New Halagard

The Bafford Job
Blackmail for everyone!

Cutty gathered the group of us together, and told us that he could easily find a buyer for a scepter. This particular scepter, however, belonged to one Lord Reginald Bafford whose estate was in the Old Quarter. It was a rag-tag bunch, with a spell-scarred human, a tiefling, a dragonborn, a dwarf, and an elf. We all had found our way to Cutty one way or another, and none of us really had any issue with acquiring this scepter.

We asked around about this Lord Bafford. Turns out he was one of the lesser nobles of the city, and many other new-money nobles were seeking to displace him from his position. It stood to reason that one of these nobles would want to have the scepter to show off at a party, especially if Bafford had not yet realized the item’s absence.

After casing the joint, Donarvan and Kildrak distracted the city guard while Rolan, Sunshine, and Wil snuck inside through the well outside the estate wall. After sneaking past guards in the basement, the three managed to go up to the main floor where significantly more of Bafford’s guards were patrolling. There were a few close calls, especially by the servant’s area and the kitchen, but for the most part we managed to find all the little bells attached to storage room doors.

Eventually, Rolan, Sunshine, and Wil made their way to the back gate where Donarvan and Kildrak had agreed to meet them. Once inside, the dwarf made no attempt at stealth which very nearly drew the attention of the guard patrolling in the courtyard. From the library, we quickly made our way upstairs to the top floor.

Upstairs, there were only a few guards patrolling. In between their circuits, we managed to find a magically-locked door. We were pretty sure it led to a small room in the basement that we had passed earlier. After getting past the magic, we quickly went down the stairs and discovered a ledger which indicated that Bafford was skimming some money off of the top of his operation, and a magic item. We took these items into our possession, and then made our way back up the stairs.

At the top of the stairs, we ducked into the hallway just in time to have to duck back in through the door because the guard was passing by. We also explored what appeared to be a guest room, but left the area undisturbed. The next room off of the hallway that we explored was something akin to a throne room. In it, the scepter was prominently displayed, and we knew it would only be a matter of time before its absence was discovered.

Wil quickly used his knowledge of magic to create a copy of the scepter using a simple wooden rod. When he was finished, it looked exactly like the scepter, but he warned us that it would not last long because he was rushed during its creation. We quickly pocketed the scepter and made our way out through the back gate.

Running through the streets of the Old Quarter, we tried to stick to the shadows and escape before any of Bafford’s guard or the City Watch noticed us. Eventually we made it back to Cutty’s Mercantile.

When we arrived, we found the door smashed in, and Cutty was nowhere to be found.

What happened to Cutty?

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Occupational Hazards
Sometimes it hurts.

Donarvan and Sunshine bluffed their way into the Church of Torm, claiming that Sunshine was unable to speak, and that Donarvan was a slave who spoke for her. Sunshine claimed to be a relative of Cutty’s, seeking information about his whereabouts.

Cutty was shipped out to Crag’s Cleft, where he would be forced to work in the mining operation. He looked pretty beat up. We managed to at least get a name from him, and he told us to see Farkus. We dropped the scepter off with Farkus, hoping that he could fence the object for us since it was a time-sensitive job.

We followed the Paladins and prisoners along the road, and made our way in through the underground network of mining tunnels, hoping they would lead us into the compound. We had to fight past some very cold corpses, but otherwise our passage was uneventful.

Eventually we made our way into the compound, and managed to sneak through a factory into the prison area.

We used some flashbang powder to distract the guards at the guardhouse, and quickly made our way down into the ward where we suspected newer prisoners would be taken.

After bringing Cutty with us through the mining tunnels, we had to figure out the quickest and safest way to get him back to the city so that he could recover from his grave injuries.

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Fence Sitting

The dwarf carried Cutty most of the way back. Especially when we had to do a little climbing to get back into the city without drawing undue notice from the City Watch.

We took Cutty to meet with Farkus, who quickly set up a safehouse for the fence somewhere in Eastport.

Farkus told us that he had indeed sold the scepter, and that it was bought by a woman names Valtrissa. He didn’t know which noble she was working for—it seems the lady is very good at keeping a low profile.

We soon found out that Felix, Cutty’s son, was also missing. Some of us suspected that Felix could have set his father up, so we decided to try to look for him.

Felix had wandered off to explore the vast network of tombs and catacombs under the cemetery. It was to be our task to follow him there.

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Down in the Bonehoard
Footsteps in the Dust

We entered the cemetery, and Wil created an area of silence around the mausoleum that had most recently been open. With a little struggle, we were able to open the stone door and slip inside with the door closing behind us. As we climbed down into the catacombs below, Rolan began studying the tracks. It appeared that two groups left tracks within a few days of each other. The more recent tracks belonged to a group of 4, and we suspected that they belonged to Felix and whomever he enticed to come down here with him.

We followed those tracks down into some tunnels that had compromised the integrity of the stone chambers, and after some twists and turns came to a chasm 25 feet across. We set up a rope and grappling arrow to help us get across, and immediately found ourselves confronted by a large shadow serpent.

