Way of the Wicked

Call Forth the Darkness

The Ninth Knot had succeeded in breaking the watch wall. Balentyne has been pillaged and burned to the ground by the Fire-Axe’s army. The knot walked to the shore of Lake Tarik following Tiadora to a ship where she said they’d recieve their next assignment. Grumblejack followed close behind Teufulhunden and after a deep breath he too boarded the ship. With that, the ship departed for Farholde on the other side of Talingarde.

In addition to the crew and captain, there was a quiet mysterious man on board the ship who kept to himself the first several days of the journey. On the third day, he introduced himself to the knot. He was Dermer, an oracle of Asmodeus. Twelve days into the journey, Dermer, Tom, Raxuhs, Graven, and Teufulhunden were summoned by Tiadora. “The master demands your presence,” she said.

In the cabin Cardinal Thorn informed the knot of their lastest mission. Find the Horn of Abbadon and summon the daemon prince Vetra Kali Eats the Eyes. Once he has been brought back to this world, obtain the Tears of Achlys from him. A plague that struck fear in the heart of the Victor would surely be something that could be used for the destruction of Talingarde. The Fourth Knot had already been sent on this assignment and had failed. The Elf, Aiden Kael, had notified Cardinal Thorn that he had found the Horn before contact was lost. Before leaving, Cardinal Thron had Dermer sign the Pact of Thorns and forged him into the Ninth Knot to ensure their success. He also sent the Seventh Knot led by Elise Zadaria to assist the Ninth.

A day later they arrived in Farholde. While some of the knot was off shopping and selling others were pursuing local rumors. The next day, the knot attended a dinner with Tiadorra to be introduced to the baron. The dinner took a turn for the worse when Tom Riddle cast charm person on Baron Vandermir at the dinner table. Dermer was able to smooth things over with the Baron and soon the Baron was seeing things their way. He offered them a safe house in his mansion as well as his services for the duration of their stay.

While everyone was settling in for the evening, Dermer decided to put his forgery skills to work. He was able to forge a deed stating ownership of a run down tavern. The owner and his drug addicted brother were at a loss for words, but when they were told they could keep their jobs and he would be improving the place, they had no issues. After some refurbishment and cleaning the tavern was looking quite nice. It even had a name! The Thirsty Thief.

While inquiring about rumors, Teufulhunden discovered that an Elf staying at the Wandering Friar disappeared about a week back. Going by the inn, the innkeeper was about to clear out the room, but was willing to let Teufulhunden into the room if he paid the past due bill. After paying the bill and taking a look around the room, Teufulhunden found a map with the location of the Horn of Abbadon marked on it and a pouch of gold, more than covering the past due bill.

Regrouping for the evening, everyone was present except Grumblejack. After poking around the Drownington district, it turns out Grumblejack has quite the fan club at Lord Drownington’s Manor. The crowd has gathered around listening to Grumblejack’s story of breaking out from Branderscar prison. Thankfully no one believes the ogre’s “outlandish” story. Teufulhunden brings Grumblejack back to the inn after explaining that “We can’t be telling people that we broke out of prison.”

The following day the Seventh Knot arrived on the Lucky Lady as Tiadora said they would. They seem to think they traveled here with Tiadora too. Elise explained that they would be setting up intelligence the the town and would notify the Ninth Knot of any adventurers heading their way if they were unable to be dealt with. Though she wouldn’t say it, Raxuhs could tell Elise was furious that her knot was given the support role while the Ninth Knot was given the main responsibility for this mission. While everyone completed their final preparations, Dermer headed over to The Thirsty Thief to see how things were going. To his dismay, the place was a mess again. Hopefully it would stay clean after this…

They left for the horn. Thanks to the map from Aiden Kael’s room, it was an easy journey. As they got closer to the Horn they encountered a treant. His name was Jurak and he was there to guard the Horn and prevent evil from returning. He did a terrible job. Tom Riddle burned him to a crisp with a scorching ray.

Surveying the multiple entrances to the Horn, the group decided starting on the third floor would be best. Tom Riddle cast fly on Grumblejack so he could shuttle everyone to the third floor of the Horn.

The third floor was largely abandoned and destroyed. While investigating the floor they discovered a room radiating a magical aura. When saying “Hail Vetra-Kali” before entering, the door leads to a pocket dimension that is also a treasure room. Inside was the wraith Ezra Thrice Damned. Ezra is pleased to hear they are here to break the seal and agrees to let them take the third eye of vetra kali that is in his possession as well as the other “useless” treasure.

