Blood debt

Sessions 3 and 4
Stopping the war in Nance

After returning victorious from the Keep, Braska and Auron suddenly realized that with the recent destablization of the guild war in Nance leaving would inevitably fall into chaos.

Determined to stop the violence before they leave they instigated a rather intricate plan to eliminate the thieves guild. Then to kill Jackson. Then to kill Bret and Jackson.

Eventually they determined that getting to Jackson was likely beyond them, and decided to ambush the Thieves Guild within their hideout using Albert and the city watch. The planning went rather well, despite Gregory Tetch seeing through the lies and using it to eliminate his competition within the guild.

After a vicious fight in which Jerome was nearly strangled by Brent before the thug was beheaded by Auron, the threat of imminent war was avoided. Tetch seems to understand that the PCs intend to eventually depose Jackson and ma even have taken their attempted treachery as a gesture of friendship. What that says about the character of such a man is debateable.

The next morning they recieved a sizable bounty and used it to outfit themselves for the journey ahead (After offering Jerome a somewhat increased portion for his abused throat). With the waybread provided by the elven druid Natenal (whom everyone simply called Nathaniel) they needed little food, but horses would greatly speed their journey and they decided to… ah, invest.

Braska chose a tough young gelding with intractable endurance, who has yet to be named. It’s brown. He also purchased a spotted shetland pony for Milo. The halfling seemed somewhat annoyed with how cutesy the animal is, but will likely be thankful for the ride. Auron got somewhat enamorred of a pricey chestnut mare named Epiphany. She only cost about twice what the others did.

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Second Session: Intersession
Decisions about what to do

As Braska and Auron lay his father to rest and Jerome and Milo scour the keep for information, useful items, and (of course) books.

Even as they work, they wonder what their next step will be. (Some of this stuff you haven’t found, and we’ll go over all of it at the next session as we wrap up. This is mainly so I can prep and actually be ready to go when we meet next.)

Potential Leads: - The sword the vampire was wielding bears a symbol on it. It appears to be the crest of a noble family, the Banath who rule over Kharak-Bator to the East.

-The arm and the symbol. Jerome believes one of his teachers at the Silver Hand Academy may know something of it, though he is uncertain he will be welcome.

-There was talk of a Green Dragon by the kobold, and a river. Perhaps hunting down this dragon will yield the whereabouts of the vampire, if you’re able to brave one of Tiamat’s brood.

(You can also stay in Nance and try to retake it, but please let me know which of these you’d like to pursue next as there is some serious set-up involved.)

Decision: Once the adventurers conclude any business in Nance they will head east to the High Road and Kharak-Bator to determine the origin of the sword borne by the vampire slain in Keep Ettier.

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Second Session: Completion
In which a vampire is vanquished and some interesting items are happened upon

After the kobold’s death, the party quickly began exploring the remainder of the damaged keep. As they approached a fork in the halls, they heard the clammering of worried kobolds and the snap of a neck followed by a chill voice giving commands.

Ready for combat, they marched down the hallway to discover a pale, long-toothed man surrounded with small kobolds. As they launched their assault on the vampire, he called up a great cloud of ice and frost. The battle was long, and though every minion they slew seemed to return as an undead scourge they had little difficulty in pinning down the vampire and wearing him down. As he crumbled away to dust, the adventurers looked at one another: worn but victorious.

With thier enemies gone, they began meticulously exploring the keep.

Within a tightly bound crate they discovered Braska’s father’s sword, an exceptional piece of metallurgy with golden embellishments, and a pale white arm with no signs of decay but a strange symbol emblazed upon the back.

Moving back to examine the master chambers and study, they found the decapitated skeleton of Brazen Ettier still bearing the family signet ring on his right hand. Though highly tempted since magic rings are such rare affairs, Jerome agreed to allow Braska to keep it on the condition that they would assist him without question in obtaining an object he has been searching for. Removing the ring, Braska and Auron set about burying the body and granting him peace while Jerome began tearing through the library.

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Second Session
In which Milo and Marion are released, the forest is cleansed, and the excavation of the keep is ended.

After the arrest of Marion, Braska and Auron rouse Brent from his unconscious state to tell him what had happened. Enraged, Brent told them that this meant war… but first Marion needed to be sprung. After asking about dissatisfied guards, they agreed to try and determine a way to free Marion and meet the following morning.

Determined to case the Watch-house, they reenter again using the excuse of confession and last rites; this time for Marion. The guards recognized the two, in particular Auron. Amazed at how easily he’d handled Brent, Braska eventually convinced them that he would be sufficient guard to prevent Marion from ‘trying anything foolish’. Since he now had hope of survival, Milo had begun carefully checking the cells for weakness and pointed out a thin wooden area in the corner cell.

