Days of Wonder

The Fire Brigade: Day One in Waitangi
The story so far...

(Written from Daedrins PoV, but as of right now I don’t feel like fully writing all dwarf like.)

Hah, all I can say, is that…that was one hell of a day. It all started when we were finally able to meet with this Argyle Houndstooth fellow, and he did agree to back us, but on one condition. He apparently has had some dealings with some “Fell Court”, a group of Tieflings after…well, honestly, the details are a bit fuzzy, it’s been a hell of a day, but he wants them dead, and that’s good enough for me.

He hinted that we may be able to find members of said group within the Silver Unicorn Inn, and we found several tieflings milling about, several of which weren;t touching their drinks. Without any clear plan on how to approach said individuals, Samson engaged in a drinking contest, and many nobles stepped up to the plate, foolishly. Drank em all under the table and came out richer for it, but these funds are set to be used for our cause. I was in no state to do any sort of sleuth work after the fact, but Kelaonar and Flam managed to track one of the tieflings from the bar, now nervous that everyone was drunk, and stumbling out, leaving the tieflings exposed in a thinning crowd. They found some sort of safe house, and to my understanding, gathered some information before having to kill him. They gathered all the relevant books and scrolls, and promptly started the first fire of the day, to keep our tracks covered.

From there, we poured over their notes and diaries, finding several safe houses and meeting locations. We split the party to scout a few locations out. Samson and I explored the abandoned watchtower on the river, and despite an ear shattering setback of a trap, managed to fully scout the locale. I don’t know what this Fell Court truly wants, but they had a damned Drake chained up in their basement. Foolish of them, because I intend to claim the beast for our own purposes.

Kelaonar and Flam got into even more trouble, getting spotted by one ugly son of a bitch while checking out a warehouse. Flam did his fade from view shtick, foolishly in plain sight of Mr. Uglyface, which caused him to flip his shit and call the guards. Flam escaped undetected into the warehouse, Kelaonar, well, he spent the day bounding across rooftops, before finally finding solace in the shittiest of drinking locations. Flam looted the Warehouse, then being the strange little creature that he is, decided to set fire to it.

We regrouped and found Kelaonar, and he filled us in about the details of his escape. Having one of our “agents” paraded in front of dozens of guards at such a critical staging point in our plans made my stomach tighten, and not because of how much I had had to drink earlier in the day. I formulated a plan that required relatively innocent bystanders pay the ultimate price for our own follies, but I will not let our operation fail this early. However, our coverup plan succeeded as far as I could tell, or at least bought us time. Time to gather up, and move our operations to the abandoned tower…

-Daedrin

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Hidding in the Spot Lights

In this weeks adventures our heroes wasted no time, blood was spilled and chaos was caused. Firstly they moved from their camp in the forest to a bigger and better location, the location being a run down old tower on a small island in the middle of the river. From there deciding that they would need some protection a few of the party headed south to the docks to look for some “guns for hire” who would be willing to keep a look out all day and night against anyone who would attempt to gain access to the tower. While they were bargaining for a fair deal, our young gnome headed off into the fair grounds looking a little worse for ware with no explanation as to why. Our goblin companion decided his skills would be better served keeping watch for any Fell Court members who may have had a meeting at the manor that day, and so he waited patiently inside the guard house and kept watch for any tieflings that my try to gain entry.

After the dwarf and Drow found a few men as sentries, they noticed a house by the docks that had some very expensive and therefor out of place curtains. Instead of a normal reaction such as looking and knocking on the door, they waited until they could guess how many people were inside and then burst through the door with weapons drawn. This of course lead to a huge fight, ending with the death of 4 tieflings and no real information gained from the tieflings. luckily just before burning the entire building to its foundations, they spotted a secret panel in a closet that had a stairway leading down. What they found was a half dead dragon that was being infused with tiefling blood, it also may or may not have been pregnant. After they building was burned to ashes the dwarf headed back up north to see what progress the goblin had made, leaving the Drow to keep an eye for any tieflings that may run over to investigate the fire.

When the dwarf arrived he blew the goblin’s cover and they were both forced into going to the Silver Unicorn to watch from a window booth. The dwarf having no real patience to speak of got bored immediately and decided his time would be better spent setting up the new bought sentries and helping them guard for the day because at least there his weapon may get a chance to be used.
The gnome finally reappeared close to the Drow and he didn’t really go into detail as to where he had been all morning, but being pressed for time they decided they should head over and talk to Argyle Houndstooth to tell him about the 4 dead bodies. While waiting in line for him to finish some business with a costumer, a young woman from they fey noticed the gnome and started to tell her friend about him. Seeing this the gnome knew he could not let anyone know about him he instantly went invisible, sprinted beside her, shot liquid green fire all over her burning her to death within seconds, and teleported out of the building before anyone had a chance to react.

Now this did not sit well with the Drow seeing as how he was still in the building which now had a burning woman, and was being locked down by a dozen Houndstooth guards. After the chaos settled down the Drow was charged with the task of finding the gnome, which he did with no effort due to the gnome not hiding or trying to escape. They had a meeting with Houndstooth who decided he would let them live if they found a suitable replacement to blame for the fire, within 24 hours, and a person who was not from the same town. The eventual idea of the group was to track down a dragonmarked goblin, get him very drunk, and then use a crown that would make any lies told to him the truth. Of course the plan didn’t go smoothly, they ended up getting group of three gobilins to follow them to a bar. At a certain point the Drow decided the plan was a horrible idea and fled back to the tower to join the dwarf, what happened next was less than an ideal situation.