After clearing out the third floor, Raxuhs dropped a rope and grappling hook to allow everyone to repel down to the second level. Investigating several rooms turned up very little other than signs of battle years ago and broken furniture. In one of the rooms they noticed that they were more stone heads than smashed statues and one appeared to be more intricate than the others. Teufulhunden decided that it would be an excellent idea to smash the intricate stone head. At the end of the hall the group found a break in the wall of the Horn where several oozes had intruded. The oozes put everyone to sleep momentariy, but after waking up, the oozes were promptly dispatched.

NENENNENENNENENENEN

Time Passed: 15 Days

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Burning Balentyne
How can we make this look like a suicide?

In the evening they waited for everyone in the Lord’s Dalliance to go to sleep. When everyone had gone to their rooms, Raxuhs picked the lock to the basement. The group searched the basement for the secret passage they heard once existed between the former brothel and the tower of Balentyne. After a little bit of searching, they located it and traveled through the passage. At the other end was another door. Judging by the distance, the party determined that they were under Balentyne. They decided it would be best to head back to their rooms for the night.

Day 2

As they were leaving the inn, they said “Hello” to the dwarven work crew as they were heading off to work at Balentyne. The dwarves seemed pleasant enough. They watched Captain Varning’s patrol leave to the west of town.

After the patrol had left, the group rented horses and followed Varning’s patrol. They waited for night to fall. The captain had the first watch. The Ninth Knot waited for the watch shift to change. After Captain Varning had turned in for the evening, everyone moved into position. Graven casted silence preventing noise from occurring in the campsite. A well placed arrow from Raxuhs pierced the guard on watch duty, and as he screamed he knew something was wrong. His scream had no sound. Before he could think about it more he was sliced apart by Teufulhunden’s greatsword. The group moved in and quickly executed the remaining guards. One of the guards managed to survive the attempted execution, but was quickly cut down when he walked outside the tent. After the patrol had been killed, Raxuhs started digging graves to bury the bodies. After several hours of effort, the party was able to hide the corpses of the guards they had just killed.

Day 3

Back in town, the group returned their rented horses to the stables. Yet again, there was a friendly hello to the dwarves. However, after the dwarves had left for Balentyne, Raxuhs went into their room at The Lord’s Dalliance and discovered their blueprint of Balentyne. He quickly made a copy of it and left the original in the room. The rest of the day was spent drinking and listening for rumors and happenings around Aldencross.

Day 4

Teufulhunden was befriending Mama Gieuseppe helping her with her beef stew. She was happy to have someone so interested in her cooking and giving her a hand with her weekly routine.

Meanwhile, Graven, disguised as Javen Lurthadar headed to the alchemist shop. He was looking for as much arsenic as he could get his hands on. He informed the proprietor that it was for his raspy voice. Reluctant at first, the alchemist eventually complied and was convinced that Javen had no ulterior motives. Little did he know that this would be for Mama’s stew that was delivered to Balentyne on a weekly basis.

Later in the day, Raxuhs, Teufulhunden, and Graven headed to the VonKraigg smithy to pick up their armor that had been completed. Ahead of schedule even!

Days 5 & 6

The knot relaxed with a nice mug of ale.

Day 7

Teufulhunden had been investigating Captain Mott’s wife by disguising himself as Captain Mott. In the evening, he saw a man enter “his” house. He entered the house and discovered “his” wife in a compromising position with Captain Eddarly. Eddarly jumps out the window and runs into the street naked trying to avoid the wrath of “Captain Mott” A large crowd of witnesses see “Captain Mott” tackle Zack Eddarly and begin punching him. As the crowd and guards drew closer, “Captain Mott” drew his sword and murdered Captain Eddalrly. Teufulhunden ran away from the crowd down an alley and disguised himself. Aft er this he was able to escape the chaos.

Day 8

Captain Mott was the talk of the town. With so many witnesses to his crime, he was quickly sent to Branderscar Prison. Graven, disguised as one of his many alter egos, Slaven Gurfadar, delivered a letter to Balentyne addressed to Captain Barhold. The letter appeared to be from the captain’s brother, Bellam, and requested that he meet him at night to the west of town to discuss an urgent matter. When the captain arrived, the knot was there waiting for him. Tom Riddle was disguised as Bellam Barhold waiting for him in the clearing. The captain asked his “brother” what the problem was and why he needed to meet. “They’re after me,” Tom replied. GLITTERDUST The captain was quickly killed and his body was buried with Captain Varning and his men.

