Bad Men

Campaign Set-Up
Intro

Pegit Powerhand is a dwarven ex-adventurer and Copper Concordian, with aspirations of quickly rising to the rank of the Platinum Concord. He has hired you (whoever you may be) to be one of his elite groups that he will pay well to get dirty tasks done. As a former adventurer, he doesn’t put on airs like many of the nobles in the Aurum. He also is very generous with his employees, especially those who help him increase his power. He acquired great wealth in his youth, and with it he opened a series of spas across Korvaire, called Powerhand’s Magical and Mineral Bathhouses Extraordinaire. However, nobles who can afford it are aware that prostitutes of virtually any race can be discreetly found at Powerhand’s bathhouses. Unfortunately for some, the Aurum now has blackmail material on many of Korvaire’s married leaders who have used these services…

Just as Aurum members seek to rise in the ranks, so too do the Aurum security forces. There is more money and prestige in working for a Gold Concordian than a Silver Concordian, and so on. Rising in ranks can either be done through the rise of the Concordian for whom you work — or perhaps performing so well that you gain the attention of a higher ranking Concordian and being hired by them instead.

Pegit Powerhand has a relatively small stronghold in the Mror Holds, and conducts business in his office at the Aurum headquarters (the “Golden Vault”, in the city of Krona Peak).
After having sent you as a group on some trivial test missions, he has called you into his office now with a matter of great import. Compensation will be commensurate with the danger involved.

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First Meeting with Pegit Powerhand

Krona Peak is a dwarven city in the Ironroot Mountains. It is more or less the capital of the Mror Holds. It is the center of trade, banking, religion, and power for the dwarves of the Mror Holds. It is also here that the Aurum has its headquarters — a large structure called the Golden Vault. Only those who are aware of the Aurum’s true purpose are allowed in the Vault.

“The Golden Vault is ostentatious — a sprawling structure spacious enough to accommodate hundreds of members and luxurious enough to satisfy their every need. Gardens filled with priceless statuary, a museum with treasures from nearly every age, and libraries containing the collected works of the greatest thinkers make it a veritable palace of culture and refinement.”

Pegit Powerhand has a medium-sized office, along with a handful of secretaries and bodyguards, inside the Golden Vault. You arrive at his office ahead of schedule, and have a few moments to look out the windows at the city below you. Krona Peak is surprisingly large considering the mostly-dwarven population that lives there. The center of activity at the moment appears to be the Lightning Rail, with trains coming and going, delivering goods and visitors, and cargo being shipped out on a strict timetable — it is dwarven efficiency at its finest.

You are ushered into Pegit’s office, which is dominated by a huge drafting table covered with blueprints and maps. It is immediately obvious that Pegit was a former adventurer — his muscles bulge through his business suit, and he looks uncomfortable and constantly fidgets as if he would prefer to be in plate armor carrying a battleaxe.

“Thank you for coming. … It is quite simple, really. Several weeks ago, I sent a pair of thieves to steal several magic items from a nearby monastery devoted to The Path of Light. I have not heard back from them. If they have betrayed me, I want them dead. If they were unsuccessful, I want you to retrieve the items. I would have preferred a subtle operation, but at this point feel free to dismiss every follower of the Path of Light who stands in your way with extreme prejudice. My assistant Bradley Breuer will be give you the specifics.”

At that, Pegit Powerhand returns to his drafting table. A human male, Bradley Breuer, stands waiting for you outside the office. Bradley is a young, frail-looking human with glasses and wearing black, velvet gloves.

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First Meeting with Bradley Breuer

Breuer
“So… did he give you the ’it’s quite simple’ speech? Yeah. It’s rarely simple.

Listen, several months ago Pegit offered to purchase some magic items from the monks up at the Path of Light monastery. There are less than a dozen kalashtar monks up there, not much in the way of assets, and they mostly keep to themselves. But they had a Ring of the Dragonborn Emporer, and a Magnificent Tapestry, both of which Pegit was interested in. They negotiated a bit on price over the course of several weeks, and they were finally ready to make a deal, when the monks suddenly revoked their offer. At that point, Pegit was furious and was tired of negotiating anyway, and that’s when he sent Lacroix and Madame Cortese to steal the items.

