed at such an idea they took their leave, though with heavy hearts for their friend.

Valten and Lyca were enjoying a much more excited response to their visit, though namely for Valten’s return.  They first headed to Professor “Dash” Dannigan’s quarters in order to have him look at the coin in their possession.  Dash was elated to the long missed Valten and immediately inquired if he would be returning to work to which Valten responded that he was not.  Upon viewing the coin, Dash informed them that it was actually what one would call a Tarkanan “Favor coin” and its purpose was a rather clear one.  It entitled the possessor to one reasonable favor within the power of the Tarkanans.  It was only relinquished to someone who had done a great deed for the group but it was redeemable to whoever possessed it, a valuable item indeed.

Valten decided not to question the old rogue Dash as to how he knew such a thing, but instead heeded the Archeologist’s advice that President Larrian ir’Morgrave would certainly like to see him and welcome him back to Sharn even if it did not come with a return to work.  Morgrave greeted Professor Czarek enthusiastically and only faltered a moment in his greeting when he discovered that Valten’s old post would remain unfilled for the time being.  After that they discussed the current events and once the President realized who was with Valten he gave a brief history of how Folly Investigations assisted the university in its darkest of hours during the Body Bag murders.  He even regrettably admitted that the Dark Ritual book taken from Mirand’s study had been stolen a little over 2 years back.  This was grave news to Lyca who understood this volume to be of truly nefarious qualities.  With this dire news they left the university and headed back to the office.

When Gerrick neared the Inn from the night before, he took the guise of Jangleft Crowfeeder.  He walked in like he owned the joint and asked the bartender to remind him which room was his, pretending to be coming off a bender.  After that he walked up stairs and opened the door to slip inside when he found it unlocked.  When he turned and faced the room he was greeted by 2 very unfriendly looking humans. One of them he recognized he realized as she gripped the cuff of his shirt and slammed him against the wall, Thora Tarkanan herself.  Thora wanted Jangleft to tell her where the men were that she requisitioned to him, as she had just discovered the intended targets were not who he had told her but instead were a powerful group of men from a PI firm in Harath’s Folly who she did not want to assault unless she had better arrangements.

This was all he needed to hear.  Gerrick slipped from her grasp, tumbled into a better position, shifted into the form of Gerrick (whom she would recognize from their previous encounter), and drew his pistols.  Lady Tarkanan held back her men and Gerrick lowered his weapons.  She was informed of the incident with her men from the night before, confirming her suspicions that they were indeed dead.  She did not appear happy about this but the assassination going south was not something she could blame on Gerrick but rather herself and the Children of Winter.   She made mention of the coin and Gerrick asked her what it meant.  Thora declined to comment merely stating that she was sure they would puzzle it out.  With that she took her leave and the so recently outnumbered Changeling breathed a sigh of relief and left the inn. 

Everyone checked in at the office and gave their reports.  Hearing the meaning for the coin gave Gerrick quite a laugh, even though the news of the ritual book and Kilvar’s plight put a damper on everyone’s mood.  It was decided that Gerrick would make one more trip absent the group for the day so he could check with Jean, the current leader of the Tyrants, to see if he had either any information on the ritual book or why the group had become the targets of a seemingly cooperative Lord of Blades and the Children of Winter.

Jean proved to be a true fount of information in these areas.  Not only did Gerrick discover outright that it was a man named Malen Tor who had arranged the theft of the ritual book and it turned out the members of Folly Investigations were apparently key to some exert of the Draconic Prophecy that the Lord of Blades and the Children of Winter were interested in.  Jean wasn’t able to elaborate on either issue but it was certainly a helpful push in the right direction.

Gerrick also thought it prudent to mention that Folly Investigations may likely take an active role in ousting the new captain of the watch in Harath’s Folly, Olnwick Boromar.  Jean visibly flinched when the name was mentioned and reminded Gerrick that the Tyrants and the Boromars had an unspoken agreement to not get involved in one another’s schemes and plots.  Gerrick would be taking a true risk to his association with the Tyrants if he was involved in any outright attempts against someone with the name Boromar.  He should also note that if this man was placed in such an esteemed political assignment he likely had zero dirt on him.  Gerrick took the news in and made no comments as to his thoughts on the warning.  With that he took his leave.

Gerrick returned to the office and made his report to the others.  As interesting as the news of their possible mention in the Draconic Prophecy itself they felt they had more immediate concerns, Malen Tor’s alleged theft of a rather powerful book of dark rituals.  With this in mind they decided to make haste to theAmbassadorTowersin order to seek an audience with this Malen Tor, apparently one of the ambassadors of Karrnath within Sharn.

Once they had arrived the group decided to play off of Krint’s minor celebrity status as a soldier in the Karrnathy army to attempt their audience with Malen Tor.  Near the entrance they were met with a few guardsmen and then soon a gentleman by the name of Kanarr Talan who was the man in charge of the embassy’s guard.  Kanarr was very aware of Krint’s deeds in the Last War and eagerly made his acquaintance.  He and Krint chatted about battles and the like while a steward was sent to inquire after Malen.  Soon the steward had returned and led the group through the eerie corridors of the Karrnath Embassy to Malen’s office.

Things began cordial enough with Malen making the appropriate gestures of thanks to Krint but then Krint decided to make right to the quick and demand to know the location of Mirand’s ritual book.  This took Malen by surprise but he quickly recovered.  He surprised everyone by not mincing words but rather coming right out and admitting to the theft, though he stated the book had been sent back to Karrnath.  Markas, reading the man in more ways than just visible clues, picked up on the fact that Malen was not being honest about the book’s location.  He said as much, and Malen stiffened.

The meeting dissolved into something of a shouting match and even threatened violence at that point when Gerrick was bold enough to draw a weapon on Malen.  The Karrnathy Ambassador maintained his composure though and was quick to explain just how unlikely it would be that they could ever hope to simply walk away from a skirmish in the office, no matter how crafty or powerful the men thought they were.  Eventually Gerrick was talked down and they left.  Though the conversation was not as fruitful as they hoped, they were reasonably certain the book was still in the city and that gave them hope.

While leaving the embassy Gerrick decided to slip away and disappeared behind the others.  Krint shared some strong words with Kanarr as he left about loyalties and what makes a man that Kanarr seemed to take to heart.  If anyone noticed Gerrick’s absence, they knew well enough to let it be and headed back to the office to await his return, hopefully with information.

Gerrick quickly and quietly went about assuming the form of the steward who he had just been led by, first concussing the man of course.  From there he searched a bit for an obvious place for the book but soon became aware that the Embassy was simply too large for him to have enough of this borrowed time to seek out if the book lay inside.  He switched tactics and decided to try and weasel the information out of Kanarr. 

