The Golden Empire

Saturday November 5th, 2011

Chris(Chris) and Brian(Brian) traveled to see Hobse, but he had not finished the inoculants. Petr(Alby) spoke with Hogni, but was unable to pressure him into yielding any info. Adeamer(Josh) traveled on his own to the haunted grounds of the Castello Assosi, but fearing for his life he withdrew as soon as he found the crest of the Strifewind family. He informed the party of his findings and hoped the crest of the Strifewind family would somehow help with Hogni’s interrogation.

Chris(Chris) and Brian(Brian) made another trip to see the local alchemist Hobse, but he is still working on the inoculants for the curse afflicting Pharlip and his daughter Clarrisa. The remainder of the party sought answers from Hogni in hopes of learning the truth about the events that occurred in the past and his role in them. Hogni clearly wishes to forget the past and once again refuses to aid the group although many within the party believe he knows more than he is telling… “Jerk…”

The next morning the party traveled to Pharlip’s estate to gain permission to speak to Hogni about Clarissa. Augustus(Mike) continued to read about the litany’s within the church of Pelor while Tyberious(Steve) read though the correspondence in hopes of finding answers. Adeamer(Josh) returns to “The Broken Stone”, and he looks for the crest of Strifewind within the Inn itself, however is unable to gain access to the entire inn without Hogni’s permission… Hogni seemed very defensive about not allowing anyone to walk throughout the inn. Perhaps someone with more skill in stealth should look about, but time was running short and the moon was nearly full…

The full moon had arrived and we went to see Hobse in hopes he had finished the much needed serum, but to our dismay he had not. His rude antics and inability to finish the inoculants has made the party unhappy with him, but the party readies itself to do “whatever” is necessary to stop the attacks on the town. “Jerk…”

In a desperate bid to stop the pending attack on The Westerly Winds, the party chooses to make a preemptive assault on Clarrisa’s hunting grounds within the Costello Assosi. On the way our party met Pharlip in his transformed state (Still crippled from his previous “battle” with Clarissa). He spoke, “I must stop Clarrisa from killing more innocents!” We offered to help, and when we did Pharlip asked Steve would he serve justice (Kill Clarrisa!) or save an innocent (Subdue her!). Tyberious(Steve) swore he would protect the innocent and Pharlip turned away and ran towards the estate.

The party arrived on the estate at dusk as the sun set, but also saw the moon rising in the distance. A singular beam of light rose from the mansion as the light dissipated over the area like a beacon into the night sky. (What could it be?)

The party arrived at the front doors without being attacked to find the front doors of the estate had been locked. The party was unable to access the doors without great noise, when someone stated there was a place marked on the map of this area (Map we found with Clarrisa when the party saved her!). The party found the marked area of the map and with a quick search found a hidden trapdoor leading into the earth (A treasure or secret entrance perhaps!). The party decided to follow the passage and after some time arrived within a storage room filled with rotten supplies and goods left long ago. A single door to the west was the only exit and then we decided to peek through the door into the next room.

The room adjacent to ours was central living room with a large bonfire at its center yielding light, but not warmth illuminated the room in a green pale light. Emanating from the flame a single large creature skeleton shaped like a cross between a man and wolf lie sprawled over the inside of the fire pit with a single sword leaning out of it within the green haze itself. Three doors lead from the room on opposing walls. The doors to the north and south were arched, were made of stone, and had Arcane etchings scribed all about them. The door to the west was a simple oak door.

The sword drew the attention of the party as did the creature it had killed. A singular shaft of soft silver light bore upward into the sky from the sword itself. The sword was of an ancient construction with a fine leather handle still in good condition. The blade had religious runes inscribed into it. Brian(Brian) reached out to retrieve the blade, but as he touched the fire he pulled his hand back as if he had been burned, but no physical injury had befallen him…

He tried for it again, but was pounced on by a wolf like creature similar to Pharlip, but much smaller. It however was especially fast and it inflicted grievous wounds on Brian. The party realized it was Clarrisa and Augustus(Mike) pulled out the small silver music box and opened it. The music played, but it seemed to have little effect on the clearly agitated creature. Clarrisa responded by batting Brian(Brian) into the wall knocking him unconscious.

