[As our heroes blindly wander about their lives, fate plummets toward them. Soon they will no longer recognize themselves in many regards. Their deeds will be revered and reviled by the masses, the nobility, and those in the shadows. They will be called saints, murderers, beasts, and paragons. The world they know is not the thing of stone they think; rather a blob of clay at the potter’s table. Upon the stage of destiny our actors await.]
Our three budding heroes start their adventuring career in the city of Vrindir in the latter months of winter. They are here for different reasons. One has been established here for several years and has made a name for herself as a reputable business woman. Another has just come to the city in the last week, seeking money to further his studies into the Arcane Arts. And our third hero is here to try to rebuild his life after a recent life changing event.
As our heroes are going about their everyday but separate routines in the city, they each feel someone make a grab at their belt purses (or equivalent). When they check to see what they have lost, they instead find that they have received a note.
“Come to the tavern ‘The Shady Rafters’ by such and such time or you will come to regret your rashness.”
While waiting at the Shady Rafters for the message sender to make an appearance, a noise came from outside.
“NO! You can’t do that! That is my house! No! …”
Two of our heroes, Senrin and Sicarius Q (or Q), went outside to see what the commotion was all about. The third, Ambrose, continued to brood in the tavern.
Senrin and Q were confronted with the sight of a nobleman with some 20 guards, in the colors of maroon and deep dark grey, in front of a house across the street that had smoke just starting to come out of its windows. A man was yelling and cursing the nobleman.
“That is my house, you have no right to go and burn it down,” the man yelled.
“As a matter of fact, I have every right. You owe me a substantial debt and you have refused to pay. This is the consequence of that refusal,” the nobleman replied.
The man broke down in tears in the street as the fire picked up. The guards made sure that no one could come near to put the fire out. Luckily there was plenty of room between the house and no real wind so the fire did not spread. The nobleman and guards stayed till the house was suitably burnt down that the house would have to be rebuilt from the ground up.
As the heroes were watching this, along with a gathering crowd, and small dirt street urchin came up to them individually and said, “You need to come with me, my daddy wants to see you,” in a high childish voice.
The two heroes followed him back into the Shady Rafters to Ambrose were the child repeated his request/statement. The now three heroes followed the child up a set of stairs to the second floor and to a door down the hall. The child opened the door into a private meeting room, where he made his way to the far end of the table where a chair with a booster seat.
After the door was closed, “Well now that is done,” the ‘child’ said in now a deeper and more mature voice. “You all are probably wondering why I have asked you hear.” The pech goes on to explain that the three of us all have debts and those debts now or will shortly belong to the nobleman we saw, a lord Jearen do von tel Rastoon the head of the House of Rastoon. The pech goes on to explain that Lord Rastoon
has been accumulating the debts of a significant portion of the population of Veinder in the last three months, and sights such as the one outside have started to happen.
Explaining further, that Lord Rastoon was not always like this, that it wasn’t until three months back when these three women stated to visit him that this behavior stated up. These women were originally believed to just be courtesans because of their visiting him after supper every few nights. But that does not explain why they are still going after this much time; lords grow tired of their playthings quickly.
“So I have a proposal, a mission so to speak, for you three, I want you to investigate Lord Rastoon to find what is influencing him. Find me some evidence of his corruption. But make sure that you are not obvious in your investigation, that the mission remains a secret. If you need to, it is acceptable to kill a few of the guards if necessary. But under no circumstances are you to kill Lord Rastoon or to let him know of this investigation. In return, I will help and protect the three of you. You will not need to worry about your debt inconveniencing you. “
“If you need me or if you have completed the mission; you can get a hold of me if you come here and order a bottle of Skutten. Feel free to rent rooms here or meals if you need to.” After saying all this, but not his name, the pech got up and exited the room.
An awkward moment ensued as our heroes looked at the strangers they stood with. Q starts the ball rolling by introducing herself with Senrin and Ambrose taking her lead. Not ones to linger over personal details they fall in to devising a plan to complete their new found mission.
It was determined that the best place to start was to acquire so additional information. Q, knowing the best way to get information is from loose tongues of those under the influence, suggested that they search for a tavern frequented by the servants and soldiers of the Lord Rastoon.
So our not-yet-merry band sets off in search of a tavern that would meet their needs. As they approach the North Gate on Noble Way, Ambrose spots an out of the way tavern that might have what they are looking for.
Inside the Calves’ Hoof, they approach the bar where an ugly orc is wiping down the bar. The barmaid, Mara, greets them with suspicion and aggression, for she is not used to strangers coming to her bar. After taking our trios orders, she bluntly asks what they were doing there. Senrin was able to allay her suspicion, at least of him, and asks for help and information about Lord Rastoon. Mara was not able to provide much more information besides what our heroes already knew, but she did point out two gentlemen nursing cups that were in the Lord’s colors.