Rolan and Kildrak took the brunt of the snake’s offensive, having been the first to cross. Donarvan soon followed, doing what he could to aid our healing efforts. Sunshine and Wil made their attacks from across the chasm, and eventually we defeated the snake.

When we looked down into the chasm that Sunshine and Wil still had to cross, we saw a body floating in the water some distance down. One of us climbed down and searched the body, finding a rather sodden adventurer’s kit missing a rope, and a journal. The last entry in the journal read:

Felix doesn’t care, but we’ve definitely found signs that Adolpho has been here before us. I don’t know if he found that fabulous gemstone he always said was here, but if it’s still here, it’s worth more than the lousy Horn of Quintuplets, or whatever the thing is called. If I’m reading the signs right, Adolpho was convinced something useful was deep down below the serpent tunnels.

It appears I was wrong about the Mystic’s Heart, and I will die for my mistake. The ancient tablet I found said that the Heart would be in “a room of statues, whose gaze is death,” but though there are statues here, it’s clear to me now that this is not that place. I dare not go back down—the serpents prowl below in numbers, angered at my intrusion. Unless they leave, I will starve in this Godforsaken place.

Marcus

Wil and Sunshine had to return to the surface, and the remaining three continued down into the depths of the serpent tunnels.

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Deeper in the Bonehoard
Or, how we unleashed the undead horde

We came to an enormous cavern which entombed countless individuals. An eerie sound wafted through the entire chamber, echoing off of countless pillars. Walkways were 50-100 feet up, granting access to the tombs of those with more family connections and wealth. The dwarf was able to locate the source of the sound, and we made our way to the tomb of the Quintus family. On a platform connecting three of the pillars, in the center was a horn. The circulation of air in the cavern was just enough to sound the horn and fill the entire space with its sound.

We found a scrap of parchment which read:

Quintus’ tomb completed today.Family complained, but they will pay our price. An expensive construction, but well planned.

T’was fortunate for him we had space in the northwest corner. Several novices have complained of the noise, but they have not yet learned discipline. Ordered more lye. There come groans from the Thieves Reward, and the unrepentant oft do not lie easy.

After examining the Horn of Quintus, we could not see any magic, and we picked it up. The sound stopped abruptly, and all was disturbingly silent. Then, somewhere below, we heard something groaning and begin to stir. We quickly put the horn back, and eventually the sound began again, gaining volume with each passing moment, but the eerie quality that had somehow kept the undead content to rest was gone.

Kildrak put the horn in his pack, grunting, “The damage was done,” and we proceeded to run for our lives.

We eventually made our way out of the cavern and down a passage way that was 50 feet above the ground level where the serpent tunnels has brought us in. Some of the footprints led us this way, and we hurried after them (the horde hot on our trail).

The passage ended in a small chamber with a hole in the floor, with a rope still tied. We climbed down, and realized that we had brought ourselves into the center of a very large trap. Someone else had fallen prey to it, and his body lay 30 feet away, riddled with the hefty shafts which had brought him down.

Rolan ran to check the body, the few spears that made contact passing through him as he turned insubstantial, their damage significantly mitigated. The body had very little left on it, except for a bloody journal:

It’s so close! I hears the sound of the Horn, echoing all around. That coward Sutter, he left me an hour ago, after Cather blundered into a trap, but you can bet I’ll be finding the prize on my own!

It seems that I’m not the first grave-robber to muck about in these halls. The infamous Adolpho was down here, probably after one of the richer but heavily warded treasures. It looks like he failed, the poor bugger.

This part of the tombs is filled with traps, and there’s no way I’m plundering some of these crypts, but the Horn’s gonna be mine, I know it. If the rumors are true, the sound of the Horn should be keeping the Serpents happy, and peaceful-like, with no thoughts of bothering old Felix.

My only trouble now be my dwindling supply of holy water. I thought there would be a font in this area, but I’m blasted if I can find it. And the dead seem to be getting restless about something.

Felix

We quickly followed the footsteps out, mindful of the undead horde on our heels, and found ourselves back where we had entered. We quickly checked the last room where the footsteps had led, hoping to find Felix. We did find a body, but it wasn’t Felix:

I’ve had enough. If Felix wants to stay and be killed, that’s his business, but the pay’s not good enough to keep me down here a minute more. We already lost Dranko to a bite from those damn tunnel serpents, and Marcus didn’t make the jump across that huge chasm. He probably drowned, if he wasn’t dashed to bits. (I thought about looking for his body, as he was carrying some loot from a poorly-guarded tomb, but it wasn’t worth the risk.)

Then we watched Cather get filled with arrows from a clever trap in one of those great octagonal vaults. Not that I cared one whit for Cather, the bastard, but I have no intention of ending up the same way.

I don’t expect I’ll see Felix again. He seemed sure that the Horn of Quintus was somewhere in the north of the Vaults, but I think that was just a guess. (I thought those strange X-shaped marks off that branch of the serpent tunnels were worth investigating, but Felix said they were irrelevant.) Anyway, if the traps and undead don’t get him, the serpents will. Those tunnels were a nightmare. At least our marks were mostly still intact.

