Schism: Consequences of the Divine

Whats wrong with being... practical

That blasted elf wasn’t a complete fool after all. I should have known better then to let them dismiss the tall tale by the elf. I as no other know that there is a core of truth to everything being said. It may not be obvious, it may not have been perceived correctly, maybe it is a flat out lie, but whatever is observed and said, has meaning. And after we stood knee deep in blood of both enemies and sacrifice, that tall tale of poisoning the city water isn’t so tall anymore. Definitely not as tall as the Medusa that “escaped” us.

Getting into the enclave of the passive Pelorians wasnt so hard. It really wasnt theirs anymore anyway, and now blatantly so. The Pelorians were nowhere to be seen… sacrifice was about to commence. We made our way to the temple, and out charade was up. A fight ensued with the Tiamatians, and the guards lost. I am not sure what the Monk is thinking, but bleeding on enemies does not strike them down.

I am surprised the monk didnt puke on his shoes when we entered the worship chamber. Guts, death and blood everywhere. Pelorians dragged in as they get sacrificed by the Deva. We came late, but not too late for some I suppose. Jumping up and down the seats the battle commences with us as the victor. It was ugly, gruesome, and I was ready for loot. I quietly move to the other side of the room and about to open the door. I reached for the door knob and it starts to open. I jump back and as if the day couldnt get any worse, a Medusa to top it off. Seriously? My lightning reflexes let me jump back to the other side from which I came, shooting this ugly excuse for sentient life.

At this point I, in a way, gained an awkward respect for the amount the monk can bleed. He stands in the middle of large rats and snakes and just starts gushing blood. I dont know what happened, but I actually felt… concern… for him. Much of the fight is a blur really, hidden by that weird realization. Me, Nightdew, changeling and lonely traveller, actually caring about more than the next loot and saving my own hide. I want to tell myself this party is just here as a vehicle and provider of opportunities… but it isnt so anymore. I remember even wanting to take that Bahamut amulet out and to see if it would help Soren… ugh i want to vomit.

Looking over this amulet, I wonder if it has an effect on me. Would lore be true and that items do exist that can affect a person, a free individual like myself? My nature rings warning bells, but why am I not as alarmed as I feel I should be. Should I just give this thing away and be done with it? Hell, I even put myself in more harm than I normally would. Setting up getting poison to make contact with the Vecnites and Cehiren to discover the plans to poison this city. This city that has cost me so much and I never wished to visit again. The city in which my parents were murdered and the city of my vengeance. The city that houses zealots and idiots—just in case there is a difference—and I care, why?

I have to say though, it went smoothly. I made contact with apothecary like I did so many moons ago. For some reason I chose Sevana. I suppose her dark beauty felt fitting. Contact would be made inside of am abandoned boathouse where i would purchase poison. Deva, Medusa… how about a lizard, a walking lizard of all things, selling me potions. The rest of my party as of yet undiscovered, I tell him that I am not really there to buy potion. With my dagger close, I wait for the creature to respond. It seemed intrigued. It let’s me explain what my goal is. I tell it that I want to join their underworld, the world I feel i belong in. It was hard to keep a straight face when it told me how to proof myself. I have to kill my party, and well, myself. I can do that… or at least make it look like that. Though getting my party to cooperate may be the more difficult part…

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Avenger ambushes

Turns out when being hunted by avenegers one should avoid dark alleys who knew. We were travelling down an alley and we got ambushed by four avengers. They surrounded us and were beating us pretty good. The paladin was capable of holding the front line while me and the monk tried to break through the back line. After intense fighting we did manage to succesfully break out of the ambush and we regrouped at a nearby building. The squicher members of our party wanted to hole up in this building even though our best bet was to run back into the street while they were repositioning. We waited in the building to long and we got ambushed as they flanked around the back. Luckily I charged and managed to kill two of them while the paladin and nightdew got the other. The monk did nothing but bleed.