Gerrick approached Kanarr and set about framing questions regarding the book in a way as to not peak the man’s interest much.  Gerrick could sense that something was eating away at Kanarr though and soon realized there was nothing to get from the man.  Instead he shadowed Kanarr for a bit until watching the man hand a missive to someone that set off out of the embassy a quite the quick.  Gerrick used his cloak that allowed for one to pass through walls to exit and chase the man down, thieving the note from him.  What the Changeling found surprised him, Kanarr had written a letter to Krint explaining the location of where he had last heard the book lay.  Gerrick went straight back to the office.

With the information in hand they set off to Khyber’s Gate to seek out the hidden labyrinth where the book was supposed to reside.  Their trip brought them to a simple burnt out shack nestled near a shanty town of sorts.  Very few lived nearby and none would have any reason to give this building any mind.  They went inside and found nothing but a hole in the floorboards leading to a muddy cellar of sorts below.  Looking they could make out a door at the back of the cellar.  Gerrick leapt down into the mud and the others soon followed.

As they trudged through the muck to the door ahead they were suddenly besieged by grasping hands and claws from the fetid soil.  Soon they were up against a fair number of undead denizens.  Ones Krint knew too well as they use to make up some of his fellow soldiers.  Because Krint was able to verify the origins of these monsters everyone knew that they were likely on the right track, or if not headed into a trap.

Once they fel the undead monsters they pushed on through an underground labyrinth making use of each other’s inherent and trained skill sets to navigate past the worst of any troubles and found themselves at a metal door deep in the depths of the dungeon.  They quietly pushed it open and at one assumed they had walked directly into their doom as they looked down upon row after row of the undead.  There had to be at least 300 undead warriors standing at attention.  After a moment’s pause though it became clear that these creatures were currently immobile and Krint stated that the beasts would not likely take motion unless a specific command was given.  He felt sure that they could push onward through the horde.

They did so cautiously, watching as the light of their sunrods glinted manically off of the eyes of the creatures they walked past.  Soon they found themselves at the end of the hall at an ornate door, they hoped what they sought would be inside.  As they opened the door they did indeed see a book atop a pedestal but as they moved closer a deep voice inquired as to who they were.  Gerrick attempted the form of Malen Tor but the beast that came from the shadows merely laughed at the attempt, apparently seeing through the quick attempt at a guise.  Before them stood a fearsome sight, a beholder, obviously undead as well the group shivered to a man.  The beholder made an attempt at parlay but Gerrick, either bloodthirsty or simply not willing to take any chances, took aim and fired at the foul thing.

The beholder proved to be one of the more difficult encounters they had every faced.  It simply did not go down easily as it seemed to simply regenerate its cuts and lay terrible damage to any unlucky enough to fall into its gaze.  Krint took his post, directly next to the thing as the others maneuvered around laying into it with a full range of power.  Finally, the beast ceased hovering and collapsed to the floor defeated. 

Valten grasped the book from the pedestal and quickly deemed it to likely be the true volume.  The others were able to validate this.  It soon became clear though that the group was split in its next course of business.  The old guard of Folly Investigations seemed to feel the best course of action was to destroy the book.  Valten, however, disagreed. The book was university property and should be returned to President Morgrave.  They strode out of the room and into the horde of undead again, and we left our heroes as they bickered about whether to destroy the manuscript or return it.  All the while surrounded by the dormant undead host.

Adventure 19: An ominous return to old friends

Adventure 19 Synopsis

18th to 21st of Barrakas (2,200xp)

 

Three years since the events leading up to the members of Folly Investigations’ defeat of Dredge the Reaver we find our heroes scattered across Eberron seeking answers, or sometimes just work to keep busy.  An event, however, changes their exodus.

The Day’s work was hard, Trolls do not fall easy and they draw up a magnificent thirst.  The villagers were more than happy with their heroes though and the drink didn’t cease to flow.  It takes a lot of ale to go to Krint’s head these days but he was still surprised he even found his way back to his room.  As soon as he closed the door however something blinked into existence on top of him.  Hmmm… Feels furry, he thinks.

Leaving a place like New Cyre behind him was bittersweet for Markas. The people there saw him as something of a folk hero, a man right out of legend the Survivor of the Mournland.  However, he had learned what he could from the town and if he was to make any further progress Markas needed to move on.  Prince Oargev understood this but was obviously put out.  Markas tilted his head back and, staring upward, felt the cadence of the caravan’s cart wheels as they moved below him.  A perfect day, or would be if that obviously malicious threat wasn’t moving in his direction.  He sighed, seriously though, some people need to quiet their thoughts! He sat up, just a little before the attack.

Gerrick strode into the Folly Investigation offices, so quiet now that he was the only member still in Sharn.  The corrupt merchant lord he’d “dealt with” for the Tyrants that day had been more difficult to track down than he had any right to be.  Still, it was nice to introduce him to the bitter kiss of Gerrick’s muzzle flash.  Gerrick moved through the office, fully aware of the Warforged crouched in the corner preparing to strike.  It baffled him that the Warforged thought it could get the jump on the changeling.  Didn’t he know Assassination was Gerrick’s trade?

The long hike back to Sharn would serve to give Lyca plenty of time to think.  The last few years were momentous indeed, but did he cover all the points needed so that his sister could become a good pack leader?  His father lay defeated at his feet not long ago but was banishment the best course of action?  His father was still out there… somewhere.  Suddenly, he smelled panther, nothing new to the forest he thought… however, something is different about this one that Lyca could not place.  He sees it charging him.

It was a long day, working with Krint against those Trolls and Valten Czarek was left with his thoughts. Many of the villagers had seen his powers, saw it save them as it had for countless others in the past.  Would they see him a savior if they knew its origin?  Would the pat on the back come even then?  A wry, knowing grin, to himself made clear he somehow doubted it.  In any event it was not their burden to ponder.  Suddenly, he heard a scuffle down the hall.  That’s Krint’s room, he thought!  He rushed to the Dwarf’s to his aid.

Separately, these warriors fought off their assailants.  Gerrick nearly drowning his would be assassin in a hail of gunfire before the Warforged could take his first step.  Krint and Valten made quick work of a Druid and a Fey Panther that tried to get the jump on the Dwarf.  Markas rushed out ahead of the caravan to meet the hostile Warforged attacking him head on.  Lyca burst into beast form and made sure to rend the Druid and Fey Panther who sought to catch him alone in the woods.

Once they each survived these attacks a quick search of the enemies revealed troubling news indeed.  Each had a note on them that read as follows:

KRINT & VALTEN:

            Your prey is the one known as the Beast in Black.  You’ve been trained for them all of them, but his death is to be your glory.  Go now, knowing that the other members of Folly Investigations are soon to be equally doomed. He is to be found near the scar on our land known as Niern. Even more worrying is that he may have discovered the one we call the Herald of the Hellfire. May the pestilence claim them all!

MARKAS:

It is time to Issue the death sentence to the Mournland Survivor. His work in New Cyre has come to a close.  His return to Sharn must be halted.  The others are being dealt with. May they all be scattered to the dust under our heels!

