A Series of Fortunate Events
August 1, 2012
Zuzu – Half-Troll Ranger
Travok – Dwarf Fighter
James – Half-Elf Fighter
Swiftius – Half-Elf Wizard
Techlis – Elf Wizard
Kiba – Half-Elf Druid
Vol’rak – Orc Barbarian
Chapter 1 – New Comrades and Trust That Must Be Earned
Badly injured, the adventurers searched the corpse of the cloaked man to find any possible clues to his identity and the woman he spoke of. Around his neck they found a pendant that was much different from those of the cultists. The pendant was bronze, the image of a dagger resting on a leaf crafted upon it’s surface. Finding nothing else of importance, they decided it best to leave the confines of the mausoleum and return to the inn to treat their wounds. As they made it back to Zarl, Kravesh parted ways heading back toward The Grim Hand. After reaching the inn, everyone took the time to tend to their wounds before retiring for the day. After several jobs during the night, their internal clocks were now set to this particular schedule. The day passes and the sun begins to set, as our adventurers stir. One after the other, they make their way down into the inn to enjoy some food before venturing out to finish the job given to them by the captain of the militia. Squee’s wounds from the night before had proven to be too great and the goblin was unable to rise to action for fear of opening them up again. Sara was also missing yet again, but the reasoning behind that would soon make itself known as the group was approached by four individuals, two of whom they had seen around the tavern before. First was the two men that Travok, James, and Zuzu had noticed before. They introduced themselves as Kiba and Vol’rak, both men searching for work in the town of Zarl. They had also been employed by the captain of the militia and they were assigned to help out from this point on. The other two men, however, certainly did not look like adventurers down on their luck. They were dressed in very stylish robes. They introduced themselves as Swiftius and Techlis, members of Quilo’s Apothecary Club. They had heard about what was going on in the town and Quilo Lerope asked them to come along and help in whatever way was needed. They explained that Quilo and Sara had left in search of more information on this mysterious cult. Travok had never been good around those of Elven descent, but he had learned to trust few of the lineage, such as James. He wasn’t quite sure what to think about these strangers, he didn’t know if they were telling the truth, if they were worthy of his trust. James put his companion at ease, assuring him that he had a good feeling about these men, and that they seemed quite trustworthy. With plenty of reassurance from James, Travok decided that it was time for the group to head to the barracks and get some information on where they would need to search the cult out next.
Chapter 2 – Things Are Not Quite What They Seem
Arriving at the barracks, the group filed in to find the place in a huge uproar. Members of the militia were frantically running around the barracks collecting gear, weapons, armor, and even documents. As the captain ran by, Travok stopped him and questioned him as to what was going on. The captain hesitated before blurting out, “The cult….yeah the cult…it’s the cult..they’ve kidnapped another girl. Witnesses have seen them heading toward the docks with her!” Travok tried to give the pendants they had collected from the cultists to the captain, but he rushed past the group, clearly not interested in the pendants at this particular moment. Swiftius and Techlis suggested heading toward the docks, and the rest of the group agreed. Treading a ways down the main road of the merchant district, Kiba began to think it odd that the streets were deserted at this time of night. Night had only just fell on the city of Zarl, and the bustling merchant district seemed like a ghost town. Even after looking around a bit, he noticed none of the militia that guarded the streets at night. Continuing their walk, it wasn’t long before they noticed a figure completely clothed in black standing in the middle of the road. This wasn’t the first time they had encountered a dark figure, and as they drew their weapons, they began to approach him cautiously. Swiftius called out to the figure, asking for a name. There was no reply, and as the tension in the air began to thicken, Swiftius and James backed away a bit. After moments of silence, which probably felt like hours to the group, the figure spoke. A deep voice echoed through the air revealing the figure to be a man, “I suggest you come with me”. He then began walking toward them, their nervousness growing as he inched closer. As the man came within five feet or so, they were more than prepared to counterattack, however he kept walking and brushed past the uneasy adventurers. He headed back in the direction of the barracks, and Travok thought it wise to follow. Following a few steps behind, they watched the man enter the barracks. Screams erupted from the barracks as soon as the door closed, the adventurers closing the distance as the horrifying sound reached their ears. Bursting through the barracks door, one after the other, the walls of the barracks were coated in blood and the bodies of the militia lay scattered across the floor. Swiftius and Techlis checked for survivors as Travok and Zuzu ran into the captain’s room. They were just in time to see the cloaked man rip a pendant from around the