Once the goblins seemed to be sufficiently drunk, Samson lead them to the outskirts of the forest to attempt to kill two of them while leaving the third unconscious. But before he could get them in the forest he attempted to knock one down without the others noticing, which they did. Samson grabbed one around the neck with barbed wire, another started to run down the street but Samson caught him in the back with an acid bullet and he dropped to the ground. He finished the one in his hands by slicing through his neck with the wire and then tackled the final one who had gotten to his feet and attempted to run, he finally tied him up with barbed wire and then dragged him two blocks to the Houndstooth shop, leaving a massive trail of blood. All while this was happening the gnome was attempting to get past the shop guards by telling them his plan, and then understandably thinking it was a horrible idea would not let him pass. Eventually Houndstooth decided to talk with them and simply killed the goblin, told them that they could no longer burn buildings down, and if anyone came asking about the event he would do what he could, as his fate was now sealed to his own.

-Fflamddwyn Baugh

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Sandycooter

WE awoke to find Argyle’s Goliath on our home island. He greeted us with news of the Half-Orc’s arrival in Waitingi. They took over guard of the town as too many disturbances had been caused and the Markelhay’s would have no more embarrassments.

We made our way across the river to the dock. As we arrived, half-orcs made haste to seize our vessel and assure us that if we were to unsheathe our weapons in Waitingi, we’d be slain immediately.

After a short discussion, we visited the Sandercoot shop, in search of information about the River Rats. Upon entering the shop, we immediately began to question Sandercoot. Her son appeared moments later, likely curious what all the racket was about. Daedrin led the questioning, but grew weary of her dismissive answers. He charged forward at her, launched himself from the counter she stood behind and brought his fist with such force to her face that she fell onto the ground, barely conscious. Her son darted to the back, but within a mere moment was forced to the ground by an arrow.

Once both were tied, Fflam announced that we’d be waterboarding her for answers. No challenge was offered.

Fflam and Kel decided it’d be best to search the rest of the shop, as she had two sons un-accounted for. They climbed a ladder and ended up in a square room with four doors. Of the four, three were trapped. With a little arcana, Fflam discovered the West door was the only one not rigged, but the door changed often. They set into the room, only to discover there were a pack of dire-wolves guarding it.

—>Daedrin, on the main floor of the shop, decides he’d better bring the Sandercoots into a safer place, ie. the basement. He finds the ladder leading downward, and tosses them down. As he finishes, he hears cries from above and rushes up to lend an arm.

—>Kel and Fflam are caught off guard by the dire-wolves and are having a tough time getting through them. Once bloodied and weary, they decide it’d be best to leave the room. Daedrin arrives just in time to see them flee cowardly, closing the door to the dire-wolves.

The trio went back to the basement, where a secret passageway was discovered. It was a tiny thing, forcing anyone who would pass through it to crawl uncomfortably. With this thought in mind, and not knowing what lay on the other side, it was collapsed by Daedrin.

After healing was done and composure was gained, the trio ventured back to the upper floor, to face their challenge. They made their way to the top, opened the door, and fought a fierce battle. There were four wolves in all, three youngins and their mother. Needless to say, all four were pelted. We found what we were looking for on the desk in this room, maps of the River Rats’ operation, their plan, the firework caravan’s route.

Heading down to the basement once again, we sent Fflam to find our Half-Orc, assigned to us by Argyle, to help us with the situation at hand. We had discovered Sandercoot was the head of the River Rats, and as we couldn’t kill her nor burn her shop down, the Half-Orc and Argyle was our best option.

We left the Half-Orc to mend that situation, and headed to Argyle to inform him of our discoveries. We discussed all things, and parted with a portkey, which would allow us to teleport to our island from the mainland. The new task-at-hand: getting the portkey to our island.

-Kelaonar Baenath

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The Great Ambush

It was early in the day and the Wolfpack already had a problem to solve. Having just visited Mr. Houndstooth and procured a pair of ’port keys from the powerful Tiefling, it was up to the group to find a way to get one of these valuable items to the island base without being seen.

The first of the ’port keys was securely placed deep within the catacombs, while Fflamdwynn was able to use his talents of invisibility in order to get the second one to the island base.

The Wolfpack had been informed of a caravan of fireworks that was to be imported into Waitingi that late morning — and that the the nefarious River Rats were laying in wait for it. Having their own plans for the fireworks, the team decided to ambush the ambush. The team travelled a couple of hours out of Waitingi to where the presumed ambush was to occur and waited.

The Wolfpack almost seemed to bite off more than they could chew as the caravan came into view and the ambush commenced. The Halfling River Rats didn’t seem to put up much of a fight against the rather large Half-Orc armada; it was only after the interference from the Wolfpack that things started to get out of hand.

The fireworks were being transported in a colossal wagon being pulled along by an Orc-Elephant, a creature equally as massive. By the time the Wolfpack snuck into the fray, the gigantic beast had been let loose on a blind rampage across the battlefield, a clear and present danger to everyone.

The beast needed to be neutralized if the ambush was to be a success. Taking note of the giant cobwebs throughout the forest, both Fflamdwynn and Kelanor attempted to lure the Orc-Elephant into the naturally-occurring traps — to disastrous results. Things weren’t looking great until Deadrin lept in, stunning the monstrosity with a single, thunderous blow from his warhammer.

With the monster incapacitated, the quartet focused upon the primary task at hand : that of strong-arming the shipment of fireworks away from the Waitingi Guard AND the River Rats. The battle raged on, culminating in a tense stand-off, INSIDE the wagon no less, between an Orc, a River Rat, and the Wolfpack.

