Ghorcia - A World at War

A Series of Fortunate Events

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

Zarl militia barracks
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.

The Hard Price of a Night's Work

The Hard Price of a Night’s Work

July 27, 2012

Zuzu – Half-Troll Ranger
Kravesh – Half-Orc Ranger
Travok – Dwarven Fighter
Squee – Goblin Ninja
James – Half-Elf Fighter

Cemetery of zarl
Chapter 1 – A Bounty Unclaimed

We pick up where we left off, our adventurers covered in blood with the Rusty Dwarf Inn completely trashed. Upon searching the woman, Zuzu finds a wanted poster in her possession that they did not see on the board. The picture is of a dwarf who looks exactly like the man who killed Gedric. Zuzu quickly hides the poster in his pocket, hoping that it can be used to find his father’s murderer. The old barkeep who has been huddled behind the bar this entire time stricken with fear, decides to slowly make his way toward the door. As he inches closer, the door opens, two men who are clearly members of the town militia standing on the other side. Their attention immediately falls on the condition of the inn. Scattered tables and chairs, a terrified barkeep on his hands and knees, and the blood covered recruits who they were sent to pick up. Before they can even question the reasoning behind the blood and the body of the dwarven woman sprawled out across the floor, Travok quickly grasps the wanted poster, showing it to them and begins to explain the situation. Taken aback by the fact that a bunch of new recruits managed to take down a wanted criminal, the two militia relayed the message that they were to meet up at the barracks, but that the recruits needed to get themselves and the inn cleaned up first. After twenty minutes or so, the former mercenaries exited the inn and parted ways with Sara outside. It had just turned night, and the city streets were still quite busy. Travok and James caught numerous peculiar looks as they hauled the corpse of the dwarven woman toward the barracks. Reaching the barracks after a short walk, the party filed in the door lowering the corpse to the floor. The captain of the militia immediately walked up, questioning them as to why they had dropped a body on his floor. Travok explained in the same manner as he had done previously to the two militia at the inn. Nodding his head, the captain delivered the bad news to the group that the bounty on Katee Laupold had recently been done away with under orders of Merchant Lord Tyndas. Dismayed to find out that their effort would not be rewarded, the group decided to dispose of the body in the Trolfegor River, right outside of the barracks. The river emptied into the Sea of Suffering and the body would no doubt be washed away, never to be found again. After doing so, they returned to the barracks and the captain issued their duties for the night. The captain explained the recent loss of manpower in the militia and that something terrifying was happening in the city. He knew that if they were able to dispatch Katee Laupold, then they might be better equipped to handle something of this magnitude than the rest of the militia.

Chapter 2 – What Lies Beneath

A dark cult had recently rooted itself in the city. Little information is known about the cult, except that they believe by sacrificing many lives they can bring back the dark god that once commanded them. Several of the cultists have been killed and it’s members all wear a silver pendant with a dragon’s head upon it’s surface. The captain promises payment for each pendant delivered and tasks the group with eradicating the dark cult from Zarl. The group is told that last night a young girl was seen being dragged by a robed figure into the cemetery outside of the northern gate. After agreeing to take the task on, the captain led everyone to the armory of the barracks and they were allowed to gear up with any weapons and armor they needed. They were then led to the northern gate by a couple members of the militia and pointed in the correct direction. Travok thought it best they scope the cemetery out from a distance. The rest of the group agreed and as they watched on, Zuzu spotted a robed figure slip into the giant mausoleum on the hill. Discussing their next course of action, they decided to send Squee up the hill to see what he could spot. Squee’s tiny frame skillfully darted from tombstone to tombstone as he made his way up the hill, blending into the darkness and concealing his presence as if he was a shadow himself. Noticing that the giant stone door to the mausoleum was open and no one was in sight, he motioned for the rest of the group to ascend the hill. They all followed up, taking the same path Squee had taken. However, Travok tripped, crashing into a tombstone and destroying it. The loud sound of the dwarf barreling into the stone marker was enough to wake even the dead from their slumber. His pride hurt and the stealthy approach of the group now in question, Travok dusted himself off and they made their way up to the door of the mausoleum. Travok and James pushed the heavy stone door open enough for the entire group to fit through, and they sent Squee out in front yet again. The darkness in the mausoleum was thick, and the members of the group who had the benefit of darkvision began to realize that they were unable to see in this blackness. Travok pulled a torch from his backpack and lit it, throwing the torch into the mausoleum. The darkness flocked to the fire, putting it out almost as if it were attacking the flame. Squee reached for a sunrod and the light generated from the rod cut through the darkness, providing the light that the group needed. Descending down the eerie steps of the mausoleum, trailing a bit behind Squee the group came to the first bend in the structure. A giant statue stood in the corner, the craftsmanship quite shoddy and the features of the face unable to be made out. Getting a suspicious feeling, Squee approached the statue but was unable to move in time as a giant burst of flame shot out from the stone trap. Only James and Zuzu were able to avoid the flame, narrowly getting out of harm’s way. Travok and Squee fell to the ground, rolling around aflame, screaming and trying to put the fire out. James pulled a blanket from his backpack, wrapping it around Travok and putting the fire out. Zuzu pulled his waterskin from his belt, emptying the contents of the skin over Squee. The water was enough to put the flames out that decorated the tiny goblin. After a few moments of resting and tending to the burn wounds, they decided to continue descending into the depths of the mausoleum.

