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Hewy's Council of Thieves Campaign

Game Master littlehewy

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Westcrown. A city of extremes and contradictions. Once capital of the Empire of Cheliax and home to a mortal made god, now a crumbling metropolis, riddled with corruption and despair, and a forgotten city in a nation in league with devils. Bustling and loud by the bright light of day, yet night brings only fear and silence, as dark shadows stalk the city unchallenged. Folks on Westcrown proper’s dirty, garbage-strewn streets gaze across the waters of the Southrun and see the unblemished white stone towers and walls of the Regicona, the walled collection of canal-filled islands that is home to the noble families of the city.

All of you have suffered personal hardship as a result of the government of Westcrown, be it through suspicious or negligent circumstances leading to loss of family, state sanctioned ill treatment at the hands of nobles, or as a slave to the ruling class. And though you have met each other seemingly by chance, through it all runs a subtle common thread – the whispers of the shadowy Council of Thieves. Rumoured to be the true power in Westcrown, many lay the city’s problems at the door of both this hidden group and Westcrown’s uncaring leaders.

Someone, it seems, has taken notice. Known to certain people as a result of the rescue of Linoven of House Salisfer (or in the case of Berrin, as a capable friend of Attris), you have been individually contacted by a woman named Janiven. In the interest of Westcrown and its people, she has appealed to each of you in person to meet her at a place called Vizio’s Tavern at 4 o’clock today, well before the dusk curfew. A passionate, capable, and beautiful woman, Janiven would not reveal much, but has managed to dangle the right carrot before all of you to ensure your attendance.

Feel free to describe what you'd like to do this day, whether it's buying stuff, gathering info, meeting with other PCs, or just turning up (early, late, or on time).

Male Teifling Ranger/2

I will be spending the day trying to gather information about Janiven. local knowledge 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 I will be talking to other people I have 'journeyed' with previously and other characters I may have mingled with over my time as 'Bark'.

I will then arrive approx 1 hour early to the tavern. I will place myself in a corner and try to remain inconspicuous stealth 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23 until Janiven arrives. I will be keeping my eye out for strange interactions perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

If i am aware the other party members might be attending his meeting i will be making some inquiries about them also? local knowledge check 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18

Who is this Janiven? and what could she want? She certainly has me intrigued.

Male Half Orc Fighter (Unarmed Fighter) Lvl 2

Attris will spend the morning at his home partaking in his daily ritual of sharpening his claws and tusks and meditating on the meaning of victory.

You will not have died in vain. Ginzazel will pay father. I swear it.

Attris will also continue his search for a fight promoter who can arrange for him to re-enter the pit fighting circuit local knowledge 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (18) + 0 = 18. Attris arrives at the tavern stipulated by Janiven an hour early and scouts the room for any familiar faces Perception1d20 - 2 ⇒ (10) - 2 = 8

He then moves to the bar and orders a bloody ale (Half beer half oxen blood).

M Halfling Bard 2

Benni arrives several hours early and attempts to ingratiate himself with the staff and patrons - sharing stories and keeping an ear out for rumours and interesting news. At one stage he helps a serving girl carry some dishes into the kitchen to scope out alternative exits. By the time 4 o'clock rolls around, Benni is well established as the centre of every bodies attention and has made a handful of new best friends.

Ok, this is really cool. Everyone's projecting well ahead, which is exactly what we want. Also, the flavour is great (bloody ale!).

We'll find quite often though that what you expect and plan for isn't the case :) Which will be demonstrated in my next post :)

Your efforts to find any solid information on Janiven don’t yield much. You find out that she may have worked as a bodyguard in the past, but none of your acquaintances know much more.

When you arrive at Vizio’s, it appears to be permanently closed – at least, the windows are boarded up, and no one enters or leaves. There are the occasional sounds of a hammer on wood from inside the tavern, however.

You are not currently aware of the others’ involvement.

