Dungeons & Dragons

AD&D Campaign Journal

Dungeons & DragonsPresented below is the quest journal of Dragon's Spear Company, as recorded by their commander, Oversword Delgar Bronwyn. A band of misfit toys, risen from obscurity to become the tip of Azoun Obarskyr's spear - these heroes will either change the fate of the Forgotten Realms, or die horribly in the attempt.

"Oh great... how did I get myself into this... I just wanted to be a wizard. And not a "throttling the pillars of universe" sort of wizard. Or some big-shot commander in Cormyr's Purple Dragons. Not my style. I only ever needed a modest research lab, a fat library, a warm bed, nice hot meals, and not being stabbed. Or bitten. Or shot with arrows. Is this too much to ask really? I hate my life."
- Oversword Delgar Bronwyn

Quest Log, Dragon's Spear Company, Spec Ops Division, Cormyr

Prologue - Chapter I - Chapter II - Chapter III - Chapter IV - Chapter V - Latest


Prologue: Time's Tapestry
Campaign Date: Winter, 2068 D.R. - Spring, 1367 D.R.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignMaster Auron D'jaffie, a powerful Chronomancer, discovers the dystopian future he inhabits is the result of an event known as "The Grand Conjunction." After decades of fruitless investigation, he enlists with The Time Guardians, an elite cabal of Chronomancers ostensibly dedicated to protecting the integrity of the time-stream. D'jaffie plans to reverse the calamity, and uses his membership to increase his resources and as a cover for his meddling.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignEventually, D'jaffie discovers the organization is not dedicated to safeguarding time at all. The Time Guardian's true purpose is protecting the specific timeline where the Lich Azalin Rex came to dominate the entire world, following a mysterious event known as The Grand Conjunction.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignDespite being cautious, D'jaffie finds himself more and more at odds with members of the Time Guardians. In particular, the head of the organization, Grand Inquisitor Van Reich, grows suspicious of Auron's motives.

Foreseeing his impending destruction, D'jaffie begins concocting an elaborate plot to unravel the Time Guardian's tyranny and continue his crusade beyond death. The lynchpin in his scheme is a half-elven child of a particularly potent blood-line, who, in the prime timeline, was slain in a Drow raid on Suldanessellar.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignL'aly-ax "Xaylla" Coldwind, is snatched as an infant from certain doom. Auron secrets the boy to his own time, raising him as an apprentice. He renames the child "Xaylla", (an anagram of his true name), and the lad proves quite gifted in the magical arts. Energetic and curious - but somewhat lacking in common sense - the youth is Master Auron's shadow. Xaylla's relationship with Cheniron, (D'jaffie's pet pseudodragon), is decidely less than cordial.

On Xaylla's fifteenth birthday, D'jaffie discoveres the key to unravelling the Grand Conjunction, and preventing the ascension of God Emperor Rex: The entire event hinges upon a powerful artifact known as "The Holy Symbol of Ravenkind" - and its destruction would prevent the entire cursed timeline from happening.

Armed with the knowledge of what he must do, Auron begins a dangerous and conspicuous search through time, exposing his true intentions to the Time Guardians. The evil organization immediately dedicates their every resource to hunting history for the ancient Chronomancer and his apprentice.

D'jaffie and Xaylla locate and attempt to destroy the Holy Symbol numerous times, but Van Reich and his Time Guardian Inquisitors thwart them at every turn. During these many adventures, D'jaffie forges many friendships across The Realms, including Queen Ellesime of Suldanessellar, Lord Therion Wainrider, The Rangers of the Wealdath, King Azoun Obarskyr IV and his Mage Royal, Vangerdahast.

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Eventually, King Obarskyr brokers a deal between the Church of Waukeen and the eastern border nation of Barovia, which will bring the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind to Suzail for exhibit and study... and also within striking distance of Master Auron and Xaylla.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignVangerdahast arranges for the relic to remain unguarded for several hours, so D'jaffie, his apprentice, and his pet pseudodragon Cheniron can set about disabling the wards protecting the Church.

Unfortunately for the trio, Grand Inquisitor Van Reich, Inquisitor Dvornikov, Inquisitor Cie-Llewellyn and a host of Time Guardians are waiting, and a fierce magical duel breaks out. The pitched battle rages for some time, but they heroes are clearly outmatched, both in numbers and raw mystical power. At a critical moment, Master D'jaffie warps time and space to send Xaylla to safety - a distraction leading to his long foreseen destruction.

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Dungeons & Dragons CampaignCheniron escapes the magical holocaust, with a message and a magical amulet intended for Auron's apprentice, but he's captured and tossed into a bird-cage by the dwarven thief, (and con-woman), Danna Blackforge, who was burglarizing a nearby estate. She takes the small dragon with her, hoping to incorporate Cheniron into her various rackets - or barring that, selling the creature for a handsome sum.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignAfter losing contact with D'jaffee and surveying the destruction caused by the Inquisitors, King Azoun and Vangerdahast order Grand Magister Teo Hegstaad to broker a deal with Shadow Thieves of Ahm. The rogues are to bloodlessly procure the Holy Symbol, as Cormyr cannot risk alienating Barovia by overtly destroying the Barony's greatest national treasure. (The border nation is critical in the defence of the heartlands from the Tuigan Hord).

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Sword Captain Erwin Hegstaad, the Magister's son, acts as a go-between within the Shadow Thieves - relaying information and plans for the King, the Mage Royal and the Grand Magister. For their part, the Shadow Thieves are "allowed" to steal the necessary materials to pull off the heist, (plus a handsome profit), from the Royal shipyards. So lucrative is the arrangement that Shadow Master Aran Linvail himself relocates from Athkatla to oversee the operation.

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The Grand Magister selects Sword Captain Sabranic Svengund to lead the investigation into these "thefts." Svengund is notable as the Purple Dragon with the single worst duty record in all of Suzail - and also as a down-and-out drunkard. Teo is confident Sabranic will completely fail in his task, providing cover for the theft and destruction of the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind.

The adventure opens as Sword Captain Svengund and his Telsword, Delgar Bronwyn, depart the Citadel of the Purple Dragon, under orders to conscript a "very special" unit...

Chapter I

Chapter I: Press-ganged!!!
Campaign Date: Spring, 1367 D.R.

Using a list provided by Grand Magister Hegstaad, (undesirables and troublemakers all), Sword Captain Svengund and Telsword Bronwyn conscript a VERY motley crew from the Dragon's Jaws Alehouse. Delgar quipps that the "recruits" must have been hand-picked based on their unfitness for duty and apparent inability to work together:

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignCeridwen "Kitty Sniper-Puff" Fallsong, an odd Elven ranger who pampers and obsesses over her falcon - Doug - to levels both ridiculous and unhealthy. The elf spent a week in the local jail for "freeing" all of the messenger pigeons at Mal Grath's Animal Husbandry - and then feeding a significant number of them to Doug. Her wealthy father paid her enormous fine... and promptly disowned her.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignBelwrick Anwil, a mischievous lover of maps and cartography, known for his carefree attitude and willingness to jimmy a lock if his curiosity get the better of him - which is most of the time. He was caught after breaking into the Auditor's office of the Royal Court - not to steal valuables or pilfer secrets - but to copy commonly available maps and sea-charts he couldn't afford. Perplexed, the War Wizards let him go, writing him off as an eccentric crank.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignThorn Grimhammer, a Dwarven battle cleric of the greed god Abbathor, and solely governed by his pursuit of material wealth. He was passing through Suzail with his clan, when he decided to part ways and pursue his own path to riches. He ran afoul the Purple Dragons when he tried establishing a protection racket among the local street peddlers and beggars. They seized nearly all of his money, leaving the dwarf just enough copper for one last mug of ale...

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignTrunal, an Elven rogue and former member of the Fire Knives Thieves Guild. The Purple Dragons believed him connected to over a dozen burglaries in the Gladstone Park Area, but there was no evidence tying him to the thefts. On the run from his violent past in Westgate, Trunal only wishes to start fresh. But the ghosts of his prior life are restless.

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The party was also joined by Jun Herrorard and Marcius Jorrelson, a duo of Purple Dragon Blades and trouble-makers under Svengund's command. Due to the commander's lackadaisical nature, the pair is largely allowed to run wild - which means spending every copper at The Laughing Lass getting sauced while picking up women.

Everyone is assigned quarters in the Citadel of the Purple Dragon, and they suffer through a week of basic training, which was months shorter than typical. Delgar lodges an official complaint, (which is ignored by command).

Chapter I: Daggers & Dragonscales
Campaign Date: Late Spring, 1367 D.R.

Upon "completing" their "training" the party graduates to the full rank of Purple Dragon Blades. Marcius and Jun talk them into celebrating the occasion at their favourite Tavern - The Laughing Lass.

The company hits the alehouse, where they encounter Dana Blackforge, strumming away on a mandolin and working the crowd. She claims to be the "renown" bard Olive Ruskettle, and attempts to flirt with Thorn. The surly dwarf sizes up "Olive" and concludes she's more interested in his coin purse. Dana takes the jilting in stride, and packs up for the night. The party catches a glimpse of the captive Cheniron in a blanket-wrapped birdcage as Blackforge departs.

The next evening, Delgar takes the company on their first patrol, and they confront a group of Shadow Thieves attempting to capture a Xaylla near the Church of Waukeen. After a pitched battle, the group drives the rogues off, and they take the injured Half-Elf back to the Citadel of the Purple Dragon.

While Delgar tends to his injuries, Xaylla reveals small parts of his background, which Bronwyn disbelieves. However, lad's story begins to gain credence when Delgar discovers strange coins from the future, a collapsing spell-book, and other objects beyond the skill of even the greatest present-day craftsmen in Xaylla's pack. Intrigued, the Telsword has Xaylla enlisted with the War Wizards and assigned to their company.

