SHADOW WAR: EBERRON MEETS DARKSUN MEETS RAVENLOFT MEETS EVERYTHING ELSE
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    SHADOW WAR: EBERRON MEETS DARKSUN MEETS RAVENLOFT MEETS EVERYTHING ELSE

    SHADOW WAR
    SEGMENT 000
    “THE PRE-PRELOGUE”


    IT HAS BEEN AWHILE SINCE I RAN A CAMPAIGN. PERSONAL ISSUES, PLAYER ISSUES AND A NEED TO “UNPLUG” CAME UP. I’M READY TO RETURN. BUT WHAT TO DO?

    EBERRON IS MY GO TO CAMPAIGN WORLD. I EXPOSED SEVERAL OF MY PLAYERS TO DARKSUN AND THEY ENJOYED IT. BUT I ALSO WAS WORKING ON A 3.5 VERSION OF TORG BEFORE LEARNING IT WAS BEING REPRODUCED.

    I CAN NOT EVER RECREATE MY FIRST EBERRON CAMPAIN- THE CREATION SCHEMA. BETWEEN THE SCOPE AND PLAYERS, THE CONCEPT OF EXPANDING ON THE ORIGINAL PUBLISHED GAME, I CAN NEVER GET THAT “FEEL” BACK. SO AGAIN… WHAT TO DO.

    I TALKED ABOUT IT WITH A FEW NON-PLAYERS AND GOT A MIX OF “SATAN” AND “OH- THAT GAME”. I WANTED TO PROVE OTHERWISE. ESPECIALLY SINCE I HAVE NEVER DEALT WITH FIENDS SO THAT I COULD AVOID THAT. THEN I ASKED MYSELF WHY? I AM 49 YEARS OLD. WHY CAN’T I RUN A MORE ADULT-THEMED CAMPAIGN.

    I ALSO WANTED TO TIE-UP SOME OF MY LOOSE ENDS WITH OTHER CAMPAIGNS THAT I EITHER DIDN’T FINISH OR LEFT IN THE MIDDLE OF.

    I HAD REVEALED A POWERFUL EVIL ARTIFACT IN MY “MORGRAVE ADVENTURES” CAMPAIGN. IN JOHN PLAY AND SIBERYS SEVEN I INTRODUCED A VERY PWRFUL WOULD-BE EVIL GOD. THE HIDDEN CAMPAIGNS HAVE LONG RANGE ISSUES INVOLVING THE DRAGONS.

    SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE DRAGONS ARE REMOVED FROM EBERRON? THE GOOD GUYS ACT CAUTIOUSLY IF THEY ARE EVEN AWARE OF THE GREATER EVILS IN THE SHADOWS. THE BAD GUYS? NOW THEY FEEL THEY ARE READY TO ACT.

    NOW…. NOW I THINK I KNOW WHAT TO DO. SHADOW WARS.

    ANDY VANESSA DREAMQUAKE
    DAN XARGROLST
    JEFF DORQUE
    TIM TABASKANDORIN

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    SHADOW WAR
    SEGMENT 001
    “PRELOGUE 1”

    LHARVION 20 1001, ARCANIX.

    The woman walks away from the floating fortress dedicated to magic. Her stride is steady, confident and willful. She smirks as she feels the energy build then release. Alarms begin to whine. “So it begins my love.”

    Short life manifest zones appear and rip into the strongest non-dragon magically defended structure on Eberron. Reality itself comes into question. Then new portals open. Strange looking gaunt people step out of these portals. Powers of their minds lash out at the defenders flying out of Arcanis like bees from a struck hive.

    One mage grabs her chest. Her heart has stopped beating.

    Another mage grabs her throat. No air comes or goes from her chest.

    Psionics.

    Reality is being reshaped by the power of powerful mental abilities of alien psions with dark tanned skins.

    Using psionic energies, these aliens attack and invade the floating pyramid. Explosions and bursts of raw magical and psionic energy rock the floating fortress.

    Below, watching the show of incredible power, is a woman lacking eye brows and whites of her eyes. She looks up to watch. Mistress Muy Monstrous watches. The aliens rush out with armfuls of magical items. Once out they look down at the Mistress of Mutation.