With both sides efficiently slaughtered, Kelanor made haste for the island base, looking to retrieve the port key so that the gang would be able to teleport the fireworks directly into their secret alcove within the catacombs. Meanwhile, the rest of the Wolfpack busied themselves at the scene of the ambush, removing any and all traces of their involvement. In the end, it looked like nothing more than a River Rat ambush gone terribly wrong.

Hours passed, and Kelanor returned, successful in inconspicuously retrieving the port key. The Wolfpack ‘ported the entire shipment of fireworks into the catacombs, at which time a sinister idea arose in Kelanor’s mind : the catacombs were situated directly underneath the museum, the very building that housed the Treaty of Waitingi, and an integral stop on the Waitingi Parade.

-Samson X

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Assault on Markelhay Keep and the Ruination of Waitangi Day

(Written by Daedrin while resting at the Inn post-resurrection.)

This is a tale worthy of my forebears, one that I shall pass to my son’s sons, one of the proudest moments of my life.

It began as we unpacked the last of the fireworks. Kel came up with a brutally effective plan, one that will work to our advantage and achieve far more, with much less risk to ourselves. The catacombs we had taken up as our gateway from tower to town, happened to be located under a certain museum, one that held several artifacts of the original Waitangi Day, such as the quills of signing and the peace treaty itself.

The following day would see a massive parade of nobles from the town, and all over Smallworld, gather at this place amongst the civilians to retrieve these artifacts of peace. Kel’s plan involved turning all of the fireworks into explosives, and then igniting them right as the parade stops off at the museum. First, we would need to talk to Argyle, as this would destroy most of the town.

Argyle took the news better than I thought, his only request being we steal a certain enchanted chest from the Markelhay Castle. Surveying the maps, scaling the cliffs would be impossible for our group, especially to do it stealthily in the time frame we had left. Argyle presented us with a bold alternative, albeit a costly one. Parting with most of the funds I had left available to me, he procured a trio of Hippogriffs for us to directly assault the Castle from above.

The next few hours were tense, final preparations being made by all, while Samson setting to the task of making tools of enjoyment into tools of destruction. We met the hippogriff wranglers the next day, just as the parade began to start. As we took off, we had our captured drake, loaded with explosives and a lit fuse, ported into the catacombs, starting a chain of events that will go down in history. The timing could not have been better, as the nobles began to enter the museum, the ground shifted, then the most thunderous noise I have ever heard was heard, and the earth simply fell away, a landslide of rock, home, and person. The carnage and destruction was immense, plumes of dust obscured the entire town, that wasn’t buried under rubble, or a part of the rubble itself.

As we appraoched the castle, even the chaos taking place in the town failed to distract the vigilant guards, who began loosing arrows upon us, forcing us into the main courtyard. What followed was one of the most brutal skirmishes I have ever encountered. Outnumbered, the guards wasted no time in targeting our mounts. Mine fell to several thrown lances piercing it’s sides, but not before I managed to crash into onto the wall the archers had taken position on, allowing me to distract them while my allies, still in flight, could harass the other guards. Slowly their numbers dwindled, but they were bolstered by reinforcements. The battle was looking grim and as our second hippogriff fell, it became clear that we were not going to win through brute force. Our last hippogriff took a defensive and obstructed position out of the range of archers and lance throwers, while Fflam wreathed himself in shadow and took off into the keep to find the chest, whilst Samson, Kel and I held the line. I was sustaining heavy injuries, but refused to fall, not in my finest hour, not when we were so close to truly completing our goal. I would not shame my ancestors by failing now. Despite my grim resolve, eventually a darkness overtook me, and all I recall is a taste of fine ale upon my lips when I think back upon it. Oh, and the pain. There was a lot of that.

My companions managed to return me to the realm of the living, the events of which will be catalogued later, but as it has been told to me we were ultimately successful. Fflam managed to locate the chest, and from the mouths of my peers, pulled some heroic and insane things to get the chest out of Castle, mostly involving fire, and leaping out of a window with said chest, hoping for the best. The other members of the Wolf Pack managed to collect me and make a daring escape, though Samson’s little mechanical man Jeeves had to be left behind. Argyle received the chest in good order, though we never collected some bonus gold from the agreement he and I had worked out. He told us to meet him in “The Old Capitol” which after a few more days of rest in the inn and a rendezvous with the rest of the Wolf Pack, is our next destination.

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An Evening with Kelaonar

I mounted the hippogryph. Buckbeak swooped down, as I called out to Samson. Buckbeak neared the wall, and Samson leaped onto the beast. I whispered in its ear and told it to grab our dying friend. The huge claws wrapped around Daedrin as we soared into the air and took off without another glance. I knew the bird carried too much weight, so once we were out of sight I jumped off, levitating to the ground. Within moments, I saw a flash of green behind me and a mad gnome following it, through a window on the back of the castle. Buckbeak must have seen it too, as he was in the air in moments. The great bird flew and grabbed Fflam, saving him from a hundred foot fall. The gnome had it, he had the chest. How he accomplished this, I’ll never know.

We made our way south with due haste. Daedrin was dead and we had no time to spare. The closest of my kind were a mere week travel time from Waitangi. To the south we went, where we would find a Drow outpost of the name Arakar. Luckily, no trouble found us on our way south, despite the countless Orc that would be sent after us.