Tyberious(Steve) reached into the fire inflicting no physical damage, but left a mental lashing that would hinder his fighting ability during the fight! As he touched the blade however, he felt a presence in the blade speak to him, “I am Moonbeam and I will not obey one as inexperienced as you, but maybe with time or if your needs are great I will lend my light.”

Augustus(Mike) rushed to his fallen comrade (Brian) and began healing the injured within the party with his magicks while the other party members engaged Clarrisa and her fury! (But Pharlip was no where to be seen. (Had he been killed?) Tyberious(Steve) attacked with all his fury, but as he was about to strike Clarrisa he remembered the words he spoke to Pharlip… “I will protect the innocent!” His blade stopped just short of Clarrisa’s neck…

Tyberious(Steve) choose to yield the sword to Brian who could use it to inflict damage upon Clarrisa even if its magic was useless in his hands. However, even with the combined efforts of the sword, magic users, and poisoned(Silvered Holy Water) attacks Clarrisa still possessed the upper hand. That is until, Pharlip arrived, who had been waiting till the last possible moment to strike. He charged and grappled her from behind yelling, “Strike now heroes and end this!” The party unleashed all their remaining strenght upon the immobilized creatures striking the wounded Pharlip and Clarrisa. In the end, both lay upon the floor dying of their injuries.

“I’m so sorry!” says Clarissa, as she lies upon the earthen floor, she returns to her human form again, while the remorseless Half-Orc(Brian) states, “Guess we cured her either way!” Pharlip looked towards his fallen daughter and stated with his dying breaths, "This is probably for best. We couldn’t escape our fate and you have saved those who would not have survived if we had lived!”

Pharlip’s last words were, “Grace forgive me!", in Elven.

Brian(Brian) gave Tyberious(Steve) Moon Beam which Adeamer(Josh) noticed is only magical in Tyberious’s(Steeve’s) hands. Adeamer(Josh) and Petr(Alby) notice through their arcane abilities a small flicker of the of the green fire remained after the sword was removed from the skeleton. They take the flame and place into a jar for examination later suspecting it had some magical properties(Nefarious properties?)

The north door was examined and the magic writing on the walls reads, “Do not seek knowledge for the danger is great!” The south door reads, “Do not seek power for the danger is great!” The party decides to leave the area for now with the bodies of Pharlip and Clarrisa so they may be buried on their estate. The party also placed Moon Beam with its former master, but believed they made a mistake as a beam of light shown over the grave. The party returned to the grave and removed the sword so it will not be stolen and used for ill. (However… The party unknowingly made itself much easier to track…)

The party returns to an ecstatic Hogni who gives a reward of 20 gold, 1,388 silver pieces and a silver ring with 3 embedded ruby pearls (Hogni’s Silver Ring – 1DR). The ring grants some protection to the wielder and Hogni states it had an original purpose which is lost to time. The party returned to Hobse, and he has the inoculant ready. Hobse tests the party for infection and finds the entire party free of disease. Some of the party wished to “mess” with Adeamer(Josh) because he fell asleep while being tested so they told him he was infected. Holmes also showed his gratitude by giving a special set of hide armour. Holmes called it Bullet Armour (Medium armour – 5DR – 0 Dexterity Bonus – Armour check Pen 6 – Arcane Failure 40% -Movement Decreased by 5 – Enc 3 – BCR 2 – Toughened)

After a few days of rest the party is visited by a female Elf named Aloden who we had met at the “The Broken Stone” several weeks prior. She has silver hair, blue eyes, and multiple scares over her face from previous battles. Many individuals within the party believe she is a lieutenant within the “Red Fists”, an organized group of warriors who attempt to buy or bully their needs on others. Some party members believe they are responsible for many raids within the area.

