ELSEWHERE IN AN ALTERNATE TIMELINE UNDER A NEW GM.
It has been thirty five years since the Astruan Magic Missile Crisis has come to a boil. Fidel Caster ordered his terrorists, the Wizards of the Coast to let loose their magic, and a deadly hailstorm of 1d4+1 damage rained down upon Broadsea one fateful night. Many died, and even more were lost in the ensuing war between Estria and Astrua that followed. The City of the Dead overflowed. Broadsea was reduced to a burned out shell of its former glory. The city’s old heroes have departed and gone their separate ways. Those of them that survived, anyway.
It is on one evening in the Tipsy Pelican that several adventurers meet. Drawn not by the master bard playing a different instrument on the stage every moment, but by a posting on a job beard, in search of heroes looking to find and return a Master Paladin, who, according to rumor had disappeared. Aladon the Cleric, Thea the Druid, Trask the Battlemaster, and Morrigan, a woman not fully seeming in control of her sanity gather in response, only to receive a cryptic gift from the barkeep.
Each granted a crate with healing potions, thieves tools, and sundry supplies, they prepare to start their search, when the Master Paladin finds them first. On realizing the Tipsy Pelican had emptied of patrons, they newly acquainted party prepared for a fight when the town guard bust in from every entrance, led by none other than the very man who they sought. A man who was disappointed no one knew who he was.
The ensuing struggle was short, ending in arrest and incarceration almost immediately. Though not all hope was lost. Aladon and Morrigan managed to secret away a pair of thieves tools on their persons, and were greeted in the cell by an old human and two halflings. As they explained that all schools of arcane magic have been outlawed and Broadsea was ruled under martial law by the one and only, Everett Whitlock, who has been working on a top secret weapon of some form that shakes the city with violent earthquakes
The prisoners concocted a plan of escape, but not all went properly when Victoria Whitlock, his wife and general came to select a prisoner for manual labor. Taking on of the halflings, a guard blundered into the cell alone, and was trapped in magical vines called forth by Thea. Stripped of armor and weapons, the group armed themselves, with Trask at their lead to try and rescue the Halfling and regain their equipment, but were subdued by the guards.
They decided to wait until the proper time, sticking with the original escape plan after Aladon and Morrigan still managed to hide their thieves tools. Regaining their equipment from the armory, they soon discovered there were no other prisoners, and while the guards were all having their weekly meeting, they took the secret path through the sewers to try and escape. But it was not without peril.
Everett and Victoria were under the castle, and in spite of laws against magic, she was seemingly casting a spell on him, keeping him under her thrall. Attacked by Victoria’s pet panthers and a massive Ettin, the group managed to escape when the guards arrived and the ogre-like monster turned its attention upon them. But the trail went cold at a wall. Between Morrigan’s ominous and macabre insight and Thea’s knowledge, the pair managed to discover and undo a blood magic seal revealing a secret path, where they once again encountered Everett and Victoria, in her true form, a monstrous Hag.
With Everett under the Hag’s control and the two more than a lethal match for the group, some quick thinking managed them all to convince him to allow them to leave without bloodshed, earning their pardon while leaving him with his… ‘Beautiful wife’.
They returned to the Tipsy Pelican, which turned out to be the base of operations for the rebellion against Everett’s iron fisted rule, and learned from Solel the Master Bard, that the old heroes of the city were still alive and they had to be found and gathered to defeat and rescue their old friend. On learning the location of the new Thieves’ Guild, an underwater cave full of mermaids, they set out- discovering the true Victoria Whitlock bound and gagged, left to starve in the dock ward. They only barely convinced her to join forces with them, and used her pull as head of the guard to get a boat to the mermaid cave.
As it turns out, Olly Baba was the new head of the Thieves’ Guild, with Rifael Raffen acting as his right hand and secretary, even though he still wasn’t allowed past the door. Some things never change, but the two tentatively offered aid if the rest of the group could be found. With no leads on the location of Pestiann Ksuls, they next sought out Elqen Naefir in the dark forests.
A guard, savaged by wolves, begged them to help his comrades, in a fit rare fit of kindness Morrigan saved his life with a healing potion and a whisper of ‘You owe me your life’. But the group walked into a trap; corrupt guardsmen looking to make extra money through banditry attacked. In an expected fit of rage and pique Morrigan vowed to take the potion back from the man’s blood. The fight was brutal, and just when the party believed themselves victorious, reinforcements arrive to bolster the bandits. Though briefly stricken with terror at a certain half-elf’s insane vow’s to drink everyone’s blood, the bloody battle was brought to an end by a volley of arrows.
They did not find Elqen Naefir.
Elqen Naefir found them.
And he was out for revenge.
MORRIGAN’S NOTES 1:
Though Morrigan’s ancient leather bound tome mostly contains the raving scrawlings of a madwoman and detailed magical notes and theses that would bend one’s sanity, in her rare moments of lucidity, Morrigan has compounded some insightful notes taken over the course of her travels with Alladon the cleric, Thea the druid, Trask the fighting man, and Duke the entertainer (secretly assassin). These notes are barely in chronological order and interspersed with unintelligible writing in fevered hand at points. They are as follows…
Aladon: A holy man. His god is not my god, but when I have an angry mob of guards out for my blood I’m not going to turn away some divine intervention. He’s more talkative than the fighting man at least but if he starts preaching at me I may consider killing him in his sleep.
Thea: Oh! She’s a smart one! All I had to do was tell her blood magic was involved and she retraced the runes of unlocking! Impressive. Maybe I misjudged her as just another tree lover. Talks a lot though, but at least it’s intelligent.
Trask: Oh this one is like a WALL. Good with a sword but not much else. I think he was a career soldier? Hard to tell, he never talks about himself. Or much at all. Actually talking to a wall would be more interesting, but he is very useful with a sword and more maneuverable than a wall. Though I get the sense an actual wall would be more interesting to talk to…
Grand Master Paladin Awesome Everett Whitlock: Who?
Master Bard Solel: That instrument case… Interests me…
Elqen Naefir: I could have handled those brigands just fine. Not that I mind he did the work for me.
Rifael Raffen: A secretary. Didn’t think too hard about him once we were past the door.
Pestiann Ksuls: ???
Olly Baba: Head of the Thieves’ Guild… Said he would help us if we could get the old band together. Do I really have to be in on this?