We arrived in the Underdark, tired and weary. Still we ventured forth, as we were not going to let our friend fall just yet. After miles of travel, we found a window. Samson was first to investigate, with Fflam staying far behind. I had a bad feeling about the window, and advised we move forward around the bend. But before Samson could react, and set of hands pulled him through the window and all I could hear were blades being unsheathed. I ran towards the window and leapt through, only to find several Drow with Samson pinned down. After a bit of negotiating and trying to explain our situation, they let Samson free. They took Buckbeak to the stables, and warned us not to go around the bend, as there were horrors only known to the Underdark there.

We soon found a cleric, but he was of no use. His price alone was too much, but he refused to risk his reputation among the Drow by reviving a Dwarf. Disappointed and distraught, we went to the inn, seeking refuge for a few days. As we sat down, a Drow woman approached us. Her name was Yorana, and she made us a proposition: if we stole three scrolls from the outpost vault, she would revive our friend. We bargained her to revive Daedrin before we completed this task, as we would need his Dwarven skills in the vault.

With Daedrin back alive, we took our new mission head on. We stepped into the vault, to be greeted by a keeper. He asked us of our business, and we told him we’d need to deposit some papers. We hoped to get a tour of the place, but that hope was quickly drowned as he explained no one was to see the vault except the keepers like himself. He explained the safeties of the vault, the item teleportation, sentry guards, etc. We observed as much as we could in the time we had, noticing a few guards patrolling the vault floor as well as one on the ceiling. There were three keepers that we noticed. Each of which could teleport any item into the safe house and out of our reach. We made agreements to return to the vault within the hour, as the cost of our deposit was surprising and we hadn’t such funds on our persons at this time.

As we left the vault we spoke of what we had saw, and we plotted. Daedrin had a horrifically effective plan that involved the port key we still had from Argyle. We re-entered the vault and the keeper led us into his office. We explained we wanted an item deposited and showed him the stone. He grabbed it, and thus disappeared into the rock of Waitangi. We opened the office door and yelled that the keeper had just disappeared with our money, and another keeper entered. He was hesitant to touch the stone, so I forced his head down onto it.

Battle broke out, but it was soon over. We fought until they surrendered, at which point we kept a keeper barely alive and let him lead us to the vault, where he opened it. Battle again broke out as we showed no mercy, as they had seen our face. We slaughtered everyone save a single keeper once more, and he revealed the scrolls, and a few other items of interest. Among them was a certain helm of unspeakable evil. It would capture the soul of anyone who is killed in its proximity, and capture them into gems forged onto it.

Argument broke out about the helm. I wished to destroy such an evil thing, as it would bring nothing but pain to this world. Daedrin had more other desires; he wished to bargain our debt with Argyle using the helm. Our argument turned hostile within moments, both of us too proud and stubborn to fall to the other. He made his try at diplomacy, but I could see through it. His next action included his hammer. It struck hard and true, nearly bringing me to my knees. Samson stepped in and tried to cease the unnecessary violence, but my anger flared and I immediately replied to his hammer with a whisper of my bow. Two arrows were released, of the strongest I had made to that day. Daedrin fell, unconscious, of that I am sure.

I woke up moments later, tied up and strapped with explosives. This did little to lessen my rage. I was strapped with a bomb, an outrageous act. I noticed burn marks on my armor, and looked to Fflam. He was eyeing me with brute determination.

The pack knew they would have to either destroy the helm or lie to me to soothe me. And thus I was betrayed once more. Samson led me to believe that he had destroyed the helm, and that it was no more. I knew he was lying, and I tried to conceal this little truth, as I would need to catch him off guard.

I kept silent about the helm, and we left the vault. I immediately left to find Buckbeak in the stables, and flew upward and out of the Underdark. The others managed to leave the Drow outpost, as I saw them emerge on the surface world sometime later.

We traveled silently, Daedrin taking off on Buckbeak towards an Inn further along the road towards The Old Capitol, where we would meet. Each night as we rested, Samson would set a trap on his alchemy kit, leaving me assured he still had the helm. I waited patiently, not wanting to risk setting the trap off. After many days of this game, we arrived at an inn along the path to The Old Capitol where we found Daedrin.

-Kelaonar Baenath

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Three Months Later

Monday January 9, 2012

Three months.

It’s been three months since I’ve laid eyes upon this killer, and yet in ways it has felt more like three years. With a raised eyebrow I observe that the time has not served this particular Drow all too well. It would be generous to refer to his clothing as tatter rags; his black, embarrassingly bare feet sink deep into the muddy cesspool that is the alleyway. From a distance I would not have believed it was he, but at close range — close enough to feel the chill from his cold, militant glare — there was no doubt in my mind that the person who now stood before me was no other than the fearsome Kelaonar Baenath.

I look over at Daedrin; he wears an expression that mirrors my own personal sentiments. He has all of a sudden made his presence known? For what purpose? Is this desperation? Is this treachery?

Three months ago, we — all four of us — had sauntered and strutted into the Old Capital, the glory of our past victories keeping our noses pointed up towards the sun and the moon in the skies. Our collective hubris had us stumbling through the most perilous of situations and wallowing through the most dangerous of dissensions. Nevertheless we continued to ignore the many signs that insistently illustrated the destruction of our group dynamic, and our first few minutes in the Old Capital became the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

I blink, and that entire battle rips through the insides of my eyelids. The heavy, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach upon realizing that we were neck-deep in a battle we couldn’t win. The rage at the irony that after having destroyed an entire city, after having sown the seeds for the destruction of all civilization with our combined genius, we were going to die at the hands of some dirty lycanthrope street gang. The horror upon witnessing Fflamdwynn don the Helm of Seven Deaths in a moment’s desperation. The numbing sense of inevitability that spread through my arms and legs as I watched Fflam’s small figure plummet towards the hard, stone streets of the Old Capital, two of Kel’s arrows protruding through his back and out his chest.