LYCA:

Your prey is the Gentled Fang.  You’ve been trained for them all of them, but his death is to be your glory.  Go now, knowing that the other members of Folly Investigations are soon to be equally doomed.  He has finished his work with his pack, culling their natural urges.  You will find him en route to Sharn.  He must not return. May the pestilence claim them all!

GERRICK: 

It is time to end the life of the Shapeless Assassin. He has been mostly constant within the walls of Sharn.  We know where he resides.  The others must not return to his attention they are being dealt with.  May they all be scattered to the dust under our heels!

It became apparent to each member of Folly Investigations that their friends were in danger, or were already dead.  Lyca, Markas, and Krint decided to make haste to Sharn.  Valten decided to follow Krint as he found it odd that he was named in the hit letter as well.  Gerrick, currently living in the most obvious rally point, decided to take his death warrant to Jean with the Tyrants (now his current employer legitimately) and wait out what might be the fallout.  Gerrick was also interested in seeing if anything else was after him, fast.

A few days later the group had all arrived back at the office.  After some wary news sharing the group fell into a sense of ease to once again be surrounded by friends, though the absence of Jett and Derrin was a mite troubling.  Introductions were made for the group and Valten.  Not long after their arrival someone burst through their front door with a hearty laugh, it was Kilvar il’Genth.  Immediately it was noticed that the man was now supporting an arcane eye in his left socket where considerable damage seemed to have been done but none commented.  His good spirits quickly faltered once he heard that they had returned under recent assassination attempt circumstances though.  He also made note of Jett’s not being there.  Kilvar stated he didn’t have long to chat and informed them that he had news of his old foe’s the Boromar Clan and would bring them up to speed later.  As he left all took note of his beleaguered state.

First order of business was to visit some old friends however and the lot took a trip to the Weary Unicorn for some gossip and drinks.  Kela and Lat were ecstatic to see their friends returned and with Gerrick’s help Lat described his recent win at the Race of the Eight Winds.  Kela inquired after Jett and was upset when Gerrick made a flippant remark about not caring whether he was alive or dead.  As the group recalled, Kela was good friends with Jett, Gerrick however was not.  After getting an eye and earful of Lat’s new Glidewing the group headed back to the office.

They decided to speak with Father considering the evidence that the Lord of Blades had once again taken an interest in the group, this time rather directly.  Father was unfortunately little help but was able to suggest that it was markedly odd that the Lord of Blades would work with the Children of Winter for any task.

Once done speaking with Father they headed back to the office.  As they sat about tossing ideas around a loud knock was heard at the door.  When it opened a cloaked figure slipped inside, when his face was revealed they were immediately startled to see a troll.  All but Valten eased a bit because they recognized this troll to be Thignitch, Lady Cavallah of Daask’s minion.  Once Valten was assuaged of the fact that Thignitch likely meant no harm the troll informed them that they had another visitor if they would receive her.  They allowed it and Cavallah stepped inside.

Cavallah informed them that a shifter, obviously a Child of Winter, had been poking around the criminal underworld looking for someone to take on an assassination detail.  Once he had begun laying out the information regarding who the targets were Lady Cavallah informed him that they were not interested and sent him on his way.  She stated that it was her feeling that the favor owed to her from the group is worth more than what he was offering, but not enough to actually attempt to follow him and stop his efforts.   The group was surprised that she had taken such a stance but inwardly gulped at the concept of what her favor may be in the future.

Lady Cavallah and Thignitch took their leave mentioning that they had last heard the shifter was mucking about somewhere in Grayflood, a familiar area to the men of Folly investigations.  They decided to head directly there.

Once in Grayflood the group put out feelers inquiring about the Shifter and because he hedn’t been very discreet immediately received results.  They discovered where he was staying and decided to pay a visit, turns out his name was Jangleft Crowfeeder.  Gerrick took on the form of a shifter and entered the tavern first as it appeared to house mostly their kind.  It was a fairly nature based establishment.  He chatted up the barkeep while the other slipped in unnoticed.  Gerrick discovered that the guy they were looking for was out but due to return at any moment if he stuck to his usual schedule.  Not a moment later she stated that he was coming in the front door.

Gerrick went to greet him and attempted to pass himself off as a fellow Child of Winter but something tipped off the villain and he took off into the night.  The whole group took chase.  Gerrick winged him with a shot through the fog and he turned down an alleyway.  They followed, directly into an ambush.

Quickly from the dense fogbank Tarkanan assassins leapt out at the group surrounding them and the fight was on.  It was a messy soirée with invisible attacks from the leader and necrotic energies assaulting the group on all sides but eventually all the enemies had fallen leaving only the shifter alive.  They questioned him as to why they were the targets of the Children of Winter and the Lord of Blades to which the dying Crowfeeder gurgled out laughter that they didn’t even know how important they were.  Naturally they were left wanting for information.  They headed home feeling at least a bit easier knowing there may not be an attempt on their lives for the time being.

Adventure 18: Loyalty

Adventure 18 Synopsis

3rd – 9th of Barrakas (2,070xp)

THE RESCUE PARTY

As the investigators of Folly Investigations (sans Gerrick) prepared to set sail they were met with disturbing rumors regarding BloodfoamBay.  Some of the men on the docks spoke of being denied access to the port while other, more recent, attempts were actually met with force.  It seemed the bay was closed to any and all attempting access.  A few even made claims that no one was being allowed to leave.  Hearing this made Krint chuckle and idly comment that it seemed likely Gerrick was causing Dredge the Reaver a spot of trouble.  Despite Krint’s joviality about the situation, it seemed getting intoBloodfoamBaywould be more difficult than previously thought.

They set off in the direction of theislandofRedwatch, where Dredge’s famedBloodfoamBaywas purported to lie.  As they left Regalport behind the sky grew clear and a pleasant a day as any set in.  Sailing went smooth. 

As they gained ground on the other island however, they were met with a troubling visage.  Burnt wreckage, obviously from a ship, began to appear in the waters below.  After watching it slip by for a while Jett decided to check out a darker patch beneath the waves and leapt in.

He pushed downward into the depths and immediately noticed a current beneath the waves.  Through an effort he kept his place under his ship above.  He nearly inhaled a lung full of saltwater when he saw the body floating toward him.  On instinct he reached out and grabbed the dead body of the Drow.  Once he had his grasp he pushed toward the world above and finally breached the waves above.  Krint threw a line and Jett tied the Drow to it.  Calling on his Eladrin talents, he teleported onto the ship above and helped pull the dead weight up.

After much discussion, it was decided that Markas would tap into his ritual components and bring this dead Drow back to life.  It took several hours but as Markas slumped to the side, exhausted from his efforts, the Drow awoke coughing up a never ending stream of water. 

It took some time to help orient the poor soul back to the land of the living, but when he finally got an element of composure he told them his tale (all the while promising unending loyalty to his saviors).  His name was Hagrid Yarjack and he met his demise at the hands of whoever was firing flaming barrels at the incoming ships toBloodfoamBay.  Their ship caught flame as they tried to turn about, and they never did get the flames put out.

