WotBS Tormyr's War of the Burning Sky campaign [spoilers abound]
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    Tormyr's War of the Burning Sky campaign [spoilers abound]

    The process of bringing War of the Burning Sky to 5e took another step toward fruition as my Roll20 group started their campaign last night! Each entry for a party member contains their portrait, the information the other party members would possibly know, their background that only they know, and secret information that they do not know, but someone familiar with the campaign would find interesting. The party consists of:

    Byron Kassonova

    This blue tiefling College of Cirquelistes bard has skirted the law and has spent time recently working as a lookout for the thieves guild in Gate Pass.
    Background: While the Wayfarers were based in Ostalin, Byron maintained a secret year-long romance with Nadia, one of Khagan Onamdammin's daughters. During this time, helped awaken her latent spellcasting ability. The Khagan found out and tried to have Byron killed. Failing that, he banished the Wayfarers from Ostalin. Byron was exiled from the Wayfarers.
    Spoiler:
    [spoiler]
    In this campaign, Nadia was sent to study at the monastery of two winds. She became bitter toward Byron for abandoning her. Finding acceptance and attention from Pilus, she became his greatest student. In this campaign, Nadia plays the part of Caela.
    [/spoiler]



    The descendant of a long forgotten warlord from the island of Ostilin. After being exiled by a previous Khagan, he wandered the world looking to compile a comprehensive list of all theory relating to warfare (like sun tzu). This elderly human Way of the Kensei monk has a long, flowing white beard and fights with a whip in each hand. He has made several contacts in the city council.
    Background: D'buld served under Khagan Onamdammin's father. When Onamdammin killed his father, D'buld was exiled. While in Sindaire he met Trinja and took her under his wing.
    Spoiler:
    [spoiler]
    I have not figured out how to more deeply integrate D'buld's background into the story for some interesting revelations later (beyond wanting vengeance on Onamdammin). I am open to suggestions.
    [/spoiler]



    Trinja

    The lone female in the group is a human Pact of the Hexblade warlock. She summons a glaive of physical shadow (think vantablack). She has been frequenting the temples as she wants to understand the source of her power.
    Background: For as long as Trinja can remember, she has had good luck, but it seems like that good luck comes at the expense of others in her village of Gathin in Sindaire. When her luck seemed to cause the demise of her parents, she ran away at the age of 13. That night in the forest, she had a dream. A deep resonant voice called to her. She followed the voice to a clearing where a black glaive is buried in the stump of a fallen tree. The voice told her to take the glaive and she would learn to harness her luck. She grasped the glaive, and the dream faded to black. When she awoke, she was back at her camp, but she soon discovered she could summon the glaive and cast certain spells. She gained the ability to magically disguise herself as anyone she wanted, usually taking the form of a 20-year-old woman. D'buld is the only one that knows she is a 14-year-old girl. Additionally, Trinja is able to more consciously harness her luck. Often there is a sense that time momentarily slows down when she bends luck. When Trinja summons her glaive, she perceives time momentarily slow down and form over a half second, but everyone else sees it appear nearly instantaneously.
    Spoiler:
    [spoiler]
    Trinja's patron is Time.
    [/spoiler]


