The Morning Lord's Glory

Limestone Caverns
Caravan Prisoners
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A Meeting Interupted
Ambush!

Setting the stage

  • The group took advantage of the element of surprise to it’s full extent
  • After dispatching the drow on the towers, Nathier and Waylan positioned themselves above the courtyard.
  • Sam was able to climb atop the barracks along the west or back wall of the keep.
  • Dervin and Kotono took the front lines

Surprise

  • With precision the group either killed or severely injured the Zhents standing watch around the fire in the courtyard.
  • After being alerted by the initial assault, the drow weapon master and mage and the two Zhent captains emerged from the building in the southwest corner of the courtyard.
  • The drow mage quickly turned the tides of the battle taking flight and tossing down Cloud kill and eventually Evard’s Black Tentacles

Dire Straights

  • The battle was intense and saw Waylan, Sam, Kotono, and Dervin all fall unconscious at some point.
  • Dervin fell unconscious while being surrounded by black writhing tentacles
  • Sam had previously fallen and was yet to be stabilized.
  • Dervin was bleeding out and another round he would be killed by the tentacles (automatic failure of two death saves).
  • Miraculously, Sam critically saved (natural 20), bringing him to consciousness and 1 hit point.
  • This allowed Sam to reach Dervin in time and heal him with a potion – this alone turned the tide of the battle to their favor.
  • The drow mage, the last survivor, retreated and flew off into the darkness.

Aftermath

  • The group found critical documents linking the Drow, the Zhents, and a third group, the Umbra Lupus in a tertiary agreement of some kind against Dagger Falls. All three have different, but complimentary motives with one common bond; the destruction of Dagger Falls.
  • The fallen drow bore an unusual marking – a severed drow, ringed hand.
  • There is mention of a drow by the name of Myrkiira who seems to be the primary drow agent in Dagger Falls.
  • The documentation also mentions that the captives from the caravan raid are being held until they can be taken by the drow as slaves into the underdark. It seems they are being held close by.
  • In the southeastern guard tower along the keeps wall a secret door is found in the floor. It leads below and looks to have been recently used…

This is where the story will pick up next session

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A Secret Meeting
Kellet Bound

The Road to Kellet

  • The group made their way to Kellet by horseback under the cover of night.
  • While in route the spotted horses along the road moving at a full gallop toward Kellet.
  • The group tied their horses on the far side of a ridge south of Kellet and made their way by foot into the city.

Kellet

  • The city of Kellet, surrounded by foothills, sits at the base of a plateau where an old ruined keep still stands.
  • The city itself is abandoned and left to ruin with the remnants of a dragon attack bearing witness in the burned out buildings.
  • A road leads out of the city winding up the plateau to the ruined keep.
  • A rusted, barred culvert for the keeps cistern is found at the base of the plateau.
  • The group gains entrance into the cistern of the keep through the culvert.

Cistern

  • The group makes there way through a cavern carved out of limestone that leads to the main cistern.
  • A carved limestone staircase leads out of the cistern into a well house above.
  • The group enters the keep through the cistern well house.

Kellet Keep

  • Waylan and Nathier scout the keep grounds: there are four men warming themselves by a fire – they look to be Zhents by their dress.
  • On the far side of the compound is a guarded barracks; they are able to look inside to see a meeting taking place with two men and two dark elves sitting at a table.
  • Additionally, they scout the towers and upper walls finding both caravan supplies and drow patrolling the area – they are able to identify the goods as from the missing caravan.
  • Waylan and Nathier are able to eliminate the drow with lethal efficiency.
  • The group was able to set up a perimeter and set the stage for an ambush.

The next session will pick up with the encounter at the keep

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The Big Bad Wolf
Felstad Farmstead

Farm Investigation

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  • Lady Estella invited the group to stay the night in the barn loft and have dinner with the family.
  • Her boy, Han, showed them to the most recent “mutilation” of livestock
  • Found suspect tracks – Dervin recognized as possibly Wyvern tracks
  • Nathier and Sam left to check the perimeter of the farmstead
  • Darvin investigated the area

Restless Night

  • Waylan followed boy Han to cellar
  • Han revealed that the people on the farm were not what they seemed
  • Han revealed a shallow grave of his parents
  • The group is confronted by Lady Estella

Werewolves and Dire Wolves

  • After parlaying with the group Lady Estella and Strod revealed their true nature, a werewolves.
  • A tough fight ensued, but the group was victorious dispatching three werewolves and three dire wolves
  • Dervin used his Channel Divinity: Radiance of the Dawn for the first time – incinerating a werewolf in glorious fashion!