    “Thankyou for the artifacts of magic. Mistress Kalid-Ma also thanks you.”

    Frowning, Monstrous looks up. “We had a deal. Face of the False-Moon and your Sorcerer King. Have a deal.”

    “No deal-“ and the psions close their portals.

    Monstrous smiles. “Our magic and yours will not mix well.”

    VULT 12, 1001

    A large wagon rolls along the fields of northern Breland. A noble and noblewoman dressed in red ride within one of these wagons.

    “Looks like rain.” The woman states as she holds up her small umbrella.

    “Yes. Yes it does my love.” Follows the man.

    “is this the exact point? Is this where they left our world?”

    “yes.”

    “The moons are nearly lined up. Are you ready my love?”

    “Always.”

    Six minutes later….. the clouds in the sky swirl and move quickly. First darkness then a dark umbra color appears within the swirling clouds. A rift opens up and what seems like a black hand reaches out and drops a handful of treasure. Everything stolen from Arcanix months go.

    “Remember- leave everything but the book.”

    “And with the book?”

    “I can think of several persons to give the book to create great chaos in the world. Great beautiful Chaos.”

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    SHADOW WAR
    SEGMENT 002
    “THE DEATH OF SHITTAKER”
    09 / 29 / 18


    DRAVAGO 5, 1003 20TH BELL SHARN, BRELAND

    A very large warforged looks out over the City of Towers. It is cloudy and damp. It has been raining most of the afternoon. The summer rains have returned. C-667 doesn’t feel the rain on his adamantine shell. He is aware of it just the same. It is the life of a living construct. Dorque is the name he was given by the young Cannith artificer named Zinter (see John Play SH). He can not understand why.

    Xargrolst, a bounty hunter from the mountains of northern Zilargo, pats the shoulders of his animal companion and best friend- a dire Weasel. The kobold is watchful of the space his new friend takes up. He met the warforged and cleric higher up the tower earlier this damp day. A rain burst forced them to take cover in the entrance of a merchant tower. Dorque was already here staring and watching people coming in and out of the tower. When the cleric asked him a question, Dorque answered. Instead of being mocked, the cleric thanked him. For this, the warforged has decided to stay with them for now.

    Tabask has come to the City of Shadows in hopes of finding either a job or at least purpose in life. Instead he has found rain. He took cover from a downpour in a small roofed entrance to a merchant area. He asked the dim witted warforged where he came from. He answered Cyre- the cleric liked this answer. Feeling a kinship to the warforged, he laughed and offered friendship.

    Now, late in the evening, between storms, the three climb higher up the tower. The cleric suggested the view would be better if they ascended above the clouds. As they climbed Tabask asked if the others could hear a sound. The kobold answers no and the warforged listens and listens- turning and twisting his head. Flapping. Clearly it is flapping. The outside stairs exit from under a Bridgeway and they climb up to see.

    A dire bat is flying as quickly as it can with limited swaying maneuvers as if trying to avoid or throw off something. Looking closer as the large flies close to the building and over a bridge, the cleric spots a small goblin riding it. It looks back as if being chased, It is.

    Seven figures holding cross-bows ride individualized sized sky sleds. One figure appears to be the leader as the figure is robed and calls out holding something in its hand. A Cleric! If he could growl, Dorque would. He does not like what he sees- Emerald Claw! Several bolts strike the bat and rider forcing it to come down hard on an open courtyard to a tower on the other side of the bridge. The goblin rides the skidding dire animal and hops off using it as cover.

    “Emerald Claw are bad.” States the warforged as he tries to hurry up the stairway and across the open bridge.

    “Wartime Terrorists. I thought they were all dead or disbanded.” Adds Tabask as he pulls out his holy symbol- a dark metal blazing sun encased within a rectangle. This symbol was given to him by his human father on his deathbed. A double-bladed scimitar made of pure energy appears behind the hooded leader.

    The kobold and his animal friend (Sarfuold) follow behind him. He watches as the Emerald Claw members create a semi-circle around the downed bat and goblin. More bolts strike the goblin driving him to the gravel. With a shaky hand, the goblin holds up his own symbol- a black burned wooden image of the Shadow. Even as Xar pegs a bolt into the nearest Claw member, the goblin disappears….then his bat….then two separate soldiers of the claw. Gone.