Day 9

The party planned on murdering the alchemist and staging it to look like a suicide. He would know too much about the arsenic i the stew and might say something. While poking around the outside of his shop at night, Tom Riddle discovered tracks that headed off into the forest. Following the tracks lead the group to a shack in the woods. At first, it looked like an abandoned shack. Useless junk, cobwebs, and clutter. Pushing some of clutter aside they discovered a trapdoor that led to a basement.

Laying in this basement was a humanoid looking figure laying on a slab of stone. There were restraints on the creature, but they appeared to be broken. Teufulhunden yelled out to the room “Anyone there?!” At that moment the creature rose from the table and started to charge at the group. It was clear that this creature was a flesh golem. While it was rising from the table, the group noticed that there was a name plate on the back of it listing the alchemist as its creator. The party locked the flesh golem in the basement and decided to confront the alchemist.

Raxuhs picked the lock to the alchemist’s shop and the party surrounded him as he was sleeping in his bed. Graven woke him up declaring that the knot knew of the evil flesh golem he had created and that if he helped them attack Balentyne, he would have their silence. The alchemist panicked and started yelling that the golem was to help the town. Once he started calling for the guards, Graven cast silence and all sound left the shop. Teufulhunden sliced the alchemist in two with his greatsword immediately after.

“How can we make this look like a suicide?”

“We can’t. Definitely murdered.”

Raxuhs branded the alchemist with the mark of the forsaken and left a note. “You’re welcome Aldencross, one less forsaken.”

The knot left the shop and started heading back to the alchemist’s hidden lab in the forest…..

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The Fire-Axe
Not quite so many 1's...

Assembled by Cardinal Adrastus Thorn, the Nessian Knot was given their first mission. They were to take the ship, the Frosthamar, and bring a shipment of weapons to the north and deliver them to the bugbear camp lead by Sakkarot Fire-Axe. After delivering the weapons they were to deal with Captain Kargeld Odenkirk as he had proven too greedy and a liability.

Once Captain Odenkirk has been dispatched it would be time for their second task. Head east to the town of Aldencross only a few miles away from the keystone of the watch wall, the tower of Balentyne. They were instructed to kill its commander and open the gates for the bugbear horde.

While everyone was heading to the Frosthamar, Teufulhunden ran upstairs to get Grumblejack to accompany them on this journey. Things got off to a rocky start with Tom Riddle aggravating Captain Odenkirk while boarding the ship. The situation was quickly defused and the ship was ready to set sail. The last delay was Grumblejack. He was afraid of getting on the ship, but as it turns out, not as afraid of staying at the manor with Tiadora and missing out on the merry murder ahead.

After several days of uneventful travel. A ship was spotted in the distance. As the ship drew closer, the captain became concerned. He knew there was no way the Frosthamar could outrun the ship. The Frosthamar slowed and allowed the Blade of St. Martius to approach. Captain Edward Sambryl and four of his men boarded the Frosthamar demanding to know what the ship was doing in this area. Graven tried to convince the captain that nothing was amiss and there was no need to search the boat. The captain didn’t agree and shortly after, blades were drawn. The remaining 8 archers from the Blade of St. Martius let loose a volley of arrows that did little more than fly past the Frosthamar.

Tom Riddle greased the boarding plank causing several sailors to fall into the ocean. After the boarding party had been killed, the party’s attention turned to the other ship. Teufulhunden made a leap for the Blade of St. Martius. Not used to the limits of full plate armor, he fell into the ocean between the ships. Luckily for him, Tom was able to drop down a rope secured by a grappling hook. As the battle raged on, Teufulhunden tossed a rope to the other ship to try and pull it closer. Several fire spells later and the Blade of St Marius was being burnt to the bits. Grumblejack and Teufulhunden jumped over to the ship and helped finish off the remaining archers.

The Frosthamar continued on its journey north. They came to a stop in the evening and watch shifts were divided up. During Raxuhs’ watch the ship was attacked by a Triton oracle and several Triton warriors. They summoned water elementals that started pushing the sailors off the edge of the ship. Raxuhs quickly engaged the Triton oracle with his bow while the others woke up and grabbed their weapons. Graven, Tom Riddle, and Grumblejack made quick work of the water elementals. Teufulhunden took a leap off the front of the Frosthamar to attack the Tritons in the water. While in the water he continually swung his great sword with all his might, but he did relatively little to drive off the Triton warriors. When the Triton oracle had been slain with his dying breath he said “The shining sun has seen the wickedness you hide in your hearts. And thus it will be the son who brings your doom.” Once the oracle had been killed the warriors quickly retreated.