Aftermath

  • All the werewolves bore the mark just above their collarbone of the Umbra Lupus
  • A note regarding an important meeting at the ruins of Kellet, a known Zhent stronghold in years past, that was destroyed by a dragon.
  • It also implied that the cargo of the missing caravan and captured “cattle” would be found there.
  • A small treasure cache was also found in the residence.
  • The group ensured a proper burial for the family.
  • Waylan had Han head to the Tethyamarside village where he could find refuge with Listra.
  • Waylan offered to mentor Han in the Northspire Mercenaries
  • The group decided to make their way west along the trail toward the ruins of Kellet – Listra had mentioned that the ruins had attracted all sorts of unsavory inhabitants over the years.
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Delayed Goods
Dynter Investigation, Missing Caravan, Felstad Farmstead

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Backalley Murder

  • Dynter’s throat was torn out
  • He was unarmed
  • There was evidence that he put up a tremendous struggle – crates broken, several bloody patches where it looked like bodies were drug away after the fight
  • The only witness was a young barmaid who was visibly upset

Interview

  • She was closing down the bar that evening with Dynter when he did not return from the “back of the house” where he had a safe.
  • When she went to check on him the safe was emptied and the back door (normally locked) was wide open
  • She followed a block or so and could hear a loud commotion down one of the alleys
  • She ran and reported to The Spire.
  • As they were wrapping up, she called them back and described an interaction with Dynter and Fulgath two days prior. It got heated and Fulgath left very angry.

Back of the House

  • The room was as it was described.
  • Safe open and completely emptied.
  • Found a “Bill of Sale” to Fulgath. It appeared legit.
  • Darvin sensed a presence watching them from a corner in the room.

Wrapping Up

  • Both Nathier and Dreg verified that the document seemed legitimate with no noticeable markings of a forgery. “If it is a forgery it is of the highest quality.”
  • Dreg asked Nathier to begin a whisper campaign and keep things quiet for a couple of days.
  • Dreg encouraged them to followup with Dulwar the leatherworker
  • Dreg asked them to head south on the Tethyamar Trail in search of clues of a caravan that has not arrived as expected. He noted that the caravan was being guarded by 10 mecenaries. He was most concerned that they were returned safely.
  • Over drinks that evening at the Teshford Arms, Kotono overheard two men discussing the Felstad farmstead; they have lost over half their livestock mysteriously.

Old Dulwars Leatherworks

  • Dulwar gave the group some history on the temple of Lathander, Lathander’s Light.
  • He shared that after it was first burnt down (12 priest slain) an important artifact, “Lethander’s Blessing”, went missing. It was divined to possibly be near Eagle’s Eyrie just outside town. Since it was during the Zhent occupation, no one followed up or recovered the artifact.
  • Dulwar believes that the recovery of Lathander’s Blessing is tantamount to the recovery of the temple.
  • Dulwar gave the group a special skinning knife for recovering pelts; especially dire pelt which he will pay handsomely for.
  • He encouraged the group to return in the future for other harvesting needs they could help with.

Delayed Caravan

  • The group traveled 15 miles south along the Tethyamar Trail to the small hamlet of Tethyamarside.
  • They were invited into the home of one of the local citizens, a middle aged human woman by the name of Listra.
  • She was very hospitable and shared that they were concerned as well about caravan – it was due through town several days ago.
  • She shared that along with the late caravan and the cattle that has gone missing or turned up mutilated at the Felstad Farm, the citizens were getting very concerned.
  • The group decided to make the 5 mile ride to the farm and investigate.

Felstad Farmstead

  • The group was greeted by a barrel chested dwarf named Strod. He was helping Lady Estella with keeping up on things around the farm with the missing cattle – two went missing just last night.
  • Strod directed the group to a pasture outback where Lady Estella and her three boys were constructing a larger pen for the cattle so they could more effectively watch over them at night.
  • After visiting with Estella, Kotona asked if they could stay the night – Estella agreed and offered the Barn loft for the evening.
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Back Alley Mischief
Gaming Notes

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Bert’s Funeral Procession

  • Uneventful, but the group did notice some shadowy figures watching
  • Nathier introduced Waylan to Kotono and Darvin.
    *Nathier suggested that they do some looking around and follow-up on some of their leads together.
  • Waylan had suggested being thrown into the jail cells near the two Umbra Lupus thugs and helping them escape to find out more information about the organization.

Anvar’s Smithy

  • The groups first stop was to the smithy that was near the Abandoned Warehouses that Dynter had encouraged them to investigate further.
  • Anvar proved helpful, but still seemed fearful in giving too much information.
  • Anvar told them to check out abandoned warehouses (suspicious activity)

Abandoned Warehouse

  • Discovered a well used entrance to one of the warehouses (disguised as cellar doors)
  • Waylan found a piece of ripped clothing that may prove useful
  • They were attacked by a vicious pack of dogs (scared away by Darvin – natural 20)

Teshford Arms

  • Upon entering they saw a large wet dog by fireplace (one of dogs they saw earlier?)
  • Kotono had a terse conversation with Olive as he prodded for information – she coyly evaded.
  • Waylan posed seperately as a thief passing through town hoping to entrap Olive.
  • Waylan spoke to Olive in thieves cant to which Olive happily responded
  • Walayn was surprised on way home by three thugs and was brought forcibly back to the Teshford Arms
  • Waylan was introduced to the “Mistress” who was Olive in more roguish attire.
  • Olive made it clear that theives don’t work freely in Dagger Falls.
  • She told Waylan to find out information on the Spire, confiscated his dagger, told him they would be watching him carefully.