Chapter I: In the Navy...
Campaign Date: Late Spring, 1367 D.R.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignSword Captain Svengund receives orders from Admiral Reingold Traske to investigate a rash of thefts at the Royal Shipyards. He dispatches Delgar and company to the Naval Headquarters to investigate. The troop spends several nights trying to apprehend the thieves, but are outmaneuvered at every step.

After Trunal is ambushed and nearly killed by a Shadow Thief, the group discovers hidden channels near the harbour that lead into the sewers. Kitty then locates wagon tracks leading from the Shipyards and towards the wealthy Estate District.

The next morning, Delgar confers with Admiral Traske and the party searches every worker and soldier over lunch. They capture Erwin Hegstaad in the process of ferrying Shadow Thief correspondence to his father, and take him into custody.

Chapter I: Graduation or Funeral?
Campaign Date: Late Spring, 1367 D.R.

The company requisitions a wagon, ties Erwin Hegstaad up, throws him in a chest - and then locks it. They then depart for the Citadel of the Purple Dragon. What follows after is best described as a running battle.

News quickly spreads that Erwin has been captured, and the Shadow Thieves strike within minutes. They prepare several ambushes while paid mercenaries openly harry the party, nearly killing several people in the process.

By the time the group made it to the Citadel, they were beaten, bloodied, and more than fifteen Shadow Thieves and hired mercenaries were slain upon the promenade and Central Merchant Street.

Moments after locking Erwin up, Teo Hegstaad's gilded carriage roars into the courtyard - and the furious Grand Magister storms out. He collects his son, dresses down Svengund and Bronwyn, and orders all official records of the incident destroyed.

Delgar lodges an official complaint, which is quashed. The Sword Captain shrugs and decides to get drunk.

Chapter I: Wagon Tracks & Wine Racks
Campaign Date: Late Spring, 1367 D.R.

The company leaves for another night patrol, and they stake out various mansions in the estate district. They notice several wagons enter the recently purchased Linvale Estate, loaded down with wares. On a hunch, Kitty backtracks them to the shipyard, and the group does a cursory investigation of the estate before returning to the Citadel.

Delgar brings his suspicions regarding the Linvale Estate Sword to Captain Svengund, who, informs him any sort of official investigation of the estate district is forbidden - by orders of command. They've even banned night patrols of the area. But, with a wink and a nod, Sabranic gives the group the night off, to "do whatever they want."

The party removes all of their official equipment and Purple Dragon heraldry, and prepare to investigate the Linvale Estate.

Meanwhile, the Sword Captain "decides" to take a group of his best Blades on a night exercise near the Estate District. Just in case.

Chapter I: Stomping the Hornet's Nest
Campaign Date: Late Spring, 1367 D.R.

As the company moves toward the Linvale Estate, Delgar explains it was purchased only weeks before by an Amnish merchant. Trunal notes that the residence is located in Suzail's wealthiest district, has a large Carriage house for unloading goods, central sewer access and an assortment of prominent Temples - such as the Church of Waukeen - within striking distance. Essentially, it's the perfect location for a Safe House.

Belwrick manages to unlock the barred gates, and notes that someone trapped them with a poisoned spike - not the normal behavior of "nice, law abiding citizens." The party then investigates the Carriage House, and find it loaded down with goods and valuables from the Royal Shipyards.

The group makes their way into backyard, and discovers a set of cellar doors descending into the darkness. They send Thorn in to poke around, and he locates a passage leading to a substantial subterranean basement, with running water connections to the harbor and the sewer.

Unbeknownst to the company, the Shadow Thieves have been observing them the entire time, and when they begin to leave, dozens of rogues charge from the Estate and Carriage House, trying to trap them by the barred gate.

The group fights off the first wave, and manages to crawl under the fence, as scores more Shadows Thieves - and Aran Linvale himself - exit the Estate in pursuit.

Chapter I: Wedding Crashers
Campaign Date: Late Spring, 1367 D.R.

The Linvale Estate borders Grand Magister Hegstaad's Mansion. Teo's sprawling manor features a large sculpture garden, a hedge maze and numerous fountains. This particular evening, he's hosting a wedding party for his niece - attended by the wealthiest and most glamorous nobles in all Cormyr,

With the boisterous party as a backdrop, the company desperately flees into the night, pursued by three-dozen Shadow Thieves intent on their murder.

Before Delgar and his men could reach the open street, their pursuers closed the distance, and a brutal melee broke out. When Xaylla began using his wand, the loud explosions and showers of light send Hegstaad's party into a cacophony of overturned tables, screaming women and nobles stampeding for the nearest exit.

Just as the group was being overwhelmed, the Sword Captain and his men arrived to reinforce the beleaguered Purple Dragons. However, even with assistance, Aran Linvale proved far too skilled a combatant, and the party was nearing defeat.

It was at this moment that Grand Magister Hegstaad marched into the middle of the fray, followed seconds later by an explosion of sparks and arcing magic as Vangerdahast appeared, with subtlety and continence of an angry storm cloud.

Everyone surrendered and were taken into custody by the Royal Guard.

Chapter I: The Dog Bites Its Own Tail
Campaign Date: Late Spring, 1367 D.R.

Chapter II

Chapter II: Sorcerous Sundries
Campaign Date: Early Summer, 1367 D.R.

The Grand Magister, convinced that King Azoun is making a terrible mistake, plots to sabotage the company. To further this, he travels to Calimport, and survey's Pasha el Arhapa's coliseum. He watches a barbarian slave fly into an uncontrollable rage and slaughter every combatant in the arena - including his own teammates. Confident that First Sword Delgar will be quite unable to handle the brute, Hegstaad purchases the beast, and frees him - on the condition he serves four-seasons as a Purple Dragon.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignBrik, is a merciless savage from the deepest swamps of Chult. He's prone to uncontrollable rages when sorely provoked - and during these fits, he becomes a nearly unstoppable engine of slaughter. In combat, Brik is devoid of pity - foes are slain, torn limb from limb and battered into broken chunks. (If they're lucky, in that order). However, the barbarian is not without honor, and he respects strength and guile.

In the meantime, the party is gathering supplies with the King's stipend, and while shopping at The Ring of Coins, Kitty discovers a strange clockwork bow for sale. It appears magical, although it smells strangely of brimstone and the gears are filled with flecks of ash. The proprietor, Tarmackle Thisletop, informs her the weapon was made by the gnomes of Lantan, and offers it to her at a discount. She purchases the construct, and while wrapping it, Thisletop mentions the bow "only blew up one of its past owners." When Delgar inquires as to how many owners it had, Tarmackle sheepishly says "one."

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignThe group is then sent by the Sword Captain to restock potions at Sorcerous Sundries. The store is a ramshackle stone hovel specializing in potions and poultices, run by a gnomish artificer named Grizelda Grindlebaum. She has a standing contract to provide magical draughts to the Purple Dragons, and shares some sort of history with Sabranic.

The crazy old gnome takes a liking to the intellectual First Sword, and agrees to fill the order - on the condition Delgar takes her to the Laughing Lass - "where our brilliant minds can have intercourse over ale and dinner. "

With no other choice, Delgar shudders, and agrees to the dinner date.

Chapter II: Look the Gift-Horse in the Mouth
Campaign Date: Early Summer, 1367 D.R.

After several days of leave, the party is summoned by Sword Captain Svengund to meet their newest recruit.

Grand Magister Hegstaad and his smirking son Erwin are already in the courtyard, and the party watches in stunned horror as all six-feet-nine inches of muscle-bound Brik is unloaded from a caged cart. The savage is wrapped from torso to feet in large iron chains. A Blade approaches the barbarian, hands quaking, and fumbles with the lock for a moment. As the huge metal shackles hit the ground, the soldier scurries out of reach.

The Sword Captain salutes and says "Greetings! Welcome to..." Brik ignores Svengund, cracks his neck from left to right, and pushes past the aging warrior. The brute walks directly into the Citadel's dining area, (tearing a door off its hinges in the process). The old kitchen cook shrieks and runs from the room, (her ladle still in hand), as Brik begins scouping fistfulls of stew directly from the boiling pot.

The Grand Magister and Son then sarcastically wish the party well, and depart, chortling to themselves as their carriage clatters out of the courtyard. .

Unsure of how to proceed, the group shows Brik his bed and the rest of the Barracks. Brik ignores this and sleeps outside sitting on a crate.

Chapter II: Supper & Slug-fests
Campaign Date: Early Summer, 1367 D.R.

Against their better judgement, the party receives arming orders for Brik, and are compelled to give him weapons, though he refuses to participate in any sort of training or drilling. Delgar fires off a host of official complaints - which command summarily dismisses, (to the surprise of absolutely nobody).

That evening, Delgar's "Date" with Grizelda rolls around, and as an insurance policy, the First Sword brings the rest of the company with him to the Laughing Lass.

Most of the party settle at a long table near the fireplace, while Brik stalks the bar, drinking enormous quantities of the strongest liquor on tap. Trunal joines a boisterous party near the kitchen, and is quickly making merry with the table of strangers.

Meanwhile, Bronwyn engages in a game of intellectual cat-and mouse with the feisty old gnome, "accidentally" spilling and "pretending" to drink glass after glass of wine - which he notes Grizelda is slipping some manner of powder into.

Danna Blackforge is performing, and continues to flirt with Thorn, who grumbles and repeatedly ignores her advances. Belwrick notices three armed men seeming to stalk Danna around the bar, and a drunken lout named Carl picks a bar-fight with Brik.

The fracas quickly spirals out of control - helped along by the mischievous Grizelda's magic - and the three bounty-hunters try to nab Blackforge in the ruckus. Brik and Trunal are knocked out, while Kitty and Belwrick take cover from the flying bottles and chairs under a table. Delgar tries to stop the fight, and nearly gets flattened by an ale keg.