    Waving his magical Great Sword over his head, Dorque rushes up to the leader and strikes him down even as a magical flail appears….and disappears. The Claw members on sky sleds begin to move away quickly after a female member takes command with the death of the robed leader.

    One of the disappeared soldiers reappears as he rises straight up. Tabask castes Fly onto himself and charges this man. He leans forward and holds onto the edge of the skysled as they collide. He stays on but now flies away.

    The darkness spell has worn off. A claw member, holding the side of his exposed and bleeding face flees. The goblin below, has the soldier’s blood on his green slimy lips. The goblin and Dire Bat both limp away leaving a blood trail. Xar hopes to find a means to use the sky sleds but does not find any of the control rings as most of the Claw members have already fled.

    Xar looks to the injured dire bat next. One bolt (nat 20) struck the wing joint. Three other bolts are on its side and neck. As he nears it the dying bat snarls. It doesn’t deter the kobold at all. A shimmer appears next to the kobold. A flaming sphere?!? The kobold fires his drawn crossbow and begins to circle the dying and magical beast while being chased by the magic effect.

    Nearby, the now flying cleric of travel leaves the fleeing Claw members including the woman leader and goes to the goblin. Dorque is stalking the goblin whom calls on his dark gods for power. “Stay” states the warforged. The goblin snarls and hisses as he motions to shield himself. Dorque places a very heavy foot on the goblins chest and pins the unholy symbol into his chest drawing blood as the dagger shaped symbol pushes through the cloth and strips of rotting leather. Instinctively, the goblin grabs the warforge’s foot and releases his contagion spell into it. The evil spell swirls around the (living) construct’s foot with seemly no effect.

    “Bad” and the foot depresses slightly bringing out a high squeak. The goblin begins to punch and strike the foot. Then he claws onto it and spits at Dorque.

    “Don’t kill him.” Calls out the cleric. Landing next to the pinned goblin , the cleric calmly kneels next to him, just out of the goblin’s reach. “What is this about?”. Between the bolt piercing a major artery and being squeezed like a grape, the goblin makes a barking and squeaking sound.

    Then nothing as blood stops squirting out.

    Tabask frowns. A missed opportunity. Xar joins them after killing the magical bat. After the warforged removes his foot and the cleric checks for dangerous effects on the body they begin to look to clues. Intact are a few potions with goblin writing and smiley faces on them. With some disgust, the cleric of good removes symbols of evil, the Shadow. Then he finds a crushed scroll case. Checking it out carefully, he opens it.

    “Ugh!”

    “What is it?” asks the kobold.

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    SHADOW WAR
    SEGMENT 003
    “THE SCROLL”
    9/29/18

    DRAVAGO 5, 1003 20TH BELL SHARN, BRELAND

    “Read” suggests the warforged.

    Tabask works the damaged scroll open and removes the paper within. It has fresh blood on it from the dead goblin.

    “Is it written in his language?” asks the kobold bounty hunter.

    “No…. I think it is in common….”

    “Think?”

    “ The penmanship is… well its terrible. And it was written by a goblin. The word use…. Hard to understand.”

    “Something-something of More graves… Morgrave….has succeeded in …. Translating… “

    Tabask tries to smooth out the heavily wrinkled paper before trying again. “Something-something great art… artifact. Built by elves…. Clan Adev… Adventure…. Adventiteau….. of Mountain Shadow.”

    “I feel like we need a magic spell to understand this…… “ adds Tabask before restarting the translation.

    “Oft…. Often eats restless…. No restaurant…. Often eats at restaurant Moohdol…. McOh… dolisistt…. McOhdolistt…. Hound… Found in 24st lever…. 24th level of Tower Cluus…. 16th bell….”

    “Oh….”

    “ah minimum security…. Something Boroman…. Boromar “

    The kobold twitches at the name.

    “He eats…. Reg…regularly…. Two or three…. Something a week. Always…. No… Often alone.”

    The cleric pauses to look with concern to each of them before continuing.

    “Sometimes with… Shiny…?!? But stupid…, ?!? “

    “Shiny but stupid?” repeats the cleric in utter confusion.

    “eh. Sounds like goblin speak. Shiny is valuable…. Or beautiful…” offers the kobold.