Broken Dagger

  • Met with Darvin, set up plan for next morning, slept in abandoned building

Arrested

  • Returned in morning with information.
  • While in the middle of talking to Olive he was arrested by Northspire Mercenaries as planned.
  • Waylan was put in jail with two arrested thugs from Khopesh run (given key, Kotono on duty there listening in)
  • Able to get them to talk about Fulgath (implicating him in Market vandalism and intimidation of merchants) – they revealed that they were hired by Fulgath

Dynter Assasinated

  • Natheir called Kotono and Darvin to an alley several blocks from the Broken Dagger where Dynter’s body lay dead.

Left off at this point

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The Spire
Overthrow, Shield, Uphold

Waylan’s decision to join the Northspire Mercenary Company was an easy one; 5 goldpieces a ride plus room and board is hard to turn down. Especially considering the pristine reputation of the organization. Also, it got him as close as he could hope to Zhentil Keep, a known enemy of The Spire. The trip north was uneventful as the well traveled route through the Dalelands was second nature for the mercenaries with friendly contacts at every stop along the way.

Waylan had heard the men talk about the Constable Tower, but the sight of it rising hundreds of feet above the city wall was breathtaking. It could be seen in the distance many miles away and seemed to bolster the men’s hearts. The wall around Dagger Falls was well maintained and rose twelve feet or more with a large crenelated guard house at the “River Gate”. Every fifty feet or so a parapet rose above the wall offering additional protection. Upon closer inspection, the signs of war could be seen where the wall had recent repairs as the coloring of the mortar was lighter within the patchwork. There were blackened scorch marks at heavily bombarded sections. Additionally there was a large trench dug about 10 feet from the base of the wall which now was filled with knee deep standing water that carried a stench. Large piked timber had been driven into the ground on the far side of the trench at dangerous angles preventing easy access to the wall. This city new war and was well prepared to withstand an assault.

As they moved through the main thoroughfare Bert took the time to point out various landmarks while offering some interesting commentary and opinion. The first section of the city closest to the River Gate was largely abandoned and run down, but the closer they got to the Constable Tower the more alive the city became. Bert explained the major rebuilding that had taken place following the liberation of Dagger Falls and the city is in the midst of a major restoration. Trade is thriving once again and each day goods flow freely in, out, and through the city thanks to the tireless work of The Spire and the invigorated Market District.

Soon after arriving in Dagger Falls Bert summoned Waylan to the Constable Tower for a meeting. Bert introduced Waylan to a halfling by the name of Nathier Fleetfoot. A curious fellow. Mysterious. Deadly serious. By the look of him, he looked out of place amid the formality of the mercenaries and seemed more comfortable in the shadows. Waylan could tell he was being tested in a round about manner through a casual cat and mouse discussion regarding his past and current motivations. Nathier fluently mixed in a bit of the cant to keep it fresh. In the end, Nathier acquiesced saying, “Well, you have come highly recommended by Bert one of the finest men in The Spire.” With a wink, Nathier joked, “How did you do gamblin’ with him?”

After being given a brooch bearing the sigil of the Northspire Mercenaries, Nathier took him to have a tattoo placed upon the pinky finger that would designate his rank; flatfoot. Due to his role as scout and spy Waylan would be given a magical tattoo that differed from the typical rank and file; it could be displayed only when needed, but otherwise would remain hidden. That tattoo was that of a simple clenched fist. Lanrick Paddlehaven, the gnome Quartermaster and Magister, performed the magical ritual to imbue the tattoo with the necessary illusions. As Waylan held up his hand, the blackish purple shimmer of the tattoo faded. Lanrick instructed him, “To activate the magics simply place your right hand over your heart and say…,” Lanrick cleared his throat and modeled the appropriate gesture, “Overthrow, Shield, Uphold!” Waylan’s eyes were drawn to a beautiful banner hanging on the wall directly behind Lanrick that bore the sigil of the mercenary company with the words emblazoned around the edges, “Overthrow the Tyrant, Shield the Oppressed, Uphold the Downtrodden!

Several days later, Nathier summoned Waylan to the Constable Tower. Nathier was taken to a small room where Sam was sitting. Sam got up and Waylan could see his red eyes and tear soaked face. Sam stammered, “He’s gone…Bert’s gone…”. Nathier, with a somber tone, quickly interjected, “I know you had grown close to Bert and he was the reason you joined The Spire.” Anger welled up inside of Waylan as he snarled through clenched teeth, “How?” Natheir looked hesitantly at Sam and back to Waylan, “I believe he was attacked by a lycanthrope of some kind while pursuing a fleeing thug.” Natheir looked down and his voice grew softer, “His throat was torn out and he was disemboweled. The thug he was chasing met a similar fate as well as the get away horses.” After pausing, Nathier continued, “Bert bravely volunteered to chase down the fleeing thug.” Looking Waylan directly in the eye Natheir’s eyes softened as his voice quivered, “Bert died doing what he loved.” Waylan felt a dizziness wash over him as he slumped into a chair. “Can I see the body,” Waylan asked as he stared coldly at the wall in front of him. “Sam, I know you were close to Bert…it’s probably best if you take Waylan and say your goodbyes. The body will need to be prepared for burial tomorrow.”

