The hidden

megamania

Community Supporter
Time for a new storyhour taking place in eberron. The players are made up of various ages, experience and relationships. Ages range from 12 to 43 as the players include friends of my children, their relatives and even some of my players from the creation schema. Some of these players have never played eberron or even 3.5 rules.

The hidden involves draconic prophecies and the rise of a powerful aberrational force and its ruler. We begin at level 3 and i hope to exceed 20.

Thoise that have read my storyhours before know i tend to interweave my storyhours as powerful groups should not be limited to just their own little adventures. Expect cameos and nods to most of my existing storyhours. This doesn't mean you have to read them to understand them- it merely i believes makes it more real and with more continuity.

So, here are my players and let us begin......

Tim warforged artificer with a thing for dragons and draconic prophecy (TRUTH)
Goblin cleric of the Keeper and member of the Web (KHIIS)
Cathy elven swashbuckler and gambler (ROSE)
elven archer and killer (CATHERINA)
Saige shifter druid / ranger (TOM)
Brad human fighter with interest in magic (CY)
Jeff warforger fighter (RAF)
Jared 1/2 orc druid (BIG HANDS)
 
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megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 001
11/30/12
“EVIL SEEKING EVIL”


NEAR LAKESIDE, KARRNATH
RHAAN 21, 996

The woman falls to the floor, her neck snapped like a twig. Devoid of clothing, one can see the multiple bruises and beatings on her. “Hurm- I was starting to have fun. Quintos- this has better be good. The large murderous and vile man walks away from the three bodies either on the bed or on the floor beside it. A large green tinted tattoo of a green flame can be seen on his back. He stalks towards a cloth covered crystal that is glowing.

When removing the cloth, a blurry image of an elf dressed in green and black can be seen. He has a similar tattoo but on his cheek.

“Quintos. What have you learned?”

“Lord Vollax. I think we have found what you sought in the Caves of Gullan.”

“Any trouble?”

The elf steps aside to allow the menacing man to see behind him. The head of a Copper Dragon can be seen on the floor. “Nothing we could not handle.”

“Show me then.”

The elf side steps aside again with a sickly smile of anticipation on his face. Glowing symbols and marks are on the cavern wall and ceiling.

“It reads- The ….”

“I can see it myself.”

The large man grabs a quill and fresh parchment and begins to write it down.

HIDDEN IS THE POWER OF AN AGE
HIDDEN IS THE RUINS OF THE GREAT CITIES
HIDDEN IS THE MEANS TO USE IT ALL
HIDDEN BY MISTS REVEALED
HIDDEN IT WILL BE NO MORE
HIDDEN NO LONGER- THE DAY OF NINES

“Hidden.”

“Sir?”

“Our new operation will be referred to as The Hidden. Based on the two other Prophesies I have found this Power is located in the Shadow Marches. Assemble a team and go immediately.”

“Yes Lord Vollax. Your will and that of the Emerald Claw will be done.”

The crystal globe goes dead. The murderous man replaces the cloth onto it and turns to the three bodies. “I should be going soon. Your father will be up soon and as much as it would please me to see his face, I must be going.”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 002
12/01/12
“LADY ir’SILVERMANE”

EYRE 1, 999 – THE DOCKS OF YRLAG IN THE MORNING-

“Everyone off me ship and have a g’d day. Welcome to Yrlag.” Calls out the sea weathered old captain. Several groups of adventurers leave including a halfling that races ahead pointing at perceived wonders of the new frontier of Khorvaire. Politely waiting for everyone to leave are two humans. Each are dressed as nobles and have a presence of nobility- especially the woman.

The captain scowls at each departing passenger. Then the woman comes up from the rear. “Lady ir’Silvermane. Welcome to Yrlag. I hopes yore have a good stay. Be careful of the locals. They can be troublesome with outsiders.” warns the captain as he gives a large toothless smile and a wink.

“Thank you- good captain. I am sure we can handle any situation that may arise.” Says the woman in a silver and white traveling dress. The man beside her says nothing but politely smiles and nods to the captain before looking out to the small city.

The captain leers at her as she walks off the plank to the dock. With a smack of his lips he turns and returns to his cabin to count his money and drink Lhazaaran Rum (straight from Yrlag).

“What do you think of the city of Yrlag thus far?” she asks the man.

“The use of docks is interesting. They have adopted well to the life here.” He says somewhat sheepishly and very quietly.

“The living does that. Especially the humans and gobliniods. It is why they thrive.”

“What of the Prophecy?”

“Already? Dear- enjoy this city- this world more first. Soon we will not be able to walk about the people as we are without a panic.”

“They may run from me but not you. You are too beautiful.”

Both blushing, they walk on in silence.

EYRE 2, 999

Lady ir’Silvermane looks about the few businesses that would possibly interest an adventurer new to the area. The man that accompanied her has already gone inside the shop. The shopkeeper, a skinny gnome with greasy hair and finger nails that have not seen a file in years, nods to the young man. “Welcome to Nick Nack’s “Nick Knack’s and things”. He climbs down a ladder that has been patched twice with drift wood. “What can I do for you?”

“I…we seek books, supplies and maybe a guide.”

The gnome’s bushy eye brows sharply rise. “You lad are an… adventurer?”

“I seek-“ He is cut off by the woman as she walks in. “We seek guides and books about the swamp and any legends here.”

The gnome’s eye brows remain raised and a frown now appears on his face. He obviously doesn’t believe her or the man. “Books you say? I have some in the far corner. As for guides- best place is the docks or the market. Be careful though. Local folks don’t always agree with travelers.”

“Any dock?” asks the woman.

“Avoid the ones in Old Yrlag. Likely you will be robbed or… worse. Try the docks near the Marked House’s area. People don’t start trouble there… much.”

Shortly they leave Nick Nack’s and wander towards another store that looks promising.

“SILVERMANE!”

Both the woman and man stop and give startled glances to each other before slowly turning around.
On a small watercraft near the dock is a man with a few crates and bundles on board. His legs and hands are covered in mud.

“is that who I think it is?” whispers the man to the woman.

“Sir Whenduel! What a … surprise.”
“I think he still has a crush on you. I do not ….LIKE it.”

“What has it been? A year…. Maybe more?”

“Why yes Dendril. In Morgrave at the Hall of Antiquities I believe.”

The man whispers to her- “If I had a tongue I doubt I could ever say his name three times quickly.”

The dirty noble awkwardly struggles with placing his boat alongside the dock. He throws the rope up to the man to catch. It hits his chest and it drops to the dock. He looks at the dock where the rope lays then at the man in the boat with a mystified look.

“He wishes you to tether his ship darling. Please amuse the man… I’ll keep this short.” She whispers while covering her mouth as if to hide a giggle.