Chapter 3 – Spiders….Why’d It Have To Be Spiders!?

Strangely enough, they were met with no resistance descending into the mausoleum, even after all of the noise they had caused. Despite his close encounter, Squee decided to venture out in front of the group again to assess potential dangers. Entering a large chamber in the depths of the mausoleum, Squee became fixated on the floor. Sections of the floor were covered in a thick black material and they were moving in different directions. Unable to determine what the material was or why the floor was moving, Squee edged further into the room, now with piqued curiosity. Inching closer to one of the patches of blackness, Squee recognized why the floor was moving. The floor was covered in hundreds of spiders. The goblin shrieked, swatted at the pool of spiders with his sunrod. The group of spiders moved in unison, overrunning Squee and covering his body. Travok, Zuzu, and James spread out around the room as several other blotches of spiders moved toward them. Zuzu charged across the room, swiping at the spiders with his shortbow and stomping his foot down upon any that came close. James ran to assist Squee, covering his hands in cloth and swatting spiders off of Squee before stomping them as they skittered toward him. Travok was not as adept at spider swatting, as many made their way to him and began crawling up his body. Travok felt dozens of spider fangs dig their way into the flesh on his lower body. Zuzu and James fought off the remaining spiders, with Zuzu suffering some devastating spider bites in the process. Pulling the poor goblin to his feet once more, the group began to feel the potential affects of the spider’s toxin. Shaking it off, Zuzu, James, and Travok decided to venture onward but Squee was at his limit. The goblin had had enough. First it was being toasted like a marshmallow and now he was swarmed by spiders as they crawled over him digging their fangs into his skin. What would be in store for him next? He had no interest in finding out, and he turned heading toward the stairs that would lead him back up to the cemetery. Not aware that Squee had left, Travok led Zuzu and James into a connecting room of the mausoleum. Without the clever goblin there to guide them, they walked into a well placed trap, as a cage folded up around them leaving the three trapped and helpless. Meanwhile, Squee had made his way back to the cemetery and after setting up a small fire he began to cook some food in a pot.

