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WotW: A Knot of Thorns The First Parchment (Inactive)

Game Master Xzaral

A group of villains escape Branderscar prison to take revenge upon Talingarde.

Roll20 Map Link

Google Doc Map Link (Currently not in use)


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Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40

"We are Asmodean, fool!" If one were to look close enough, one might notice a dark, reddish orange flame from within the Antipaladin's eyes as he takes a step forward and swings at the knight.

Surprise round

5' step; Attack; Smite good
Mwk Longsword: 1d20 + 6 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 6 + 2 + 5 = 32
Damage: 1d8 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 3 + 2 = 13

Crit threat roll
Mwk Longsword: 1d20 + 6 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 6 + 2 + 5 = 29
Damage: 1d8 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 3 + 2 = 11

Round 1
Mwk Longsword: 1d20 + 6 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 6 + 2 + 5 = 24
Damage: 1d8 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 3 + 2 = 12

AC 23


Son of Sir Balin of Karfeld, Male Human

Sir Eldon makes his way to Beatrix's body, but as he does, suddenly a flurry of attacks strike him. Aedorn sends an arrow flying his way, but alas it deflects off his armor. His movement to shield himself opens him up to a viscious strike from Morthos, a deadly blow to his side barely averted from a mortal one. Tatya hexes the knight to further hinder him to open him up to two more arrows from Aedorn, one finally striking true, as well as another blow from Morthos.

Yet after this flurry, the knight still stands.

Surprise Round Inish
Aedorn (Perfect Strike, miss)
Tatya (Evil Eye)
Bostarg
Morthos (Attack, crit)
Alazandaru
Sir Eldon (Unaware)

Round 1 Inish
Aedorn (Flurry of blows, 1 miss, 1 hit)
Tatya
Bostarg
Morthos (Attack, hit)
Alazandaru
Sir Eldon

The Map Link

Dice:

SE W 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16


Female Human Witch 3 / Rogue (Poisoner) 1

After moving across the room, Tatya glares at the knight again.

Round 1 action: Evil Eye on Sir Eldon: -2 to attack rolls for 8 rounds; Will DC 16 to reduce to 1 round


Not in use

Round Surprise:
Bostarg feigns surprise as the others burst through, taking the time to draw forth his thin rapier.

Round 1:
Once the battle is joined, he sends his blade forward - seeking a chink in the man's armor...
Flanking Rapier: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 4 + 2 = 22 and 1d4 ⇒ 3
...he stays his words for now, face merely holding a wry smile at his successful ruse.


HP 45/45, AC- 18, Touch- 14, Flat- 14, CMD- 21, Fort- +6, Ref- +9, Will- +2, Percep- +7, Init- +4

Having stowed his quarterstaff upon his back, Alazandaru had both kukri's in play and with Morthos' fine strike he found his own opening- stabbing the knight viciously but struggling against his armour. He aimed for the neck, seeking to slice it open with his exquisite kukri's.

Flank Sneak Attack (Surprise Round) VS Flat-Footed AC: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 6 + 2 = 20
Damage: 1d4 + 4 + 1d8 ⇒ (2) + 4 + (4) = 10

Flank Sneak Attack (Round 1) VS Flat-Footed AC, TWF: 1d20 + 6 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (5) + 6 + 2 - 2 = 11
Damage: 1d4 + 4 + 1d8 ⇒ (3) + 4 + (6) = 13

Flank Sneak Attack (Round 1) VS Flat-Footed AC, TWF: 1d20 + 6 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (14) + 6 + 2 - 2 = 20
Damage: 1d4 + 2 + 1d8 ⇒ (3) + 2 + (3) = 8


Son of Sir Balin of Karfeld, Male Human

This was a rather one-sided fight, lol.

Through trickery and manipulation, Sir Eldon, Knight of the Alerion, is felled. Blow after blow, he is unable to retaliate from the assault and drops. As he succumbs to your blows, he utters a few words, "Iomedae....will stop you!" And with that, the brave knight Sir Eldon has passed.