    “alright then….. valuable but stupid…. Sec….secondary…. secretary… beware of …Claw.”

    “Emerald Claw.” Dorque points out the obvious.

    “Soon…..to snoop-ing around… Morgrave. Hiding… poorly.”

    Treating his eye strain… Tabask squeezes his eyes shut and pinches them. “alright so….

    “Something…. Mo fist? Name anyway….says Zil….hire of Morgrave has succeeded in translations. The translation speaks of… artifacts built by elves Clan Adventiteau of Mountain Shadow…Often eats… Zils-hire often eats at McOhdolistt… Found on 24th level ..of Tower Cluus in Cliff…side at 16th bell. Minimum
    Security. Boramar… He…Zil-shire…. Eats there regularly 2 to 3 times a week. Often alone. Sometimes a “pretty” but stupid secretary eats with him. Beware of the Emerald Claw. They (?) are snooping around Morgrave. Hiding.”

    The cleric sighs and looks down at the dead goblin. “He could have answered a lot of questions.” Looking back to the kobold and then up to the 6’10 warforge. “It seems someone is in danger. This Zilshire guy…. I feel compelled to help him.” The cleric clutches his adamantine emblem. “I cannot force you-“

    “I am curious. I will help you for now.” Answers the kobold.

    The warforged nods a yes and holds out a hand to help the cleric up.

    They begin to discuss terms and names when they spot the city patrol coming their way. They move into the shadows and stairway leading down to avoid them.

    They find a room for the night. Here they continue to decipher the scroll.

    They decide the name is Nofist and most likely another goblin. To locate him may require seeking him in the areas controlled by the goblins… including the goblin markets.

    Zilshire. Connected with the university sector. Noble or even Professor. If he is a professor there, Morgrave is known to become involved with ancient history and magic…. Including artifacts.

    McOhdolistt is a popular restaurant that caters to adventurers

    Boromar is a family suspected to be involved in illegal criminal activities….

    “I have heard McOhdolistt has really good sandwiches and spied potato sticks.” Offers the cleric.

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    Claw vs Goblin as the group arrive....Name:  SHAD 01.jpg
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    Why was this so hard to translate?Name:  SHAD 02.jpg
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    SHADOW WAR
    SEGMENT 004
    “McOHDOLISTT”
    9/29/18

    DRAVAGO 6, 1003 16TH BELL SHARN, BRELAND

    “Smells good.”

    “Yes, Sarfuold agrees.”

    They enter the popular restaurant. It is very busy and crowded. There are about a dozen tables. Each has adventurer types sitting at; dwarves, elves, humans and even a fewer amount of exotic races.

    The cleric notes a lone black raven watching them enter the restaurant. The door closes and he pushes it open to look again and it is gone.

    In a few minutes, a table becomes available. A worker wipes down the table and asks about food and drinks. The table is close to the door so they hope to monitor everyone coming in and out. The kobold’s weasel sticks its head out from under the table.

    “We don’t allow pets in here. Sorry. It has to go.” Says the waitress as she arrives with the two drinks.

    “Sarfuold is no mere pet.” States the insulted kobold.

    “Sorry dear. Familiar, Companion and especially were creatures can not be here. House Ghallandra is cracking down on this law within the cities.”

    “Please wait outside. It will be okay.” The large weasel slowly leaves with his head bowed low. He gives one last deep sniff then slinks out the door.

    “So…. Is he a human or elf?” asks the kobold eyeing his drink.

    “I am thinking elf. That is an elven name… Adventiteau.”

    “Adventiteau ?”

    “elven for Brave Traveler.” Tabask says while taking off his helmet. His elven blood shows as his ears are slightly longer and pointed. His human blood gives him blonde hair and a scruffy beard over a square jaw.

    A few people come and go including a woman dressed in light yellow and black. “Maybe he is not coming in today. The scroll suggested he came here regularly… not daily.” Begins the kobold licking foam from his scaly lips.

    “Are you enjoying the food?” asks the waitress.

    “Very good.”

    “Another drink?”

    “No thankyou.”

    She waits a few moments. Tabask then realizes what she is getting at. “We are waiting for someone. Zilshire. I’ll have one more drink.”