Chapter 4 – Kravesh of The Grim Hand

The food in the pot began to boil, and Squee’s attention was caught by a burly half-orc making his way up the hill. Once close enough to Squee, he identified himself as Kravesh, a recruit of The Grim Hand. He told Squee that he was under employment of the captain of the militia and that he was here to help with the eradication of the dark cult. Squee pointed toward the door of the mausoleum and told Kravesh that if he wanted to die a fool’s death then he could join up with the rest. Kravesh nodded and ventured down into the mausoleum. The path the group had taken was easy for Kravesh to trace and in no time he found the cage where everyone was being held, in a very cluttered manner. Travok pleaded with Kravesh to free them, and explained the details of what had happened. Kravesh searched around before finding a lever, which he used to release the cage and set the three adventurers free. The venomous toxin of the spiders had begun circulating through Zuzu’s body and his condition was evident. Helping Zuzu along, they made their way back up to the cemetery where Squee was waiting. Upon an explanation of what had happened and Zuzu’s condition, Squee increased the size of the meal he was making and added some liquid from a flask that was in his backpack to the food. Once the food was done, they all took portions and began to eat. It was some of the best stew anyone had eaten, and Zuzu could feel all of his strength return after eating the contents of the bowl. Everyone officially introduced themselves to Kravesh, and they all decided to make their way back down into the mausoleum to finish the job they had started. Retracing their way back down into the crypt, they finally came in contact with a couple of cultists. The cultists were garbed from head to toe in black robe and they appeared to wield no weapons of any kind. Zuzu knocked an arrow, and everyone else drew their weapons. Seeing this, the cultists began to chant a spell of some unidentifiable nature and two giant waves of water rose from the ground. The water formed the shape of a creature, and held that form with the current inside rushing violently. The water beings surged forward heading straight for the adventurers, an arrow flying from Zuzu’s bow made contact with the water. The arrow’s trajectory was aimed straight at the cultist, but the violent current of the water changed the arrow’s course and sent it into one of the stone walls, breaking on impact. One of the water beings collided with James, the force of the impact sending him backwards into Squee. Kravesh, focused on the cultists and let out a bestial roar. The roar was loud and menacing, almost as if it had come from some fierce creature. Shaken, the cultists dropped to their knees, as the water, no longer able to hold form on it’s own, dispersed. In a flash of steel, the group cut down the cultists and claimed the pendants around their necks.