Waylan’s mind flashed to his last memory of Bert two days prior. They spent the evening at the Broken Dagger and played some cards much to late. Bert seemed completely in his element. With that Nathier opened the door slightly then stopped looking back at Waylan. “It would be good if you were at the funeral tomorrow,” Natheir paused, “I’d look to blend in as much as possible. Whoever did this could be making a statement tomorrow as well.” Looking down at the floor Waylan nodded as Nathier pushed through the door and disappeared. After a few minutes, Waylan looked up at Sam. As their gazes met, Waylan nodded at Sam, and they both stood. Sam led the way as they made their way to the mortuary in the lower level of the West wing of the Constable tower.

Waylan spent the evening preparing his disguise as a rank and file Northspire Mercenary. He would accompany the funeral procession from the Constable Tower to the graveyard on the outskirts of town. There would be plenty of opportunity for an ambush if they were daring enough.

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"Waylan"
A chance meeting...

Little is known of Waylan’s journey prior to his time in the Capital city of Cormyr, Arabel, other than he came from a distant land south of the Sea of Fallen Stars. He made his way north and found himself, by happenstance, in the tavern, The King’s Bounty, in the heart of the city, gambling with a jovial group of mercenaries. “The Spire”, as they were known, had a sterling reputation as being some of the best supplied and outfitted mercenaries in the North. They were led by a gregarious half-orc that if you believed all the talk was Selune’s wiper; most of his men would lay down their life for him if needed.

As Waylan drank and rolled dice with the men he was drawn to an unusual sense of camaraderie and brotherhood. These men genuinely believed they worked for the mercenary company in all of Faerun! As the evening wore on, Waylan got to know the seeming leader of the group, Bert, who hailed from Dagger Falls, north of the Dalelands. Bert was quick to smile and share a laugh, but deadly serious about his gambling. He used a curious pair of knuckle bone dice that had a scull where the six pix would be. Waylan could tell these were a prized possession.

Bert was a “man’s man” and the other mercenaries genuinely enjoyed his company hanging on his every word. The man to his right, Sam, seemed to share a strong bond with Bert as they gave each other a good ribbing. Waylan assumed Bert was the commanding officer, but was shocked when he found out he was not. Sam nearly choked as he spurted ale in a mist across the table, “Bert?” he asked sarcastically while wiping his mouth on the back of his sleeve. “Bert’s not made for leading…he’s a mercenary through and through.” He continued, “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve known Bert since we were knee high to a grasshopper, and there isn’t anyone else I’d want to have my back in a dark alley full of Shadow Thieves. Besides,” he blurted as he swallowed a long quaff of his ale, “Bert loves gambling too much!” Bert slammed his tankard down to accentuate his point. Waylan laughed boisterously as the table erupted in cheers and the men raised their glasses, and exclaimed,“TO BERT!” They slammed their tankards together sloshing ale about the table.

Waylan is the sort of man who always knows his exits and keeps his back to a wall. Observation and his skill of perception had gotten him out of tight scrape a time or two. As Waylan scanned the crowed, a balding middle aged man drowning in his tankard caught his attention at the bar. It was painfully obvious that he was trying to conceal several inconspicuous glances toward their table. If he had a goldpiece for everytime he’s seen this schtick down south he’d be a wealthy man. This was the sort of thing that played over and over in taverns across Faerun; man gets long on ale and falls prey to the a ferret who pinches a dip. Next thing you know he’s sleeping in the horse stables because his purse is gone.

Bert rose from the table and boldly announced with a hiccup, “I’ve got to make a trip to the privy,” while he adjusted his trousers and shot the men a wide smile. After several lewd comments were shot his way he turned toward the other side of the tavern. On queue the drunk ferret stumbled out of his seat and made as if he tripped into Bert’s side stumbling helplessly to the floor. As Bert helped the man to his feet and dusted him off a small halfling girl darted behind Bert deftly clipping his belt pouch from his side with Bert completely unaware. An untrained eye would have simply seen Bert dusting off the poor drunk with no notice of the cutpurse.

Waylan instinctively rose to his feet and began inconspicuously pursuing the halfling through the crowded tavern floor. As he neared the door a fairly large burly fellow stepped in front of Waylan and looked him squarely in the eye. With out a thought Waylan acrobatically spun and rolled off his shoulder and dashed to the door. This was a well oiled operation with now three thieves supporting the operation.

For a brief moment he lost sight of the runner, and his stomach dropped fearing he lost her. Waylan darted through the crowd avoiding patrons crisscrossing in front of him while keeping an eagle eye on the front door. Just as he was losing hope, he saw the front doors open and a small shadowy figure sprint out the door and to the right.

Waylan burst through the doors and made chase. He could see the halflings ponytail bouncing wildly as she sprinted toward a dark alley. With a burst of speed Waylan closed the gap and was able to grasp the back of her armor. He flung her to the ground and was standing over top of her. “P…p…please,” she stammered. “They’ll kill me if I show up empty handed.” Waylan looked her over and could see she bore the marks of a slave tattooed along her neckline. He could tell she told the truth and as a runner was entirely expendable to any thieves guild. She was terrified and began to softly sob. “Mercy…please…mercy.” Waylan took the coin purse and poured out the contents into his own. He replaced the coin in the purse with several gems whispering, “Tymora has smiled on you today,” as he gestured for her to move quickly. She nodded knowingly and stammered, “Th..thank you!” She turned and burst down the alley.

