Xorvintaal

The Shack

The hole into the earth leads eventually into a drain pipe filled with blood and bile and corpses. From there they enter into the basement of what could only be Castle Bromont. In the dungeons there, they encounter the beast The Skinner. After defeating him they rescue Brother Rian and send him to Rip Tide. They encounter corrupted Keepers in the desecrated church of Pelor. When they head into the keep Illnorin spots The Laugher and they give chase. Only to be blocked by more Keepers. They then pursue him back into the lower levels of the castle. Though, it seems, The Laugher has escaped, they find what they believe to be the captain of the Keepers and wicked looking dagger. They take one last rest and prepare to face him…

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On the Trail

Tink and Luna Diamond-hawk arrive back in Nightfall to the news of Tetra’s arrest. Tink is furious and strikes Zelda during an argument. Zelda then leaves the group to find her sister in the stocks. She talks to her sister about possibly leaving the group but it’s Tetra who calms Zelda. She convinces her that what they’re doing may be worth while and they should do their best to smooth things over with the group. This is, of course, their best shot at revenge against the man that shattered their lives. Zelda heads off for a stiff drink.

Luna Diamond-hawk gets angry with Tink for striking Zelda. She heads off in search of her to make amends. She comes across Tetra there in the stocks. Even though she didn’t approve of Tink hitting Zelda for something she didn’t do, Luna Diamond-hawk still takes a moment to stop in front of Tetra. The ire builds within her, fed up with the trouble this one seems to attract. She reaches down, grabs a stone, and hurls it at Tetra, striking her in the face. She also needs a stiff drink and heads off to the tap house. She finds Zelda there and they talk. Tink joins them shortly after and they manage to make up for the previous confrontations.

The party reunites and finds the streets all a bustle. People rushing towards the militia headquarters. The party follows suit and finds that Mu`idd al-Shaybani has returned with a man with one arm, matching the description of the attacker from the last murder. Outside of the headquarters, Dupre rallies the merchants and other townfolks in a cry for the immediate death of the man. Rip Tide introduces them to Mu`idd al-Shaybani. He tells them that while the man matches the description, he’s not believed by any in the militia to actually be the attacker. His name is Rourk and he was one of the best in the militia, a lieutenant and the leader of the patrol that Kethra was a part of.

The net day, Rourk’s fate is already decided by the town leaders. As he’s being hung, the party begins to prepare to free him but ultimately decide against the move. Mu`idd al-Shaybani departs to go back on patrol and the party is left to it’s own devices again. They expect there to be a celebration at Dupre’s residence that night and find it a good opportunity to stake it out. instead they find it dark and quiet. Their vigil pays off, though. Three cloaked figures slip out of the manor in the night. The party gives chase and nearly loses them. They follow them to the bunk house where the fourth murder took place. There they confront Dupre and a couple of his lackeys. Luna Diamond-hawk turns into a wolf and mulls one of them until he gives up everything they need to know, informing them of the shack outside of town that was their goal.

The party takes the three men to Rip Tide and convinces him to watch them for the evening while they explore the shack. He does so begrudgingly. They also talk him into freeing Tetra for the excursion. At the shack, they find a grated hatch covering a hole down into the dark of the earth.

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Arrival in Nightfall
The Hangover PT I

The company of heroes wakes in the morning to a lone ghoul trapped in the gate. They decide to throw the lever and splatter the ghoul all over the damn place. Then they depart to find it’s friends strewn about out side of the cave. Their corpses have been charred to cinders. Kethra comments that it appears to be the work of Mu`idd al-Shaybani.

Outside the walls of Nightfall, Kethra and the party receive a warm welcome. The party is led to see the captain of the town militia straight away to let him know of their arrival and get set up with lodging. They find Rip Tide passed out drunk atop his desk. He appeared to have been in one hell of a battle recently. He fills the group in that their horses and the wagons of goods were luckily found by a patrol on the road. He also pays the group a handsome sum for rescuing Kethra.

The first signs of tension within the group show their head while the party attempts to divvy the reward. Rurik continues to seem distant from the rest of the party while the three childhood friends (Illnorin, Luna Diamond-hawk, and Tink being to clash with the twins (Tetra and Zelda). Luna Diamond-hawk suggests that Zelda gets no split of the reward as she was more of a liability and was even rescued alongside Kethra. A small argument breaks out and shockingly, the ever vicious Tetra is able to quell the situation by offering to forego her take and split it between Zelda and Luna Diamond-hawk.

Zelda also takes some time while they’re getting settled in their bunk houses to identify the magical items that Tetra was able to swipe from the altar within the cave system they had ventured into. She finds them to be a Dagger of Warning, Figurine of Wondrous Power (silver raven), and a Bag of Tricks (Tan). Tetra suggests offering the Bag of Tricks to Luna Diamond-hawk to smooth things over between them.