We then rushed our way to the pelor district to prevent the Deva from sacrificing his followers. However we were stopped at the gate and the monk provoked a fight with the gaurds. This fight went alot smoother. We dropped the two closest to us pretty quick and then we had to engage the archers. After I dropped the soldier on the frontline. I saw the monk ineffectually hitting one of the archers so I charged the archer and smashed him in the face with my hammer. Thats a kill count of four. While the monk has zero. Why do we keep him around again?

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Daashing Good Time

So Nightdew finally met the famous Dagen in the library. From what I gather, he’s a secretive member of the Avengers. From what I was told, the man is incredibly confident in his abilities and was more than happy to talk about it in annoyingly veiled terms. Of course, Nightdew decided to play it off as dumb, which seems to get us into trouble more often than not. For people who hate secrets, he was very good at being circuitous in his answers. Seems that Pelorians demand the truth from all non-Pelorians and each other, but refuse to give straight talk to non-Pelorians. I say, they’re dicks.

And they know about us. They know a lot about us. Dagen basically told Nightdew that he was a prisoner of the library. Nightdew, being Nightdew, decided to wait for a noon time service to try to make his escape. I think he hates books. Just a thought though.

I chose to go meet with the Knight-Captain Graver who would deign to give me orders for the evening. However, this captain seemed very interested in the idea of living vicariously through martyrdom. Just not his own martyrdom. I wasn’t too happy with this turn of events. This was a group of valiant fighters who were killing themselves off in a futile display of not-their-bravado. Scratch that, getting killed by a terrible leader. I decided with Nacene that we needed to try something more tactically sophisticated.

Meanwhile, Gauthak finally met Bigman. Turns out, he’s deva that has been preaching the crippling doctrine of non-violence to the Pelorians in the secondary enclave. Bigman was planning on sacrificing all the Pelorians for the empowerment of an artifact that the green dragon wants for himself (as much as I could try to pronounce that creatures name, it make my tongue hurt last time). Gauthak decided that the best plan was to disrupt this with his usual style and came to get me.

Nightdew attempted to make his escape as the service ended. His plan was to blend into a group to make his way out of the church. Seemingly successful, he started to make his way out of the compound. In a new skin, he did what he could to get past the gate guards in an assumed identity and seemed to do so, despite an avenger trying to discern his location.

My plan managed to save some lives but seemed to inspire the Knight-Captain to greater heights to idiocy. I guess if you stop a crazy person with logic, they’ll never learn. Knight-Lieutenant Daera, a dwarf of all things, informed me that it’s been this way for awhile. In fact, she only gained her rank because of the Captain’s actions. But on my way to inform the Knight-Commander of the Captain’s terrible decisions ran into Gauthak, who I persuaded partially to not bother us during the meeting. The last thing I needed was to explain that a follower of Kord was A) my friend and B) not something to kill. I confronted the Commander and the Captain and presented my case.

Shockingly, I was able to bring the Captain to court-martial, and in thanks, received blessings and equipment from the Commander. Then came the reveal. We spoke to the Highfather at the Temple and told him that we were carrying the Scale. We also asked for aid in shaking the Pelorian Inquisitors. For our service, I received a Ward of Bahamut, another freaking prophetic thing. It’s honestly the last thing I was both expecting and desiring to get today. Nightdew got the Bracers of Escape, very much something in his style. Gauthak got the Couter of Second Chances, something to help him hit things. I don’t understand why these great works of armor have to have such strange names. Wouldn’t “Hit ’Em Harder” bracers make more sense?

We’re making for the Pelorian compound now, but I seriously doubt we’ll make it there before the Avengers come for us. And Alion just ran off. Wonderful. This is going to be massively fun.

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Return to Daash

Damn forests. They are fine when just traveling but you never know what to expect. Especially not the damn dragon curled around the trees and we never even heard him. I suppose I could learn a thing or two about being silent from this creature. At least we didnt have to fight it. This relatively young dragon by the name of Verrosariotherax wanted to make a deal. We take a kobold to Daash and when it completes it’s mission we can make a selection from it’s hoard. Not a bad deal. We keep choice whether or not to keep the deal, and walk away with all our lives and if we choose to, we can return and kill the creature anyway a bit more prepared.