    Dro'Marri Oldenforge

    While he bears the family name of a long line of dwarven blacksmiths, and certainly capable of basic work, his talents, and interests, lie elsewhere. Rather than bring shame upon his family name, he left his family in Dassen behind, setting out for Gatepass. Blacksmith work paid the bills and allowed him to study Herbalism in his spare time. He is a Way of the Four Elements monk who favors fire, jumping to higher locations for tactical advantages, and swinging a light hammer as a weapon (and he wears blue overalls, a red shirt, and a hat). While he helps out the resistance with low-price repair work, he certainly did not expect to be called up to help with a mission out of town.
    Background:
    Mario and Peach Oldenforge were Dro'Marri's parents and led their clan from a stronghold near the Alydi Gap in northern Dassen. Shortly before he was born, his father took in a orc Ragesian officer who was unhappy with the lack of honor shown by his superiors. Bow-Tzaa of the Kupali Clan gained Mario's trust, but it brought difficulties for Dro'Marri being bullied because his father had taken in the orc and elevated him over the other Dwarves in the clan. When Dro'Marri was 10, Mario and Bow-Tzaa went on an expedition to the Glaskeel Cliffs to determin what creature was killing the griffons in the area. Bow-Tzaa returned with Mario's broken and lifeless body and declared the Glaskeel Cliffs as off-limits to the clan. The orc soon established control of the dwarven clan and married Peach. A year later, Luiij was born. All of these things caused the bullying to continue, and Bow-Tzaa's insistence that Dro'Marri take up the forge and combat didn't help things. After 10 years, Dro'Marri could not take it any longer and ran away from home, leaving behind his childhood friend Daisy. He wrote to his mother for a while, but eventually cut off all communication.
    Spoiler:
    [spoiler]
    Mario was killed by a giant ape on the Glaskeel Cliffs. A story that Dro'Marri was never told (it was always just a "horrible monster").
    [/spoiler]


    Zed Tracom

    Zed grew up in a corner of Shahalesti where racism against half-orcs was still alive and well. He moved away and finally settled in Gate Pass where his martial talents were appreciated by the local military.
    Background: From an early age, Zed only knew life as a second-class citizen in Shahalest. He grew up with his orc father who would not talk about Zed's mother or what happened to her. After spending his teenage years working as a bodyguard for hire, Zed left Shahalesti.
    Spoiler:
    [spoiler]
    Zed's mother was a Taranesti elf. When the purge came, She made Zed's father take baby Zed and run so that they would survive. The were captured and forced into indentured servitude.
    [/spoiler]




    We established that Zed and Dro'Marri knew each other previously from Dro'Marri having repaired some of, and Trinja and D'buld had arrived in Gate Pass together. Each player was also tasked with coming up with some secrets about their character which could be tied in with the story.

    With the immortal emperor of Ragesia apparently dead, Ragesia has been lashing out and consolidating power. Spellcasters are especially to be pitied as rumors about that they are grabbed by inquisitors, Ragesia's magic-cancelling war clerics, and are never heard from again. The 2nd Ragesian Army has been ordered to take over the city of Gate Pass, hold its strategically significant location as the only way through the mountains to Shahalesti, and round up an magic users. The day before New Year's Eve, the PCs have been recruited by the Resistance, a group of citizens who work to ensure Gate Pass remains a free city-state, to help one of their agents escape the city with a case of Ragesian intelligence documents.


    They prepare and arrive at the rendezvous point shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve. Torrent, a cleric from the Lyceum magic academy in Seaquen ushers them through a side door into an abandoned pub. There she lays out the mission: recover the case from another operative and escape from Gate Pass. The city is on lock down as the city council considers surrendering to the army to avoid a protracted fight.

    As the conversation wraps up, distant explosions are heard. The wyvern rider Ragesian air force has arrived before anticipated and is dropping dragonbombs on the city. As they prepare to leave, D'buld hears creaking in the abandoned second floor of the pub. He moves to the boarded-up front window in time to hear, "Front door, go!" He whispers a warning to everyone else before taking a position to cover the stairs. Trinja summons her glaive and takes a stand in front of the boarded up door.

    The door is smashed through moments later by two thugs manning a portable ram. They drop it and draw their weapons as they tell everyone to surrender. The heroes are not willing to take that sitting down and attack. The first thug is hit hard from several directions and is bloodied. Then some of the mercenaries who were sneaking in upstairs come down the stairs and attacking as a pair. Before more of them come downstairs, the pub is hit squarely by a dragonbomb,

    Death screams are heard upstairs, and the blast throws one of the mercenaries down the stairs. The party fought 3 thugs and 2 scouts. 2 of the mercenaries ran after going below 25% hp, and the heroes knocked out the other 3. They dragged the 3 unconscious mercenaries out of the burning pub. Bruised but not beaten, they came face to face with the mercenary leader, a stern man on a horse. He looked down on the party with the countenance of a judge analyzing the accused...
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    Last edited by Tormyr; Tuesday, 9th April, 2019 at 05:05 PM.
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    Ooh finally! Looking forward to see more of your group's tales.