Lacroix is a fine soldier, but he’s more loyal to Cortese than he is to Pegit. Madame Cortese is more of a wild-card — she’s an excellent thief, and knows some magic as well — but she’s always been interested in more than just money, so it’s possible she betrayed us.

I see several possible scenarios. Lacroix and Cortese may have been captured by the monks. If that’s the case, and they’re still alive, we want them rescued.

It’s possible that they fled the area — either with some unknown information, the magic items, or both. If that’s the case, you’re to pursue them and kill them, and bring the bodies back here.

It’s also possible that a third party is involved. There have been reports lately of random Slaadi attacks in the area. Slaadi often act randomly, it is their nature — but their presence here in the mountains is fairly strange. It’s possible you may encounter some around, or in, the monastery. Feel free to deal with them however you wish.

Lastly, I am curious to know why the monks chose to withdraw from negotiations. I’m a little concerned that they did so because they found out about Pegit’s business dealings, or perhaps learned too much about the Aurum. Either way, if accomplishing your mission is made easier by simply killing off all the monks, feel free to do so. We will ensure that you won’t be implicated in any murders that result from your mission.

So to summarize — top priority is to get those items. Also, pursuant to the normal contract, I’ll need an itemized list of anything else you acquire during the mission. Next priority is to figure out what happened to the pair of thieves — if they’re still loyal, rescue them if possible. If they are not loyal, track them down and kill them at all costs. Finally, figure out the reason for the monks sudden reluctance to deal with Pegit.

So…it’s quite simple, really… Any questions?"

Feel free to post questions in the comment section.

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Delving into Dreadhold

Bradley appears to each of you individually and informs you that Pegit would like to see you for your next job. “He’s in his office, I’m sure someone as talented as yourself can find it.”

You all eventually find his office. The door is open and you can see Pegit sitting at a large mahogany desk.

Pegit is thumbing through some papers as you walk into his office. He doesn’t seem to notice you as he mumbles to himself, “What’s taking them so damned long…didn’t pay them to take a bloody island vacation…now where’s that damn map…” He begins looking about his office in search for his map and he spots you all in the doorway. “Ah, good good. I’m glad you’ve all made it. I wanted to again thank those of you who worked on that monk job. Wish I could’ve gone myself, but some has to keep the bathhouses running. Am I right?!” He pauses for laughter then continues. “Yes, well that is not the only reason you are here. As I am sure Bradley has informed you, I have another job I’d like you all to do. Once again I find that I have hired substandard help and need you to finish the job.”

“One week ago I was sent a message from an anonymous party asking for my help in a matter that was not exactly aboveboard, if you know what I mean. I was inclined to disregard the request until I found the astral diamond enclosed with the letter. The sender promised more where that came from if I came through. Anyone sending astral fucking diamonds in mail delivered by carrier pigeon is either an idiot or extremely wealthy.”

Pegit hands you the letter and you read:

Dear Master Powerhand,
__
We wish to request your assistance in a certain matter. As you may know, the island prison Dreadhold is where all of Khorvaire’s most dangerous prisoners are held. We feel that one prisoner in particular has served his time and is due to be released. His name is Prakktos, he is a human and he is the longest held prisoner in Dreadhold. He has been held in the Deep Wards for nearly 300 years. Unfortunately, the Kundarak family that runs the prison does not agree that he should be released. This is where you come in. We are aware of your connections and we are confident in your ability to secure the release of this man in whatever way you see fit. To entice you to accept we have enclosed a small token in good faith. Much more will follow should you succeed. Don’t contact us, we will be watching.

104120

“After I read this I put the problem to some of my more intelligent employees. The four wizards came up with an idea to tunnel underwater down into the the island then back up to the Deep Wards where Prakktos is being held. They estimated it would take the better part of a day to excavate the tunnel, spend the night there and then arrive back here the next night. That was four days ago. I need you to go to the island and complete the mission and find out what happened to the wizards if you can. My part of this was finding out the password to unlock the deep cells and unpetrify Prakktos. It should still work for the next couple days so I need this done now.”