Eventually the melee dies down, and Thorn paralyzes Dana and one of the Bounty Hunters. Carl is hauled away in chains for assaulting a Purple Dragon, and the Bounty Hunters prove they are licensed to operate in Cormyr - and have legitimate warrants for the capture of Dana.

Delgar permits them to take the rogue back to Waterdeep, but Thorn discretely dispels his Hold Person spell, allowing Blackforge to escape her captors. As she climbs out the window to freedom, she blows a kiss to Thorn, and promises to one day have his babies.

Xaylla discovers Cheniron's cage in the wreckage behind the bar, and releases Auron's pet. The Pseudodragon shows its gratitude by savagely biting the half-elf, derisivly sticking its tongue out and crawling into his backpack.

Chapter II: Chateau de la Shithole
Campaign Date: Early Summer, 1367 D.R.

The next day, orders arrive from command, and the company is informed that Grand Magister Hegstaad has located suitable quarters for his newest unit... in the Warrens District. Trunal dryly notes that at least its close to Goldy's Brothel.

The party packs their belonging and departs the Citadel of the Purple Dragon. After a twenty minute ride into the slums, they discover the new headquarters is not nearly as terrible as they were expecting: It is actually orders of magnitude worse.

The dilapidated building is partially collapsing, with huge segments of the roof torn away. Drug and booze addled skids camp in the back alley, and the structure's only occupants are spiders, rats and other vermin.

The Sword Captain orders the party to begin cleaning up and fixing what they can, while Delgar arranges structural repairs with contractors. During the cleaning, they discover a nobleman's rotting corpse stuffed behind a closet in the kitchen pantry.

Chapter II: Yeah... That's a Frame-up...
Campaign Date: Early Summer, 1367 D.R.

Brik, Belwrick and Kitty are sent out back to investigate, while the rest of the company searches the corpse's belongings. Delgar finds a magical medallion around the man's neck, engraved with an image of Bronwyn's deity - Azuth. Perplexed, Delgar leaves to see if Grizelda can help with the situation.

Meanwhile, Belwrick and Brik question the bums in the alley, who claim they saw the entire company kill the noble it seven days prior. Belwrick realizes something is seriously amiss, as Brik has only been with them for a couple of days. While this is happening, Kitty finds where the Lord was slain, and notes there are only two sets of footprints and drag-marks leading into the Chateau.

The Sword Captain thinks a frame-up is happening, and orders the noble's body burned. He then proceeds to cope with the situation by getting extremely drunk.

At Socerous Sundries, Delgar learns that the nobleman was a friend of Grizelda's named Lord Clybold Elwine, and she is greatly unsettled hearing of his death. She gifts Delgar the magic necklace, and he rejoins the party.

Chapter II: Creepy Crawly Kobolds
Campaign Date: Summer, 1367 D.R.

The company works on repairing the house for several weeks, and while still leaky, drafty and rat infested, it at least now has doors.

Orders arrive from command that the group is to investigate the disappearance of several utility workers in the sewer. Sword captain Svengund and Delgar are certain the Grand Magister enjoyed writing this set of orders. Personally most likely.

In the meantime, a mysterious sealed letter makes its way to the Grand Magister's desk, describing the brutal murder and robbery of Lord Clybold Elwine. Included in the document is a description of his magical necklace, the killers, and where to find a half-dozen witnesses. Hegstaad and his son Erwin leave immediately with a large detachment of Purple Dragons.

The company departs the sh*thole, leaving the Sword Captain, Marcius and Jun behind to continue repair work. Trunal also remains, complaining of a supposed knee injury from years back - involving an arrow.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignShortly after entering the sewers, they're set upon by a large number of kobolds, most of which are torn to kibble by Brik. One of the creatures is taken prisoner and tied up - a pathetic beast named Skree - who agrees to guide everyone to the Kobold den if Brik promises not to tear off his arms.

Unfortunately, Delgar is badly wounded after being repeatedly ventilated with diseased kobold arrows. Feeling ill - and growing sicker by the moment - he departs for healing, placing Belwrick and Thorn in charge of the company. The party then continues into the darkness, with Skree leading them past traps and dead-falls.

Chapter II: Trap-Springing
Campaign Date: Summer, 1367 D.R.

Back at the Chateau, the Grand Magister's troops kick down the door and arrest everybody there. They leave Svengund under guard and in chains, while Trunal is dragged along with the Teo's unit

At the sewer access gate, Hegstaad's force encounters Delgar being treated, and they detain him. The First Sword loudly protests, explaining the situation, and a scuffle breaks out when Bronwyn belts snotty Erwin upside the head.

Trunal uses the commotion to slip his chains, and dives into a nearby sewer drain, crashing through a street peddler's stacked glassware in the process. He tumbles twenty feet and lands in a pile of rank garbage near the rest of the party. Belwrick sarcastically asks Trunal how his knee is, and if everything is alright. Trunal claims his knee feels great, and then lies to the party, telling them everything is just fine. Not realizing they're now wanted for murder, the group continues into deeper into the filthy septic system, dodging traps and scurrying across rickety boards

The band is attacked by more kobolds, which they easily slay. When searching the creature's bodies, they discover oddly manufactured coins, which Xaylla realizes came from his era. He keeps this information to himself, but begs the party not to spend them.

Chapter II: I Hate Rats...
Campaign Date: Summer, 1367 D.R.

Topside, several War-Wizards are brought in to question Delgar, and between their magical interrogation and his logs, Hegstaad realizes the party was framed. One point in particular stands out - how could the people responsible know to create an illusion of Brik before he was even a part of the unit? Delgar suspects the situation is tied to the time-travelling Xaylla, but keeps his suspicion to himself.

The Grand Magister orders his unit into the sewers to recover the party, as Delgar fears his men might be walking into a trap.

While crossing a large expanse of deep sewage, the party is savagely attacked by a horde of giant rats. They managed to fight them off, but the largest of the creatures snatches Skree, (still hog-tied), and tries to escape with his meal. Xaylla and Thorn charge into a maze of pipes, spider webs and crumbling stonework, where they manage to save the flea-infested kobold, earning his fawning loyalty in the process.

Meanwhile, two shadowy figures watch from the distance and the unit stumbles into their trap...

Chapter II: Holy Hydras...
Campaign Date: Summer, 1367 D.R.

The company makes their way along both sides of a narrow stone shelf, with a six feed deep pool of sewage running in between them. A monstrous roar echoes through the caverns, and they are set upon by a giant, flame belching hydra!

Skree scurries into a broken sewer pipe and vanishes, while Kitty and Belwrick begin hurling knives and arrows at the creature. Driving himself into a furious rage, Brik engages the Hydra directly, and Xaylla fires his wand at the beast, magical energy crackling throughout the chamber. Thorn keeps his distance, unable to safely approach.

In a giant gout of flames and snapping maws, Belwrick is felled, Xaylla gutted, Kitty is scorched beyond recognition, and Brik collapses, gnawed to bits. Thorn takes a deep breath, plugs his nose, and leaps into the raw sewage, allowing his armor to drag him down, while Kitty hobbles away as fast as her charred legs allow.

Several minutes later, Thorn manages to claw his way out of the muck, and notices Kitty slumped in a corner. Her burns seem to shimmer and shift in the greenish light - making Thorn realize they are under some sort of hex. Over the next several minutes, he manages to convince Kitty into disbelieve the magic, and they return to location of the battle, where they see everyone else unconscious, but otherwise unharmed.

After some coaxing, the rest of the group is freed from the spell, and Xaylla mentions that one of his master's colleagues had an apprentice who was quite brilliant with illusions. Noting this, they continue into the filthy sewer, until they reach stairs descending deep into the darkness - and terminating before a large, barred door.

Skree shows the party a nearby hole in the stonework which leads to the Kobold den, although it's too small for anyone else to squeeze through. Kitty also spies fresh tracks - matching those back at the Chateau - leading towards the door, which Brik immediately tries to force. Too late, Belwrick shouts for the barbarian to wait... as the party is swept up in an inescapable, metal cage.

Chapter II: Into the Deep Dark
Campaign Date: Summer, 1367 D.R.

Delgar and the Magister's troop reach the door, and discover the company standing in the middle of the room, clustered tightly together, yanking at imaginary bars and shoving on non-existent cage walls. After a bit of convincing, the party disbelieves the illusion and stumbles free.

The two groups quickly swap information, and the Grand Magister orders everyone through the door in pursuit of whoever is responsible for this mess. While vexed at the prospect of aiding "the misfit-toys" Teo cannot allow the city to be endangered. (Or Purple Dragons - even ones in bad standing - to be framed for murder). He is pompous and arrogant, but a just man at heart.

While resting, both groups interrogate Skree, and the kobold shares that several weeks ago, two "oogly hoomans" walked through a "glowy hole in air" which appeared suddenly in their village. The pair offered their tribe three chests of "funny gold," and "powerful shiny's" if they agreed to relocate the tribe to Suzail's sewers. Their "gweat stwong chieftain" agreed, and they've been creeping around in the darkness below Cormyr ever since.

After resting, the groups push deeper into the tunnels. They enter in an open air chamber, where the stonework transitions, and find themselves in a long forgotten Netherese temple complex. The Purple Dragons explore chamber after chamber, uncovering ancient alters and the corpses of several missing people - including the sewer workers and an emissary from Waterdeep, (who vanished some weeks back while transporting a priceless Rogue Stone). Xaylla discovers the gem and pockets it, though not escaping Thorn's notice in so doing.

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Eventually, the company discovers a collapsed wall opening into a large natural cavern. Belwrick sneaks up to the entrance, and sees a giant Kobold encampment, with a strange, shimmering gate the far end. A monstrous Kobold, standing nearly the height of a man shouts and prances in front of a bonfire, flanked by a lad wearing ornate robes and a woman cloaked in white and bearing strangely forged chain armor.

