Madisya

A New Land, at War

Who Opened that Portal?

It wasn’t clear where they were, although this certainly wasn’t the Springdale they were hoping for. Soldiers’ corpses, the rubble of golems, and the bodies of civilians decorated the landscape. Soon, however, they were greeted by what seemed to be the leader of the militarist force, accompanied by a human princess, her wolf, and a skilled paladin. Our group of adventurers were accepted into the force; the princess’s escort willing to accept any help they could get, and unwilling to let more innocents die. A solider reported an exit to the North; not one of the gates, but rather something else. As it was just a rumor, he had little else to tell…but it was clear time was of the essence.

They dodged battles already underway and demonic forces from an unknown place, with unknown goals. With the princess in tow, the group eventually made their way to the courtyard, where soldiers were doing their best to keep the beasts at bay. With a moment of rest, Ghorrd tried to ask why the chaos was happening.

One soldier explained that the “statues” in the courtyard (thought to have been placed there as ordered by the royalty) came to life. They were caught off guard, and so the attack commenced. The second-high captain theorized some disruption of “portal magic” was to blame here. The group kept quiet, though horrified.

The rag-tag band of soldiers, guards, royalty, priests, and the group eventually formulated an improvised plan. The priests needed to open the portal in the courtyard (through the archway recently built) to transport the princess safely. To do so, at least one priest would need to stand on a sun tile on the courtyard’s pathway and keep the spell’s connection strong. With only four priests, the warriors would need to make sure at least one man of the cloth was still standing.

With three possibly points of entry into the courtyard, the group immediately divied up responsibilities and took to different directions. The spell needed a great deal of preparation time, and as the monsters set in, everyone did their best to hold the golems back.

The battle was particularly gruesome. As the three groups fought on, it quickly became apparent that more healers were needed. Some of the priests left their posts to give aid…eventually, only two priests remained for the spell.

They soon realized that, in order to survive, the sentinels would need to stand in the way and take some hits from the enemy weaklings, thereby blocking the path of the far more dangerous enemies. This strategy paid off, as they were mostly able to wait out the spell casting.

Towards the end of the battle, though, things took a turn for the worst—an enormous titan appeared at the entrance of the very portal they hoped to escape into. With the group on their last legs, they bravely clashed against the titan briefly. With no hope of actually killing it, brave men of the court distracted it as the princess made her escape.

The group once again tumbled into the unknown.

Back in Springdale

After moving through the world of between, the group soon found themselves inside Springdale once again—the very same tavern they stayed in, even. After assuring each other they were all okay, they were also delighted to be reunited with Gregory and Ekor. It wasn’t long before the party had to explain to Gregory that Air was dead. Predictably, Gregory was crushed over this revelation, and blamed himself.

Remembering the reason for all the trail nonsense in the first place—to obtain information about Black from Miss Ale—they soon met with her again and began to ask what happened. She explained angrily that her underground room had effectively been destroyed, and that she didn’t know anything about the darkness or the strange things they had seen. After saying some insensitive things about Air’s death, the group decided not to push for information.

The group then spent their night having a drink or two and trying to make sense of everything. Gradually, they went to their respective rooms for the evening.

The next day, the group debated whether or not to go to the masquerade party or seek other leads about Black. During the course of this, Vira discovered that someone had sneaked into her room in the middle of the night and stole her shield (a rare artifact). Enraged, she vowed to seek out those that would take her property. Meanwhile, a message was sent to the party—from Black himself. He offered a truce to the group, along with an invitation to meet him in person. Having just seen the vision of him scheming during the underground adventure, the group was weary of such a prospect. It read:

Greetings

You know of me, and I of you. However, I believe both of our perceptions of each other have been distorted by the rumor mill that Springdale is so infested with. For example, the Fran’Miri witch, so I am told, walks among you, and the demon-horned monster with his demon-axe from the Blood Lands? I imagine such is not the case, and so I hope we can put our fictitious notions of each other aside and let one another tell the tale of ourselves. If you agree to meet with me, I will promise on my word and on my honor that no harm will come to you from myself or my agents during your trip—even if you choose to not understand me and who I am, and crucify me with your words to my very face.

I wish you to understand how serious I am about your safety and right to freedom. Further, I will make no motion to restrain you, keep you on my premises, or invade your sense of privacy and independence with any measure of force or arcane bindings. I hope you will pay the same courtesy to me if you choose to accept my invitation.

This being the case, I do safeguard my location closely, and I will defend myself from an attack if you attempt such on my person, or those trusted to my care. I sincerely wish you will hear me out, but will make no efforts to force you. Perhaps you can accept this and not trust the rumor mill. If you wish to accept my invitation to meet, simply stand in front of your inn’s door, and rip this letter in half.

I will be in contact with you once more. No matter what you may think of me, no matter your action in regards to this letter, I wish you the best, and hope that someday the gods may bless you.

Black

While pondering this over, one by one the party decided to begin arriving at the masquerade party.

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Revelations

Nice Day for a Funeral

Before the funeral…

A crowd soon formed around the bloody scene. Where a crowd gathers, the City Watch follows, and whatever the City Watch takes an interest in, the Draco are likely to check in with suspicion. The Guard marked off the area with all due haste, and the Draco were quick to lose interest—unlike the crowd. Keeping curious city folk at bay, the guardsmen asked you a number of questions about the wizard, and his death. They took two bloodied bolts for evidence, but left the other four in your care, least they help you track down the killers. Ekoor arrived soon after, but there was little he could offer you except his sympathies and willingness to help.

The rumors of the Red Hounds being the killers quickly spread, to which several public members of the Red Hounds came out to publically denounce the claims, and to voice their great disappointment in the corruption of the legal system to come to such conclusions. The City Watch publically denounced such rumors, saying that they only had second-hand witnesses to the killers. The Mayor made a public appearance later that day, saying that it pained him that the City Watch could find no concrete evidence, but that the killer would be tracked down. He declined comment as to if this killing was connected to the earlier attempts on his, and the other ward masters’ lives.

Ekoor found you after the mayor’s speech, a mix between apologizing for the Mayor, and defending the man and the position he as win. He then went to explain that a man, both a Priest of Corellon, Erendar’s god, and an eladrin wished to perform the burial ceremony for Erendar, and was willing to pay for the burial in its entirety. The burial was slated to occur the following morning.