Pegit finally finds the map and hands it to you. “This map indicates the location where the wizards descended to excavate the tunnel, that should be all you need. Go now and don’t disappoint me like most of my employees seem to be doing lately.” Pegit motions for you to leave.

As you leave his office you encounter Bradley.

“I see by the confused look on your faces that Pegit once again left out some choice details. Let me guess what you’re thinking, ’I’m not a fish. How am I supposed to descend the two hundred feet to the tunnel without dying? If I encounter anything how can I fight back? How will I be able to see anything while I’m down there?’ Was I close? Yes, well thankfully one of the Aurum’s wizards has agreed to put some rituals on you all that will remedy your concerns. You will be able to breathe water, swim as if you were a fish yourself, talk underwater, survive the cold and pressure of the water, as well as the ability to use your weapons effectively underwater. As for getting you there, you will be flown via eagles over the drop point and then you will, well… drop. Here is the piece of paper with the password for the cells as well.”

“Finally, you may be wondering who this Prakktos fellow is. Unfortunaley, we were unable to secure any files relating to him due to the extreme length of his imprisonment. We attempted to search out other avenues for historical information but it seems that that information has inexplicably vanished from the historical record. We deemed this the possible handiwork of our generous anonymous employers. I can tell you truthfully that people with the ability to do something like this scare the ever living shit out of me. Pardon me for my vulgarity, but this whole matter has gotten me out of sorts.”

“Well, do you have any questions before you are all fishified and sent on your way?”

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Starting things off with a BANG!

The usual suspects gathered at Pegit Powerhand’s office at the Aurum’s Golden Vault in Krona Peak of the Mror Holds, being summoned shortly after news had spread that the prominent Silver Concordian medusa Sarys Valdur had turned up dead. With the vacancy of a seat at the silver concordant level it was all hands on deck for current Copper Concordians to make a name for themselves and ascend to the seat. All the group had arrived, though the mercurial Lord March was not present. Kash was in the center of the office, viewing the arcane energies of an odd, gourd shaped object that was levitating in the middle of Powerhand’s Office. Bradley was mumbling and fidgeting off in the corner, the dwarf zombie Grouhl was eyeing the craniums of party members, Graath stood poised, akimbo, staring out the huge bay window looking over the cityscape of Krona Peak below, Scotty was picking his nose and wiping boogers on Powerhand’s desk, Ratfink was in toad form in a puddle of his own ice piss, and Powerhand chewed on his proverbial cigar, then pounded his fist on his desk to get the company’s attention,

“Damned if we know who did it, but with Sarys dead, the opportunity is ripe to ascend as a Silver Concordian – and I know just the thing to get me there – the Makulan Rings. Three rings, ancient Drothic artifacts that not only gave those who adorned the rings absolute direction and sense of the plane they were in (or gate that they perused), but also had immense powers to operate as a temporary portal gate in and of themselves. Damn rings were used by sea elves of the ancient city of El’Uhl’Dro’Phan, who snatched another nifty item, the Moon Pearl, from their kuo-toa enemies, and then proceeded to rift jump their entire city (the whole damn thing, residents, structures and all) and plop it into another dimension or plane of existence…”

“No… the city was ‘plopped,’ as you say, between dimensions…” droned Kash, half lost in his arcane sight viewing the magical gourd, and half listening to the ramblings of Pegit.

“Whatever, that is why I pay you the big bucks for all of your arcane mumbo jumbo expertise,” grumbled Pegit.