While in out in the market, twins manage to steal a fine diamond ring. They almost blunder the caper but Zelda’s familiar, Tingle, in weasel form saves the day by making off with the loot. While the guards suspicions are peaked, they find no proof that the girls did anything wrong and let them go with a stern warning.

Rurik stays back at the bunk house making stew while the rest of the party heads to the local tap house to gather information and get and feel for the locals. Upon arrival, they run into Kethra, again. She waves them over to a table full of militia and other locals. Seats and drinks are made readily available for the heroes that brought back such a well known and loved member of the town guard.

As the revelry reaches it’s pinnacle, the crowd clears the tables from the center of the bar and forms up in a ring. The tap house owner and operator, a massively obese and yet shockingly nimble orc named Rukus, takes the center of the ring and offers a sack of gold to the toughest fighter in the crowd. A bare knuckle boxing tournament then takes place. Tetra and Tink both enter. Tetra underestimates the hardy folk of Nightfall and is knocked out of the tourney early on. Tink advances into the later rounds where he faces off against a nearly starved and feeble Kethra. What should be an easy win for the brute of an orc turns into a barn burner of a match. It pushes both fighters to the brink with Tink squeezing out a close victory. Tink is very battered entering the finals and even though he puts up a great fight he ultimately is defeated by a young Elf warrior and member of the militia.

While some of the party members place bets to earn extra coin, Tetra can’t help herself and attempts to cut the purse of a wealthy patron. Unfortunately, she does this in a room full of town guards and is immediately apprehended. This time there is less leniency and she’s forced to spend the night in jail with another warning to keep her nose clean. She’s reminded that she’s there to help the town and though she helped rescue Kethra next time the punishment will not be a slap on the wrist.

Tink manages to find an Orc woman of fine breeding stock and he pursues her throughout the evening. Her name is Tina and she has no issues heading back to the bunk house with Tink. There they find Rurik has made stew from the psionic brain soaked in the strange green liquid. He seems to be having some sort of super natural experience. They find him naked in the center of the bunk house, locked in a trance, and holding various poses. Also and oddly, a small goblin has appeared. It pounds a redundant rhythm on a massive drum. Tink and Tina decide to head to the girls bunk house. There Tink destroys one of the bunks to make a larger bed for himself and his lady. They proceed to do all manner of things most foul that evening.

Luna Diamond-hawk gets wasted and heads off into the night with Kethra and a couple fit young militia lads. She returns the next morning with a smile on her face.

Illnorin and Zelda close down the bar. When they stumble out into the street they are approached by a young Elf girl named Brigit. She conceals herself and waits to approach them in the shadows where no one can see her. She tells them that she was close to the last victim and that they should look into her step father, Dupre. She also informs them of the disappearance of his right-hand man, Mr. Quincey. When they get back to the bunks, they find Rurik and the goblin in one bunk and Tink, Tina, and a thick foul odor in the other. They decide to camp outside of Brigits home to keep watch over her, fearing she might be the next victim.

The next morning Tetra is released from jail, minus her Dagger of Warning. She reunites with Illnorin, Zelda, Tink, and Luna Diamond-hawk. Tink has taken taken a lot of issue with the antics of the twins but tries to go with Tetra to speak on her behalf and get her dagger back. The guards have no idea what happened to the dagger, supposedly, so they leave empty handed.

The group splits again with the twins heading around town to gathering information and Tink heading out to Castle Bromont to speak with The Keepers of Light. Rurik is tripping yet again and this time Illnorin joins in with Luna Diamond-hawk watching over them. Tink comes back after being turned away from his own brothers and also consumes some of the stew.

The next day Tink and Luna Diamond-hawk head out on patrol with Rip Tide. The rest of the party takes the opportunity to go speak with Dupre. The interview quickly devolves with attitudes and comments from both sides. After a slew of insults, Tetra finally snaps and attacks Dupre’s guard with the smart mouth. A fight breaks out with the party severely outnumbered. They’re quickly defeated and forced to surrender. They’re tossed out. Tetra is arrested the next morning and put in the stocks for killing a man in the fray.

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Brain in a Jar.

The party travels down into the tunnel system. They first encounter a large crypt and have a brutal fight with waves of skeletons. They manage to survive even though they fall many times in the fight. Certainly a fight to tell tails of.