Squibbels… what a name… how fitting a name for the damned little kobold we took with us. We didnt want to have to deal with questions so I suggested we would take the smallest Kobold and stuff it in a bag. We knocked it out a few times to keep it quiet. It did piss itself in Gauthaks bag, but that was nothing a few dunks into a water throe couldnt fix. It was good and quiet not by choice when we passed the caravan. This will work as we move into Daash. Squibbels needs to deliver a message to a “Big guy”. Squibbels might very soon find a big guy in between the enclaves as i set him “free” to run for his life to escape being turned into food…

Daash… nothing has changed. Still the damned same place as before. Bunch of misguided zealots everywhere. Hammerstock hasnt changed much, as is to be expected of a place filled with dwarfs. They still like to fight and Gauthak fits right in. Had a nice little brawl on the first evening we are there. Gets all buddy buddy with a dwarf who introduces him around after they share a prison cell. I would make a joke, but I suppose I do have respect for the “Hammer based solution” he applies, and questioning his manhood wouldnt go over well. Seems to be more depth to Gauthak than I thought though. There is a context in which he fights, and he told the dwarf thanks but no thanks for some random fighting… thing. I dont even want to know. Should be interesting to watch for in the future and how it could fit in.

Alion is becoming predictable in his unpredictability. I always thought there was something mysterious to the elf, but actually he is just an impulsive tool. Squibbels disappeared, and lo and behold Alion took him on the roofs. Trying to keep track of Alion is like herding cats; pointless. We shall see where this ends, but for now he does seem to have a knack to hoover at the right side of the edge of trouble.

Shorin and I decided to do a little scouting. This young monk is something else. He equals me in his skill of stealth as was evident from our moving about between the enclaves making our way to the Sun’s cradle. He’s a better climber than I am, but he royally fucked up trying to get up the wall of the Sun’s Cradle. Considering that these vigilantes are zealots and always on the watch for attacks, we were lucky to get away. I never did slap him upside the head, even though I should.

The next day he decided to go and visit the Sheltered Wing, Bahamuts enclave. He mentioned something about a trial and the extremes in punishment. Seems he made a friend with some Paladin that shared some of their views. I suppose my companions havent been able to get accustomed to the zealotery of this city—they better get used to it quick. He tried to play it off, but I think he made a fool of himself when he was showing off his fighting skill with his spear. Nonetheless he has the intention of meeting with Knight-Commander Kerrick.

In the morning i went out again to the Sun’s Cradle and was of course questioned at the gate. Very detailed questioning. I can appreciate the attention to detail, but get a life already. I found out a little bit about this organization that wants back my artifact. I am just curious by now, who these people are. These people all pay lip services to not having secrets. Yet, in the first inn I visited, this beautiful elf lady by the name of Lyandra clearly wasnt as happy as she pretended to be. Talk about patriotism to the extreme. I offered to take her away for the day some day soon, and she pretended like she didnt understand. Somehow that made her only more endearing. Anyway… she was able to tell me a little more about these Pelorian Zealots; the order of the Radiant Eyes. They sound like a bad lot and shrouded in a sort of mystery. Somehow it makes sense that nobody can put you in contact with them, because they will simply find you. How does that even make sense in a place that is so keen on keeping nothing secret? Daggin seems to be a name that keeps popping up, and I should find out more information.

I also visited the enclave in which i was born, where i lost the family I had, and little is left of when I was there. Crescent is still the enclave to my heart. As changeable as I am, and always evolving. Few can recognize the structure in the chaos, but it all evolves quite naturally. Families come and go, and the dynamic remains and is a constant. I suppose I am a little homesick, and strangely satisfied that I played my part in wiping out a family out of existence that did my family wrong.

A secondary Pelorian enclave really isn’t one. Here again the Pelorians are under the protection of Tiamat, and here again they are milked. I am starting to really dislike these fellows that stand in the way of opportunity.