I blink and I see and feel all of this — and then I am back in the present, three months later, standing with Daedrin and Kelaonar in a stinking alley behind a hole-in-the-wall pub, surrounded by the sounds of distended bellies and fornication; surrounded by the overwhelming culmination of the consequences of all of our actions.

This is the fate of The Wolf Pack. The mere utterance of our name should have struck nothing less than abject terror in the hearts of any and all listeners. Yet, here we stand: one of us is dead and most assuredly not buried; one has been reduced to the level of a street urchin; the other two have been forced into working for the slimiest of gangs in the slimiest district of the slimiest of towns.

It was earlier today that, while toiling away in the “forge” (a pitiful excuse for one!), I was informed that a rugged drow was looking for me, claiming to know who I was. I immediately sent word out to Daedrin in the training fields, and we quickly made plans to rendezvous with this individual at this place and time.

Now, I hear myself ask the Drow what, after all this time, he wanted. Absently, I marvel at how casual I sound — at how easily these words seem to flow over and off my tongue. My skull resonates with the echoes of a million questions and just as many silent exclamations. However, before I can even begin to sort through them all, Kelaonar drops the bomb — in his typical deadpan, emotionless fashion no less. I can’t help but chuckle despite feeling a sharp spike of panic within me.

The drow lets us know that Argyll Houndstooth is looking for us. He lets us know that one of the most powerful and most feared Tieflings in all the world wants us alive and is willing to part with a heckuva lot of platinum to make sure this happens. A dreaded silence descends upon us like a blanket of fresh snow.

There is a moment where all words are inadequate; each of us is working through, and coming to terms with, our sudden unity amidst crisis. I inwardly curse Kelaonar’s ploy — I did not know his intentions, but at this point in time they were moot, for The Houndstooth Trading Co. was on our asses. I began this journey excited at the prospect at having Argyll as an ally — now I have been forced into a reality in which this juggernaut is a clear, present, and dangerous enemy. Something needed to be done.

But what? With a vague agreement to seek Argyll out the next day, our palaver concluded. We left with the precision of our plans matching the level of our camaraderie. Daedrin and I returned to our meagre gangland accommodations; Kel returned to the street life.


Later that night Daedrin and I were called into the offices of Maracos the Rough, the kingpin of the lycanthrope gang and our “employer”. The ugly rat man offers us seats but nothing to drink; his beady eyes regard us as prey while he lounges behind his desk, swirling a potent rum around in a grubby-looking glass.

In the dim, flickering light of a desk lamp, the notorious silver tongue of Maracos informs us that Maracos knows about our…predicament. It tells us that Maracos is offended that we would rush to honour our debts with Argyll while continuing to drag our feet towards honouring our debts with him. I bristle as it tells us how disappointed Maracos is that he, as of yet, does not own a Warforged.

Three months. I grit my teeth and silently marvel at how I have managed to persist for three whole months. I look into the smug, ignorant face of the ugly rat man and marvel yet a few moments more.

But the silver tongue of Maracos continues. It informs us that Maracos, in his wisdom, has already found a solution. Apparently the wererat had just finished up a meeting with Kel, where it was decided that the drow alone would set out to clear the debt with Argyll, “freeing” Daedrin and I up to “continue our work” with the lycanthrope “establishment”.

I exchange a quick glance with the dwarf. The plan was sound; this fact was just too difficult to deny. But one look at the greasy grin oozing out and across Maracos’ face told me that the lycanothrope kingpin WANTED us to read between the lines. There was no way the ugly rat man was going to let us out of his sight. Our employment was, in truth, not much more than a glorified imprisonment.

My chest burned with a numb, arcane wrath. This grubby little wererat had certainly managed to garner a tragically limited education along with his burdensome ignorance — but these only worked to mask a dangerous, razor-sharp wit. Whatever guile I possessed ebbed quickly away, leaving the pit of my stomach hollow and empty. All control I had presumed we held in this situation no longer existed. Indeed, I wonder if it ever had.

The impotence leaves me paralyzed. Motionless, I do nothing but listen as Daedrin’s gruff intonations end the heavy silence. Haltingly at first, but with growing confidence, he matches Maracos’ acumen step for step. With diplomatic flair he offers a sound rebuttal, putting forth a great case as to why allowing the drow to venture off on his own would not be good for business. My breath catches in my throat when he further asserts that our debt to Argyll involves no other than the Helm of Seven Deaths.

A lie and a risky ploy, but one that goads me back into the fray. For this, dear reader, despite the absence of steel, blood, and gunpowder, was indeed a battle. The weapons were our minds and wills, and we were being cornered by a villainous predator. I can see that Maracos has already begun to see Daedrin in a new light; a different kind of respect reflects off of his beady rat eyes as he nods a slow, cautious understanding to the sound reasonings of the dwarf.

I try to keep my rising desperation out of my voice as Daedrin and I insist upon the dangerous evils that the Helm of Seven Deaths introduces via its mere presence. To send one for it would be sentencing one to unspeakable forms of supplication, torture and death. It wouldn’t be long before Kel became either the Helm’s next slave — or the Helm’s next victim. Either way, Kel and the Helm would not be seen again, and nobody, theoretically speaking, stood to gain anything at all.