They follow a trail of blood into a refuse pile, fur and bone and waste and broken furniture and old tatters of rugs and clothes and hair… Tetra is grabbed by something in the trash. It’s grip is impossibly strong. Tink brings his blade crashing down wildly into the trash to free his new ally. Though, she shouldn’t be trusted whatsoever, she’s certainly not as dangerous as what’s grabbed a hold of her. The wild swing manages to cleave nearly the entire arm from the creature hidden below. The severed appendage immediately starts attacking alongside it’s troll counterpart. The party quickly overwhelms the handicapped monster but struggles to find a resolution to it’s regeneration. Rurik eventually sets it on fire with oil and a torch.

The party comes to a large chamber with a massive bonfire in it core. Before the fire, a stone alter. On the alter and speared against the walls of the chamber are what Kethra would later identify, upon backtracking through, as her friends and members of the militia. The party is corned in the chamber by strangely well organized and well armed ogres. The ogres bring with them a litter. Upon the litter is a brain inside a glass sphere. It rests among lush padded pillows. Inside the “jar” the brain floats in a neon green fluid. The brain lashes out with psychic strikes against the party as it’s thrull ogres engage. Destroying the brain brought chaos to the mind controlled ogres. Victory was well earned but not without sacrifice. Luna’s wolf brother, Ghost was smashed to bits by one of the ogres. It was a devastating loss that spurred Luna on to fight harder and finish the massive brutes. Heart broken… she had to carry on… a tuft of Ghost’s fur clenched tightly in her fist.

The next ogre’s they encountered weren’t remotely organized. Clearly they were no longer thrulls, as well. They were a pair trying to smash down a door to get whatever was inside… Little did they know it was Zelda and Kethra. After the fight Kethra made some makeshift gear from what the ogres carried and the party found Zelda’s belongings.

Just down the hall they found another alter. This one inside a finely built temple. Massive stones columns run in two rows down the length of the room. The columns are carved into the likeness of axe wielding orcs. Sensing an obvious trap but also sensing some fine loot on the alter, Tetra decides to make a move to the alter. Relying on sheer speed and reflex, she dashes across the room. Narrowly dodging the large swinging axes of the orc columns. She sweeps several items into her bag and dashes for the exit. On her return trip shes nearly sliced in two, taking quite a blow that slices her down her face and abdomen. Rurik quickly heals the wound so there’s no horrendous scar.

A handful more of easily dispatched skeletons and twists and turns and back tracking and the party finds the exit to the cave covered in ghouls. They camp out until morning so the ghouls depart.

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Perphaps we had better start from the beginning...

The characters wake up on a beautiful white sand beach. The sun is shining. A stark contrast to what they were each last encountering. A brutal last moments for each and every one. How’re they even alive? Is this the afterlife? There are several extra-planar beings standing in the company of a silver-haired elf woman. She offers them a chance at revenge against Marius Ghast and The East Mire Cartel.

The party agrees and Elva sends them right off to Nightfall to investigate a series of murders there. They’re lead by a Drow named Theran and his troop of royal bodyguards. Inside the dead lands surrounding Nightfall, the group is held up in an old roadhouse by an intense storm. In the night, a roaming horde of undead appear outside. Theran and his troops rush outside to crush them. Hidden in the dark were three undead giants that laid waste to the Drow and his minions. The party managed to finish off the remaining zombies.

The next day, the party continues on the road to Nightfall. In a thick fog, Luna thinks she sees Reggie. She gives chase and ends up in a flooded cellar. There the party discovers a collapsed wall leading into a tunnel system. Zelda stays behind with the wagons. The bulk of the party continues into the caves. It’s not long before a mass of undead tear themselves from shallow graves all around Zelda. She fights with what little magic she has but is ultimately swarmed by reaching rotting hands. She’s struck over the head and carried off.

She awakens somewhere in the dark. A cell. There’s another woman there, Kethra. Nearly starved to death but still full of fight. They talk in the dark and become quick friends. They make a pact. The next time the door opens they make a last ditch fight for freedom. The chance comes much quicker than anticipated but not remotely how anticipated. Kethra had described cloaked men draging her screaming friends away, one at a time. Evil men, surely, but men…

They were ripped from their sleep by thunderous blows against the door. They leapt to their feet as the door began to splinter. Then a massive hole was punched through. A gigantic mace head nearly taking the door completely apart. When it’s pulled out, the creature wielding it crouches down to peer inside the hole it made, to take in a deep smell of soft human flesh. Zelda can see the brutes massive teeth, illuminated by torch light outside the doors, when it grins. It knows its prey is trapped. Zelda is shaken to her core. She’s never laid eyes on such a creature at sea or in the streets of Aldingstone… but she’s certainly read many tales of ogres! All she can foresee is a brutal death next to Kethra here in this dark hole… at the hands of the ogres, seconds away from smashing in the door…

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