The World of Aeternum

The Triumvirate, Part 7
River City Ransom

Thankfully half the group could see in the dark.

(To be continued…)

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The Triumvirate, Part 6
The Hidden Door

Exhausted after their dangerous encounter with the assassin Dirk and his trap-laden farmhouse the Heroes return to the Elder Stag. As they stable their mounts, Sarah speaks up.

" I want to thank you for freeing me from the Triumvirate. " She said. She paused for a moment before continuing.

" I’d like to continue helping but I realized at the farmhouse I am the weakest link in this group. Everything I know about the Triumvirate you already know, and… I have always tried to live an honest life and I must admit that the idea of breaking into Fernando Fiero’s mansion frightens me. "

Tobs stepped up and smiled at Sarah.

" It’s ok, Sarah. You helped us find Randolf Sark an’ that started this big ol’ boulder rolling. We can finish this without putin’ you in danger. "

She smiled and nodded.

“Thank you. Take care and I am sure I will see all of you again one day.”

She disappeared into the crowd.

Tob’s turned back to face his companions.

“What a pretty lass.” He said.

“That’s an understatement.” Marvin muttered.

The heroes entered the Elder Stag. Sitting around a table they ordered a well deserved dinner. As they devoured their food and beer (water for Khaelestian) they began to discuss what they were going to do tomorrow.

A frontal assault was probably out of the question, though nothing could really be decided on until they reconnoitered Fiero’s mansion, located in the wealthier northern side of the River City.

Once they found the corrupt merchant’s mansion they would try to discover multiple points of entry. If it was too late by then they would retreat to a safe haven closer to Fiero – Arryn Sellek’s mansion. They would spend the night preparing and break in at dawn when the merchant’s guards would least expect it.

With a plan formulated they retired to their rooms.


The next morning they met downstairs for a quick breakfast and then headed out, making their way north.

The River City was deceptively big. While it slowly grew eastward and westward around the The Corinthian River it also stretched north and south as far as the eye could see. Large businesses such as mills and docks were built on the edges of both sides of the river, fighting for space especially in the central quarter.

The city was bustling today and the heroes slowly worked their way through the crowd. Khaelestian was impressed by the size of Millstone as several hours passed.

“We probably should have taken our horses.” He said matter-of-factly.

“A little too late to turn back, wizard.” Tobs said, stopping for a moment to uncork his wineskin and take a swig of beer.

“I think we’re almost there,” Samantha said, pointing forward. Everyone turned their attention forward to behold the wealthy quarter. The buildings were larger and looked like they cost a fortune to build. Guards roamed the streets more attentively, dressed in clean cloaks and shiny armor.

“No matter how much society changes for the better or worse,” Samantha said with regret in her voice, “the wealthy will always have advantages over the poor.”

“I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Marvin grunted, pushing past her and moving forward.

Tobs looked from Marvin to Samantha and shrugged. “As long as I can find a flaggon of dwarven ale at the end of a day’s adventurin’ I don’t care what shape society is in.”

He followed Marvin. Samantha felt a hand on her shoulder.

“Worry not, Samantha. I agree with you.” Khaelestian said. Samantha reached up and held his hand for a moment.

“Thank you.” She smiled. They hurried to catch up with the two Dwarves.

None of the heroes realized just how a profitable city the River City was until just now – the wealthy quarter was huge and it took a while still to finally reach their destination.

Fiero’s mansion.

At one point the Corinthian River curved to continue its journey in a northwestern direction. Right where it began to curve a large hill rose. It was a beautiful view; the large mansions on the edge of the river sharing a healthy green hill as a background. It wasn’t often that you would see a hill – much less the ground – loobq). k so green. It was very well tended, that was for certain. At the top of the hill Fernando Fiero’s mansion stood proud and alone, surrounded by stone walls. There was only one gate, currently closed, that featured a stone road that winded gently down the side of the hill to connect with the rest of the quarter.

“Well, damn.” Tobs muttered. “What now?”

Marvin took the view in, his mind working fast. As an assassin his brain processed the scene differently from the others. He had a target inside of the mansion… what options did he have to gain entry? How was he to avoid the guards so he could find his target and kill him? Decisions, decisions.

“Let’s wait till the sun goes down a little more.” He finally said. “Once we have some cover, we should walk around the hill. Perhaps there are other entry points that aren’t as obvious.”

The others nodded. That sounded like a plan. They found a well-to-do inn and set up shop at the bar inside until the sun began to make its descent.


At the appropriate time, Marvin slid off his chair and patted Tobs on the shoulder and gestured at the door with his thumb.

Tobs downed another ale and jumped off his chair. Khael and Samantha joined the dwarves and the four mercenaries headed out into the street.

Everything was fairly quiet. A cold breeze had picked up. They made their way toward down the street, hugging the side of the buildings and their cloaks to avoid the cold. As they reached the edge of the last building Marvin pointed.

“What?” Tobs asked.

“You don’t see it?” Marvin asked, smirking.

Samantha saw Tobs glaring at Marvin and spoke up.

“What is it?” She asked.

“There is a small man-made tributary pouring water into the river that runs around Fiero’s hill.”

“Fiero’s hill,” Tobs chuckled. “I like that.”

“I bet you it leads to some sort of sewer,” Marvin continued, “and a point of entry.”

“A sewer?” The wizard grimaced.

“A sewer.” Marvin repeated.

“A sewer!” Tobs exclaimed, louder then he should have and taking a swig from his wineskin.

The mercenaries continued forward, keeping an eye out for guards. They crossed the grassy plains and began making their way around the hill following the tributary. As they reached the other side of the hill they were surprised to see it look less like a hill and more like a steep incline.

Going up about twenty feet from the ground was a vertical wall made of stone, definitely man made. It went straight up, making it impossible to climb. After the twenty foot incline it sloped back into a hill. It made trying to climb up to the mansion very difficult – even if someone were able to climb the wall they would have to make their way up a steep hill and then finally another high wall that surrounded the mansion. Fiero had done a pretty damn good job making his mansion fairly impregnable unless you happened to bring an army with you.