After a late night of resumed questions from the guards—from which they gained nothing new—you found rest at a guard station that Ekoor arranged. Early the following morning, you awoke, and under escort were taken beyond the city limits to the graveyard. The sun has yet to rise, and a thick fog rests on everything…

The funeral then proceeded. Everyone paid their final respects towards Erendar. Once the ceremony was over, the group followed Ekor back to another tavern, where they were meant to rendezvous with an assassin who had information about the Red Hounds. She hid her identity at first, but the group eventually realized who she was. Before the woman would divulge any information, she instructed the group to use a secret passage that would lead them to different trials. These trials would test the group’s mettle and confirm for her whether or not they were indeed worthy of being privy to information.

Vira instructed Ekor to stay behind. They would later find out this was a wise idea, as the rope from above soon fell to the ground—their passageway had been cut off.

Meanwhile, the group proceeded to work out a puzzle that required four different words. After struggling along the way, they eventually realized the answer was “Justice commands your obedience.”

The Seer Enters

After they completed the puzzle, the group encountered a very strange man in the next room. After speaking with them briefly, the man revealed that he could show them visions…truths of events that were happening elsewhere, in secret.

First they saw the Lord and Lady. It was revealed that the writings from Black Vira found were planted for them to find. They spoke of White Shield and trying to complete some grand plan.

The scene then shifted to the ward masters and the mayor arguing. The ward masters felt he was overstepping his boundaries. The argument grew very heated, but the group couldn’t quite understand what they meant.

The vision again switched, this time to Gregory—who had been missing from the group for quite some time. He appeared to have gone berserk, killing guards for some person who was probably affiliated with the Red Hounds. He spoke of things that did not seem quite normal, as if he remembered more of his past life than he cared to mention to everyone. The scene then took a strange twist as Gregory met Cleric Barse, the man ultimately responsible for the death of the captain back in the fort. Gregory, for some reason, demanded that the cleric reveal his previous name before becoming a captain or cleric.

The scene faded. They were then shown a masked man and a woman speaking. They, too, spoke of a plan none of the others could quite make sense of. The woman asked if something “would be ready” soon. She also asked if Vira was still alive upon hearing about Erendar’s death. In the very last second, the woman called the man “Black,” the name of the person the group had been searching for.

The final scene showed a bizarre ritual of hooded figures chanting. Ghorrd and Kevian soon recognized the main man overseeing the chants as one of the people they encountered at the front gate into Springdale. The very last thing the group saw was a face, but they either couldn’t make out who it was or did not recognize the person.

Almost immediately after their visions returned to normal, the next part of the trials began. The statues seen earlier came to life! And the back wall, now filled with darkness, began closing in on them slowly. The group put their thoughts aside and immediately set to the task of removing this latest challenge.

They fought hard against the statues, but the battle remained difficult. The darkness began to slowly encase the group as they fought their way through. Though they put all their energy into making it out relatively unscathed, one party member was not so lucky—Airahzhol. She died a horrible death—the darkness surrounded her, which eventually caused severe poisoning, immobilization, and gradual insanity.

The party reached the beginning room and quickly closed the doors. They then had to search for an alternative way out. Eventually they realized that the statue bases were actually triggers that, once stood on, would reveal a secret passageway. After several moments of maneuvering, the group managed to enter the next room, away from the black cloud.

The Violinist

In this next room, the group encountered a large golem (later learned to be called “Dektor”). They eventually earned his trust long enough for him to show them around. He frequently referred to some unknown “mistress” of the place. As they examined the area, various members gradually stumbled upon scrap pieces of paper lying around, which were commonly written in either Fran’miri or Common.

While the group went their separate ways into different areas, a woman (learned to be Orphesu) suddenly appeared before Vira and Wanderer. She held a violin. After observing the two for a few moments, she began to play a haunting song. The music sent a chill up Vira’s spine and, sensing imminent danger after reading the papers and battling the dragons, she tried to grab the instrument away. But it was as though the woman and the violin were connected, and everything they tried left no effect. In the end, they fled the immediate area.

With the danger passed temporarily, they continued to look around in what was increasingly obvious to be a maze of multiple rooms and locks. They encountered orbs that could help them unlock such areas, provided they knew enough information in the form of the papers they gathered from the floors. All the while Orphesu continued to roam the halls.

Treading carefully, the party began the work of unlocking rooms, finding the occasional treasure, and generally learning more about the strange place. Everything was underground, and the city seemed to be unaware of the entire expanse underneath it. They stumbled upon a strange mirror that showed three reflections…women very similar in appearance to Cleo, Wanderer, and Vira. Rubetta theorized they were seeing shadow magic. Though this made them uneasy to say the least, they did not know what to make of it, and so moved on to other areas.

On a hunch, Vira walked to a separate area that she suspected was now unlocked. Upon meeting another golem and looking around, she accidentally stumbled upon a room of horrific imagery—there on the table lay a part of a corpse in what was obviously a long-forgotten scientific experiment. The others caught up, and they realized the room adjacent to that one was even more appalling, as it contained dozens of skeletons callously dumped long ago; probably once of no more use for whatever twisted experiments were performed. Kevian, after reading another page, affirmed that the original experimenter claimed this was the will of the Raven Queen, goddess of the afterlife.

After more exploring, they eventually ran into a new companion, a Kenku spell-caster by the name of Flutterclink who proved to be an interesting fellow. Introductions were cut short, as the group tried to flee the dangerous tune of the arch angel’s violin. Later yet they came to blows with the strange doll-like creatures. With enough items to secure an exit from the underground labyrinth, Kevian powered up the portal, and the group escaped. However the magic was flawed; someone would have to not only close it behind the group, but hold of the arch angel while the portal collapsed. The mysterious woman, name given simply as “Wanderer,” elected to fill this role, and so she sacrificed for the good of the group. Into a strange realm they were forced with no walls, floor, nor ceiling. Gracefully, strangely they drifted towards the only portal yet open…and onto a rain drenched battlefield.

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Unrest in Springdale

Mega Recap

A word broken, a world lost, a world in shadows…

A world who had forgotten the light, forgotten the joy, forgotten the sting…

Once, long ago, all was not forgotten and Light was not named Shadow…

Once, long ago, a soul hadn’t committed the gravest crime imaginable. He hadn’t given the world the greatest gift it had ever received. His efforts hadn’t been wasted.

It was a fateful night, not too long past. Ironically, in the so-called Treaty Lands a group of travelers found anything but peace. While a goblin presence had always been known in the region, it had hardly been a threat to the smaller towns, and certainly not the hordes and formations that the travelers discovered to march. Given the task of returning to the town to the east, Belle, are warn the villagers there of the dangers, the soon-to-be heroes began their quest.

A local guide showed them the way, telling the group that they were heading towards a “Tower Rock,” a massive, tall rock formation that could be seen for miles around. The group never saw it. Instead, they found a stream that cut across the path—which the guide said had never been there—and ruins—which the guide had never seen before.