    She begins to leave when she becomes startled. A large pink and black dotted nose if pushing the door open and sniffing. “He is outside.”

    The waitress leaves quickly. They continue to sit and listen intently.

    They hear about adventurers looking to go to the flooded Mirror Lake Valley, and The Hidden and to Xen’drik. One disturbing conversation they hear involves the rape and murder of several young girls within Sharn. They hope it is not connected to their quarry.

    A roped human holding a pack and a book enters the room. Xar tosses the last of his fried spiced beef sandwich to his animal companion before the door recloses.

    The man sits down. Puts the book on the table. Then an ink well, a floating quill. The waitress comes over “The usual?”

    Without looking up he answers “Hummmummm”

    “That must be him.” They get up begin to ask questions.

    “Zilshire?”

    The man stops then looks up. “yes?”

    “Do you know a Nofist?” asks the kobold.

    The man begins to put the book and goods away.

    “Are you translating a book? An old book?” asks Tabask.

    The waitress returns. “Is the food to go?”

    The door opens unnoticed by anyone. “Yes, It is to go. I must go.”

    “Professor Zilshire? I wish to ask you some questions.”

    “Ahhhhh! Hey! That’s my sandwich!”

    The group turns and spots Sarfuold hurrying away from a table with a sandwich in his mouth. Then they spin into the other direction as the Professor hurries for the door with his stuff.

    The dire weasel disrupts his footing as he hurries out the door with his “catch”.

    “Your life may be in danger. Goblins and terrorists both seek you and the book you are translating. We want to help.”

    “There it is! Damned mutant rodent stole my sandwich.” A human woman dressed in basic leather screams at the group. Two large men step from behind her.

    “You owe her two silvers for that sandwich.”

    As Dorque steps up to them between his new friends and the humans a female quietly steps out dressed in yellow and black. She goes in the direction the professor has gone.

    “Weasel owe.” Declares the warforged. “Not Kobold.”

    The weasel pauses hearing this then savagely chows and swallows the sandwich followed by a big gulp.

    “Where did he go? “ calls out the Cleric.

    “Sarfuold is-“

    “No- the professor…. “

    They chase after him. Stairs go down and they follow. They hear footsteps go down a hallway and go there. They continue on and find…. An open one-way courtyard.

    They look at each other. Lost him.

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    SHADOW WAR
    SEGMENT 005
    “GOBLIN MARKETS”
    9/29/18



    “Where to?” asks the kobold.

    “Down. We can find this ‘Nofist’ down where the goblins live.”

    Not surprising…. No goblins seem to know this “Nofist”.

    “Goblin Market” states Dorque.

    “What?”

    “Ask in Market.”

    “Three words. Big speech” the kobold sarcastically comments.

    “Good idea. The market is next.”

    Shortly they reach the upper levels where the goblins and other races live away from the natural sun. They scare many goblins in the first market. The second market goes poorly as Tabask is robbed of his coin purse- a very heavy coin purse. But the third…..

    About two dozen goblins are at the market. Two humans are here at a booth. “We are looking for Nofist. Where can we find a goblin named ‘Nofist’ ?”

    All of the goblins stare to the back of the crowd where one lone goblin stands. The two humans and the group turn now also to stare at the exposed goblin spy. Dorque steps forward and the crowd parts for him. The goblin begins to run. Tabask calls up his divine power to defy gravity and flies over the crowd and stops the goblin. By time the others catch up with them, the half-elf has already begun his interrogation.

    “Nosebleed- Nofist at Nosebleed!”

    “Where or what is a nosebleed?”

    DRAVAGO 6, 1003 23RD BELL THE NOSEBLEED IN UNDERSHARN, BRELAND

    The nosebleed is a moving pit fighting event run by goblins. Each of the families are represented by a non-goblin and fight for family pride and money. As before, Tabask calls for Nofist. As before, the goblins turn and single out one goblin…. A goblin missing a hand.

    “Are you killers of Shittaker?” snarls one goblin as he backs away.

    “We are here for Nofist. Him.” And the kobold points at the retreating goblin.

    The goblins understand they are no match for these three so they step aside but the half-orc pit fighters step up making a wall. “You and the Claw may have murdered Shittaker but you will not take Nofist.”