Just like Marvin thought it would the man made tributary split into two smaller channels, both of which originated from small pipes sticking out of the wall. The pipes were big enough for Dwarves but not humans but that didn’t really matter – water streamed out from them with no sign of stopping.

“Interesting.” Khael muttered. “They must have channeled the river from another point on its way south and diverted it through Fiero’s mansion. The water – and sewer – get dumped back down here and find their way back into the river.”

“I think I had fish this morning.” Tobs blanched.

Khael smiled.

“Worry not, Tobs. The Corinthian River is huge and anything reaching it from Fiero’s sewer isn’t enough to cause any alarm.”

As the heroes talked Marvin continued to analyze the wall. Then he suddenly noticed it. He stepped up to the wall. Leaning forward he brushed his hand against the stone.

“Well what do you know,” He smiled as he rested a gloved hand against the wall. “A keyhole. I think I found us a way in!”

He knelt by the door while the others watched. The lock was complicated, almost beyond his skill level but he wasn’t about to give up without trying. Hoping for a better result then at the farmhouse (and hoping that the door wasn’t rigged) he began to work on the lock.

A few minutes later there was a soft but definitive clicking sound and Marvin smiled. Standing back up he pushed on the wall and the hidden door swung inward, revealing a dark passage.

The Heroes congratulated Marvin.

“I supposed this means we aren’t going back to Sellek’s?” Samantha asked.

“Guess not!” Tobs said in his usual a-little-too-loud-for-the-current-situation voice.

They took a final look around. The coast was clear. Nodding to each other they drew their weapons and stepped into the darkness.

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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 negligé 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.”

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The Triumvirate, Part 4

The Adventures of Tobs Warstein (cont.)

After discoverin’ the corpse of Sergeant Storr, and tellin’ his people about it, we followed his final clue and headed to the Mermaid’s Cockel. The place was a dive, even by dives standards, so I felt right at home. Marvin, Samantha and I settle in for a round of the swill this place calls ale, but Khael wasted no time in goin’ for some local action.

The serving wench was a three tankard broad, at least, but without a sip of anything Khael asked her upstairs. Figuring that skinny wizard would have a weak stamina, I start drinkin’ twice as fast to make sure I get nice and topped off before we end up leavin’.

Three rounds of swill later, the wizard comes struttin’ down the stairs, and I hear the mind of god saying, This place is a shit hole. You can quote me on that. Hmm, maybe this ales got more to it then I thought…

I pat the wizard on the back, he lasted much longer then I thought he would, and give him a swig of my ale. I don’t think he cared for it much, but he managed a drink before handing it back. I took care of the offending tankard though, and killed it right then and there.

About this time an incredibly good lookin’ human gal with raven black hair wiggled into the bar. The mind of god again dispensed his wisdom, stating This chick is hot, like 18 on the charisma scale hot. I’m not sure what this scale is, but I’ve never heard the voice of god like this before. Either this ale’s poisoned somehow, or Samantha’s glowy heal thing has some strong side effects.

The good lookin’ woman says the guy she was lookin’ for wasn’t there, and the bartender all but kicked her out. She goes back outside, and Marvin follows her out. I’m not sure how long he was out there with her, but I heard the bums hangin’ outside the bar hootin’ and hollerin’ at him when he came back. Always good to see dwarves addin’ to our superior reputations! I look over to tell Bruner a story about dwarven virility, but can’t find the ranger anywhere. Why does that guy keep disappearing like that?!

Marvin came back in and told us all to meet him at the Elder Stag at 6 tonight, so I took the time to go get a set of chainmail. On the way out I found Bruner’s shield on the ground, so I grabbed it to make sure he didn’t lose it. Why he’d leave his best weapon behind, I got no idea.

Khael took off to the library to read. Marvin says it’s cause he’s a wizard and that’s all they do in their free time.

Later at the Elder Stag, Marvin tells us the girl is a prostitute who works for Sark, and that Sark’s base of operations is under the kitchen in the Naughty Hoof. She says if we kill Sark she’ll tell us where another member of the Triumvirate is, and that she’ll be there tonight waiting for us.

We go to the Naughty Hoof, the dancers on the tables earning the name in every regard, and head towards the kitchen kitchen.

Khael leads the way, sneaking into the kitchen with no-one the wiser, and is quickly followed by Marvin and Samantha. I tried to follow too, but the bartender saw me and told me to go order at a table like everyone else. As I turn around and head to a table, Rush skips past me and into the kitchen. I’ll be damned if I let a farmer out sneak me!

Luckily I got a distraction, one of the serving wenches headed into the kitchen, and I used her as cover and followed her in. Inside the kitchen the staff are sleeping on the ground, Khaels work no doubt. Before the wench I followed can scream, I grab her from behind and throw my hand over her mouth. I held her real still and Rush knocked her out with a very Din-like blow to the head. That guy’s learnin’ fast.

Marvin picks the lock on a door that opens to stairs going down to a hallway with 4 doors. One door has an alcohol stockpile, and I manage to find a bottle of ‘Better-than Grain’ alcohol. I’ll save that for the victory toasts later, and pack it really carefully and securely inside my pack.

Another room is like a kitchen pantry type thing, and neither room has anyone in it. Continuing down the hall we find light coming out from under both remaining doors. The sounds from the north door sounds like guards gambling.

Khael used that brainy noggin’ of his and came up with a great plan of tying off the southern door so it couldn’t be pulled open by the guys inside. I help him tie the rope off before we take on the guards.

I braced myself against the southern door, and Marvin opened the door to the north. As it flew open I shield-charged in, blasting through a table and scattering dice and coins everywhere. My charge is brought up short by the far wall, and as I turned to face the 5 guards I knew things might get hairy. Sure enough, three of them immediately started flailin’ on me.

Sigil had my back though. Marvin rushed in and skewered one of the guards from behind. That scimitar slidin’ out of the chest of whoever I’m facin’ is gettin’ to be a familiar and welcome sight, even though it drenches me in gore. Rush followed Marvin closely, and hit another guard square in the head, brainin’ him and addin’ more gore to my armor. I knew takin’ a bath this mornin’ was a bad idea.