Fleeing from a band of goblins that found then at the ruins, the group found shelter in a strange palace of sorts. Being joined by others, including a religious zealot named Ferth, and a mysterious woman in scarlet who went by Jopheila. Together they fought the shadowborn dangers of the strange and forbidding place, and found several references to a goddess none of them had so much as heard of.

Through the rooms an interesting tale began to unfold, one of both the thief and killer Black Shadow, and the Lord General White Shield, both figures of the long-lost and greatly forgotten Great Kingdom. The two epic figure’s conflict was played out before them, although in only in glimpses of history—and in those glimpses they saw Jophelia. Upon confrontation, the group discovered that Jophelia and White Shield were arch angels, and were survivors of the Great Kingdom.

Soon they were forced to choose. Shadow or White? Which was the hero, and which the villain? The group fractured, Jopheila and Ferth defending the lord general and the others placing their faith in a criminal.

The group then happened upon Black Shadow, speaking to his ghostly, unreal form. He was confused, disoriented, and slightly mad, making any conversation with him wanting at best. As the others talked, others decided to act.

When Ferth and Jopheila went to free White Shield from his Shadowfell imprisonment by drawing the sword that sealed the lock on White Shield’s soul, the group turned on one another. Blood was soon drawn, and Dark and Light fought. Ferth was cut into by the minotaur warrior Ghorrd, and Ferth burned away in shadows in that great room of imprisonment, and then then White Shield was soon to follow.

Victorious, the group tried to return Black Shadow’s sword to him, but the simple touch of the weapon caused Black Shadow to face a similar fate. Confused, and ready to leave the accursed castle, the group quickly made their way out. They, at long last, returned to the town of Belle.
Nex Terren: The band of travelers delivered the news, and then were welcomed by the villagers. Heavy rain plagued the town, forcing the group to stay within the bounds of civilization until it passed. In came some new faces, among them the warrior Vira from the Fran’Min empire, an escort on official business. The expected attack against the town came, the band of adventurers defended Belle, and became heroes for it. Eventually, after many days of solid rain, the group set back out.

Returning to their original trip to Springdale, the group happened upon Tower Rock this time, having seen it from far off. Of the castle, there was no trace. At this stone they were pulled into the Shadowfell, where they played witness to an argument between two peoples. The argument mentioned a man in white, and a woman in red moving across the shadowborn landscape. The two groups didn’t seem to notice the band of adventurers, despite their best efforts, until the very last when one of the two groups—the one that seemed more human—seemed to sense one of the adventurer’s presence, a cleric by the name of Cleo. While they could not see her, they began to joyously exclaim that “He has returned!” and they offered praise up to Cleo. The group was then pulled back to the mortal plane.

Continuing their journey, the group came upon some strange ruins centered around a weathered statue of White Shield. While surely hundreds of years old, they quite clearly referenced the small party, condemning their actions against White Shield. Here, Ghorrd made friends with a wild dog he named Dhreg. The dog had a minotaur collar around it that was quite ancient.
Nex Terren: The adventurers explored the ruins, and inside they found it to be a tomb covered in strange messages, one of which referenced a “Death of the Shadowfell,” another spoke of Vira. The group discovered the resting place of one Vedorin, so-named killer of thousands. Unable to pry open the coffin to uncover what they hoped to be treasure, they asked Vira to use her primal connection to open it. When Vira tried, open it she did. She was pulled inside and after a brief, but frightful battle inside the coffin.

When she emerged, her demeanor was changed. Although concerned, there was little the group could do, so they pressed onwards.

As they moved through the woods, they saw two figures—one cloaked in white, the other in red—watching them. They decided not to try to engage the figures, and the figures departed soon after this plan was reached. The group moved on, hoping that their long journey was nearing an end.

Such would not be the case quite yet. Instead of Springdale, the group found a fortress built to guard travelers on the way to Springdale. It would have been but a simple stop, if it hadn’t have been for a murder that had taken place the night before.

Details of the murder began to unfold, and the notorious trickster-criminal, Jack Pennybrooke, was quickly assumed to play a hand in the affairs. Besides the murder investigation, the group of adventurers learned some other information worthy of note. The white and red figures they had seen before were a pair of mysterious, and influential figures named by rumors as “the Lord and Lady.” Further, a fairly recent and elite city guard could be found within Sprindale, known as the Draco.

The group also happened across a band of slavers. The morality of this trade was fiercely debated, but in the end the group decided to let matters be. They did, however, attempt to free a strange looking slave, one that clearly wasn’t human. They were not successful in this, and left the slave to her masters.

While others attended to matters of life and death, Vira and Ghorrd saw to matters of spirits and curses. An old cleric and war veteran thought he could end the possession Vira had on her. Twice attempts were made to cleanse her. The first was a true failure, but the second pulled the spirit of Vendorin out, Vira having powerful flashbacks into the spirit’s mind, past, and soul.

The process of pulling forth the spirit from the host of flesh filled the entire church with magic, and drove the dog, Dhreg, in a great panic, running from the temple. Vira then spoke to the spirit at length, and while the spirit entertained her at great length, Vedorin left many questions and few answers. A battle with the spirit then followed, the adventurers emerging victorious—but not before the spirit addressed Vira as “sister.” The group, tired, rested for the night. As Vira rested, a woman watched the warrior, and proclaimed vengeance against her, calling her not Vira, but “Verina.”

A warlock joined the group, Kevian Firehide, who proved to be both reserved and insightful. He was approached by a woman in red, and after some short, yet confusing talk about threads of fate, asked only of Kevian that he join the group, and wait for her to come again. Kevian agreed to do so.

After this great battle, the group solved the murder, and discovered that Pennybrooke did play a hand in it, but not how they first expected. Of Dhreg, there was still no sign, and the party was forced to move on without their faithful canine companion.

Heading on, they found the slavers selling the female slave the party had taken an interest in, back at the fort. The man they were selling her to was dressed well, if unassuming, and had no apparent business in the region. With the group’s help, he freed the slave he bought, and asked if he could travel with the group. Cleo, recalling the man from her unnaturally clear dreams, encouraged the group to accept the man’s offer. The man seemed to lack any remembrance of Cleo, dreams or otherwise. When they discovered the man to be without a name, Cleo dubbed him “Gregory.”

And so the group set off, only to discover that the man Vira was to be protecting had gotten himself killed by goblins. The group battled the threat and won. They were joined by a Fran’Miri man named David, who offered his combat experience to the group (even though he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn), as well as a guard by the name of Ekoor. With these two new companions, they continued forward, finally at the city’s gates.

