Adventures of Pentaberlos

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Session One
Execution!

Sorry for the delay….

Kalin was a member of an adventuring party known as the Black Hand. This adventuring party has been rumored to attack farms and small villages and pillage, rape and burn. Constable Allister has been hunting them for some time and Kalin was found alone in a brothel in Oldtown. With his arrest more stories were told of the deplorable things Kalen did. Sacrificing animals, women and children for the power of his magic. Many people of Cinder City wanted to witness the day this man swung from the Gallows of the West Market.

The day was warm and lacked the heavy fog that is so common in Cinder City. A large crowd gathered in the main courtyard of the West Market. As Sergeant Woodhall and a group of elite soldiers marched Kalin to the gallows, many people laid their first eyes on the blood mage. He no longer wore his signature red robes, but the black shawl given to all those criminals destined for the gallows. He was smaller than they expected. Standing just over five foot, some would mistake him for an older child, but his face and hands bore the wrinkles and scars of years of practicing magic. His arms were covered in tattoos foreign to most in the crowd. His ankles and wrists were shackles together impeding his movement and lengthening the precession to the rope. Many onlookers grimaced as they saw the mages mouth had been sown shut with a thick coarse twine to stop him from casting any foul magic. They avoided his gaze though as he glanced around as though he were remembering all those who came to see him die.

Although they could not look him in the eye, many people shouted treats and curses towards the mage. “Burn him!” and “Death to the Cursed!” were shouted as he passed by. Before the accused reached the gallows a shrill scream was heard from the far northwest corner of the courtyard.

Tetherys Halflight, a young mage from the College of the Open Eye was there to witness the execution by the urgencies of his school masters. They wanted him to witness the outcome of a fallen mage who chased power with no regard for the lives of those around him. Tetherys was late of course because he left the college later than he anticipated as he lost track of the time because he was reading the history of the pixie gnome and its origins. He was all the way in the back when the execution precession started and he was the first to hear the screams right behind him. When Tetherys turned, he saw a small band of goblins randomly attacking onlookers and causing havoc. Tetherys had dissected these creatures in his college studies, but had never seen a live goblin before, and was surprised at the speed in which these creatures moved. Many of them slashed at the people with their crude metal scrapes they were using as daggers. Some of the more skilled goblins climbed their target and slashed at the throats and eyes of the people. Tetherys quick to defend himself called the guards to that area of the courtyard and cast one of his favorite spells to protect him from harm.

Andrew Moonwisper hated the blood mages and the defilers before them. They were reminiscent of the abominations his order was founded to fight against. Andrew wished to see this blood mage hang. He was early so he could be close to the gallows and see it firsthand. Just before he heard the screams coming from the north Andrew noticed something moving and moving the crowd near the gallows. An unusually large man pushed his way through the crowd like a farmer plowed his fields. Andrew moved towards the elite soldiers guarding the mage and warned them of the large man moving their way.

Errol Fletcherson stood across the courtyard when he heard the commotion to the east as the large man made his way yo the gallows. Errol knew this crowd was too massive to allow him to move closer, but with his skill at a bow he could fire over the heads of the crowd and easily hit his target. Seeing the large man as a threat Errol loosed two arrows, and they both found their mark.

Jakob and Roan both came to the hanging for one reason today. It was a large crowd and it was easy for them to lighten the commoner’s purses. Roan found him a easy target, but feeling the effects of the opiates he took just to get out of bed, his eyes could not focus and accidently grabbed the arm of the person he had hoped to pickpocket. “Just what do you think you are doing!” the target exclaimed. Roan stood there silent for a moment trying to come up with a reason he would have his hand in the targets satchel, but before he could respond more screams came from east of the courtyard. More goblins were scampering into the crowd, some holding torches and lighting people n fire and others were on fire themselves running into the crowd to put themselves out. Jakob was successful in pilfering some copper before the goblins attacked but moved away from the flaming party of goblins as they approached.

Sloan was quick to react when all the commotion started and he moved towards the guards around Kalin. Shouting something to the crowd about “official business” and “by the order of the Emperor” he was able to move swiftly as the crowd parted for him. Getting closer to the large man making his way to Kalin, Sloan knew he could not best this man in feats of strength, but he know he could win in a battle of wills. “You there! By the order of the Emperor. You shall not make it out of here alive if you continue.”

Something about the confidence in the little man, but Hagaard stopped for brief moment to survey his opponents and see if Sloan was telling the truth. He was quickly reminded of his mission and it inevitable success as an arrow came from the west and killed a guard protecting Kalin.

As city guards moved in to save the people of Cinder City, Tetherys cast a sleep spell over the group of goblins to incapacitate them. Four of them were overcome with sleep in the crowd and fell to the cobblestone ground. Guards quickly moved in on the remaining goblins and engaged them as Tetherys moved away.