“Are you here exploring also? I came here last month trying to discover the secrets of the Aberration nations that once thrived here thousands of years ago.”

“Oh- That’s right. You were at Morgrave researching … the creatures.”

“You say that like it is a disgusting thing.”

Under his breath the human mumbles “tentacles, drool, multiple eyes… all nice and natural sounding to me. Sheer madness.” He then stands up after tying an impossibly complicated knot to the dock, a knot further made permanent by a little use of magic.

“What ever happened to that warforged librarian aid in Morgrave? Tome?”

“Books…. His name was Books.” She says glancing over to the man traveling with her.

The man leans against the post where the rope is tied. He has a stern look on his face. He looks to the sky as the two talks about Morgrave University and the legendary civilization of aberrations. He cannot help himself; he casts another spell onto the rope.

“…and I meant this wonderful person while researching in Sharn- may I introduce you to Zolan Keth. Zolan, this is Dendril Whenduel. We meant at Morgrave.

“It’s an honor good sir. Lady, we must really be going I fear.”

“Later Dendril. Perhaps we shall meet again.”

“It would be a pleasure.”

The couple turns and begin to walk away. “What did you do?”

“Nothing.”

“I know you.”

“Nothing!”

“I could smell the magic in the air. I want to say it was a warp wood spell and… I fear an evocation spell.”

A quiet poof is heard in the background and some people begin to yell “Fire!”. Zolan is quite pleased with himself.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 003
1/26/13
“DOCKS OF YRLAG”

EYRE 3, 999 – THE DOCKS OF YRLAG IN THE EVENING-

The dock city of Yrlag is always busy even at twilight. Venders, Hiring groups and ladies of the night are but a small part of it. One of the newest interests here is the House Ghallanda barge- Tymora’s Luck. It is a casino barge that travels along the river the city sits on. House Tharashk has an iron grip on the city’s activities and will not allow the barge to dock. So each night the barge gets within 100 feet of the docks and the halflings come ashore and offer passage. It annoys the orcs to a great deal.

One of the things that the halflings have done to encourage customers is offer free tickets to board the barge. Rose Vidana, a valenar elf swashbuckler and would be professional gambler has talked her new friends to join her on the barge and collected the free tickets for everyone to come. Tom Garvin, a druid ranger with a wolf companion named Maul quickly agreed to come. RAF, a warforged warrior, has also agreed to come but has little interest to join in. He was once a ceremonial guard in Wroat. Maybe he can find some inner peace by guarding these people. Maybe anyway. Their newest friend, a human fighter with interest with magic joins them at the last moment.

They have come early to the docks. This will allow them to take in the sights before going on Tymora’s Luck. They first see the community bulletin board. This large 10 X10 foot wooden block is where people may post notes for all to see. These notes go from wanted posters, hiring help, caravan requests and other more mundane notes of interest. Two boisterous drunken humans are pointing at a note. A handful of annoyed orcs glare at them. Whatever the humans believe is funny displeases the orcs.

Further down, a vender is trying to sell trinkets to some merchants whom have recently sold some Eberron shards they found to House Tharashk. A Talenta Plains halfling watches all of this from the comfort of his dinosaur. Loud commotion draws their attention down the docks. Someone is forcing their way through the crowds and yelling the entire time. RAF instinctively places his hand on his sword when he sees who it is.

The Emerald Claw.

There are four of them, a woman and three knights dressed in full plate. Not the average group but still distinctively the Claw. She is looking for a specific pilot of a ship and the people are quick to point him out. The others follow RAF as he marches up them. They have already climbed down the stairs of the dock to a floating platform where a small meager looking boat awaits them. RAF and his friends are no experts on sailing but question the strength of the boat as the woman and three heavily armored agents climb aboard. One of the knights seems to question it briefly himself but the woman demands him to climb in. The ship nearly sinks from their weight. As the pilot tries to warn the woman of the danger (he was not there would four- much less armored- passengers) she belittles him before the growing ground. One of the knights sees something in the water and leans over. The other two yell out in fear and throw their weight to the other side to avoid capsizing the 15 foot ship. Over it goes with a curse from the woman-and a great deal of smiles and laughter from the people on the docks.

At this point, several goblins, one with a large and heavy series of bags and packs on its back, step up to Rose. They try to sell their goods over and over to her. Maul convinces them it is time to move on.

A new commotion comes in behind them- Tusk d’Tharashk and his “deputies”. Tusk is a very large orc wielding a double bladed axe. He and his three orc buddies bully and control Tharashk law as he sees fit. He walks to the dock’s edge and sees the woman placing spells on the knights to keep them from sinking. The big orc sniffs and gives a sneer before turning around and commanding everyone to disperse. Now.

He begins to stare down a vender for bribes when a halfling dressed in fine blue silken robes and two lightly armored halfling guards walk between him and his target. He changes direction and turns to the drunken men by the message board. He makes it clear they need to leave but the halfling steps up to him first. He tries to ignore her but cannot. “We have a drunk on our dock- why not be useful and clear him and his passed out friend!” She is only a third of his height but makes up for it with her determination and fierceness.

He leans over and tries to intimidate her. Doesn’t. “Comon boys, maybe we can have some fun.”

Followed by the halflings, the four orcs go onto the pier where the large row boats await. A warforged dressed in robes carrying a quarterstaff with a ‘U’ shape on it watches everything with great interest. The orcs go directly to the drunks. The one is passed out and his drunken and unsteady friend acts to defend him. He swings his empty tankard at Tusk whom easily steps back to avoid it. Laughing, the large orc kicks the drunk in the chest and sends him into the river. The man surfaces and seems barely able to swim. Tusk then with his heavy boot rolls / kicks the unconscious man off the pier into the water. The first man does all he can to save his friend as the crowd looks on. All are afraid to act due to Tusk. RAF begins to size him up for a fight but first another fight begins without the orc or warforged.

A goblin waving a staff and a dark glass ball is yelling and arguing at a ½ orc vender. Each accuses the other of shoddy potions. Many people are forming a curious ring around them. A small and very silent goblin is moving from person to person. It is proving to be a good night for him. Wrath, RAF, Rose, Tom and Maul wander over to the argument. Tusk and his deputies begin to move roughly through the crowd also. The goblin spots the orc and decides tomorrow may be a better day to argue and leaves- quickly. The goblin that was working the crowd now disappears behind the tents.

The group passes several more groups. Women of the night, a rich couple complete with a body guard and a shifter with two Eldeen rangers. The last two groups follow them onto the pier to gain access to the Tymora’s Luck. A robed warforged has also chosen to join everyone along with a handful of merchants.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 004
1/26/13
“TYMORA’S LUCK”

EYRE 3, 999 – NIGHT TIME ON THE RIVER

“I am Truth. Who are you?” asks the robed warforged.