Several uneventful days of sailing later and the Frosthamar was getting closer to its destination. Captain Odenkirk declared that the ship would be making a stop at Seal Isle to replenish the ship’s dwindling supply of fresh water.Thinking that this sounded a bit odd, Graven confronted Kargeld about this. At first he was defensive saying that he’s the captain and the ship goes where he wants it to. Continuing to push, Graven found out the real reason for the detour. The captain wanted to go hunting for seal pelts. Realizing that this could be profitable, the group agreed to go along with the captain. A bet was made that whoever caught the most seals would keep the lot of them. Captain Odenkirk and two of his best men set off in their boat while Raxuhs, Graven, and Tom set off in theirs. After 3 days of hunting, the captain had been put to shame. His boat was only able to catch two seals, while Raxuhs, Graven, and Tom came up with six seals. Ignoring his crushing defeat, the captain set back for the ship and got it back on course.

As the ship neared the northern end of Talingarde several canoes were spotted in the distance. They appeared to be Yutak hunters. One of their members hailed the Frosthamar in broken common. Though the group was reluctant to stop at first, their minds were quickly changed after learning that the Yutak typically head to the south to trade. Meeting with the Yutak shaman the party discovered that the Yutak were looking to trade a giant ivory horn they had found along with other pieces of ivory. They were able to negotiate a trade of 10 pounds of Mithril for the giant ivory horn and some additional ivory for a few masterwork longswords. Before parting ways, the shaman mentioned that they were also looking for noble clothes for their leader. It was at this moment that inspiration struck Teufulhunden. He ran to underneath the ship where he took some common clothing and decorated them with trinkets to make them appear a bit more valuable than they actually were. Upon showing the clothes to the Yutak’s leader, he immediately grabbed them and put them on, impressed with his new “noble clothes.” The group was able to secure the rest of the ivory by trading their “finest clothing” to the Yutak. After the trading had been completed, both groups headed their separate ways.

A cold snap hit at night and the ship was stopped in its tracks. The sailors lit torches around the ship to try and stay warm and provide some light. There was an unearthly piercing shriek that howled from above the ship. A blast of cold energy hit Teufulhunden chilling his armor. Moments later the sailors screamed, “Ice demons!” and fled in a panic. Ice elementals had attacked the ship and an ice mephit was above the ship hanging off the sail. A battle quickly followed where the Nessian Knot cut down the ice elementals with relative ease and Teufulhunden climbed up the sail of the ship and slew the ice mephit. After killing the ice demons, the cold snap passed and the Frosthamar was able to carry on with its journey in the morning.

After several hours of navigating the ice-choked entrance to the River Taiga, Kargeld was able to get the ship through to Lake Tarik. As the ship drew closer to the dock along the north shore of Lake Tarik, thousands of bugbear savages were visible along the shore. The Ninth Knot knew that this was their chance to deal with the captain and his crew. Teulfhunden attacked Captain Kargeld and at that moment Raxuhs let an arrow fly towards the captain. Tom Riddle greased the captain’s greataxe making it impossible for him to hold on to it as Graven called upon the blessing of Asmodeus to help his followers kill the captain and his sailors. The bugbears watched from the shore in confusion as they saw humans cutting down humans. Before long, the remaining sailors on the Frosthamar had surrendered, but there was no mercy to be found.

Four bugbears attacked the party as they got off of the ship, but the bugbears were no match for them. Moments before more bugbears jumped into the fray, a larger bugbear wielding a giant flaming axe came out from his tent and demanded to know who had sent the party here. When they replied that Cardinal Thorn was the one who had sent them, the giant bugbear, Sakkarot Fire-Axe, informed his followers that these humans were their guests and were not to be harmed. He had his lieutenants distribute the weapons from the ship to the camp and the bugbears were transformed from savages to warriors. Before abandoning the Frosthamar the party searched it. They were able to locate and reclaim the gold that Cardinal Thorn had paid to Captain Kargeld Odenkirk.

That night, the bugbears held a feast to celebrate the new weapons they were brought. It was a brutal and savage banquet where the Ninth Knot were the guests of honor. They had a front row seat to violent spectacular that was a bugbear celebration. After the festivities started to die down, Sakkarot requested to speak with the party alone in his tent.