Except, of course, for Maracos, who stood to gain 1.5 platinum for turning Kelaonar over to Argyll to begin with. Something clicked within my head. As casually as possible, I point out to the ugly rat man that he could easily triple that amount if he turned all three of us in. Not only that, but with all three of us on the hunt for the Helm, the probability of its recovery increases exponentially. If only Maracos would be so kind as to ensure our safety from Argyll’s wrath, we would all work to bring the Helm back. Maracos has enough platinum to procure his precious Warforged muscle — and Daedrin and I are granted freedom from underneath the wererat’s thumb.


And so it was that Daedrin, Kelaonar, and I found ourselves the next morning, for the sake of appearances, bound and gagged amidst a troop of heavily-armed Tiefling soldiers in the centre of the Houndstooth Trading Co. Old Capital outpost. I take a deep breath, understanding how vital it was to stick to the plan. Nevertheless, I seethe inwardly as I regard our captor, the grotesque Iglit Houndstooth. The blue demon man was of pitiful stature; it quite looked as if this particular Tiefling had never been able to escape the curse of the Hunger. His horned head gleamed with sweat as he lumbered around his establishment, playing the big fish in a very small pond.

As Iglit and Maracos retired to an inner office to finalize all arrangements, I took solace in the fact that this would soon all be over. We would essentially be free of the lycanthrope’s clutches, and what remained of the Wolf Pack would soon be back on the road to adventure. These thoughts entertained me until they crumbled to dust at the sound of uproarious laughter.

Maracos and Iglit emerged from the inner office, chuckling and clapping each other on the back like old friends. An arcane chill slithered down my spine as I glared upon what was surely imminent treachery. After his meeting with Kelaonar, the wererat showed no signs of hesitation in offering to throw the drow underneath the proverbial horse-and-carriage. How naive of me to assume he wouldn’t consider double-crossing us at a moment’s notice! I shifted my weight in order to conceal the movements of my wrists as I tested the dexterity of my bonds. Hmm…it appeared as if these knots had been tied by slow, orc children. I sat back on my haunches, waiting for the right opportunity.

From their elevated platform, Iglit and Maracos let us know that, indeed, the terms of the agreement had changed. Maracos would still receive his 4.5 platinum, but before relinquishing us, his “captives”, over to Houndstooth, he was given permission to turn us into wererats ourselves, thus permanently enslaving us to him and his gang. With a sadistic giggle he approached us, his jaws opened wide to reveal rows of putrid, rodent teeth. Thick saliva bubbled down his chin and dripped onto his frock, as viscous as honey. I growled through my gag in frustration; this couldn’t be how it all was to end! Where the heck was Jeeves?

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

The clear, baritone voice booms into existence from behind us, ricocheting off the walls and causing everyone to freeze in their tracks. Everyone in the room seems to turn in unison, and very soon all eyes are upon the new arrival. The lithe eladrin stands just inside the large open foyer, having emerged from a room deeper in the establishment. Despite donning priestly attire, his posture is imposing and violently demands respect. One hand is already reaching behind to wield the horrific battle-axe that lies in wait across his back. His dark, pupil-less eyes never stray from Maracos the Rough.

The Tiefling guards immediately draw their weapons, and the mysterious stranger lunges forward with a frightening burst of speed. Tension snaps like a cut tendon, and then there is only chaos.

Off to my left I hear a bloodthirsty roar and turn to see Daedrin tearing out of his bonds using nothing but brute strength! Like a runaway train he barrels headlong towards the raised platform. The sounds of the clashing of steel cause me to whirl around: the eladrin newcomer is practically surrounded by Tiefling guards. Paying no heed to the longswords cutting into his side, he swings his axe in large, devastating arcs. Kelaonar, also freed from his bonds, leaps upon the guards, savagely trying to wrest one of their weapons away from them.

A gurgling sound returns my attention to the platform; Daedrin has managed to vault onto the platform and wrap his large hands firmly around the neck of Iglit Houndstooth. Despite his rather short statute, the dwarf seems to loom monstrously over his adversary. A menacing, blood-curdling growl erupts from deep with his red mane of a beard. The Tiefling claws fruitlessly at Daedrin, his demonic eyes wide and frantic.

Daedrin raises his gruff voice so that his threat reverberates through the entire room: if the Tiefling guards didn’t kill Maracos right this instant then Iglit here would soon be suffering from a snapped neck. The room hesitates; for a moment nothing but the pathetic sounds of Iglit’s blubbering disturbs the sudden silence.

Maracos the Rough, the wily trickster kingpin, chuckles. He shakes his ugly little rat man head and simply mentions that if he dies, the lycanthropes would no longer be able to provide protection to the Houndstooth Trading Co. whilst they attempt to transport goods in and out of the Old Capital. Without him, the Houndstooths would have no way to conduct business. He shrugs and smiles at Iglit.

Iglit’s wide eyes snap from Daedrin, to Maracos, then back to Daedrin. A look of disdain passes across his demonic features. Hope and desperation drain from his eyes as he sneers that if the business crumbles, Argyll will kill him anyway. Resigned to his fate, he calls Daedrin’s bluff.

I grit my teeth. Maracos. I shrug out of my bonds and, grabbing the rope, race headlong towards the platform; towards the rat man. I dive headlong, catching him around the waist in an attempt to tackle him to the ground; he stumbles but doesn’t fall. Nevertheless I hold on tight as he, cursing venomously through clenched teeth, tries to wriggle free.

A sound like a clap of thunder to my right as a volume of air is suddenly displaced. My arms still firmly clamped around the rat man, I turn to see the mysterious newcomer suddenly looming over us, fearsome battle-axe raised high above his head. His robe is blossoming with large, expanding blood stains, but he doesn’t seem to notice. Beads of sweat stand upon the eladrin’s smooth forehead as his thin mouth curls into the sneer. His eyes stare daggers into Maracos’ as he brings the formidable weapon down upon the kingpin in a devastating blow!