RAF ignores him as he watches the Tymora coming in closer.

“I am Rose.” Says the female elf.

“Rose- like the flower?”

“Yes. Are you here to gamble also?”

“I am here to learn. I seek the truth.”

They are interrupted by the halfling as they reach the barge. Lines are thrown and gathered to anchor the smaller craft to the Tymora. The first craft unloads first. Then Rose’s craft. Once up they are introduced to a Ghallanda halfling. Her name is Dainah d’Ghallanda. She is the host and runs the ship.
Rose hopes to use her own dice but is not allowed. Frowning, she puts her loaded dice back in her pocket. She wins more than she loses. Wrath considers playing and asks about the game. The merchant’s wife asks for food and a halfling goes to get her some food. Truth watches it all then decides to go upstairs onto the deck.

The deck is a large covered but open space. Truth pulls out a large book from his pack. Three different types of dragon shards are used to latch the cover down with leather straps. On the cover is also a highly detailed image of a Silver Dragon. The shifter that traveled with the rangers creeps up from downstairs. RAF saw this and wonders what is happening. He makes his way towards the stairs they used.

“We don’t like your kind.” The shifter snarls at Truth.

“Readers? Peaceful persons?” asks the warforged quietly. He says it sincerely but it comes across as sarcastic.

“Don’t be stupid. I want your money.”

“Stupid? Money?”

“No one comes onto this craft without money.”

“No one looking to gamble. I am not gambling- thus no money.”

“Don’t get smart with me!” and the shifter charges up to him. The flash of a blade is spotted by Truth. He blocks the strike and pushes the shifter back. That is when RAF finally clears the narrow stairway and demands his attention. RAF charges him and takes him down quickly and then throws his body over the edge. Dainah d’Ghallanda hears the splash and sends guards upstairs.

RAF and Truth suggest there was no incident and the splash was her imagination or a large fish. She lets it go but has her staff watch the two of them carefully. The rangers that were with the shifter are also very watchful of the two warforged.

Rose begins to lose when Truth spots something in the distance. A fire on the docks. The group has heard of fires on the docks where bodies are missing and never found. Many are upset with House Tharashk’s lack of interest in stopping the arsons. Some even feel they are responsible. Rose and Truth want to go to shore but the halflings will not. The merchant couple looks and begins to fear it is their home or a neighbors’ home.

In time the barge travels close enough to shore that the transport boats come to them. The merchants are quick to get out first leaving the second ship very crowded. When the ship reaches the pier Rose and Truth push for the others to join them and go to the fire.

Their home is half burnt to the ground. Their son is gone.

RAF is convinced it is the Emerald Claw. The others believe goblins are part of it. Talking to the people that travel during the night they learn of a criminal group of goblins known as the Web and suspect they are the arsonists and kidnappers.

Few will talk about the criminal group known as the Web. The closest hint is to go to Old Town. This is the original settlement of Yrlag. Where the newer sections were built by House Tharashk to aid in the cultivating and sales of Eberron Shards, the older section is built in the mud. It is a shanty town and dangerous at night.

It is 3am before they finally chase down (only to lose again) a goblin willing to speak to them. This goblin hides on a roof top about ten feet above them before calling to them. “Who you?” he calls out after dropping a pebble on RAF’s large shoulder pad.

“I am truth-“

“Are you? You do not lie?” hisses out the goblin trying not to laugh.

“I SEEK the truth. Thus why I am named such.”

“Seek? You seek? Why seek…. Friends of mine?”

“We wish you no harm- we merely wish to investigate the fires here. They are causing a great deal of harm to the local people.” Pleads Rose.

“Local people you say. Bad this is. Too bad. Go away and leave us.” The goblin spits with annoyance.

RAF slams into the building punching holes into it. The occupants inside are not impressed. The goblin is gone. “If it is not the goblins then it HAS to be the Claw.”

Nearing daylight they seek the claw now. Inquiries lead them to a tavern that separates Yrlag and old town Yrlag. They try the door and find is locked. RAF is prepared to knock it down when Tom spots the sign that they will open shortly. They opt to rest in the alley instead of the front porch. A few hours pass when a man begins to yell at them while waving a broom over his head.

“We are looking for a room where-“ Rose begins.

“A room? I have two rooms available. Each large enough for several people. Food is available also. Come! Come! Come inside.”

Inside they sit down to the smell of cooking muffins, eggs and some sort of spiced meat. RAF is not impressed. Cy insists on enjoying some food. Tom drops some food to the floor for Maul. “We are looking for a woman-“ Truth begins.

“We are not that kind of tavern sir.” Interrupts the tavern owner.

“I know. A woman and three large men. They may be of the Emerald claw.” Follows up Truth.

“Yes.” He answers and RAF moves to the stairs quickly.

“They left at day break. It is why I was up so early. I was their wake-up call.” RAF stops and seems to exhale in frustration.

Tossing a coin behind them, they are quick to be off as they head for the docks again. The Emerald claw has hired another and better pilot and ship this time. They hope to reach them in time.

They do not.

The Claw has over a half of an hour head start on them. Witnesses say they went up river (as they tried the day before). There are no other ships or pilots.

Rose smiles. “If I get us a ship- should we really go after the Claw?”

RAF spins on his heel and glares at her.

Cy nods yes.

Truth is speaking to a vender just setting up. She is offering maps and general information on the city. She has helped the Claw and is willing to sell them the map she gave them and the information she gave them. Tom agrees.

Rose pulls out a coin smirks to everyone and makes sure everyone is watching her. She speaks a word and flips the coin into the water. A large ship magically forms from the coin on the water’s surface. “Tah-dah!” she exclaims.

Truth looks at her then at the ship. “Who will pilot it?”

Together they figure out the basics. RAF in particular helps. His drive to hunt the claw is great indeed.

They work the ship east but not very quickly. They come to realize this plan is not going to work at all and turn around after a few hours of trying to steer the ship into outlets but failing to do so.

They return to the docks and find few will talk to them. So they get a room and rest.

Truth and RAF, as warforged, need no rest. Truth reads and RAF sharpens weapons and does basic maintenance on people’s weapons. Tom spots the gems (he doesn’t see them for the shards they are) and asks about the book. Truth puts it away. He doesn’t want to share it with her. Truth is about to explain more about his book and why he doesn’t want to share it (just yet anyway) when he spots a burst of light through the window.

“Fire!”
 
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megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 005
1/26/13
“JOURNEYMAN’S TAVERN”

EYRE 4, 999 – NIGHT TIME ON THE RIVER

“What of it?” answers RAF with the typical emotion of a warforged combatant?

“We can help!” answers Rose as she gathers her equipment.

“It may be the arsonists!” answers Tom.