Sakkarot was confused why these humans would betray their own kind. All was quickly made clear when Raxuhs revealed his forsaken brand. Sakkarot pulled his breastplate aside and revealed his own scar. The unholy symbol of Asmodeus had been carved into his chest. “We all have our scars,” he said. After talking with Sakkarot for a few minutes he revealed that he is the one true member of the First Knot, the Avernian Knot, and that the rest are only fools who will be sacrificed for the glory of Asmodeus. It was time to get to business. Sakkarot Fire-Axe asked if they would be able to infiltrate Balentyne and throw open the gates within one month. That was how long he could keep the bugbear hoards organized before they would grow anxious and start deserting. After they agreed that Balentyne could be broken in a month, Sakkarot gave them a signal rocket. Within a hour of the rocket being fired, the hoard will attack.

To wrap up the evening, Grumblejack and Sakkarot decided to have a drinking contest. Not one to be left out from the festivities, Teufulhunden joined the competition as well. After cases of wine had been downed, it looked like Grumblejack was going to be the winner, but the ogre couldn’t hold it together and it was Teufulhunden that drank both Grumblejack and Sakkarot under the table.

Early in the morning, the party took the hunting ships from the Frosthamar and prepared to leave for Aldencross. Before leaving, they were sure to burn down the Frosthamar so there was no trace of them left behind. They arrived in Aldencross with no trouble. Tefulhunden headed to the inn, The Lord’s Dalliance, to investigate rumors while the others sold the spoils of war. By the evening, Teufulhunden had found out quite a bit of information that he relayed to the rest of the group when they returned from the shops. While investigating rumors, Teufulhunden had discovered that the innkeeper, Bellam Barhold, has an interest in quality liquor. In the evening, after the inn had been locked up, Teufulhunden and Bellam had a friendly drinking competition with some of the “emergency rations” whiskey that was found on the Frosthamar. Eventually, Bellam admitted defeat and called it a night. At that point, the Ninth Knot retired to their rooms for the evening. The sleepy town of Aldencross had no idea what was in store for them…

Time passed this session: 15 days
Total time passed: 3 months 20 days

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Into the Knot
So many 1's....

Instructed to wait for three days before begining their training, the group laid low resting and recovering. While wandering the manor, they discovered that they weren’t the only group of adventurers there. A group callled The White Ravens was also there. They are lead by the witch Elise Zadaria. While she is not a follower of Asmodeus, she seems more than eager to bring destruction to the followers of Mitra. It seems that Cardinal Thorn had recruited The White Ravens after they completed a successful raid on a paladin’s tomb.

During this three day respite each person was approached by a slave and asked what gear they required. Shortly after, the slave brought each person the equipment they had requested along with an iron circlet and a holy symbol of Asmodeus.

After three days, the group was summmoned by Cardinal Thorn. While he was impressed that they had escaped from Branderscar, they were still not ready for his service. He informed them that Tiadora would lead them to the basement of the manor where they would find nine chambers each more dangerous than the last. Somewhere in those chambers is a pendant of silver and sapphire. “It’s almost dusk… You have until dusk tomorrow to bring me my prize. Do not fail me.” After receiving the Cardinal’s instructions, Tiadora escorted the group to the entrance of the basement. “Below you will find the nine lessons.” With that she left, and they headed into the basement.

Entering what appeared to be an empty chamber, they noticed an inscription above the door “Deception is a tool. Self-deception is death. Decceive always thy enemy but never thyself.” A quick search of the room revealed two secret doors and a pit trap in front of the decoy door. One off the doors opened to a small chamber with a jewel sitting on a pedastal. Tom Riddle was quicklly able to identify this jewel as alchemist ice.

Leaving the first room through the secret door to the south, the party saw another inscription “Following the herd is for fools. Fear not their icy derision. Instead, fear only thy Infernal Lord.” The room room was cold and lit by a small lantern hanging from the ceiling. There were visible footprints in the dirt leading to the southern and eastern doors, but no one had approached the western door. Teufulhunden approached the door and discovered it was covered in a pulsating violet mold. When he got too close, he was injured by the mold. The party tried to burn the mold off, but that backfired, causing the mold to grow exponentially. Tom Riddle took the alchemist ice from the first chamber and threw it at the mold, causing it to shrivel away and die. On the door behind where the mold once grew was another inscription, “Thou hast made thy own path.”

Before entering the third chamber, the party pondered the inscription outside the door, “Know your enemy. Shatter all that blinds you and burn thy adversary to ashes.” Opening the door revealed a room that was pitch black. The group quickly used their spells to bring magical light into the room, revealing a globe on an obsidian podium in the center of the room. A vicious battle with the vampiric mist that guards this chamber ensued. During combat the globe on the obsidian podium was destroyed and the room was no longer covered in darkness. After several minutes of combat, the vampiric mist was slain, but Graven’s constitution had been severely compromised by the chamber’s guardian.

