|11/13/2002||08/18/1373 DR - 08/20/1373 DR|
Yassel does indeed turn up a possible job for the heroes - rescuing the kidnapped son of a high priest of Helm. On the morning of 08/20/1373, they group goes to visit Hykros.
Hykros receives them graciously, and explains the problem. His 8-year-old son Mikhail was kidnapped and his guard killed. She has since been raised, but cannot tell them much about the kidnappers, as they were cloaked and hooded. The kidnappers contacted him via crystal ball, and demanded a ransom in coin, gems, and magic items. He can pay it by virtually beggering himself, but is willing to - discreetly! - for the sake of his son.
He asks the party to take the ransom to Everlund, and follow the kidnappers' directions to check into the Struggling Squid as "Lord Bilcru and his party" before midnight on 08/22/1373, then wait for additional instructions.
Much discussion ensues, some of it heated, as some party members are willing to take on this commission, while others, notably Ajaman, are adamantly opposed to giving into the demands of the kidnappers.
Eventually, however, enough compromises
are reached that the party agrees, albeit reluctantly in some cases, to
take on the task. They begin planning the trip.
|12/04/2002||08/20/1373 DR - 08/21/1373 DR|
Planning complete around noon on 08/20/1373 DR, the chest with the ransom is loaded into the wagon, and the heroes start the trek to Everlund. However, just before exiting the South Gate, they run into a minor delay - a load of cheese has spilled from a broken cart, and cart, cheese, and bystanders block the way to the gate. Several party members go to help clear the mess, while others wait by and on the wagon.
The cleanup goes smoothly, though an interesting note is added to the situation when Dominique is approached by a red-headed female, apparently a fighter, who asks some questions and tries to hire her group on as guards for the trip. Dominique politely turns her down, and soon the line to exit the gate is moving again.
The heroes travel for the rest of the afternoon,
and find a campsite in the early evening. Everything is quiet until about
an hour into second watch, when sharp-eyed sentries notice some activity
in the nearby trees. A fight ensues, with apparently about a half-dozen
opponents, only three of whom can be seen clearly. Several escape unharmed,
others escape badly wounded, and one dying woman is captured. All of the
women that the heroes could see were red-headed females, and one appeared
to be the one who spoke to Dominique in town.
The rest of the night passed without incident, and the heroes decided to turn the woman over to a Silverymoon patrol, since they expected to encounter at least one during their travels that day. And, in fact, they encountered a patrol about an hour after their mid-morning start. The Captain took statements from them all, and took charge of the women, after commenting that she was probably a member of the Red Alliance. He explained that the Red Alliance is a small group of women, all red-heads, who are known for taking on ... questionable ... jobs. But, they usually didn't act as common thugs or bandits.
Continuing on, at mid-afternoon the group was just passing an inn, the Fighting Terrier, not far from the pass, when an ominous "crack" proved to be a broken wagon wheel spoke. After some discussion, the heroes paid the inn's handyman, Pyles, to fix the wheel. While most of the group stood guard over the wagon and its contents (unloaded and cleverly disguised as a coffin), Charmaine and Dominique entered the inn. Marcy, the 8-year-old daughter of a couple at a nearby table, pestered them with questions, and innocently told them about the trappers, and the new guy playing knucklebones.
Charmaine politely confronted the trappers about eavesdropping, but found nothing untoward. Soon the wagon was ready, and the group on its way.
The heroes crossed the pass in the late afternoon, and started downhill. Not far from the pass is a bridge over a gorge - and reaching that, the group found an overturned wagon on the far side. Stopping to reconnoiter before crossing the bridge, the heroes discovered the cause of the problem - a troll!
They battled the troll, who was having a bad day and couldn't seem to him them back, finally toppling into the gorge. The heroes hauled him out and burned him, then crossed and cleaned up some of the strewn contents of the wagon - food and wine, primarily. The bodies of the teamsters were found below, and honored, and the party began to discuss whether to camp here or head down the trail.