“Either way we should help.” Finishes Truth.

“I’ll stay here and watch over the room.” Says the warforged guard.

Truth hesitates for a moment then follows the others and leaves RAF behind… to guard their room.

The fire is two blocks away at a building named Journeyman’s Tavern. As they get closer they can see the fire is spreading and why. Many small humanoid figures are racing around laughing while they press the lit torches against the building and other dry goods there. Tom and Rose move to cover to fire their longbows at the arsonists. The other two rush towards the bridge connecting the two blocks. Maul passes them and stops at the doorway the creatures just entered.

Truth peers through a window and sees who they are dealing with- goblins! He reaches up with his staff and smashes the window and the goblin on the other side that was distracted by a nice piece of pork jerky it had found on the counter top. Most of the goblins don’t notice. Only one stands by his friend. Maul and the fighter take him down.

Tom and Rose drop a few goblins before they go around stacked crates that cover them as they continue to set fire to outside of the building. Tom and Rose then race around to the bridge to give chase.

Fires are being set both inside and outside of the building. Goblins inside are stealing food, destroying things and of course setting fires. One is seen yelling up the central stairs. Maul chases the goblins while the others go upstairs to investigate.

The furniture is overturned and wrecked up here. Truth spots an open window and goes to it. Other goblins, dressed in black for stealth, have several young women. The women appear dazed or enchanted.

“Outside!”

They race outside even as the other half of the group chase goblins around the corner. The goblins reach a bridge leading to the next building. They begin to disappear into the dark. Maul gives chase but stops before getting too far ahead of the others.

Truth looks around. Too late. The goblins outside, setting fires, distracted them while the main objective was done. Another group of goblins kidnapped the women.

“RAF missed out on a fight. He’ll be upset.”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 006
2/9/13
“DIRTY JOB”

EYRE 5, 999 MORNING

Half of the house has been burned down. The Tharashk firefighters seem to be getting batter at their jobs. A half-orc other than Tusk interviews the PCs learning what he can of the fire. He has a lot of interest of the involvement of goblins. He generally ignores the PCs questions they ask of him and the investigation.

They return to their room. RAF is still there watching the water through the window. He is not happy he missed a fight but it didn’t seem like anything to go to see. It was just a fire. The group rest and sleep in a bit.

They decide to seek out goblins. At least one of them will have answers for them.

As they walk through the dock area they notice the Tharashk orcs and humans are out asking questions and in some cases strong arming snitches and anyone they feel they can intimidate into revealing important information. There are no goblins to be seen on the docks. They have all gone into hiding already.

They try old town but find there are no goblins there either. They ask merchants and tavern people about the goblins (or the lack thereof) and are told it is general knowledge that the House is seeking any and all goblins for information. After a few hours of searching they return to the burnt and ruined home. Several half-orcs are guarding the smoking remains.

Rose is the first to ask them questions. The others also ask questions but all questions are answered as such- “No know. We guard. Crime scene. None allowed here. Leave. Leave Now.”

Looking around the area they realize the goblins used a small boat to travel UNDER the docks. It’s why no one ever sees them.

They walk around more to talk to the local merchants. When asked about where the goblins are most of them either won’t answer or have no idea. Finally one of them answers beyond old town- in the marsh.

They look for the first path leading out of the town into the swamp. RAF believes this to be a waste of time. He says this while watching how deeply his warforged body sinks into the mud on the trail. Truth does his best to lift his robes high to avoid getting mud and water on it. Truth and Maul lead the way. Tom also seeks tracks and finds little of use.

Maul falls back to travel with Tom leaving Truth in the lead. The path is narrow and weaving. Thick swampy brush with water at the base covers the edges of the path. The brush grows from a few feet high to as much as eight feet tall with an occasional short tree visible.

Not seeing it as he walks by, Truth is attacked by a large snake that was within the brush. It is quickly killed by Rose with an arrow. Truth is concerned if the snake tore his robe when biting at him. Maul stops to check out a strangely stretched vine going from the brush into a puddle of muddy water. Looking at it, they also see a single goblinoid foot print. The vine is part of a trap designed for a small rodent or animal.

Now becoming noon time, they consider a break when Truth once more attracts the attention of predator. He is struck by thorns that come flying out from a pocket of watery weeds and tall grass. A thorny toad is hiding there and protecting itself. It doesn’t have long to live as Cy and RAF move up with their large swords.

They find more signs of a goblin using the brush to avoid leaving tracks. Encouraged by this, they move further down the path. Soon they come onto a narrow moving water way. The water is brown so they cannot tell how deep it is. Several flimsy branches form a bridge at the edge of the brush. Looking at it, they guess it couldn’t hold up anything over thirty pounds.

Truth walks up to the edge and tries to figure out how deep the water is. RAF, annoyed by the entire idea of being out here in the mud gives him a gentle nudge and he stumbles in. The water is only a few inches deep but his weight drives his legs deeply into the silt. He finds he cannot pull his legs out of the mud. Worse- by trying, he has sunk even further.

Rose jumps over the six foot wide waterway. She slides a little on the mud on the other side but stays on her feet. Maul jumps over easily. Tom nearly falls in as he jumps over. Cy decides to try the little bridge just in case they misjudged its strength. He instantly falls in. His foot is stuck in the mud. He struggles to get free and instead loses his boot. As he is reaching into the water trying to feel for his boot the others throw Truth a rope and try to pull him free. They drag him to the edge further soiling his robe. RAF enjoys the whole scene he has created.

Rose and Tom both stop as they hear something. Someone is whistling a happy little tune and is coming closer. Rose, the only one here that understands Goblin, recognizes it as such. Maul rushes up and stops a goblin at the path’s bend.

Rose is quick to arrive there as well. In goblin, the small trapper exclaims fear that they have destroyed his bridge (which Cy basically did). It takes a few moments to calm down the goblin. It takes an extra few more moments for Rose to translate common and goblin to each party. This goblin is checking his traps. He has 16 children at home to feed. He becomes defensive and holds his spear up at first Maul then Rose. She takes exception to this and tries to grab and pull the spear away. The tricky goblin instead nearly trips her up with the spear. Maul then grabs and pulls the poor goblin down.

When asked what he has seen in the waterway here he only replies in a panic “The Frog people!” When asked about humans he knows nothing and tries to get free of Maul striking at him. For his effort, maul shakes him and his teeth accidently tear into the poor father of sixteen goblins. Bleeding badly, the large wolf spits out the goblin that whimpers in the mud for a moment or two before dying.

They decide RAF is correct. This is pointless and decide to return. Truth trips as he goes to jump over the stream and falls face first into the muck. Having fallen flat, it is easy to slide him (and his robe) through the silt and water to the other side. His beautiful red fancy robe is now a mess.