    And an Ostalinian martial artist named Byron Kassonova? Gotta hide my own girl now

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lylandra View Post
    Ooh finally! Looking forward to see more of your group's tales.

    And an Ostalinian martial artist named Byron Kassonova? Gotta hide my own girl now
    Oops, the martial artist and bard descriptions got a little merged together. Two of the character's names are puns/have a hidden fun bit to them. I only caught one of them, but that PC's player picked up on the other one immediately.

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    The heroes exited the burning pub, dragging the unconscious mercenaries behind them. Above them the bombing attack from the Ragesian wyvern riders continued. The leader of the mercenaries sat astride a warhorse and regarded them with cold, analyzing eyes. He thanked them for saving his men and informed them that his group would be leaving because of the battle that had formed overhead. As other mercenaries came forward to pick up the unconscious ones and put them on horses, he warned the heroes that the Black Horse mercenary group would be watching the exits of the town. If they crossed paths again, he was honor bound to capture them, and they should surrender, as he did not want to harm anyone.

    With the mercenaries riding away, the heroes decided that they needed to get to the depository quickly to meet with Rivereye Badgerface, Torrent's contact. As they approached the gate to the next district, a wave of fear washed over everyone in the area. Trinja, Byron, and Zed panicked, running out in the street and getting trampled by the frenzied crowd before calming down and being extracted by the others. Passing through into the next district, the heroes encountered a burned man calling out for help as he carried his badly burned wife. He collapsed from exhaustion as the heroes approached, and the couples children were sobbing as they did not know what to do. Byron assessed that the mother was on the brink of death and healed her. She would carry scars for life, but she would live. The family got over the initial shock enough to head to the Temple of the Aquiline Cross. Further on, a woman was calling for help from a window as the rest of the building was burning behind her. Zed and Torrent stretched a bedroll between them, and Byron convinced her to jump. Unfortunately, she stumbled on the way out the window. Zed and Torrent tried to catch her, but she tumbled out and hit her head on the ground. Seeing that she was unconscious and bleeding out, Byron healed her and sent her to the temple. Through the din of battle, the heroes hear a man calling out for his lost Kiki. He approaches them and begs for their help in finding his baby. When asked for a description, he starts out with, "Well, she is about this long..." Which was met with a response of, "Wait, long or tall?" They then find out that Kiki is the man's pet giant weasel. Trinja sees this as really important while Torrent facepalms and complains that they do not have the time for this. They send the man to the temple, and Trinja manages to find the weasel after a bit of a search. She calms the animal and fashions a leash for it. When it is suggested that they can return Kiki after they finish at the depository, Trinja responds, "Well, we can let Kiki decide if she wants to return."

    Upon arriving at the depository, the guard informs them that they cannot bring Kiki in to the tower. Trinja manages to convince the guard that Kiki is a service animal for soothing emotional distress, and the guard lets them in. The path through the well-tended gardens to the tower is flanked by two fountains. The one on the left includes statues of the four primordial creatures from ancient myths. The one on the right has a statue emperor coaltongue. At some point in the last 40 years after the Ragesians withdrew from Gate Pass, the fountain was modified so that the jet of water emerged from the torch the statue held aloft. The heroes are advised that there are guards about (so don't try to break into any lockers), there is an ugly gnome inside (so don't be surprised), and bring a light (it's dark inside). Torrent cast light on her gauntlet, and they went inside.

    After searching the first floor, they continue on to the second. They run into Rivereye Badgerface who apologizes for a cough he acquired while returning from Ragos. He then addresses Dro'marri by the name "Peppin" and guides the group to a locker that needs "Peppin's" password to open.

    At this point, people are getting suspicious and telling Riverface that there is no password and Dro'marri is not Peppin. Rivereye suddenly points behind the group and says, "What in the world is that!?!?" Everyone except Trinja is fooled. "Riverface" disengages and dashes up the stairs to the third floor. Trinja manages to chase him upstairs and interpose herself between the gnome and one of the doors to the third floor balcony where a glowing ball of rainbow flame hovers above. Rivereye disengages and heads for another door, hanging a right and heading to the area of the balcony behind the door Trinja blocked. Everyone came dashing up the stairs, joining Trinja on the third floor. Trinja opened the door and saw the gnome drinking a potion. She cast hex, targeting Dexterity checks. Zed came out and attacked the gnome. The ball suddenly starts firing light rays at the heroes, targetting Zed first.

