The World of Aeternum

The Triumvirate, Part 5

A Tale of Farms and Assassins

Returning to the Elder Stag, our heroes gathered to decide their next course of action. It was fairly self-evident – the next target on their list was the Triumvirate Assassin, Dirk. It wouldn’t be long until next spread of Randolf Sark’s death and if the beautiful Sarah was to be believed, Dirk operated out of a farm two miles away from the River City.

Bruner was still missing but there was no time to look for their missing companion.

Heading to the stables, Tobs Warstein, Samantha Shieldheart, Marvin Underhill, Khaelestian Starseeker, and Rush mount their steeds and make their way down to the main road and head west. Sarah rides with Marvin and leads the way out of the River City.

Before long they move north down a beaten trail and arrive at the farm.

The farm is surrounded by a fence high enough to provide trouble for Dwarves but the gate proves very simple in Marvin’s skilled hands as he unlocks the gate and leaving the horses in a secure spot they move in. The farm looks warn down and unlived in. A path leads straight down and around a well. One path leads to a stable. One leads directly to the farmhouse’s front door and another path leads around to the back of the farm.

They decided to check out the stable first and move down the path. Listening in they hear a pitiful neigh from inside and upon entering they see 6 stalls, half of which hold a very thin and malnourished horses. Samantha immediately opens the stalls and they let the horses out. Leading them outside they shoo them away from the path. The horses bolt to freedom.

A ladder leads up to a loft above and Marvin decides to check it out. He has his scimitar ready to draw as he begins to climb up but fails to realize that the ladder itself has been cut at a strategic spot and the ladder cracks and shatters as he is halfway up, tossing him into the air.

The only thing saving him from a broken neck is his quick wit and reflexes, as the assassin hits the ground rolling. As he curses himself, he notices that his fall upset some of the hay revealing evidence disturbed dirt. Clearing the dirt and digging down they discover some hidden-away jewels.

Happy with their discovery and not sensing anything else they leave the stable and make their way to the front door. Having been put on alert by the trap, Thorne begins to pay attention to his steps and he notices some carefully covered traps by the front door. He alerts the group and they do their best to move around the traps. Marvin takes a look and sees that they are several holes all in front of the door and leading up to it with sharp pieces of wood sticking out of them. If an unwary traveler stepped in one of those his entire leg could be speared!

They get to the front door and Marvin takes a look at the door. It is locked but that would not stop a Dwarf of his caliber. However, the door is also trapped. Marvin attempts to disarm the trap but he fumbles. The entire door explodes, throwing him back and into the air. He crashes onto the path, thankfully back-first so that no limb falls into the deadly holes. The explosion leaves his ears ringing.

“Are you ok?” Tobs asks but Marvin can’t hear anything. Tobs asks again and this time Marvin reads his lips and shakes his head. Getting up, the group notices that some shrapnel from the door pierced his side and he was bleeding. Samantha helps bind Marvin’s wounds as best she can without attempting to call on her deity. Once Marvin was patched up, the party enters the farmhouse.

They carefully entered the farmhouse. The inside was unlit and light shone in through holes in the boarded up windows. They searched the entire first floor one room at a time. They didn’t encounter anyone but Marvin noticed that in the kitchen the back door was also trapped. Marvin wisely decided to ignore it. They reached the living room which reeked of death. A shelf was filled with books, not a common sight in a farmhouse. In the corner, a figure sat in a chair. On closer examination Khaelestian discovered it was a dead body. Sarah gasps. It didn’t take a wizard to figure out it was the farmer. He had been dead at least two weeks.

They reached the stairs and made their way up to the second story. Marvin checked every step looking for traps, but didn’t find any. The real trap was upstairs – as they reached the top and began walking down the hall Marvin walked over a weak portion of the floor which broke under his weight. He went crashing down to the first floor, breaking several ribs.

As he rolled around in pain, he kept reminding himself he was an assassin, not a thief. It didn’t help. He heard rapid footfalls and his companions were back downstairs.

“Are you ok?” Tobs asked.

“No, not really.” Marvin said, spitting blood.

Samantha closed her eyes and began to murmur. The heroes knew she was trying to reach her God. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. This time it worked – and the hallway was filled with healing light.

Marvin felt his ribs healing and a moment later was sitting up again.

He nodded to Samantha and picked himself up.