Samantha came in next, and you could feel everyone tense up. Everyone except the guards. True to form, she swung that mighty hammer of hers right into one of us. This time Marvin took the hit, and before the hammer blow finished falling I could swear I saw Samantha starting to pray. Maybe if she prayed BEFORE she attacked that would help more? I dunno how her god does things.

Khael came in and swung at a guard, but failed to connect with his staff. Takin’ the distraction Khael offered, I attack the same guard, and bury my axe through his collar down to his belt, killin’ him dead.

Not impressed with the way things were goin’, the guards take out their frustration on me. I don’t know what’s up with this chainmail, but it’s gettin’ shredded durin’ it’s first test in battle! I’m gonna have to have a serious talkin’ to with that smith.

Not to be outdone, Marvin attacked again and his scimitar exited the front of another guards chest. This time though Marvin spun the sword blade up and pushed toward the ceiling, cutting the guy in half out the top of his head! Even though I was nearly blinded by all the blood and bile coating me from that display, I still got to witness a great kill.

Samantha swung again and managed to take out the last guard with a mighty blow, turning parts of him to pulp. I knew prayin’ first made sense!

We looked back out toward the hallway and saw whoever was inside the south room pullin’ hard on the door tryin’ to open it. Marvin hid beside the door and I cut the rope with my axe as the guy inside pulled. The door flew open, and the human tryin’ to open it sprawled on the ground.

One guard rushed out into the hall, and Marvin grabbed him from behind, turning and using him as a meat shield as he surveyed the rooms interior. Inside Randolf Sark and two remaining humans with the look of assassins question Marvin. The conversation takes a quick turn for the worse as Sark fired a crossbow bolt, killing Marvins human shield.

Marvin and I rush into the room together. I attack the assassin on the left, but he dodges away like a cat. I don’t hear any death cry from Marvin’s target on the right, so I figure he must have had similar luck.

I feel a bit better though when Samantha runs in and starts glowin’. I didn’t really notice much in the way of healin’, but the assassin fightin’ Marvin immediatly stops fighting and stares in awe at Samantha.

The other assassin though didn’t seem to notice, and thwacked me good with his short sword. Sark seemed to take special notice of Samantha, and threw a dagger at her, but it bounced harmlessly off her plate armor.

Growling, the first assassin, touched by Samantha’s divine whatever, attacked his former ally taking some of the heat of me. Khael started throwing daggers pretty hard at Sark, but missed and struck the wall behind him.

I heard Samantha praying behind me more, but instead of any healing light, she handed me a healing potion. Pretty tricky! I drink the potion and instantly feel loads better.

Marvin and Rush then executed a great duel-attack, Rush lining up the shot with an agile distraction while Marvin hit Sark with a scimitar slash. Kael throws another dagger, embedding it in Sark’s shoulder.

As the skirmish continued, Samantha kept calling on her Goddess while Khael, the converted assassin and I faced down the remaining enemy minion. Marvin and Rush kept Sark busy.

I finally laid my enemy low when he made a serious error. His short sword bounced off my shredded chain mail and hit himself in the face. Following up the opportunity, I smashed my axe into his sword, burying it into his skull and finishing him.

I look back to see Marvin and Rush, both having taken wounds from Sark, still fighting for all their worth. Rush struck hard with his quarter staff, but missed Sark and hit the wall. His staff rebounded into his own face and he knocked himself out!

Sark focused his attention on our wounded assassin Marvin, and began a vicious duel-attack with his longsword and dagger, but before it could go off the whore Marvin talked with earlier, Sarah I think her name was, finally showed up. She musta been hiding, but she appeared behind Sark and stabbed him through the heart with a dagger.

The fight over, Samantha approached Rush and the room was bathed in her Goddess’ glow as she fully healed the unconscious monk. The remaining assassin once again is awe struck, but Sarah is more ‘meh’ about it. Even after Samantha followed with another mighty heal for Marvin, Sarah wouldn’t be swayed from thinking it was just some nifty magic trick.

In the room we found a note, “D, be careful, Sigil mercs got out of last nights trap. -R.S.”

Marvin deduced it was Randolf Sark, a message he luckily never got the opportunity to send.

Sarah tells us about the next triumvirate leader, a fellow called Dirk, and where we could look for him. Looks like he’s next on the to-do list.

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The Triumvirate, Part 3

They had a troll.

The wizard controlling the troll was pretty sure of their victory because he decided to show off for us and had the troll attack one of his own mercenaries as a display of power. After that the troll turned to our group. As he was doing this the wizard shot a magic missile at me. Bruner charged the troll and hit it squarely in the torso but the dang troll didn’t even seem to notice! Tobs, not to be outdone by Bruner, charged the troll and landed what should have been a solid hamstring, but almost as soon as it was injured the troll started to mend right before our eyes. This was going to be a gruesome battle and I was not sure that all of my companions and myself would make it out alive.

Poor Rush, poor dear Rush. That troll hit him over the head with his club and Rush was out. He crumpled to the floor and didn’t move, he just lay there bleeding and there was no way I could get to him right away. I said a little prayer in my head for him and hoped I would be heard.

I finally spotted an opening on the troll and swung my mighty hammer at it, but somehow I missed the great big troll right in front of me and hit Bruner instead, hard. I think the hit was the best part of this though, because after the hit he fell forward right into the crotch of the gross, nasty, and naked troll. Bruner was apparently not the trolls type however as the troll tried to stomp on Bruner and instead impaled his own foot on Bruner’s sword. The troll jumped back in shock and hit the support beams for the mill as he fell to his back and the whole building shook. Some of the lanterns that had been lining the walls fell to the floor and starting fires.

Marvin cut the arm off of the troll in a mighty swing and when the arm fell to the ground it began to attack Marvin right back! It grappled him to the ground and tried to choke him. Mercenaries started throwing daggers at us but that was nothing compared to the troll. Just when I thought I had seen it all Tobs goes charging along the trolls body to his head and slams his axe right into the trolls face, cutting his eye right in half and into the back of the skull. Tob’s axe was stuck in the troll’s head it was buried so deep.