Before Belwrick can slink back to the party, Brik charges up to the door, alerting the camp to the party's presence, The entire complex erupts in howls, yapping and screeches as the kobolds charge.

Chapter II: War to the Knife...
Campaign Date: Summer, 1367 D.R.

Both groups of Purple Dragons arrange their battle lines as the horde descends upon them. Erwin, Thorn, Brik and the Grand Magister hold front, while Kitty, Trunal and many of the Blades launch missiles from the rear. Belwrick finds himself dangerously trapped between the storm-fronts, while Xaylla unleashes his wand from far down the hallway.

For their part, the kobolds charge into the fray riding and fighting beside giant rats, their flank taken up by Chief Ironbite, Roz Feldorn and Keita Myrr. Xaylla recognizes them from his era - Roz is Inquisitor Van Reich's apprentice, and Keita is Roz's beloved - not to mention a powerful disciple of Asmodeus.

The battle is titanic, with many reversals. Delgar manages to silence Roz and Keita, and just as the Purple Dragons begin to break the kobold charge, the room darkens, and all color drains from the chamber. Everybody freezes in place, unable to move, though aware of events transpiring. To the company's horror, time selectively begins to rewind for the enemy force. Most of the slain and wounded Kobold's begin to knit back together - blood pouring upwards into mortal gashes, bones knitting themselves together, dismembered limbs flying off the floor and reattaching...

"BULLSHIT!" Howls Delgar, as the reinvigorated enemy force bears down upon them again.

Chapter II: ...Knife to the Hilt
Campaign Date: Summer, 1367 D.R.

Nearly overwhelmed, the Purple Dragon lines begin to collapse. Belwrick is almost slain by a horde of giant rats, while Kitty fires arrows until she runs out. Thorn coats his morning star with oil of impact, and every connecting swing sends kobolds and rats hurling into the ceiling and walls.

Meanwhile, Ironbite is slaughtering Blades with abandon, and then turns his enchanted daggers on the Grand Magister, mortally wounding him. Belwrick and Thorn risk their lives pulling Hegstaad free of the melee, while Xaylla blasts everything in range with his wand. Thorn and Delgar incapacitate scores of the vile creatures with magical bindings.

As Teo lays on the verge of death, Belwrick pours his last healing potion into the old man's mouth, and Hegstaad begins taking shallow breaths again. Seeing his father saved, Erwin declares his eternal gratitude, rallies the Blades, and charges back into the fray.

Chapter II: Summon Bigger Fish
Campaign Date: Summer, 1367 D.R.

The tunnels are a charnel house. The bodies of the dead and dying are stacked knee deep in places. The cries of the wounded echo down forgotten hallways and blood spills before the alters of long dead gods.

Brik stands in the middle of both forces, covered from head to toe in gore, snarling as he kills anything near him. He is a whirlwind of slaughter, shredding kobolds and rats with abandon. Ironbite charges the barbarian with impossible speed, but in three mighty swings, Brik guts the monstrosity and slams his swords through Ironbite's eye sockets.

Kieta, still rendered silent by Delgar's magic, swings her mace at Brik from behind, but the Brute hammers her to the ground in a savage flurry of strikes. Roz, driven to madness with grief, pulls a dagger and charges the barbarian, only to be tripped up and trapped by mystic bindings conjured by Delgar.

The silence spell collapses, and Roz feebly screams for help as the binding magic subdues him. Xaylla warns everybody that if the lad's master comes through that portal, they're all going to die. The group heeds the warning and flees, taking only a few moments to snatch their wounded, Ironbite's corpse and their prisoners.

As the party takes flight, Grand Inquisitor Van Reich passes through the slipgate, and begins casting a spell to destroy the company utterly. The walls of the ancient tunnels begin to shake and rumble, while dire runes creep along the floor and ceiling. Just as his incantation nears its climax, Skree leaps from the shadows and barks, "NO KILL FRIEND THORN AND XAY-XAY!"

The dog-like creature hurls himself onto the wizard's back, biting, clawing and stabbing. Van Reich's concentration snaps, and his spell begins to go wildly awry. Instead of targeted obliteration, the magic begins to indiscriminately tear down walls and columns.

Darting between exploding pillars and collapsing archways, the party clamours their way past boulders and debris - while 7,000 years of history crumbles around them. Several blades scream, crushed under falling rubble, and Kitty narrowly dodges a toppling statue. Just as the last of the ceiling gives way, the survivors leap into the sewers and collapse, covered in thick grey dust, and panting for breath.

"So long Skree," comments Xaylla.

"Poor Skree" echoes Thorn... just as the filthy Kobold pops free of a narrow pipe, fur singed and matted with gray mud. With an excited yip, Skree leaps upon Thorn and begins licking the dwarf's face like a puppy.

Chapter III

Chapter III: Debts Repaid
Campaign Date: Summer, 1367 D.R.

In the aftermath of the sewer battle, the Grand Magister discovers a newfound respect for the party. The charges are dropped against them, and they are returned to the Citadel of the Purple Dragon while new lodging is procured.

Delgar and the Sword Captain attempt to interrogate Roz and Kieta, using a combination of trickery and magic to uncover their motives. Unfortunately, Kieta sees through the ruse, and the pair discover little in the way of useful information.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party has divides up the villain's captured magical items, and spend much of the day experimenting with them. Delgar effortlessly masters Roz's Wand of Illusion, as Kitty struggles to control the lad's Ring of Resistance. Belwrick trains with Ironbite's enchanted throwing daggers nearly losing a finger in the process. Thorn claims Kieta's mystical shield, while Trunal and Brik toy with Ironbite's Boots of Speed and Amulet of Life Protection.

Back in the barracks, Cheniron vomits the mystic necklace he'd been storing in his gullet, and presents the still dripping medallion to Xaylla. When the youth dons it, a recorded image of Master Djaffee appears and explains that Xaylla must head to Suldanessellar and claim his birthright - using the amulet as a key.

Early the next day, the Grand Magister's carriage rolls into the garrison, and the party is presented with the deed to the Linvale Estate. The sprawling mansion is to serve as their new base of operations. Additionally, everyone is granted four weeks of leave and each person involved in the sewer battle is promoted in rank. Bronwyn - now Sword Captain Bronwyn - muses that all he ever wanted was a nice warm bed and a big library.

Early the next day, the Grand Magister's carriage rolls into the garrison, and the party is presented with the deed to the Linvale Estate. The sprawling mansion is to serve as their new base of operations. Additionally, everyone is granted four weeks of leave and each person involved in the sewer battle is promoted in rank. Bronwyn - now Sword Captain Bronwyn - muses that all he ever wanted was a nice warm bed and a big library.

Chapter III: Odds'n Ends
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

High above the forest of Tethyr, in the sacred Elven city of Suldanessellar, Queen Ellesime and High Ranger Therion Wainrider dispatch Eriana Mourgleam and Tara Redleaf to locate Master D'jaffie's missing apprentice.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignEriana Mourgleam, is an elite Elven Bladesinger, and part of Ellesime's personal bodyguard. Loyal to her Queen above all else, Eriana will allow absolutely nothing to stand in the way of a mission. Seen as an uncompromising, cold-hearted introvert, Eriana is liked by few, although the Ranger Tara Redleaf, (through sheer persistence), has been a steady ally over the centuries. Her only other companion is her profoundly insane magical sword - Reynold - an ancient Netherese relic dedicated to overturning law.

The companions search Suzail for some time, but Xaylla's trail has gone cold. They consult with an oracle of Rillifane Rallathil, who tells the women to search for him in the forests to the east of Suzail.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignBack with the company, everyone is busy attending to personal affairs and moving into the Linvale Estate. Kitty takes swimming lessons from Marcius and Jun, while Delgar focuses on securing their new quarters. For his part, Xaylla sells the Rogue Stone he found to Rockmorton Jewelry, unaware of the gem's power or value to Inquisitor Van Reich's plans.

Two days after moving into the Linvale Estate, a carriage arrives from command, and Sword Captain Delgar is introduced to the company's newest member - Adjutant Charissa Bonhoffer. One of the Grand Magister's finest lawyers, Charissa's job is to clear any legal hurdles the party might face - and curb some of their less lawful impulses.

Charissa and Delgar get along swimmingly, while Svengund scoffs at her regulations-quoting and nagging about unit discipline.

Chapter III: Foppish Snobs
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

The company gathers in their new meeting hall, and Charissa relays command's latest assignment: They are to escort an Emissary overland to Dawngleam, where a detachment of Waterdhavian Soldiers will take custody of the nobelman.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignUnbeknownst to the party, the Fire Knives are stalking the Ambassador, with the intention of kidnapping him, extracting his secrets, and selling them to the highest bidder.

The following day, the group meets the Emissary and his personal assistant, (a snivelling toady named Burgress Needlemeyer). The pair are entitled, argumentative, pampered and thoroughly spoiled jerks. Even Sword Captain Bronwyn's patience and courtesy are stretched to their limits by the Ambassador's unrelenting demands. The company departs Suzail by wagon and on horseback shortly thereafter.

A half day out, the troop encounters an ogre waylaying traffic along the Dragoneye Way. Trunal and Belwrick nearly fall dispatching the beast, and the cart is damaged.

While the wagon is repaired, the unreasonable Emissary demands to use "the water closet." Delgar's last strand of patience snaps, and he angrily points to a nearby bush. Incensed, the noble complains there is no way to "clean his buttocks." Enraged beyond words, Bronwyn rips the foppish beret off Needlemeyer's head and throws it at the Ambassador before storming off.

Once the wagon is repaired, the group continues on into the late afternoon...

Chapter III: Bashing Bandits
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

Not long after dusk, the caravan is waylaid by bandits. The brigands have them surrounded, with numerous archers positioned in the trees above the party. Delgar tries to stall, but the canny leader sees through the ruse, and his men open fire.