Did you want to watch and wait outside till 4, or investigate the tavern earlier?

This post also demonstrates how I'll communicate info to just one person. This button is for Bark, and it would allow you others to be surprised by stuff if you don't read it. If you just can't help yourself, I'd expect you to roleplay your character well enough (i.e. as if they don't know the info) that I can't tell you read it :)

The streets seem particularly grim today, perhaps because of the rumours of bandits, both inside and out of the city, that you have heard.
Your searching for a patron for pit fighting doesn’t bear immediate fruit, but you do learn of a shifty-sounding fellow named Garisi who seems like he might have the balls to give you a go.
When you arrive at the tavern, you find that it is not open for business – the windows are boarded. However, the front door does not appear to be locked.
Want to enter early, hang out and recon, or do something else? Also, the bloody ale has just become a staple drink in devil-worshipping Cheliax :)

When you arrive at the tavern, you find the windows boarded up, but the front door unlocked. As you enter, you see Janiven hammering an architrave onto one of the shabby walls. In fact the whole place looks rather shabby, although you can see the results of some of Janiven’s efforts to renovate the room. She looks up as you enter, smiles, and says, ”You’re a bit early, friend. As you can see, the place is in a sorry state, but the taps work. Would you like a drink?”

M Halfling Bard 2

GM Hewy:
"I'll pass on the drink but it looks like you could do with some help. Is there anything I can do?"

At your kind offer, Janiven's face opens up in a genuine smile, and you notice for the first time how beautiful a woman she is, despite her workmanlike clothes and unkempt style.

"Sure, master bard, that would be most welcome. Here, grab this hammer, and we can share the nails."

She sets to work with you, occasionally chatting about inconsequential matters, obviously enjoying the company as she works.

Make a Diplomacy check, or Bluff if you're being insincere. You could also mention, if you want to, what you might like to all to her about, if you want toask questions, etc. also note you can take 10 - maybe check the Diplomacy section to see if you want to take 10 or not.

Male Half Orc Fighter (Unarmed Fighter) Lvl 2

Attris will open the door and enter the bar.Perception 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (14) - 2 = 12

Attris: I'll just wait to hear back from Benni before I describe what you see.

Bark: You see Attris walking into Vizio's.

M Halfling Bard 2

Benni makes polite chatter and asks if she's ever done things like this before and what plans she has for the place. Happy to take 10 on Diplomacy.

Janiven chats animatedly about how she used to help her parents when she was a kid with repairing their house often. It sounds like she's come from a relatively poor family, and admires hard work as a virtue. She glibly skips over her plans for the place y saying "I hope for it to be a place where like-minded folks can feel comfortable and at home."

After an hour or so, the door opens, revealing your toothy, green-tinged friend - Savage Attris. Janivan jumps as the door squeaks open, then smiles and offers him a drink.

The door opens easily, if with a creak, to reveal Janiven and the diminutive bard Benni happily chatting while they nail architraves to the bottom of a wooden wall. Vizio's has obviously been shut for sometime - the whole place has a shabby air to it.

Janiven starts as you enter [ooc](Sense Motive check if you're interested in why)[/ooc{, then smiles politely. "Well met, warrior. Care for a drink?" She stands up, dusting her hands.

Male Teifling Ranger/2

what is going on here? the place is closed.But whats that hammering? This better not be some sort of trap? I'll have a sneak around. I'll get to the bottom of this!

After skulking around vizio's for a bit trying to get a glimpse of what could be going I notice Attris walk to Vizio's.

what is that animal doing here?
Maybe he knows Janiven?
If only he wasn't so full of himself i could probably get along with him....Bah...

Bark walks cautiously to the door keeping a look out either direction and peers in to Vizio's by opening the door as silently as possible. 1d1d20 ⇒ 12 maybe + stealth +9

Male Half Orc Fighter (Unarmed Fighter) Lvl 2

Attris enters the tavern with his nose in the air, sniffing out the room like an animal. His eyes staring sternly at Janiven.