Chapter 5 – Ambushed in the Depths

The group was thoroughly impressed with their new addition, Kravesh and it looked as if this task set before them would present little trouble. Travok studied the architecture of the mausoleum and determined that the burial chamber was close. Following Travok’s lead, the group descended into the darkness further until they came to an extremely large room. The room separated into three smaller sections. To the left there was a rickety bridge overlooking a chasm that lead to a series of coffins. On the right, more coffins and crates. Directly ahead of the group was a very narrow tunnel that curved around. Travok could tell that this would lead to the inner chamber of the burial room. Travok and Zuzu passed through the narrow tunnel that could only fit one person at a time while James, Kravesh, and Squee remained in the main chamber. Travok and Zuzu passed through the narrow tunnel and into the inner chamber, just as a cultist drove a knife into the chest of a young unconscious girl. In the central chamber James spun around quickly, alerted by the sounds of something moving. Out from behind the coffins and crates came figures dressed in black garb. They surrounded James, Squee, and Kravesh on all sides and clearly had the advantage in numbers. Glancing toward the rickety bridge, Squee noticed a woman adorned in black dress with a glowing scepter in her hand. Beside her stood a figure cloaked in black, and an armored man with a crossbow. The woman grinned devilishly and slammed the pommel of the scepter onto the ground. Ghostlike beings flew from the coffins behind her and across the bridge toward the group. Kravesh let out a yell as he charged across the room toward the apparitions, “To arms, defend yourselves!” James and Squee focused on the armed cultists, their blades making contact with those of the deranged fanatics. The apparitions floated around Kravesh, surrounding him. They struck out at him as they passed, but he skillfully dodged their shadowy grasps. Kravesh’s blade sliced through the apparitions one by one, and as it made contact with each one they disappeared into the darkness. Shwooosh! A crossbow bolt cut through the air, finding it’s mark in Kravesh’s shoulder. In the inner chamber, Zuzu and Travok faced off against several watery beings that the cultist had summoned. Each time they cut one of the cultist’s creations down it would reform and another would surge forward refreshing the ranks. Several of the water creatures charged forward, colliding with Travok. The dwarf’s body was enveloped with water and he was tossed around violently inside of their bodies. Travok’s fear of the water, as a boy who never learned to swim, gripped him and he thrashed around recklessly trying to get out of the water. Water flowed freely into Travok’s open mouth and as he lost consciousness, he was slammed against a nearby wall. Zuzu, who had been keeping the cultist on the defensive through a series of well aimed arrows and his sword, turned and rushed to Travok giving the cultist the opening he was looking for. With a wicked laugh, the cultist’s body was consumed by shadows and he disappeared. The cultist reappeared in the central chamber, to witness Squee impaling the man with the crossbow on his katana. All of the armed cultist lay lifeless in front of James and Kravesh. The cultist, seemingly enraged by the death of his followers, began to throw large orbs of magical energy around the room. Kravesh, James, and Squee dodged what they could but the cultist’s barrage of magic was too much and it began to overwhelm them. Zuzu and Travok appeared from the narrow tunnel ready to join the fight as they pressed the attack against the cultist from all sides. The woman in black, who had summoned the apparitions to assault Kravesh motioned toward the figure in the black cloak and he began to walk slowly across the rickety bridge. Laughing maniacally, the cultist continued to barrage the party with strange magic, a stray bolt of energy streaking across the room toward the man in the black cloak. With catlike reflexes, he drew a blade from the confines of his cloak and deflected the bolt of energy down into the chasm beneath the bridge. Darting across the room, he drove his blade through the cultist’s back and out his stomach, pulling it out quickly and dropping the cultist to the floor. He lowered his hood, showing his face to the group. He was a human male and he appeared to be quite young, his face covered in intricate tattoos, the design of which was unrecognizable. He spoke to the group, “None who have seen my face, have lived long enough to remember it. Take your last breath slowly, and know what it is like to stare upon death”. As he finished speaking, he drew another blade in his left hand. This blade was half the size of the one in his right but both were made of a black metal and adorned with glowing red runes. He dashed forward, his blades connecting with those of Squee and James. Travok charged forward, while Zuzu knocked an arrow. The man parried Squee and James’ blades to the side in time to block Travok’s attack. Zuzu’s arrow flew through the air, but pushing Travok back, the man flipped through the air slicing through Zuzu’s arrow. The instant his feet touched the ground, his blade was locked with Kravesh’. Squee, James, and Travok made simultaneous strikes at their occupied assailant. Kravesh caught a boot to the stomach, before the man spun, his cloak cutting through the air and masking the trajectory of his blades. What followed was the sound of metal cutting through flesh, and blood splattering onto stone. Squee, James, and Travok fell to the ground. His blades at found their home, cutting through all three of the adventurers. With a dash, he was quickly upon Zuzu, who had not even had time to loose another arrow from his bow. His arms flew outward in a crosslash, both blades connecting with Zuzu and sending him to the ground as well. He turned again, to finish Kravesh but he wasn’t fast enough. Kravesh buried his blade into the man’s stomach, forcing him to his knees. Blood trickled down the blade, as the cloaked man continued to lose drop after drop of his very life. He looked up at Kravesh, as a smile crossed his face. “You are a fool. You’ll die for this, now hurry and kill me. If you don’t….she will”. Squee, badly injured, saw this as an opportunity to obtain information and he staggered to his feet. “Who will kill you? Who sent you?” The goblin rattled off several questions, coughing up some of his own blood in the process. The cloaked man simply kept repeating, “Kill me” before finally drawing his last breath, the smile still across his face.
Our adventurers have lived through the night. They have struck a blow at the cultists terrorizing the civilians of Zarl, but at what cost? Who is the woman that this cloaked man spoke of? Have the former members of the Band of the Wolf drawn closer to finding Gedric’s killer? Perhaps we will find the answers to these questions soon.