After the stories told on the docks of Regalport, and Yarjack’s chilling tale, the men decided to set anchor on the other side of the island and attempt a back entry into Dredge’s town.  Yarjack told them of a fishing village named Finmelt on the opposite side but they decided to come ashore further down the beach, away from prying eyes and potential enemies.

Leaving their ship in the hands of their new companion, the men rowed ashore and slipped into theforestofRedwatchIsland.

GERRICK

Things were beginning to get bad inBloodfoamBay, food was beginning to get scarce, as pirates were never ones to eat in moderation, and tensions were running taught.  Gerrick watched as Dredge pulled a child into the town square, aptly named Dredge’s Burial Ground.  Once there Dredge demanded Kat step forth or he would murder the child.  Nothing about his demeanor told Gerrick that Dredge would hold his blade, but he did not reveal himself.  As the blade began to fall, an older man stepped forth and claimed he was the changeling Dredge sought.  Dredge instead murdered the man.  When the man’s body fell and did not revert to that of a changeling’s Dredge went berserk and stormed from the square.  Gerrick decided to stop going to the town square.

 

THE RESCUE PARTY

Lyca seemed right at home in the forest, leading the band of would be rescuers, and the path was easily discovered that seemed to lead towardBloodfoamBay.  Soon they noticed an opening up ahead and pursued it, oddly enough though it seemed to only get darker as they neared the field.  Soon however they felt compelled to move forward, they needed to see what lay in that field!

As they breached the forest they beheld a tree.  It was a twisted mar on the landscape.  Lyca immediately realized the blackened thing had no place in any forest but his please to everyone that it was a thing of evil held no one’s feet from moving toward it, even his own.  Suddenly the tree lashed out at the group!

They gave battle to the thing, and soon discovered a nigh endless supply of hideous rats flooding from some nearby ruins seemingly aiding the tree in its struggle against the heroes.  At one point Bix found himself devoured by the animated plant but managed to escape it’s maw.  Jett took his fight to the rat swarm, trying desperately to stem the tide.  Eventually the tree lay slain and the rats retreated into their den. 

With shaken steps they continued toward the town, now seeing for the first tie with clear eyes a substantial amount of bones, both human and beast, littering the ground.

Night was falling as they neared the town ofBloodfoamBay.  Through some ingenious wordplay by Markas and stealth from Jett they got past the guards near the edge of town.  Bix prayed an apology to his gods and changed form so as not to stand out as a changeling, and they headed straight for the nearest gambling den to ask questions about the whereabouts of their friend.

It soon became apparent that Gerrick was not around and it could take a long time to search every building in the village.  They decided to take the fight to Dredge.  Bix gladly returned to the form of a changeling and the group bound him in rope.  They went straight for Dredge’s keep at the edge of town.

The guards at the gate immediately sent for Dredge and the group was ushered inside with the claim that they had captured Kat.  Jett soon snuck away while the others were lead before Dredge.  He took some stairs and headed upwards finding a perch where he could see Dredge and the others below.  Dredge was obviously intoxicated and mad with glee at seeing his old foe bound in ropes.  He informed everyone that the execution would take place at dawn and sent Bix to the dungeons with two other guards.  He shared some mead with Krint, Lyca, and Markas while Jett silently watched from an area above.  It was obvious that there were too many men below for Krint and the others to start a fight.

Jett decided to follow the two guards and Bix.  He saw them leave the Keep through a side door below him and noticed that a balcony overlooked the exit.  Two women were sipping tea on the balcony and Jett strode from the shadows.  They were startled but immediately put at ease by his demeanor.  While Jett small talked with the ladies, he never took his eyes off the changeling in ropes being lead away below the balcony  to the shadowy building built into the side off the cliffs in the distance.  After judging enough time had passed he bid the women adieu and slipped over the edge allowing his Feather Fall badge to guide him safely to the ground below.

Bix was beginning to grow concerned as he was lead away, he was already halfway to what was obviously a dungeon.  His concerns were mitigated when at first one guard gurgled blood and then the other was dispatched by a flash of movement appearing in front of him.  Jett had shown up just in time.  They discussed what they should do and Jett decided to play the guard and continued to lead Bix up to the dungeon, first they hid the bodies of course. 

Once at the dungeon they were led inside, together with their guile and a little Fey step from Jett they imprisoned both guards in the cell originally planed for Bix.  As they were trying to determine their next move, they heard voices at the entrance.  They discovered Krint, Lyca, and Markas being led by Dredge and two guards into the dungeon.  Apparently Dredge had asked Markas and the others if they wanted to assist in roughing up Kat before the execution the next day.

It wasn’t long before the ruse was discovered and a fight was at hand.  Dredge and his two guards put up a dastardly fight for survival and the Goliath spent most of his time focusing directly at Bix.  When Bix’s sword was driven through the Pirate Lord’s chest Dredge whispered that at least he’d met his end at the hands of his foe, Bix did not see the point in correcting the dying man.

Dredge’s head was removed and they took it to the town square, they displayed it for all to see and eventually that meant Gerrick.  Gerrick was baffled that they had come for him.  He was not used to loyalty much, and certainly not to the level of loyalty shown here.  He joined the group as they headed back to their ship, trying to get out of town before the chaos following Dredge’s death inevitable took form.

They were met with no trouble through the forest and returned to their ship.  The set sail for Regalport, returned the Prince’s ship and took off in their airship Folly’s Flight.  A few days later they were home, a group more strongly tied together from the recent adventure.

THUS ENDS THE HEROIC TEIR ADVENTURES OF FOLLY INVESTIGATIONS

Adventure 17: Partial Escapes and Services Rendered

Adventure 17 Synopsis

1st -2nd of Barrakas (2,500xp)

BLOODFOAM BAY

Gerrick’s mind played tricks with him throughout his journey, memories over his years at war. Other times he’d been imprisoned, but mostly he relived the moment his luck turned sour in the gambling dens of BloodfoamBay.  He remembered specifically a hand that just should not have been beaten.  He was dwelling on this memory when he felt the boat come into harbor.

He listened to the sounds of men running about above and was fully relieved when fresh air hit his face from the hatch above opening.  Of course, his relief was short-lived because the face above him was none other than Dredge the Reaver.

Gerrick was pulled from the hull with the usual litany of rants from Dredge, essentially that he was planning to drag the Changeling through the streets.  Gerrick was put into shackles and sent off with two strongmen to deliver him to the dungeons. This however turned out to be an error on Dredge’s part.  Gerrick was easily capable of fooling the two simpletons and discreetly used his finely tuned abilities to pick the shackles.  He waited for the perfect moment and slipped from the metal chains disappearing into a thick crowd.

Gerrick was already changing clothing with a passed out drunkard in the alley when he heard Dredge’s howls of anger from the streets behind him.  He took a look at the man and decided to borrower something else, his looks.