The Inevitiable Loot List:
  • Longsword
  • Masterwork Platemail
  • Masterwork Heavy Steel Shield
  • A magic potion
  • A magic cloak
  • A silver and sapphire holy symbol to Iomedae

Cloak DC 16:
Cloak of Resistance +1

Potion DC 18:
Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds


Female Human Witch 3 / Rogue (Poisoner) 1

Take 10 on Spellcraft = 20

Tatya passes her fingers before her eyes to attune her eyes to magic auras and examines the knight's possessions. "His cloak is like the one Beatrix wore, and this potion will heal considerable wounds." She takes up the holy symbol gingerly. "And here is our prize to return to His Eminence. What say you, Alazandaru? Would seeing his master defeated at our hands cement the squire's turning to our cause, or will it steel him to resist?"

cloak of resistance +1 and potion of cwm


Male Halfling Monk (Zen Archer) 3

Walking up to the fallen foe with a smug look on his face, Aedorn regards the remains of Sir Eldon. He shakes his head. "Skilled swordfighter indeed. I think his friends must have been unjustly inflating his skill in their stories of his heroics - that was hardly the challenge I expected of so famous a foe."


Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40

"I told you there was nothing to fear from this one. And now that we have our prize, we can return successfully. But not before we relieve him of the rest of his possessions." Morthos gathers the man's armor and weapon.


Not in use

Bostarg straightens after the good knight proved less than stout resistance and gives a self satisfied nod at his part in his downfall. He re-sheathes his petite rapier and readies to return above.

Sick kids, man-flu and crappy internet connectivity is rife at present, so will remain intermittent throughout holiday timeframe.
Bostarg is happy with heading back to Thorn, and would vote for requesting Timeon as a 'side project' from Thorn if he permits it.


HP 45/45, AC- 18, Touch- 14, Flat- 14, CMD- 21, Fort- +6, Ref- +9, Will- +2, Percep- +7, Init- +4

He was a fine warrior and more than a match for any of us individually. Bostarg; your ploy was well played, sir Alazandaru stated quietly as he wiped clean his bloody knives.


King of Talingarde

Are you going to go back for Timeon at all now, or do anything else? Or heading back up?


Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40

"We've accomplished our mission, let us return."

Return to Thorn.


Female Human Witch 3 / Rogue (Poisoner) 1

"The lesson was to reward those who serve us well," Tatya repeats stubbornly. "The knight's squire gave us good information when he could have lied or remained silent; we ought not to leave him here." She thinks a moment. "Were my father's corpse shown to me by the Iomedaeans, it would only heighten my resolve against them. But Timeon is not as I am. He was weak enough to inform against his master; therefore, his defection to our side ought only to be strengthened by the demonstration of his master's defeat. We should show him the fruit of his service and bring him to His Eminence along with us, as part of our offering: not only the holy bauble but a new servant."


HP 45/45, AC- 18, Touch- 14, Flat- 14, CMD- 21, Fort- +6, Ref- +9, Will- +2, Percep- +7, Init- +4

I agree with you on that particular count, madam. I will not leave the lad down here after he did all we asked of him. Obedience is to be rewarded.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Female Human Witch 3 / Rogue (Poisoner) 1

So... gather up Timeon and the two corpses and go back upstairs to report in? Can I get a second on that?


Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40

Morthos thinks he's a stuttering fool and probably more than worthless, but just so we can move things along, yes. Let's do it.


King of Talingarde

Gathering the bodies of Sir Eldon and Beatrix, as well as that of the young Timeon, you return to Thorn. As Timeon sees the body of his former master, fear quickly grows in his eyes, as well as something else. Guilt.

Ascending to the mansion, you are once again met by Tiadora, almost as though expected. She smiles and guides you back up through the levels of the mansion to the third story, to the door where you previously met the Cardinal. Adrastus sits in his study seeming almost as he has moved not an inch from where he gave you your orders at dusk yesterday. “You’ve returned.”

As you are brought in, the Cardinal utters a simple command, and the squire suddenly slumps to the ground, unconscious. Servants are summoned and remove the squire's unconscious body while you all sit, Thorn simply watching. As it is finished, the pendant is handed over the Cardinal. The high priest holds the trinket and pauses as if in deep contemplation. He watches the holy symbol glitter in the light. “A pretty enough thing, eh?” he muses. “This is a holy symbol of Mitra in particular the sort favored by the Knights of the Alerion. Perhaps you already knew that.