Andrew was still concerned his intervening would appear he was trying to help Kalin escape, so instead he moved closer to Kalin to deliver a killing blow if the large man moved any closer. Having new found confidence with the arrival of Sloan and his battle cry, a guard moved closer to Hagaard to engage him in combat only to be struck down with his large crude maul.

Errol seeing there was an assassin behind him and on the roof of a building, decided to engage him. Although the sun was in his eyes and the assassin was crouched behind a pillar on top of the building, Errol took two shots at the assassin. Neither found their mark, but they got the attention of the assassin. One of his return arrows found their mark in the chest of Errol. Badly wounded, Errol sought better cover from the assassin and moved to the base of the building and out from the open courtyard.

Roan feeling vulnerable in the courtyard saw the flaming goblins and now a new pack of goblins focusing their hatred on a stray dog and not the commoners. Roan found the familiar face of Sloan, a local con man Roan was familiar with. Although Sloan was closer to the guards and the now apparent large man by the gallows, Roan ran towards Sloan seeking guidance.

Jakob moved away from the flaming goblins and with the crowd until he saw the pack of goblins torturing and slaying a stray dog out of the corner of his eye. One of the goblins carrying a torch ran towards Jakob, and he threw a dagger with deadly accuracy. The blade sunk into the skull of the creature and took him off his feet in mid-run.

Andrew felt like he could help defend from the large man, but was still unsure if the guards would care if he intervened. Finally asking permission, Sergeant Woodhall emphatically said, “Yes, kill the beast if you can!” Andrew drew his sword and moved to engage the towering man.

Sloan saw this large man, and knew he nor the guards around him could stop this giant from taking Kalin to safety. He urged the executioners to quickly get him on top of the gallows and proceed with the execution. As he glanced up the stairs, an arrow found the skull of the executioner and he dropped to the platform lifeless.

Tetherys moved towards the gallows as the guards finished the first band of goblins, he was either unsure if he could save the stray dog in time or afraid he could not stand against another goblin pack. Jakob also moved towards the gallows as the stray dog tried to get away from its attackers. The goblins stabbed it repeatedly impeding its ability to get away.
Whether it was inspiring to see the guards standing against the large man or to just calm his own heart, Roan began to sing the “March of the Winter Bear,” a famous northern song used to inspire and give soldiers courage. It seemed to work on both Sloan and Andrew. Each struck at the large and each landed a particularly painful blows, but the barbarian did not seem to notice.

The guards began pushing Kalin up the stairs to finish the execution. Rapidly they tried to put the noose around his neck. Kalin’s arm tattoos began to move just slightly and the hairs on the necks of those around him rose. Another arrow stuck into a guard and killed him. Errol knew he must do something, so ripped the arrow from his chest and charged back into the courtyard and fired two more arrows at the assassin. Tetherys saw this and knew this man to be a friend. He had learned a spell in his studies that would aid wounded soldiers, and assisted Errol with his grievous wound. Miraculously the wound was heal, but Errol’s arrows went wide and missed their target.

Andrew’s armor could not withstand the crushing attack of Hagaard’s maul. Needing to move quickly Hagaard struck Andrew and then moved towards Kalin to try and rescue him, only to be stopped on the stairs by Sloan. Roan kept singing the song, even though he felt it was not going to help. Jakob threw a dagger at the barbarian and struck him in his right thigh, Tehterys struck him with magic missile and Andrew healed himself.

Sloan feeling courageous moved towards the blood mage and stuck his dagger into his side to quickly end this escape attempt. As the blood hissed around the wound and what seems like steam burned Sloan’s hand, Sergeant Woodhall slipped the rope over Kalin’s neck and released the platform. Sloan would later swear he saw the mage smile as the dagger sunk into his ribs. Sloan turned to the barbarian and cried out, “You will now die like him!” pointing at the blood mage hanging below the platform.

Hagaard stood there in disbelief. It was obvious he never thought Kalin would die today. Uncharacteristically Hagaard took one last look at Sloan and ran westward out of the courtyard. Andrew attempted to strike him as he ran by, but missed.

As the immediate threat seemed to have dissipate and the city guards killed or scared away the last of the goblins, Andrew cast a holy burning light on the hanging corpse, unsure if the mage had done some evil magic to protect himself. Woodhall and the remaining guards made their way under the platform to also ensure Kalin’s death was complete.

Tetherys moved around the courtyard to see if there were any people he could help, that were not already dead. Jakob and Roan also appeared to be helping the dead or dying, but in fact were relieving them of their valuables as they would not need them where they were going. Errol scanned the courtyard and the rooftops for the barbarian, assassin or any other assailants.