Here, they were met by a search party of the city guard. Most complied with the search, but David tried to sneak past his weapons. When he was pounced on by the guard, another sect of the guard came up, and waved him through. They appeared to be commanded by a man with a dragon tattoo across his face.

In order to gain passage into the city (or, more specifically the Gateway Ward), the group agreed to sign on as paid swords of ward masters (the agreement arranged for them by Ekoor). They traveled into the ward, finding a few of the city’s ward masters and the mayor Henry Markieen giving a speech. The mayor’s words were honest, simple, and were met with great applause by the listening citizens. The speech was then interrupted by an assassin, who was quickly ended by the man known as the Lord. The Lady, without a word, escorted the mayor to safety, but left the ward masters to fend for themselves.

Joined by a minotaur who was already a paid sword, they escorted the ward masters to safety, battling a number of men of the shadows to reach a robust Draco escort. They were paid for their troubles.

It has been one week since these events, the group trying to hunt down any clues of the killers that they can. Along these lines they have found little. Rumor has it that the killers were paid mercenaries of the goblins, set to kill the ward masters to instill chaos and destruction.

The group has yet to secure passes to any of the city’s other wards, thanks due to the ward masters employing them thinking such being both unnecessary, and wasteful. Direct contact with the ward masters is extremely limited, but it has been made clear that if they wish to remain in the city they need to find clues about these attacks.

Through Ekoor, the city guard has been as much help as they are able, but they have little to tell you. The Draco, on the other hand, have been reclusive and reluctant to spend any time or effort on you.

You have been given semi-permanent rooms in Wellburn’s Inn; room, meals, and even a portion of ale being provided at the city’s expense.

The slave girl, Airahzhol, has remained a mystery both in her origins, and her nature. She typically refuses to come into the tavern proper (when she does, she hides in the corner, eyeing everyone with mixed fear and suspicion). Even when brought up the inn’s back stairs, she will not sleep on anything but the floor. She seems to have little respect for privacy, but has attempted to be as helpful as she can imagine, including making (as best as you can tell) snarky comments to bring a smile to your faces.

Ekoor is often gone on city business, but shows up at the inn bright and early every morning to see if you have need of him. You’ve discovered that he is accepted as a senior guardsman; although lacking formal rank he does have some pull and push within the City Watch, and is quite willing to use his connections whenever it might benefit you.

Gregory remains a mystery. He still can’t remember his name, and has offered nothing about his past. Cleo’s efforts to heal his mind have ended in failures, frustrating the cleric. He seems highly intelligent, and has considerable understanding on a range of subjects including history, politics, organized crime, other races, magic, religion, and bladework. He often seems lost, distracted, and a bit sad. Every night he quietly slips out of the inn. To those who might have followed him, you found him simply wandering the streets, aimlessly.

You have gained some fame in the Gateway Ward, although you are a far cry from legends. Some know your name, some know your faces, although with a degree of caution you should be able to go without notice.

You wake up, bright and early just as the sun as began to kiss the ward’s rooftops. You have few leads, but even from the second floor where you’re staying you heard more than the normal noise down bellow in the tavern. Perhaps you’ll have more luck today?

Clues and a Contract

The group started the day at Wellburn’s inn, having just escorted the wards to safety a few nights before. Their work continued as they searched for any information about the killers. They split up and, after breakfast, gave various small talk throughout the tavern/inn. Among the people they talked to was a strange jester, a woman selling rituals, a weapon trainer, and several mysterious men. Among these mysterious men was a hooded person who offered Kevian a deal:

“If I understand correctly you have… other worldly connections, ones that… shall we say… upset the balance? I’m interested in seeing that the balance is upset in the favor of my employer.”

“I offer you three things. First, I offer you resources. Comply, and keep to the gravest of secrecy, and I can promise you a Lord’s ransom.”

“Second, I can offer you an understanding of who you are. Comply, and keep to the gravest of secrecy, and I will provide you with this, given time.”

“Third, if you are willing Kevian, I offer your salvation; a way to turn your curse to a blessing. A way to lock it away when you want, and cast it into the Great Sea if you so desire.”

The man draws a scroll from his cloak, and unrolls it before him. The ink is silver, and casts a pale light. “Simply worded, no loopholes, and even the option to revoke the agreement at your choosing. You promise to carry out any orders I, or other agents of my employer give you, and keep the utmost secrecy about it, as though your life and soul depended upon it—for at least your soul does. As you complete tasks, you will be paid in coin, gems, or other valuables. At the end of your services, not to exceed one year, my employer will make good on the last promise. If he does not, this magic contract is bound to both his and my own life, killing us then and there; that is how you can trust that we’ll stay to our word. As for you, if you disobey a single order, or attempt to make any mention, or give any hint about what we ask you to keep hidden… well, you are not bound by death. You will forget myself, this contract, and any secrets you know on the instant, and our contract will be considered void. You may keep the gold, but otherwise it’ll be as if it didn’t happen. You must keep to the terms of the contract until my employer has exhausted use of your services, and then you must keep to secrecy one lunar year afterwards. After this point, you hold no need for loyalty towards us.” After this long-winded explanation, he smiles, drawing out a golden quill, already dipped in silver ink. “We are bound by death, and you only by forgetting. You’re able to leave whenever you choose, so what do you have to lose?”

After some consideration, Kevian agreed to the deal and signed his name on the contract.

Ghorrd and Vira also had a conversation with Gregory, separately, and this is what they learned:

“Who would want them dead? I’m certain the ward masters have enemies, but what of the Mayor? The Town Council is the only one he butts heads with, and I doubt they’d hire assassins to kill themselves as well. I suppose there’s the ”/campaign/madisya/wikis/red-hounds" class=“wiki-page-link”>Red Hounds and Pennybrooke’s Men, but I didn’t think either had the manpower—or training—to pull off what they did."

(after being asked who the Red Hounds are)

“A vile band of thieves, murders, cutthroats, mercenaries, and slavers who operate within the law as far as the law can see, and outside of it where the law is blind. They’re lead by a man named simply ‘Black,’ who doesn’t show his face to even his top men—or so rumor has it; nobody’s quite certain who his top command is that I’ve spoke to.”

After learning these things, Ghorrd and Vira had a brief conversation with Ekor. He told them that he had met an assassin woman by chance who possibly knew something about the Shadowfell. After a brief argument about whether or not this was a wise venture to follow through with, they eventually agreed.

Gregory’s Battle

The group gathered outside to learn any information about the Red Hounds. After speaking with several merchants, they eventually made their way to a mob’s hideout for clues. Rubetta managed to win the boss’s charms, and he divulged where they could find an informant. He pointed to an underground tunnel route. The group accepted this arrangement and proceeded through the passageways. Along the way, Vira grabbed a strange leather bag that seemed to be abandoned.