“Remember this symbol. This is the mark of those who destroyed our faith and sought to banish all trace of the worship of our Father from these shores. These, my friends, are your enemies.”

He tosses the holy symbol back across his desk. “Keep it. It may aid you in disguising yourself.”

If you wish to ask any questions of Thorn, go ahead. Let me know when you are ready to move on.


Male Halfling Monk (Zen Archer) 3

I think you meant Iomodae, not Mitra

Aedorn bows deeply. "My lord, am I to remain with these?"


King of Talingarde

Doh! Yea, copy/paste base flavor text then edit to fit circumstances, I did miss that one.


Male Human

"I believe that you will be. Unless any of the others have any objections to this?"


Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40
King Markadian V wrote:
Ascending to the mansion, you are once again met by Tiadora, almost as though expected. She smiles and guides you back up through the levels of the mansion to the third story, to the door where you previously met the Cardinal. Adrastus sits in his study seeming almost as he has moved not an inch from where he gave you your orders at dusk yesterday. “You’ve returned.”

"No reason to believe we would not." He deadpans.

Aedorn wrote:
Aedorn bows deeply. "My lord, am I to remain with these?"
Cardinal Adrastus Thorn wrote:
"I believe that you will be. Unless any of the others have any objections to this?"

Morthos shrugs. "I have none. He seems useful enough. Are we finished here or is there anything else that needs accomplishing at this time, Cardinal?"


Female Human Witch 3 / Rogue (Poisoner) 1
King Markadian V wrote:

“Remember this symbol. This is the mark of those who destroyed our faith and sought to banish all trace of the worship of our Father from these shores. These, my friends, are your enemies.”

He tosses the holy symbol back across his desk. “Keep it. It may aid you in disguising yourself.”

Tatya's face twists a little in disgust as she reaches out to pick up the pendant. "This is the symbol born by the men who killed my father," she says softly, then smiles. "It will be a pleasure to use it to bring about their downfall." Wrapping it roughly with its own chain, she shoves it into a pocket. "The woman soldier died," she blurts out bluntly, making a frontal assault on the elephant in the room. "She fell to your draugr, Your Eminence. The wound was past the ability given to me to heal."

Tatya will keep the holy symbol, unless someone else wants it. Ought to help her disguise herself as a cleric of Iomedae.


Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40

Morthos's jaw clenches at Tatya's declaration of Beatrix's death. Angry at the loss of a member of the group due to his confidence in it, Morthos remains quiet. We are too formidable to lose one to such pathetic creatures. We should not have lost any. We must be far sharper in the future or we will all meet the same fate quicker than we wish.


Male Halfling Monk (Zen Archer) 3

Aedorn nods at Morthos and steps back to rejoin the group. Better to roam freely with this lot than to be stuck in here as a slave...or worse.


Male Human

For a moment, Cardinal Thorn simply stares at Tatya, not filled with malice or contempt, but simply stares. For an eternity his gaze rests upon her before he finally stands and strides to a window, staring out into the night.

"What I should do is punish you all for this loss." His voice is even, no anger to his words. "This loss, it's not simply Beatrix's fault. Yes, she did fail. But you all failed as well. There are those who would have us believe there is nothing that could have been done to prevent it. I disagree."

A flash of lightning shines through the windows as a sudden rain begins to fall once again. "I will not punish you for this. This was a test, a test which did indeed show that you are in need of training. For what I plan, I need tempered steel to cut away that fat of Talingarde. Right now, you are unfinished, untempered. We will rememdy this."

Thorn turns from the window and stands next to his chair as he addresses you. "Beatrix has been lost, though she may yet serve our prince in other ways. She has been replaced with a different sort of tool. It is up to you all to learn each other's strengths, to complement each other's abilities. For the next three months, I will oversee your training."

An utterance of Thorn, and suddenly a map of Talingarde appears in the room. "The full details of my plan are my own. I see no reason to divulge their full breadth to you all. What I do plan is to inform you what your part in this will be." As you watch, the map zooms in towards the middle of Talingarde, towards where a wall splits the north from the south. "This is the Watch Wall. It was established by King Accarius the IV, also called the Architecht. During his time it was called the Accarian Line. He built nine castles along it's length, though later King Markadian I the Victorious would add three more.