Maul hesitates shortly and Tom looks at what has made his animal companion hesitate. It’s the trap they had seen earlier. It has gone off and holds something within its loop- or more specifically part of something. Looking closer, Truth figures the corpse to be the remains of a muskrat or such. Something has killed it and eaten much of the body. Tom allows the others to come forward to look placing him in the rear of the group and slightly alone. It is this moment that four nasty looking big rats attack. RAF assumes they are Dire Rats due to their size and the boney protrusions on its back and sides but Tom knows otherwise. There are large boils and welts on the creature and the teeth are incorrectly sized for it. Also- their bites burns like acid. (Horrid Dire Rats)

Everyone rushes up and as they can attack the creatures including Maul who is also bitten and burned by the vile creatures. By sword and arrow the four creatures are killed.

“The sooner we return to Yrlag- the better.” Says RAF looking at his muddy legs.

“Sigh…. Agreed.” Confirms Truth looking at his robe.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 007
2/9/13
“THRANE, AUNDAIR AND KARRNATHI CONNECTIONS”

EYRE 6, 999 EVENING

Discussing the situation further, they decide to locate the parents of the kidnapped women. They try several inns figuring the people have taken refuge there. They get no help until the fourth inn. This inn keeper say the family is not here but they are from Thrane and may be staying in a better part of town. As they begin to walk that way they spot a bright sparkle in the sky over the rooftops. Looking closer, they see it is a silver metallic flame


The person at the desk clearly dislikes them. Cy looks at the two warforged and figures it involves how dirty they are. Rose and Tom had suggested they go to the fountain to wash up. RAF didn’t see the need and Truth straight out refused if there was anyone there. Since the fountains are the main source of clean drinking water, there is rarely anyone there.

The deskman says that the Thrane merchants have come here but cannot be disturbed. Making it clear they were not leaving, he calls for Whither. RAF stiffens up as he sees a nearly bald greenish-gray head bob behind the counter. Rose can barely contain a laugh at what she sees. A goblin dressed in an uniform complete with a bow tie. The handful of white hairs it has is all carefully combed to go over its balding scalp. It has a limp and with careful looking, they see it has a weakened and slightly withered leg. “Please tell Sir Dessmand that he has bounty hunters here to search for his daughters and they wish for an interview and his aid.”

The crippled goblin hobbles off quickly. RAF doesn’t bother hiding his displeasure- “Goblins. He has hired goblins. Can’t be that nice of a place.” Shortly the goblin returns and notes the warforged fighter’s glare and cowers by the desk man. Several minutes later a very large and muscular man dressed in fine clothes comes down the stairs.

“What can I answer for you?” he says with obvious annoyance. He avoids direct answers until he looks them over and asks if they were the ones that chased the goblins away. He is more willing to answer questions after they say that are the people that chased the goblins away.

Cy asks if he had any enemies. “My master is a very successful merchant. Many consider him a threat. Tharashk among them.”

They also ask about the other fires and victums. Most were from wealthy families. Children between 8 and 16. Mostly females. All lived on the docks.

Still not connecting the dots of the mystery, the group decides to get a room again. Paranoid of goblin assassins or such, RAF encourages everyone to be very watchful of followers. They see no one but notice three more ships have anchored in the river. Looking carefully, the see two are from the country of Aundair and the other is from Karrnath. RAF suspects Emerald Claw connections and returns to blaming them for everything.

Tom castes healing spells and Truth creates repair spell effects for himself and tries to clean his robe better. It appears to be a lost cause. RAF looks out the window in the direction of the Karrnath ship.

Early in the morning, before the others have awoken, Truth arranges for a bath. He closes the door to the wash room and removes his very dirty robe. He rinses it and cleans it carefully. Tom awakens and seeing the non-warforged are all sleeping, heads for the washroom. He opens the door without hesitation and calls out in alarm. The freaky warforged librarian is wearing human underwear!!!!!!!!!!
Truth cries out and tries to cover himself with his wet robe and scouts Tom back out. “Washroom is busy.” Is all he says.

Tom is quick to explain what he saw as everyone has awoken. “No halfling healing will ever remove that from my memory.”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 008
2/9/13
“I’VE HAD A BAD DAY”

EYRE 7, 999

The group returns to the docks to search for more clues. There are still no goblins on the streets but neither are the law enforcers. Rumor has it they have moved towards old town to search for goblins there.

Truth is still embarrassed by the prior few hours. RAF is laughing to himself still. “What now?” asks Rose.

“I can go and see a friend that can help maybe.”

“Who is your friend?” asks RAF wondering if his friend also wears human underwear.

“Someone who has helped me in the past.” Answers Truth while walking away.

Rose is quick to follow. “I didn’t know you had a friend here. Who is he? Or is it a she? Is it a warforged also?” -in underwear- thinks RAF still shaking his head.

“I can’t say. S-He doesn’t like company. I need to go by myself.”

“Nope. We go as a group or we don’t go at all.” Says Cy.

“HE doesn’t like strangers. I really should go by myself.”

“Well HE will have to get used to strangers then.” Says Tom firmly. The shifter gives Maul a gentle scratch on the head while waiting for an answer.

“Sigh. Then we wait until later…maybe.” Says Truth. “So what do we do otherwise?”

“Wait for another attack?” asks RAF while looking at the ships in the river.

They continue down the docks looking for goblins or others to question.

“It’s not right to just wait. How many more will burn or be taken that way?” Asks Tom.

“What options do we have?”

They continue further down the dock until they can hear a possible argument. Behind a pile of crates several men are grouped up together. Closer- they see that some are wearing the traditional Order of the Emerald Claw armor. Truth turns to RAF “We don’t need to do this. The day has been bad enough already.”

RAF shrugs and continues on. The Claw has not seen any of them.

“Have any of the others arrived yet?” says a very large and stout human wearing bulky and impressive armor.

“Who!?!” cries out the dock laborer whom is cornered by the four Claw members.

“My fellow Knights?” growls the man.

“He is as wide as he is tall!” exclaims Rose in surprise.

“Yes. Yes there is a woman and some knights. They came several days ago!”

“Anyone else?”

“No one I know of. Please! Please let me go to do my job.”

“In a hurry? Afraid? You should be. I could easily kill you.” the big man states while patting the hilt of his very large sword.

“I just want to work. I have told you everything I know.”

“Yes. After all- a dead man can’t say anything….. Especially if they can’t find the body.”

RAF steps around the crates to better present himself and get a better look at this big human. He has dark skin, half-plate armor, a bastard sword and several badges in the shape of the Emerald Claw emblem. Many lighter than skin colored scars stretch across his face and forearms.

RAF sizes him up quickly as a doable challenge. If a warforged could smile – he would be.