Bradley quipped in, “I do believe the item that Kash is viewing, the Shepard’s Gourd, is a map or cipher as to the location that the elven City was last located on the Prime Material Plane…”

BAM! Pegit slammed down his fist on the desk – “SHAAAAADDDUP BRADLEY! But he’s right, this thing had one of the competition on the trail, but they left this key unguarded and it luckily fell into my hands. Now, it seems that the location was somewhere south of the Talenta Plains…”

“No…” interrupted Kash again, “… the Gourd directs one to such a location if they can’t understand the cipher, but here…” and with a twist of his hands, Kash cast a spell targeted at the Shepard’s Gourd which then unraveled and emanated a burst of red light: arcane symbols, formulae, and apparent map sigils were projected into the room from the source of the object in a brilliant, hypnotic display, “…you will see the true location is in the Underdark of Droaam.”

“Well – piss – on – me… (Pegit immediately glared at Ratfink with an expression of ”Don’t even think about it” – then slammed down his fist on the desk in glee) HA! The bastards, probably looking in the wrong spot all along. Brilliant, brilliant. Anyhow, get to this location of the last place the City was known to be, with Kash you should be able to find the Torpal Portal, the remaining link that anchors the City to our world. Pop into the gate, find the rings, and bring them back. If you happen to see that Moon Pearl, it would earn some scratch as well in the race for a higher concordant seat – figure a sea elf city should have some interesting things, maybe a Horn of Bubbles or Trident of Fish Telepathy, har har har!!! Scale Armor of the Blart Fish! HAR HAR HAR!”

A few questions bandied about the room where the group found out the following:

  1. There were several Copper Concordians, but only four currently had the ranking, resources, and ability to vie for the vacated silver seat… Dorak Torham (a Kenku Tinkerer), Harid Cadwe (a Dark Wizard), Sophet Drahas (reportedly a brain in a jar with psychic powers), and of course Pegit Powerhand;
  2. So far the death of Sarys Valdur was conjecture, as her severed left hand was found in the possession of one of her top agents, Teezle the Doppleganger, who had been captured. Teezle was disguised as Sarys, and trying to use the severed hand to use the latent arcane magics ritually infused into Sarys when she became a Silver Concordian to bypass security protocols in the inner vaults of the Golden Vault (cue neato image of the falling up and down Teezle in the Infinity Lift…). But, with the magics inert, folks have been led to believe the source is dead as well. Who knows, maybe just the hand is dead and the owner fine…
  3. In other texts and sources, it seems the elven city has remained traveling because the kuo-toa menace at the location has never left, and in fact, those kuo-toa have been crafting an enormous city/temple to their god Blibdilploop at the location.

The group then continued with its usual whiny bickering and benign questions, to which Pegit one last time lifted his hand and slammed it down on the table – one – last – time…

*BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!

And the whole room exploded.

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An elephant, burning dragonborn, and zombie fall from the sky into a dwarven brewery… (a new, popular bard’s joke opening in Eberron…)

Smoke, dust, dirt, grime, shards of metal, and searing flame enveloped the office. The grand bay windows shattered to millions of pieces, and the momentary glass shard cloud blown out into the sky then plummeted 140 feet down to the cityscape rooftop level of Krona Peak below like a waterfall of twinkling light. Graath was first engulfed in flame and choking ash, then shot through the window, and fell like a pile of bricks intertwined in the glass daggers in a hasty exit 140 down – crashing through the rooftop of a building below into darkness. The source of the explosion came from Pegit’s desk, and everyone was pushed back from the point of ground zero detonation, Grouhl and Ratfink slid to the precipice, saved only by being impaled on the glass shards remaining in the window frame, their bodies dangling like wet laundry flapping in the wind. The remaining party members were in dire straights like their friends – burning, deaf, and stunned.

Through the smoke three beguiling beauties scampered across the room, heaving bosoms bounded as the lasses, tightly wrapped in ribboned outfits of black leather, snatched the Shepard’s Gourd and headed for the blown out window. The Mul shook the effects of the detonation first, morphing into a giant snake and constricting the beauty that had grabbed the gourd. As the mysterious lady struggled against the trouser snake she tossed the gourd to her comrades, who proceeded to leap out the window… (at this point Lord March entered, paused with mouth agape and hand in air like he was about to say something, then he promptly turned around and left, closing the door behind him).