Waylan made his way back to the tavern and found a seat at the bar. Glancing over to the table he could see Bert frantically searching about for his purse. “Barkeep, two ales!” Waylan ordered. The barkeep quickly set two full tankards in front of him. Palming the bone knuckle dice he dropped them into one of the ales. He then flagged down a barmaid and asked her to deliver the ale to Bert at the table. Upon receiving the ale, the barmaid whispered in Bert’s ear. Bert turned about and looked in Waylan’s direction. After making eye contact he made his way to where Waylan was seated. “What’s this about,” he asked curiously. “Perhaps you should have a seat,” Waylan motioned to the open seat next to him, “and enjoy your ale.” Bert looked thoroughly confused. “We’re being watched,” Waylan explained under his breath with his tankard up to his lips. “Make sure you look disappointed.” As Bert took a draw of his ale, the knuckle dice tumbled forward in the tankard and ale spilled over his beard. Setting the tankard down he looked at Waylan wide-eyed, “Clever girl…”

“You’ve done me a huge favor, friend,” Bert continued,“Keep the coin as payment for your efforts.” Reaching into a pocket he pulled something out. “We could use a man with your particular talents in The Spire, Waylan.” Waylan looked at him with an interested raise of his brow. “We’re heading north back to Daggerdale tomorrow morning,” he explained. Bert reached his hand out expectantly toward Waylan, “We pay 5 gold a ride, and room and board.” Pausing, Waylan considered the gesture, then clasped his hand. To his surprise Bert dropped a minted coin in his hand that bore the sigil of The Spire. “Bring this with you if you decide to join us.” With a nod Bert rose and returned to the table.

As he finished his ale, Waylan considered that this could get him within several days ride of Zhentil Keep. It seems Lady luck smiled upon him again.

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Message for you, Sir!
Schmoozing, consorting, and scheming

Fulgath Shakedown:

At the bequest of Lord Morn, Kotono and Darvin made their way to Fulgath’s Caravan Supplies just to the north of the Tesh Trail on the outskirts of town.

The impressive, thick stone barn-like building can be seen just north of the Tesh Trail. There is an impressive assortment of wagons, wheels, and barrels surrounding the property. A large wooden sign hangs from the front porch over two large double doors; in bright red lettering it reads Falgath’s Caravan Supplies.

As you enter the establishment there are rows, and rows of shelves filled with a wide assortment of goods; saddlery, wainwright, containers, tack, rations, tents, shovels, picks, climbing gear, boots, winter wear, torches…you name it.

Across the way a portly man with a smug demeanor eyes you as he looks up from a large ledger spread across an impressive oak desk. A monocle slips from his right eye and dangles to the side of his face. He squints slightly as he sizes you up. After an uncomfortable glance, he re-positions his monocle, and looks back down at his book unfazed by your presence. You could swear that you hear him quietly chuckling to himself.

Fulgath coldly received them with a condescending, “Yes?” After Kotono sternly stated their business and intentions, “We are here on behalf of Lord Randal Morn…” Fulgath became contentious. Eyeing the letter in Kotono’s hand he snapped, “What is that in your hand?” Kotono calmly presented him the sealed message bearing the official seal of Lord Morn. He angrily snatched the letter from Kotono’s outstretched hand with snap of his wrist. Sneering he scanned through Lord Morn’s message mumbling imperceptibly to himself. Looking up over his brow he flatly asked them, “What would you do if you were the only supplier at the trailhead of the most dangerous wasteland in all the Realms?” Kotona replied curtly, “Not charge exorbitant prices for travelers who are being sent to their doom!” Davin interjected making a plea toward reason, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. Dismissively, Fulgath shot back, “Bah! I simply charge what people are willing to pay.” At that Fulgath asserted flatly, “Let Lord Morn know that I will change my prices…” After a long pause he continued, “…when I get around to it!” Fulgath stood up and rapped twice on his massive oak desk with a gnarled cane. A large, thuggish looking man appeared from the back doorway and walked to his side. Silently he crossed his arms and stared coldly at Darwin and Kotono. “I believe our business is finished here," Fulgath spit, “unless you would like to purchase something…,” he added sarcastically.


Intimidation Tactics:

While walking through the Market, Darvin noticed an Eladrin woman picking up her stall that had been ransacked. Distraught over the state of her stall she sobbed, “Who would do such a thing? All I want to do is sell my goods like the other vendors…” She introduced herself as Dayekris. As Kotono questioned her it seemed she felt there is racism at play due to her Eladrin heritage. Two merchants whispering in hushed voices and watching with concern caught Kotono’s eye. As he approached them, Darvin turned his attention to helping the Dayekris recover her goods by magically mending what he could. The merchants, clearly nervous and anxious, proved tight-lipped and one even shot back at Kotono, “…I can’t get involved,” as they turned and shunned any further interaction. Disgusted, Kotono turned to the Market and shouted obstinately, “Is there anyone else who supposedly didn’t see anything?”