“Let’s finish this.” He said. The mercenaries made their way back upstairs. They carefully walked around the gaping hole in the floor. There were two doors, both of them closed. Marvin leaned down and examined the first door. No trap.

Opening the door they walked in, weapons drawn. Just like the living room downstairs, this room smelled of death. A body lay on the bed.

Tobs turned green. It was a woman – dressed up in a negligĂ© and with enough makeup to make her look like a porcelain doll. Whoever was using this farm as a base of operations was a very sick individual.

“Let’s get out of here.” Tobs said in anger. “It’s time to kill this bastard.”

They walked back out into the hallway. Marvin examined the last door – sure enough it was trapped. He successfully unarmed the trap and with a nod the heroes burst through the door.

Tobs was the first to break the tripwire with his foot.

An explosion threw him forward, his axe spinning across the floor. As he scrambled for his weapon a figure darted out and slashed at him with a dagger. He fell back, lifting his shield to protect himself but the figure had disappeared into the darkness.

Samantha lit a torch but that only helped for a moment. They saw their opponent – Dirk – before the cloaked assassin threw something against the floor. Glass shattered and the entire room was covered in a veil of smoke.

The Heroes could barely see each other, much less Dirk who struck out again. His knife connected and the silent Rush let out a scream. He stumbled and fell into a heap. Samantha rushed forward to protect the monk-in-training.

Khaelestian whispered an incantation under his breath and cast Sleep, aiming it in the center of the room. He expected to hear a body slump to the ground but was instead greeted by a thrown dagger embedding itself into the door frame next to him. Their foe was deadly, that much was for certain. He knew the power of his Sleep spell – if it didn’t affect this villain, then it was left up to brawn to win – Tob’s axe, Marvin’s scimitar and Samantha’s hammer.

The Heroes swept through the smoke cloud. The cloaked figure struck fast, always darting back as soon as he scored a hit. Luckily for our heroes, most of those hits struck armor – and then a lucky strike by Tobs caused Dirk to stumble. Tobs followed through, one strike after another driving dirk into a corner.

The assassin barely dodged Tobs final blow, which imbedded his axe into the wall. Samantha moved forward, putting Dirk between herself and Tobs as he freed his axe.

Marvin slid around behind the fight looking for any opportunity to backstab the assassin. His opportunity came as their opponent hesitated between the Fighter and Cleric – and Marvin struck hard and fast. His scimitar slid through Dirk’s back and out his chest.

Dirk stumbled forward, cursing. Gasping for breath he collapsed in the center of the room.

As the smoke cleared, Tobs, Marvin and Khaelestian stood around the dying assassin. Samantha was busy helping Rush back up, trying to bandage him.

Tobs still could see the body in the other room and wanted to split Dirk’s skull in half. Dirk coughed and spat blood.

“Damn them all. If I’m going to die I’m going to take them with me.” Dirk cackled. He looked up at Marvin.

“You are like me – I can feel it, an assassin. A killer. I only have 20 gold on me but I give it to you – kill the other Triumvirate leaders.”

He started to gag, barely holding on to life and struggling to sit upright. He pulled out a money pouch and placed it in Marvin’s hand.

“It’s their fault you found me! Kill them! Start with… Randolf Sark.” He struggled to speak.

“Once the filth is dead… kill ”/campaigns/the-world-of-aeternum/characters/fernando-fiero" class=“wiki-content-link”>Fernando… Fiero."

His body shuddered. Dirk’s head hit the floorboard with a thud and he let out his last breath.

The heroes heard a gasp from behind them. With Dirk no longer a threat, they turned. It was Sarah.

“What’s wrong?” Tobs asked.

“He mentioned Fernando Fiero.”

“Yeah? Who’s that?”

“Only one of the richest merchants in the River City. He lives in an enormous mansion in the wealthy part of the city, with over fifty guards. He barely ever leaves – everything is brought to him.”

“Well,” Marvin said as he cleaned his scimitar off on Dirk’s cloak, “I guess one more thing is going to be brought to him.”

“Justice.” Samantha said.

Marvin paused.

“No,” he shook his head. He looked at Samantha with his head cocked and shook Dirk’s money pouch.

“He deserves only one thing, paid for with 20 gold pieces… Death.”


SanguinousRex SanguinousRex

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