The daring rogues planted Ropes of Climbing to the wall as they descended, which pulled taught and the lasses ab-sailed their way down the side of the tower. Scotty shook off the effects of the bomb and to everyone’s surprise scuttled like a spider down the side of the tower after the fleeing dames. In either a moment of brilliance, or pure stupidity, Ratfink turned his form into that of an elephant and proceeded to leap off the ledge, targeting his huge pachy-gluteus maximus to knock the rappelling babes off the wall and tumbling down below. The plan would have worked if Scotty hadn’t gotten in the way, and the blank expressioned Oliphant dropped out of sight without as much as a trumpet.

Grouhl, incensed with the arrival of new brains, promptly ripped himself free of his glass pinnings and also kamikaze dove to take a swipe – he too then dropped out of sight without as much as a “ggggrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuwwwwwwwwwwwllllllll…”

Leaving Scotty with the three ladies, much grappling, groping, verbal exchanges, and tongue lashings ensued on the high wire romp/orgy now unfolding on the side of the Golden Vault. The last act ended with Scotty’s unconscious form dropping – deathly silent – towards the rapidly approaching ground far, far below…

In the meantime, dwarven brewmaster Garvis Thundermaker was preparing for his 417th birthday, no small feat for a brew guildmaster to stay aloft amongst the political infighting of the Kundarak and Clan Mroranon for the past two centuries. Family, relations, friends, and quite a few grumbling enemies, were in attendance for the grand event, held at the first brewhouse opened by Garvis (now in a crappier part of Krona Peak). As his 14th wife raised a toast in his honor, a baby elephant crashed through the ceiling, split through the grand, formal dining table (fully set with mutton, turkey, and roast grick, and of course more ale than even Graath could imagine consuming), and the pachyderm promptly left via exit by smashing through the floor (taking a few dwarven revelers along with it to the darkness below). This had been preceeded by the sound of smashing timbers just moments earlier a bit to the west (the form of a burning Graath smashing into the brewery), and was promptly followed with the sound of smashing timbers to the east (the form of a dwarven zombie Grouhl smashing into another part of the brewery). A bit later the falling form of Lord March went crashing through a nearby building… wait, what, Lord March?

Using some weird-ass, DM made up power, the Swordmage was able to switch places with the unconscious, falling Scotty. Scotty awoke to an awkward moment alone with Bradley in the elevator lift of the vault, and promptly skedaddled out of the Aurum headquarters.

With all the falling, there were many wacky antics and combat maneuvers that ensued – in the end the party stopped the fleeing ladies (later identified by their tramp stamp tattoos as the Octopussies – a group of all lady rogues and assassins that were known to work exclusively for Sarys Valdur) and recovered the Gourd (now in the possession of Kash).

Notes: Grouhl saw as the femme fatales were dispatched that they puffed away as sand blowing away in the wind… he also barked to the dwarven brewmasters when he landed and smashed a beer keg that “The Summer Ale was Shot” which led to a raucus dwarven purging of all casks of summer ale (the dwarves thought the zombie dwarf was an ancenstor returning to curse the batch so they purged the lot – many a child dwarf and begger were drunk the day the streets ran yellow with summer ale – temperance advocates saw this display as a portent of dark times fortold in Draconic Prophecy…) Also, Ratfink did the math and realized many party members were not accounted for during the melee, and an insipid, doppleganger fear beset the addled brain of the constantly morphing mul drood. The party licked their wounds and Kash opened a portal to step to the approximate location of the Torpal Portal in the Underdark of Droaam.

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The Bountiful Scrotal Sac of Blibdilploop

Ratfink’s reservations of Kash being a doppelganger were somewhat assuaged when the mage whipped up a portal ritual in the usual expedient fashion (no other known mages in the realm had mastered portal creation to the level of Kashival). The group stepped through and found themselves in one of the more vast underground caverns of the Droaam Underdark.