About that time, an elegantly dressed half-elf with a cool demeanor and piercing ice-blue eyes approached. With a forced smile she introduced herself, “I am Shevaril Starcloak.” She paused briefly, but continued confidently, “You must be Kotono?” With a slight bow and sincere nod, “Dreg has spoken highly of you.” She turned quickly to business, “I see you are looking into the ransacking of the merchant stalls?” Her eyebrows arched slightly, and her voice trailed upward to punctuate the question. She ever so slightly cocked her head expectantly. Shevaril suggested that Kotono speak with Brodwen Delgaard, the Waukeen priestess, in the employ of The Northspire Mercenaries. Kotono knew Brodwen from a recent crossing of the Anauroch some months ago and was a known adviser to Dreg on matters of commerce. As Kotono recalled, she had a pioneer spirit and enjoyed the adventure of the open road. She would often accompany trade caravans to assist in dealings with trade partners and was no slouch.

It was decided that they would continue on to the dinner that evening at The Constable Tower Fest Hall at the request of Dreg himself. Perhaps they would see Brodwen tonight?


The Thing About Crossbows:

Kotono briefly stopped back in to see Lanrick whom he had left a crossbow for deeper examination. Lanrick seemed very excited as he explained the history of the crossbow. This particular crossbow was owned by an Eladrin Ambassador of the Court of Stars to the Border Forest from the Feywild who was famously killed and the crossbow stolen. Its given name is The Messenger: Hope of the Daywalker. The crossbow was a gift from the Eladrin noble, Faerinael. Lanrick explained that the crossbow was magically enhanced in several way: it is incredibly light and can reload itself allowing the user to move freely about the battlefield. It is also magically enhanced increasing both accuracy and penetrating damage. It’s rich blue-green patina has magically been formed into an elaborate tapestry of sylvan imagery and symbols; leaves, infinity knots, trees, etc. Lanrick also mentioned that the crossbow would be of great value to an eladrin.


Celebrating Life:

After securing some more formal attire from the Market, Kotono and Darvin arrived promptly at dusk. Pleasant music and the smell of a banquet was in the air as they climbed the hill to the Constable Tower. As they entered through the tall double doors leading into the Fest Hall, minstrels could be heard playing festively. To the far end of the Fest Hall was a massive stone fireplace large enough for several men to stand in; it roared and crackled pleasantly. Immediately in front of the fire was a massive head table. Running perpendicular to the head table were three large tables filled with food and drink.

As they arrived they were immediately greeted by Dreg who was dressed in typical attire; cavalier hat, plumed shirt buttoned down to a “V”, with deep purple breeches tucked into knee high leather boots. He greeted them with a flourish announcing that Lord Morn would be in attendance. After debriefing their visit to Fulgath and the circumstances facing The Market, Dreg encouraged them to trust their gut and follow the leads. Dreg worked the room pointing out the most important people and making formal introductions. Of particular note, they spoke with the elegant Kessla, Constable of Dagger Falls and proprietor of Red Rock; Mestin “Troll” Durmark, the mannish ranger and Speaker of the Diaspora; and Tunfer the Stout, Conciliator of the Faiths and priest of Tyr. All seemed to have close personal ties with Lord Morn and played significant roles in liberating Dagger Falls. Dreg remarks that he will introduce Darvin and Kotono to Lord Morn once he arrives.

After a period they located Brodwen Delgaard. She was dressed in a flowing, gold gown that flamed to red toward the bottom. An elegant, but prominent holy symbol of Waukeen hung comfortably about her neck. Her hair was pulled back comfortably in a bun. She was quietly visiting with Shevaril whom you briefly spoke with at the market late that afternoon. After introducing yourself, you exchanged notes regarding the market stalls. Brodwen revealed what she believed to be an elaborate extortion ring that has been quietly gaining a foothold among the merchants. She conjectured that Dayekris had rebuffed their efforts and the vandalism is a not-so-subtle message to not only Dayekris but the Market as a whole. Brodwen also shared that her operatives had spied people moving in and out of the Teshford Arms late at night. With rumors of [[Olive’s]] complicitous history with the Zhentarim dating back to the occupation she suggested they pay her a visit.

Kotono also shared with Brodwen the defiant reception he received from Fulgrah and the “muscle” he flashed toward the end of their meeting. He shared that he believed in his gut there was a connection, but needed more evidence.

A trumpet blast rises above the chatter, hushing the crowd, “HEAR YE! LORD RANDALL MORN, COMMANDER OF THE FREEDOM RIDERS, VANQUISHER OF TYRANTS, LIBERATOR OF DAGGER FALLS, LEADER OF THE FREEMEN, LORD OF DAGGERDALE!” A tall, noble figure entered the room. A bearskin cloak hung heavily about his frame and added to his imposing presence. Dreg immediately moved to his side and could be seen visiting with Lord Morn. Both seemed very animated and gregarious in their exchange with back-slaps, arm clasps, and boisterous laughter being exchanged. Within a moment Dreg turned scanning the crowd. After making eye contact with Darvin he excitedly motioned for them to join him.