I’m almost out, but I need to sleep. I think the place I’ve found it out of the way enough that I won’t be found.

Sutter

Unfortunately for Sutter, it appeared that his body was killed by the poisonous bite of a spider.

We quickly made our way out of the mausoleum, and found that it was dark. This meant that the walls of the cemetery were being guarded by the City Watch.

We accidentally drew some attention trying to escape the cemetery, and quickly backtracked to try our luck on the other side. We were successful there, fortunate that our blunder on the other side had cleared the way for us, so to speak.

Eventually, we made it back and dropped the Horn off to Farkus, and continued on to a safe location where we could rest.

The next morning, the whole city was abuzz with the news: the Paladins of Torm had sealed off the cemetery, supposedly because a horde of undead was boiling up out of the earth…

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Indecent Proposal
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Campain Revamp
Starting things back up after a too-long hiatus

First attempt to pick the campaign back up after losing some players! w00t!

After securing a position at the museum in Auldale as a cover, the group splits ways to secure the appropriate props for their job. As Rolan, Donarvan, and Kildrak head out of the city to travel to the dragonborn tribes, they meet up with an ex-paladin whom Farkus sent to accompany them.

Meanwhile, Sycorax was attempting to sneak into the city for much-needed supplies. She stumbled upon the party, and was able to convince them to procure supplies for her. She leaves the city with the group as they travel west.

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Walking through the Dragonlands
It rains a lot in Fall, in case you didn't know...

A brief telling from Rolan’s perspective:

We set out from New Halagard at the tenth hour, and enjoyed our single day of travel without rain. Nothing much happened that day or night, but apparently the halfling was hearing things in the night.

A cold front swept in the next day, and thus began torrential rain. I prepared everyone as best I could, but nothing could prevent the soaking we received. At least we weren’t cold and miserable. Just miserable. A little.

We passed a column of the Governor’s soldiers flying his banners on the second day, and the group included some members of the Chessenta family. I led the group off the road and out of the way, but they spotted me. At least they didn’t think I was a threat—I wouldn’t be as good as Donarvan at explaining the situation.

On the third day, we reached the farm lands and decided to cut through the fields rather than pass by Fieldwatch and risk undue attention from the army garrisoned there. We encountered only one man out in the fields in this weather. He declined Kildrak’s help, so we moved on and reached the edge of the ridge just as the sun was setting. We could see the Kawwat village below us, but we thought it might be better to arrive in the daytime, even if it meant spending another night getting soaked by the rain.

Some dragonborn came upon us, curious about where Donarvan was from. After convincing them that we wouldn’t hurt them, they brought us back to the village where we spent the night warm and dry.

My brother, Zeek, came and woke me just after I’d fallen asleep, and we had a chance to catch up. Turned out that the Mailed Fist had been raiding the Kawwat a lot, though their raids have dwindled lately as a number of paladins were recalled to the city. I explained the opportunity that the museum had to offer, and he seemed excited and promised to take that information to the Elders on the Council and get us an audience with them.

Finally I fell asleep and slept like a rock until the fellow Farkus asked us to take out of the city woke us all, screaming bloody murder. There were a few tense moments between Kildrak and this former paladin of Torm, but the Council came to speak with us and I deferred to Donarvan’s way with words. Zeek was particularly excited, and we sparked a great deal of conversation amongst the elders.

In the midst of that, I heard one of the scouts give a call. The guards rushed out and eventually returned with word that they had spotted a Hot Blood raiding party on its way toward the farmlands. Bellos—the former paladin—immediately strode out of the hut and readied the horse I had purchased for the halfling. We caught up with him long enough to determine that he intended to warn the farmers that the raid was coming, not to stop the Hot Bloods all by himself. The halfling abruptly became a bobcat and started loping after Bellos and the horse. The rest of us looked at each other for a moment, unsure if we should have known she could do that.

We explained Bellos’ intentions to the Council. They didn’t want us to fight the Hot Bloods—especially with Donarvan with us as the Hot Bloods might suspect the Kawwat’s involvement—but they supported any measure that could reduce the loss of human life in the farm lands. They provided three salamanders for us to follow Bellos on, and we caught up with him just after he convinced the first farmstead to batten down the hatches. We split up, Kildrak and myself heading along the edges that would face the Hot Blood attack first, and the other three rode southwest to the next farm down that might have horses in hopes of getting the word out faster.

We came upon a few farmers in the fields and encouraged them to take cover. Eventually they listened. By now we could see the smoke over our shoulders…the attack must have begun. The halfling rode past us on the horse—without Bellos—shouting something about going north to warn people, so we turned south to regroup with Bellos and Donarvan. They had found a patrol of guards who were now riding hard for the edge of the farm lands. Apparently a few of them had also headed back toward the garrison to call for reinforcements.

We stood for a moment, watching the guards head toward the threat where they were probably outnumbered, and I glanced at the salamanders we rode and our Donarvan. What could we do to help without turning the Hot Bloods on the Kawwat?

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