“By the curse of Asmodeus!” Sergeant Woodhall exclaimed. “This is not the man we hanged. This is not Kalin.” Woodhall and his guards quickly took the body down. Sloan looked at the hanged man, and although he looked the same size, hair color and complexion, he lacked the green eyes Kalin had and his mouth was not sewn shut. Woodhall realized Sloan and Andrew were nearby and cursed. “Do not say a word of this to anyone. It would be mass chaos if they knew Kalin was still out there. I implore you.” Sloan saw the worry in his eye. Then seeing Slaon was a man of opportunity, he tried another approach. “You and your friends should see Chancellor Allister. He is bound to reward you all for helping us out. He may also have other things he needs men of your talents for.”

Experience Points:
Defeat the 1st wave of Goblins – 100XP (Completed)
Defeat the 2nd wave of Goblins (fire) – 100XP (10% Completed)
Defeat the 3rd wave of Goblins (dog attackers) – 100XP
Save the stray dog – 50XP
Kill Hagaard – 650XP (70% completed)
Kill the unknown Assassin – 650XP
Defend the Execution – 300XP

Total XP = 865 / 6 players = 144 XP

Loot:

Before the guard and families got close enough Jakob was able to scavenge 13 gp and 17 cp from the victims of the goblin attacks and up to 15 crude bladed weapons (daggers, small spears, etc) that do 1d3-1 dmage. Roan was aple to “find” 7 gp, 7 ep and 47 ep.

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Session Two
Your Level 2!

After the events of the morning, the ragtag group was excited to receive their reward that was promised by Sergeant Woodhall. They made their way to Constable Allistar’s hall in the Noble’s Quarters. The Constable’s hall was less of a hall and more of a make shift servant’s house turned into a hall. The actual hall had been commandeered by the Imperial Captain when the Empire occupied Cinder City. The Constable has made the house work, but things are more cramped than he would like. The front room acts as a waiting room for district pages, and his own pages must filter all the requests coming into the house.

As the group arrived at the house, they could see it was already full of pages from other districts. Most page’s district could be determined by their attire. The guildsman page wore a smock, and had dirty hands, while the dock’s page wore loose fitting clothes and smelled heavily of fish and sweat. The Constable was not immediately visible, but when approached the Constable’s receptionist at the table, ushered the party into a back room where they could speak with the Constable privately.

The back room was nothing more than a grand dining room turned into a meeting room. There was a large table in the center and a few candles around the room to give it light. The windows have been boarded up to give privacy and no other light is present in the room. There was only one other door in the back of the room.

Feeling a sense of prison and confinement Jakob and Roan immediately kept their back to the wall but stayed near the door in case they needed to flee. Roan for the first time noticed Sloan was not there. He had started towards the Constable’s hall, but had disappeared in the crowd as they walked over the great bridge. Roan began to feel more uncomfortable as he waited. Looking for something to occupy his mind he began looking for something to steal.

Tetherys, Errol and Andrew all took seats at the table. A short time later a man dressed in fine clothes entered the room from the other door. He was accompanied by a small woman with black hair and poor clothes. Also coming in behind him and closing the door was an imposing figure in chain mail armor. He had an air of nobility around him, but lacked the refinements of retainers and expensive armor. They all took a seat at the table. The man in the fine clothes introduced himself as Constable Allistar and the young woman as Zhun. The large man in chain mail introduced himself as Sir Chados Longspur of the House Longspur. He flashed a signet ring to prove his statement, and Jakob took notice of the ring and began to evaluate its worth in the Underbridge.

Allister began speaking after introductions, “I appreciate you all coming up here. I would like to thank you in the assistance of the events this morning. If it weren’t for you, Kalin would still be alive.”

Andrew interrupted, “Actually we believe he still is alive.” The rest of the people at the table were shocked. Andrew and Sloan were the only two close enough to hear the sergeant when he said the hanged man was not Kalin. He explained to the table that the man pulled down from the gallows did not have his mouth sewn shut like Kalin did.

“This is disturbing news…” Allister said as he noticed everyone else at the table was equally shocked. “Finding Kalin is of the utmost importance. His group, the Black Hand have been causing havoc in the area for years and it is time they are brought to justice. How much do you all know about the Black Hand?” As he looked around he saw blank stares.

“The Black Hand is a group of five adventurers. No one knows where they hail from. They do not seem to have any tendency towards the Empire or against it. Instead they benefit from the chaos brought by the uprising. What we know is there is Kalin an infamous blood mage, Hagaard the strong the large man many of you met in the courtyard this morning, Malisse an elven archer and assassin, Garin Swansong an gnome thief of renown, and a fifth mystery man or woman.” Seeing the confusion he continued, “The last person has been reported by many people who have been attacked by the Black Hand, or even tortured. All survivors remember seeing or talking to this mysterious fifth member, but cannot remember their face, height, build or any distinguishing features.”