Lord Morn graciously complimented both Kotono and Darvin on their success in securing the Khopesh Ale and extended his heartfelt condolences at the loss of Bert. Lord Morn took a special interest in Darvin’s devotion to Lethander and found his arrival no coincidence. He told them that he would be willing to pay no less than 20,000 gold pieces, land and title to have the temple reclaimed from the shadow that covers it. He suggested that they visit with Dulwar at his shop when they have a chance.

Lord Morn, Dreg and Kotono addressed the gathering and memorialized Bert.

The festivities continued into the early hours of the morning. Kotono eventually had to pry Darvin off of a serving wench and drag him back to his bunk no worse for the wear.


Red Rock

The next morning Kotono and Darvin set out to meet the half-ogre, Dynter, at the Red Rock as agreed.

As you approach the Red Rock Tavern you can see the unique rock that you’ve heard locals speak of giving off a soft amber glow. It stands alone in it’s architecture as compared to the rest of Dagger Falls as it’s rocks are roughhewn and laid in large swathes giving it a natural, almost druidic feel. A soft melody and laughter floats listlessly to your ears as you make your way closer.

Inside the tavern the taproom of the Red Rock is illuminated by magical globes of light rather than candles. The strange smell of fresh elderberries and a hearty stew fill the air. A central, four sided bar stands in the middle of the room with an impressive display of ale casks lining the backside of the bar with many bottles hanging from the ceiling directly above the bar. A door to the kitchen can be seen to the far back of the room. Booths line the walls to the right and left. Locals are scattered about enjoying a beverage and soft conversation.

As you make your way to the bar a half-elf of stunning beauty approaches. She is dressed in a full emerald gown bedecked with the revelry of her wood elf heritage. She smiles gently at you and opens her arms wide, “Welcome to the Red Rock Tavern. I am Kessla your host. How may I serve you?”

After exchanging pleasantries with Kessla, she directed them to a booth in the back where Dynter was seated. As they approached the booth, Dynter eyed them uncomfortably and shifted nervously in his seat. The sight of his massive half-ogre frame crammed in the booth struck them as a bit surreal. He almost looks like an adult in a school house. He explained that he was unable to speak openly at the Broken Dagger because he knew he was being watched closely. He explains that some months ago he was approached by a group called the Umbra Lupus and offered “protection” for a cut of his profits. Over the months things have grown increasingly tense and he recently stopped making payments which he believes led to the missing caravan shipment. He suggested looking at the abandoned warehouses as a possible hideout for the group.


Honoring the Fallen

At midday, as was customary for the dead, a procession through the main thoroughfare of Dagger Falls was made. Bert’s body was prepared according to custom; wrapped in white linen with his sword, armor and other personal effects adorning his body. Bert’s body was placed on large funeral pyre that was then carried aloft through the street by the appointed pallbearers. This was all done in complete silence as Tunfer the Stout led the procession with lit braziers of incense. A light drizzle fell and rolls of thunder could be heard in the distance adding to the somber tone.

The townsfolk of Dagger Falls closed all businesses and lined the street to pay their respect. Kotono and Darvin were dressed in the ceremonial armor of the The Spire and walked solemnly in procession. They were instructed to stay on guard throughout the precession by Dreg for fear of retaliation by the Umbra Lupus. Several shady characters suspiciously darkened the windows of some buildings they passed along the way, but nothing came of the figures.

They processed through the River Gate and past Fulgath’s and Old Dulwar’s shops on the outskirts of town to the cemetery. Once at the gravesite, Tunfer shared a short eulogy highlighting Bert’s service and heroism in the line of duty. A final farewell was sung:

May the celestial choirs come to greet you
May they speed you to paradise
May the Morning Lord enfold you in mercy
May you find eternal rest
May you dwell in the Courts of our God
For all eternity, forevermore

As the body was being covered the procession began to disperse with small groups beginning to congregate about the cemetery.

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Khopesh, Smolpesh!

Khopesh, Smolpesh!

Dreg took some time to discus the local landscape of Dagger Falls and his overall vision Natheir_Fleetfoot.jpgfor the Northspire Mercenary Company; to bring order to Daggerdale by addressing security and infrastructure, and ensure the Zhentarim or any other groups vying for power do not gain a foothold. Dagger Falls must not fall again and there was much work to do not only in the city but in Daggerdale as well. He would like Kotono to serve as a special forces commander for these missions. For the mission at hand, Dreg has requested that his spymaster, Nathier Fleetfoot, ride with the group along with two mercenaries, Bert and Sam, who accompanied him to the Broken Dagger.

After securing proper horses and supplies the group set out just before dark and made the 3 hour journey to the abandoned farm. The journey was relatively quiet, but a passing Northspire Mercenary patrol informed them of a grisly discover along the road ahead; a fresh mutilated horse carcass. Arriving shortly before 10 in the evening, they made a rough camp on the edge of the Border Forest within a mile of the farm. It was decided that Nathier would scout ahead and report on any movements, numbers, and placement of men around the farm. Natheir returned several hours later soon after the group realized that Sam had not returned from his patrol as expected. A short distance away Nathier discovered some disturbed grass that showed signs of a struggle and some blood. Nathier reported that there were 6 men and he described that three of the men were expected to be returning from patrol. With the disappearance of Sam they decided to forgo subterfuge and simple approach the farm head on.