Then, the miracle happened. Seeing as how I had almost killed Bruner I needed to look to Avandra for the power to restore him. I reached out and laid my hand on him, the words of the healing prayer whispered through my lips and I felt the pure bright beautiful light flow into my body and through my hand to Bruner. The entire mill was momentarily filled with the radiance of my goddess as I believe she personally worked through me instead of her handmaiden doing her bidding. The aura was so overwhelming that Rush who lay behind me dying stopped bleeding. The troll even took notice as did a man who had been about to sneak up on one of my companions. They both stopped their attacks to bask in the glory of Avandra and her chosen champion in these dark lands but the troll shook off the light and returned to his own darkness.

The mage stood back up from having been knocked back by Kale’s attack and begins to cast a spell that he shoots at his attacker and it hits solidly, knocking Kale right over.

The troll then stood up so quickly that Tobs became a dwarven cannon and shot across the room. Bruner who had just been healed got hit by the troll and he too went flying and landed nearly dead a ways away. He then hit me and I too went flying back a few feet! As he went to hit me again I managed to dodge out of the way towards Bruner whom I attempted to heal again, but the Goddess was gone and my prayer was not answered. Thankfully the lingering power of the Goddess is still with me and I was able to clear the heavy rubble away that had fallen on him.

Marvin managed to get free of the trolls living arm, cutting away a few of its fingers in the process and as they hit the ground they started to wiggle about like fish out of water. Marvin took the chance now that he was free to pursue the wizard that had been shooting magic missiles at Kale.

Kale takes cover behind some pallets and manages to stop his own bleeding. The man that had paid attention to Samantha’s heal is there and asks Kale what he can do to help, apparently converted by the miracle he saw. The thief took off towards the wizard at Kales command.

Tobs, now weaponless, shield charged the wizard. He slammed into him full force, interrupting his spell and yet again the wizard flew back through the door and into the room behind.

Bruner, in a blood lust now, hit the troll with his bastard sword and it sink into the things gut, spraying blood, bile and flesh everywhere. The troll made a last attempt to claw at him but collapsed forward instead with Bruner just barely dodging out of the way in time. As the troll fell, more of the building started to come down and more lanterns fell, creating an inferno.

Marvin leapfrogged over Tobs and attacked the wizard, hitting him in the chest with his scimitar which went through his body and out his back, dying instantly and dragged Bruner down with him as he slumped to the floor. Tobs ran over and helped Marvin up then grabbed the dead bodies and the mill owner, and they all bolted for outside.

I went to retrieve Tob’s axe for him and the troll reached out and tried to grab for me but from the shadows the converted man came flying, pulling me free and encouraging me to flee for my life. I was not about to let the man die for me when I had just set his life right, so I grabbed his arm and we tried to get out. As we fled part of the ceiling above me gave away and just as I would have been crushed by the burning wood the man saved me yet again by pulling me out of harms way and he steered us out of the mill.

Everyone got out safely and alarms started ringing as people began to show up to dose the fire. I turned to my new friend and implored him to help us hide so we would not get captured by the wrong people. He readily agreed to do anything for me and led our group to his own house to shelter us. His name was Richard Hale. Richard and some of the party began questioning me, asking what they had witnessed but I ignored them for the moment and went to Rush’s side. He lay there white as snow, the warmth slowly leaving his body as he lay nearly dead. With a heartfelt desperate prayer to Avandra I laid my hands on Rush’s crushed body and once again the room was filled with a blinding light and Rush is not only helped but was completely healed! The whole room just sat in awe for a moment as I glorified in the warmth and power coursing through me.

Richard was so moved by what he witnessed that he fell to his knees before me. I explained that I was from a land very far away where many Gods and Goddesses rule and not just the one. A land where people have the freedom to worship the one they believe in, not the one they are forced to believe. Richard vows to do whatever he can to help me spread the word of this wonder. Kale suggested that maybe Richard could best serve as my eyes and ears here in Millstone. Seeing the potential that this could have I agree and Richard vows to do it to the best of his ability.

Once this was over Aryyn Seleck, the mill owner, tells us he had been paying the Triumvirate protection money but that they came this time and he did not have enough yet. The Triumvirate then planned to use his mill as a trap for us he said, and that obviously did not go so well for them. He says they are a bunch of rat bastards, which is hard to disagree with after that fight and he tells us all he knows about them. The Triumvirate is ran by three men but only one is known to anyone, his name is Richard Sark.

I gave Richard some gold to help him with the costs he might incur while working on my behalf as well as my full name and that of Blix at Sigil, so that in an emergency he can find me. We decide for his safety and cover story, as well as our own safety, to seek shelter in Arryn’s home instead of Richards.

Arryn having never been to the poor side of town, had no clue how to get to his own house from there, but Tob’s seemed to know the way and so he led on. As we neared the scene of the fire, we see that mill on the right seems to be fine but the one on the left bank of the river is burned down to the ground. Arryn went and spoke to the guards at the ruins and got permission for us to dig through the rubble. We did not find the chain that had been holding the troll but we did find a big pile of soot where it had last been. There were other burned bodies about and some coins. Arryn returned to the guard at our request and asked about the chain to which the guard answered the council had it and was investigating it.

We continued on our way to Arryn’s house and were all given rooms for the night. I request a hot bath for myself and soaked in it until the warm water started cooling off. Remembering the exquisite feel of Avandra’s energy at my command and how it effected Richard. After a restful night of sleep we all got up and had some breakfast. I even managed to bribe Tobs into a bath that he desperately needed.

After a nice morning, we made our way to the sergeants house that had been on duty the night the ruby was taken. The house was not closed up and it was dark inside. Some things inside had been knocked over. Marvin went around to watch the back of the house, and found the door there was also wide open. The sergeant’s dead body was found clutching a note in his hand on which is written “Mermaid’s Cockel” in hasty script. We returned to the treasury to tell the captain of the sergeant. He asked around and found out that the note was written in the Sergeant Storr’s handwriting.