    The gnome disengages and dashes up the stairs to the fourth floor. Dro'marri uses a ki for Step of the Wind and bounds up after him and just manages to catch and grapple him. The ball of light continues to rain down destruction as the rest of the group catches up, but the "gnome" cannot escape with disadvantage on escape attempts with Dexterity (Acrobatics). He tells the ball of light to, "Go home." It darts out and escapes, flying at a speed of 20 feet per second out the open door and across the city.

    Once the "gnome" realizes the heroes are not necessarily hostile to Shahalesti (and Trinja questioned him in Elvish), he drops his disguise for a short (although still much taller than a gnome) elf with dark hair dressed all in black. Under questioning he reveals that he entered the depository with a small strike team and knocked out the real Rivereye and some depository guards. When he learned from the gnome that the case was trapped with a password that only "Peppin" knew, the spy sent his colleagues back to their safe house with the caseHe replaced the real Rivereye by casting disguise self and waited to meet the gnome's contacts. He explained under more intense questioning that the case would either be with his master at Gabal's war school or in the Elvish ghetto.

    As the Shahalesti spy was taken away by the depository guards, Torrent found Rivereye and woke him up. He explained the attack and told how he convinced the spy that the case was trapped with a password that only Peppin knew in the hope that the people who actually showed up would realize that something was wrong and delay the Shahalesti from opening the locked case. He did not know what was in the case because he could not defeat the lock, but he was convinced that the case held important military intelligence and needed to be recovered for the resistance.

    By this point, the air battle between the Ragesian wyvern riders and Gate Pass griffon riders had ended. The heroes decided to head to the safe house at the Temple of the Aquiline Cross for some sleep as it was 2:30 in the morning. They entered to a scene of displaced people jammed into the temple trying to survive the night. The mood of the room was not helped by a half-elf bard who only played minor chords and sung songs of enemy armies overwhelming paltry defenders. Byron was determined to lift the spirits of the room with hopeful songs. He pulled out his lute and started to play (best of 3 contested checks with the other bard). He started badly (rolled a 1), but he recovered while Trinja used hex on the bard to mess up her playing. As the bard fumbled with her playing, Byron finished strong, and the bard put away her lute with a huff.

    The head priest of the temple came forward to greet the heroes, thankful that the mood of the building had changed thanks to the change in music...
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    I like the super Mario brother.

    How's the group liking the game so far? You in it for the lung haul of 20 levels?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerWickett View Post
    I like the super Mario brother.

    How's the group liking the game so far? You in it for the lung haul of 20 levels?
    The "Mario" player is really good at puns (both good and bad puns). He picked up on the dual-whip-wielding monk immediately (D'buld Utch = Double Dutch). He comes up with stuff like, "So if we return Kiki to her owner, does that make us Kiki's Delivery Service?"

    We are only two sessions in, but they like it so far and are starting to make the story and characters their own. We are planning on around 2 years to make it through the adventure path. We finished Age of Worms in 3 years, but we took several months worth of breaks over that time. So that seems like a reasonable estimate.

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    When I ran the playtest for ZEITGEIST, one PC was basically a hammer brother, working for a mafia Don who was Bowser rip off. We changed that before publication, though.

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    The mood in the temple of the Aquiline Heart had calmed considerably. As Byron played, the party planned their next move. They had arrived to rest but were concerned that they needed to get out of the city before the bulk of the Ragesian army arrived. The elvish spy who had impersonated Rivereye Badgerface mentioned that he passed off the case to the soldiers that were with him and that his master at Gabal's school of war might know where it is. In the end, the party decided to take a short, 1-hour nap and then head out and at least case the school, but first, there was the matter of a certain giant weasel named Kiki.