neck of the no longer breathing captain. Zuzu knocked an arrow, propelling it from his bow toward the cloaked man. The arrow was skillfully evaded, and Travok charged him, weapon drawn. Rolling away from Travok’s attack, the cloaked man clutched the pendant in his hand before tossing it to Kiba, who had just entered the room. Looking at the pendant, Kiba yelled for everyone to stop, and he showed the item to Travok and Zuzu. The pendant was the same as the ones they had collected from the cultists. Zuzu explained to Kiba that the cloaked man had just retrieved the pendant from around the neck of the captain. Travok turned, he had many questions for the cloaked man, but the man was already gone. He had entered the barracks and killed every man inside of it in a matter of seconds. “Who was this man?”, Travok thought to himself. Travok, Zuzu, and Kiba returned to the central room of the barracks, showing the pendant to the rest of the adventurers. They checked the bodies of the other members of the militia and found the same pendants. Putting the evidence together, they realized they had been played for fools. The mausoleum was just a trap meant to kill them, and the story of the girl being taken to the docks was simply a distraction. The question was, why had they been in such a hurry to gather everything and leave? Did they know that this man would come for their lives? With many unanswered questions, the adventurers decided to search the barracks.
Chapter 3 – Too Big of a Burden to Bear
After some thorough searching of the barracks, Techlis found a bag that contained twelve small orbs. He detected a very powerful magical aura from the orbs. The orbs were crystalline and sand could be seen inside of them swirling around and sifting. Kiba also found a hidden compartment in the captain’s footlocker which contained the captain’s journal. Flipping to the last page of the journal, Travok read the newest entry aloud. “I thought this facade would hold longer, but we were foolish to think our actions secret under her gaze. We must leave tomorrow night, and even then I fear it may be too late to avoid her wrath”. While Travok was reading the journal, Techlis passed the orbs around to see if anyone had any knowledge of what they are. James held his arm out, the orb sitting upon his palm as he gazed inside of it. Vol’rak’s curiosity overcame him, and he swatted at the orb that sat upon James’ palm. The orb collided with the wall and broke, as the sand inside of it began to swirl in the room. The sand began to take form, and amazement turned to fear as a bear towered over the party. The bear roared, foam from it’s mouth flying outward and coating Vol’rak. This was a monstrous bear, standing on two legs it was just under twelve feet tall. The bear hardly fit inside of the barracks, and it was clearly quite angry. Swiftius, thinking quickly, tried to barrage the bear with magic to daze it. The magic had no effect other than making the bear angrier. He swiped his claws into the ground, coating them with James’ blood as the claws tore through chainmail. Zuzu let an arrow fly, it penetrating deep into the bear’s body. The bear roared again, swiping at Vol’rak but the monstrous swipe was dodged by the half-orc. Vol’rak arched his back, letting out a bestial roar of his own, as he drew his greatsword and charged the bear without fear. Travok readied his dwarven waraxe and followed the orc’s lead. Their weapons carved into the bear, as blood flew through the air. The bear seemed to just get progressively angrier, instead of weak. Techlis barraged the bear with missiles of magical energy, and Zuzu launched arrow after arrow into the hulking frame of the beast. Swiftius concealed James in a magical aura, but it wasn’t enough. The bear reared forward, it’s massive jaws closing around James’ shoulder as it’s teeth began to pierce through the metal armor. At the same moment, Vol’rak was caught by the swipe of the bear, it’s claws digging into Vol’rak’s side. Travok swung his axe with tremendous force upward and into the chest of the bear. The bear let it’s grip on James go as it roared with pain. James fell to the floor, losing a lot of blood and Kiba ran in, grabbing him and pulling him to safety. Vol’rak hacked into the bear in a rage, but the bear’s retaliation overwhelmed him. One swipe, followed by another. The bear’s claws dug into the half-orc’s body and the injuries were too much, as he fell to the floor. Kiba, seeing their only chance as being able to bring the bear down, retrieved his grappling hook from his bag and began to whirl it over his head. He launched the grappling hook through the air, it wrapping around one of the bear’s legs and the hooks digging into the flesh. Travok’s axe was still lodged into the bear’s chest and he ran to assist Kiba. They yanked on the rope but their combined strength was not enough to take the bear down. The barrage of arrows and magic from Zuzu and Techlis continued, and even Swiftius joined in to take down this unstoppable bear. The bear’s balance began to waiver, and seeing this Kiba took off with the rope, out the door and around the corner in the hall. He pulled on the rope with all of his might, using the bend in the hallway as leverage. Finally, the bear fell forward, it’s head making contact with the steel footlocker where the captain’s journal had been found. The force of the impact caved in the bear’s skull, and it’s lifeless body hit the ground with an enormous crash.