What the Purple Dragons don't realize is the bandit force has a reserve unit creeping up behind them. Luckily, the entire troop is silently assassinated by the Fire Knives stalking the Emissary.

After a savage fight, all but one of the bandits are slain, and the party forces the lone survivor betray his encampment. Located in a nearby cave, they find the place packed with stolen goods, horses and treasure. The only person present is the camp cook - a Calemshite slave named Rageous. They free and befriend him, learning what they can of the highwaymen. After a hearty meal, the company takes inventory of the goods, loading what they can on the wagon.

Ignoring Belwrick's protests, they elect to camp for the night.

Chapter III: More than You Can Chew
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

Dungeons & Dragons CampaignThe party awakens to a horrible surprise - the bandits were in league with the Zhentarium - and the Black Network has arrived to collect their share of the loot.

Delgar tries to bluff the force, but, in what's become a running gag, their commander sees through the masquerade. A bloody fight breaks out, and Brik nearly dies after slipping on marbles Belwrick tossed onto the floor to trip up the Zhents. Rageous sacrifices his own life hurling Brik to safety.

Though they fight with distinction, slaying the enemy commander, there are too many Zhentarium to hold off. Delgar uses his Wand of Illusion to fake a cave-in, and the party flees down out a secret passage.

Finding horses the bandits pre-positioned, the party escapes into the wilderness.

Riding well into the night, they strike camp at an abandoned temple, and rest.

Chapter III: Trolls Bite
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

The next morning, the company continues North, following a deep ravine cut by a fast moving river. The only crossing available is a rickety bridge, with a thick growth of bushes on the other side.

Suspicious of a potential ambush, Delgar has Belwrick drink a potion of invisibility and creep across to scout. Sure enough, a pair of Trolls are concealed in the brush, with designs on tipping the bridge when the party tries to cross.

Belwrick lights the Troll's clothing on fire using lamp oil, but the panicked creatures snatch the Halfling and try using him to try smother the flames. Seeing Belwrick in danger, the rest of the party attacks. Xaylla rummages through Belwrick's belongings and hurls his enchanted daggers, missing the trolls and lodging one of the weapons in the bridge post.

Kitty, Marcius and Jun slay one of the burning trolls with arrows, while the other creature chases a fleeing Belwrick onto the bridge, collapsing it. Watching his prized dagger, (still lodged in the bridge support), washing away, Belwrick dives after it and disappears into the churning rapids.

After a few minutes, the Halfling drags himself out of the water, looking like a drowned rat - his dagger clenched tightly in his teeth. He angrily threatens Xaylla, and tells him to never touch his stuff again.

Chapter III: A Dish Best Served...
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

The company rests for the afternoon, and decides to risk the main roads once dusk hits. As they push into the darkness, Trunal hears a caravan approaching, and they climb into the brush overlooking the road.

A dozen mounted horsemen ride by, escorting a wagon, which the party instantly recognize as theirs. The cart is still loaded with the goods from the Bandit Cave, and Delgar recognizes some of the riders from the battle.

Launching a surprise attack, the Zhentarium force is quickly overwhelmed. Most of them are slain in the initial volley of arrows and daggers, while Delgar boils the commander in his own plate armor. The remaining Zhents surrender, and are taken prisoner.

Acting quickly, the party takes back their wagon and rides into Bogbrook before Zhentarium reinforcements arrive.

Chapter III: Pass on the Stew...
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

Arriving in the small port of Bogbrook, the party befriends a down-and-out farmer named Taggert Blaine. Xaylla gives him the spare Zhent horses after hearing of his family's death, earning a friend in the process. Blaine repays the favor by helping them get tickets for a fully booked cargo-ship bound for Dawngleam.

After a fruitless search for Xaylla in the Hermit's Woods, Tara and Eriana also ride into Bogbrook. Their plan is to book passage to Dawngleam, take a ship to Teziir and fianally return to Suldanessellar. Tara rents them a room, and the duo keeps to themselves in the corner of the bar, enjoying their first hot meal in many days.

Delgar checks the company into the local Inn for the evening, and everyone relaxes with delicious plates of stew and heady ale. The Tavern is comfortable and homey, the only complaints coming from the snobbish Emissary, who everyone is quickly learning to simply ignore.

Marcius, Jun and Trunal manage to sweet-talk a trio lasses into their bedrooms, while Brik rebuffs the advances of a comely bar wench. Xaylla keeps the captured Zhents under guard, while Delgar sleeps off the day's cares.

Unbeknownst to both groups, the Fire Knives poisoned the stew with a slow acting, debilitative toxin, and the clock is ticking...

Chapter III: Family Ties
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

While their wagon and cargo is loaded, Delgar has Belwrick spy on the two suspicious Elves he's been watching. Unfortunately, the women easily catch the Halfling creeping around, and menacingly tell him to shove off. A short time later, both Delgar and Eriana are displeased to find themselves sharing the same freighter.

Six hours into the voyage, Marcius, Jun, Belwrick, Skree, Kitty, Doug, Brik, Cheniron, Delgar, Nedlemeyer and the Ambasador sicken and pass out. Xaylla, protected by his Chronomancy, and Thorn by his Dwarven metabolism seem unaffected. Trunal, recognizing the Fire Knife toxin, downs a small packet of herbs to counteract its effects.

Moments later, the old Captain hobbles into the cargo area in a panic, shouting that a ship with no flag is closing fast. He's horrified to see most of the Purple Dragons incapacitated.

Everyone still able to fight rushes to the deck, and on the way encounters Eriana sitting in the stairwell, cradling an unconscious Tara. At first, the Bladesinger is unwilling to help, but Trunal coerces her with the a promise of an antidote.

Once topside, the party sees a black sailed ship bearing down on them. With clunk, grapples fly from the enemy vessel, pulling it close to the lumbering freighter. Within moments, the main deck is swarmed by dozens of cloaked figures, darting in and out of the shadows. While Thorn, Xaylla, Eriana and Trunal put up a fierce fight, the sailors around them are quickly overwhelmed. One of the shadows nearly downs Thorn in a single strike, while another slips behind Trunal and holds a pair of familiar daggers to the Elf's throat.

"Well brother, it's good to see you still have awful taste in travelling companions."

Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Dungeons & Dragons Campaign

Several more of the shadows remove their hoods, and Trunal recognizes his old mentor Griff, former best-friend Beltran, and his ex-lover Fara.

"Throwing in with the Purple Dragons? Did I truly make you so desperate? Or do you just hate me that much?"

Trunal struggles against Aldrynn's grip, and asks if his brother is here to kill him. Aldrynn chuckles, and says, "Sadly no - although I can arrange that if you like."

Griff and several more Fire Knives rush below deck, and come running back up with chests, expensive loot, - and the paralyzed Emissary. Eriana menaces them with Reynold, (the weapon pleading to "lap their guts up off the deck"), but Griff snatches Tara and presses his long sword against her throat hard enough to draw blood, forcing the Bladesinger to stand down.

"So long brother!" Aldrynn shouts, hurling Trunal to the ground. "Nothing's changed you know... anything you have, I can always take." Both Aldrynn and Trunal then glance at Fara, who's eyes seem to redden slightly.

Wrinkling his nose with anger and disgust, Thorn slams his steel boot into a loose board, hammering it into Aldrynn's mouth, knocking free a tooth. The rogue staggers off the deck, blood pouring from his mouth and leaps into the rigging of his ship, throwing Trunal a mocking salute as the vessels part.

Chapter III: Pay Evil Unto Evil
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

The party begins coming to, but Delgar is still incapacitated. Furious about the situation, Thorn slaughters one of the Zhentarium prisoners, flattening his skull. Kitty, Belwrick, Marcius and Jun stare in stunned silence, and Thorn storms off, punching a lantern out as he leaves.

Xaylla tries a different approach, working to befriend one of the captives. The prisoner reveals that Zhentarium on important missions have magical tracking tattoos, and sooner or later, his superiors will come after them.

When Delgar awakens, he's caught up to speed on the situation, and threatens Thorn over the murder. Normally, killing restrained prisoners is capital crime, but the Sword Captain can't spare anyone under the circumstances.

He gathers the company together, and they debate a course of action. Trunal fills them in on his background - how he and his brother were orphans on the streets of Westgate, working their way up from common cut-purses to masters of the Fire Knives Guild. He explains they had a falling over the affections of Fara Slivertongue, and rather than come to blows, Trunal vanished.

Delgar asks about the Emissary and Tara, and Trunal notes, "The Ambassador will be tortured, drugged and mesmerized until every last shred of information is extracted from his mind - at which point... he dies. As for Tara, she'll be forced into a drug addiction and turned into an expensive strumpet - until she dies of overdose, abuse or disease."

The party has two options - return to Suzail dishonored, or risk everything in a desperate rescue attempt. Delgar looks at Trunal and asks him what he thinks. The rogue grows quiet. After a long pause, Trunal says, "I can get you inside Aldrynn's Safe-house - but no guarantees beyond that."

Thinking back to the tracking tattoos, Delgar realizes that very shortly, the company will have a Zhentarium recovery team on their trail. Bronwyn smiles deviously, and walks upstairs to order a course change.

Chapter III: Don't Split the Party
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

The freighter arrives in Westgate, and the party reviews their plan...

Team one consists of Xaylla, Trunal, the befriended Zhentarium and Skree. They will head to Okuzo's Imports and purchase the ingredients for an antidote to the Fire Knives' toxin. The group will next travel to Mintassan's Mysteries, where they can rent an alchemy table, and Xaylla will, (hopefully), assemble the remedy.

Team two, composed of Brik, Belwrick, Kitty, Eriana, Delgar and the other captive Zhentarium, will follow Trunal's instructions to the safe-house - baiting the Black Network team into following.