REGALPORT

The men looking for their friend disembarked from the flying Airship “Folly’s Flight” and greeted the first sailor they could find.  They learned a little of Regalport, and even of Bloodfoam Bay, the town Dredge owned.  They decided to heed the sailor’s words of caution and did not take flight to the island right away.  The decided to gather a bit more knowledge.

They headed into town and ended up at a tavern called “The Long Table”.  It was easy to see where it got its name, in the center of the room there sat a gigantic table where all sat as one rowdy group.  The seats were first come first served but there was still plenty of room.  They took up seats and listened in on the chatter.

Soon it was discovered that not only did High Prince Rygar have need of assistance with a threat to his port, but he also had a grudge against Dredge the Reaver.  The immediately left with a man who could get them an audience with the Prince.

As it turned out the Prince was having some difficulty with a mad Necromancer hidden away in a seaside cave.  He had been drawing the seabound dead from their watery graves and having them attack the port.  The prince stated that in return for their services in defeating the wretch he would give over an elemental powered sea vessel to stage any attack they wished upon Bloodfoam Bay.  They agreed and the deal was struck.

The Necromancer ended up having little reason for his attacks other than madness and the group dispatched him easily.

They stayed the night in the keep of the prince.  Jet decided to take an interest in a midnight foray through he keep and was happened upon by the Rygar himself.  Jet had been about to inspect one of the 100’s of tiny bottle ships Rygar owned (since this one was apparently heavily magical in nature) but Rygar stepped from the shadows and bid him caution.  Apparently the bottle contained a trapped Djinn, and Rygar mentioned that Jet had better not do anything to release it as the correct sequence must be followed or the Djinn would be very angered and uncooperative. Jet decided to go back to his quarters.

The next day the group gathered on their new ship to make haste towards Gerrick’s rescue.

BLOODFOAM BAY

Gerrick soon learned over the next few days that the port had been shut down to all traffic, no one was to leave or enter via ship.  It also became apparent that the only other exit from the town, through the western swamps, was also under heavy guard.  The town was becoming ever more restless under Dredge’s mad, fervent search for Kat (Gerrick).  It seemed he wasn’t going anywhere at this time.

Adventure 16: A Marker Called

Adventure 16 Synopsis

25th of Lharvion through 1st of Barrakas (2,100xp)

Early in the morning of the 25th of Lharvion, two figures left the front door of Folly’s Investigations.  Markus pulled his cloak close as he slid into the mist; he had some words to banter with Father.  Gerrick was relieved, as he left the stoop, he had just gotten word (via a palmed missive) that Jean was finally back from whatever had been keeping him.  Gerrick and Markus didn’t even notice one another as they went their separate ways leaving Krint and Lyca to snore away the early morn.

Jett awoke stiff.  Say what you will about the drinks at the Weary Unicorn, but the beds were little more than stone benches it seemed.  He sat at the edge of the bed and looked wearily at the wall; he had no desire to return to Folly Investigations at this time.  An internal review couldn’t seem to pinpoint whether this was pride or if he truly needed to make the point he had tried more than a few times to make.  He certainly felt he had the moral high ground when it came to Gerrick’s rash actions, but did he want to throw away the work he’d been doing?  He just didn’t know yet.

Father was cooking breakfast for the orphans when Markus greeted him, they exchanged pleasantries but it soon became apparent that Markus was not here for just a social call.  In the back room Markus first asked if Father had seen Jett, but Father had not seen the Eladrin anywhere.  The subject then turned to one of the Mournland and the Lord of Blades, as Father assumed it would.  Father was unable to offer much in the way of answers to Markus’ questions but did state that perhaps Markus’ reputation for having walked out of the Mourning unscathed could be the reason for the Lord of Blades’ initial interest in the group.  Of course, by now the group has foiled the mad Warforged’s plans enough times that notice would surely have been taken.  Markus bid Father goodbye and headed back to the office.

Gerrick arrived in Firelight, the Red Light District that Jean’s Tyrant setup lay.  He flipped his skycoach driver an extra silver piece and slipped down the street, taking in the sights, as one would assume your usual array of passed out revelers.  Jean’s dive of a bar, The Pretty Bitty, was dead of course as few sought such things in the morn so Gerrick walked in unheeded.  He saw Jean at a table and was waived over.  Jean seemed excited to talk with Gerrick and bid him follow to the back so discussions could take place in secret.  Gerrick followed.

Shortly after entering the room though, Gerrick heard the door slam behind him.  He turned sharply and saw a large ruffian standing in front of the door.  When he returned his gaze to Jean he noticed a shift in form to that of Morrian, but that is not where his attention truly lay.  Gerrick’s eyes focused on a very large individual, a Goliath from his past, someone who he knew had a large grudge against him.  It seemed Dredge the Reaver, Pirate Lord of the gambling dens ofBloodfoamBayhad come to call in Gerrick’s debts.

Gerrick wasted little time; he pulled a pistol from its holster and tried to blast Morrian’s head off.  Dredge hit him hard from the side sending the bullet into Morrian’s shoulder.  Dredge got Gerrick in a hold on the ground and bid him transform into Kat, the form Gerrick had used back in the Lhazaar Principalities.  Gerrick of course refused both to ensure Dredge never got the pleasure and to attempt to fool the Goliath.  Unfortunately it seemed that Dredge was confident of Gerrick’s identity via his trust in Morrian, and the fact that they had apparently been torturing the information out of Jean over the last few days.  Gerrick was caught.  He reached for his other weapon and tried to move it into firing position on Dredge but the massive Goliath placed a few well aimed punches to Gerrick’s head and the changeling saw black.

The day passed into evening, Krint had taken a patrol earlier in the day and saved a woman from losing her purse but little else had occurred.  Krint, Markus, and Lyca sat about the office relaxing, no one thought twice about Gerrick’s absence as he has been wont to disappear at times.  Relaxing came to an abrupt end when a bloodied man stumbled through their door, he uttered a gasp of pain and collapsed on the floor.  Markus leapt to his feet and bandaged the wounds of what now was a Changeling; he did not regain consciousness though so they laid him down on the couch.

In the morning the Changeling awoke and immediately took the form of a man.  He sat up and as soon as the others were all gathered he informed them that Dredge the Reaver was after Gerrick.  This Changeling was none other than Jean.  He had escaped his captors and came to Folly’s Investigations hoping to stop Gerrick from being kidnapped.  It seems he was too late though.  The men gathered their things and decided to head toward the Red Light district to see what they could drum up.  Derrick was sent to fetch Jett at the Weary Unicorn.  Jean stated that he thought they should pick up a loyal man before going to The Pretty Bitty.

Jett was enjoying a slow drink of bourbon from the Mror Holds, the very brand Jett’s uncle poured the night he betrayed his nephew.  He returned his gaze to his book, a long historical on the Arcane Congress in Aundair.  Derrin burst through the door and Jett gave a gesture to not bother him.  Derrin spilled forth with the details of Gerrick’s kidnapping.  Jett looked at the boy with a bit of alarm in his eyes and asked where the others had gone, once Derrin relayed their whereabouts, Jett paused and came to a realization.  They were going to need the airship, Folly’s Flight, to be up and running.  He sent Derrin back to the Office and grabbing his tools of battle stormed straight to the Airship docks.