    It had been love at first sight for Trinja, and she did not want to give Kiki back to her owner. Before she could sneak out, Dro'Marri called out, "Is Kiki's owner here?" The merchant popped up, "Kiki? Oh, it is so good to see you!" Trinja tried to convince the merchant that Kiki would be better off with her, but when pressed, she could not offer any hard reasons why. She did manage to convince the merchant to let Kiki choose, and in the end, Kiki returned to her owner. Torrent came over to comfort a crestfallen Trinja. She gestured for everyone to come back to their corner of the temple. "Look," she said, "I know you are sad about the weasel, but it would not have worked out. Once we head out of the city, we will be taking the most direct route to Seaquen, and that leads through the burning forest of Innenotdar. It has been burning for 40 years. We are going to use the potions of stand the heat, but we do not have spares to use on Kiki. She is safer here. We are heading through the forest because these potions will allow us to survive the oven-like temperatures. The Ragesian army would have to go around, giving us a head start to Seaquen."

    Trinja was not happy but acquiesced. The party had one of the priests wake them after an hour, and they headed to Gabal's school. As they approached at around 4:00 in the morning, they noticed someone standing near the gates, his face lit by the glow of a cigarette. After a brief discussion, the party decided to have the spellcasters approach and feel this guy out while the others hung back. After a brief bit of questioning, they learn the wizard's name is Diogenes and that the woman they are looking for is Shealis. Her lantern archon familiar had arrived back at the school almost two hours ago.

    "She is a Shahalesti spy and she stole important military documents from us!" Trinja blurted out.

    A shocked expression came upon Diogenes face which slowly shifted to realization. "I knew there was something fishy about her," Diogenes declared. He brought them inside and gave them a couple of dorm rooms, explaining that Gabal and most of his best students had disappeared several days ago when news came round that the Ragesian army was coming. He tells them that he will wake them in a couple of hours, but they should have a plan for capturing Shealis because she is so dangerous.

    They consider trying to capture Shealis while she is sleeping. Diogenes says that it could work, but it contains significant risk. Her lantern archon familiar might catch them entering the room, and Shealis can shape her fireball to not hit herself or her allies. She might kill everyone with her fireball if attacked in a confined space. In the end, Diogenes suggests that Shealis might be trying to skip town with the case. He has a rivalry with her and thinks he can convince her to have one more duel with him before she goes. The duel circle is on the third level of the tower. Someone could try to swipe her component pouch. Without it, she cannot cast most of her most dangerous spells. The rest of the party can wait on the fourth flour and rush her while she is at a disadvantage. The party decides to go with that plan and grab a few hours of sleep. Byron stays up for a bit and applies red makeup from his disguise kit to make himself a red tiefling in case the lantern archon is present in the morning. He also writes up a (very poorly written) spell scroll before finally crashing to bed an hour after everyone else.

    By 6:30, Diogenes wakes everyone up and they drag themselves out of bed, Byron being the slowest of the lot. They get into positions to execute the plan. Trinja casts disguise self to make her look like an elf so that the lantern archon will not recognize her. Diogenes went up to Shealis' room, and Shealis emerged a few minutes later without her familiar. As Diogenes and Shealis headed from the dormitories to the tower, Trinja went around the outside and found the window to Shealis' room open and the archon floating inside. Meanwhile, Diogenes and Shealis ascended the tower, where they ran into Byron. Byron managed to get Shealis to look at his scroll. She sneered at the poor work but noticed when Byron made a move to grab her component pouch. In a flash, Shealis pushed Byron up against the wall, turned her hip with the component pouch away from him, and sticks a finger under his chin. She demanded an explanation, but Byron's explanation was lacking. A level 3 magic missile exploded from Shealis' finger, slamming his head back into the wall.

    Byron's vision exploded in stars, but he did his best to stay focused. He managed to wrestle Shealis' component pouch away from her and used misty step to head up the stairs to the third floor while running up the stairs the rest of the way. The burning sky licked at his body as he reappeared up the stairs, leaving him at 1hp. Shealis remotely contacted her familiar, and Trinja watches as the lantern archon streaks across the yard, and into a window on the third floor. She jumps through the open window and searches the room, but she does not find anything.