Pursuit of a New Life

Pursuit of a New Life

July 25, 2012

Zuzu – Half-Troll Ranger
Sara – Elven Alchemist
Travok – Dwarven Fighter
Squee – Goblin Ninja
James – Half-Elf Fighter

Band of the wolf destroyed
Chapter 1 – Picking up the Pieces

Our story begins after the death of Gedric Silyone, leader of the Band of the Wolf. The remnants of the mercenary group have fled for their lives and ended up at the Leaky Bucket tavern, located in the western district of Zarl. The group sits quietly around the table, trying to fathom what has happened, each one more grief-stricken than the next but none as much as Zuzu. Although Zuzu is a half-troll, a race which many consider an abomination and shun away from, Gedric took Zuzu in as his son and raised him from a very young age. Word has already begun spreading through Zarl that the Band of the Wolf has been eradicated, and all members slain. Pulling himself from his grief, the survivor in Travok takes over and he realizes that the group quickly needs to find a way to get back on their feet if they are to survive. Travok and James approach the woman behind the bar, who is currently busy cleaning a mug. “Excuse me miss,” Travok murmured, the grief still clear in his tone. He inquired about some rooms for the night, and the bar maiden gave him the bad news that there was only one room. She told him of an inn located in the merchant district of town that would probably have rooms. Travok relayed the information to the rest of the group and they decided to venture into the dark city streets toward the Rusty Dwarf Inn.

Chapter 2 – Hallucinations in the Night

It is now very late, and our adventurers are traveling the streets of Zarl under cover of darkness. The road to the merchant district is a long one, and their night has already been rough. After a few minutes of travel they are stopped by a member of the town militia who emerges from a nearby alleyway. He questions them regarding where they are from, where they are going, and why they are on the streets this late. Trying as best as they can to mask their identity and not reveal that they are from the Band of the Wolf, they answer his questions. The answers given seem to satisfy the guard, and he lets them know to be careful on the streets because the militia is very short handed as of late. They continue on, passing building after building. With an hour of travel behind them, they decide to stop and rest. The streets are pitch black and it is hard for the members of the group who do not benefit from darkvision to realize where they are. Sara begins to get a little spooked by the stillness of the city, and her fear goes into overdrive as she hears something terrifying. She hears a voice whisper her name, as if right beside her ear. Before she can alarm the rest of the group, Zuzu and Squee hear a voice as well. The voice whispers, “Gedric was a fool”. Zuzu immediately rose from the barrel where he was sitting, yelling out into the darkness in rage. “Show yourself, who dares mock my father!?” he screamed. Travok, who had been unaware of the voices noticed the door to the building closest to them was open. It had not previously been opened from what he could recall, and this coupled with the strange behavior of his friends was quite disturbing. Travok pointed out the door to the rest of the group, before making his way toward it with Squee close behind. Igniting a torch for light, Travok began to open the door, however the door completely collapsed off it’s hinges making a loud bang against the floor. Noticing something moving fast out of the corner of his eye, he quickly darted to the side evading the flash of fur that jumped through the door. Squee was not as lucky as a ferocious feline tackled his small goblin frame to the ground and swiped the length of his face, leaving horrendous bloody gashes. James ran toward Squee, striking out at the cat but it was gone into the alleyway before his weapon even came close. The tiny goblin screamed in pain, as blood streamed from his face onto the ground. Sensing the severity of the wounds, Sara scooped Squee up in her arms and burst through the doorway of the building, finding a table in a backroom that she laid Squee down upon. She ran back into the front of the building, noticing the many vials of strange things on her way in. Her knowledge as an alchemist might be able to put some of these strange components to use to save her tiny green friend. Following Sara into the building, Zuzu found himself unable to control his own body. His hand reached toward his pack, finding the skinning knife inside. He gripped it, trying to fight back the motions that his body was taking all on it’s own. Slowly approaching the goblin, who was now screaming hysterically in pain, Zuzu put the knife to his ear. With a forced flick of his wrist, Squee’s ear was severed and the goblin passed out from the pain. At this same moment outside, Travok and James turn to notice two of the town militia standing behind them. “What in the hell are you doing, and why is that goblin screaming over there in the grass,” the militia questioned the pair. James hesitated, beginning to panic as his words formed slowly trying to explain why they had entered this building. The guards looked confused, and questioned him as to what building he was referring to. James spun around pointing toward the direction of the building that Sara, Squee, and Zuzu had just entered. However, there was not a building there anymore. It was an empty lot with Squee and Zuzu in the middle of it, while Sara stood staring at a fencepost. James and Travok looked on, just as confused as the guards. The guards began to laugh hysterically, pointing out that James and his friends were obviously drunk. Giving them the same warning the last guard had, they disappeared down the street, leaving the adventurers to question what had just happened. Was it all a hallucination? Where they under a spell of some sort? What had happened was unclear, and the gash across Squee’s face was missing. His ear was also still attached and he was awake, but he could feel pain all over his face where the very realistic gash had formerly been.