I do
He sits at the bar next to the Halfling, looking him up and down.

Make it a Bloody Ale!

Male Half Orc Fighter (Unarmed Fighter) Lvl 2

Im wanting to retcon the meeting with Bark and Benni earlier to just passing them in the street. Sorry, it was just a little ooc for Attris to be so arrogant. I thought it was just a warm up

Janiven moves to the bar. "Sorry Attris, but all I have is black ale - this place isn't really open for business yet," she smiles. She pours you a pint of dark ale, and hands it to you. "Feel free to make yourself... comfortable," she says, with a glance around at the sparse, utilitarian-looking furniture. "We'll get down to business when everyone arrives."

Make Perception checks, Benni and Attris, to notice Bark peeking through the door (DC 21).

Behind the GM's Screen:

1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13

Male Human Barbarian 2

Berrin would have gone to Vizio's tavern on time however would have hugged the dark alleyways and discerning who else Janiva might have called to this place.
And if anything suspicious was surrounding the tavern. Shadowy figures etc.
Stealth 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Upon seeing Attris enter the tavern, Berrin will follow suit and enter.
"What is Attris doing here?"

Male Half Orc Fighter (Unarmed Fighter) Lvl 2

Perception1d20 - 2 ⇒ (2) - 2 = 0
Attris reaches for the tankard and clumsily takes a large mouthful.
Having huge tusks makes it difficult to drink from a cup
The majority of the black ale dribbles down his chin and on to the bar as he turns to face Benni.

M Halfling Bard 2

"A drinking problem, Attris? Not to worry, you're amongst friends here. I trust you've all being staying out of trouble since we last met?"
"I'll make the introductions, shall I? Janiven, this is Attris and Berrin. Please forgive them if their manners are a little ... rustic. They have hearts of gold and are very good at what they do. Has anyone seen Bark?"

Male Teifling Ranger/2

Looks like I've arrived just in time.
Bark firmly pushes the door closed
Speak of the Devil they say....
Good to see you all again...

Bark walks cautiously to the bar scoping out the area.

You must be Janiven? Bark says with a rhetorical look.
How about you tell us the meaning of this 'gathering'?
or am i the only one not in the know?
Looking at Benni, Berrin and Attris for confirmation?

Janiven smiles at Benni's whimsical introduction, then her head whips around at Bark's sudden appearance. She seems slightly disappointed when she recognises Bark at the door, but greets him and offers an ale.

"As to our purpose tonight, well, the first order of business is to share a meal. Fortunately the kitchen is in better repair than the common room here - if you could all take a seat at the long table over there, I'll bring out the food." With a worried glance at the front door, she walks briskly into a room behind the bar.

M Halfling Bard 2

"Let me help you with that!" Benni cries, dashing in after her.

Benni: Janiven happily accepts your enthusiastic assistance. Behind the bar is a spacious kitchen, which appears to have been recently renovated in a utilitarian kind of way. You assist her with serving up four roasted ducks, a spicy vegetable casserole, and two large loaves of round, crusty bread. Janiven's cooking style appears to be simple but effective; indeed, the aroma that wafts through the kitchen and out into the bar is mouthwatering. There seems to be nothing suspicious about any of Janiven's actions, but you do notice her gnawing her lip and glancing back out to the common room.

Sense Motive check if you like?

I'll just assume everyone's happy to sit at the table and start eating and drinking?

Male Human Barbarian 2

Berrin keeps to himself but goes along with what everyone is doing.
"She looks worried and is waiting for someone else"
Sense motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

Male Teifling Ranger/2

Sense motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
"Hmmmm..... that's a strange response considering she invited me....was she hoping for someone else?"

Bark moves to the table hesitantly.He's clearly not feeling at ease even with the familiar faces.