Slow, sarcastic clapping got their attention,
and they spoke with a man who was unaffected by either their spells or
their suspicion and hostility. Eventually, he took his leave and headed
down the path, and the party camped for the night at the gorge.
In the morning, our stalwart heroes continued on their way. Around midday, a thread of smoke caught their attention. Scouting ahead, Yassel discovered the remains of a wagon similar to the heroes', with several corpses scattered about. The corpses were dressed as priests of Helm, and the wagon contained a chest much like the one the heroes were carrying - but empty and looted. It appeared that a fireball or similar spell had taken out the wagon drivers and the top of the wagon, but left the chest intact. There was no evidence of the attackers.
The group investigated, and cared for the bodies of the priests, then continued on to Everlund, arriving there late in the afternoon of 08/22/1373 DR. Ajaman and Dominique used the name of Lord Bilcru to get the room, while the rest of the group stabled the mules and guarded the wagon.
Late that evening, the attack began. A
battle of spells and swords raged in and around the stables, leaving two
attackers dead and the rest fled, and the party largely unhurt. There was
a great deal of frustration among the heroes as the attackers melted away
and disappeared into the streets and alleys of the city, as the Watch did
not appear until after the incident was over, and the patrons of the inn
were largely unhelpful and apparently uncaring.
|01/29/2003||08/22/1373 DR - 08/26/1373 DR|
The Watch eventually arrived, and took statements, finally agreeing to patrol the area a bit more stringently. The innkeeper sent two more additional guards to patrol the grounds, and finally Ajaman, Dominique, and Charmaine went back into the inn. Dominique went upstairs, and received a knock on the door around midnight. The scruffy man at the door said he was the heroes' guide to the kidnappers, and led Dominique downstairs and to the stables.
Ajaman alienated the man almost immediately. He shrugged and headed off without the heroes after warning them that if they didn't show up with him, the child would be killed. Charmaine tried to reason with the man, and followed him for several blocks, finally casting hold person on him to require him to listen to her. Yassel followed as backup.
Eventually the rest of the group hitched up the wagon and joined Charmaine and Yassel. The apparently-unflappable guide just shrugged and led them onward, picking up his horse just outside of town. They traveled for hours, finally leaving the main road and following a farm track down to the riverside. Part of the way down, the spellcasters developed severe headaches and felt as if their spells had been drained away. Dominique identified this as the effects of a dead magic zone.
When the heroes reached their apparent destination, they were still in the dead magic zone, and could see a campfire with a single figure ahead. As they approached, the figure called them to halt, and to dismount from the wagon and horses. It proved to be the man who had spoken with them after the trolls - and he made it clear that he had the upper hand - crossbowmen on the cliff and in the darkness, and, of course, he had the child.
An attempt at negotiation ensued, though there was little leverage the group had. He agreed to allow them to see and verify the identity of the child, which they did once a second man brought him. Then, he required them to stand against the cliff face while he moved the wagon - and manhandled the chest out of the wagon and into a hole in the ground! The man holding the child sprinted for the hole, as did their guide. Another figure took the heroes' horses into the woods .... and an avalanche of rocks fell from the cliff face, missing the party and the child.
When all was quiet again, the child was unharmed and happily reunited with Dog. The heroes found no sign of the kidnappers, despite seeing the one with their horses follow a game trail. Unfortunately, the trail quickly became muddled. So, the heroes and the child, Mikhail, started walking towards town.
About two miles down the road their horses and mules were tethered, as promised, and they made better time back toward Everlund. Arriving about dawn, they took the time for breakfast and the hire of a cart to return to SIlverymoon, and started the trip back.
The trip was uneventful, and on the evening of 08/24/1373, Mikhail was reunited with his father. Ajaman took the opportunity to cast a pall over their reunion by tellling Hykros of the fate of the priests of Helm and again accusing him of misconduct with respect to the ransom of Mikhail. Finally, the group took their leave, and went to their separate homes. agreeing to meet in the morning to discuss the matter with the High Lady.