The party decided to head north. The inscription on this room read, “Cruelty is a tool not a pastime. Be ruthlless to thy enemy but reward those who serve thee well.” There they found a room that was empty other than a torturer’s rack. Tom quickly surveyed the room and determined that there was nothing to see here. The party moved down the eastern hallway.

At the end of the hallway was another door and another inscription. “The chosen are revealed by their might. The weak deserve no sympathy.” Opening the door, it became immediately clear what this room’s challenge was. Two mithril cobras turned to the group and attacked. This brutal battle was cut short by Teufulhunden who made quick work of the cobras. After defeating these constructs, the party salvaged all the mithril they could from them and pressed on.

Before heading into the next chamber it dawned on the group that Tom was the only one to search the torture chamber. The party headed back to the torture chamber and took another look. Raxuhs discovered a hidden door in the room where Squire Timeon, the squire of Sir Balin, was hiding. Teufulhunden demanded that Timeon answer who his true god was. Every time he answered “Mitra” which was met with another crank on the rack. It didn’t take long for Timeon to break. He quickly divulged all the information he had learned about this dungeon. After deciding that Timeon had served his purpose, Teufulhunden plunged his greatsword through Timeon’s chest.

Continuing past the room with the mithril cobras the group found another inscription. “Suffer not the fool. Stupidity is our faith’s cardinal sin.” In the center of the room was an altar with a silver pendant with blue gems laying on it. To the east were a set of stairs leading up and out. It was quickly determined that this must be the room with a secret door across from the stairs that Timeon spoke of. After carefully looking over the altar to determine if it was trapped, the pendant was removed. Upon closer inspection, the blue “gems” in the pendant were revealed to be nothing more than colored glass. The search for the secret door didn’t take long. Within minutes it was discovered across from the stairs. Exactly where Timeon said it would be.

Going through the secret door the party discovered a long hallway that ended at a door with yet another inscription. “Secrecy is our greatest ally. Exposure brings death.” Opening the door to this room revealed it to be pitch black. He cast dancing lights to illuminate the room, but before they went in, Graven stopped him. He was fearful of alerting the screamer that they had heard about from Timeon. After much debate on how to handle this situation, it was decided. Brute force. In a single moment, the lights went into the room and everyone charged. There was an ear piercing scream that was silenced as soon as Teufulhunden’s blade struck the screamer.

Less than a minute later, four dragurs burst through the western door. The screamer had woken them from their slumber. A vicious battle ensued where Tom Riddle, Teufulhunden, and Graven were on the brink of death. It looked like this would be the end of the training, but the two remaining dragurs retreated into their chamber and waited.

Raxuhs took this chance to get Tom, Graven, and Teufulhunden upstairs. They requested more of the magical wine from the slaves and then rested for 8 hours. Fully rested and partially recovered, they headed back to the basement of the manor to complete the task given to them by Cardinal Thorn.

On their way back to the room with the dragurs, Teufulhunden and Graven looked up the stairs across from the secret doorway. They inadvertently set off a pressure plate that released a spiked boulder from atop the stairs. The spiked boulder came crashing down the stairs plowing through both Graven and Teufulhunden. It destroyed the altar in the center of the room and crashed through the stone wall where the secret door once stood. After recovering from the boulder, the party pressed onwards to find the remaining dragurs. With only two dragurs remaining, the group was able to make quick work of them.

Heading down the hallway they came to a wooden door reinforced with iron bands. It bore the inscription “Serve thy master well and be rewarded.” Though the door was locked, there was a key conveniently hanging from a peg next to the door. Using his iron circlet, Tefulhunden disguised himself as Squire Timeon. Entering the room, they found the knight, Sir Balin, who had a silver pendant with sapphire gems in it. This must have been what Cardinal Thorn wanted them to acquire.

Teufulhunden’s disguise was able to trick Sir Balin. Thinking that he could secure their release, he offered to trade the pendant in return for Squire Timeon and safe passage. The party accepted, knowing what would happen next. As Sir Balin headed down the hallway with “Squire Timeon” behind him, the party made their move and attacked. Sir Balin was convinced that Mitra would protect him and get him out of this situation, but he couldn’t have been more wrong. He was quickly killed by Cardinal Thorn’s new recruits. They took Sir Balin’s armor, weapons, and his pendant and returned upstairs to see Cardinal Thorn.