The others grabbed a Changeling named Bix on their way to confront Morrian.  Bix was an instant oddity.  The Changeling did not change form; instead he maintained his natural state regardless of the stares.  They charged to Firelight, and soon arrived at The Pretty Bitty.  Bix took the back entrance and they all went inside.  Not surprisingly they found Morrian in the back room.  Also, easy to believe, he was not alone.  Jean cleared up the fact that Morrian had betrayed both he and Gerrick and even discovered that Dredge took off the day before via his boat from that harbor.  However a fight was to be had.  Seems Morrian was not truly prepared for a conflict because he and his boys were quickly struck down.

The men gathered on the stoop, having left Jean to deal with Morrian.  Bix claimed he intended to go with them to find Gerrick, claiming that he had a duty to any Changeling in danger.  They had just started discussing how they would go about getting to the Lhazaar Principalities when a gust of wind blew down on them.  As they looked up an Airship began its descent and a rope ladder unraveled.  Jett’s emotionless face gleamed in the twilight. 

They gathered supplies quickly from The Pretty Bitty and took off into the night.  They flew through a night and a day before landing in The Aundairian city ofPassage(they had decided to skirt the edges of The Mournland due to its ill effects on magic).  Passage had easily rented rooms and little adventure on the streets.  It was a nice holdover.

The next stop ended up being Atur in Karrnath.  Their greeting was harsh and they were instructed to keep to the docks as they did not care for outsiders in this city.  It was a cold misted city, which Jett took advantage of by sneaking off the docks and into the city.  He sought a little knowledge regarding the Necromancy he’d heard was practiced here.  Eventually he came across a Necromancer named Jonas ir’Canin.  Jonas regaled him of his days with the Karrnath army and his duties there.  It was plain to see the man had seen better days though, his clothes were threadbare and he appeared gaunt.  Jett chatted with him and studied a ritual the man knew until dawn.  In the end Jett gave him a bit of gold and seemingly earned a friend.  In the early morning mist he snuck back aboard the ship.

A holdover inKronaPeakof the Mror Holds proved interesting for Krint as he ran into an acquaintance named Gorgo Shallowater of the Shallowater clan.  He heard a bit of news from the city but mostly an earful of how people felt about “The Beast in Black” in his old town.  Bix was asked to change shape for a curious dwarf but refused as he did not believe in hiding his form unless absolutely necessary, and certainly not just for a show.  They packed up and made their way to Regalport in the Lhazaar Principalities on theislandofGreentarn.  It seemed as good a place as any to start their search for Dredge’s enclave.

Gerrick meanwhile awoke a few times, shackled, in the hull of a ship, obviously on the open water.  He tried to fool one of the dumber shipmates into thinking he was actually Dredge the Reaver but it was foiled by a smarter pirate.  The rocking seemed to go on forever.  Gerrick wondered what awaited him inBloodfoamBay.

4e Ravenloft

I’ve mentioned to a few of my Twitter Followers that I would post my friends’ (Jacob and Brian) 4e update of Ravenloft.  Here is their Player’s Guide, Character Sheet, and a few Paragon Paths. 

4E Player’s Guide

Ravenloft Paragon Paths

JB_4E_RAVENLOFT_CharacterSheet_v03[1]

Jacob and Brian borrowed thoughts from Jester’s 4e update (http://www.fraternityofshadows.com/Library/Jester’s_4E_Rules_Pamphlet_v2.0.pdf)  and mined 3.5 material as well.  The rest they came up with on their own.  We have been playing a Campaign run by Jacob going on close to a year and it has worked really well. 

If anyone really gets interested in using this to run a game I might be able to convince Jake to release some of the Monster stats he has invented for creatures not located in the current Monster Vault but have a storied history in Ravenloft.  (we fought Malken, it was awesome and horrifying).

Adventure 15: Day at the Races

Adventure 15 Synopsis

18th–23rd of Lharvion (1,400xp)

The men head to the docks above Sharn to park their newly acquired Airship. It’s a piece, but flies just fine.  Jett mostly flies the thing through his arcane connection to the elemental but it soon becomes telling that more practice will be required if they ever fly any kind of long distance.  A man helps them dock the ship and tells them all the info they need to obtain permits and long term docking.  They do so.

They head for The Weary Unicorn and drop off the parts Lat needed to fix up his Skiff for the upcoming Race of the Eight Winds.  While there Lat hands over tickets for some truly choice seats.  They discover that the will be sitting in a luxurious box with some elites, including Celyria ir’ Tain, and her son.  Likely Lord Ruken will be there too.

Most of the guys head back to the office but Gerrick heads to see Jean, who apparently isn’t there.  He looks up Morrian, the changeling Jean introduced to him before and asks if there are any messages to pass along.  Morrian says Lord Ruken has been avoiding a meeting with one of their agents named Bix and asks that Gerrick attempt to make that meeting happen.  Gerrick agrees.

Jett meets with Lady ir’ Talan to see if his gift had arrived and she seems confused because she has received nothing.

The day of the race arrives and all but Gerrick head off to attend.  Gerrick, having obtained a forgery of his original ticket, attends as a human female noble in order to maintain a cover while there.  The guys take their seats in the lavish skybooth and watch as the race begins; Markas seems to take great joy in joining the children in their games with blunted child size crossbows.

Small talk is exchanged throughout the race and two slightly more important conversations take place.  The Lord Commander of the Watch, Lord ‘ir Talan, informs Jett that he was the one who intercepted the gift his daughter as he has been vetting Jett recently.  He states that the group Jett is with seems goodly enough so he will allow the gift to go forward and will attempt to stay out of the way, for now.  Gerrick in his disguise does an amiable job of putting Lord Ruken off guard about meeting with Bix.

The race comes to an end with a bang, one of the Lords at the ir’ Tain table is shot through the neck with a crossbow bolt and is instantly killed.  Chaos ensues with Hass claiming the bolt was meant for Lord Ruken and many of the other nobles panicking.  Celyria calms everyone down by pointing out that the investigators of Folly Investigations are already working the scene, and indeed they were.

Gerrick slips out, changing to the form of Gerrick and heading to the other side of the Race track to check the view.  Markas checks the wounds and notices that the crossbow bolt is not blunted as it should be.  Lyca draws the conclusion that it must have been one of the racers so he and Jett head down to the side of the track to tell the guards to keep the racers held in their quarters until the men can interview them.  Krint and Markas check the papers the man had on him and find a business card for a nearby tavern.  After meeting up with Jett, Lyca, and even Gerrick (who had “just arrived on the scene”) they decide that Markas, Gerrick, and Krint would start with the Tavern while Jett and Lyca interviewed the racers.