To help ease the way, Senrin set over two house meals. After the men were close to done, Q and Senrin go over to join them. Ambrose does not because he still has his own meal and does not want to frighten them with his appearance.
The men, Randle and Jer, were at first reluctant to part with anything but that Lord Rastoon was a good lord until money and reassurances were offered. While Jer (about 40 years old) quietly cried into his mug, Randle (about 25) goes on to explain the working conditions at the Lord’s estates.
Half of the servants/workers had been dismissed and the other half has been made to pick up the slack. “I feel I have to work twenty hours before I can eat,” Randle says to emphasize his point.
Through prompting, Randle explains that there has been odd traffic into the storehouse every so often but that the servants are cleared out so they do not see what is happening.
When asked about the visiting women, Randle explains that they are completely covered; that the only way he could tell that they were women was from their shape.
Q and Senrin thank the men for their time and collect Ambrose as they leave. Relaying what they found, Q insisted they find a local Brothel to question some guards (believing that they would have more sensitive information).
At the first brothel, the trio was rudely informed that Lord Rastoon has whores brought onto the estates for his guards. They were asked to leave after this tidbit.
Determined, the trio heads to the noisiest bar on the street, reasoning that soldiers would be here. There were three.
The three soldiers were seated in the southwest corner with three open tables around them. It was apparent that they wanted their space. The rest of the bar was about 90% full. Our heroes took the long table between the soldiers and the bar. By watching, Senrin noticed only a few of the serving staff went to the soldiers. Senrin hailed an older server and ale, hoping that he could pumper her for info. It was not to be.
Q decides to use some of her magic to influence the soldiers. See send a whisper of her girlish laugh to the center soldier. When this happens, the soldier tries to see where it came from. At the same time, a fight breaks out on the far side of the room over a dice game. See this, the soldier points it out to his friends and they have a laugh over it.
Senrin, seeing an opportunity, gets up and moves cautiously over to the soldiers. When confronted, Senrin says he is avoiding the fight. Senrin is not able to get close.
As the fight is starting to be broken up by bouncers and serving maid is close to the table, Q whispers to the soldier on the end.
“Tee Hee, I think your friend is cute.”
The soldier looks up and gets a drunken happy look on his face. He talks to his friends. The body language implies that the soldier thinks it is his lucky day.
The soldier gets up and drunkenly makes his way to a serving maid. It looks like he propositions her. There is a bemusing back and for till the soldier and his friends are asked to leave by the establishment.
Our trio gets up and very stealthily follows behind the soldiers. The soldiers do not notice their new tails.
While following our heroes learn that the lord and most of his soldiers are out on a training exercise and will be back later that night.
The soldiers are heading home. When they get to the service gate at the side of the estates, they open it with a key. As the gate swings closed, it catches on a rock, preventing it from latching. Keeping to the trees inside the gate our heroes continue to follow the oblivious soldiers.
When the soldiers get to a second, guarded and lighted, gate our heroes instead follow the trees around the wall, out of sight.
When our heroes get to the trees closest to the wall, they first check to see if the coast is clear then they jump the 6 foot wall. They investigate the grounds, trying to find where things are. At one point they attract the attention of a patrolling guard.
They draw him away from the three guards they had noticed in the middle of the grounds. As soon as they are far enough away as to not get noticed, Senrin color sprays their lone guard. Ambrose goes up to the guard and scratches the guard’s armor instead of harming him. Q takes over and head butts the guard. Her head butt collapses the lower part of his face and knocks him unconscious. Q pulls out a garrote and finishes him off. Senrin finds 195s on the body. Ambrose hides the body in the underbrush of one of the nearby trees.
The trio finishes exploring the rest of the main grounds before making for the back service entrance at the rear of the manor proper.
When they enter they find a servant stunned by their appearance there. Before they could reassure him of their benign intentions, the servant ran screaming from the room. It sounded like he screamed through the whole first floor before exiting through another entrance.
The heroes at first followed the servant into the kitchen, but instead they decided to make their way down the stair into the cellar.
The trio searched the storage room because of the information from Randle. Noticing the heavy treaded path on the right side of the divide they further investigated. Suspecting a hidden entrance, Senrin cast Detect Secret Doors (to the annoyance of the Supreme Being), revealing a … hidden door.
As our heroes make their way down the passageway behind the door, they hear voices discussing weapons purchases.
Q and Ambrose decide between them that they want to be as intimidating as possible when they burst in on the people talking. They kick the door off its hinges into the next room.
A clerk behind a desk was so frightened by this that he literally shat his pants. The armored figure with him only looked ‘oh no, you didn’t.’
The armored figure, goon, was wearing a fully lacquered plate armor with a helmet under his arm and a flail at his waist.
Q stepped up to Goon and punched him in his face and then tried to take his weapon. Ambrose also steps over to Goon but only slides his dagger along Goon’s armor (wtf Ambrose). Senrin, seeing his companions in the way shot a trio of magic missiles at goon. Goon just looked even more pissed at these events.