    The three fighters do not last long as the warforged slices through them. Trapped, Nofist turns from his tunnel and faces the cleric of Travel.

    “What want you?!? Nofist no talk.”

    “Okay with me. But the big guy…….”

    The goblin attempts to flee but a hold spell stops him. Tabask ties him up. “Zilshire. Why are you spying on him?”

    “it what I do. Spy I do.”

    “Who paid you?”

    “One with money. Foolish question.”

    “Both of you are fools. Tabask can’t tie knots for anything and you thought I wouldn’t notice you have one free already.” The kobold bounty hunter attaches manacles on him. He reties the bindings better and so that the stub of his arm can not pull free. “Now, are you going to answer this overly polite man his question or will… Dorque ask the questions.?” The kobold leans in close- “He is a warforged of few words but great intensity.”

    They learn much in the next twenty minutes.

    A human contact has hired him to spy on ‘Cranky Professor’ (Zilshire).

    This began two months ago.

    ‘Mean Elf’ ( Professor Ardreau Guiest) has been translating a book for Cranky Professor.

    He keeps this book poorly hidden in his apartment closet.

    “Fancy Magic Guy” (Warlord Saas of Cleaved Rock) has been paying Cranky Guy to find and translate the book

    “Shiny Stupid but Nosey Girl” (Zilshire’s Secretary) has been running interference; protects Cranky Guy

    Claw has sent hidden agents to both Cranky Professor’s office and Apartment. Found nothing.

    “Silver Flamer Headguy” (High Cleric Samson) has been snooping around also

    “Holy Doggie” (Archon Hound Terrus) has been here for many many many months looking for book.

    “Where to next?”

    “For clues…. The two Professors’ offices and apartments….. maybe even talk to the Silver Flame.”

    No fist curses under his breath. “No likes Silver Flamers.”

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    SHADOW WAR
    SEGMENT 006
    “GOBLIN MARKET GOLD”
    9/29/18

    Roachbite is certain he has done well this time. Big people are such easy targets especially within a crowd. He finds a very dark hole deep in UnderSharn.

    Sitting down he places the bag between his legs and rubs his hand together snickering. “pretties pretties pretties….”

    He opens the bag and peers in. His eyes go wide and his passes out.


    9 silver
    27 gold
    4 platinum

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    SHADOW WAR
    SEGMENT 007
    “ZILSHIRE”
    10/13/18

    DRAVAGO 7, 1003 1ST BELL, SHARN

    “Peco’s Place?” reads the Kobold Bounty Hunter. “Sounds like a gnomish blight.”

    “Don’t like gnomes much do you?” comments the half-elf cleric.

    Silence and a flare of a scaled nostril. “No.”

    A bright purple and blue haired gnome pops up to the counter. “Welcome! Welcome to Peco’s- Peco’s Place! How can I help you? Looking for rooms? Peco has rooms.”

    “How much for a room?”

    “Five Coppers. Won’t find any cheaper. Five Coppers per room per night.” Even with the unhappy look on Kobold the gnome smiles.

    “Sounds fair.” The cleric reaches under his tabard to his belt and….. nothing. “Gone?!? Where is my pouch?!?”

    “I can pay.” Says the kobold thinking the cleric is a cheapskate.

    “The big one must go elsewhere however. They don’t need sleep and invite trouble.”

    “Outside.” States the large warforged even as he turns to leave. He is used to this type of treatment. If it bothers him, he doesn’t show it.

    A few hours go by. Both the cleric and Bounty Hunter only require a few hours sleep so they are up by 6th Bell. As they gather and wait for Dorque to come in another young gnome with true red colored hair comes in. He sets down a handful of this weeks’s Korranberg Chronicles. The two gnomes quiet down and whisper. The youngest looks at the two and taps the papers with a subtle nod.

    He leaves as the big warforged comes in. Tabask asks about buying a paper and does so. He reads the headlines and frowns. Once in the hallway and heading to Zilshire’s apartment mentions the headlines. “Goblins have been fighting robed people around the restaurants were we went to yesterday.”

    “Same goblins as the ones we faced?” asks Xar as he pats his Dire Weasel.

    “Possibly.”

    “More?” asks the warforged.