Maracos’ howl of pain stops the action for good. Knowing that Argyll wants us alive, and considering that three of us were unarmed, the guards didn’t want to continue to fight in fear of killing us. It was now clear, however, that we would rather die than be turned into wererats, so Maracos, favouring his axe wound, begrudgingly conceded that this particular stipulation of the deal could and would not be honoured.

With everyone still on edge, it was decided that Kelaonar, Daedrin, the mystery eladrin, and I would remain at the Houndstooth Trading Co. until the arrival of Argyll. Whatever possessions we had would be brought to us. Everything was winding down — however, the eladrin still loomed over Maracos, his fiery gaze drilling deep into the lycanthrope’s soul.

His robes and his wrath told me that this individual was of the Church. He ovates his disdain for the heinous act of creating more lycanthropes, and to highlight his point he smashes the butt of his battle-axe into Maracos’ jaw, shattering it instantly. The kingpin goes down in a heep and is quickly helped away by associates. As he leaves, his black, beady eyes glare at each of us in turn, making it very clear that this was far from over.


I lay the parts of my dismantled pistols out on the bed in an organized fashion, and begin cleaning them one by one. Over several hours of downtime we’ve been able to get better acquainted with the eladrin, and he with us. He is Kal-El, a travelling avenger, who has been helping Kelaonar out here and there in his quest to survive on the mean streets. A formidable and charismatic figure, he tells us he has made his way to the Old Capital in hopes that he will be able to re-establish the presence of the Church in the city. He has no qualms about evangelism, and in the hours that have passed we have all heard our fair share of the Good News. However, considering the eladrin’s humbling prowess in battle, it is difficult to discount his claims to any significant degree.

Kal-El had arrived at The Houndtooth Trading Co. mere moments before we did. Kelaonar had told him about Argyll’s bounty the previous night and the avenger had immediately gone to the establishment in order to inform them of the drow’s whereabouts. True to the wanted poster, he was awarded 1.5 platinum, which he eventually uses to buy a house on the other side of town. It was then that we were brought in, and he stepped in just in time to prevent us from becoming lycanthropes. Truly I owe my continued, untainted goblinity to him!

The door to my room is suddenly unlocked from the outside and swung open; I turn to see a Tiefling guard standing in the doorway, the grim look on his face enough to inform me of the return of Argyll. I quickly finish up and allow myself to be led back out into the main foyer, where I join the others. Argyll Houndstooth stands upon the platform; he looks down upon us with a sharp intensity.

We hurriedly bring the powerful tycoon up to speed, and the Tiefling visibly stiffens at the mention of the Helm of Seven Deaths. Well does he know the potential evils that the helm continually hungers for. Well does he understand the importance of finding such an item as quickly as possible and removing it permanently from the world. He imparts us this task, providing that Kal-El comes with us; the eladrin is given the specific task of killing anybody — including any of us — that decides to don the helm. With that, we are returned to the streets of the Old Capital, the fate of many once more resting within our hands.

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A Recap of the last few months.
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Since January the group has been busy, after re-connecting in the city and adding an Avenger to the party they had a meeting with Black Martin. He’s a freed slave who has spent is life freeing as many slaves as possible, and during our meeting he assigned us to attack a slave vender who’s business was only a few blocks away from the Avenger’s new home. The party went over to the establishment in the middle of the night and attempted to sneak into the second floor window, due to deadrin’s “talent” they ended up gaining the attention of the guard on duty and had a little fight, which involved lots of fire and a undead slaves being killed. From there they went down a floor and found the bedroom’s of the owner and his children, with a few harsh words and the owner losing a hand.. it was decided to simply kill him and light the building on fire ( a classic wolf pack move) and because of the group feeling a mild bit kind, they decided to keep the children alive (after dropping them from a second story window onto hard concrete).

The next day a warforged squad arrived on the scene asking questions as to who set the fire, they questions each member of the group at the house and now have been following the group around due to some suspicions they got from the interview. Because of this, Deadrin decided that the group had to get rid of the children in a way that didn’t directly lead to their death, and because of this Black martin suggested going to a goblin on the cliff side who sold trips on kits down to the bottom, Deadrin left some sort of note on the kids and sent them on their way pretty easily. Once that issue was cleared up, Black martin had another slaver that needed to be talked too, he was the bald dwarf who attempted to enslave Kelonar many months ago, thus it was almost a guarantee that he would be dealt with in the most brutal fashion.

The Avenger’s genius plan was to attempt to trick his way into the encampment with a prayer meeting, this was met with an obvious ambush that the group figured they could handle, they were sorely wrong. With poor tactics and an overwhelming force, the group was captured and carried off to meet the man they were sent to kill. they awoke in chains, poorly patched up by a medical slave, and being prepared for enslavement. Deadrin tried with all his strength to break the chain when he noticed a razor being prepared to shave his glorious beard, but sadly was unable to do so and then the entire room went into darkness. Kelonar used his cloud of darkness in order to buy some time, due to a twist of fate he broke out of his chains and was up and armed within seconds, in doing so the rest of the party was able to gather themselves up before the cloud subsided. After a few blows back and forth, the slaver was pinned down and the group had gained control of the camp, and because of Kelonar’s hatred plus the fact that they wanted to send a message, they hung him in the middle of meat gate with his intestines spilling out and escaped with over 40 slaves, which they returned back to Black martin so they could have a real life.