Chapter 3 – A Fresh Start

Deciding to delay the discussion of what had just happened until another time, the party continued down the road. The sun was now starting to rise in the sky, and they had just passed over the bridge leading into the merchant district. Zuzu, James, Travok, and Squee decide to stop at the local barracks to inquire about employment with the town militia while Sara would go on ahead to secure their rooms at the Rusty Dwarf Inn. It was not a very long walk from here for Sara and she was able to spot the inn without too much difficulty. Upon entering, she found the place to be empty with the exception of an old barkeep. She approached him quickly, not wanting to waste time because fatigue was beginning to set in. The barkeep seemed to be a very nice old man, offering Sara four rooms for an entire month at a price of two-hundred gold coins. She quickly took the deal, leaving the keys at the front counter for her friends and enjoying a glass of milk with the old barkeep. After drinking the last of the milk, she retired to her own room after some much needed rest. Meanwhile, back at the barracks the rest of the group signed their names to the town militia’s ledger, pledging service in exchange for gold. Squee found some difficulties reaching the ledger atop the counter, even falling from a stool he had climbed up to reach it. The man in charge of the ledger wrote down the name of the inn where the adventurers were staying and notified them that a militia lieutenant would be by tonight to collect them for duties. Content with the jobs they had setup for themselves, the four made their way to the Rusty Dwarf Inn to acquire their rooms and some well deserved rest. Zuzu immediately approached the old barkeep, giving Sara’s description and asking if he had seen her. The old barkeep gave them a toothless smile, nodding his head. “Oh yes, I’ve seen the woman you’re talking about. Very beautiful, very nice.” James felt a bit of creepiness in the old man’s smile and he asked where Sara’s room was, feeling that the barkeep might have done something to her. Downstairs, Travok asked the barkeep how much it was for a room. The old man, never mentioning that their rooms had already been paid for and he had the keys, replied that the cost of a room would be seventy-five gold for a month. Travok flashed a look toward Squee, knowing that Sara and the goblin were the only ones with enough money to afford such costly lodging. Back upstairs, James banged on the door where the old man told him Sara was sleeping. After a minute of loud banging, the door flew open and James caught a fist to his nose sending him across the hallway. He looked up at a very grumpy Sara, barely clothed. His face turned red, stating that he was only worried about her because of the creepy behavior from the man downstairs. Sara decides to follow James back down into the inn, not bothering to clothe herself in more presentable attire. As she reaches the bottom of the stairs, she looks up at the barkeep asking if he had given her friends the keys to their rooms yet. Squee, Travok, and Zuzu, while very distracted by the manner that Sara was dressed turned toward the barkeep. “This man was trying to cheat us, he was going to make us pay for new rooms,” Travok declared. Angered, Sara charged the man grabbing him up in a display of strength that was very unlike herself. Throwing him to the ground, she mounted him and proceeded to pummel him. The expression on the old man’s face can only be described as the sheer happiness shining through his pain, of being beaten by a half-naked woman. The beating is quickly interrupted by two of the town militia entering the doorway to the tavern. Sara rises quickly, wiping blood from her fist and describing to the guards in a very flirtatious way that this man had tried to cheat them out of their money. Completely love-stricken at the sight of the half-naked elven woman, one of the guards rushes to her side, kicking the barkeep and relieving him of two-hundred gold, which he gives to Sara. The more serious guard begins to pass out identification papers to Zuzu, Squee, James, Travok, and he even has one for Sara, recognizing the majority of them from the barracks earlier. He lets them know that another man will be there at nightfall to pick them up and that they should get as much rest as possible. After the guards leave, everyone retires to their rooms.