The cavern chamber was enormous, if not for the covering of stalactites above one would think they were outdoors on a moonless night. An enormous subterranean lake stretched outward as far as the eye could see, illuminated at its edges, and on the occaisonal stalagmite island, were pale growths of fungi that emanated a dull purple glow. At the lake’s edge closest to where the party emerged from the portal was a cliff face going up from the lake to the sky top of the chamber – etched into the side of the cliff was an gargantuan sculpture, embedded and crafted into the cavern side (ala the scale of Mount Rushmore), the figure was that of a bloated, frog-like denizen – a kuo-toa, but more, their god Blibdilploop. At the huge head atop, it appeared ants were filing around two enormous eyehole openings, and the mouth – these “ants” were the forms of thousands of kuo-toa shuffling in and out of the head orifices of the giant statuary. The collective knowledge of the team had heard that the strange practices of the kuo-toa led the bizarre creatures to create temples in the form of their god – effigies of Blibdilploop. At this size and scale this was likely a whole kuo-toa city/temple, created as a monument to their foul god. As everyone looked on, more”ants” were seen scattered amongst the body/cliff wall, servant slaves of kuo-toa and other loathesome denizens of the Underdark toiling away chipping, polishing, and tending to the enormous statue (and whipped by their kuo-toa masters when dawdling…). The monument was crafted to include the full anantomy of the thing, head, torso, arms, legs, and the dangly parts. An enormous caninie like dong poked out from under the corpulent belly of the thing, and from the tip a constant drizzle leaked out like a sewerage pipe/waterfall expelling liquidifed and chuncky exrement – periodically a slurm of coagelent spooge errupted, making sloppy wet splurt sounds as it vomited out into the fetid pool below (which leaked into the lake…).

Ratfink had already formed into his giant toad and re-conned the site, finding the monument to be eerily anatomically correct (even finding under the squatted form a cavern passing under the taint and seeing a sphincter-like chocolate starfish opening right where it would be expected to be located). Ratfink also sized up the nuts of the thing, seeing the right nut to be shriveled in comparison to the more than bloated left. Interestingly, the nether regions seemed to be quite less gaurded (though also seemed to serve the same purpose to expel waste, were poorly maintained, and likely were infested with diseases, at the very least an otyugh was likely nestled in a fat fold hidden behind some fungus growing like wart pubes…). And again, either genius or questionably retarded logic, Ratfink convinced the party to enter through the pee hole.

Gauging the periodic release of the dong, the Mul believed he had the timing sequence down. The party stealthed up getting past the occaisonal kuo-toa janitor and zealot whip marauding party (Kash went invisible and again triggered Ratfink’s doppelgagner paranoia…), the team then piled in the peeper after a highly pungent deluge of offal was discharged, and proceeded upwards. The tube was large enough for the party to make its way, though the path was not clear – fluid, sperm-like tadpoles, and icky goo rushed around the group. Taking a few mouthfuls of the stuff the party trudged forward, found a bypass tube leading away from a seminal vesicle, and avoided being swept away from the next icky money shot.

Kash honed in on magical emanations, and gauged that the Torpal Portal would be located in approximately the location of the shrunken right nut. The entire inside of the chamber was odd – the cavern walkways were buffed down, often covered in slime, and even felt spongy or meaty in some parts. The party found their way to the inner lining of the shrunken scroat to see a gathering of kuo-toa in the chamber, slip sliding around the vacant chamber – save that a portal-like rift appeared as a tear in reality at the chamber’s center. The portal appeared broken, changing the display on the other side from a starry vastness, shifting to swirlings mists, shifting to a sea of fish-like things floating by, and ever shifting again… The party engaged the kuo-toa, rapidly taking out the leaderlike shaman one, and dispatching the rest of bobbling foolish fish people. During the melee, slimy harpooners attempted to skewer the party and then drag them through the Torpal Portal (but no luck, darn!). Clearing the room Kash was sure he could stabilze the portal long enough for the party to jump through (after some study he found that the city was traveling between dimensions on a set, loop path, the portal itself could end up dropping users who stepped through into any spot the city was currently traveling past, but after a set sequence, the city would return close to the point of the Torpal Portal and one could gain entry). Before commencing the rital, Scotty piped up and suggested the party stop by the “lower intestines”.