Once they were done helping out black martin, the avenger brought up the idea that they had to go down to the undercity in order to recover the ?oracary? for the church, thus giving the church back its power within the city and getting religion back to the people. They found out taht in order to achieve this goal they had to gain access through the undercity guards (I forget the name buts I’m calling them the men of the black) After a quick meeting with the men of the black they were told that they would have to leave some precious items behind, such as Deadrin’s beard rings.. he was not ok with that and decided to leave. After several serious conversations the group finally went back to the men of the black, and challenged them to a duel in order to gain their respect and thus gain access to the undercity. The battle was a capture the flag type of sport where each group started on separate sides of some ruins, and then had to get to the other side and break open a locked box, once opened they had to take it back to their side. The duel was fairly even and the men of the black kept on guard on watch over the box while two of them rushed towards the wolf pack, the wolf pack split into 2 directions having Kelonar focus his attention on the box while the others tried to block off the path to their box. Deadrin and Kal-el formed a wall and were able to defeat their foes with ease while at the same time kelonar scared off the guard and broke into the box just before the other team opened theirs. Because of this, and because they didn’t end up killing their enemies, they gained some respect from the men of the black and we’re allowed to access the undercity without leaving behind their valuables.

Before they headed down, they took a quick look for a rune priest in order for them to have some warding against the dark forces within the undercity, and as luck would have it they found a priest named Casandra would was dealing out a few beatings in the _____ district. Kal-el used some divine power in order to convince her that she should join them, and after a few negotiations and words they headed through the entrance and started their dangerous walk down into the depths. They were met with some serious threats, a few weird biting creatures that liked to surround the group and attempt to infect their legs, and a bunch of huge spiders that were terrifyingly powerful. The group found a small cove off to the side and decided to attempt to set up a small camp there, this turned out to be a pretty bad idea when a squad of lizard men stumbled onto their camp and arrested Kal-el and Cassandra and brought them back into their city, leaving Deadrin and Kelonar alone. During the meeting that Kal-el and Cassandra were having, they met a Dragonborn which before then had only been a rumor to the group, and Cassandra ended up being killed and thrown into a pit. At the same time a squad of lizard men were sent to “take care” of Deadrin and Kelonar, this battle was brutal and the 2 ended up scaring one of their attackers away and chased after him, though what they didn’t know was he was running back to their military camp and once again the group dealt with an ambush. The battle was huge, around 15 lizard men tried their best to defeat the wolf pack, and they even tried to flood the room to give them a tactical advantage, but they were un successful and the pack survived another day. Though in the chaos the Dragonborn “leader” used some sort of teleport during the end of the battle and escaped into thin air, and so the pack decided to make their way out.. which turned out to be less easy than previously thought.

They followed some paths through the cavern and heard the sound of a woman in battle, they followed the sound into a big room with a black dragon skull, she was a monk fighting with her bare hands against these metal creatures, and the pack figured they should do what they could to help. Over the course of the fight, Kal-el’s weapon was rusted by the monsters making it less than helpful, and unfortunately Deadrin’s chain-mail armor was eaten. Once they cleared up the remaining threats, the monk agreed to help them get back to safety, and when they were almost at the exit they ran into a lizard patrol who didn’t like the idea of the pack leaving, and so once again they were forced into killing a few more lizards. From there they found a door of sorts with a bunch of runes, and through Deadrin’s knowledge of runes that he learned from his son and Kal-el’s mighty wisdom they ended up breaking the seal after a few hours and attempted to gain access, however, it was not as easy as previously thought and actually turned out to be a “men of the black’s” guard posts to keep out the undercity creatures from entering back into the city. After a tense conversation and a lot of sweat, the men allowed the pack safe passage though and back up into they’re barracks.

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Travel to the past (march, 26)

Once the wolf pack stepped into the supposedly safe teleporting pad they ended up in an underground room in which there was a staircase up to a large set of doors, Deadrin being the boldest of the group simply walked up to the doors and pushed them open. The best course of action the group could think of was going to see argyle houndstooth so that they could return his arcanist and debrief, but when they arrived at his store front it was in fact not that same store although it was the same building, it was know called the _____ and it was a higher end pub. This turned the group’s world upside down and they decided to ask for the current date from some random townsfolk, and they found out that it was 150 years in the past, 10 years after the great war ended.

During this time Samsom was busy working away in his work shop when he noticed a note engraved in his desk which said something to the effect that his companions were in the past and needed to be rescued with the use of a secret door in the basement, and being a loyal member of the wolf pack Samson headed down there to rescue his friends. He woke up covered in blood and vomit having blacked out on the floor, and the room he was in was now filled with various machine parts and robotics. On his way out he stole a few pieces that could possibly improve jeeves and headed to the only place they had been meeting at regularly before, Argyle’s store.

Once they knew the situation, the most logical step was to go to the arcanist district and speak with the head arcanist, this however turned out to be a bad idea since it was the middle of the night. A street gang that camped outside of the tower every night was there and waiting when they arrived and they attempted to rob the group because they looked as though they had some magical items or at the very least a few gold coins. This group was very powerful and did some serious hurt to the wolf pack, but they ended up being defeated and their leader managed to escape through the chaos of the city streets. Though the group know knew his area in the city they could not decipher which alley way he went down and so they left and went back to the arcanist district to sleep for the night awaiting the doors of the tower to open in the morning.

Once the doors opened they enjoyed a meeting with Buralis in which he asked them to stick around for awhile in order to clear up the gang business that happens at night, as well as some information sharing that could help him in the future.

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