“Know anything about the local fires?” he asks firmly.

“Local color. Go away metal man. My business has nothing to do with you.”

“Could.”

“It has been a bad enough day already. Let us go now.”

“Metal man looks silly in a robe. Thinks he is human? Metal man- go away. I have business to do.” He seems to never take his eyes off of RAF.

Truth just stands there looking at the man as the others, including the three standard Claw soldiers, spread out. A fight is coming.

“Leave us. I seek my Claw teammates.” The big man turns and begins to leave. His shoulder firmly strikes the shoulder of Truth. RAF nearly attacks then.

“Where are your teammates? I would want to talk to them.” Calls out RAF.

The big man stops and turns slightly. “What do you want with the Emerald claw?”

Truth is becoming flustered. “Do you know anything about the fires, kidnappings and anything else you guys are known for?”

The big man stops again and turns slowly. “Go away metal man. Pretend to be alive somewhere else.”

“No!”

Even RAF is surprised by the book wielding artificer’s attitude.

“Go away.”

Truth makes a point of following him.

“Go away- now!”

Truth steps up to his side- “Or what? Will our bodies disappear also?”

An unspoken command is given to the three soldiers as they reach a bridge connecting docks. All four turn and spread out using the bridge to protect their flanks. The big man pulls out his huge sword and waves it at Truth’s face. RAF charges with the others quickly behind him. Who wanted this fight more is uncertain, the man, Truth or RAF. Either way it’s on.

The soldiers do not last long as Maul trips one up, Rose and Tom spread out to use their arrows from the sides. Truth steps back and allows Cy and RAF to take on the big man. His armor makes it very difficult to harm him. Swords don’t penetrate and arrows seem to bounce off of him.

A full minute goes by as they combat the big man. Neither doing much harm to the other. Truth boosts his own strength and hopes to distract him further. Tom steadies himself (Action Point) and fires. He scores a critical hit with his longbow which seriously injures the big man. Truth swings and strikes a final blow (also using an Action Point) takes him down. RAF stomps his head for good measure.

Thinking about what the big man was saying to the dock worker, they drag him away from possible public view before stripping him of equipment, including his armor. They look at the soldiers and find little so these bodies are dumped over the dock edge and quickly sink under the weight of the chain mail armor.

RAF seems to enjoy stomping on the man’s head and body. He seems to take it very well. They take the body and quickly bury it into the marsh behind some buildings. They hope no one saw them (yeah right) and try to sell the armor and sword. Truth spots a necklace on the man and takes it. He senses magic on it and slips it under his own robe. He feels much better already (Amulet of Health +6).

The sword sells for 50 Gold and the daggers and weapons from the soldiers for 1 gold. The first four merchants refuse to buy the armor- the heavily Emerald Claw marked armor. Finally they end up dropping it over the water’s edge.

“It’s been a bad day.” Says Truth.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 009
2/9/13
“BAD NEWS RESURFACES”

EYRE 7, 999

The group leaves the burial drop off of the big man. A shop keeper waits in fear of being spotted. Once he feels it is safe he runs over. Morbid curiosity makes him want to see who has been dropped into the muddy waters and pushed down to sink. He sees a foot of a dark skinned man sticking out and considers pulling it in. He looks around and then carefully and slowly touches the foot.

Suddenly the water bursts in an explosion of activity and a muffled scream.

Bubbles surface then the body of the merchant floats to the surface. A big muddy dark skinned man rises with an angry look on his face.

“Fools. It takes more than a mere beating and drowning to destroy Boris Grudgemaker of the Emerald Claw.”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 010
3/9/13
“TANGLED WEB”

EYRE 9, 999 SUNSET

After taking a day to fully recover from the battle with the Emerald Claw, the group once more heads out to the docks at night to spot activity. They are curious at how the goblins are moving about unseen at night. Such large groups should be easy to spot on the docks since some areas are lit with magical lights that cast light but cannot start a fire.

“Magic?”

“Lowly goblins?” replies Truth.

“What about the water?” suggests RAF.

“Wouldn’t we see them?” questions Rose.

“Unless they traveled UNDER the docks… out of view. Remember how they disappeared with the women during the fire?” Truth comments with triumph.

They begin to look around. They check out the stairs leading down to the water level and look around. Pitch black. Nothing can be seen within two feet under the docks.

They wander a bit looking for easy entrances to under the docks. They hear something at the next section of docks. Something within the darkness.

Rose leans out over the water to look closer under the docks. She can see a series of ropes and planks under the docks. She tries to climb along the edge to go under. The docks are dark and slippery. Tom follows and nearly falls in. Maul sniffs at the air under the docks and snarls gently. No one is sure if the snarl is for danger or the fear of the water. Cy does fall in but holds onto the ropes. While they are doing this the two warforged are checking out another series of steps leading down to the water.

“Light! I can hear something!” calls out Truth.

Rose and Tom magically light up an arrow and fire it under the docks blindly. They miss anything to strike so the arrow lands in the water and slowly sinks. But before that, they can see the network of ropes, planks and reflections of eyes under the docks. Goblins! They send another arrow shortly after and luckily it becomes tangled in some ropes. They see a few silhouettes of small humanoids moving and can hear their annoyed hissing. Rose, the only one that understands goblin, catches pieces of it. They are annoyed and want the sources removed.

Truth castes a light spell onto a stake on a plank he can just see under the dock. There is a goblin so close he can see the buttons on its shirt! Suddenly he bellows out. RAF steps up wondering what has happened. Truth has two bolts in his metal head (2 of 3 shots were nac 20- confirmed). RAF takes a great deal of exception to this (but won’t go down the stairs to be shot himself  )

Trying to better position themselves Tom and Cy try to reach the ropes. Cy falls into the water but regains his grip on the ropes so that he only falls in to his waist. Rose tries to climb the ropes but finds she cannot climb rope bridges meant for 30 pound two foot tall persons. So instead, she and fires a few arrows into the darkness near the point of the dim light far away. She hears a few calls of alarm from the goblins.

Truth, not to be deterred by the two arrows, leans over the edge to better determine was the goblins are. A third bolt finds a home in his head (3rd crit- the DM is on a roll  ) and a fourth bolt glances his shoulder. NOW he is annoyed also. “Where are they?” demands RAF.