    “May be of interest to you. Merrix is coming out of hiding to give a speech about Warforged rites.”

    If it interests him he does not show it.

    Asking around, they find Professor Zilshire’s apartment. At 7th bell they knock and get no reply. Xar steps up to door and prepares to pick it.

    “No. We are not going in uninvited. There is no reason to go in.”

    Disappointed, the kobold puts his tools away and shrugs. “Your call.”

    Just before 8th bell, they arrive within Morgrave University’s lecture halls.

    Students are coming and going. Many are arriving for classes and others to speak to their teachers.

    “Excuse me…..” begins the cleric to a student.

    She shrugs off his hand in anger.

    “Excuse me. Where…….” Another student rushes past him.

    “Rude.” States the warforged.

    “May I help you?” asks an armed security officer.

    “Bit much?” suggests Tabask.

    “Had some issues a year or so ago. University likes to keep it quiet. You are looking for… missing student?”

    “No. Looking for a Professor Zilshire. Teaches here.”

    “That quack. Two doors down on the right. Secretary should be there.”

    “Shiney but stupid. Thank you.” And they walk past the guard.

    “People seem …. On edge.” Notes the cleric.

    “City life will do that to a person.” Offers the Kobold.

    “Does your ….animal have a licence?” calls out the guard.

    “Eh?”

    “Licence”

    “I don’t…..”

    “He left it at the room. Didn’t think to bring it to the University where familiars are more common.” Quickly adds the cleric.

    The guard looks them over them several students pass between them. The groups takes this opportunity to move on.

    “Here.” States the warforged.

    Ever polite, the cleric knocks.

    “Like, come in. It’s unlocked.” Calls out a woman from the other side.

    The cleric goes in first. He sees a woman wearing a skin tight dark blue mini-shirt and vest. A white blouse with many buttons undone and her black hair in a loose bun. She pushes up her over sized glasses and smiles. “Hello and like good morning. What can I do for you?”

    Shiny and Stupid thinks the cleric. “We want to see the professor. Is he in?”

    “Do you have an appointment?”

    The bounty hunter enters next with his animal companion. The room is simple and neat. A desk, a chair and a short shelf. “Oh what a cute puppy.” The Dire Weasel and kobold both look to each other in disbelief. “What breed?”

    “ah…errrr…”

    “Ugly.” States the warforged and his chest rises and falls. Tabask wonders if the warforged made a joke and is laughing. “Karrnathi Hound.” Offers the cleric with no idea but obviously neither does she.

    She knocks and sticks her head into the doorway leading to an office next door. She waves them- “Just be, like, quick- he has class soon.”

    For as clean as the sitting room is, his office is messy. Papers, tomes, books and scrolls are piled and heaped on the floor, chairs and shelves.

    “Who are you and what do you want?” asks the cranky old professor from behind his messy desk.

    “I am Tabask. My friends are Xar and ah… Dorque. We are following up an investigation of ours. Have you ever seen this note before? The half-elf hands the bloodied messy note to him.

    The professor looks at the note with disgust. Frowning, he picks up the note with his finger tips. “What does this say?”

    “A goblin wrote it.”

    “hmmmmm….. I see. Is this my name?”

    “You know it is. Why is a goblin spying on you and your hired help?”

    “Hired help?”

    “A translator and secretary.”

    “Claw. Is she Claw?”

    “Shiny and Stupid….? Hah-ha. “Love goblin speak.” The professor looks the rest of the note over then calmly places it onto a stack of student papers.

    “Are you here for employment?” the professor asks and glares through the open door where his secretary is listening. “The last team…. Ended badly.”

    “Do tell.”

    “I had hired three individuals to help me. Wardrum, a dwarf, Kar-Draith, a lizardfolk and Hardfist, a lumpy skinned ogre (goliath) were to delivery a few books for me to translate. Wardrum died and others took his place. They never made it back.”

    “Back- to you or Sharn?”

    “Me. There were rumors of a warforged named Charger having joined them and returned to Sharn. He never came to me if he had however.”

    “The group delivered books? Who?”

    “Warlord Saas.”

    “What kind of books?”

    “History. Ancient history. I really must ask you to leave. I will be late for class.”

    “Professor- we’ll go but be careful….. goblins can be dangerous to work with.”

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