"This wall was built to keept he bugbear hordes contained so that eventually they could be exterminated and the lands beyond it's walls settled. It was never meant to be permanent, but has become so. A few bugbear raids could never hope to overcome it, not without a leader to guide them."

Thorn turns from the map to face you fully. "For my plan to suceed, this is one obstacle that must be overcome. It is for that which I shall prepare you all. The Watch Wall must be breeched. For now, you shall train. But upon the completion, this will be your next goal. The Watch Wall has never fell since it's construction." An evil smile creeps up Thorn's face. "You will change that. Hold your questions, we shall discuss more thoroughly at a later date. For now, you may rest this evening. Tomorrow your training begins."


King of Talingarde

If you do have questions for him though, do feel free to ask.


Female Human Witch 3 / Rogue (Poisoner) 1

Tatya's eyes flash with hot anger and shame as the Cardinal places blame, but she says nothing in response, lowering her gaze to the floor and accepting his judgment. She examines the magical map of their next mission with interest but doesn't speak, simply waiting to be dismissed from the Cardinal's presence.


Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40
Cardinal Adrastus Thorn wrote:

For a moment, Cardinal Thorn simply stares at Tatya, not filled with malice or contempt, but simply stares. For an eternity his gaze rests upon her before he finally stands and strides to a window, staring out into the night.

"What I should do is punish you all for this loss." His voice is even, no anger to his words. "This loss, it's not simply Beatrix's fault. Yes, she did fail. But you all failed as well. There are those who would have us believe there is nothing that could have been done to prevent it. I disagree."

Morthos clenches his jaw even tighter as the Cardinal seems to have read his thoughts. Bah! Failure. I abhor it even more than the pathetic King.

"Very well. If there is nothing else...?" Morthos asks, ready to take his leave.


Male Human

You are waved away by Thorn for the evening.

And thus for the next three months, training commences with our villains under the tutelage of Cardinal Thorn. As the time passes, several things are noticed.

Firstly, Aedorn is officially brought in as a member of your group.

Secondly, it becomes obvious that Thorn is not always in the mansion, though he is rarely seen to be leaving. During these times, you are sometimes left in the care of Tiadora, though just as often left to your own devices aside from the training regimen left to you all.

Thirdly, your training is not alone. You spend much time training with the White Ravens, the other group currently staying at the mansion. (I'm assuming you are going to attempt to learn what you can about them). During the training, several things can be learned of them. They are led by the witch Elise Zadaria, who does not venerate Asmodeus, but rather some otherworldy entity called The Endless Winter. Next is the half-elf barbarian Dostan Alfson, a quiet brute loyal to Elise. Third and fourth are the twins Trik and Trak Rackburn. Trak is a ranger devoted to Elise by feelings beyond mere allegiance, and Trik is a true Asmodean cleric. They have their own mission, one they keep to themselves.

As the three months approach it's end, the White Ravens are sent off first, though to where is anyone's guess. A couple days pass, and you are all invited to a banquet in your honor. Food is served, a delicious meal with blood red wine. He congratulates each for what they have done and as the meal near's it's end, Thorn summons forth a creature from the Hells, a devil from the tip of its lashing tail to the serrated features of its fang-filled visage, this fiery-eyed sentinel bristles with barbs. Thorn offers you the choice of servant to be sacrificed to the creature, who is ripped apart with glee by the devil, it's blood drank before you all.

Thorn then draws forth a small amount of the devil's blood with a silver athame, tracing the symbol of Asmodeus into the foreheads of those who share his worship. The ritual complete, he proclaims. “The Nessian Knot is forged.”

“Just in time,” Cardinal Thorn remarks. “My ship has arrived.” On the river dock behind the manor under cover of darkness, a square-sailed longship sails into the slip. It sit heavily in the water, laden with a substantial cargo.


Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40

This is after the meeting with the Cardinal when we returned from the dungeon.

As they leave the room, Morthos turns his attention to the newest member of the group. "So... Aedorn is it? Who are you and how did you wind up here? I don't recall ever seeing you within Branderscar." He looks at him almost suspiciously with that last statement.