The High Lady was out of town, though the steward made an appointment for the group on 08/26/1373 at midmorning. Apparently there had been another orc incursion, and "something odd" happening in or around Mithral Hall that required her attention.
At the meeting, the heroes described the situation, and their concerns about the amount of money and magic now loose. The Lady reminded them that in other parts of the world, a single adventurer - or small groups of them - might have equiivalent wealth, but that it was true there were very few such wealthy people in this area. She did, however, appear concerned enough to say she would have the matter investigated.
As of midday on 08/26/1373, the group is
free to transact their business in town, and to research potential new
|03/05/2003||08/26/1373 DR - 09/03/1373 DR|
For the next several days, the heroes go their separate ways, though they usually meet in the evening for dinner or drinks and to share information. Most of the group sought for information that might lead them to the kidnappers, though Yassel also inquired after Tirilee. Thistle investigated having his bow made magical, while Ajaman and Dominique studied spells, and Charmaine searched, as ever, for Roscoe.
On the evening of 09/01/1373 DR, it seemed that at least Charmaine's search had borne fruit when she arrived at dinner, a little late, a comely male halfling a few years older than she in tow. Charmaine introduced her companion as "Roscoe", and announced that she was leaving the group to prepare for their wedding, to be held during HighHarvesttide. The rest of the heroes expressed their congratulations and good wishes, and Charmaine spent the rest of the evening with them.
The conversation naturally turned to whether to replace Charmaine, and Dominique mentioned that her sister's fiance' had recommended one of his men, an elven archer named Eltairin Taleddon, if there were any openings in the group. Eltairin, he said, is from Archendale and was one of the elite Archenriders before coming to Silverymoon in search of adventure. Agreeing to speak with Eltairin in the morning, the discussion turned to the vrious rumors the heroes had heard.
Later that afternoon and into the next day, a subset of the group went to stake out the pale-haired woman's house, since they were unable to determine the owner through the Records Office (the deed had not yet been filed). The stake-out was uneventful.
That evening, Yassel visits the Luck y Coin Tavern and Casino. He speaks with the proprietor about the sword and whether it was a stake at one of the tables. Finding that it was, he talks the proprieter into letting him see Clive (who is drunk and asleep), and determines that he appears to be part of the gang.
Yassel tells the party, and they report
to the City, and Clive is arrested.
|03/19/2003||09/03/1373 DR - 09/04/1373 DR|
A visit to Sparkling Edge Gems on the morning of 09/03/1373 DR gains the heroes the information that the ruby was purchased by a man fitting the description of Tadus Hill. The jeweler had purchased the gem about 8-10 years ago from an adventuring group called the SIlver Falcons - they said they had found it in ruins in the Anauroch.
The heroes then headed to the City Guard, after getting a writ from the Lady to pursue this investigation. The writ notifies the reader that the heroes are conducting an investigation into a kidnapping on behalf of Silverymoon, and cooperation is appreciated. This generally means that Silverymoon authorities and others will be helpful and cooperative; those outside of Silverymoon may be less directly helpful but are likely not to hinder the investigation.
Sgt. Fred at the City Guard desk refers the heroes to Captain Deliamber of the Knights of Silver, who is in charge of the official Silverymoon investigation. He has looked into the matter of the house, and tells the party that the lady's name is Taliesin, though he doesn't yet know much about her. He accompanies them to interrogate Clive, who is anxious to tell what he knows - partly out of a hope of clemency, and partly as revenge on the others of the group.
|04/09/2003||09/04/1373 DR - 09/08/1373 DR|
Leave for Quaervarr on 9/04.
Quaervarr (check spelling)
5 2 - 2.5 days from Silverymoon. Karon Village is about
2 days to the northeast; the barony border (Barony of Karondar) is about
1/2 day to the northeast.
On the way to Quaervarr, fought 7 Orc Ftr 3 and 3 Orc Ftr 5. (About a day out of Quaervarr.)
Quaervarr has a fine inn, The Whistling Stag (Josten Rowen, prop (half-elf)). A woodland town, the buildings and paths are made of wood. Its flavor is like SIlverymoon but less formal. It is the home of half-elves and humans.