Once food is served you notice Bark actually has very astute table manners and etiquette, which you all find surprising given his appearance and rough nature. the disturbing part is watching him try to consume a duck leg. Bark is clearly trying not to make it obvious he is struggling to not have food slip from his mouth due to its inability to flex with the chew.

"Janiven. This duck is delicious"

"So what has everyone been up to since we rescued the young lass?"
Bark is trying to strike up conversation to draw attention away from the food consumption.

Bark glances over to Attris, who is clearly making a much larger mess than Bark and can see the stress fall from his face.

Male Teifling Ranger/2

who is this other guy and why has no one introduced me? Is he with Janiven?

Barks curiosity gets the better of him.

Bark stands up and extends his hand in a brisk movement towards Berrin to shake his hand

My name is Bark. I don't believe we have met?
It is clear that Bark is trying to be formal and polite with Berrin who he has not previously met.

Male Human Barbarian 2

Berrin looks at the strange little creature and eyes him curiosly
"I am Berrin Earthbreaker, son of Horkarth Earthbreaker"
Even noticing Bark's gesture for a hand shake Berrin continues to eat a duck leg with a stern but also seemingly scarred look upon his face.
After some time passes and not even considering Bark's reaction.
Berrin looks around the room
"Who else is this woman waiting for ?"

Janiven looks up from her bread at Berrin's rather blunt question. " "This woman" would rather save discussion of our business until after our meal. Don't worry," she says, looking at the cracks of sunlight penetrating the boarded windows, "there will be plenty of time to make your way home before darkness falls and those damn shadowbeasts begin to stalk our city's streets. Can I get anyone more to drink?"

Male Teifling Ranger/2

Bark lowers his hand and sits back down to his meal seaming unfazed by this response. You gather by bark appearance he would be used to many mixed reactions dealings.

"well met Berrin"

Bark is constantly looking out the sides of his slitted eyes. Obviously wary of his surrounding with the host looking nervous.

sorry that didn't post before hewys. I wrote it but didn't post :(

Male Teifling Ranger/2

""I wouldn't mind another ale?" Bark politely states with hesitation

"Is there others you are expecting?" Bark questions with sincere Curiousness as he looks Janiven directly in her eyes as to maintain her glance.

Male Human Barbarian 2

Berrin eyes Janiven sternly but doesnt apologise for his last statement said to her.
"What are these shadow beasts you speak of?"
Berrin says in a calm manner.
"They will taste my blade"
Berrin grips his mug of ale tightly so much so that his knuckle's begin to turn white.
"They might be tied with the Thieves?"

"I understand you haven't been in Westcrown long, young warrior, but surely you know the shadowbeasts are the reason for the nightly curfew at dusk?" Janiven arches an eyebrow at Berrin. "Did you disbelieve the tales? I assure you, the shadowbeasts are real. Personally, I'm sure these nightly horrors are a plot by the diabolical House Thrune to keep the populace of Westcrown downtrodden and malleable." Her gaze drops to her food. "Let us eat, and then we will speak."

Male Teifling Ranger/2

Bark will continue eating his meal until it is finished without conversation unless something interesting comes up. Others may even notice his paced has picked up as he is keen to get the 'discussions' underway.

Janiven could definitely be on to something. There is plenty of hidden agendas in Westcrown.

Male Human Barbarian 2

Berrin is sitting uncomfortably in his chair and is eager to get these discussions underway
"Are we encapable of talking whilst eating, is that it ?

Male Teifling Ranger/2

Patients Young Berrin Earthbreaker, son of Horkarth Earthbreaker. I feel Janiven has good reason to keep us in suspense. Bark states with much confidence. His uncomfortable disposition has been overcome with intrigue into Janivens last words.

I too wish for this conversation to continue, but let's not insult our host and rush the evening. Bark has as much as a smile on his face as he can muster to ensure he doesn't offend the young warrior.