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A dwarven love story

Our brave heroes had mananged to slay the leader of the hobgloblins, and in doing so freed the city of stormist from the two warring parties of hobglolbins and orcs. While Shorin, nightdew, and Gauthak were busy looking over the corpsis Aes decided to check on the pens where the hobgoblins kept their prisoners little did he know that his was would soon be kept prisoner. He ment the most enchanting man by the name of jim. He was a formor prostitute with a heart of gold and broad shoulders. Aes instantly found himself smitten by Jim and the two decided to run off together to the city of twilight glen. The city of twilight glen was known for its views that most believed came about through the partnership of Melora, Selune, and Pelor. For in the city the Sun and the moon would reflect off the wide river and illuminate the the forest that most would describe as nothing short off equisite beauty. Jim and Aes would settle down in this city and decided to open up a shop selling hand made suits. Aes would deal with the people and Jim had a remarkable talent for sowing that he would put to good use. Their shop became famous throughout the continent for its quality and they would prove to be successful.

Meanwhile Gauthak, Shorin and Nightdew were left to handle the situation in Stormist. When they got back to Stormist. Gauthak and Shorin were both ready to leave Stormist but Nightdew wanted to double cross the Blades first. In order to do that he allied himself with Miara in order to kill commander Ironscale. However When Gauthak was accmopanying Nightdew to talk to Miara one of Miara’s guards didn’t know how to keep his God damn mouth shut. Gauthak learned were he would be latter and taught him and the friends he brought with him a lesson in self restraint. Nightdew and Miara formulated a plan to get commander Ironscale to see Miara and they would ambush him when he got there. Gauthak wanted no part of the plan but since Nightdew was an ally he decided to help him. Commander Ironscale arrived at Miara’s and got attacked by Miara’s guards. Gauthak proceeded to set them all on fire and while Ironscale was distracted Nightdew stabbed him in the back. After this happened we informed Usilka that Ironscale was dead and she ordered her troops to sack a MorningLords palace and kill everyone inside which she did. While all this was going on Shorin was consulting the Priests of Pelor about and artifact and a prophecy.

After all this had gone down and Shorin found out about the prophecy and the artifact. Our heroes were told to leave town by the one remaining Morninglord. Through consulting the Nameless they found out that they should go to a town and on their journey they were ambushed kobolds. They fought they kobolds driving them off. After they drove them off they chased them back to their camp were they found them worshipping a Dragon that had snuck up behind them.

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You can't spell slaughter with out laughter

We managed to goad the orcs into attacking the hobgoblins. Thank God I was beginning to tire of the cloack and dagger routine time to do what I do best hit things. Off course before that had to happened we had to uncover the traitor in our midst wich Nightdew managed to do. We then had to proceed to lead the orcs through the town without them attacking anyone to make our plan effective. We proceded to do this through intrigue, guile, and me running balls to the wall after insulting Grummsh repeatedly. Apparently I have a talent for religious insults and running.

Our plan did go off without a hich they orcs attacked the hobgoblins with their usual grasp off tactics and strategy that is to say rushed headlong into a fight they couldn’t win. Luckily we brought some scale soldiers with us. We managed to kill of most of the hobglobins when Aes got himself into trouble by attacking the leader who was in a nice set of platemail. Which I inherited after he died from “mysterious causes”. He was tough though took everything we had to knock him down. After the battle just ended so we are deciding what to do next.

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Orcs, hobgoblins, and corpses. Oh my!

We gathered together at the inn to determine our course of action. Nightdew was all ready to go for killing Commander Ironscale. I am conflicted about this course of action. Worshippers of Tiamat, despite the alliances of the Schism, are still the prime enemy of every single person living in the Temple, but he keeps this town safe from the besiegers. More or less. Aes mentioned that we should try to save the daughter of the farmer who was acting as an informant for the hobgoblins FROM said hobgoblins. Gauthak and I were with Aes in thinking that we needed to destroy the hobgoblins first. Nightdew is not the shrewdest decision maker out there, despite whatever he says whenever we disagree with him. Though he is skilled at what he does. If we ever go to the temple, I will have to try to teach him how to use the Rising Mist Path. At the very least it will bring the monks some much needed humor.