Gently fingering the new bolt Truth says about 15-20ft feet in. At least a dozen. RAF walks out about 20 feet onto the dock. He searches for a lose board. When he finds none he begins to strike the boards with his sword. At the other end, Rose can hear the activity of the concerned goblins. Some of them realize they are trapped under the dock.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 011
3/9/13
“UNTANGLING THE WEB”

EYRE 9, 999 SUNSET

Maul rushes over to RAF as he struggles to free a damaged board. Truth comes over and grabs an edge of board and pulls it free. He reaches under to grab another board and calls out. (yup- 4th confirmed crit- gotta love Goblins) He has a bolt in his hand pinned to a piece of board which he yanked free from the pain. RAF looks at him and shakes his head and begins to stab through the hole into the darkness. There are many yelps and one satisfying groan and the blade comes up with blood on it. Rose hears the body fall and hit the water. She continues to watch for goblins and shot an occasional arrow into the darkness. Cy and Tom leave her and go onto the main dock to see what the two warforged are doing.

Maul is now trying to sniff out where the goblins are under the dock. RAF rips up another board. “Won’t Tharashk have an issue with you tearing up the docks?” asks Tom.

“Me? I saw the goblins do it. We ALL saw the goblins do it.” RAF answers. If he could smile he would be.

The goblins try to shuffle around on the ropes to avoid the warforged but then find themselves closer to the archer. The leader (or the most desperate goblin) calls for a charge. Rose calls out the fact but the others cannot hear her but they see the goblins rush under the exposed opening. RAF happily kills two while Cy and Tom move to the furthest section of dock and openly show their own bows and the goblins find themselves trapped and now in two groups.

The goblins try to split their numbers to escape. It doesn’t work well for them. Sensing their panic, Truth calls out to the goblins. He promises to summon up killer crocodile to eat them. With that, he pushes crates into the water creating a loud splash. The goblins panic and begin to scramble on the wood boards and rope ladders and crawl spaces below.

As they run out from under the docks they are cut down quickly one by one. They are in such a hurry they don’t even notice. Soon, there is only one remaining and Truth has him.

“Where are the girls?”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
EYRE 10, 999 MIDNIGHT

“Bluetooth…. You would not lie to me. I would not kill you but this warforged to my left would.” Truth nods to RAF whom palms a fist and nods.

“No. I will not lie. You die by goblin either way.” The bruised and battered goblin whispers in broken common.

They continue to the west into Old town. Cy and the others note the buildings they pass. Many of them they traveled by looking for goblins earlier.

“Here.” The goblin says in common. “May you die slowly and painfully.” It finishes in goblin.

Tom looks up at the sign. The image is a chipped wooden spoon held by a greenish-yellow hand. “The Goblin Spoon.” Rose states as she reads the sign to the others.

They look into the windows and see nothing but a large trading room. They try the back door but it is locked. They try the front door. RAF discovers it has a magical trap attached to it. The shock leads to him kicking it in. With a still smoking hand he touches the goblin on the forehead. “You could have warned us little goblin toad.” And he pushes hard unto its head making it cry out in pain.

They go inside and begin to look around. RAF discovers another magic trap while looking into closets and under chests and furniture. The goblin makes a fatal mistake to laugh at RAF. Sighing, Truth begins to look around. He was hoping to use the goblin to find whatever secret door there was to find the taken women. They are uncertain of where to go until they try the closets next to the entrance and very large rug. Each closet goes down to a small 10x10ft room with a muddy floor. There are no signs of anyone else being inside the rooms. Truth gives RAF a look. RAF knows what he is getting at but moves on. Rose looks at the large rug and decides to search it. There it is- a trap door.

Gingerly, RAF checks the door for traps then opens the door. A dark stairway leads down between the false rooms.

The stairs lead to a 10x15 ft room with a locked door.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 013
4/6/13
“THE GOBLIN SECRET HEADQUARTERS”

EYRE 10, 999 MIDNIGHT

The locked door is trapped and shocks Truth as he attempts to unlock it. They go through the smoking doorway and see a wooden floor leading to another door. RAF pushes forward. “Don’t! It’s a trap- I’m sure of it.” Calls out Truth as the other warforged steps onto the wood floor. It breaks board by board with the great weight of the fighter. His legs fall through and strike a gummy sticky glue-like substance. It takes effort but he goes on, step by step.

Rose hears a quiet bell under the wood ringing. “It’s a warning system.” She says wondering what to do next. RAF pushes forward, angry step by angry step. The door opens and a goblin with a crossbow stands there. It fires at the warforged fighter but cannot overcome his thick armor. RAF continues on step by step with a subject to now take his frustration out on.

As the others carefully work their way across, without touching the incredibly sticky substance, RAF takes care of the lone guard.

They find several simpler spear traps as they try doors on their way through the hallways below Goblin Spoon Trade house.

They make a long “U” turn and come up a narrow passage. They open a door and find many female goblins and a bed. It disturbs Truth some. They close the door again take cover in another room with a bed and several storage chests.

Strangely enough, the group decides to rest here. The warforged do not need to sleep so they will be the guards. Truth studies his personal book again while RAF waits outside the room.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 014
4/6/13
“THE GOBLINS COUNTER ATTACK”

EYRE 11, 999 AFTER MIDNIGHT

RAF believes he has heard something and looks down the dark hallway. Suddenly he finds himself unable to move! A dozen goblins scamper down the hallway with a goblin dressed in dark purple behind them. Their leader and possible magic user!

He is helpless as the goblins move past him and prepare to attack the sleeping people he was guarding. He has never failed guarding before. It angers him. The mass of goblins move in and there are shouts of pain and surprise as the leader walks up to the warforged warrior. The magic user calmly climbs up the leg and chest of the held living construct. It smiles and waves a weapon before the face plate.

Truth was able to warn the group enough that no one was killed outright but the goblins got in an attack or two before the others got up. Except for RAF the battle goes well until the goblin women in the next door decide to run out and help the guys. From RAF’s shoulder, the magic user tries to attack any that wander too close to the doorway. Then RAF is free. The cleric doesn’t live for long.

The surviving male and female goblins run for it. RAF notes which door they use. Everyone heals up or repairs before following them. The doorway leads to a short hallway…. Which dead ends. Truth finds a spot for a key and remembers a key he had found within the room. It works and they go down another tunnel for a few hundred feet and exit into another barely standing building.

But, later, when going through more of their finds they found a piece of paper with directions on it. “Let’s go!” calls out Truth feeling this is it.

“But it’s barely daylight.” Mentions Cy.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 015
4/6/13
“THE MAP, THE SWAMP, THE BULLYWOGS AND THE CABIN”

EYRE 11, 999

The group hurries to the docks and find them largely disserted. The sun is just beginning to glow behind the Byfshk Mountains that separate The Shadow Marches and Eldeen Reaches. Several fishing boats can just be seen in the river way. Looking, they spot one last boat. It looks suitable but is very run down. A lone man is cleaning it up. He sees you and smiles and gives a short wave. When their looks stay on the ship, he puts his rags down and comes to the edge where the dock is. “Can I help you?”

“We are looking for a ship for something extremely important. We need passage into the swamps upriver.” States Truth.