Pleased with their success, Cardinal Thorn declared that it was time to complete their training. Over the next three months he worked to train them into his perfect weapons. Tiadora also aided him in the training and was revealed time and time again to be a cruel sadist that revels in others failure and suffering. During the 3 months of training, Cardinal Thorn wasn’t always there, and it became apparent that The White Ravens were also receiving his attention and training.

After the training had been completed, Adrastus pronounced them as ready and held a great banquet in their honor. During the banquet, he held an unholy ritual involving blood and fire. He summoned a barbed devil that ripped apart one of the slaves and feasted on it’s blood. Cardinal Thorn drew some of the blood and traced the unholy symbol of Asmodeus on each of their foreheads before pronouncing, “Behold. The Nessian Knot is formed. Just in time. My ship has arrived. Tomorrow you will depart on your first mission.”

Total time passed: 3 months 5 days

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Prison Break!
It begins....

Thrown into a wagon Raxuhs, Teufulhunden, Tom, and Graven were taken to Branderscar Prison. Their arms and legs were chained and they were shackled to each other. Teufulhunden was furious that Atrocitas had been taken from him and demand to know where guards had taken it. Angered by his outbursts, they gagged him.

Sergeant Blackerly entered their cell with 6 armed guards. Raxuhs received a visitor. Strange… He wasn’t expecting anyone. As he was escorted to the interogation room he saw a woman standing there, Tiadora. It appeared that she had Sergeant Blackerly under her control and had him and his guards leave the room. A mysterious benefactor had sent her here to aid Raxuhs and his cell mates in escaping. He was told to head to a manor across the Old Moar Road after escaping the prison. Asking how this could be done, he was met with the response of “I’m sure you’ll figure it out, dearest.” She gave him her veil and then, she was off. As she left, she kindly asked the sergeant to not search her friend before taking him back to his cell. Strangely, the sergeant complied with her wish.

Returning to the cell with this veil, he quickly discovered that it was a veil of useful items. Daggers, clothes, rope, a holy symbol, and a masterwork set of thieves tools were just a few of the useful tools they had received.

Teufulhunden, still furious about Atrocitas missing, managed to get the gag out of his mouth. He started yelling to the guards again quickly attracting their attention. They came back, gagged him again, and beat him with their club for good measure. After they left, Raxuhs was able to pick the locks on the manacles to free the group from their shackles.

The group decided to free the ogre, Grumblejack, from the reinforced cell next door. He was very grateful for this, and ready to smash some guards.

Armed with nothing more than daggers and their fists, the group readied to charge into the guards chamber through the door. Grumblejack charged in and smashed the guards. After a brief battle, they had killed both the guards on this floor. Teufulhunden and Graven quickly donned the chain shirts that the guards were wearing. Teufulhunden and Raxuhs grabbed the longswords and were ready for a fight. These blades were no Atrocitas…

The five descended the staircase and went through the great hall. They encountered two guards there, but were able to kill them before they could sound the alarm. Grumblejack was severely injured in the fight. Graven kept a hand on them as they moved forward, constantly casting virtue to help keep him conscious.

After Raxuhs donned a chain shirt from one of the guards, he picked the lock to the armory. After a few minutes of outfitting themselves with equipment, they saw the guard tabards. They disguised themselves in them. Teufulhunden took the time to fashion an amazing guard disguise for Grumblejack. Grumblejack was very impressed with this.

After disguising themselves they made their way to Blackerly’s office. Rummaging through the papers on his desk they discovered two things. A map of Branderscar Prison with the guard patrols and enough information to be certain that Blackerly was skimming money off the top of the prison’s profits. Searching through the sergeant’s bedchambers, they found a lockbox hidden under his bed. Unable to open the locked chest, Raxuhs stored it under the desk in the sergeant’s office.

Heading over to the other side of the great hall, they discovered the mess hall. Raxuhs and Teufulhunden opened the southern door and headed into the kitchen where they ran into two servants preparing a meal. Thankfully, their guard disguises were enough to fool the servants into thinking they were just hungry guards, eager for an early start on breakfast. The two quickly left the room and then slid several of the tables in the mess hall to barricade the door shut.

Tom opened the northern door that lead to the barracks. The guards quickly realized that he was an imposter and a vicious battle ensued. At the end of the fight, both Graven and Grumblejack were lying unconscious and bleeding out. Teufulhunden quickly broke open a chest in the barracks and discovered several potions of cure light wounds. These potiions and the one on the veil were enough to get everyone back on their feet. Once everyone had been stabilized, Raxuhs unlocked the rest of the chests and the group took the contents with them.