We decided on a fairly devious plan of action. We headed into the hobgoblin forest with the intent of killing a hobgoblin patrol, then using the bodies to make the orcs think hobgoblins had killed some of their warband, we should be able to induce the orcs to assault the hobgoblin warcamps. Gauthak was especially pleased as he would be able to solve problems in his preferred way. He calls them “hammer-based solutions”. I think he would like the Paladins at the temple. They both do love killing things that stand in their way. I also think this is why I get along with him. We seem to fight alongside each other particularly well.

Anyway, we struck out and set a trap with the thunderstone Nightdew and I swiped from the hobgoblin armory awhile back. We hid in the bushes and waited for our chance to strike. I would like to say that we quickly and efficiently dispatched them, but with Nightdew running from one of the cretins like a maniac and my terrible display of combat (my masters would send me back to the children’s lessons) it took a bit longer than expected. The magic some of those creatures wield is particularly dangerous. Despite the setbacks, we managed to slaughter the patrol and make off with the bodies. We then got a cart to bring the bodies up to the upper cliff where the orcs were. The gate guard was a bit suspicious, but it wasn’t much of a problem to get past him as we’ve been deputized by the Blades. I do not wish to talk about how that makes me feel. It does, however, rhyme with witty.

We found the trail of a raiding party burning a ranch. Paragons of morality that we are, we charged full bore to the defense of the sometimes burning ranchers. While the orcish berserkers were incredibly rough with us, we showed them no mercy. Unfortunately, only one rancher survived by the time we had dispatched the raiding party. While Nightdew began trying to calm her down, the rest of us set about trying to stage the scene as a hobgoblin attack on the orcs.

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Time for a hammer based solution
Well apparently Malach is gone. To where or what I have no idea. We were planning to launch an assault on some orcs and he turned into some mechanical construct and fell apart. I did not have to much time to think about it not that I would anyway but it was a mild distraction to bashing orcs in the face. Yeah I have to say as far as bashing things in the face goes Orcs are up there in my top ten right next to kobolds and gnomes, why gnomes I don’t trust those tiny, shifty bastards. Anyway during the fight apparently a whichama call it a monk jumped down from the roof and punched a few orcs in the face. I like his attitude about face punching. Anyway we almost get through the fight and one Orc flees away from the tower, and another one fled downsatirs to warn his companions. I mananged to run him down and immobolize him before he got all the way downsatirs. We finished him off and had a quick chat with the monk. Apparently he is on some sort of quest with his fellow monks and they all died but him. Okay kind of stupid to send out a bunch of young monks on a quest if there going to get themselves killed but since he seemed to be able to handle himself and we were a man down we agreed to have him tag along. We went downstairs and were promptly ambushed luckily we were prepared for such a thing and mananged to eliminate the orcs attacking us. We began to hear chanting by Orcs to their god grummush. We were in the process of interupting the ceremony which invovled sacrificing a hobgloblin in a big eye on the ground. Nightdew was about to shoot him when I stopped him to firgure out what was going on because one of the orcs told us they needed to finish the ritual in order to stop the followers of bane. Bane why did it have to be Bane I have a long history with followers of his. Anyway the orcs attacked us and we had to defend ourselves. We managed to kill all of them after a long and grueling battle. However someone killed the hobgoblin so the ceremony couldn’t be completed which means we have to stop the hobgoblins ourselves. And of course as we exit the facility a bunch of hobgoblins show up. I’m bloody but I still have a few tricks up my sleeves if this gets ugly.
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A necromancer, a wizard with no name, and Stormmist Falls.
Watch out for the gnome.

The dwarves are freed and I am replacing my hatred for kobolds with a hatred for these Tiamat worshipping mercenary cowards. Especially the archers. On a more pressing note, we found a missive naming the regional subcommand headquarters at Stormmist Falls. Gauthak had heard of it; two weeks away in the foothills of the nearby mountains. The primary feature of the town is an 80 foot waterfall that bisects the town like a vertical river. It’s an ex-regional imperial city. Aes was giggly at the idea of going to a city. Honestly, I need to figure out where this dwarf is from. He hates caves, and loves his wine. Not ale. It’s nothing short of bizarre. Although it’s now dominated by these Tiamat whores, it was at one point a center of Peloric worship and devotion. The alliances of old still hold it seems.