    The explosion of the burning sky alerted the rest of the group upstairs, and they started to run down to the third floor. Dro'Marri does his best to cover Byron and shield him from taking damage. The lantern archon fires but misses. Diogenes casts fog cloud in an attempt to disorient Shealis, but she follows the wall up the stairs to the third floor. As she emerges from the fog, she fires off another magic missil, catching Byron and D'buld. As Byron is knocked unconscious, Shealis' component pouch falls to the floor. Torrent runs down the stairs and heals Byron. However, if Shealis gets back to her component pouch, it could spell doom for the party.
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    Zed charged down the stairs. He had a score to settle with the lantern archon. His axe sliced through the archon, but it reformed, the floating ball of light only partially affected by the ax blade. The others started to attack Shealis and her familiar with limited success, and Shealis' component pouch lay unnoticed on the floor. Shealis grabbed the pouch and began to cast a fireball, but Diogenes, having dissipated his fog cloud ran up the stairs and stopped her just in time with a counterspell, exhorting Shealis to stand down. Shealis barked back to Diogenes to stay out of this as the combat continued. The heroes were landing blows, but the elven war mage was skilled in surviving close quarter combat. As she tried to fire off another fireball, Diogenes once again managed to stop her with counterspell before warning the party, "I can't do that again, guys!"

    Finally, the heroes were wearing Shealis down, but she dropped a fireball at her feet, wrapping herself and her familiar in pockets of clean air. The effect was devastating, and Zed and D'buld fell unconscious. Byron's Tiefling heritage saved him from a similar fate, while Torrent and Dro'Marri ducked behind the railing of the stairways. Trinja, having searched the dorm room, had clambered out the window, fell on her face, got up, ran across the quad, and sprinted up the stairs. She arrived in time to hex, Shealis, making her clumsy. Shealis sent her familiar to go warn "the others" and made to escape herself, but she was surrounded. She held of attacks from all sides and cast invisibility on herself. A solid snap from D'bulds whip connected and broke Shealis' concentration on invisibility. She drank a potion of fly rose above the heroes' heads to escape through the same window her familiar exited. As she flew over Zed, he grabbed her ankle and held on. Dro'Marri followed, jumping up and grabbing on the other ankle. Shealis was unable to escape and blasted Zed and Dro'Marri with magic missile, nearly knocking them both out. However the held on, and Byron leapt up and knocked her out with the pommel of his sword.

    D'buld quickly tied Shealis up which was good as she quickly awoke again. They removed her valuables including her spellbook, componenet pouch, 8 healing potions, and 10pp in Shahalesti coinage before starting to interrogate her. The interrogation go nowhere with Shealis as she would not deign "the base races" as her equals for talking, and she was getting annoyed at Diogenes' repeated failed attempts to use charm person on her. It was not until Trinja started talking to her in Elvish and asked everyone else to give them space that she was able to make headway with Shealis. Eventually Shealis agreed to take the party to her hideout and view the contents of the case, but the intel would still head back to the Shahalesti empire. However, her familiar was already heading to the hideout, and Shealis imagined that her compatriots would soon try to leave the city.

    Trinja walked over to tell the rest of the party the deal and then had the idea to search Shealis, dorm room one more time. She had been looking for the case and Shealis, spellbook originally, but maybe there was more to find. She said she needed to grab something from her room before bolting down the stairs, sprinting across the quad, and falling through the window again. A more thorough search of the room found some notes showing the location of the Shahalesti safe house as well as a code word of some sort. She fell through the window, sprinted across the quad, and bolted up the stairs, arriving out of breath. After briefing the party, they decided that they had enough info to go directly as a backup plan, but they should try to go with Shealis as an attempt to avoid future issues with the Shahalesti empire.

    Shealis asks for her equipment back but allows those who need it to drink a healing potion and leaves her component pouch with Byron as a gesture of goodwill. A crowd of people had gathered around the gates of the school to protest the presence of the wizards. So Diogenes showed let the party out through an underground tunnel that led into a nearby alley. Shealis leads the party through two inter-district gates and, after ensuring no passerby is watching, opens a secret door into the Elvish ghetto in this district. Everything matches the pilfered notes as she leads them to a side door on a carpentry shop, but Dro'Marri notices a raven following the party.