[at this point, the DM gave away the handout, so Scotty will have to fill folks in on the details of the letter – though I do believe he showed it to most of the party… of course, Graath was burning and falling to his death before he could peruse the note]

The intent in going to the lower intestines was to meet with Sophet Drahas, who was trying to recruit the party to betray Powerhand and to join Sophet’s endeavor to ascend to the Silver Concordian seat. After some odd powerborkering in which Grouhl was able to contractually gain ownership of Ratfink’s brain upon said Mul’s death, and some strange discussions on loyalty and “negotiation” for a group of evil players, the group held off on entering the Torpal Portal and headed off for a meeting in the lower intestines…

Stealthed again the party slid past some ambling fish-men, and making it to the approximate location of the lower intestine (the party looked at the exposed anatomy of Grouhl as a guideline, and relied on the necromantic studies of Kash to approximate their direction sense) a slurmy voice entered folks minds (telepathy, bee-atches!). Sophet Drahas was awaiting the party and was set to seal the deal that they join his cause and ditch the grumbling Powerhand.

The party’s response was, well, let’s say . . . mixed. A few folks wanted to see the form of Drahas, and from the darkness slithered forward an aboleth (flanked by several wavering, super slimy kuo-toa, and likely some other bi-peds as well). As the team sized up the creature, Ratfink charged into combat…

Everybody roll initiative (that will be my opening line on August 11).

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An Unexpected Loss

As the party returned from their Lunar escapade, they found a short and stout Tiefling waiting in Pegit’s office. The Tiefling, Torment, informed the party that, as head of security overseeing the team working on the Portalmobile, he witnessed Kash seem to discover something while working with the machine. Kash leapt up and said, " Bel Shalor will be most pleased, now I just need to find the keys." Kash then cast a powerful spell that blinded everyone before sending them flying away from the machine. Torment regained his sight just as Kash powered the machine up and disappeared in a bright flash that collapsed in on itself until it was gone. Torment insists on joining the party in order to get a little payback and roll with a more talented crew.

Pegit did not seem to notice that his collection of gear is now in the party’s possession. He is still recuperating from his abduction. Who knows when he will be the same. Also, what will be his reaction to Bradley’s untimely death? Only time and some other DM will tell!…

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An Even More Unexpected Loss

As everyone is standing in Pegit’s new office, talking with Torment, four slightly transparent arrows come through the window and shoot into Torment’s body. Thwack! Thwack! Thwack! Thwack! You see confusion and shock on Torment’s face as he falls to his knees with blood coming from his mouth. Outside you can see a flying elf with a greatbow ready in his hands. Suddenly he teleports into the office with his hands up. "I mean you no harm. My target was the Tiefling and he alone. I assume he was spinning some yarn about being the only witness to your frined’s escape? Yes, well that’s not quite how it went. You see he indeed was the only witness, but only because he and Kash were servants of the same masters, the Lords of Dust. The Lords of Dust work tirelessly to free their demonic masters from their prison in Khyber. I fear that your friend and this fiend here were in with them.

Why trust anything I say you might ask? Well because I work for someone you already are familiar with…Prakktos! The Dragons are the only thing fighting back against the demons and their bid to escape their longtime prison. Prakktos sent me to repay his debt in part for releasing him. This Tiefling would have led you right into the hands of the enemy. He also sent me to recruit you into the cause of the dragons. Now, from what information I was given, I have ascertained that you lot are not exactly the do gooder type, am I right? Well let me give you another incentive then. Should the demons and the daelkyr be released the process of their escape will shatter the barrier between the planes. Pure chaos will ensue along with the bloodiest conflict ever before. As for me, I kind of like this world. It provides me with the means to gain riches and other material goods. Were the barriers to be shattered that would not be the case. Likely the collateral damage would be catastrophic and might even rip everyone out of existence.