Chapter 4 – Sara’s Curiosity

While the rest of the group rest in preparation of their jobs in the militia, Sara returns downstairs fully clothed and decides to go check out the merchant district. Before she leaves, she notices a board in the corner of the inn with job listings and wanted posters on it. She grabs a piece of paper from the board with strange writing on it. She begins to read the writing aloud, “Ye who seeks fortune, all that must be done is to repeat these words and it shall be yours, szadar cromkruick”. Thinking that the paper is utter nonsense, Sara puts it into her pack. She then ventures out into the merchant district to see what she can find. The merchant district during the day is much different than it was at night. There are people everywhere and the city is so alive with commerce. Sara passes many different types of shops, amazed at the variety of things the merchant city has. Getting a feeling of deja vu as she passes one of the shops, Sara decides to enter. The shop looks exactly like the one from last night, the shop where the cat attacked Squee. Looking around, she notices a frail old woman sitting at a table. As she approaches her, the old woman speaks up, “You shouldn’t enter uninvited, it’ll only get your friends hurt…again.” Sara’s mind races back to the horrendous image of Squee laying on the table with his face disfigured and blood running everywhere. Rage begins to fill her entire body and she pulled her arm back, taking a swing at the old woman. Before she could make contact with the woman her body froze, and pain began to surge through every fiber of her being. The old woman laughed sadistically before sending Sara flying through the door by some unexplained power and into the street. Fighting back the feeling that she could not move her body, Sara rolled to the side, a horseshoe narrowly missing her face. She jumped to her feet, full of fear, as she heard the old woman whisper, almost as if right in her ear “No matter, you’ll die soon enough”. Trying to take her mind off the grim message that the old woman had left her with, Sara entered an apothecary, wanting to fulfill her thirst for knowledge. Atop the counter in the apothecary shop danced a tiny little halfling woman. She was spinning in circles, singing, and throwing magical bursts of energy from her hands all over the room. The magic was colliding with potions on the wall, destroying them. Sensing Sara’s presence the tiny halfling stopped, and giggled as she floated off the counter. “Does magic fascinate you, pretty lady,” she questioned. Sara nodded her head, still in awe at the immense control over magic that the halfling had. The halfling girl smiled, and with a passing of her hands a piece of parchment formed between them. She handed the parchment to Sara. The parchment had very fancy designs as well as the words Quilo’s Apothecary Club – Meeting Tonight, Bring a Friend on it. The halfling spoke, fitting words in between constant giggling, “Just walk outside when it gets dark, then you and your friend place your hands on the invitation. I’ll teach you all sorts of amazing magic!” She shoo’d Sara away with a flick of her wrists and Sara walked out the door, feeling quite excited about the invitation. While making her way back to the Rusty Dwarf Inn, Sara noticed what she had originally been searching for, a Cartographer’s shop. She walked in immediately, inquiring with the shopkeeper who was busy behind a large book, about a map of the city of Zarl. The shopkeeper dropped his book, turning to the giant collection of scrolls and maps behind him. He pulled a specific one out and rolled it across the table. “Oh my, this map is just what you’re looking for miss. It is a speeeeeecial map, with very unique magic,” he stated looking to play on Sara’s interest and get her to spend more gold than she normally would. Sara wanted to know what was so special about the map, so the shopkeeper decided a demonstration was necessary. He asked her to name anyone. She stated Squee’s name, and the shopkeeper repeated it with his hands on the map. The map zoomed in on the merchant district, and eventually the Rusty Dwarf Inn. A small replica of a goblin appeared on the map inside of the Rusty Dwarf Inn. Sara was excited, this map is just what she had been looking for, and her curious nature toward any magical object was even more excited for it. The shopkeeper’s price for the map was six-hundred and fifty gold, but knowing she didn’t have enough Sara tried to use her womanly charm to lower the price. Her charms were to no avail and the shopkeeper refused to budge from his price. Fishing all of the gold out of her pocket, she placed it on the counter hoping to pay with it and make a deal for the difference. What she found, amazed her. The two-hundred gold that she had previously had was now six-hundred and ninety-two gold. Where had all of this gold come from? The shopkeeper took out the cost of the map and left her with it and the remaining gold. As she had done with many things the past few days, she pushed the excess gold into the back of her mind and headed back to the Rusty Dwarf Inn, a great idea forming in her mind.