Kotono and the leader of the bandits parlayed for a period until a standoff was reached. It was revealed that they had Sam captive and were demanding 500 goldpieces for the goods. After knocking Sam out in front of them and a tense few moments, Darvin courageously jumped to action. Saying a prayer to the Morning Lord he raised his mace aloft summoning a bolt of divine energy that flowed from his hands through the weapon. The bolt struck the leader in the chest nearly knocking him off his feet. Kotono jumped to action and charged the leader nearly felling him with two blows of his longswords as he felt his ribs give way with a sickening crack. The brigand let out a gasp as the air was punched out of his lungs by the force of the blow. Natheir flipped off his horse and began hurtling crossbow bolts at a flanking brigand. Bert sprung to action and rode to meet the other flanking assailant.

In a moment of tribulation, Kotono was ran through by an unsuspecting blow and crumbled to the ground. Darvin summoned another bolt of divine flame upon one of the thugs bodyguards and charged into the fray. Nathier danced in and out of the shadows deftly. Seeing his opportunity he hurled a dagger at the brigand leader, piercing his jugular. He crumpled to the ground. The brigands seeing their leader fall, and sensing their defeat began to flee. Natheir and Bert took off in pursuit of the three fleeing thugs. Natheir easily dispatched one from behind, while Bert gave chase to the other two. Praying aloud to Lathander, Darvin laid his hands upon Kotono as a soft glow of divine energy pulsed through his hands enveloping Kotono. With a start and a gasp he sat up. Grasping his side and realizing what had taken place Kotona gave Darvin a word of thanks. In a moment of quick thinking Darvin stabilized Sam and the Brigand leader for future questioning. Several minutes later Bert came riding up with one of the thugs draped across his horse. He reported that one of the men had escaped into the darkness.

After tieing up the captives and securing the perimeter, the missing shipment was located in a dilapidated barn on the property. The Khopesh Ale was found in tact and unspoiled, but the strongbox was missing. Once awake, the leader resisted their initial attempts for information, but Kotono was able to convince him to speak with a well placed kick to the side of his head. He also noticed was a small tattoo of a wolf paw inside a triangle just below his neckline. He revealed that they worked for the Umbra Lupus (The Shadow Wolves) and the location of their horses is about a half mile away near a bog. Bert courageously requested permission to pursue the last thug which Kotono agreed to. Soon after monstrous howls could be heard in the surrounding hills, but they were unlike that of any wolf they had heard before; more beastial. After a sinister snicker, the brigand leader taunted them; their friend was being hunted.

The next morning they tracked Bert to the bog where they came upon a slaughter; 6 horses, the fleeing thug, and Bert all lay murdered, disemboweled, with their throats torn out. It is unlike anything Nathier has ever seen. Darvin said a prayer for Bert’s final journey and they loaded his body into the back of the wagon making their way back to Dagger Falls. The group recovered 51 SP’s, 15 CP’s, 5 light crossbows, 6 longswords, and one magical crossbow. Additionally, they found a healing potion, a scroll of disguise self, and a scroll of chill touch.

After making a full report to the Guard Captain at the River Gate, Kotono returned to the Broken Dagger and delivered the news to Dynter. Dynter was pleased to have his cargo back, and followed through on his word handing over the Khopesh Ale. He also offered that if they could recover his strongbox he would still honor their deal of 50% share in the profits.

Kotono asked Dynter if he had ever heard of the Umbra Lupus. Dynter gave him an unknowing look, but Kotono noticed a slight shift in his stance belying a deeper understanding. Slamming his fist on the bar in indignation he shouted, “I lost a man to this group you supposedly don’t know!” Leaning in, Dynter snarled in a low growl, “Not here…now is not the time.” Dynter agreed to meet Kotono the next day at the Red Rock, mid morning (The Wolves Den Quest begins).

After dropping the magical crossbow off to be identified by the Quartermaster, Lanrick, Dreg found them in the courtyard of the Constable Tower. Walking and talking they discussed the events of the previous night and debriefed strategy. Consoling Kotono at the loss of Bert, Dreg gave a pair of knuckle dice that belonged to Bert (the dice have 1 charge per day of luck – can reroll a failed attack, skill check, or save per day). Dreg also commended Darvin for his bravery and formally invited him into the Northspire Mercenary Company (full room/board, 5 goldpieces per week). He gave him a brooch bearing the Northspire insignia/heraldry. Additionally, Dreg invited them to dinner that night and requested Kotono’s presence at the wake for Bert the following evening. Finally, Dreg handed Kotono a personal note from Lord Morn. In flourished script it reads…


My Dear Kotono,
I want to thank you for your bravery and service to Dagger Falls. As a personal favor I would request that you pay Fulgrath a visit as my personal representative. His prices have become a burden for the people of Dagger Falls and he must be reasoned with. If he does not cease and desist I will be forced to levy fines upon his business. I trust you will take care of this matter in short order.

Lord Randal Morn

*His official seal is under his signed name

Additionally, Dreg hands you an official document sealed with Lord Randal Morn’s Daggerdale seal. He tells you to deliver this to Fulgrath as well.

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