Moments after team one departs, a sizeable Zhentarium force arrives, and begins tearing apart the freighter looking for the prisoners. Delgar and company sneak out the cargo hatch and flee into the streets. The Zhentarium split their force, one in pursuit of Trunal's group, another chasing Delgar's.

Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Dungeons & Dragons Campaign

Bronwyn's team runs into several Zhentarium skirmishes while dodging into alleys and behind piles of rubbish. After dispatching several, Delgar realizes he may have baited more Black Network than anticipated. Something is wrong - nabbing a few goons shouldn't prompt a response this drastic. There's more to this, but before he can ruminate further, they stumble around a blind alley and crash headlong into more Zhents.

Brik, Eriana and Belwrick make a short, bloody work of the troop, and continue following Trunal's directions. They sprint behind a cluster of warehouses, and find themselves in front of the Fire Knives' Safe-house.

Hearing more Zhentarium closing, their captive flees, screaming and hollering to his comrades. Kitty silences him with a pair of arrows, but his allies are closing fast. Lots and lots of allies.

In a moment of terror inspired brilliance, Delgar grabs the corpse, races up the Safe-house porch and raps his mace agains the door. Hearing Bronwyn's manic hammering, a bewildered Fire Knife opens, only to have the dead Zhent tossed into his arms. Gasping for breath, Delgar sprints into the alley seconds before a large team of Zhents batter their way inside and begin killing everything in sight.

Chapter III: Cat and Kobold
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

Trunal has no difficulty acquiring the herbs and chemicals, but problems arise when they hit Mintassan's Mysteries. Strange pipes spewing fountains of rainbow bubbles, shimmering globes, magical trinkets, odd smoke machines and fantastical hovering baubles litter the storefront. All of it guarded by stern looking Dao - each clearly lacking a sense of humor. Everyone instantaneously realizes the danger of dropping a klutzy, inquisitive kleptomaniac like Skree into such an environment.

Trunal rents the alchemy lab, and Xaylla furiously begins mixing doses of the anti-toxin. Thorn and the Friendly Zhentarium soldier do their best to slap breakables and expensive treasures out of Skree's sticky paws, but they miss the Kobold sliding a gem tipped wand into his tunic. Complicating matters, the Zhents arrive and begins harrying the shopkeeper. Thorn and the friendly Zhent play cat-and-mouse, slinking circles around the center island ahead of the Zhentarium. In the commotion, they lose track of Skree.

Their work finished, Xaylla and Trunal race from the alchemy lab, only to find the store crawling with Black Network goons. They try to "act casual," but the Zhents start pushing their way towards the pair, and they bolt. Thorn and his "captive" are already in a nearby alley, watching as their compatriots charge outside, fifty angry Zhentarium close behind.

The moment the first Zhent steps off the property, the entire lot is set upon by the Dao, who begin hurling them into the air, blasting them with magic and cleaving them to bits with glowing scimitars.

Dumbfounded, Thorn fondles his beard, as Skree, dripping with sewer filth, claws his way up from a nearby grate. The Kobold shakes himself off like a dog, and walks next to the Dwarf, still transfixed by the ruckus.

"Skree slip glowey stick thing in bad hooman's pocket." Thorn and the friendly Zhent look at each other, and then turn in unison to stare at Skree.

"What? Skree not stupid. Skree know what happen when steal from magic place."

Thorn cocks his head and shrugs. "Huh. Checks out."

The trio waves Xaylla and Trunal over, and they make for the Safe-house.

Chapter III: The Prodigal Brother
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

Both teams rally at the well behind the Safe-house. A steady flow of Black Network soldiers are now streaming into the building - and the din of warfare is spilling into the streets.

Trunal lowers himself into the well, and shows the company "the back door" in. After some tips and tumbles, everyone makes their way inside. They inoculate themselves against the Fire Knives' poison, and approach a set of vault doors blocking their access. The wall to the left of the doors has several switches and knobs protruding from it...

"These are new" comments Trunal, as he attempts to decipher the logic puzzle. Turning several knobs and twisting a lever, gears grind beneath the flagstones, and a grate slides open. A heartbeat later, a monstrous Quezlarn bursts forth, hissing and snapping at the party.

In a flash of blue light, Eriana lunges at the creature, making a single wide slash as she skids by. Sliding to a stop, she spins on her heel and sheath's Reynold in a single fluid motion. The Quezlarn slumps against the wall and its head flops free of the torso in a shower of purple ichor. Brik, arms crossed stares down at the Elf and silently nods his approval.

Passing a network of pipes and gaskets, the party triggers a trap, and they are covered in a spray of Fire Knife toxin. Fortunately, Xaylla's counter-agent works, and everyone is largely unaffected.

The group makes their way deeper into the complex, encountering an infestation of brown mold. Trunal tells them to hug the opposite wall - and explains that any heat source will cause it to grow exponentially. He also mentions that brushing against it can freeze flesh solid, "So don't do that."

They eventually come to an L-shaped hallway, with a barred door at one end, and a long corridor continuing eastward. Belwrick creeps up to the door, and pulls himself quietly up to the bars. Inside he spies Tara, nose bloodied, wearing a flimsy dress and tightly bound to a chair. A burly lout with pock-marked face and an eye-patch circles the room, slapping and throttling the Elf at his leisure.

Belwrick slides down the door, jimmy's the lock and scampers back to the company, explaining the situation. Before he can finish, Eriana darts forward, kicking the door against the wall. The room lights up with a crackle of magical radiance, and Reynold screams with delight.

"Mwhahaha-Hahahahahahaaaa! I got yer other one!!!" cackles the sword. The Brutish Fire Knife staggers into the hallway, blood gushing from his now empty eye socket. He stumbles forward and collapses dead on the floor, revealing two mortal gashes across his back.

Tara is cut loose, given a short-bow and what arrows Kitty can spare. Eriana is worried about the ranger, but Tara assures everyone she can still fight. Encouraged, the company ventures into the heart of the complex.

Chapter III: Don't Mind if I Do
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

Brik, Trunal and Belwrick scout ahead, disarming alarms and traps as they go. Trunal convinces them to take a "detour" - through the treasury. "Just to be sure no reinforcements are hiding in there with all the jewels and gold."

In the vault, they load their packs with as much treasure as they can. Brik claims an enchanted bastard sword, engraved with runes dedicated to the Morning Lord Lathander.

In the floors above, the Fire Knives and the Zhentarium are busy slaughtering each other, and the troop finds Aldrynn's lair unguarded. They quickly locate the Emissary and breaks him loose. Making for the exit, they find themselves cut off - Aldrynn, Griff, Beltran, Fara and another twenty Fire Knives - all geared for battle.

"Trunal," sighs Aldrynn. "I thought I told you, anything that's yours is mine. Are you going to make this easy... or painful for me?"

Trunal draws his daggers defiantly.

"Your choice," chuckles Aldrynn.

Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Dungeons & Dragons Campaign

The Fire Knives and Purple Dragons prepare to charge one another. Suddenly, the cellar door splits open, and Zhentarium cascade down the main stairwell, Ardragons Vargolis, Karste and Tortamal at the front.

"Kill them all!" snarls Karste.

Aldrynn turns to Delgar, and quips, "Perhaps we can lay aside our differences for the moment?"

Bronwyn glances over at Trunal, who nods his head. The Fire Knives and Purple Dragons join ranks and square off against the Black Network.

Chapter III: MUCH More than You Can Chew
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

Roaring, Brik charges Karste, taking a monstrous swing at the Zhentarium commander's head. With an ear splitting clang, the blow is effortlessly parried. Everyone stands stunned as Karste grabs the barbarian by the throat and hurls him into a slime-encrusted pillar.

The Zhentarium begin cutting a swath of death through the Fire Knife ranks. Kitty fires two arrows at Tortamal, who swats one aside and snatches the other, while Belwrick's daggers bounce harmlessly off Vargolis's armor.

"Cover our escape!" shouts Griff, as Fara hurls a handful of grenades, filling the room with a billowing cloud of choking smoke.

"Fall back towards the exit!" Delgar screams over the din.

Expressionless, Eriana marches through the chaos, effortlessly one-stroking Black Network soldiers and Fire Knives alike. Reynold, covered in gore, cackles madly, blade gleaming with blue fire. Two paces behind, green eyes murderous, marches Tara, intentionally making throat shots on Fire Knives.

One of the Zhentarium soldiers bears down on Trunal, slashing him across the head and knocking him over. As the solder raises his sword for another strike, Aldrynn darts from the side, slicing the Zhent's throat and hurling him to the ground.

"Always finishing your fights for you," the rogue smirks, offering his hand to Trunal. "You know, I won't always be here to save you."

With a slight grin, Trunal snatches his brother's hand and struggles to his feet.

"Brothers forgive I suppose..."

"I don't," a voice hisses from behind.

Aldrynn's eyes go wide, as Reynold rips through his chest, blue flames licking at his expensive greatcoat. He slumps forward, impaled.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... elf tastes like chicken!" taunts the insane long sword

Eyes wild, Aldrynn painfully twists his head to see Eriana behind him, her face like thunder. With a sneer, she wrenches Reynold painfully to the side, and kicks the impaled rogue free, sending him sprawling into Trunal's arms.

"Don't touch my friends," Eriana commands, sheathing the sword as she and Tara disappear into the smoke.

Chapter III: It's Very Cold... in Hell
Campaign Date: Late Summer, 1367 D.R.

Chapter IV

Chapter IV: Hot Crossed Gnomes
Campaign Date: Early Fall, 1367 D.R.

The company takes some time to relax in Dawngleam before returning by ferry to Suzail.

A few days later, the fire bells begin ringing, and everyone joins the watch to help. Following the smoke to the north, they find Sorcerous Sundries burning. Strange colors of flame lick the slate roof, odd green smoke pours from windows and the occasional purple and blue explosion bursts into the air.

