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Shadows in Freeport (Inactive)

Game Master baldwin the merciful


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Evil GM

You each have seen a Notice that has been posted around Freeport:

"Mercenaries Needed! Help find our missing children. 6:00 pm meeting at the Hag's Stew Tavern"

When you each arrive there are several other mercenaries but mostly concerned individuals present. There is one human male, Randall Griswald III, who appears to be hosting the meeting. The mead is free flowing and there are platters of stews, meats and crusty breads being served to the guests as they mingle.

Hag's Stew Tavern


Evil GM

The finely dressed merchant stands in the middle of the room, "Welcome...welcome." His brown eyes taking time to look at each person in the room. He stops and nods at a few familiar faces, and he double takes when he sees Icabhod's dark cloak, catching a glimpse of brownish red, stained shirt under the sleeve.

"I see a few recognizable faces but most are new to me. I'm sure you are all wondering about the purpose of the meeting and what does the job pay."

He takes a deep breath and then picks up his tankard taking a long gulp. "Recently there have been some kidnappings in the city...those violations have been directed at merchant families." He points to Sally Lou the dressmaker, Henk the brewer, then to Renshaw the barrel-maker. "We have suffered losses, our children are missing" He has a tear in his eye.


Init +11, Perception +12 (+15 vs. traps), Disable Device: +19 (+22 vs traps), AC 21/16/16, CMD: 15, HP 58/58, Fort: 6, Ref: 12, Will: 5

Seated at one of the tables in Hag's Stew Tavern is a petite halfling female. Though she appears to be as small and innocent as one of the children who have been abducted, she is dressed and armed much like the mass of mercenaries who have convened to answer the call to arms. She taps the table nervously as others mingle.

She looks around the room attempting to be as inconspicuous as possible while wondering if there is anyone present who she may know or have knowledge of from her time in organized crime.

Knowledge local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23


M Human Oracle 3

Icabhod sits at his own table, picking at his food. He had heard of the notices being put up and after reading one, he headed down to the tavern to consider the job offer.

After a tasty bowl of stew, Ichabod folded his arms across his chest and began listening to the man, his numerous weapons clinking and a heavy pack by his foot.


Male Human Fighter(Two Weapon Warrior)/4 - Monk of Many Styles/2 - HP: 58/58; AC 20, FF 17, T 13; F+9,R+8,W+6/7; Init+5; Per+10

Norjan enters the tavern and looks at the gathered mercenaries. Having just completed yet another boring trip guarding a caravan to Freeport, becoming a mercenary seemed like a good idea. As you see him scan the room, you can tell that his tall thin build conceals tightly wound muscles and an athletic body. Bright armor peaks out from beneath his jerkin and at his side and over his shoulder are two wicked looking picks.

Norjan looks around the room wondering what the job will be. He then takes a seat across from the small halfling woman and gives her a smile as he listens to the local describe their issues.

G'day. I'm Norjan, but most people simply call me Nor. You also here for the merc work?


Init +11, Perception +12 (+15 vs. traps), Disable Device: +19 (+22 vs traps), AC 21/16/16, CMD: 15, HP 58/58, Fort: 6, Ref: 12, Will: 5

Talulah, but my friends call me Sweet. Sweet answers as she twirls a lock of hair nervously with her left index finger and continues tapping the table with the fingers of her right hand.

Ummm...you could say I am here for the work. I am more involved though. A young halfling I know has come up missing and I intend to find her.

Sweet continues to look around the room. She is obviously not comfortable meeting out in the open. Suddenly, she catches sight of Norjan's fine gear and her attention switches from the crowd to his dangling coin purse.


HP /, AC 18/12/16, F +4, R +4, W +6 Init. +8, Perc. +6

The Mage walks in as Randall speaks. "Sorry...I got delayed," he said as he grabbed a spot at an empty table. The human was a bit older than the other 'mercenaries' that had gathered in the room, and he stroked his goatee as he scanned the room, to see who had gathered in response to the missive.


Evil GM

Randall Griswald III continues to address the crowd once Riggs steps into the tavern, "I lost my son, Randall the IV, and there is little Sally Lou and Brunson, too. My family has only moved to the city in the last 15 years, but I've heard the rumors of the old Alexander Cresh manor, and the evils that were destroyed 50 years, or so ago." He shakes his head back a forth, "We believe these kidnappings could be some big copycat type of thing but we need a few brave folks to help us. We need some mercenaries to go into that manor, see if there is anything there, we've all seen some weird lights in recent weeks coming from that boarded up building. Probably the Red Knives or some other bandits holding up there but it needs investigation." His eyes move from Norjan to Sweet and then back to Norjan.

"If the kids are there bring them back, if some evil lurks destroy it. That house's corruption needs to be destroyed once and for all." Pointing to the group of merchants there, "We are willing to pay."