Once they reached the informant, it was clear someone had sought answers first. An unknown woman was interrogating him. Before they could ask anything further, an angry mob could be heard from the other side of the door. In a panic, the group moved swiftly away from the area.

They remembered a rope that looked to be hanging from the outside world. All managed to climb to safety, including the woman, except for Gregory. The group shouted for him and tried to throw the rope towards him once more, but to no avail. With his insistence, the group blocked the hole that led them outside.

Curious, Vira opened the bag she had previously found. Among the dagger, papers, ink, and a quill, there was also a letter from Black. Unfortunately, the letter concealed its contents with riddles and encryption. The group decided to look it over later; instead they walked back to the inn. After looking it over for several minutes and unable to solve it just yet, the group broke up to take a break.

It was then that a man appeared in the street—Gregory. He was alive but badly injured. Everyone helped rush him inside to rest and receive basic treatment. Amongst all this, the unknown woman (named Wanderer) observed that it was probably best to switch inns, for they were being watched…

Bloody Friday

After treating Gregory for his injuries, the group rested to think over the puzzle. Cleo and Erendar rejoined the party during this time. While they were discussing various matters, a knock came to the door of the inn’s room. A servant girl of the tavern entered, bearing two messages…

The first message was instructions to visit a man at the back of the inn for a potential job.

The second was an invitation to a masquerade ball, courtesy of the Herramies Estate.

The group gave mixed reactions about the invitation. Apparently they had become just famous enough in the city to warrant the invitation. While they thought this over, Vira, Ghorrd, and Rubetta followed the servant girl to the back of the tavern to be introduced to the man with a potential job. The man (named Joe Hauln) had this to say:

“I have in mind the single greatest hit I’ve found since I started my wandering days. Enough Archeological finds to put an eladrin historian in a coma, gold enough to please me and ten other men for years to come, and… well… there’s adventure too.” He looks away, and then back to Vira. “I’m going to give it to your straight, because if there’s one thing I’ve found out in my travels—or,” he smirks, “What good ol’ mama taught me—is that honesty is always the best way.” He chuckles softly, gathering his thoughts.

“Well, okay, I’m not going to sugar coat it: It’s dangerous. Quite dangerous. First time me and my men went in there three of them died, and between all the blood and screaming we didn’t see what was killing us until we were running out of there.” He throws up his hands, and grimaces deeply. "I hate to say this, but I’m just not cut out for the job. I can be handy with my crossbow—but not handy enough. And all the merchant guards I can find just don’t cut it alone.” He smiles, and points. “You guys, however, are something else. Something short of heroes if I understand right. Any one of you could take two of me on, and come out swingin’. That’s why I wanted to talk to you.”

Vira (as the three were quite dubious of the whole endeavor) proposed that they give their answer first thing the next morning after talking the proposal over with the others. He agreed, and they parted ways.

Ghorrd, Vira, and Rubetta then went back to the rest and relayed the message. While everyone thought about this, the invitation, and the puzzle…someone let poisonous gas into the small room while blocking the door! As party members began to pass out one by one, the fighters with more endurance tried desperately to break down the door. While this was happening, Kevian was left on the other side—the only person in the party who was not in the room at the time. He tried to move the dresser propped against the door, but he was not strong enough. He then tried to set it on fire with his abilities and hoped that his fire resistance would be enough to move it out of the way. While the door was then opened, the dresser caught fire to the walls. The tavern burned to the ground just after mostly everyone escaped.

After several minutes of general confusion, Rubetta realized suddenly that her childhood friend, Furie, was still inside (she had been deathly sick for several weeks). She scrambled inside the ruins to find her friend, but no hope remained that she might still be alive.

The group also realized that no one had thought to have taken Black’s papers. The riddle was now forever gone.

Meanwhile, Erendar spotted a very suspicious man amongst the confusion. After shouting at him to stay, the man started to run. Erendar gave chase. He eventually performed a jump still and, from a great distance, landed on the man’s back.

Unfortunately, Erendar did not know that he landed right in the middle the Red Hounds’ nest. Assassins and archers greeted him, observing that he was standing on one of their men. No one knew which way he went, and so Erendar made a desperate attempt to strike against as many of them as he could, and then flee.

But the archers were swift. When the group finally found Erendar, he was riddled with arrows…dying. He managed to convey to the group that the strange man was, in fact, part of the Red Hounds. And then he died.

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Journey to Springdale
The death of Harann and new party members

“Kelephstar” Emerges

As Harann and Kevian left Fort Brakenwood, they came across the same group of slavers from before. A transaction appeared to have taken place—a young man purchased the same slave girl from earlier. Harann decided to move ahead. He then spotted a fight already taking place between guards and some goblins. He immediately entered the fray. Kevian, meanwhile, interacted with the new found man and former slave.

The others eventually met with Kevian and the two others. They attempted to befriend the slave girl and unlock her from the chains. Upon speaking with the man some more, it became clearer and clearer he was no ordinary traveler. They learned he could not remember what his identity was. He said he vaguely might have recognized Vira from somewhere. Vira decided to give him the temporary name of “Gregory” after her war-hero uncle.

They soon became concerned over the whereabouts of Harann. As they moved north in the forest, they stumbled upon a crowd of goblins. Among them (though they did not know it at the time), Harann was dead from battling too many of them.

After the battle, the group discovered Harann’s body further to the north. They quickly agreed to carry him to Springdale in the hope of finding a suitable temple there. As they discussed this, a new man appeared on the scene—David Pliskin, a sniper. He quickly made it apparent that he worked for the Fran’min miltary. Vira was surprised by this, and decided to keep an eye on him. He agreed to travel with the group into the city.

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Murder at Fort Brakenwood
Someone killed Captain John--but who?

The Investigation Begins

After battling an ogre and somehow finding a little time to sleep, the group continued to make their way through the woods. As they walked down the path, two figures were spotted in the distance—one wearing a red cloak, and the other in white. Before the party could walk much closer, the two disappeared from sight.

The group decided not to pursue that incident further. They stumbled upon a fort, learned later as Fort Brakenwood. A curious man approached the group, immediately suspicious of everyone. After some initial questions, it was soon learned that he was an investigator of a murder that recently took place inside the fort. The investigator stated some initial facts of what happened:

  • A captain of the guard, Captain John, was murdered sometime around midnight that night.
  • A few people stood guard at the fort to protect the road from various goblins.