We decided to stay the night and recover following the fight with the captain. We agreed to return in a few weeks to retrieve the new bow that Nightdew asked to have crafted. Aes put up a stink about staying in the guest quarters until we finally convinced him NOT to sleep outside by the wall. I was surprised Gauthak didn’t just knock him out and drag him inside. It would have been an entertaining fight.

That morning Nightdew and I were awoken by a terrible stench. Nightdew opened the door and we found ourselves face-to-face with the newly walking body of Shiana, one of the old captain’s lieutenants. All the soldiers – aside from the one I had bisected in rage – were resurrected/zombified by some crazed elf with a necromantic bent. I’m adding that to the things I really hate, elves in black.

The necromancer, clearly unhinged, seemed to have a particular affinity for calling us “the Illuiminated Ones”. We had no idea what he was talking about and started wailing on both him and the zombies. We decided to not kill him immediately to try and determine where he was from and why he wanted to kill us. As we tried to wake him up post-combat, I remembered some old cultish rumor about Illuminating something and that it may or may not be Pelor related. Nevertheless, still annoyed. We interrogated the hapless necromancer who let us know that it was a Vecna inspired prophecy that he was attempting to prevent. Unfortunately, all he could tell us was that his master, a self-styled Crippled Hand, sent him to kill us. We asked the dwarves to hold him until we got back from our sortie to Stormmist. As much as it slides me towards a darker life, I was more than happy to see him go screaming. Sometimes you have to punish to set people on the right path.

As we were leaving, we were instructed to see if we could procure some horses from The Hermit. His home in the forest was a marvel of craftsmanship, even more so once we realized that he did it singlehandedly. Truly a powerful arcanist. This wizard, called The Nameless, chose to provide us with some help by granting us four horses in exchange for us retrieving the best painting we could find of the Falls. We thanked him and set off for the city.

It took a little over a week, but we made it to the city after uneventful travel. Stormmist seemed to be run by the Order, but it didn’t have a feel of occupation. Gauthak noted that it looked like the mercenaries had been hired to protect the place. We also noticed a cleric of Pelor standing with the guards. The guards told us that goblins and orcs had been raiding the outlying towns. The cleric said that the Order was in good standing with the town as they had been hired to protect the Falls against the monsters in the area. I was personally surprised by this, but let it go at that. If the Order was helping these people, we had to let that happen.

We made it to the inn where Aes seemed to be more than happy to reside. The matron offered a number of art galleries where we could search for a painting of quality. Nightdew was more than happy to flirt again, thought I cannot fathom what he saw in this woman. I am beginning to wonder how old this changeling is, and if he has a mate. Most likely not given how he handles himself. I suppose he’d steal from her as well if she existed.

We decided to look at the work of one Tessan Bluefire and at the gallery in the Upper Districts. I went to see the “madwoman” Agrintha, to see what I could find in the way of magical items. Nightdew and Gauthak, after Nightdew chatted up the matron, went off to see the adventurer’s liaison and Aes went to the evening showing of the high end gallery.

(In the Cask and Barrel, Gauthak and Nightdew talked to the bartender, a half-Orc. He identified the liaison as a female officer in the company. They went with the officer, who identified herself as Lieutenant Usilka. She was more than happy to hire a group of adventurers to do some scouting. We were asked to take on some Orc Shamans. We would be paid 10 gold per person up front, but then we would be granted a bounty for each shaman totem brought back. Nightdew negotiated a higher bounty and accepted the job.)

(Aes changed into his eveningwear, and went off to the gallery showing but trying to make conversation with people in the street and determine the attitude of the populace with regards to the Order. The upper classes were generally negative towards the commander, Commander Ironscale, a Dragonborn. He attempted to get an invitation to a party held by one of the Sunlords where the Commander would be present. At the gallery, Aes started to realize that the culture in this town has been steadily decreasing. The curator, Tokori, was particularly pretentious. He requested a bribe to put Aes in touch with someone who could paint a picture of the falls.)