HP /, AC 18/12/16, F +4, R +4, W +6 Init. +8, Perc. +6

"It is an ugly topic, but it must be dealt with as we start. What sort of recompense is being offered for the mercenary who is brave enough to take such a mission on? Were there any commonalities between the disappearances, such as time, location, any clues left behind or the like?". The Mage's wheels had clearly began to spin as he began started working on this puzzle.


M Human Oracle 3

Ichabod ponders the situation and offers. The money would be nice, and he wasn't surprised that the wizard type started haggling.

Testing himself against the manor would be a good challenge, and helpign rescue the children and hopefully purge the evil from the place even better.

Ichabod let the wizard ask the questions for now since he seemed to have a good grasp of what to ask.


Evil GM

Randall turns to the tardy mage a bushy eyebrow raises, "Cut to the chase then,... we are prepared to offer a party of willing mercenaries $10,000 gold pieces. How you divide the reward is your own concern." His merchant eyes focused on the inquisitor. "Of course, we are result oriented."


Init +11, Perception +12 (+15 vs. traps), Disable Device: +19 (+22 vs traps), AC 21/16/16, CMD: 15, HP 58/58, Fort: 6, Ref: 12, Will: 5

At the sound of 10,000 gold, Sweet sits up a little straighter.

Even divided, that would be a good start to getting out of this god forsaken town. Now if I could only find Ceinwynn.

The tiny halfling speaks up, I am in.


M Human Oracle 3

That sounds generous, but as he said, what other information can you give us? Have there been any divinations about the kidnappings or witnesses? Knowing what snatched the children would be very helpful.


HP /, AC 18/12/16, F +4, R +4, W +6 Init. +8, Perc. +6

At hearing the question concerning divinations, Riggs nods in agreement. He notices where the question originates, and looks for a long second at the bandage wrapped form sitting at the table. Least he appears to be clever...


Init +11, Perception +12 (+15 vs. traps), Disable Device: +19 (+22 vs traps), AC 21/16/16, CMD: 15, HP 58/58, Fort: 6, Ref: 12, Will: 5

Sweet listens to the man shrouded in bandages. Good thinking. She nods to the man in approval obviously not caring what others think.

She looks back to Randall waiting for his answer.


Hp 45_Ac17_f3/r5/w5_Init+9_Perc+8_

Purses, plump and heavy. Voices sharp and ready. All clamor for Blood, Blood, BLOOD! Loving parents, lovely children. No! No kidnapping.
A low rumble comes from the corner as a stool slides back and a figure rises.

If your sweet little wide eyed dears are kidnapped who among you would refuse a ransom? Heavy hearts and full purses. No.

From under a faded, well worn cape a pale gaunt hand points as the figure continues.
You, Griswald, you would pay any price for little Randy. Sally, your heart bleeds for your precious little one. No. I say this is no kidnapping.

Balthazar pulls back his hood. His pale skin and long matted white hair as unsettling as his manner of speach.
You all know this. And you have the nerve to ask us to bleed, to kill to die for your gold. No. You MUST share what you know. I will pledge my aid, but you must share your knowledge.


Evil GM

"Ah divination's you ask for...answers...well, I'm happy to share," his gaze turned to the pale skinned elf, "but I was interrupted by the economic terms." his right hand flails towards Riggs.

"We have tried to commune and locate our children. That is how we suspect, even know, they are in the old Cresh manor, the wizard we employed,"pausing, "went mad." He looks around the room after he admits this.

"W...w...we then hired a bard of some renown, to research the house's stories ...i..i..it's history. He uncovered that there was once a vile old merchant, Alexander Cresh, who did unspeakable experiments on children."

There is a sound of crying from Sally Lou.

"But the that horrid man was killed over 50 years ago by a mob. This is simply a copycat looking for ransom or to sell them into slavery." There is more crying when the word slavery is spoken.


M Human Oracle 3

Hmm.. Or a wrathful ghost perhaps. Tales of vile people rising again are not unknown.


Evil GM

One of the other merchants speaks up, "I'z sez it's da Blood Knives doings. Could bez that udder t'ief, Arden. Abadar knows that one's stolen 'nuf from me." The ruddy faced man sitting at Rigg's table bellows.


HP /, AC 18/12/16, F +4, R +4, W +6 Init. +8, Perc. +6

"Tell us more about the Blood Knives..."


Init +11, Perception +12 (+15 vs. traps), Disable Device: +19 (+22 vs traps), AC 21/16/16, CMD: 15, HP 58/58, Fort: 6, Ref: 12, Will: 5

At the mention of the Blood Knives, Sweet slumps a little while attempting to avoid the spotlight.

Surely not...that is not their MO, but they ARE desperate right now. Hmmmm...I wouldn't put it past the bastards.