Male Halfling Monk (Zen Archer) 3

Aedorn shakes his head. "No sir, I've never been incarcerated. I've lived most of my life as a servant, and decided I needed a change of scenery. I met Tiadora while I was traveling and she brought me here - they decided to send me to aid your group when they learned I had some skills and a strong will. I honestly don't know why they thought you needed my help though. You all seem competent enough." He pauses for a moment, reflecting. "What did happen to that woman from before? Was she your girl or something?"


Not in use

Bostarg takes Thorn's double edged praise and criticism in his stride... though in his heart he believes that the failure is not theirs, but lays at the Cardinal's feet. He chose the trials, and he chose to risk their lives meaninglessly... a fact that Bostarg will not forget lightly.

At the ceremony Bostarg does not look kindly upon the sacrifice of one of the serving thralls, seeing it as wasteful. However he does submit to the marking with the devil's blood.

During the training time, Bostarg spends a lot of time poring over the documents salvaged from Branderscar. Practicing his hand at forging the lines until he is confident of his quillmanship, and also sending servants out to market to procure parchment that is identical to that used by the prison.

Time is spent with his companions also, though he is initially aloof to Aedorn. The White Ravens are ignored on the surface, though Bostarg does seek out details of them from the servants and through casually overheard conversation.


Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40
Aedorn wrote:
Aedorn shakes his head. "What did happen to that woman from before? Was she your girl or something?"

Morthos stares at him blankly for a moment, then responds, "No. And it was an unlucky strike by the Draugr that felled her. It should not have happened. Nevertheless, your timing could not have been better I suppose." Morthos nods and then takes his leave.

During the three month period, Morthos spends most of his time getting to know all he can of The White Ravens. Specifically Elise. The time he is not spending with Elise or his own companions, he spends it learning all that he can of Asmodeus.


Male Halfling Monk (Zen Archer) 3

Aedorn takes these strange experiences in stride, training happily with his new-found group and spending most of his down time reading or writing. He pays particular attention to Bostarg, noting that he's obviously a studied man of some learning and eloquent speech. Noticing the gnome passing his way while he was writing at a desk, he pauses to regard him before calling out. "I just finished a book, The History and Treatises of T_____. Fascinating read - would you like to borrow it?"


HP 45/45, AC- 18, Touch- 14, Flat- 14, CMD- 21, Fort- +6, Ref- +9, Will- +2, Percep- +7, Init- +4

Bah lost my dot. AGAIN.

Alazandaru spent the three months rigorously training in preparation for the trials ahead. While he did not shun the others, he made little effort to seek them out, preferring solitude and a continued, punishing physical regimen. Like Bostarg, he made little effort to hide the distaste for the sacrifice of one of the servants but did not speak out of turn.


Not in use

Bostarg smiles, but waves away the offer. Instead he holds up two pieces of parchment to Aedorn one with wet ink and the other starting to yellow with age "I'm afraid I tend to tomes of a less interesting bent... and yet a fresh pair of eyes could be of use to me... Can you tell the difference between these writings?"


Male Halfling Monk (Zen Archer) 3

sorry was sick for several days. Doing much better now.

Aedorn regards the parchment. "If it's magical I'm afraid I'll be lf no use, but I can tell you the obvious - that one is new and the other antique.


Not in use

Bostarg smiles at Aedorn's simple response "No, there is no sorcery in the words... merely opportunity. We took these writings from Branderscar itself, and they tell a sordid story of embezzlement and corruption on behalf of the jailor who ruled there. As they stand they implicate only the man who we know to be dead... but if I can master the intricacies of his written words - then perhaps the blot could be smeared somewhat so as to colour others." putting the parchments back down and standing to stretch his back and aching joints.

To Aedorn he inquires "Well we know that you have some skill with a bow... do you have any other interests?"


Male Halfling Monk (Zen Archer) 3

Aedorn raises an eyebrow. "Forgery then, is it? We'll I can tell you right now I could do a better job than this. I've some skill with the pen. Beyond the written words themselves, though, you'll have to find some trick to age the parchment. That's not something I've ever tried before." He sighs and leans back in his chair. "Honestly I mostly keep to my books and writing, but I do enjoy the theatre when I have the chance. You ever been?"


Not in use

Easily disguising his amused response to the monk's assurance that he has a more practiced hand than Bostarg himself, the gnome continues "Perhaps one day your penmanship can be measured against mine... but not today. And no, theatre holds little appeal to me... painted fools posturing to lie to an audience who already knows the performance to be false. It is much more interesting when truth and fact are more open to be bent."