Lyca and Jett get little from the various racers, though were able to rule out “The Cogs and Dogs” a shifter group who fly on Wyverns, and Lat’s group.  The racing group run by whores and harlots seemed suspicious but nothing could stick.  Lat informs them that the sharpened bolt had to have been brought in via a bribe so they headed to the guard station to poke around.

Krint, Markas, and Gerrick head to the Pink Cricket, the tavern on the business card.  A waitress pointed them in the direction of a waitress who waited on the man last night and she mentioned seeing him and his friend with some “Ladies of the Night” Krint and Markas interview the waitress at her apartment and get the names of the two whores Gemlight was with the Dead man and Ruby was with Hass.  Gerrick changes form into that of a hooker and asks around the ladies and discovers the same thing.  They head to the place where those tow commonly work only to find that they were in the races that day and Gemlight’s room contains a heavily fired upon target.  Also found are crossbow bolts that only appear blunted until you break their flimsy blunted head. They race back to the headquarters of the races.

All of them meet up and head back to the garage housing the women.  As they are attempting to explain things Gemlight and Ruby attempt to run away.  Jett uses his innate abilities and teleports until he grabs Ruby.  Gerrick just starts firing his pistols at the fleeing Gemlight, winging her in the leg.  Lyca was prepared for a runner and tackles Gemlight, but only just in time as she and him tumble onto a Soarsled.  She takes flight with Lyca clinging to the side.

Krint and Gerrick take off on Soarsleds after her and Lyca while Markas helps to wrangle Ruby.  Lyca attempts to climb up on the sled and Gemlight tries to stomp his fingers.  Krint pushes forward with blinding speed.  Gerrick is all guns as he fires another shot at Gemlight winging her arm.  Eventually, Lyca climbs up and talks her into surrender.  Krint and Gerrick soon catch up.  They all land.

Gemlight recounts a tale of terror regarding how she was treated at the hands of Yandir (the now dead noble) over a number of years and how he deserved to die.  The group actually decides to let her go, Lyca hands over 50 gold and Krint a potion of healing.  They fly back and inform all standing in the garage that she got away, and that Ruby was not a suspect.  The crown dissipates.

With only the detectives left, Markas and Jett demand a better explanation and the others reveal the true occurrence.  This baffles Jett as he can’t seem to pin down Gerrick’s character.  One moment Gerrick is willing to gun down a man in cold blood, another he is willing to let a confessed murderer walk free.  Jett is visibly angry and states that he needs some time alone and walks off.  The rest of the group heads out. 

Gerrick heads to see Jean and discovers the changeling still missing.  Meanwhile Krint, Markas, and Lyca head home.

Jett hops a Skycoach and tell the driver to head to the University, before the skycoach takes off though a figure slips in.  Kord is seated beside Jett.  Kord just tells the Skycabby to drive.  Kord tells Jett that he isn’t truly working against Aundair but having the best interests at heart might mean working against some in the spy network.  He can’t reveal much because he doesn’t fully trust Jett yet but gives him a clue to follow up on.  He wants Jett to investigate the “Twins” being the Ambassador Alais ir’Lanter and his spymaster brother Helais ir’Lanter.  With that Kord exits the Skycoach.

Jett heads to the Embassy and ends up speaking with Helais in his office.  Jett sees nothing unusual, but at least secures a promotion.  He is to start working for Helais himself. 

The group calls it a night with one of their members troubled and separate from them.  Will Jett return?

Adventure 14: The Night’s Fog

Adventure 14 Synopsis

17th–18th of Lharvion (1,100xp)

Krint, Markas, Jett, and Gerrick moved through the foggy night with the Storm Front Cult prisoner leading them onward toward the Storm Front Cult’s base of operations.  Elsewhere a bedraggled Lyca Luneshyft walked through the front door of their office.  He immediately noticed that he was mostly alone in the building and saw Derrin emerge from the library covered in a sheen of sweat. 

Derrin explained to Lyca the origins of his abilities and his scars and told him that he was trying to release some of the pent up energy that he was drowning in. They chatted a bit until Derrin realized that he might be able to get Lyca to the other members of Folly Investigations and release some of the energies flowing through him.  Using a ritual to help him pinpoint the group’s exact location he then drew on his power and opened a portal.  Lyca leaped through it, noticing a startling amount of heat for a brief moment.

The boys were all pretty startled when a portal opened behind them, but even more surprised when Lyca leapt through.  Lyca greeted them and began to move forward.  At this time however the portal went erratic and expanded briefly to allow a small group of obviously demonic creatures come through.  The large Mezzodemon fighter eyeballed the group and talked a big game.  Krint specifically called him out before he could walk away and the fight ensued.

There were small demons that burst into ichors and tentacles whenever they were struck, these things attached themselves to nearby demons and seemed to make them stronger.  The Harath’s Folly’s own investigators battled the monstrosities on the ledges of Grayflood until the large Mezzodemon fighter was finally struck down by a bullet from Gerrick through the creature’s brain.  He fell and burst into flames before disappearing, the other demons ran back through the portal.   

The group then noticed that the portal was still open and began the attempt to close it before others made their way through.  Jett began looking at the arcane workings while Markas and Gerrick drew upon their perceptive and insightful natures to get a better feel for what was going on.  When they discovered that they could see Derrin lying on the floor back in the office Gerrick and Jett leapt through, Jett was able to endure the extreme heat but Gerrick had some trouble and it slowed his progress.  Jett was able to snap Derrin out of his rigors and Derrin promised he could close it if they went to the other side.  Both returned, this time Gerrick had no difficulties with the heat, and using the same mannerisms on this side of the portal as Derrin on the other Jett was able to assist in its final closure.

Once the eerie night settled back in the group noticed their prisoner had apparently passed out from fear at the sight of the demons, they woke him and forced him onward.  Soon they arrived at the location of the hideout, stairs leading down the side of the cliff into the fog. The fog roiled below them as they looked down the stairs bolted into the side of the cliff.  They can’t see where they ended but could hear the distant roar of the waves as they crash against the rocks below.

They released the peon who had lead them there, and began their descent.  Lyca went first, and due to his keen senses was able to pick up on two individuals at the bottom of the steps.  He allowed Gerrick passed him and the changeling shoved two guns into the back of the men, they froze.  Krint blasted them in the face, they doubled over and Gerrick pistol whipped them.  The younger man fell but the older one began to draw on some force that made his eye glow blue, at this point Gerrick shot him dead and Krint pushed his body over the side of the cliff and it disappeared into the fog.

They went inside the giant cavern.  Inside they were greeted with the sight of a smallish airship with men on its deck.  They looked up at the group as it emerged from the fog.  The obvious leader, a large bearded man, spoke up.  He asked if the group would be willing to allow them to just leave Sharn, as they had no quarrel with each other.  Krint made sure to explain that he felt they did and the fight began.