F Gnome (Lava) Cleric 6 (HP 48/48, Current AC 26/26/15, F +8, R +4, W +9 Init. +1, Perc. +9)

An exotic and attractive gnome who has been eating quietly in the back stands up and adds her voice to the group. I too will help. She states in a Keleshite accent. She is dressed in fine battle armor with a red gold sunburst design and a scimitar hangs on her belt. I am called Shine. Those who choose to go with us will have the light of the Dawnflower to support them.


Hp 45_Ac17_f3/r5/w5_Init+9_Perc+8_

Balthazar's chest heaves, he throws his head back and a hearty laugh slowly comes.
Slavery? he drags the word pointedly and slowly

Slavery, is it? A merchants son, soft, pampered and prim. Ten thumbs and no meat. Ha! A poor thrall indeed. No. I think not. Sweat meats for the pleasure rooms...perhaps? His voice trails off as he ponders to himself forgetting for a moment the heartfelt anguish caused by such a thought.

Running his hand down his chin till his fingers meet and than sliding his hand over his throat. Balthazar tilts his head back looking toward the rafters he says to himself in a questioning tone Can they not taste the evil of this place?

Slowly Balthazar scans the room, stopping briefly to take in the sense of heartbreak so easily read in the eyes of the gathered. He turns to face Randall and says Tell us more about Cresh


HP /, AC 18/12/16, F +4, R +4, W +6 Init. +8, Perc. +6

Riggs rolled his eyes, while listening to the elf. That one does like to go on and show off a flair for the melodramatic, doesn't he?


M Human Oracle 3

Ichabod is wondering just how much of his midn this elf has left. If this one is haunted in mind like I am in body there might be difficulties.

Hold your jests there, we should give these people some respect for their losses.


Init +11, Perception +12 (+15 vs. traps), Disable Device: +19 (+22 vs traps), AC 21/16/16, CMD: 15, HP 58/58, Fort: 6, Ref: 12, Will: 5

Sweet clears her throat. I agree with the elf. I have heard rumors about the house. I think we are dealing with something more powerful than a bunch of local thugs. I am interested in the knowledge you have obtained about Cresh as well.


Evil GM

"Now...now, we don't know if the Blood knives are involved Fruum." Randall looking a the merchant who interrupted.

His admonishment is quickly shot down by Fruum, "They's killed, they's takin', they's use ye lil sis' fer pleasure then sell her...Ye know that Randall. Dat udder one that broke off ain't no's better. He took me wagon couple weeks ago."

Randall shakes his head and motions for everyone to calm down, "The Blood knives are a bandit brotherhood that we all pay tribute to. Some of us have been short and that is never good business." He looks a bit desperate now and exhales, "The other one Fruum mentions is know as Arden, he has his own band that broke off and have been running rampant."


HP /, AC 18/12/16, F +4, R +4, W +6 Init. +8, Perc. +6

"Do we know for sure, which band of bandits is located at the manor? And how do the two branches of thugs get along with each other? If one is involved, we might be able to play off the other side against them," the human says, clearly thinking of a possible plan.


Init +11, Perception +12 (+15 vs. traps), Disable Device: +19 (+22 vs traps), AC 21/16/16, CMD: 15, HP 58/58, Fort: 6, Ref: 12, Will: 5

Sweet tries to recall any contact she may have had with Arden.

Knowledge local on Arden: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14

Any bonuses for being a member of the group?


Hp 45_Ac17_f3/r5/w5_Init+9_Perc+8_

Bandits...hmm. Bandits care only about coin. Yet no coin is asked. Balthazar considers for a moment. Were they to harm your children as retribution you would lose all incentive to tithe. He sweeps his hand across his chest, before letting it fall. Speaking rapidly and slightly annoyed he says No. that doesn't make sense at all

I'm for the house He looks around the room to the merc's assembled looking for acknowledgement.


M Human Oracle 3
Riggs Parrett wrote:
"Do we know for sure, which band of bandits is located at the manor? And how do the two branches of thugs get along with each other? If one is involved, we might be able to play off the other side against them," the human says, clearly thinking of a possible plan.

Perhaps we could investigate them in any event. Seeing if they know who might of takent he children could be helpful, and if they are, we can settle it in the manner befitting the crime. Have they ever done child snatching in response to late payment?


F Gnome (Lava) Cleric 6 (HP 48/48, Current AC 26/26/15, F +8, R +4, W +9 Init. +1, Perc. +9)

Either way, the house is the place to start. The gnome states in her foreign accent. And either way the fires of Sarenrae shall cleanse those guilty of this offense.


Evil GM

Sweet Only:
You have heard of Arden, he was lieutenant that went rogue on the bandits. He started to skim from his collections and doing some unsanctioned jobs. Last you heard a week ago...the Blood Knives where not thrilled. Then again, a week is long time, he could be dead by now. I'll give you a +2 local bandit guild bonus.