Male Halfling Monk (Zen Archer) 3

Aedorn shrugs. "Sometimes it can be valuable to suspend one's disbelief for the sake of amusement or education. There are some truths to be learned in a lie just as not all that is taught in a school is true." He continues with a bit of a wry smile, "Besides, that's not always the reason to attend. I've found it to be an exceptional method to woo women. Surely you're not above such desires on occasion?"


Not in use

Ah... so his desires tend to the basal... disappointing, but not unexpected. With a mild chuckle Bostarg replies "Not above Aedorn, but below..." executing a poorly constructed pun "If I may?" before taking his leave and moving through the palace to his room.


Not in use

Roughly two months after the training with Thorn begins, Bostarg receives a small parcel. That evening after the meal, he opens it in the library and reveals a small crystal vial on an iron chain. The top of the vial has no opening, but does bear sharpened points akin to a jagged crown of glass. After studying the vial for a few moments, Bostarg pricks his wrist with the crown and the vial fills with his blood.

It takes a full minute for the vial to have drunk it's fill and Bostarg is left looking drained by the experience. However he holds the vial to his eye and smiles as it is now filled with his blood. Hooking the crystal around the hilt of his rapier and securing it with the chain Bostarg has a second meal to re-bolster his constitution.


Female Human Witch 3 / Rogue (Poisoner) 1

Taking silence as consent....

Like Alazandaru, Tatya also is little seen during the three months of training. Cardinal Thorn summons her the morning after they emerged from the Nine Lessons and informs her that the crime for which she was apprehended was shoddily done. "A truly skilled poisoner," he tells her, "would have killed far more, given such a prime opportunity, and would have escaped arrest. Your efforts, while admirable in aim, were pathetic in application. You must do far better."

A stack of forbidden texts delineating poisons and their applications is delivered to her laboratory, and her gloves and apron take on many new stains as she experiments with the compounds therein. When she is seen at mealtimes and is not dining in her room over a book, she looks wan and overtired. She is occasionally seen in the library with historical and religious texts, both approved by Talingarde and heretical, and with tomes on the arcane and on the nature of planar outsiders, both good and evil, but almost invariably takes the books with her to her room and returns then when they are done rather than stay in the library to read them. She has too many delicate concoctions in process which require conscientious ministration.


Male Halfling Monk (Zen Archer) 3

Spending much time in the library reading himself, Aedorn notices the frequent visits of the mysterious woman and makes note of the kinds of books she borrows, but decides she's in no mood to converse and doesn't attempt to approach her.

At the banquet, he laughs as the servant is slaughtered, but more at the ridiculousness of the ordeal than any joy at seeing him killed. He abstains from the ritual himself but watches the others with some amusement as he sips his own glass of wine.


Female Human Witch 3 / Rogue (Poisoner) 1
Cardinal Adrastus Thorn wrote:

As the three months approach it's end, the White Ravens are sent off first, though to where is anyone's guess. A couple days pass, and you are all invited to a banquet in your honor. Food is served, a delicious meal with blood red wine. He congratulates each for what they have done and as the meal near's it's end, Thorn summons forth a creature from the Hells, a devil from the tip of its lashing tail to the serrated features of its fang-filled visage, this fiery-eyed sentinel bristles with barbs. Thorn offers you the choice of servant to be sacrificed to the creature, who is ripped apart with glee by the devil, it's blood drank before you all.

Thorn then draws forth a small amount of the devil's blood with a silver athame, tracing the symbol of Asmodeus into the foreheads of those who share his worship. The ritual complete, he proclaims. “The Nessian Knot is forged.”

“Just in time,” Cardinal Thorn remarks. “My ship has arrived.” On the river dock behind the manor under cover of darkness, a square-sailed longship sails into the slip. It sit heavily in the water, laden with a substantial cargo.

After the White Ravens are sent away, Tatya visibly frets. Why was the other group's training complete before theirs? Had they completed the Nine Lessons without losing a member? Had Tatya herself chosen poorly when given the opportunity to select which group to join? Were the White Ravens now the A group, leaving them the left-behind, back-up B group? Was it because the White Ravens had a team name?