Aloden sits at a table with her two body guards and addresses the party,

“I’m under the impression you have a certain deed we want.”
“Why do you think that,” Augustus(Mike) responds with a gruff tone.
“Let’s just say I am well informed. I’m sure you have it and we are prepared to pay you 1,000 gold!”
“Why do you want this land,” Tyberious(Steve) asks.
“We require the land to feed our troops, surely 1,000 gold is a fair offer for this land! Land you do not need or want to cultivate yourself,” Aloden states as she taps on the table quietly with her fingers.
“What if we don’t want to sell it,” asks Augustus(Mike).
“We always get what we want, let’s not make this difficult, I would hate for this to become a violent. But we will wait here for two days for your answer… After this time you will be treated as enemies of the Red Fists and your lives will be forfeit,” warned Aloden as she leaned towards the party.

The party left the Inn to investigate the mansion on the Castello Assosi. They spent some time searching the abandoned mansion and found several items of interest, however the skeleton of the creature Moon Beam had struck down was missing. (Perhaps taken?!?) The party finds 20 gold, a large rifle(Hand Cannon), a pistol(Flintlock), a pair of dueling blades, and white powder(Is this ?) inside a small fancy box! In the south wing we find 140 silvers, a heavy crossbow/bolts, and a pistol with bullets (50 rounds and shot).

During the searches many portraits are found showing many prominent individuals, but none are labeled. Among the portraits, one such portrait appears to have a family of mountain dwarves (Father, Mother, Son) standing together looking very happy. The portrait is exquisite in quality and one can see the father is clearly wearing two rings. One ring is silver with three red rubies while the other is signet ring (Though the design is not clear!).

We then ventured to the master living room with the doors with arcane writing on them. Despite the warnings Brian(Brian) attempted to open the door of knowledge and was cursed! He falls prey to a powerful enfeeblement curse which crushed his spirit and his body’s strength leaving him nearly defenseless.

The party decided to go to the temple near Adham to cure Brian(Brian). On the trip we found a large battlegroud with dead city guards from Adham and goblins. It appeared as though the guards had been ambushed and both sides had lost the battle. The only inconsistencies seemed to be how the commanding officer (Gary Wright) had been struck down by a single “Black Sheath arrow” of enormous size which no normal goblin could fire! The party takes Gary’s equipment and moves on.

The party reaches the city of Adham and performs a litany with the chalice of Pride to restore Brian(Brian) to his former self within the church of Pelor. Galindor then sends a request to the heroes to meet him in his Inn (Warlock’s Purse). He informs the party the he sent out the guards to send a peace offer to the local tribe of Orcs to the north. Galindor now has control of the guard with the absence of Guiness who is still missing within his tower assumed dead at this point.

Galindor suggests a third party is responsible for the attacks, “The Bugbears of the Broken Sword” who were supposedly allies to “The Goblins of the Broken Blade.” Galindor believes the goblins who the party befriended may be of service in the task of eliminating this threat and has asked the party to deal with them for the city’s sake. He also indicates there may be a member of the Strifewind family still alive and this may complicate the process of ownership for the heroes of land known as Castello Assosi. Galindor says, “I will gladly assist the heroes of this town in any legal way I can!”

Two new (or maybe no longer hiding!) bar patrons are sitting in the Inn as well. A man wearing a grey cloak, a bent steeple hat, and smoking a pipe watches the party with a smile on his face. The second man is wearing a tackle and harness for outdoors climbing also sits drinking a flagon of ale. He appears as a strong built man though he appears to be sitting by himself muttering with a scowl on his face.

So the town of The Westerly Winds survives another day, but the force that stood against them remains at large. But other problems plague Adham calling for the attention of the heroes. Who is behind the attacks on guards, a new threat of Bugbears perhaps?, and what about Guiness? What of the Red Fists? Will they try to take the land by force from the heroes and can a legal method be used to stop them? Who are these Orcs and what part do they play in all this?

The heroes need answers… For evil never sleeps and will stop at nothing to secure its goals…

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JohnMadak

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