I went to see the madwoman. Her place was in a barren lot surrounded by other large buildings. Agrintha was a gnome with a serious anxiety problem. In all my remembered years I’ve never seen someone as tightly wound as this. I worried for a short time that she may have even tried to harm me. She’s an alchemist with a lot to sell. She seemed impressed with my psionic ability but unfortunately nothing that I was willing to purchase. I was also put off by the magical minefield she had designed to protect her home. Clearly she could use a friend of some sort, but I imagine she would only speak with another arcanist or magic user.

We all reformed at the Cask and Barrel as Nightdew was trying to steal from the local captain. Unlike the past few times he’s played this little game, it was a miserable failure. And then he tried to get out of it by sweet-talking the lieutenant. Honestly, he deserved the mental slaps I gave him for that. Aes pulled along to a private conversation and we were given the mission. Aes mentioned a plan to kill the Commander at some party coming up, but we decided to talk about it later. We chose to leave for the shamans before dawn to try and catch them as they awoke.

At dawn, we approached the ruins where we were told the shamans had made camp. We decided to scout the place and wait for some better light. We shall see what the dawn brings.

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Time to Set the Dwarves Free...Yay.

So we met with the dwarven resistance down there in the mines led by some guy named Stalich Forgefather. (Ha…Forgefather, how original. Now I know most dwarves, even these weird stationary non-merchant kinds love their mining names but come on!). It turns out they had this underground death-bridge thing set up which they could use to take out the mercenaries vigilante style. The team and I decided to throw the Blades into chaos by convincing Lethesin that we finally cleared out those annoying fire buggers (While I knew I was never in any real danger, I was surprised how well some of the others fought). We figured he’d send down Telk and his team to verify our story and Malach would stay behind to take part in the ambush (I say that was a good call as in hand to hand combat he would go down faster than a Red Light District whore).

We made our way back to the surface (ugh, thank Erathis) and informed the Captain about the situation, leading him to believe that the deva died in battle and that we discovered a more extensive area past the forge room where some dwarven holdouts were hiding. We were right; he assigned his “genius” second in command and his team to investigate. After leading them down into the depths, we led them to the “newly discovered” bridge. Nightdew convinced them to investigate the door at the end of the bridge himself which turned out to a bad idea, as the second the hidden dwarven started firing, they smelled a trap and bum rush the Gauthak, Nightdew and I in the hall between the bridge and the forge. My compatriots took a beating before I could react. Once I locked those (pretty skilled) soldiers in place, however. We regained the upper hand. The dwarves on the bridge and Malach made short work of the rest of them including Telk. Only real casualty of the battle: Forgefather.

As we were catching our breath and patching our wounds, we planned on our next course of action. I realized that because they were worshipers of the Dragon Queen, they would probably fall apart if we could take out the Captain. But how to go about it? It was decided that Nightdew, who turned out to be a changeling, much to our surprise (one of our girls is a changeling by the way, and don’t you know changing form to suit any man’s fancy really brings in the gold) would change into Telk’s form, and report back to the Captain that while his troops were defeated in battle (the captain thinking he took them out in his rage) we were victorious. In preparation for this, he donned the big guy’s shit cover clothing; we tossed Malach’s “corpse) into a mining cart and Forgefather’s head into a bag and readied ourselves for the battle we figured might be imminent.

As we exited the cave, what do you know, Stalich and his harem/honor guard was there waiting for us. While putting on a good show, Nightdew slipped when he said we wanted to clean the dwarven blood out of his clothes as it was making him feel dirty. Bad move. The captain saw right through it and battle commenced. This was a tough one. All of his guard kept jumping in front of my flail when I was about to land the killing blow on this guy. Everybody but me went down at some point, but Malach really evened the score with his psyonic explosions (shows these idiots who get their magic from external sources such as pacts with devils, or bowing and scraping to the gods where the real power comes from, the mind). Towards the end of the battle, Nightdew freed the captives from their cages and they helped even the score. The rest of the mercenaries cut and ran and the dwarves jumped with glee. You know the faster I’m away from these morons and sitting with a girl in one hand and a mug of frosty ale in the other while racking in the money from the card tables back in the Harbor I will be happy.

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