Jakob was half listening to the conversation at the table and was still waiting for his reward, but when he heard the name Garin Swansong, his attention shifted. He knew who Garin was, and knew what he was in Cinder City. “What was the reward exactly? Woodhall mentioned a reward.”

Stunned by the abruptness, the Constable set a small bag of gold on the table. “For your heroics this morning we were prepared to reward you all with 20 gold each. That is 120 gold coins, even though you seem to have lost someone.” Sensing that matter closed, he continued, “I have many issues throughout the city that could use the skills of the people in this room. Finding Kalin and his despicable group has the highest priority, but there has been reports of a large pack of wolves attacking people on the Kings Road north of here, worse reports of orc raids to the Thar to the east of us and a Gargoyle in the guildsman district.”

As the group discussed their plans to track the barbarian from this morning and try to gather more information about the Black Hand, the door to the entrance room burst open and old man enters the room, leaning heavily on a gold-tipped ivory cane with a handle shaped like a lion’s head. Most of the people in the room recognize him as Woarsten Nanther a local noble from a highly respected house. He has a slight disheveled appearance of a man who hasn’t slept in days. He fixes his gaze upon each of you, and says “I wish to pay 1000 gold pieces to find my son Oreal. While he is a grown man and I don’t follow his activities on a daily basis, he hasn’t been seen for five days and I have begun to fear the worse.”

Chandos introduced himself as Sir Chados Longspur of the House Longspur to Woarsten and gave his seat to the old man. After taking a seat he continued, “I have exhausted all prudent avenues of investigation, but with the increased orc raiding to the North and to the East and the heightened tension caused by the missing sons, I am afraid I have little to show for it. I must warn you there are many enemies or House Nanther both within the city and outside its walls. Some no doubt wish to take advantage of this distraction and undermine my authority. Such is the politics of this wretched city.

“Please bring me my son, forcibly if need be, but safely. If you find the other scions, please return them as well, I am sure the other houses would blame house Nanther if there were any harm inflicted upon them. Just to be clear though I am paying 1000 gold coins to the group for Oreal’s safe return.”

With that he clarified some of the politics in the Nobles Quarters and listed the houses. In the council there are representatives of the three great houses, Nanther, Leygorn and Bruil. There are also rotating Guild Masters currently from the Armorers’ Gild, the Weavers’ Guild and the Smiths’ Guild as well as the elected Magistrate. He explained the other missing youths are Argens Bruil, Kalman Leygorn from the high houses and Eliant Marsk and Kara Calaudra from lesser noble houses.

During this conversation another page entered the room and handed a parchment to Constable Allistar. After reading the parchment his face grew worried and he seemed to not want to be in the room anymore. Nanther excused himself and told the heroes if there was anything else he could do to aid in the investigation, they could find him in his home. Tetherys asked to speak candidly with Nanther. He exclaimed that although the money was generous, he would ask a favor instead of his share of the reward. There was an Imperial guard who had taken residence in his home with his mother and him. This soldier has been verbally abusive and has made Tetherys’ home life miserable. He asked if Nanther could use his influence to relocate the man. Lord Nanther expressed that when his son was returned he would give the matter his full attention.

Constable Allistar was now obviously interested in not staying with the group in the room. He stood up and said, “I must be going, but if you find the Black Hand I will offer a 100 gold reward for the killing of Kalin and 50 for each of his companions.” He then excused himself without any more conversation.

After a brief deliberation it was decided that Tetherys would join the two new companions to talk with the noble houses and see if they can find out more about the scions’ disappearance. The remainder of the party will travel back to the courtyard and see if they can talk to the guards or track where Hagaard would have gone.

Chandos, Zhun and Tetherys went to House Calaudra first. They were met at the door by a servant and led into a grand entry which doubled as a library. Tetherys quickly recognized many of the books and equipment and knew this house was not only learned but that they had more than a few magic-users in their lineage. When Andros Calaudra entered the room, the half-elf was immediately introduced to Sir Chandros Longspur of House Longspur and the signet ring to prove it. Not impressed with some lesser house not of his circles, Andros asked, “What is I can do for you three?” His gazed seemed to lock on Tetherys seeing he was a practitioner of the arcane arts. He confirmed his daughter Kara consistently was with Eliant Marsk and Oreal Nanther, but that her infatuation was with Eliant and not Oreal. He also confirmed that Kara had recently taken out a small sum of coin to purchase horses, supplies and other expenses. He was not however worried for her safety. He said all the scions fancied themselves an adventuring party and that they were all skilled in their areas of expertise. Kara being a powerful mage herself. He also mentioned if Kara were in danger he would know through her familiar a raven. It would have returned to speak of her death.