However, I am not an expert and do not know what would happen for sure. But you can be assured that it would be bad, and not the good kind of bad.

With regard to Prakktos, he does not need your immediate help, but their will come a time when he does. I am sent here to aid you in your travels and be the go-between for the dragons.

Oh yes, and I am called Keyth.

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Regeneration is a Bitch: The Final Chapter in the Undeath of Grouuhl

CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACKCRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK..(continuous concentrated thunder cracks)

The sound of the Lightning Rail passing each conductor stone along the track soon became a white noise to all of the passengers aboard the Scarlet-Line Bullet-Train destined for Zilargo. Folks from all across Khorvaire had made their way onto the pristine locomotive operated by House Orien. Each passenger had their own reasons for going to Zilargo that day. Some wealthy passengers traveled in order to do business with the famous artificer gnomes of Zolanberg. A few passengers were even going to relay some delicate political information to the Trust in Zilargo in order to provide greater political leverage in the negotiations with Breland. An entire car full of gnome children and their parents were traveling on the Scarlet Line that day as well. They were just returning from their school field trip to a wildlife safari in The Talenta Plains.

But perhaps the most interesting of the Scarlet Line’s passengers this day were a party of three unassuming individuals.

A blind Gnome woman, Skyresh by name, walked along the trains interior towards the back, seemingly inconspicuous to all (gnomes aren’t exactly scarce on this line).

A dark cloaked Elf man, Keyth, spent his idle time on the train doing a bit of wealth extraction from those more fortunate but definitely less capable than himself.

And finally a grizzly, monstrous, patchwork of body parts known as Grouuhl stalked his next organ donor in the sleeping car.

As the train bolted on the trio meandered their way towards the rear car. Their intent, a coffin carrying within it the means to exact some well deserved revenge on an old colleague. The plan was to decouple the last few cars from the train and therein divide the threat they faced from the guards of House Orien. As they came upon the section they wished to decouple, Grouuhl and Keyth set to work dismantling the highly charged car connector while Skyresh kept watch in the next car.

It seemed to go well at first, the decoupling was proceeding and Skyresh saw nothing besides a large group of gnomes in the car. However, a chance mistake by Grouuhl in decoupling the cars set off a loud THWACK! that alerted the nearby passengers. It was at this time that the guards of House Orien made themselves known and proceeded to engage the trio in battle.

Perhaps seeing the crowd of school children as a liability in this fight or as collateral damage, Skyresh unleashed a violent psychic detonation that obliterated nearly all of them instantly. Those left alive moaned in agony as the fight raged around them.

After countless attempts to decouple the cars, Keyth finally slammed his elbow down on the connector with elven precision and a crackling burst separated the cars. Keyth flew out above the train, and as he hovered there in the sky he saw large bolts of lightning begin shooting out from the tracks where the rear cars were pulling away from the ever distancing front cars of the Scarlet Line. An instant later, thunderous booms bellowed out from beneath the cargo cars as they lost their connection with the track and were blown outward by the force of a great blast.

From out the door of the first car came a flying carpet, Skyresh riding serenely on top. Keyth looked back and saw that the cars were rolling down the steep green hills, becoming more and more dented and destroyed. The cars flew of a ridge at the bottom of a hill and crashed down onto a crop of beets. Debris from the crash was scattered over miles. Keyth looked to Skyresh and noticed Grouuhl was nowhere to be seen…

(a minute prior)

Grouuhl had been deserted by his companions. Full of the bodies of gnome children and guards of House Orien, as well as the beat down Grouuhl, the car began to tilt heavily to the right and a moment later was blown outward off the track, forcing the car into a never-ending tumble down the hills below.

Grouuhl was many things. He was a devastating combatant, a well put together monstrosity, and an all around badass. But what Grouuhl was most was hungry. And during his last moments he didn’t have to rely on the satisfaction one gets from a good fight. No, Grouuhl got to gorge himself on the savory taste of young gnome flesh as he was spun right round baby, right round in a train car of terror.

And so ends the story of Grouuhl. May he rest in pieces.

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