Evil GM

Several other potential mercenaries shake their heads mumbling statements like, "Nah, I'll skip this one." They don't leave but rather refill their tankards.


Evil GM

Randall responds, "No child snatching that I know of and why the way, you don't just investigate the knives. That is, if you don't want to meet a dagger in your lung." His pleading eyes reveal is distress, "The wizard kept muttering the Cresh manor...'its there, there'"


M Human Oracle 3

Very well, I will lend my aid.


Init +11, Perception +12 (+15 vs. traps), Disable Device: +19 (+22 vs traps), AC 21/16/16, CMD: 15, HP 58/58, Fort: 6, Ref: 12, Will: 5

From the stories I have heard about Cresh manor let's hope it is a copy cat crime. Either way, the longer we sit around and talk... Sweet looks around at the merchants and sees the anguish they are dealing with. If there is nothing else you know, we should head to the manor as the gnome suggested.


HP /, AC 18/12/16, F +4, R +4, W +6 Init. +8, Perc. +6

Still not sure he was being told the whole story, Riggs assented as well. "Scroll supplies don't buy themselves, so I am in as well."


Male Human Fighter(Two Weapon Warrior)/4 - Monk of Many Styles/2 - HP: 58/58; AC 20, FF 17, T 13; F+9,R+8,W+6/7; Init+5; Per+10

The big man in the back of the room who has been listening to the conversation then speaks up:
What else did this bard ya hired learn? Who was this Cresh and what'd he do that was so evil?


Evil GM

"You will!' Sally Lou exclaims, "When will you set off? tonight or tomorrow morning?" Everyone is anxiously awaiting your answers. The first sign of actual hope flutters in the air.


Evil GM

"Cresh was a merchant, who was reported a bit deformed, he used that deformity in his business deals to make a fortune that he invested into further his studies in the black arts. Some say he worshiped the unspeakable.' Several people, including Randall do their holy sign. "He had a particular hatred to children he sent servants out into the city to kidnap, he would perform unholy experiments on them."


Init +11, Perception +12 (+15 vs. traps), Disable Device: +19 (+22 vs traps), AC 21/16/16, CMD: 15, HP 58/58, Fort: 6, Ref: 12, Will: 5

Sweet used to doing her best work at night replies, I see no reason to wait.


Hp 45_Ac17_f3/r5/w5_Init+9_Perc+8_

Those that rush an undertaking often find the path they hurried to follow has led them directly to the undertaker. Balthazar scratches his chin as he bows his head and says Patience with a wry smile.

There is still much to be said about what you learned of the Wizard and Bard


M Human Oracle 3

Hmm.. We can at least scout out the manor tonight. Take note of where we can enter and set up a camp.


HP /, AC 18/12/16, F +4, R +4, W +6 Init. +8, Perc. +6

"Looking at this collection, it seems as if a few of us cannot see in the dark, so while scouting is fine, I'd advise waiting until first light to actually enter the manor."


M Human Oracle 3
Riggs Parrett wrote:
"Looking at this collection, it seems as if a few of us cannot see in the dark, so while scouting is fine, I'd advise waiting until first light to actually enter the manor."

I do have a cantrip to create light so we will not be helpless, but you are not wrong with your advice.


Evil GM

"So the six of you will go in then? If there is anything else you want to know, I'm happy to tell you. Unfortunately, we haven't heard from the bard since his report to us."


Male Human Fighter(Two Weapon Warrior)/4 - Monk of Many Styles/2 - HP: 58/58; AC 20, FF 17, T 13; F+9,R+8,W+6/7; Init+5; Per+10

Norjam listens to the merchant's response, and then pauses while contemplating all that has been stated this night. After thinking for a few minutes, he has another question: Who was this bard? And where may we find him? I would like to speak with him before risking my life.


F Gnome (Lava) Cleric 6 (HP 48/48, Current AC 26/26/15, F +8, R +4, W +9 Init. +1, Perc. +9)

Shine asks Can you give us a timeline for when the children went missing, along with the last known location of each. And we will need names and descriptions of all of them, along with anyone else missing. She ponders for a moment then asks [b]And do you have any resources that you could loan us for this mission. Scrolls, potion, weapons, wands? I am sure we all have good gear, but if we expect to run into real trouble then we should be as prepared as we can be. [b]


Evil GM

Randall responds, "The bard went missing two days ago, perhaps he is in a watering hole but we've not been able to find him since he reported to us three days ago. He was real anxious to report his research, collect his coin and leave. He could be in pesh hole for all we know. The kidnapping began 10 days ago and last child was taken last night that was Sally Lou. All totaled there have been three missing children."

Shrugging his shoulders he turns to Fairsplindle, "We are result oriented, fronting coin is has not been worth while so far. We did that with the wizard and he didn't provide the answers we were promised." He touches his finger tips together, like a steeple, in front of his chest.

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