Constable - Hugh the Red, human, red hair, large
Head to constable in the morning. He purchases some weapons and armor for 3/4 book value. Weaponsmith paid 1/4 for greataxes. Potions at the temples will be double book value. The priest adds a scroll of magic weapon to the pile.
Leave for Karon; first day
uneventful. Second day around noon, meet farmers, then move on to Karon.
Yassel meet with Baron, get permission to visit prisoner. Others come up,
see bay horse outside Rusty Nail. Decide to send Eltarin in to see if woman
with Scar was there.
Eltarin and Thistle trail SIlmon, who leaves the tavern and mounts, riding out of town.
Yassel rides along side, taunting...
Interrogate Bartholomew, get
nothing. Bartholomew dies. Party discussion with Ajaman.
|04/30/2003||09/09/1373 DR - 09/14/1373 DR|
Ajaman leaves overnight - leaves note for party.
It was with many reservations that I accepted the Lady's offer to assist your adventuring company. Having seen how many such groups operate, I felt an unease in allying myself with one, no matter how noble their intentions. As was shown quite clearly last eve, we all walk different paths in life. Though the destinations may be similar, these paths require varied choices that can only be fully understood by others taking the same footsteps.
Your group is well-intentioned, but I feel unnecessarily handicapped. At this time, I do not feel you truly understand or even recognize the difficulties that you face. This is not a simple matter of good versus evil or even law versus chaos. But rather order. There are many forces of power in this world that wish to impose their sense of order upon society. And those groups that oppose them must operate by similar rules or accept the likely outcome of failure in their opposition.
To this end, I feel that the best course of action at this time is to part company. Our philosophical differences on how to best preserve the order of common good is currently irreconcilably at odds. Rather than continue to burden you with my principles, I shall leave you to your path while I walk my own in solitude. I wish you well in your endeavours and perhaps these paths shall cross again.
Baron Sureblade gave the party the Axe of Hurling +1 to return to Silverymoon, along with 1275pp and a two-handed sword.
The day after the hanging (aborted hanging), the party heads south.
Evening of the second day in Quaevar.
Verify Silmon ..... guard prison.
Silmon escapes past Yassel; goes to stables. Is found by Eltairin, who engages her. Others come - Eltarin takes a header into the web; others encircle it.
Silmon surrenders and is tied up at night; in the morning the party buys a horse.
Question Silmon ....
Back to SIlverymoon .... turn
over Silmon and weapons, and information - gave temples info on attack
(both Silverymoon and Everlund); gave descriptions of Tadus, and info about
Calager. Initial research - can't find mage.
|05/14/2003||09/14/1373 DR - 09/23/1373 DR|
|05/28/2003||09/23/1373 DR - 10/26/1373 DR|
The heros arrived in Sundabar, laden with chain shirt, greataxes, crossbows, and bolts. While the rest of the party gathered information about whether Tadus had been through, and when, and sold the orcs' items, Dominique spent time bonding with the Tressym, Felina.
Leaving Sundabar, the heroes headed toward the desert, passing through the desolate ruins of Ascore.
When the heroes were one day from the place marked as "ruins" on their map, the ground rose up before them, and a voice from everywhere and nowhere boomed: "Trespassers!!!! Who are you and what do you want?"
The heroes mentioned Tadus, and the voice laughed. "Is that all? Here! He has served his purpose. If you can take him from my pets, he's yours ....!"
Another laugh, and the ground in front of the heroes resolved to a 16-ft.-tall, rather sandy- and stony-looking humanoid with two eyes that sparkled like multifaceted gems. From behind it appeared several smaller winged humanoids, about 4' tall - three of them pale, with bleary red eyes and crystalline flesh, and two gaunt and dressed in black. The pale ones appeared solid and firmly on the ground, while the ones in black appeared very light on their feet.
On its shoulder appeared to
be a human body, which it adjusts as it stands.
© Copyright Maryrita Steinhour, 2002, 2003.