Instead of staying and fighting, Goon runs from the room through the other door in the room yelling, “You shall not get my secrets! Intruders! To arms! To arms!”
Ignoring the cowering clerk, the heroes race after their prey. Senrin, the first to the large training room where Goon had stopped, cast color spray. He manages to stun two of the four enemies waiting for our party.
Goon, “Get them!”
Q again approaches Goon, who is now ready for her with his flail out and helmet on. She again socks it to him. He returns the favor but does not visibly harm Q. Ambrose moves to attack Goon, but Goon easily avoids Ambrose’s lunge. Senrin sends another trio of missiles at Goon but they misfire and instead hit soldier 3, narrowly missing Q and Goon. Soldier 1, which was not stunned and blinded, moves behind Ambrose and flanks him. Soldier 1 uses his flail to give Ambrose a minor scratch.
Q punches Goon yet again and then again attempts to disarm him. She succeeds and tossed the flail fifteen feet behind him. Senrin sends two missiles at soldier 1 and the other missile at Goon. Goon retreats and picks up his flail as he moves away. Ambrose swiftly turns around and stabs Soldier 1 in his liver through a chink in soldier 1’s armor. Soldier 1 did not know what hit him as he dies with a surprised look on his face. Soldier 2 blindly moves toward Ambrose and takes a swing at him, scoring several more cuts and scrapes. Soldier 3 attempts to do the same thing with Q; or maybe to jump rope with his flail. Soldier 3 trips over his flail, falls on his face and breaks his neck.
Q follows Goon and again pommels him. Senrin sends a final three missiles at Goon, who is looking tired. Goon gets a solid hit on Q. Ambrose turns on soldier 2 and stabs him in the heart. Ambrose then takes a step towards Q and the Goon.
Q shoves her bladed hand up under Goon’s helmet and into his jaw. Blood starts to run down Goon’s breastplate. Goon takes a quick swipe at Q before turning and running away. Q catches up and rams her hand through his back, grabs his heart and presents it beating before his face.
After the fight, Ambrose and Senrin find 39s on the soldiers’ bodies. Q finds 171s on Goon plus a small sack with a Fancy Pair of Socks worth 16s. Searching the two barrack rooms, they find one Lieutenant’s Flail and one jar of Mage Armor Oil.
They went back to the clerk’s room to find the clerk had buggered out of there. Searching for evidence, they find a document outlining the purchase of a large amount of weapons and arms in Lord Rastoon’s colors. The trio searched the final room in the cellar, which looked to have been Goon’s office. Inside they found training manuals and books, such as on siege tactics, and a document that looked to be a report on a recent training exercise for about sixty soldiers with three lieutenants.
The trio makes their way down the final set of stairs. They find a dungeon with some skeletons and one person that appears to be about to give up his ghost.
They heal him and revive him. He informs that that he has been there for about a month. That Lord Rastoon had bought his large gambling debt. After he was captured trying to get away he was brought here to devise an acid to eat away the rock to further the excavation going on in this subbasement. Our heroes take him up to the kitchen to have him eat while they continue to search the premise.
The trio makes a quick search of the first floor. When they find nothing of interest, they head up to the second.
In the Library on the second floor they find the book Lives of Danny Haberdasher. Stuck in the book were a set of pages that appeared to be written in code. To hide the nature of what was happening; Q pulled random books down from the shelves.
While going by the library windows, our heroes notice that there is a large group of torches moving toward the manor. Believing this is the returning troops that were out on exercise, our trio knows that they have little time left to find the evidence they need.
Q, Senrin, and Ambrose go searching through other rooms as quickly as they can. They come to the Lord Rastoon’s office with his desk. Senrin manages to get the drawers open while Q just bashed the top in.
Searching the deck in the Lord’s chambers, they find a Book of crafting in other language with more coded pages stuck in. Also found is a letter written in innuendos.
After Q bashes the desk, she goes and carves a large x across the portrait behind the desk.
Ambrose places the needle from the lock to the bedroom onto the middle of the bed and grabs a dress that was sized for Lord Rastoon.
After all this, the trio head back out into the hall and see that the crowd is almost to the manor. To slow pursuit and to hide missing evidence, Q ran through the upper floor setting stuff on fire. Then the three decide to make a hasty exit from the top floor.
The heroes escape by feather falling out the back windows. They make a run for the back of the estate while keeping to the shadows. They pass the farm and the servant quarters on their way to a possible alternative exit from the grounds.
After eluding pursuit (or was it just held up by THE LORD’S MANOR BURNING DOWN), the heroes head through town back to the Shady Rafters. When they get there they order a bottle of Skutten. While they are waiting the bartender politely suggests to Q that she might want to remove some of the blood that she is covered in. After Q cleaned herself the bartender asks that we make our way back to the room that we met the pech at in the meantime. When the pech arrives, the heroes hand over their evidence and describe some of what they saw while on the estate, in particular the alchemist and the excavation site.