We decide to follow the freshest clue we have and head out towards the Mermaids Cockel.

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The Triumvirate, Part 2
Starseeker's Journal

3rd of Stormfleet, Year of the Wandering Troll

After many month’s of intense study and menial tasks, Blix has finally assigned me to a team in need of my particular skills. I am to travel to Millstone and meet with a group of Sigil operatives researching, and attempting to recover, an heirloom ruby of the city, purportedly stolen from within the city treasury. An organized criminal group known only as the Triumvirate are the prime suspects, and the group is also tasked with breaking up these malcontents. I leave at dawn, to travel to Stonefield. It is with great anticipation that I may finally be able to put to practice what the long years of study and harsh discipline under Grandfather have taught me.

5th of Stormfleet

I’ve little time to write. I’ve met my new companions upon arriving in Millstone this sunrise, at the Elder Stag, a decent establishment with hearty fare. In fairness to myself, I may have been less than an astute critic as a hard day and night’s ride had left me famished. I am not sure what to make of each of my companions as of yet, but I am particularly intrigued by the silent warrior and the woman warrior, Shieldheart. There is more there than is readily apparent, but I am unable to discern it on such short introduction. It appears that Marvin Underhill (a dwarven pilferer) is the de facto leader, and Tobs is a typical dwarf warrior, much too often in his cups for my taste, but I shall not dispense judgement lest it is his shield that saves me someday. We are off to re-visit the mayor of the town, apparently a doddering, obese fool, but then, so many politicians are, perhaps there is something I can glean that my more direct companions may have missed. From there the intentions, I believe, are to investigate the treasury, question the commanders, and determine if there is any possibility simple subterfuge led to the theft. I suspect either a yet uncovered tunnel dug into the center of the treasury, or possibly perpetrated by someone well known and with connections inside the government may be the most obvious avenues, but I won’t rule out a sorcery much greater than that at my current command, either. But it begs the question, why abscond with only a simple gem(though culturally significant)when the whole of the River Town’s accumulated wealth was at the rogue’s fingertips?

A foul creature, this. Mayhaps an illusion? I clearly heard the wizard summoning power from the item, but is it substantial, or truly a summoned fiend?
__
So much has happened since this morning… A treasury even a grandmaster thief would find nigh impossible to penetrate, a militia captain just a bit too arrogant, but ultimately innocent I think, and most likely bearing a grudge against me for wounding his pride. We did garner the name and location of the sergeant on duty the night of the theft, which is a thread worth exploring…
__
A city guardsman too quick to trust the loose lips of a careless dwarf, I can only hope my suggestions at simple reason(specifically a boastful, inebriated, yarn spinning dwarf prone to exaggeration) have diffused a situation that could be damning for Sigil and paralyze the city and province with fear. Blix confided in me of the sensitive nature of a recently awakened undead horde, and here is Tobs spouting off to all and sundry…
__
A procession of the thrice cursed clergy of the “Great” Old One, which was the scene of some protestation, and the death of at least one antagonist, albeit at the hands of a mostly reluctant detachment of city guard, made to do so under duress by the Priest leading the close-minded addle-pates(have none of these simpletons questioned blind faith? Of course with the Eladrin and the clergy’s discipline, it is wisest not to…)
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A visit to the mill of Arryn Sellek, a man forced into cooperation with the Triumvirate, after his inital refusal destroyed part of his manufactory. Our arrival netted us an encounter with his foreman which led to his untimely death at the hands of a group of Triumvirate assassins who ambushed us on the span connecting the millworks on either side of the Corinthian river. They knew we were investigating their organization. After a brief but furious battle, I was able to capture one of the thugs I cast asleep with a simple charm. Our subsequent interrogation turned up the name Randolph Sark…
__
And here I stand, mere moments later, confronted with a vile beast, and my mind replaying the events of the last several hours. Think Khael, think, man! Is it illusion? If it is substantial, is this a monster I know? Perhaps he has a simple weakness I can extort?
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You wanted adventure… Quit analyzing and act! Or end before you really get started on grandfather’s quest…

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The Triumvirate, Part One
The River City

Our heroes were recovering from their ordeal in Minsc. They had been able to defeat the Half-Orc bandit leader Garret Jax but the ensuing fight was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back and awoke a terrible evil sleeping for centuries under the earth.

Having alerted Sigil and received their share of the mission profit for defeating the bandits, our heroes spent their time in the Sigil compound waiting for their next assignment.

During this break, the heroes were accosted by the High Priest Arymas who asked Marvin Underhill to give a speech for their fallen comrade Din, who had “given his life in the name of the Great Old One.” The party members knew this wasn’t exactly the case as the monk followed another, the Platinum Dragon. However, since it would be heresy to reveal this fact, they all kept quiet. Especially Samantha who’s true loyalty was to the Goddess Avendra. She could feel the High Priest’s eye on her even as he told her that something did not feel right – but luckily for her he shrugged it off.

Once it was time for the service, the party gathered at the Temple. The only one missing was Marvin, who was in his chambers fast asleep.

He raised the ire of the the High Priest and if it were not for the fact that he was a vital member of Blix’s team, the High Priest could have ordered Marvin’s death. However he did not, and instead ejected the party from the Temple.

The party split up for the day and engaged in various activities – Samantha Shieldheart traveled to the blacksmith to have a suit of plate mail forged to fit her body. Bruner Slone bought a new bastard sword. Tobs Warstein drank a lot of ale and asked repeatedly if Sigil could hire Bruenor Thunderstone from the Stonefield Inn and Bruenor’s chef (who made some of the best food in the entire country). Marvin, well, no one was quite sure what Marvin was up to.

A week later, the Goblin Assassin Blix called them into his office.

The new mission was interesting – the large city of Millstone was having issues with a criminal element that seemed to operate at night. They were called the Triumvirate but other then that not much was known about them. They pestered the business owners in Millstone and forced them to pay protection money or they would destroy vital machinery that was needed to produce all the textiles, grains, flour and various products that Millstone produced and shipped to the capital of Gorram City.