Andrew, Errol, Roan and Jakob went down to the courtyard for the second time today and found the scene very different from this morning. Many workers were dismantling the gallows and cleaning up the areas were many people died. The courtyard had transformed itself into the market it usually was during any usual day. Many vendors stood by their carts and called out to passersby with their wares. Smells of [perfumes mixed with smoke and food as large crowds gathered in different areas.

Jakob found some ‘rats,’ orphans who he reconized from the streets of Underbridge. They were here in the West Market looking for some purses to lighten. Jakob pulled aside a couple and asked for them to get some information. Pressing a gold piece into each of their hands, he asked if they would find out what they could about Garin and the Grey Blades. Jakob knew Garin Swansong had risen to the rank of guild leader of the Grey Blades in the past two years and was curious if the Grey Blades were making a move in the city.

Andrew and Errol found a guardsman, Erik Forgehand that was working that morning and asked what had he heard or seen concerning Hagaard. Erik had not been one of the guards in persuit that morning, he instead was culling the goblins that attack north of the courtyard. He had heard a team of guards chased him to the west, but they lost him. Errol was able to pick up the trail easily once he knew where to look. He tracked the fugitive to a large storm drain already covered in local homeowners’ waste water. Errol knew that Jakob’s and Roan’s type used the sewers all the time to get around the city without being seen. They both agreed that on the west sewers were too confusing and messy to be used like that.
Sewers in the east were whole cities within themselves, but west of the river they were often flooded and crawling with unsavory creatures.

Chandos, Zhun and Tetherys decided to try House Marsk next. Neither House Calaudra nor Marsk had a seat in the Council of Iron, but Peiter Marsk was the elected magistrate and his son was one of the missing. Their reception at House Marsk was starkly different than House Calaudra. No servant greeted them at the door, but instead Peiter himself let them in. He seemed distracted but was listening when Sir Chandos Longspur of House Longspur introduced himself and showed him the ring as proof. He knew Eliant was hanging around with Oreal and Kara as well as Argens Bruil and Kalman Leygorn. Peiter also did not seem concerned and told them his son was training a great deal at the Temple of Ioun and the College of the Open Eye. He had recently picked up a new suit of masterwork full plate armor. This sounded familiar to Tetherys as he had spent a great deal of time at the college recently as well. He remembered someone just had a big ceremony as he was ordained a priest of Ioun. It could have been Eliant.

Roan thought it would be a good idea to venture into the Underbridge and see if he could get some more information on the Grey Blades. Jakob went with him for back-up, but Andrew and Errol knew it was no place for them, and opted to stay back and meet up with the two in the Nobles Quarters after supper. Andrew and Errol spent their dinner at The Trusty Companion and hashed out old combat stories. Roan and Jakob had a drink at The Gutter Rat and Roan began asking about recruitment to the Grey Blades. He found himself with a low life that looked like the type to recruit into these guilds. Roan convinced him it would be in his best interest if he could get him into the Grey Blades, but the guy seemed resistant. Roan told him if he could get him into the Grey Blades he could find him at The Dwarf’s Wart or The Naughty Wench almost every night performing.

After dinner Andrew, Errol, Jakob and Roan met up with Tetherys, Chandos and Zhun as they were on their way to House Bruil. This was one of the High Houses and their dwelling was larger than two blocks. As they approached the door, they were met with a large man with his shirt open and unceremoniously asked, “What do you want?”

Without missing a step, Chandos introduced himself as Sir Chandos Longspur or House Longspur and showed the ring as proof. “Your son has been missing, has he not?” Chandos asked once they were in the house.

“My bastard grandson is missing, but it is my worthless son Halmuth that has done nothing about it!”

“Has your grandson been associating himself with some of the scions of the other houses?” Chandros asked.

“Yes, they think they are a bunch of adventurers, but I really think they are just bored. It is one of the disadvantages of being born so privileged.” Having spent most of their life not knowing where their next food or coin would come fr0m Jakob and Roan distasted the rich and their tone, especially when they get ‘bored.’ For that comment, Roan began looking for something to take, and Jakob shook his head in protest.

“What about recently,” Errol asked, “Has your grandson been gone more or been ‘bored’?”
“I don’t know,” he responded, “You will need to speak with his chambermaids.” At tht last statement Jakob was irritated with this upper class, and turned his attention away from Roan. Roan took that to mean Jakob was not against him stealing something. Although it appeared he was fumbling with a vase to keep it from falling, which was a feint to mask the disappearance of a small statuette.

When the chambermaids made it down to the greeting hall, it was asked again if Argens spent a lot of time adventuring. Argen’s elderly chambermaid revealed that at least once a month he would return home for multiple days at a time and his clothes were torn and had odd stains and sometimes blood. She assumed these were just youthful indiscretions. Feeling like they had gotten all the information they could, Vanth Bruil urged them out of his house. He told them if they wanted more information they could go see his worthless son, who was the Noble Quarter’s Captain of the Guard.