Male Half Orc Fighter (Unarmed Fighter) Lvl 2

Attris manages to devour two ducks by himself. He doesn't touch the vegetables or bread.

Well they are a motley bunch. I'm not sure that they will mix well in my city. Berrin has a short temper which could be a problem and it is nice to not be the ugly one for once.

Attris runs a curious eye over Bark

I detest Tieflings. Maybe he knows Ginzazel?

Young Berrin, please do not hurry our host. If your so eager to go wondering around my city at night it might be your last meal. Enjoy it.

Attris looks to Berrin and somewhere in the mix of tusks, saliva and teeth a smile forms.

Male Human Barbarian 2

Berrin digests the smugness of both Bark and Attris and decides to let it pass with a empty stare into his bare plate of duck bones.
"I am prepared to take any fate Gorum places before me. For nothing can be worse than what the Council of thieves did to my tribe."
In a low tone and still staring at his plate Berrin manages to say something.
"It is good to see you again Attris"

Male Half Orc Fighter (Unarmed Fighter) Lvl 2

And you too son of Horkath. If we are to travel together every kobold and goblin from here to f$~$ing Kaer Maga will s%#% his pants

Attris pushes his empty plate forward. It appears as though he also ate the bones.

But as you can see i prefer cooked duck to the taste of goblin flesh
Attris laughs

M Halfling Bard 2

Benni eats and drinks sparingly, having witnessed enough gluttony and debauchery as a servant in noble banquet halls to last a lifetime. He does, however, slip a few slices of bread and some potatoes into his bag for later.

"I'm SO glad we can all get along. You know I am really tired of seeing us in the lower classes fight amongst ourselves. It's what has allowed them to keep us in our place for so long"

Benni stands up on his chair and raises his voice, speaking with more volume and authority than his small stature suggests.

"For as long as we chose to define ourselves by our differences, we will always be subjugated. Those in power remain there because we LET them. We are so busy with our daily struggles to survive and our petty squabble and gossip that we allow them to abuse us. We allow them to keep us scared and cowed but NO MORE! I say it's time to stop being afraid, to stop being victims while they across the river wallow in corrupt luxury and illegitimate authority. The time has come for action. Coordinated, decisive action. Who's with me?"

Perform (oratory)1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19

Male Teifling Ranger/2

Bark enticed and excited by what the halfling has just said stands with "Yhar!

Bark has been filled with emotion and a feeling of acceptance that ha has craved for so long. Could this band of wild creatures bring Bark out of his self consumed life of despair? Could this group truly accept bark for what he now is?

After spilling his ale slightly across the table whilst trusting his mug in the air Bark looks meaningfully at Benni Such bold inspiring words from such a little man.You speak wise words halfling. Wise beyond your years.

Never have i heard such words that tantalise my will to take back our city! I, Bark am with you! Bark extends his hand to Benni to clutch his hand as to confirm his intent.

Bark looks over to Attris and Berrin and with a bold confident voice booms
What of you two? Are you with us?
whilst thrusting his ale in the air again, there is now little left in his mug.

Male Human Barbarian 2

Berrin looks up at Benni and Bark and is wondering why they have so much entusiasm about something.But goes along with the two little creatures and hoists his mug of mead high not saying anything and nods his head.
After some thought about the whole situation berrin thinks to himself and requires justice on the wretches that destroyed his tribe.
"Any creatures that stand in my way will be cleaved in two"
"However there is the matter of why we are here?, Janiven?"

Male Half Orc Fighter (Unarmed Fighter) Lvl 2

Bringing down an entire ruling class does not concern me. The only thing this Orc needs to worry about is getting back in the pit and ripping all my opponents in to smaller pieces of opponents

They do have a point though. I'm almost certain that the Shadow Thieves are mixed up with the Federation of Blood. What I need is proof, not a peasant uprising

Attris looks to Janiven

I think it best that we begin Janiven before the young masters here whip themselves in to a frenzy.
Diplomacy 1d20 ⇒ 5

Janiven takes a deep breath, her gaze on her nearly empty plate, and then looks each of you in the eye. She stands up, walks the to door, checks that it is locked, then turns back to you all, traces of worry still upon her face.