Chapter 4 – Travok’s Worst Fear
The bear’s body began to break apart in front of the adventurer’s eyes, leaving behind a large pile of green dust. Vol’rak and James were in pretty bad condition and Kiba rushed frantically back and forth bandaging the two and cleaning their wounds up. Techlis and Swiftius analyzed the dust, determining that immense magical power resonated from the strange dust. Techlis had heard stories of dust like this, and he thought that it might be imagination dust. Imagination dust is a rare magical dust that has been carried across planes of existence and through that journey, developed the power to create whatever it’s user imagines. Realizing how valuable the dust was, everyone gathered it into every container they could find. Travok put all of the containers of dust into his giant pack, with the exception of three vials that Vol’rak kept to himself. Kiba was concerned about James’ condition and everyone decided that they needed to return to the inn to decide how to approach the situation they have been dragged into. Outside of the barracks, Techlis decides to test the dust, to confirm it’s identity. He tosses the dust into the air, imagining a powerful staff capable of producing the most destructive of evocation magic. The dust begins to cling together and take form as it falls through the air. It takes the form of a staff enveloped with fire, and suddenly all of the fire bursts from the staff toward the barracks. Everyone is knocked backwards, as the giant fireball emitted from the staff blows the barracks to pieces. This was the least of their worries, because one of the orbs that was in Zuzu’s possession shattered as he collided with the ground from the explosion’s impact. The sand shifted through the air, just like the last orb, and began to take shape. A looming shadow fell over the adventurers who were still recovering from the explosion, and Travok looked up in time to see an enormous wave of water. His eyes widened, and the wave crashed down onto them. The wave swept through the city streets, picking up anything loose and carrying it with the current of the water. Finally finding the docks, the wave washed everything into the water, leaving the wounded adventurers to fight against the current. Travok thrashed about in the water, fighting helplessly. The dwarf was unable to swim, and he was slowly but inevitably drowning. Vol’rak was unconscious, as too much water had entered his system and he began to sink into the depths of the water. Kiba, Swiftius, and Techlis managed to fight their way out of the water and onto one of the piers in the dock, but the rest of the group was nowhere to be found. Techlis leaped into the water, searching around for anyone he could find. He spotted Zuzu, the half-troll doing a very poor job of swimming toward the pier. Techlis helped him and continued searching for the others. Swiftius spotted James, thrashing about in the water and tossed a rope out to him. James was with Vol’rak, and he tied the rope around the unconscious half-orc. With the help of Zuzu and Kiba, they managed to finally pull the half-orc in and get him onto the pier. The only person left to find was Travok, but they couldn’t see him. The poor dwarf flailed around in the water, drifting further and further away from the pier. He began to get rid of things, in the hopes that they wouldn’t weigh him down. One thing he let slip into the water was the giant pack full of the dust they had collected. Finally, Techlis spotted Travok in the water and after some scrambling, he made it back to the pier with the dwarf. Travok had been afraid of the water his entire life, and now he had been saved from a watery grave by an Elf of all people.