In addition, Blix mentioned that the City Council of Millstone asked that a red ruby be returned to them. Apparently this ruby was kept in the heavily fortified city treasury and one night just vanished. No one knows how but they want the ruby back. Sigil has agreed to help out to keep up good relations with the River City.

They were each assigned a horse and told they had the day to get ready and head out. He handed them an official writ that they could present to the guards and leaders of Millstone proving that they were on official Sigil business. With that, they finished what they were doing and took their leave of the capital city.

They headed East, leaving Kingsfield Province and once again entering Stonefield Province.


The trip to Millstone takes approximately a day and a half so as night comes the heroes rest at an inn. Marvin spends top coin to stay in the best room, and a private wench enters his room to bathe him while the others fall asleep in their quarters.

The next morning they return to the road and make their way to the River City. On the way, they are waylaid by highwaymen who demand gold to allow their passage. Marvin and Tobs take issue with the bandit’s request. Marvin moves forward, pretending to give the bandit money but instead shoves a pair of daggers into his chest.

As the bandit dies, Tobs leads the charge forward and the highwaymen swiftly are defeated. The last highwayman begs for his life, telling the group that he is a simple man from Millstone and that this was a stupid idea concocted by his friend who had been their leader before Marvin introduced him to a pair of daggers. Marvin allows the man to live, and the group continues on their journey. Within 4 hours they reach Millstone.

The day in Millstone passed relatively quickly. They met with Mayor Middleton, his dwarf-loving secretary, ate a decent meal at the Elder Stag and got lap dances at the Naughty Hoof.

They didn’t get much else done as the mayor was not very helpful, pretty much telling them “We hired you to find the ruby, so go find it.”

It is now the next morning, and our heroes are sitting around eating breakfast…

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A Gathering of Heroes, Session 5
A Death of a Hero

Our heroes Bruner Slone, Tobs the Unfortunate, Samantha Shieldheart, Bartholomew, Marvin Mineshadow and Din had just found a large treasure stash in the room after the defeat of the Half-Orc bandit leader Jax and his Magic User lieutenant Jaeger as well as a hand scribbled note on Jax’s stone table when the entire room shakes violently.

The huge double doors to the south shatter and an Undead horde begins to pour out of the tunnel. The horde was made up of Dwarves in various states of decay – some shambling while others moved more swiftly.

Behind the Dwarves a black cloud gathered and began to pour into the room. The dark cloud moves like a living thing, tenticles slowly reaching out from the darkness, grasping for the heroes. In the center of the cloud stands a robed figure, the height of a man yet most definitely not a man. A skull stares out from behind a hood, supernatural eyes glowing red. The Lich speaks with a voice that could freeze bone.

" You shall serve us… you shall serve Clan Warhammer… "

Scarylich

Tobs and Marvin grabbed the treasure chest by both sides and began to move it as fast as they could, trying to head north and back out the way they had come. Bruner, badly wounded was being helped out of the room by Samantha. Bartholomew – Rush – booked it and scrambled out of the room. Two days of combat against Kobolds, Bandits, Cave Bears and Half-Orcs finally took their toll as he witnessed the oncoming horde of undead.

As everyone moved north, Din turned to face the undead horde. Reaching into a pocket he pulled out a bandanna and tied it around his head. He lowered his quarterstaff and stands his ground.

Chaos ensued. The first wave of zombies reaches Din and he strikes them down swiftly. Marvin looks back while he pulls the chest with Tobs and shouts to Din to join them. Din ignores Marvin and holds the line. Marvin’s greed for profit overcomes any need to save his thrall and he continues to move forward with the chest.

Another wave of undead reaches Din and the powerful monk lays into them, each hit a small part of a larger dance of death. Din spins and strikes left and right, caving in one zombie head after another. He dispatches the second wave, his muscles rippling from the effort. All his training, all the countless hours of combat have come to a head for this one moment in time.

To protect the righteous. To fight the darkness. To defeat evil. For the Platinum Dragon.

The armored undead reached Din. The decomposing Dwarf Warriors, wielding large axes and armored in rusted and broken plate begin to attack. Din ducks and dives, spins and dances his way through the Dwarves, quarterstaff smashing into them as fast as an automatic crossbow keeping them at bay even as his friends successfully escape the room.

You shall serve us…” The Lich repeats and lifts an arm up. He extends it toward Din and rolls his skeletal hand into a fist. Din is pulled into the air as pain rips through him. He uses the Disciple of the Dragon to ignore the pain – there is no pain!

The cloud of darkness follows the Lich as it steps into the room. The Darkness rolls forward, consuming everything in the room. Dead bodies of bandits shudder and rise, their gaze turning toward the large doorway the heroes have escaped through.

The Darkness rolls around Din and he begins to cough even as the Lich continues to squeeze his fist. Din feels a rib shatter. Concentrating his chi, he focuses all his energy into a single action and breaks free, quarterstaff once again swinging in all directions and bringing down undead with each hit.

But it is a lost cause. There are too many of them. The horde of undead begin to grasp Din’s limbs even as the Darkness begins to choke him. The Lich steps toward Din.

You shall serve us…” he hisses. Din stares at the Lich defiantly even as the darkness completely enveloped him…


Tobs and Marvin move as fast as their stout Dwarf legs can carry a heavy chest of gold and goods. The hallways shakes and the tunnel to the right that they had previous used collapses, covered with brick and rocks. Seeing as the only way out was straight north, the party moves forward. Brunor moans in pain but is able to move decently, helped by Samantha.

They move north down a hallway as the darkness pours out of Jax’s war room and begins to follow the Heroes. They move through an open doorway into a vast room that they had seem earlier in the day from the other side – at least 30 bandits stare at the heroes as they enter.

“Who the hell are you?” One of them asks.

“They killed Jax!” Marvin lied.

“Who killed Jax?” One of the bandits blanched even as the shadow poured out and into the room, wrapping around the giant columns. Out of the darkness the undead poured out, quickly assaulting the bandits. Where the darkness reached, bandits choked and collapsed only to rise again in death.