Picture of Janiven

“Again, thank you for agreeing to meet with me here. I have chosen each of you for a singular reason—everyone here, myself included, has suffered, whether we realize it or not. I have lived in Westcrown my whole life, and although I love this city, I must admit, as must you, that despite our peace and prosperity, we continue to suffer. Fear should not be an expected part of life, and yet each night brings fear to our doorsteps.

Janiven’s eyes light up with an inner fire as she continues. ”Yes, Westcrown has been safe from war and famine for nearly seventy years, and yes, our businesses have prospered—but this safety and prosperity has been bought in the coinage of fear and prayers to Hell. Other lands live free from tyranny. Other cities do not fear the night. Other governments do not cede the streets to monsters of the infernal shadows. Westcrown was once such a place, and she wants to be such a place again. Westcrown is not only her buildings and canals and docks and history—she is also her people. Westcrown is our friends and neighbors, our mothers and fathers, our siblings and cousins, our sons and daughters!”

She turns to the young halfling actor. ”Benni, your words hearten me. But while I admire your passion for this city and her people, for an enterprise like this, much care must be taken. Rather than use force and aggression to create change, I believe we must lead through example, and win the hearts of the sons and daughters of Westcrown. With but a small group of supporters and dedicated brothers and sisters, we can earn the trust and admiration of those people. A Westcrown free of these shadowy beasts that stalk our streets is one step closer to a Westcrown free of the devil that is the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune!”

You are all aware that Janiven’s words constitute treason in Cheliax – you all know, or have at least heard the stories of, people that have been dragged away for imprisonment or a swift execution for expressing less direct sentiments. The air feels thick with tension, and despite Janiven’s obvious passion and belief in her ideals, she must know that by making such statements, her fate rests on a knife’s edge – and in your hands. She waits hopefully to hear your responses.

Male Half Orc Fighter (Unarmed Fighter) Lvl 2

Well this will probably be the death of all of us but at least I'll eat my fill of shadow beasts and demon worshiping fanatics before I join my father in the afterlife

Attris leans forward, his hulking frame grimly lit by the candle light.

If by the spilling of blood we can restore honor to this city then so be it. I may not be as mighty as my father was but I have some skill in 'encouraging' the flow of the ol'crimson. I will fight and die to see my fathers honor and the honor of the city he called home restored

Attris stands abruptly from his chair and eyes each person present individually. He then holds out his palm and drives his two inch long claws in to his own flesh. Blood drips from his clenched fist on to the table.

May the blood I shed this night bind me to this oath!

M Halfling Bard 2

Benni clears his throat and once again stands on his chair to speak, eyes blazing with the same fervour you saw moments earlier.

"Well spoken, Janiven. Brothers, this is a worthy cause indeed and I urge you to join me in committing yourselves to it. We will clean the streets of this diabolical filth and unshackled the gentle folk of Westcrown. Our inevitable triumph will be celebrated for centuries. Men will envy our bravery. Women will name children after us. This is our chance at immortality!"

Benni looks around expectantly.

Male Teifling Ranger/2

Bark still filled with the passion Benni had instilled only moments before charges his ale once again in the air emptying the remaining ale that was left. "Yhar! I am am with you Benni"

"We will win back this city and free our town folk of the evil burdens that shackle them"

Bark looks to Janiven and says as to reinforce her words "We can not fight this alone and we MUST get the towns folk to band with us. It will not be easy but one good deed at a time will bring them round"

Bark extends his arm around Benni standing so proudly on his chair as to show the kinship he now has for him. Bark is feeling highly motivated unlike he has for a long time.

what a purposeful charge! I could not be happier than to be uncovering the evils that fill this town.

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