As the investigator brought the group into the fort (as he insisted that they could not leave), they encountered a cleric named Barse, caretaker of a Melora-based church. After the initial greetings, Vira pressed the cleric for more details about what happened. The group learned:

  • Cleric Barse was wandering into the woods at the time of the murder, outside of the fort.
  • He overheard witnesses say that Captain John was shot through the heart with an arrow.
  • The body had already been taken off by the time the Cleric reached him, so he did not have time to observe the body itself.
  • Captain John was not a normal captain of the fort.
  • The fort was ultimately founded because Springdale wished to protect travelers and traders from dangers of the woods.

They also learned about the Draco, elite guards who are generally unlikeable and presumed to be stationed in Springdale, and Jack Pennybrooke, a wanted trickster whose legendary crimes proceed him. As the discussion ended, Ghorrd decided to stay behind to speak further with the cleric while the rest followed the investigator into the fort. When they approached the gate, the group spotted a massive notice, which read:

WANTED, JACK PENNYBROOKE

REWARD: 5,000 GOLD

WANTED ON ACCOUNT OF: Impersonating a cleric, blessing newborn babies in fictitious gods’ names, deflating local cheese markets with free goods, giving out large quantities of produce without a permit, breaking into guard houses and steeling numerous items, including but not limited to, bed sheets, stools, and waste bins, declaring town holidays without a permit, painting the front of a guard house green, impersonating a guard, using a dog to impersonate a guard, arresting the mayor without authority, arresting guards without authority, evading capture, entering judgments without an invitation, letting farm animals into the street, unlawful movement through the town including rooftops, the sewers, and onboard merchant’s wagons, tying various clothing items of ward leader’s on flag posts, including under garments, evading arrest, public indecency.

Despite all of those crimes, the investigator said that no one knew what the man actually looked like. After pondering over this man for a moment, the investigator then led the group into an enclosed area, where several disgruntled people stayed. One of these people was Alice, who, after being interviewed by Vira, revealed more statements (according to her view):

  • The fort was locked down, and the walls would have blocked any incoming arrows. Therefore, the arrow must have been shot from inside the fort itself.
  • No one besides the guards themselves can independently confirm that there WAS a body.
  • Alice was the person who pulled the arrow out of the captain’s chest. Everyone thought she was the murderer.
  • Nobody liked Captain John, who loved to talk and order everyone around.
  • Alice’s alibi was that she was on duty guarding the southwest watchtower. She insists that she did not check out a bow for that night, and yet one was missing.

They also learned a little bit more about the investigator, whose name was Jacques and was approximately a quarter gnome, a quarter eladrin, and half human. Meanwhile, Harann interviewed a man called Commander Uragin, who gave the following statements:

  • He was in the fort’s kitchen at the time. The captain came storming in and yelled at people. When he marched out of the door again, Uragin witnessed him being shot in the chest right there.
  • Anyone besides Hammer was good enough with a bow to have killed Captain John.
  • No one actually saw the person who shot the captain because of the moonless night.
  • He saw Alice running up with a bow, but she said that she found it on the ground.
  • Only Hammer (the blacksmith) and himself were inside the kitchen.
  • Ronald and Wallace (two other guards) were sleeping beside the kitchen’s side door.
  • Tom (another guard) was in his quarters above the kitchen.
  • Burt (another guard) was inside the armory at the time, and the commander suspects he was sleeping there.

The commander then gave the arrow to Harann to inspect, and it did indeed have blood on it. Vira was bothered by the fact that the body was taken away before it could be inspected and the fact that no one actually saw a person shoot the arrow. Erendar then thought about the possibility of using a truth potion to determine who is lying.

Hammer also explained to Rubetta that the robed figures the group recently saw were likely two new people that they dub “The Lady and Lord.” They follow the mayor’s order explicitly.

Ceremony of Cleansing – What Vira Saw

Previous to this, Ghorrd had spoken to Cleric Barse privately, asking him if he had the knowledge to perform a cleansing ceremony for Vira after her adventure in the tomb. Barse replied that it might work with his experience, and the two waited for Vira to follow them back to the church. They soon left the area to give it a try.

Rubetta suddenly remembered the tale of Jackdaw, a classic gnome story about a trickster. It reminded her of the Jack Pennybrooke person mentioned earlier. However, no one seemed to have a reaction to the comparison.

Meanwhile, Erendar continued to make some inquiries, including why the body was taken away so quickly and who made that order. Burt (one of the guards) responded that Hammer had given the command out of respect for the dead man. Erendar later questioned Hammer, who explained that the Gods would not accept a half-body, which could have rotted within hours after the heavy rains they had received.

Harann also questioned the commander in the kitchen during this time. He gave the following statements:

  • The commander didn’t think any of the group could have seriously killed the captain, except for maybe Tom (a guard who is fearful of small creatures), because he was considered crazy.
  • He also mentioned that Ronald and Wallace helped Hammer wrap up the body for its journey.

Later, Erendar wished to try a spell that would cause people to say the truth. Unfortunately, everyone lined up but Hammer. They tried to persuade, trick, and intimidate him, but he refused to join the others.

While all this was happening, Ghorrd, Vira, and Cleric Barse had made their way back to the church in order to perform the cleansing ceremony. The cleric eventually began the ritual, which had some unexpected results. During this process, Vira saw many things:

Vira remembers many things. She remembers the lies, the ruler she betrayed, the lives she took. She remembers the suspicion she held, the deception she spun, the darkness of night that she pretended to love.

Dully, distantly…

She remembers springs following winters, and shaking the cold from her with a brisk walk through the palace. Golden columns lifting up on either side, proud marble floors, and the hanging gardens of fruit-bearing trees. Limes were always her favorite.

What palace? Where…?

She remembers a man of golden hair, a proud build, and laughing eyes that made you truly feel welcome. Always the weight on his shoulders, even if he tried to pretend otherwise. The world always expected so much out of him—although never as much as he expected from himself. How could she forget that? He worked his golden hair with his finger nervously, attempting to control his curls when he could not somehow summon a perfect fate for the lands out of thin air. Such a man always who worried about justice, about freedom, about the health and happiness of his subjects. She remembers hiding her scorn for the man’s naive selfless devotion for his people.

Surely the man had a name? But she couldn’t remember…

Vira remembers making a pact of shadow and fire, one that would last the ages, one that everyone but she would live to regret. It would have all been there still if it wasn’t for her. No, perhaps she was not the most important player in that…but even so she was essential. How else would that golden haired main have met his untimely fate? How else would the shield of snow white have been shattered? She remembers a kingdom built so proud, so courageous… and yet to fall by betrayal, subterfuge. It was splendid poetic justice, really. A wonderful, skillful complication of using everything that the emperor was trying to destroy against him. She remembers an archangel speaking to her about justice, and her responding with fire.