Raxuhs and Graven peered out the front doors of the great hall surveying the courtyard. The patrol of guards on the wall had just passed, now was the chance. The five quickly ran to the gatehouse. As they passed by the kennel, they tossed the dogs treats they had found in the barracks to keep them occupied.

While in the gatehouse, they discovered that Sergeant Blackerly and three of the prison guards were gambling on the far side of the building. Teufulhunden could not be bothered with this, there was nothing more important than leaving this place and finding Atrocitas. He went out the front gates and paused after seeing the light from a guards lantern shining down from above.

Raxuhs, Tom, Graven, and Grumblejack headed up the ladder to get to the second floor of the gatehouse. While they were up there, they could easily hear the yelling and laughter of the men gambling and drinking. After receiving the go ahead, Grumblejack quietly ascended the ladder to the third floor. Then, there was a thunk. “All done.” said Grumblejack as his head poked out from the third floor landing.

After the guard at the top of the gatehouse was killed by Grumblejack, Teufulhunden started heading towards the gatehouse at the end of the bridge.

Raxuhs realized that they could trap Blackerly and his guards down on the first floor by removing the ladder. Grumblejack tried pulling the ladder up, but instead of simply pulling the ladder up, he broke the ladder in half slamming it against the stone opening in the floor. Raxuhs began taking shots with his longbow at the drunk sergeant and his men. Grumblejack threw his club, followed by the dagger he received from Graven. Blackerly tried to fire back with the bow that they had down on the first floor, but was unable to hit anyone, most likely due to all the rotgut whiskey he had to drink. After Blackerly was killed, his men surrendered. They were promised mercy by Tom Riddle, but they never found it. The three drunk guards were then swiftly executed. A search of the bodies revealed a keyring that Blackerly was carrying.

Meanwhile, Teufulhunden arrived at the guardhouse by the gate. He tried to enter quietly, but instead slammed his greatsword into the wall making quite the entrance. He immediately saw a guard and a guard dog in the room. Thinking quickly, he tossed a handful of dog treats from the barracks at the dog, distracting him. No matter how much training the dogs received, they could never resist food… The lone guard reached for his blade and tried to kill Teufulhunden. The guard realized he was no match for Teufulhunden, and ran to grab his signal horn. It was at this moment that Teufulhunden sliced him in two.

Raxuhs, Graven, Tom, and Grumblejack headed back to the great hall to retrieve the contents of Blackerly’s chest. Inside they found a case of rot gut and over 1,200 gold. This had to have been the money that Blackerly was skimming off the top. The four of them headed back through the gatehouse and met up with Teufulhunden on the other side of Branderscar’s gates. Raxuhs was easily able to navigate across the Old Moar Road to find the manor that Tiadora had instructed him to go to.

After knocking, they were greeted by Tiadora. The master would meet them, but they would need to be made presentable first. After noticing Grumblejack, Tiadora became visibly displeased that they had brought a “pet.” Grumblejack took great offense at this, knowing himself to be a fearsome monster. “Grumblejack not like her. Someday, Grumblejack eat her.” he whispered to Teufulhunden. Tiadora had her slaves take Raxuhs, Graven, Tom, and Teufulhunden upstairs to their rooms, and despite her disapproval, she had her slaves arrange accommodations for Grumblejack too.

After changing into fresh clothes, tending to their wounds, and having a delicious meal, Tiadora summoned Raxuhs, Teufulhunden, Tom, and Graven to meet the master. They were taken to a beautifully appointed office where Cardinal Adrastus Thorn was waiting for them. he asked them to swear allegiance to him to burn Talingarde to the ground. Upon their acceptance, he brought out a contract for them to sign in blood. After the contract was signed, he gave them their first command, “Prepare yourselves. Stay within the manor. You are still hunted by the Talirean soldiery. In three days we begin your training.”

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Way of the Wicked

Guilty.

You are a lawbreaker – the worst of the worst. Too dangerous to live amongst the good people of Talingarde, they dragged you in chains before a magistrate and condemned you. They sent you to the worst prison in the land and there they forever marked you. They held you down and branded you with a runic F. You are forsaken. You won’t be at Branderscar Prison for long. Branderscar is only a holding pen. In three days – justice comes. In three days – everything ends.

What a pity. If only there was a way out of this stinking rat-hole. If only there was a way to escape. If only…

No. No one has ever escaped from Branderscar Prison. This is where your story ends.

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