Returning upstairs, Auron walked over to the guards to see what all the laughter and commotion was. It appeared that the letter they had found on Marion had not made it into evidence as of yet, and the amazingly dirty letter was a source of great merriment. Offering to buy the hardworking watchmen a few drinks, 3 followed him to the Lark’s Arm while Braska wandered off to scout the exterior of the Watch-House.

While in the Lark’s Arm, Auron recognized a guard and attempted to talk to him. The man was blunt and tight-lipped until the others had returned to duty (and drinking).

After a few minutes of talking, Auron recognized the man: Jeremy Tull. A guard when Auron was here, they collaborated on the pain it caused them to see their hometown fallen into such a state. He told them of the damage Jackson’s regular expansions had done to the building. Once Braska returned, they devised a plan to break in through an unfinished expansion, drop to the first floor, break through the flooring, and into the cell block. Milo sprung the locks (with some assistance from Auron for height related difficulties), and they managed to leave the way they came with hardly a sound. Marion left them with a vague mention of “visiting Brent” in the morning… and they retired to the House of Pelor for sanctuary.

After visiting Brent and recieving a large sum of gold and a magical holy symbol of the sun god, they set out preparing for their trek into the forest that evening. As the sun set, they moved into the woods. After consecrating the ground about the point where he sensed the greatest evil, Braska and the others were forced to destroy the spirits of evil he had manifested. As the ethereal monsters faded, the shadows drew back and the forest seemed at peace. Surely the Druid who had worried over these woods will be delighted. Still, it wasn’t their purpose or sole aim, so they stuck onward towards the ruined keep.

After defeating the Kobold guard at the entrance, they discovered the majority of the Keep appeared to still be quite destroyed and inaccesable. After accidently alerting the kobold guard, they fled into an empty banquet hall to ready their defenses… and were fell upon by a nest of Kuthriks. Battling the insect-like reptiles burrowing from the earth and the humanoid reptiles progressing down the hall nearly ended Auron until Braska’s healing power brought him from the brink of death. Bruises and cuts almost fully mended they rapidly dispatched the remainder, for it cannot be said that to cause such pain to a warrior of Auron’s ability is an easy task.

The last of the kobolds they interogated. He told them that there was a “Green goddess” who had entreated the kobolds to assist in this operation. Apparently she is some ways away, and reference was made to being brought here ‘within a boat’. Still stranger was that he refered to a master who coud command the loyalties of even the goddess. Before much more could be gleaned, Auron put his blade through its heart, enraged that his ancient home was now beign so abused.

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Return to Nance
Pre-Session 1

After years abroad in obscurity, Braska and Auron have returned to their hometown of Nance in an attempt to track down the creature that destroyed their lives and killed their friends and family.

After 10 years, the trail has grown cold and they hope to find new information with Braska’s religious training. Still, the small city has changed since they were last here. With the death of Lord and Lady Etier there was a power vacuum that several groups attempted to fill. Underhanded traders, thieves, and assassins used the anarchy to promote Nance as a veritable haven for unlawfl activity. Eventually Jackson Argyl, the head of the City Watch, solidified the armed members of the Watch into a cohesive force once again. The leader of the Thieves’ Guild (believed to be Marion Trent) offered his associates’ assistance if Jackson would give the Guild immunity. Still, Minor nobles and powerful merchants fought to claim dominance. It was years before the last of them was arrested or driven away, and many of the more upstanding and wealthy citizens had already fled.

At their arrival, the two find Nance in an uneasy truce. Jackson is the near tyranical leader of the town, and the only ones to escape his iron fist are members of the thieves guild. The commoners are trapped between the uncaring Jackson andhis seemily bottomless taxation and groups of thieves and cutpurses who are allowed to function with impunity.

After speaking with several of the locals, Baska and Auron decided that Jackson needed to be replaced eventually. There were more pressing matters; in particular the imminent execution of a halfling thief and the exploration of Etier Keep. The Keep has been abandoned and left to ruin until recently, and there appears to be some form of activity. The Watch is adament about preventing people from visiting, but only occasional academics even try because it is ‘haunted.’

Teaming up with a wizard named Jerome Flitwheel, they managed to frame Marion and made it appear that he was in exceedingly scandalous contact with Jackson’s daughter (who had been sent away solely to prevent such activity)and was cheating the guardsman at his gambling house. Marion is now incarcerated in the same basement as the halfling,and the unsteady peace in Nance appears to be broken…

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