Memories thunder senselessly past…

And above all Vira remembered singing and laughing…

When she awoke again, Vira was fully possessed by someone very powerful. After a brief conversation, the newly possessed Vira attacked both Ghorrd and the cleric before the person retreated back into her mind. Cleric Barse was injured so badly that Ghorrd hurried back to the heart of the fort while carrying him. His dog stood guard in the church’s doorway while Vira waited, afraid of what could happen next. During this process, she had gained the ability of Uncanny Understanding.

After leaving the cleric to the others, and telling them to bring help, Ghorrd returned to the church. At the fort, it was later discovered that the cleric had lost all memory of the past day. While Ghorrd and Vira were talking, a woman approached them and inquired about her. Ghorrd insisted that no one could enter the church until Vira had been given the clearance by the cleric. The woman agreed and then left. At the fort, Rubetta suddenly remembered that she needed to lend a hand, and hurried off to see them.

Slavers and a Mysterious Girl

As the investigation continued meanwhile, more clues were found. Notably:

  • Erendar discovered a few different rituals, including a ritual to remove the smell of a pig’s corpse.
  • Harann found a target board with some arrows like the one from the murder close to the fort.

A strange man also visited Harann inside the church’s tower, inquiring about the Lady and Lord frequently mentioned around the area. He implored Harann to find out more about them.

Vira, Ghorrd, Rubetta, and Erendar encountered some slavers in the area. They heard a woman’s voice in a strange language. While they spoke with the traders to distract them, Erendar teleported inside the temporary building to set the woman free. Vira was quick to almost fight the leader, but the others diffused the situation. Later Vira saw Hammer nearby and approached him instead. She used her power to determine if he was lying about the murder:

The man is telling the truth… yet lying. Deception with words without flaw. She feels like laughing; so much her style, yet such the amateur! Why, a palace guard could outwit this simple smithy! He was afraid, yes of the magic, but that was only secondary; his real fear was for someone else’s sake. Amusing. Well, no; pathetic, really…

Vira and Ghorrd cornered him for further questioning, but he could not be intimidated by either person. Erendar ultimately could not free the girl and ultimately teleported away, unseen. Rubetta, meanwhile, asked her magic torn page about the murder, which said:

The murder at Fort Brakenwood was a mysterious affair; a captain before unknown to the fort stormed forward, giving commands to all that were near, and announcing expansions that were to be made to it. Soon he earned the ire of all who claimed the fort as their home. Their trouble wouldn’t plague them long however, as an arrow tasted blood, and brought the captain to the ground. Although both Alice and the Commander saw the death-or so it was reported-Alice was the first to make it to his side. Hammer, the fort’s smithy, came soon after, and as the fort’s make-shift medic, he tended to the body, and confirmed that the man was dead. With the cleric’s blessings, Hammer insisted that the body be taken off for burial in Springdale before the rot set in. A group of travelers and a woman of evil wandered into town, and upon word of the investigator they set to work solving this mystery. They passed by the one who drew the arrow without suspicion, and they likewise did not question the long disappearance of the investigator. Few were surprised when the investigator did not return once the murder was solved, as while he did not kill, nor assist in the attack that night…The words reach the end here. Part of the page is taken up with a picture of the captain, arrow protruding from his chest, as he began to fall. The drawing is a beautiful work of quill and ink.

Further intimidation of Hammer failed, and so Vira rushed back to the fort’s center, determined to use her power once more before the ceremony. She used it on Alice:

A girl, a pitiful girl. Honest, though, or at least tries to be. Too caring about what others thing, too caring about doing her part. Oh my! How worried she is, Vira can practically feel her squirm. But… ignorant. She looks at Vira with questioning, uncertain eyes. It seems she’s ignorant of what the Smithy is hiding, which means either Alice is a fool-likely, Vira muses with dark amusement-or the smithy is good at hiding what he wants hidden.

The Ceremony, Take Two

At midnight the group again met at the church to perform an exorcism on Vira. Soon after the ceremony began, Vira actually split into two people. After a brief conversation that made no sense, the spirit began to notice the others in the room. It wasn’t before long that they were in battle. Vedorin was able to gain the upper hand with control over Vira and a few missed attacks by the others. After a powerful attack from Harann and a few healing spells however, the party was eventually able to turn the tide. Before Vedorin disappeared, their foe shouted something about a sister. Vira became confused over this, as if the comment was directed at her.

The party eventually decided to rest for the night. While most slept inside the church, Vira moved to a stable. Outside this stable a woman watched her (the same mysterious woman who approached her earlier in the investigation) with knowledge of Vedorin and a mood to kill. She did not act on these feelings, however, and the group slept.

The Shed Chronicles

The next day Vira set off to investigate to the north. Harann investigated in the south and then later met her. They discovered:

  • A jacket of a guard uniform (presumably Captain John’s) with blood on the inside, but not on the outside. A hole was also present, where an arrow should have gone through.
  • The arrow used in the murder was likely shot with a great bow. The guards in the fort do not have a need to learn how to use a great bow because of the trees in the area.
  • After investigating a small shed, containers with no lids were discovered inside. After breaking them open, pig corpses that did not smell came out. They also tasted like human.

The jacket was later confirmed to be the captain’s. Meanwhile, a curious tiefling named Kevian had entered the conversation as they tried to solve this newest riddle. Vira managed to persuade the commander to open the shed with his key. They broke open the other containers and found in addition to the pigs:

  • Glass jars with a type of clay inside that, once applied to the skin, can change color to give a disguise.
  • Merchant’s clothing
  • A handwritten note that read:
I suppose you nosey investigators found me out. What fun! I hoped for nothing less. However, you still have a murderer to catch—make no mistake about it. But who would have killed me? I wonder, I wonder…

The group quickly realized that, in fact, no murder had ever been committed. The “captain” was likely Jack Pennybrooke.

A Man of the Cloth

The cleric had previously announced that a service would soon begin. Some in the group decided to then move further south, and while the cleric was in the church, continue their investigation with the one person they had not thoroughly questioned. They split into two teams—Harann, Rubetta, and Kevian went over to the cleric’s home while Vira, Ghorrd, and Cleo sat in the church.

Harann was able to teleport inside the small home. Inside, he discovered a simple chest at the bottom of the cleric’s bed. He teleported back outside but was not able to open it. They decided to run away with the chest in hopes that Furiaem could open it. Meanwhile at the service, the other three watched as Cleric Barse performed a ceremony on a dead deer, which then returned as a (non-evil) spirit of Melora. They spoke with the cleric for a few minutes after the ceremony while the others ran away.