As soon as the door shut behind them Jakob noticed a shadowy figure standing in the rain just out of the low glow of the street lamps. As the party decided what they were going to do next, the shadowy figure approached and said, “So you’re the ones Lord Nanther hired, eh? The old man must be running low on funds.”

It was quickly apparent that the man was not alone. Another stood down a dark alley closest to Jakob, another stepped next to the one who spoke and two more seemed to come up behind the party. The first to react was Jakob. A dagger flashed in the street lamp’s light as it flew down the alley and struck the ruffian in the shoulder. Sir Chandos noticed one of the ruffians coming out of an alley behind the group and cried out, “I am Sir Chandos Longspur and you and your companions have made a grievous error.” He moved to engage the ruffian and swung his sword in an arc in front of him, but the ruffian was too quick and dodged out of the way of his deadly blade.

Rowthar, the ruffian who spoke the challenge to the party, moved forward to attack Andrew and smacked him hard with his club, but it did little against his chain mail. The other ruffian next to him, Aleg also moved up to attack Andrew, but his club glanced off of Andrew’s shoulder harmlessly. Tayne the ruffian that had one of Jakob’s dagger’s in his shoulder charged forward at Jakob, but his club only struck the cobbled street where Jakob use to be. Halagor, Aleg’s younger brother swung his club at Sir Chandos, but it vibrated off of his shield and jarred the poor ruffian. Nethan moved up and faced off against Roan. Swinging his club at the head of the bard, he caught him in the chin and knocked him out. Roan’s limp body fell to the ground at the steps of House Bruil.

Andrew sung his silvered long sword at Rowthar, but he blocked the strike with his wooden shield. He sidestepped to engage both Rowthar and Aleg. Zuhn had been silent all day since the party first met her in the Chancler’s room, but now she sprang into action. She ran towards the wall behind the wizard Tetherys and at first looked as though she was attacking the unsuspecting mage. Instead she sprang off his body and with an acrobatic grace flew at Rowthar and caught him in the chest and face with both her feet. His face exploded with blood as his nose broke. Tetherys feeling vulnerable remembered his lessons and first cast False Life on himself to make himself more resistant to attacks. Errol equipped his bow and fired an arrow at Rowthar, but missed just left of him and it ricocheted off the outside wall of House Bruil.

Jakob drew his rapier and faced off against Tayne, and made an exaggerated lunge to the left and Tayne unwittingly raised his shield to block the attack. Jakob knew this and the attack was not there, instead his rapier slipped under his defenses, through the stitching of his studded leather armor and into his lungs. Tayne gasped for air and couched up a little blood as he drop to the alley, lifeless. Chandros could tell he had the upper hand when it came to equipment and skill in battle. He chose to bash Halagor with his shield, but found Halagor was stronger than he appeared and resisted the attack to knock him down.

Both Rowthar and Aleg attempted to attack Andrew, but neither seemed to be able to damage him through his armor. Halagor was encouraged by his ability to resist Chandros’ attack and attacked him with zeal. This time his club caught the knight on the chin.

Andrew gripped his long sword with both hands and recklessly leapt into air and brought his silvered blade down on Aleg. The deadly blade caught the ruffian between his head and left shoulder, but sliced through his armor and body down to the middle of his chest. Zune struck Rowthar in the stomach but failed to connect with her second strike which would have taken him out. Tetherys saw the bard was down on the ground and the ruffian Nethan standing over him. Seeing the fatal blow by Andrew, he felt invincible himself and he moved next to Roan and cast a chant he had learned in the college to save a dying friend. Roan woke up and realized he was still in danger, so he crawled away. Errol turned his attention to Nethan who was now facing the mage, and fired another arrow. This one too missed.

Jakob now threw a dagger at Rowthar and struck him in his leg. Rowthar knew things were looking dire, but he knew if he tried to flee Andrew and Zuhn would possible kill him before he was more than two steps away. He attacked Zuhn, but she was faster than he thought and he swung at nothing but air. Chandros grew tired of this standoff with this obvious low life scum. Chandros led with the shield and Halagor steeled himself for another shield bash, but it never came. Instead Chandros slid his sword under the ruffian’s wooden shield and into his ribcage.

Tetherys cast sleep towards Rowthar and knocked him out with ease. Nethan swung his club at the mage and caught him in the ribs. Andrew, Zuhn and Chandros all moved to engage Nethan. Seeing he was outnumbered and all of his friends were defeated, Nethan decided to surrender and hope the heroes take mercy on him.

“Why did you attack us?” Chandros immediately started the interrogation.

“We were hired to.”

“Hired by whom?” Chadros asked. Roan now seeing the fight was over loaded his crossbow and fired a bolt into the stomach of Nethan. That was payback for attacking him earlier.