    Before proceeding she reiterates the terms that everyone can see the intelligence, but they cannot take it, and she asks for their agreement. Everyone agrees, but D'buld is hiding the fact that he is more than willing to double-cross her and take the intelligence. In the end, Zed and D'buld fail to convince her that their intentions are true, and she asks them to stay outside. Dro'Marri asks Shealis about the raven, and she expresses worry that someone is following them, but the raven is no longer visible. After manipulating the figures in a carving on the wall, a door opens, and everyone except Zed and D'buld enters the shop. They walk past a group of 5 celestial badgers, their coats shining with metallic hues of silver and gold. Trinja plays with them and tries to get them to follow her, and one follows her as the party is led upstairs. A trio of Shahalesti soldiers scrambles to their feet, anticipating a fight, but Shealis tells them to stand down.

    Meanwhile, a rat approaches Zed and D'buld outside. They are surprised when it speaks, "Hey, I know your friends are going in there to get a case filled with Ragesian intelligence. The Ragesians summoned me to retrieve the case, but the letter of my contract only means that I have to retrieve the case, not the intelligence. We can help each other get what we want. What do you say?" After confirming that he was also the raven that Dro'Marri had seen, D'buld agrees. He memorized the movements required to open the secret door, and he lets the rat inside.

    Almost instantly, the badgers notice the rat's presence and start hissing. The rat says, "Oh boy," and everyone upstairs hears the noise, the Shahalesti going for their weapons. A look of contempt crosses Shealis' face as she regards the members of the party who are upstairs with her...
    Last edited by Tormyr; Monday, 30th April, 2018 at 02:12 PM.

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    The heroes start to say that they don't know what is going on downstairs, but Shealis cuts them off and tells them to head downstairs. Meanwhile, D'buld watches as the rat shapeshifts into a raven and flies on top of one of the doors. He decides to just close the door and wait to find out what happens. The heroes and elvish spies come down the stairs to find the badgers surrounding a the raven and trying to get to it. Shealis doesn't hesitate and blasts the raven squarely with a fire bolt. Everyone does a double-take as the raven is unaffected by the blast. Several others fire arrows which do minimal damage. The raven goes invisible, and Shealis shouts, "Kill it! Protect the case!" as she feels a flutter of wind go up the stairs past her. The elves head up and train weapons and magic on the case on the floor, waiting for any movement. Torrent runs up stairs and jumps on the case, and then freaks out a little as she realizes everyone is pointing weapons at her. There is a scuffling sound a few feet away, and everyone fires in the direction of the sound. An imp appears and falls to the ground, dead. After a few moments it dissolves into a puff of fire.

    Some quick talking on the part of the heroes convinces the elves that the imp was not with them. Shealis lets them try to open the case, and Dro'marri manages to crack it open with a hammer and chisel. Inside is a large book written in Infernal. Byron takes a look, but the words are nonsense, and he realizes that it must be all written in code. Shealis allows them to copy five pages and gives them the name of a contact in Calanis that they can contact for more information. With a "something is better than nothing" philosophy, the heroes leave the safe house.

    They decide that they should go see council member Erdan Menash. He has been vocal about resistance against Ragesia and may help them escape the city. On the way, they realize they are being tailed. They wait for their tail to catch up, and a bunch of city guard approach them, demanding that they come in for questioning. The heroes refuse and walk away while the guard follows from a distance. Eventually, they realize several of the guard have disappeared. After a few minutes, the missing guards appear from a side alley and step out in front of them. After a quick quip that the heroes should have come quietly, they attack.

    At this point, the heroes have been awake for almost 30 hours with a few hours of sleep here and there. As the guards move in to attack, the heroes realize that these are more Black Horse mercenaries, and they are outnumbered. As they start taking hits, a figure jumps down from the balcony. He lands and says, "Well hello! It looks like you are in a bit of trouble. May I help?" as he pulls out his greatsword.
    XP Lylandra, Tizbiz gave XP for this post

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