Uninterested, Brik, refuses to help, while Kitty and Belwrick join a bucket-line.

Trunal, Xaylla, Delgar and Svengund kick in the rear door and charge inside. The Sword Captain begins upending burning tables and clearing debris off a trap door, while Delgar and the rest search of Grizelda. Trunal leaps up the stairs as they give way, leaving him trapped on the second floor. Delgar and Xaylla shout for the Sword Captain as the toxic smoke chokes the room, but get no response. Nearly overcome by fumes, the pair dash outside, coughing and gagging.

On the third floor, Trunal is kicking in doors and crawling below the smoke, searching for Grizelda. Large chunks of the floor are collapsing and burning timbers are raining down. In the observatory, he finds her - unconscious but alive. Trunal hurls the expensive telescope through the window and watches it smash to pieces sixty feet below.

Explosions rock the building, tearing away chunks of roof. Kitty and Belwrick spot Trunal and Grizelda trapped high above the ground. Running to her quiver, Kitty yanks free one of her grapple arrows, and fires it into a support beam. Trunal leaps for the rope and slides down, the observatory giving way behind him.

Moments later, the main roof begins to implode, and Svengund crashes through a set of windows. Badly charred, the old warrior is cradling a large smoldering footlocker.

Back at the Linvale Estate, Grizelda comes to. She pretends to be distraught at the loss of her lab, and manipulates Delgar into letting her move into the East tower. Upon hearing the news, a furious Sabranic storms off, slamming his door hard enough to split the frame.

"Our history is complicated," Grizelda says with a deadpan expression.

Following his former commander into his quarters, Delgar demands to know what Svengund risked his life over - and why he hates Grizelda so much. The Sword Captain kicks the footlocker over to Bronwyn. Lifting the battered lid, Delgar finds enchanted armor, a shield and several smaller boxes and jars.

"The wreckage of a misspent youth" Sabranic mutters, slumping in his desk chair and uncapping a large bottle of Firebrandy.

"I will tell one thing about Grizelda Grindlebaum, and you'd better listen. That gnome cares about nothing and no one but herself - and if she wants something, she'll send you off to die for it without a care in the damned world. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to drink until I forget my own name."

Chapter IV: Unexpected Consequences
Campaign Date: Early Fall, 1367 D.R.

Charissa relays Command's latest orders - the company must investigate a robbery and murder at Rockmorten Jewelry. Xaylla keeps quiet about selling the Rogue Stone to the elderly owner earlier.

They search the ransacked store, and the owner's son tells them nothing was stolen except a Rogue Stone recently purchased from a masked fellow. Thorn angrily crosses his arms and glares at Xaylla, as the rest of the party turns to confront the lad.

While Xaylla is being dressed-down, Delgar pours over logs and receipts looking for clues. Kitty follows Skree around, slapping expensive jewelry and other treasures out of his paws. Despite her efforts, the Kobold palms thousands in valuable trinkets.

In the meantime, Belwrick, Trunal, Brik and Thorn search the neighborhood and question the locals about any suspicious activity.

Trunal notices an apartment overlooking the Jewelry store, and mentions, "That's the one I'd pick."

"Huh?" asks Belwrick?

"That apartment, says Trunal. "If I were casing the jewelry store I mean. Just look at it... perfect view of the street and the store, you can time the Night Watch and see when the owners douse the lights... Uh... hypothetically. Not that I ever.. you know... thought about it or anything..."

Chapter IV: Soggy Dwarf
Campaign Date: Early Fall, 1367 D.R.

Belwrick, Thorn and Brik break into the apartment, while Trunal speaks with the landlord. The room is mostly empty, much of the furniture covered in sheets. The kitchen table is slid up against the window - the Jewelry Store clearly visible below. Several empty liquor bottles and bits of garbage litter the table. At its center sits a large clear glass pitcher full of water.

Downstairs, the building owner tells Trunal the room in question was rented by a fat, balding Turmish fellow named Milford Autonimo. He'd been there for several weeks, with his beautiful servant-girl. Some fair-skinned lass in strange cloths, with the most enchanting sapphire eyes. "A real looker."

Back in the room, Brik and Thorn begin tearing up the joint, looking for clues. When agitated, the strange pitcher explodes, and a small water elemental busts forth. The trio commence swinging and stabbing at the beast, but their weapons are nearly ineffective. The creature begins tossing them around, smashing the companions into the room's Spartan furnishings.

The breaking furniture and commotion draws Dana Blackforge out of her next-door flat. Skulking by, she scans the predicament. The roguish dwarf means to walk off... but upon spying Thorn, she breaks, does a double-take, and backpedals into the doorway.

"You boys need help?" Dana asks, leaning on the doorway and fondling her brilliant red hair. Brik is engulfed and being drown by the creature, Belwrick's blades are doing little, and Thorn has resorted to striking it with Kieta's enchanted shield.

Thorn makes a grimace when he see Dana in the doorway. "No! We're FINE! Go away!" he shouts, one of the creatures pseudopods winding around his neck.

"Uh-huh" Dana mutters, shaking her head. She hops into the room and pulls a scroll out of a small metal tube.

"Better hope I do this right!" She mutters, unsteadily stumbling through the incantation."

The scroll bursts into flames, and everybody's weapons begin glowing with a greenish light. From inside the creature, Brik slashes at it, and it squeals, dropping him on the ground. Thorn whirls around and smashes the elemental with his morning star, and monster explodes in a fountain of water, soaking the surly dwarf.

"Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaggghh... I already had a bath fer the year... damn-it."

Trunal and the building owner finally arrive, finding the destroyed room and the waterlogged heroes.

"I'm not paying fer this!!!!!" growls Thorn, wringing water from his beard.

Trunal blocks Dana's path with his leg as she tries to creep out. "What are you doing here?"

"I rented the apartment next door, duh," she snots back.

"Oh... and why's that?" asks Belwrick, shaking water out of his hair.

"Well... I tried to get this one..." Dana shrugs.

Thorn and Belwrick both look at Trunal, and the three turn back to Dana in unison.

"What?!" she says, raising her arms dismissively.

In the puddle of water, Belwrick spies a crumpled up piece of vellum bobbing from behind the couch. Snatching the soggy paper, he gingerly unfolds it - a receipt for the Nightingale Inn, booked through tomorrow.


Chapter IV: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Campaign Date: Early Fall, 1367 D.R.

The company arrives at the Nightingale Inn shortly after lunch. As the finest and most exclusive tavern in all of Suzail, the business is packed with nobles, ambassadors, royal council members and military brass.

Doing their best to be unobtrusive, they observe the crowd from the parlor. Xaylla grabs Delgar's arm, and points to a table near the kitchen. The Lionar's eye go wide, spying Kieta and Roz, conversing with a bald toad of a man, and his stunningly beautiful servant girl.

"Somebody better tell Vangerdahast that whatever he has locked in the tower ain't the bad guys," Delgar hisses through clenched teeth.

Dungeons & Dragons Campaign

Across the room, the squat lard-ball produces a small bag from his regally adorned vest and slides it across the table. Roz snatches it, withdrawing the Rogue Stone just long enough to inspect it. "It's the one" he says to Kieta, as they rise from the table.

"We gotta stop them!" Xaylla begins to shout. Delgar grabs the youth and pulls him to the floor as Kieta and Roz look towards the noise. The pair give one another a sideways glance and hurry into kitchen.

"SHHHHHHHHHH! What are we gonna do... start a melee in the middle of all these people?" Delgar whispers, pointing to the packed dining room. "What happens if they panic start shooting off spells? Let me handle this."

Spying a Purple Dragon Oversword dining with his wife, Delgar tucks in his uniform, and strolls over to his table. The Lionar salutes and whispers into his superior's ear. The Oversword glances over to lard-bucket mistreating his servant, and towards the kitchen's swinging doors, and rises. He walks among several tables, and the room begins to quietly empty, one table at a time.

As the nobles begin to clear out, the stunning servant girl scans the room, clearly aware of what's happening. Her shockingly blue eyes meet Delgar's, and she looks down at the table, doing nothing to raise an alarm. Milford Autonimo sits next to her, the tablecloth wrapped around his thick neck like a bib, gravy running down his chins as he slops his way through a plate piled high with savory mutton.

"Wench!" He gurgles. "More wine! If you can call this filth wine! " He rams another fork of meat into his mouth, and then glances at the bar, annoyed at his empty cup.

"Where is everybody? He stands, pulling several dishes off the table, and whirls around the room. He notices the Company closing in, and his eyes go wide.

"Raelann! I command you! Stop them!"

The woman sitting next to Milford rises to her feet. Her scant clothing is made from shimmering silk, with a slender belt of burnished gold. A translucent blue veil conceals her mouth below the nose, and she's covered from head to toe in silver and turquoise jewelry. Her eyes glitter in the light like faceted sapphires.

She strikes her silvered bracers together with a metallic cling, and snaps her fingers. A gust of wind rips through the Inn, and everyone's clothing begins to shift and twist randomly. Shoes fly onto people's hand, undergarments, wrap around people's heads, backpacks snarl around feet, legs slip through blouses and pants knot around wrists. The group begins toppling over and collapsing tangled on the ground.

Tearing free of the few skins he wears, Brik charges the woman and Milford with a snarl.

"Ahhhhhhhhaaaaaaeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" squeals Autonimo. "Raelann!!!! Protect us from that animal!!!!"

The Marid snaps her fingers, and in a flash of yellow magic, twelve howling Orcs materialize, and leap at the barbarian.

Stumbling backwards, Milford continues to bark orders. "Now get us out of here!!!!!!! Now!!! Hurry, hurry!!!!!"