Chapter 5 – An Act of Vengeance
Everyone was busy recuperating from the series of events that had almost cost them their lives, everyone but Zuzu. Zuzu was fixated on something off in the distance. Swiftius called to him, “What is it Zuzu? What’s wrong”? There was no reply, and the rest of the party looked in the direction where Zuzu was staring. There were two men talking to a dwarf with an eye patch in a nearby alleyway. James and Travok immediately recognized the dwarf as the one who had killed their former leader, Gedric. Travok’s new sense of trust for these men became evident, as he explained to them the tragedy of the Band of the Wolf, and that the dwarf they were now looking at was the same man who was responsible for the death of Gedric Silyone. They weren’t in any condition to fight, but it didn’t matter. Zuzu had already broken into a sprint, thinking of nothing but his father and the debt that needed to be paid. They were spotted! The two men turned toward the group, and drew swords from their sheathes. The dwarf who stood behind them laughed, and spat in the direction of the group. He turned and walked down the alley, leaving the two armed men behind. Zuzu jumped over a barrel and darted past the men into the alleyway. Vol’rak and Travok charged in, Vol’rak’s greatsword slicing through one of the men’s legs with ease as Travok’s axe came down, hacking into his body. Nothing was left of the man but pieces of mangled flesh, and the other man dropped to his knees crying and begging for his life. James pulled his arm back, ready to carve into the man but Travok stopped him. “It is possible that this man is not responsible for Gedric’s death, and the information he can give us about the one-eyed dwarf could prove valuable,” Travok announced. As James began to tie the man up, Techlis and Kiba ran toward the alley where Zuzu and the dwarf had disappeared into, concerned for their comrade. Meanwhile, on a vacant city street that the alley had opened up into, Zuzu stopped. He was now looking directly at the back of the dwarf and fear had begun to overwhelm him. What was he doing? Gedric was the greatest warrior Zuzu had ever known, and this dwarf had killed him without a second thought. What could Zuzu do, if Gedric was helpless? The dwarf turned around, facing Zuzu and before Zuzu could react he dashed forward. Zuzu never even saw the weapon as it was drawn, nor did he feel the axe begin to slice through his chest until it was too late. He fell to the ground, his armor had been sliced straight through and the jagged edges of the dwarf’s axe were deep in his chest. The dwarf gripped the handle of the axe, ripping it from Zuzu’s body and a pool of blood formed underneath the half-troll immediately. Not even bothering to clean his axe, the dwarf continued walking, leaving Zuzu to die in the middle of the road. It wasn’t long before Techlis and Kiba arrived, to find Zuzu’s body, motionless in a giant puddle of blood. Kiba checked to see if Zuzu was alive, his pulse was very faint. Kiba had never seen wounds this bad, and his outlook on Zuzu’s chances of living were grim. Techlis screamed for help, for someone, for anyone. Several people appeared from their homes and watched, but none lifted a hand to help. Techlis convinced a boy to run back down the alley and deliver a message to his comrades, the message would be that Zuzu was hurt badly and to meet them back at the Rusty Dwarf Inn. After relieving Techlis of the promised payment, as well as his pouch of gold while he was concerned with Zuzu, the boy ran down the alley. Kiba used every method he could think of to stop the bleeding, but there were more issues. The weapon used to do this had sliced through the links of chainmail armor Zuzu was wearing and it had left those chainmail links inside of the gaping hole in the troll’s chest. The internal damage was severe, and even with immediate attention it was unlikely Zuzu would live. Techlis and Kiba lifted Zuzu, transporting him as carefully as they could manage back to the inn. The boy arrived at the docks, delivering the message to Swiftius, Travok, James, and Vol’rak. They headed back toward the inn, prisoner in tow. Arriving finally, James tried to run up to check on Zuzu, but Techlis stopped him. He explained what himself and Kiba had saw, and that Kiba would need no distractions. Kiba worked through the night, removing the chainmail links from Zuzu’s body and repairing every issue he could find with the wound. He had never tended to a more life threatening wound, and he had never been so intent on saving someone before. Everyone was concerned for Zuzu, and they sat around in the downstairs of the inn the entire night, waiting for word from Kiba that Zuzu would be okay. As sunlight poured through the windows of the inn, a creaking could be heard on the stairs. Swiftius and Travok were already awake, as soon as they saw Kiba coming down the stairs they questioned Zuzu’s condition. As Kiba reached the bottom of the stairs, he fell. It was a rough night, and he was exhausted in every form of the word. Swiftius caught him, pulling out a chair and sitting him down. “He’s going to live, but he’ll have a horrendous scar for the rest of his life,” Kiba mouthed as much of his energy was gone. Kiba passed out in the chair, falling asleep immediately. Travok smiled, “Aye, he’ll live. That damn troll is as stubborn as they come, he’d never do as death asks”. At that moment, there was a knock on the door and Swiftius went to see who would be knocking on the door at an inn. Much to his surprise, all he found was a large silver footlocker on the other side of the door.
And so, we leave our adventurers on a happy note for a change. Let them rejoice in this, for there is much ahead. What of the dwarf, the cult, this mysterious silver footlocker? Perhaps those questions will be answered the next time we dive into the world of Ghorcia.