Chapter 5 – A Very Untimely Plan

James and Squee were the first to wake from their sleep. Accounting for their belongings, they found all of their gold and some of their items missing. Zuzu and Travok soon followed discovering their gold and items to be missing as well. They all rushed downstairs, finding Sara with her map rolled out across one of the tables and completely ignoring the other person in the back corner of the room. They questioned her to see if her belongings were missing, to which she replied no. Normally, someone might find the huge map that she had obtained quite suspicious but they had just witnessed her get them rooms for free just by being half-naked. She decided to share the genius plan she had thought up with the rest of the group for making the gold back that they were missing. She sent Zuzu over to the board to grab one of the wanted posters. He returned with a wanted poster boasting a reward of five-hundred gold for the capture of a female dwarf named Katee Laupold dead or alive. Sara demonstrated how the map worked, saying the name of the bounty. The map zoomed in on the city, then on the Rusty Dwarf Inn. A replica of the wanted dwarf appeared, inside of the very inn they were standing in. Sara turned quickly to throw a blow, but her arm was grabbed and she was slammed into the bounty board from the dwarf’s throw. “If you were looking for me, I’m right here,” the female dwarf said through a smirk as she drew two hefty scimitars from their baldrics. These scimitars would normally each need to be held by two hands because of their size, but she wielded them each in one hand quite easily. She leaped onto the table, placing her feet firmly on the map that was just used to locate her. Zuzu stepped behind the rest of the group trying to remove himself from the confrontation. James, overcome with fear tried to flee but he was not fast enough. Katee jumped from the table, bringing the hilt of the scimitar down on his back and sending him falling to the ground. Realizing that he had no choice but to fight, Travok drew his dwarven axe and took a swing at Katee. She easily ducked under the blade and returned with a slash of her own, easily cutting into Travok’s armor and coating her blade with his blood. Zuzu, armed with a crossbow but recently missing all of the ammunition for the bow tried to swing it down onto Katee. She stepped forward, evading the blow and the crossbow was ripped from Zuzu’s grip. Sara finally climbed to her feet, feeling dazed from the blow to her head. Squee, focused on the five-hundred gold reward slashed at Katee with his katana, one of their weapons finally hitting it’s mark and barely cutting through her armor. With the loss of all of his items, James was left with a spear that he was untrained in. He rose to his feet and gripped the spear, taking a wide stab at Katee from behind, but she sidestepped, the point of the weapon missing. Travok decided to take another hack at Katee with his axe, this time from above. His axe found it’s mark, hewing into Katee’s shoulder as she let out a scream of pain and dropped to one knee. Blood flowed freely from the wound and flesh decorated the edge of the dwarven axe. Sara charged across the room, picking up the discarded crossbow of Zuzu’s and using it to restrain Katee. Katee pleaded for her life, but the group was only focused on the bounty and how dangerous this woman was. They did not want to risk sparing her life. The entire group took turns striking at the female dwarf, Zuzu’s knife missing it’s mark and stabbing Sara in the shoulder. Escaping from Sara’s grip, Katee spun around to try and get away but it was too late. Her spin led her straight into the the head of James’ spear. The spear slid through her abdomen with such force that it even came out of her back and stabbed Travok. The barkeep, who had hiding behind the bar in fear for his life this entire time peeked his head above it, to see Travok smash his fist down breaking the shaft of James’ spear and removing the spearhead from his body.
So, our heroes defeated Katee Laupold, whetting their blades with her dwarven blood in the middle of the inn. Katee was a criminal and they were now members of the town militia. As far as the law was concerned, they were completely in the right and they would not be punished for their actions. However, this is Zarl…and law is nothing more than a fake sense of power here. What wrath have our adventurers drawn out? Will they live through the night? We’ll know soon enough.


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