Nethan seemed hesitant to tell them. Either he thought they were going to kill him anyway or someone was powerful enough to keep him from talking. Errol looked around for something that would make him talk. He grabbed the ruffian Jakob had already killed. He publicly threw him against the wall, but made sure Nethan could not see he was already dead. “You are not going to tell us, then I guess we don’t need to keep any of you alive!” He simultaneously pressed on his chest while slitting his dead throat. This caused the reaction he wanted. Blood sprayed from the dead man’s neck. It was so believable, Sir Chandos was fooled and was appalled. But the ruffian immediately began talking.

“House Leygorn! It was house Leygorn.”

“Who at the house did you speak with?” Andrew asked.

“I don’t know some servant. Rowthar did all the talking.” He looked at his fallen comrade and his eyes began to well up. “Rowthar took care of it all.” His voice trailed away at the end.

“Before we turn you over to the authorities,” Chandos said, “were you hired to kill us?”
“No. Just beat you. Just make an example.”

Tetherys found a city guard and told them what had happened. They took the two survivors Nethan and Rowthar into custody. After the long day the group decided to go back to their homes. Exhausted they all needed some rest and determined they would meet the next day.

Experience Points:
Defeat the street ruffians– 700XP (Completed)
Fudge points to get to level 2 – 42XP (Completed)
Total XP = 742 / 7 players = 106 XP
Running total XP = 250 XP

Loot:
Reward for stopping the escape, 120 gp.
Jakob was able to scavenge 16 gp from the ruffians. Roan was able to “find” 9 gp. The last ruffian had 4gp which I think was taken before him and the other survivor was turned over to the authorities.
Two suits of studded leather, wood shield and club was the other loot available.

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Session 3 & 4
Highlights and rewards

Session 3 began outside the walls of Cinder City. Travelling east you encountered a small band of Mountain Orcs. The following night you were attacked by a patrol of Orcs while most of you were sleeping. Then later the next day you came to a site of a previous battle. After defeating the Owlbear scavenging for meat, you found the body of Doren Crownshield, the veteran fighter that guided the missing scions. After giving Doren a proper burial you came up to an advanced camp of Orcs with a Dire Boar. After defeating these Boar Orcs you came over the ridge late in the day and found the Gray Citadel.

XP 900 each
three sets of masterwork studded leather (+1)
two bottles of potion of healing
Boar amulet of natural armor +1

I believe this makes you level 3. Use the new rules to advance your character to level 3. I can share snippets or as mentioned before we can get together just before the session and modify your character.

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Session 5

Session 5 began with the party gathering outside the Gray Citadel. This battered fortress was enshrouded by fog. To the northeast of the structure hundreds of orcs could be heard. The party began by sneaking into the fortress through a destroyed portion of the outer wall.

When they entered the courtyard they were shocked to see a Wryvern sleeping among rubble. Wishing to take out the guards that patrolled the walls, most of our heroes quietly moved up to the top and quickly began dispatching of the guards quietly. This worked well until a noise alerted some guards and an alarm was raised.

Mutt had made his way into a tavern disguised as an orc he had seen on patrol. He began using his talents as an entertainer to get his audience worked up into a frenzy. When he saw the first brawl begin to break out he quickly left the tavern for the ramparts above.

By this time the alarm had been raised and Mutt’s “friends” were scattered throughout the fortress fighting multiple groups of orcs. Using his bluffing skills and still disguised as an orc he spurred another into battle towards his “friends”, but shot him in the back as he charged into battle.

The alarm that was raised had awoken the Wryvern and it was flying around the courtyard attacking any non-orc being it could see. Most of the heroes sought shelter and Mutt while in shelter began speaking to the beast and trying to calm it.

The Wryvern looked confused. It knew this thing that spoke to him and seemed to respect him was an orc, but it had never been treated kindly by any orc. It swooped in closer to see if it was a trap, but the orc continued to speak calmly. No commands, no lashings, no curses. Something was different about this orc, but the Wryvern could not figure out what it was. It would wait and see what this orc creature did next.

The last session was a big one and there was no time to scavenge or pillage anything. All orcs killed on the wall had short bows and hand axes. The orcs in the tavern had a mix match of weapons, all common.

XP = 460 each

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Session 6

Roan in a moment of enlightenment could tell the Wryvern had been abused and his treatment of the beast was the first kindness it had experienced. Feeling sorry for the creature, he began releasing the straps of the saddle to let it free. As he was doing this, a large Orc emerged from the dining hall and began berating the Wryvern. Startled and feeling scared, the Wryvern flew away.