With another finger snap, the wall behind the pair tears open spilling daylight into the restaurant. The porcine villain stumbles out, still dragging the soiled tablecloth. Raelann steps outside, focuses for a moment, and the room grows dim, candles flickering as glowing runes circle about her wrists. A sheet of deep blue ice, several feet thick tears its way out of the ground, sealing the exit.

Inside, the party is rolling around, tripping, stumbling and trying to get their equipment sorted as they hop and hobble clear of Orc axe-strikes. Fortunately, Brik is leaping from table to table, slaughtering anything he can reach, and makes quick work of the creatures.

Casting off anything unnecessary, the company tumbles outside, hopping into boots, holding weapons in their teeth, armor dangling unstrapped, and blouses being buttoned up at full a sprint.

Chapter IV: Requiem
Campaign Date: Early Fall, 1367 D.R.

Stumbling their way along the street, the company spies Milford wheezing and jiggling his way south. Puffing and huffing, he slumps against a street lamp, and notices the heroes closing behind them.

Flop sweat pouring down his face, Autonimo pants, "You're doing a terrible job, STOP THEM slave. Damn you!"

Raelann holds her glowing hands towards the sky, and a sheet of smooth ice explodes across the ground in front of the party. Delgar slides into a crate face-first, legs kicking in the air. Trunal loses his feet, pulling Kitty and Brik down with him - they crash into several garbage pails. Thorn doesn't even try to keep his feet, and belly flops, skidding into Marcius and Jun, scattering them like nine-pins. Xaylla waves his arms wildly in a circle as he slams into a street-light. Cheniron bails at the last moment, circles once, and lands on the lad's chest, snickering and sticking his serpentine tongue out.

Belwrick keeps his footing and slides across the ground. "Whoooooooooha!" he shouts as he skates toward Autonimo, daggers at the ready.

In a full panic, the porky villain grasps at Raelann's blouse. "Ahhhhhhhhh!!!! Damn it!!!! Raelann!!!! Get me out of here... AND KILL THOSE MEN!".

The Marid turns to him, eyes slanted and brows furrowed.


Raelann's eyes sink to the ground and tear up. With a flick of her wrist, a portal opens under Milford's feet, and he shrieks in terror as he tumbles into it.

Sailing over the ice, Belwrick ready's his daggers. The slave girls walks towards him, waves of magical energy rising from her. The Halfling sees mascara running as crystalline tears tumble down her cheeks. Suddenly, her pupils fade, and her eyes shimmer with an inky black radiance. A wave of utter darkness explodes from the Marid.

His concentration broken, Belwrick loses his balance and stumbles onto his back, zipping feet first along the ground. Behind him, his companions are struggling to their feet, as the hex slams into them. Marcius, Jun, Trunal, Brik, Delgar, Xaylla and Thorn go limp, like rag dolls, and fall to the ground, white as sheets and stone dead.

Belwrick slides to a stop at Raelann's feet, and glances up at her.

"I'm so sorry little one..." she sniffles. The Marid glances over at Kitty, struggling out of the trash. The ranger gasps when she see's Trunal's lifeless corpse draped across her.

"He didn't tell me to kill women..." she glances down at Belwrick and runs her fingers through his hair, ". or children for that matter. I must to go to master... but please... listen well. He carries a lamp. The sort you might find in Zakhara. If you were to gain possession of it, you might command that I undo this... this blasphemy. The docks. You must hurry."

Raelann vanishes in a cold swirl of icy wind, as Belwrick looks back at Kitty and Cheniron, the only members of the group still breathing.

Chapter IV: Dirge
Campaign Date: Early Fall, 1367 D.R.

Belwrick remembers the Amulet Brik took from Ironbite, and how it allowed the creature to "rise from the dead" repeatedly. Crossing his fingers, he pours a healing potion the barbarian's mouth. With a roar, Brik snaps up and snatches the Halfling by the throat, half throttling him to death, before realizing his surroundings.

Kitty is sitting on the ground, sobbing, Doug's lifeless form gently cradled in her arms. Belwrick puts his hand on her shoulder and says, "We can save them, but only if we hurry to the docks." Sniffling, the ranger staggers to her feet, as the pseudodragon swoops around them, landing on a tall lamp post. Making a bunch of clicking noises, Cheniron points and motions to the south with his beak.

Belwrick begins to run for the docks, then stops. Turning to Kitty, he tugs on her cloak. "I have an idea..."

Thirty minutes later, Belwrick and Brik creep across a bridge to the Dock District. They catch sight of Autonimo and Raelann. The slob is berating the harbormaster, demanding a boat leave NOW. The Marid turns, spying the party, and then glances away, saying nothing to alert Milford as Brik and Belwrick slink towards him.

Cheniron circles overhead, and lands on a flagpole overlooking the flabby villain.

"O.K. Brik...." Belwrick whispers, "just like we talked about.... we charge on five... one... two... three..."

"RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!" shrieks Brik as he hurls himself across the bridge and sails at his foes.

Belwrick slaps his forehead head, "Spose I shouldn't have taken for granted Brik knows how to count..."

"What? NO! How??? You stupid genie witch! You're worthless!" Milford backhands Raelann, his pinky ring leaving a gash on her chin. "Summon guards! Powerful ones! Do it! Now!!!!!!"

Her head bowed submissively, Raelann snaps her fingers and six giant skeletons flash into existence. Their eyes glow with a vile radiance, orange flames lick their rib cages, and they brandish horrific two-handed swords.

Brik's eyes go wide as he skids to a halt, deflecting a blow that might've decapitated him. Slamming the skeleton's sword to the right, the warrior hacks off a leg, and buries his sword in the monster's skull. The abomination implodes, burning the barbarian in a column of flame.

Chapter IV: Delicate as Usual
Campaign Date: Early Fall, 1367 D.R.

One of the skeletons raises its sword to impale Brik from behind. Suddenly, four arrows slam into its eye sockets, staggering it. Kitty and Tara emerge from cover atop a merchant wagon unleashing a storm of arrows on the creatures.

"SAVE SOME FOR MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" bellows Reynold as Eriana throws off a heavy cloak and cleaves though a skeleton's rib cage.

"Screw the boat... take me someone safe... far away from here... now!!!!!!!" squeals Autonimo, as one of Belwrick's enchanted daggers staples his arm to a post.

Cheniron, seeing his moment, darts from his perch, and slams into Milford, clawing and biting as his bald head. The blubberous scoundrel tumbles forward, as the buttons pop off his vest, revealing the ornate lamp stuffed into his silk sash.

Belwrick takes careful aim and hurls three daggers at the lamp. The first one cuts it lose, the second popping it into the air, and the third sends it sailing into his hands.

With an angry growl, Cheniron buries his poisoned stinger into Milford's neck. Sinking to his knees, the walrus pleads to Raelann. "Please... help... slave... I.. order it..."

Her gemstone eyes narrow slits, the Marid turns her back on Autonimo. "You're not my master anymore." With a wave of her wrist, the flaming skeletons crumble away, just as Brik and Eriana were overwhelmed. Raelann then vanishes in a gust of swirling ice crystals.

"Wha...t... n-nooo..." gurgles Milford as the pseudodragon's toxin overcomes him. He collapses, snoring, his left arm still nailed to the pole.

Chapter IV: If Wishes Were Kestrels
Campaign Date: Early Fall, 1367 D.R.

As Belwrick puzzles with lamp, Cheniron dives at it, and knocks it lose. With a fierce slap and a scowl, Belwrick sends the creature tumbling and yanks back the artifact. "What's gotten into you Cheniron?"

Rubbing at the lamp, it suddenly belches forth a gust of chilled wind, and Raelann appears in front of him.

The Marid bows. "Greetings little one. I am Raelann al-Durrat al-Amwaj ibn Jari, the daughter of Great Padishah Kalbari, and princess of the Splendid Citadel of Ten Thousand Pearls. As the holder of this lamp, you are entitled to command me. You may either ask three wishes, and I will grant them as best I'm able. Or, if you desire it, I will serve as your slave for one-thousand and one days - or so long as you possess the lamp - though I will be more limited in my power.

"Uhhhh... " Belwrick looks around at everybody.

"Bring back DOUG!" shouts Kitty.

Choosing his words carefully, the Halfling closes his eyes, and speaks.

"I wish you would.... uh... please... undo the mojo that.. ya know, killed all my friends?"

"AND DOUG!!!!" prods the ranger.

"...and Doug," adds Belwrick.

Realean snaps her fingers, and the ground tremors momentarily.

Back at the Nightingale, several Blades finish loading the company's bodies on a cart. A doctor in a plague-mask throws a shovelful of lye in Delgar's face.

"Gahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!" Screams the Lionar as he sits up, coughing and trying to dust the caustic powder off his face.

Stunned, the blades stare at each other for a moment, and dive into the cart, dragging hacking, gasping people onto the grass.

Delgar wheezes, "Cough... I... hack... hate...my..."

Suddenly, the masked doctor sprints out of the Tavern and hurls a bucket of vinegar in Bronwyn's face.

"...life..." croaks the Lionar.

Later that day, back at the Linvale Estate, the party sits around the meeting table, the lamp at its center. The Sword Captain walks in, late, and sniffs several times, wrinkling his nose. "Does anyone smell vin..."

"Don't. Just... just don't" glowers Delgar, his hair still matted and sticky.

After many hours of arguing, they decide what to do. Raelann is summoned once more. Belwrick holds the lamp up, and wishes the Marid her freedom. Thorn crosses his arms in rage, and turns his back on the sacrilege, muttering darkly about lost riches.

Stunned, the Marid princess snatches Belwrick off the ground, showering him with kisses and nearly squishing him in an embrace capable of twisting steel bars.

Before returning to her family, she casts a protective magic upon the company, permanently improving their vigor. Raelann also traces several runes on the lamp, and hands it back to Belwrick. Though no longer bound to the device, the Halfling can use it to plead for aid in desperate times.

Chapter V

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