Most of the fighting took place on the ground below the ship and the leader used his ability to teleport foes away in order to keep the attacks from hitting him too often.  However eventually his minions were defeated and he was left solo.  He dropped his wand and gave himself up stating that he saw no way to win this fight.  Jett opened his mouth to speak and Gerrick raised his gun, leveled it, and shot the man through his head.  Jett then lost his temper; he called Gerrick a Tyrant and went on a tirade about how horrifying it was for Gerrick to murder a man who had just ceased fighting looking to give himself up.  Gerrick seemed to shrug it all off, and Jett smoldered down from a flare. The others did not comment on their feelings regarding this.

They searched the cavern but found little of value other than the Airship.  They went to Collins to collect the remaining items for Lat’s Glidewing.  After this they loaded up into the Airship and took off into the morning sun as it pierced through the dissipating fog.

Adventure 13: Grayflood

Adventure 13 Synopsis

16th of Lharvion (620xp)

After foiling the Boromar Gang’s recent attempt to move Absentia into the area, the PI’s of Folly Investigations waste no time in pursuing their next task.  Early in the morning of the 16th of Lharvion, Gerrick and Krint begin to outline a plan of attack on the Storm Front Cult’s hidden base in the Grayflood district of the Lower Wards that Jerrix mentioned the day before. 

Markas has returned from his most recent endeavor which turned out to be assisting some other healers in containing a routine outbreak in the High Walls district.  After the Dripskin Plague the residents in that area are understandably touchy when it comes to diseases, but this time it was easily combated.  Lyca remains missing for the time being but his mission seemed rather personal to him and it stands to reason it may take some time.

While Krint and Gerrick plan for the upcoming delve into Grayflood, Jett decides to follow up on a bit of unfinished business.  Grabbing Derrin he heads to meet with Father, intent to discover why there is an interest in the Warforged by influential people.  Derrin explains that Jett may not really want to know what Father has to share, but the Eladrin has made up his mind.

Father seems in good spirits when they arrive.  Small talk is exchanged regarding the orphans, breakfast, and other trivial things.  Conversation quickly leads into the intended reason for the visit however.  Father leads both Derrin and Jett into a back room and ensures that the children are not listening.  He then drops the Alchemists Fire; he was once a high ranking member of The Lord of Blades’ cult.  He informs Jett that he use to go by the name Breaker.  He had been sent by The Lord of Blades himself on a mission to either undermine the city ofSharnor to discover a means to.  Father found himself on the streets of Sharn and feel in love with the Orphans there.  His time in Sharn taught him that flesh based people are not inferior but just different.  Now he strives to protect his little family.

Needless to say Jett is stunned but finds himself believing the Warforged.  Father states that he thinks the black warforged that were rummaging through the Folly Investigations Office were likely The Lord of Blades men and that they may know of the group’s affiliation with Father.  As they wrap up Father explains (while revealing a gigantic magical sword from behind a ratty drapery) that he will fight for his children but little else.  He only fears death now for the pains it would leave the orphans, and he intends to stay alive for them.

Jett and Derrin leave Father’s house and head for the office.  Jett is somewhat stunned by what he just heard but his attention is diverted to Derrin, who is absent mindedly scratching at the scars on his arms.  Jett then hones in on an arcane force that seems to be coming from Derrin, he pinpoints this as coming from inside the boy.  Jett expresses concern that he may need to attempt using his abilities once in a while to relieve the arcane pressure that appears to be building within him.  Derrin acts like he understands but is concerned that it may drain him the way it did before when he used it to open the portal that sent Destir to his demise.  They decide to practice in the near future.

Back at the office everyone is geared to go.  They head to the Skycoach area and convince one of the pilots to fly them to Grayflood, using gold of course.  The pilot flies them toward the docks and at first it looks somewhat beautiful to see the cliffs and shores of Grayflood, but the closer they get they smell the horrible smells and the run down shanties come better into focus.  The skycoach pilot reluctantly agrees to do a flyover later that night to see if they need to be picked up.

As they trudge through drunks in the ditches and other filth in the streets, Gerrick dons the disguise of an Orc and Jett places the badge of Daask on his cloak that he had pilfered during their initial meeting with the group.  They have heard rumors that Daask has a power structure here and hopes it will help them gather Intel.  They head into a bar that is still open and through intimidation by Gerrick and the blatant mark of Daask; the bartender gives them what information he knows about the Storm Front Cult (not much) but better yet gives them a lead.  He informs the group that the Lyrandars tend to the ships in the dock and as they seem to be the Storm Front Cult’s favorite victims, it would be most beneficial to speak with them.  A side conversation revealed that they may actually be able to get some of the black-market Glidewing parts they are looking for if they ask around.

  They head to the first Lyrandar ship they can find, and after a bit of back and forth between Gerrick the Orc and one of the shipmates, the Captain comes out to greet them.  After showing him their badges from Jerrix d’Lyrandar, they earn his respect and he tells them that groups of Storm Front Cult members have been harassing his men at night.  He wished he had a better idea where they were coming from but he didn’t.  They thanked him for his time.

All was not lost as it gave them the idea to have Gerrick change form into a woman and pose as a Lyrandar alone and vulnerable, easy pickings you may say.  In the meantime they had some time to kill so they looked into the black-market Glidewing parts.

After asking about, and one strange encounter with a young boy who thought Jett was a member of Daask who could sell him a drug called Dragon’s Blood, they met with a Gnoll who said he knew just where to take them.  They were led through a plethora of back alleys and buildings until they reached what was obviously a well hidden blacksmith forge.  At the helm was a muscled Dwarf named Collins, he scoffed at Dwarven pleasantries with Krint but warmed up when Krint stated he wasn’t much for ancestry himself.  Turns out the Dwarf had all the parts needed save for one, a Gyro-sphin that had been stolen during shipment by a band of pirates who blatantly docked in the harbor.  Needless to say the group headed out after the pirates.

All thoughts of stealth were thrown away when Krint walked blatantly up the ramp to their ship.  He tried his best bluff (stating he was looking for his pet bird) and failed to fool them.  The fight ensued.  The pirates were uncannily good fighters and hit their mark with nearly every flash of their blades, even to the extent that Krint was forced to the ground (only to be brought back into the fold quickly by Markas).  However, their skill with the blade could not match the power of The Folly Investigations troupe and they were cut down.  Their trogdolite companions fled the scene.

With the Gyro-sphin in tow they hit the streets because night had set in.  Gerrick took on his guise as a Lyrandar women and walked ahead of the group. It took a good portion of the night but eventually four Cult Members made their presence known.  After an exchange of crude language, they attacked Gerrick only to find themselves in quite the fight.  Gerrick immediately put a bullet through the eye of the first attacker, and Krint barreled into two more taking them to the ground with his craghammer.  Markas joined the fray and Jett teleported behind a poor sap to place his blade firmly against the man’s throat.  A swift punch to the gut from Krint was all it took to get the man to cooperate and begin the march towards the Storm Front Cult’s headquarters. 

The night came to a close with the group headed into even more danger.