Following behind the large orc, more of his soldiers spilled into the courtyard. As the heroes dispersed, they quickly dispatched most of the orc opponents in the courtyard. Exhausted and bloddied from battle the heroes defeated another 10 orc soldiers, 2 Mountain orc Barbarians, A large Ogre and what seemed to be an orc chief. Inspecting the dining hall, Jacob acquired a large red ruby from a statue of Gruumsh. The heroes also found stairs to the upper rooms and pilfered the last of the orc treasure.

After investigating the back rooms, they found a secret door leading to the underground levels of the Grey Citadel.

XP = 350 per character

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Session 7

After discovering the secret door to the subterranean levels of the keep, the adventurers pressed forward. Since most of the party lacked any low-light or darkvision, most of them were hampered by the lack of light below the surface. Only Roan and Andrew had the sight to see more than 10 feet in front of them.

Moving quickly and as quietly as they could muster, the party advanced into the first room. This large room had four guards in it. Two guards were watching the stairs leading to the upstairs rooms of the keep, while two more guarded stairs going down. The room was consumed by the sound of rushing water echoing from a large hole in room’s floor.

After quickly dispatching the guards, most of the party was ready to press on deeper, but Andrew and Jakob wanted to investigate the sarcophagi in the adjoining room. Most held trinkets and baubles from Orcish history, but the western most tomb held something more sinister. A black ooze had devoured all inside of the sarcophagus, and was released by the two curious party members. After moving away, Jakob sacrificed a dagger as it was thrown towards the sentient ooze and consumed. After many attacks by the party, Errol finished the creature with a single arrow strike.

Moving lower into the dungeon, the sound of rushing water grew larger as they discovered the source. Two underground streams had broken through some weak points of the cavern walls and was now rushing to the center of the room and down a large hole deeper underground. Despite his elven eyes, Andrew could not see the bottom of this makeshift waterfall. More burials were on this floor, but there seemed to be no stairs leading down. For the longest time it seemed the only way down deeper would be to risk jumping down the waterfall and hoping for a large pool down below.

Roan found a secret door behind one of the statues in the room and the party moved lower into keep’s underground structure. Roan looked through the door at the bottom of the stairs and he could see four more Orc and a large canine on this third floor below the keep. He decided it would be best for him to don the disguise of an Orc again and try to gain more information. As he approached the guards, the canine lifted its head at the approaching Half-Elf disguised as an Orc, but fell back into a slumber, uninterested. The sound of rushing water still echoed from the hole in the floor as the water cascaded from the floor above, but the room also had an echo of a smithy and many hammers hitting an anvil. The source of the sound seemed to be emanating from the pair of double doors to the east.

The guards told Roan about the ritual that was to begin in an hour. He was told if he wished to see it, he should hurry below, gesturing to the stairs to the south. They were unfortunately forced to stay here. Not wanting to be split from his group still hiding in the hidden staircase, he convinced them he needed to run back upstairs for more ale, and offered to bring them some since they were going to miss the ritual. Completely taken by the ruse, they agreed, but told him to hurry.

Quickly Roan climbed the stairs and headed back up to the tavern where he had first put on the Orc mask and sung the patrons into a frenzy. A frenzy that ended the lives of most of the tavern patrons. He came back down with five tankards of ale and a slab of raw meat for the canine. Before he emerged into the room, Jakob applied poisons to four of the ale tankards and the meat.

With the trap set, Roan distributed the tainted food and drink and drank his own unaltered ale. Quickly three of the orcs began to feel a great deal of pain as the poison ripped through their insides, but the poison on the meat and the fourth orc’s drink seemed to not affect them. Seeing this as an opportunity, the party emerged from their hiding and quickly dispatched the poisoned guards and the canine.

The party quickly checked the doors to the west, which held another tomb and sarcophagi. Jakob also checked the doors to the north which appeared to also be a tomb, but the ceiling had collapsed many years ago and left this room impassable. Finally the doors to the east did indeed guard a large room with multiple forges. A large Orog barked orders to more than six pair of orcs each working a different forge and anvil. Knowing they were running out of time, and not wanting to engage such a large force, the party closed the doors and moved to descend to the fourth level below.

Finally reaching what was hopefully the final floor, they discovered the bottom of the waterfall and saw it empty into a large pool of water which then seemed to flow under the rock to the east of the stairs. Jakob moved into the room and used the loud noise form the waterfall to mask his sound and stayed close to wall to keep his whereabouts a secret. Roan saw two orcs guarding the west doors and still masked as an Orc, pretended that Zhun was a prisoner and moved towards the door to get a closer look. The rest of the party moved into the room, thankful for the waterfall’s noise to mask their own.

The fight broke out quickly and the orcs seemed tougher and more organized than previous encounters. Two more joined into the fray hoping to to surprise the party. Despite the orc’s aptitude, they were no match for the group, and when it seemed they would all fall, one orc tried to run for the open doors to the north, but was cut down by Zhun and Jakob.

Total XP = 1400/6 = 234

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