She tried to relax at the banquet and enjoyed witnessing the death of the servant who had accidentally broken a tray of vials while cleaning her laboratory but couldn't help clinically evaluating the devil's kill. Very messy. Poison could have done it much more cleanly without sacrificing much pain, if any at all. One could argue that a lingering death makes up in despair for any absence of sheer terror.


Male Human

“Welcome, my children,” he says in a deep resonant voice that has an almost inhuman quality to it. “Training is at an end. You have proven yourself worthy. Now, it is time for you to use that training and take on your first mission.

“Your mission is war, my children. You will bring war to Talingarde.

“You have two objectives. First, you will see a shipment of munitions delivered to a bugbear chieftain named Sakkarot Fire-Axe. He makes his camp on the northern coast of Lake Tarik beyond the Watch Wall. With this shipment, the Fire-Axe will have resources enough to unite the barbarous humanoid tribes of the north and light the fire of war.

“Sitting on the dock as we speak is the longship Frosthamar captained by Kargeld Odenkirk. Tomorrow when the ship is resupplied it will be your transport. The captain is a ruthless mercenary and not to be trusted. He knows nothing of the specifics of our mission and you should keep it that way. He knows he is smuggling cargo to the north beyond the Watch Wall. That is all he need know.

“Once the cargo is safely delivered, he will take you just south across the lake under cover of darkness and land you near the town of Aldencross. There our contract with Captain Odenkirk will be concluded.

“It is shame how greedy he has proven. I had hoped to let the captain serve me again but it seems he is too much of a liability. Kill him. Kill his crew. Burn his ship and leave no survivors. It is crucial that no one suspects our involvement and that loose ends are taken care of. Be sure to reclaim the coin I gave him. Best not to be wasteful.

“That done, you will begin your second task. We will do more still to aid our ally the Fire-axe. The bugbears are mighty warriors but poor siege engineers. You will infiltrate the tower Balentyne, keystone of the Watch Wall, kill its commander and open the gate for Sakkarot’s horde.

“Once the shaggy monstrosities pierce the Watch Wall, the bugbears will pillage and lay waste to the townships of the north and the local garrisons will have no choice but to meet the Fire-Axe in the open field. Sakkarot is the most brilliant, gifted and murderous bugbear of his generation. I expect these battles will go poorly for the knights and yeoman of fair Talingarde.

“Do all of this and then when your task is done, break this clay seal.” He hands Tatya a delicately carved clay seal adorned with a tangled knot of thorns surrounding the holy symbol of Asmodeus. “I will have more instructions then. Succeed and I will see you rewarded handsomely. Fail or betray me and you will pray for the comfort of Hell before I am done with you.

“The mission you start upon today is a holy mission. The people of Talingarde think they have seen the last of the mighty Asmodeus. Soon enough we will remind them that there is no escaping the grasp of Hell. Let us toast our success.”

He pours one glass of deep red wine for each of you and then finally pours one for himself. He raises the glass and offers a toast.

“To war.”


Heading to the docks you see a single ship in the water. The Frosthamar is a single-masted knarr with a square sail. It is similar to a Viking longship but wider and with a deeper hull better suited to carrying cargo. And the Frosthamar is obviously loaded with cargo. Sitting heavy in the water, she holds twenty four tons of weaponry, arrows and shields emblazoned with a flaming axe.

The captain is a grizzled north-man with a wiry beard, pale blonde hair and countless scars. This is Kargeld Odenkirk and he is, as promised, a ruthless mercenary with little thought of anyone but himself. His crew consists of a half dozen grim sailors who speak little of the common Talirean tongue.

Sizing you all up, he turns to Morthos and asks, “You will guard our boat all the way north, yes?”


Male Human Antipaladin (Knight of the Sepulcher)4
Stats:
AC 24; Fort: +10, Ref: +9; Will: +13; Int: +3; Perc: +4; Int. +0; Hp's 40/40

A glint in Morthos's eye shines as his plan for ruling over all of Talingarde has finally been set forth. Morthos then raises his own glass, "To victory."

Later
Morthos looks at the man curiously, "We would be fools to stand around and do nothing if you were to be attacked, would we not? Do you expect us to sit idle why are only means of survival sinks to the watery depths, along with ourselves? A foolish question. Let us board, it is time to move."

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