The man looks up and down the dock and smiles. “Not many choices remain. Where were you looking to go?”

“Up river as I said. Then down into a swampy area to rescue people.”

“Sounds dangerous.”

“The people we want to save are the young children that have been taken.”

“The fires…? Ah.” The man looks at each member one by one. “You ain’t the ones that the Emerald Claw is looking for?”

“We… may have frustrated them recently.”

“Yes, the Big Black man was looking for you.”

“He is not a problem anymore” states RAF with a hint of pride.

“Oh… he was looking for you just last night.” Everyone stops and looks to each other.

“He doesn’t matter. It’s the young people we want to help. Will you help us?” pleads Truth.

The man stares at each one, especially the two warforged. “Sounds dangerous. The waters can be tricky…. They’re like a maze filled with dangers natural and unnatural. The unnatural ones are especially dangerous.”

“We will be there to protect the ship. We are not without resources ourselves.” Offers Cy.

“And repairs are expensive.” Says the man smiling.

Much haggling later and 5 gold later, they are on their way. They use the map and find the waterway that feeds into the main river. It is wide enough to go down with the pilots ship. Soon they come to a stack of upright poles, like depicted on the map. “This must be it.” States Truth.

The pilot promises to wait for them as he pats his pocket with the gold in it.

It takes several hours as they walk down the swampy walkway. Tom tracks the recent tracks and Maul uses its primal senses to follow also. They encounter a few dangerous creatures but manage. They spot red butterflies in one area. They mistake them for basic insects until they find the dead body the flock was feeding on. They move past them quickly to avoid any further possible damage or delays.

They come to area where the paths seem safer and better made. There are even log bridges connecting the land masses within the swamp. The down side, one cannot see more than 10-20 feet into the swamp. Vines, air plants and other vegetation block any deeper view into the swamp or its dangers.

Suddenly they are attacked from the very water it seems. Spears thrown by frog men, Bullywogs! The team works through several groups of them as they track into the swamp. Eventually they see a lone small cabin. Dozens of bullywogs rise from the water and several goblins also.

A cloaked man steps onto the moss covered porch and commands them to attack!
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 016
4/6/13
“SWAMP SHOWDOWN”

EYRE 11, 999

A fireball scatters the creatures on the bridge and makes the man on the porch dodge. RAF and Cy rush up to keep the creatures trapped on the bridge. Bullywugs rise out of the water and attack the core group. Maul tears into one to protect Tom Garvin.

Another fireball sets the cabin on shouldering gentle fire. The creatures charge RAF and Cy as they are being set on fire.

With the bridge on fire, Truth decides to circle around the back of the cabin. Unknown to him, the cloaked man retreats into the cabin. Truth releases a fireball as the man reaches the rear exit. The fire bursts and sets the cabin on fire. The man is gone. With his fleeing or destruction, the humanoids flee into the swamp.

Rose enters the cabin and finds several captives. The daughters of the merchant.

“Is it over?” wonders Truth.

Shortly thereafter-
A small fish swims about under the back porch of the destroyed cabin. It races to the surface as it to grab a snack. At it hits the surface it changes into the human druid. He looks about with anger written on his face. He then wades to the shore and disappears into the swamp.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
SEGMENT 016
4/6/13
“SWAMP SHOWDOWN”

EYRE 11, 999

A fireball scatters the creatures on the bridge and makes the man on the porch dodge. RAF and Cy rush up to keep the creatures trapped on the bridge. Bullywugs rise out of the water and attack the core group. Maul tears into one to protect Tom Garvin.

Another fireball sets the cabin on shouldering gentle fire. The creatures charge RAF and Cy as they are being set on fire.

With the bridge on fire, Truth decides to circle around the back of the cabin. Unknown to him, the cloaked man retreats into the cabin. Truth releases a fireball as the man reaches the rear exit. The fire bursts and sets the cabin on fire. The man is gone. With his fleeing or destruction, the humanoids flee into the swamp.

Rose enters the cabin and finds several captives. The daughters of the merchant.

“Is it over?” wonders Truth.

Shortly thereafter-
A small fish swims about under the back porch of the destroyed cabin. It races to the surface as it to grab a snack. At it hits the surface it changes into the human druid. He looks about with anger written on his face. He then wades to the shore and disappears into the swamp.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
THE HIDDEN
02 THE BODY
SEGMENT 017
“TRUTH’S GAMBIT”
10/02/13

EYRE 15, 999

The adventurers have returned from the swamps and word quickly spreads about their success. This makes things both harder and easier for Truth to sneak away from his teammates. There are many more eyes watching him now as he steps out of the common room they have rented from the Frog’s Leap. But there are many more distractions to the group including Tom and RAF whom are suspicious of the warforged.

He quietly moves down the stairs and waves a hello to the tavern keeper and his wife. He goes outside onto the maze like docks and series of bridges that make up Yrlag. It is late evening. The warforged artificer walks down the docks taking in the activities of the local merchants and returning fishermen. He pauses at an alleyway between two small buildings. He looks both ways then steps into it.

“The world is coming to an end!” calls out a warforged wearing a wooden plaque on his chest. A well-dressed human steps out of an alleyway and pauses at the sight of the warforged. “Great evil is in the swamps. It grows in power every day!” it calls out. Zolan Keth has heard of this homeless and possibly insane warforged. His name is 9s. Rumor has it he was severely damaged in the war and ran away to the Shadow Marches…. Still unrepaired from a mental trauma. Zolan feels for him. He almost pities him actually.

“It is coming! It is coming for us. Coming for all of us.” It turns suddenly and stares face to face with the human scholar “It is coming for YOU!” If it startles or bothers him, he doesn’t show it.

He passes the warforged as it continues to call to him. After ten minutes of walking he enters a better section of town and goes to a tavern named “The Gypsy Rose”. He walks in and climbs the stairs until he reaches the top floor. He knocks on the door named as “4”. He hears a faint “come in”. And enters.

Inside is a beautiful woman dressed in glittering silver and platinum. “You found the place easily I trust.”

“Yes. As always, you gave very good instructions my lady.”

Zolan closes the door and walks to her. She smiles and gently touches his hand. She makes eye contact that Zolan is both exiting and also makes him nervous. Emotions are still hard for him.

“Have you found a reliable source for exploring the swamps yet?”

“Yes. I have a strong group of good intentioned adventurers to aid in our quest and even a descent, though expensive, pilot.”

“I wish I could go with you. It sounds so exciting.”

“You could.”

“For reasons I cannot even begin to explain you know I cannot. Only you can locate the ruins I seek. Together we can find the clues and Prophesies that will unlock the Hidden truth.”

She sits down on a soft chair and looks up to him. “Just be careful Truth. The swamps are dangerous…. Especially these swamps.”
 

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