When the chest opened up, they discovered several ritual scrolls, ink, quills, and the cleric’s life savings. The scrolls performed spells such as an increase of healing, nature, blessing, and perception. One cast a small explosion, and another caused Vira’s mind, eye, and hand to become steadier (once everyone met again, they helped examine the chest as well).

Harann, Rubie, Furiaem, and Kevian all decided to then move on to Springdale. Ghorrd, Vira, and Cleo stayed behind to return the chest to the cleric with their apologies. When they met him again, he appeared to be in a state of shock, as was natural. After a brief conversation, however, Vira became suspicious of why he was so immensely beside himself. She decided that there was nothing left to chance and laid out her final theory about how the murder happened:

  • Cleric Barse had previously said he was in the army—she guessed he was a soldier who carried a greatbow.
  • He had a motive to kill the captain because he had previously overheard the captain boasting how he would expand the fort—and thus destroying some of the forest.
  • Cleric Barse was wandering the woods at the time of the murder and had no alibi.

Shortly after hearing these statements together, the cleric admitted to shooting the captain. He then received the news that he had not, in fact, killed anyone! Ghorrd and Vira debated whether or not to bring him to justice, but in the end they decided to do nothing, as the murder never happened. With these final thoughts, Ghorrd and Vira left the fort to join the others in the forest to the north.

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Belle Adventures
Enter: Vira and Harann, plus goblins!

Day 1 – The Appearance of Harann

With storm clouds looming on the horizon, the group entered the town of Belle after a day of adventure. First though, Rubetta needed to outsmart Old Rellin, who demanded a hefty toll at the town’s entrance. Mary Brimwine soon put a stop to that, however, after learning what he was doing.

Belle was clearly a small place, mostly comprised of farmers and small-time merchants. The party eventually made their way towards the tavern that Harann and Vira were staying in. After eating and drinking a little bit, the party struck up conversation with various people. Rubetta chatted briefly with Harann, when he explained the nature of his travels—information about the Cult of the Dragon. Rubetta then told the story of Jackdaw and Bahamut to the crowd. During the story, Furie managed to steal Harann’s money. After much argument, Furie was caught, and she gave the coins back. A man named Terran later appeared, and the group recounted the story of White Shield, Black Shadow, and Jophiela. They then went to various shops throughout the town.

Day 2 – The Mystery of Regol Wideeyes

They slept in the inn and arose to continue their various errands. Along the way, another gnome woman entered the tavern. After speaking with Rosey, it was learned that the gnome was connected with slave trading. By now, the rain was coming down heavily. Vira overheard an offhand comment about Harann, and upon asking around, she met up with him once again.

Meanwhile, the other gnome (learned to be Regol Wideeyes) entered the area once again, and Rubetta was able to speak with her. Soon after, it is apparent other slave traders are in town. They beckoned Regol over. A woman named Ioana could also be heard shouting in a strange language. While Rubetta tries finding her again, Harann and Vira investigated. They spotted several traders and slaves behind the tavern. Unfortunately, while they debated about what to do (with so small a party number) the group left. After a short investigation of the building, Vira spotted a map of Springdale. It was plain this was where the group was headed. Vira and Harann became determined to follow this lead.

Day 3 – Under Attack!

Another day passed. An obnoxious merchant with his crew meet the group. After explaining that the crew needed more guards while traveling through the dangerous woods, Ghorrd agreed to sign on with the job. He, along with Cleo, went out to find Vira and Harann, who then agreed to join the party along to Springdale. They returned to the tavern to confirm with Arthion, the righthand man of the dwarf merchant. Harann also recalled important information about the Treaty Lands (see the link for the recalled information).

Throughout the day, the group asked various people around the town to draw out more details for a makeshift map of the woods. Suddenly, Mary Brimwine ran up to the group and shouted that goblins were attacking Belle’s east gate. They group rushed over to one gate while instructing Erendar to watch the other gate and shoot a missile into the sky in the event of more trouble. While the group fought, they failed to detect any such signal. As the battle almost ended, some became concerned anyway and decided to check on Erendar. Upon reaching the town’s other end, they realized another wave HAD attacked, so they quickly brought aid to Erendar (and James And Arthion, who had joined in). The entire battle eventually ended in their favor. Harann found a note on one of the dead enemies, which read:

“Attack the town of ”/campaign/madisya/wikis/belle/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Belle. You may take what you wish, but leave any merchants, their guards, and most of their goods alone. Leave also any bards or nobles alive. Do not kill all of the towns people; leave survivors! We will not pay you if word doesn’t spread of your doings. Keep this in mind, as well as the gold we promise."

When Vira examined the note, she realized the ink was made from an extract of a shrub found in Fran’Min. Meanwhile, Rubetta, Furie, Ghorrd, and Cleo decided to briefly visit the local shrine and pay tribute. As they entered, Rubetta observed shoes outside, but no one INSIDE. As they moved about inside the shrine, Rubetta felt two screams echo in her head. After the initial bewilderment, she decided it was best to let it go.

Day 4 – Strange Dreams

The group eventually came together once more to sleep in the inn for the night. But some members of the group had very strange dreams…or nightmares.

  • Rubetta’s recount: “I was sitting on a log playing a lute… well, there were two versions. One, I kept playing, and singing, and this woman tried to play with me. But I played a different song, and the woman started coughing. And she died, and I didn’t mind somehow. I just kept playing and laughing. Then in another version of the same dream, I played her tune, and we walked away together. And then… Then from behind us, Furie shot her. And then… somebody shot me… "
  • Cleo’s recount: “I was in a busy place, something like a marketplace. I couldn’t stop staring at these seashells, and then a man, he looked like a knight… a king really, with brilliant blonde hair, and he was calling me Patra, saving me from a beast… and I didn’t correct him on my name.”
  • Ghorrd’s recount: “Mine was.. pretty clear. The black shadow went and killed my mother, and my Chieftain… ..at least, I THINK it was him. He wore his cloak and carried his sword, at least… ..but I don’t know if the face was his. I knew the face, from somewhere… "
  • Furie’s recount: “I dreamt that I was walking down the lane with a woman, and we saw you and an old man sitting on a log. Then in one version the women kept trying to play a tune on her lute and getting it wrong and I… I killed her. Then in another, I showed her how to play the tune and she came to you to show you, then you killed her.”

During these recounts, Vira and Harann were inside the second tavern. While Vira gathered more information about the map, Harann met with a mysterious person, presumably a member of the order. They held a brief conversation, and Harann returned to her, deep in thought.

Later, the group reconvened and debated which route to take. Eventually they resolved to decide fully once they traveled deeper into the woods. After speaking with the merchant (who assigned roles), they left Belle with the intention of heading to Springdale.

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