The Heroes moved as fast as they could through the room and out the north door. They entered a cave tunnel and moved swiftly upwards. The darkness followed. The heroes heard the sound of movement from within the darkness, approaching swiftly.

As they reached the room with the bandit stables, three ghouls tore out of the darkness, running like attack dogs on all fours. One outstripped the other two and jumped onto Marvin’s back, knocking the Dwarf down.

Tobs turned, swinging his mighty axe and knocking the ghoul off of Marvin. Marvin scrambled up, drawing his own weapon and quickly struck his scimitar through the undead’s head. Tobs and Marvin grabbed the chest again and continued to move.

Samantha turned and faced the approaching undead and the cloud of darkness that followed. Raising her holy symbol she began to pray and attempted to channel her God, which had been very intermittent while on Aramaya.

The need was true and the prayer succeeded, Samantha felt her Goddess on the edges of her perception. It was distant but suddenly a voice spoke to her “Avandra is with you…” a flutter of wings past by on the edge of her vision and her holy symbol flared to life. Avandra filled her with light.

The undead screamed and pulled away as did the foul darkness. It remained on the edge of her light as she slowly retreated up the tunnel, protecting her friends. The undead snarled, feeling the burning power of the Light. The darkness moved forward, attempting to pierce her protective wall but failing.

Samantha felt powerful – The Light of Avandra coursed through her. She was a divine conduit. But then she felt the light flickering, the power being disrupted again. And then the darkness pulled apart and the Lich appeared. It stared at Samantha.

You shall join us in death…” It hissed and raised its arm. Making a fist Samantha felt the Light snuffed out as the Lich’s power struck her. She felt a tightness in her chest. The Lich slowly approached.

Run…” The voice whispered in her ear and the Holy Light flared one last time. The darkness fell back and the Lich screamed as it lost its grasp on Samantha. She turned and fled.

The Darkness immediately pursued as she ran to catch up with her friends.

At the top of the cave the Heroes took a swift turn South to successfully run out of the cave into broad daylight even as another massive earthquake shook the entire area. The Darkness was finally catching up to them and tendrils poured out of the cave only to pull back as the light of the day assaulted it. It roiled in almost life-like anger on the edge of the cave.

The ground opened up and Brunor fell forward, barely grasping onto the edge.

Tobs dropped his end of the chest and joined Samantha in helping Brunor back up. Marvin took the chest by himself the final way to their pair of horses and strapped it in.

The cave shuddered and erupted. Earth exploded skyward filling the sky with a black cloud even as a massive structure began to lift itself up and out of the ground. Undead that had been trapped in the cave tunnels fell from the sky on all sides of the structure as smooth stone towers rose.

The Heroes mounted their horses and began to retreat even as the structure finished rising – a huge Fortress lifted out of the ground by dark magics. Tobs immediately recognized it from books in the Warstein library – it was the Clan Fortress of Clan Warhammer, an ancient Dwarven Clan thought lost at the time of the Cataclysm, one thousand years ago.

Massive double doors closed and a portcullis fell to close off the Fortress.

A voice spoke in the heads of the Heroes. “You will all serve Clan Warhammer in death. All will serve us eventually…

And the the voice was gone and the sun shone bright as the last of the fallout rained down…


A few hours later our Heroes reach Minsc. The town is in a state of panic and they are met at the entrance by a large crowd made up of townspeople, skittish town guards, Bruenor Thunderstone and Governor Alistair. Alistair is in a panic, asking the Heroes what has happened. Apparently the emergence of the Warhammer Clan Fortress and the accompanying earthquakes reached all the way to Minsc.

The Heroes did not speak of the undead horde or the Fortress but that they had defeated the bandits and that the town had nothing more to fear from them. Alistair attempted to trick the Heroes and give them a reward of 500 gold instead of 600. Marvin immediately confronted the Governor and Alistair relented, paying them the full amount of 600 gold and begging forgiveness, telling them that the extra 100 gold would have helped the town out. They had not received any payments from the capital of Gorram City in the last two months since the bandit disruptions began.

After the altercation, the heroes decided to rest at the Stonefield Inn. They would rise in the morning to travel back to Sigil. During the evening, the heroes spoke to the proprieter, Bruenor Thunderstone who they trusted and told him what really happened and the rise of Clan Fortress Warhammer.

Samantha took to the streets by herself and made her way to the Town Hall where she met with Governor Alistair. She gave him all the gold she had on her, 45 gold and begged Alistair to take the townspeople and leave. She told him in private about the undead threat.

Alistair told her he wished it was so simple. The capital needed Minsc for food and dairy production and they simply couldn’t pick up and move. He hoped that when the heroes took the news of the undead threat to Sigil, that Sigil would be able to inform the Capital and have soldiers sent to protect the small town.

With nothing left to be said, Samantha returned to the Stonefield Inn and the heroes slept until the morning. The town gifted what they could to the mercenaries and gave them each a simple horse for their travel back to Gorram City.

As they prepared to leave, a familiar face appeared riding into town. It was Rush, the farmer. He realized that running had been wrong and that his master had sacrificed himself. He felt it. He knew that he had to continue down the path of the Platinum Dragon and was ready to join the heroes in their journey.

Together, they began their return trip to the capital which took two and a half days, passing through the city of Millstone on the way.

The capital city drew near and the heroes entered and headed for the large Sigil Compound, where they immediately met with their boss, Blix and delivered Sigil’s share of the profit.

It was a long debriefing as the heroes went over the entire mission, describing their descent into the bandit caves, their victory against the bandit leader Jax and finally the arrival of the Lich and his army of undead dwarves.

Blix told them that he would tell his bosses about the situation. They would hopefully be able to contact the Eladrin Lord of Gorram, Lord Kain and that he would mobilize soldiers to protect Minsc.

Finally, they handed the scribbled note to Blix. The note read: Disrupt all traffic between the capital and Minsc for at least another month and was signed with a Z.

With the debriefing over, our heroes took their leave of Blix’s office and headed off for their individual apartments for some well deserved Rest & Relaxation…

END OF A GATHERING OF HEROES

Next…

THE TRIUMVIRATE

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A gathering of heroes, session 4

Dear diary,

Contact with my goddess Avandra has been very sporadic since I ended up in this gods forsaken area of the world. But over the past few days I have felt her presence when trying to heal people in my group. Our group is blessed, I am getting more powerful, or the powers that be in this land are weakening. I see no other option it could be. I am of the mind it is a combination of all three. I believe our group “happened” to come together in order to set this area of the world to right again. Although I admit, besides being able to heal now and again, I sense no divine hand in what our group is doing really. Let me tell the tale of the past few days…

We started out deciding we needed to camp for the day so we could all rest and I could sit and pray to restore my reserves in case they were needed. After that we returned to the caves to continue our quest to find Jax and end the evil doings around Stonefield. But Jax is either clever or set some traps for us, or he is stupid and shares his cave with some terrifying beings.

The caves went deep, perhaps too deep. We ended up in a section that looked to be ancient Dwarven ruins far beneath the ground. We found an underground tavern with about 40 bandits in it, but most of the party felt that was suicide to enter so we looked for an alternate route. That is when we found the cave with dead kobold bodies all over it, oh and the “big ass” cave bear.

Marvin got a chunk bit out of him by the bear, but I think he needed a bath because the bear all but spit him back out! I have never seen such a thing. I never managed to hit the bear even once, but on the plus side I did not hit myself or my party either. I guess I need to be more thankful for the little blessings like that. Marvin and Tobs were amazing in that fight though! They did this one move where Marvin ran at the bear and slide right between its legs! While he did this Tobs charged the bear with his shield… he really does think that shield is a weapon I think… and well he does pretty good with it, so I guess it is. They dispatched the bear and all was good, except the bear fell over dead right onto Tobs. So I used the muscles the goddess granted me and I pulled him out from under the bear. While the rest of us were patching ourselves up Tobs cut off all the bears fangs, something about a necklace. I thought that was bad enough but then he took all the claws too! He sure does like trophies I guess. It was pretty gruesome though, when we get back to town I think I will pay a few of the barmaids to make him take a bath so the smell goes away. If that is not a divine duty, I do not know what is.

So after we dispatched the bear and collected trophies shudder we continued down the caves. Din really seemed to want to go back to the room with 40 guys in it, but we convinced him that Jax is what mattered and that maybe we could sneak up on the bandits unawares. He did not seem happy with the plan, but he went along with it. Good thing he did too! After a while the cave turned into brickwork and we came to three doors. One of the sets of doors was these huge double doors. Din went up to the door to see if he could hear anything. I have no idea if he did or not but I think he was worried we would talk him out of opening them because he did just that and walked right it! The rest of us noticed this and quickly caught up. That boy is going to regret being so impulsive one of these days I think.

Once we got through the double doors we knew we had found our man. In the center of the room was the half-orc Jax and with him was a man wearing robes. About the room were a dozen more bandits. Din announced they had been judged and starts fighting! We all jumped in. Bruner and Tobs took the brunt of the attacks though. Tobs had a few guys on him as well as some archer and Bruner was just getting hit like there was no tomorrow, which for him there almost wasn’t.

I called upon my Goddess and she heard me, but barely, and I was able to heal Tobs after I dispatched the guys that were on me. I tried to heal Bruner but the blessing of my Lady was gone and I could do nothing for him with my faith. Instead I ended up using my own healing potion on him. It was close but he made it.

I do have to say though that Rush is looking pretty good lately. He has come a long way in just a few short days from being a farmer with a farmstead full of poop. Before he talked a lot, but since he swore himself to Din and took that vow of silence it is like all of his energy goes into fighting. I may have judged him too quickly, that will be a lesson to me.

We did eventually finish off the bandits, the mage, and Jax though. This team works rather well together. Din is terrifying with that staff; Tobs and his battleshield make quick work of most things, including walls. Marvin and Bruner are both forces to be reckoned with and can really hold their own nicely. Rush is… well Rush.

I feel like I am the one lacking here as I usually manage to hit a lot of nothing, but I suppose this is all part of the lesson I am here to learn. I know my Goddess brought me to this forsaken place to break the hold the “one true god” has. Maybe I need to step up my prayers and devotions; I might try that and see what happens. Maybe my failures lately are a lack of faith but this group is helping to bring that faith back into perspective for me.

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A Gathering of Heroes, Session 3
Mission Update

TO: Red Master of Dragons

Mission RJ-35
Status Update

Master,

Being the 68th day of the mission to the mainland, and 37th day beholden to the guilty Marvin Underhill, I submit to you an update under the judgement of the Platinum Dragon. I have successfully located a lair of the guilty. It appears to be populated mainly by the creatures known as kobolds. My party and I first encountered them in their sleeping quarters. The guilty Marvin Underhill was able to disguise himself as one and gain some information from them. His disguise was so well done, I almost dispatched him myself, which of course would have forced me to submit myself to the judgement of the Dragon. The dwarf may be among the guilty, but he does have admirable skills. Fortunately, he removed his disguise before it came to violence and I was able to stay my hand. We were then able to stealthfully advance and I was able to send the entire group of kobolds to their judgement.

We then encountered another group of kobolds deeper in the lair. With them was a human. Unfortunately the guilty Underhill murdered him before my judgement could be made. Only to be expected from those such as him. The kobolds were sent to the Dragon for judgement.

After travelling further into the lair, my party encountered two guilty humans and their vile dogs. They were quickly sent to judgement. The novice Rush that I informed you of earlier proved indispensable in this sentencing. He may yet become a fine servant of the Dragon.

We then found the apparent sleeping quarters of this band of guilty. Peering behind a drape, I found a sleeping man apparently guarding a locked door. Sloth in the line of duty is not a noble trait, to be sure, but I was unable to ascertain his guilt, unfortunately. My flagellations this evening will be increased I assure you.

I will send more updates on this important mission when they are forthcoming.

The Dragon judge you justly.

Din

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