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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:27 am 
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The PCs all made their way directly back to the Grandwood to check in with their patron, Councilman Bern Haupt. Along the way, Brigga expressed her dissatisfaction with this crazy little town in the middle of nowhere and made a persuasive case that the PCs should gather their gear, ditch all of the rescued adventurers and head off on their own to work on resolving their own mysteries. Jareth and Quarion could find little to argue with in Brigga's suggestion, and the three resolved to leave the benighted town once and for all.

Once back at the Grandwood, they encountered Bern Haupt, who eagerly plied them with questions about what they had found out about the murder. The PC's resolved as they were, gave a terse description of the grisly murder scene and then conveyed their desire to immediately leave Farweald. Bern seemed disappointed and bid them good night, not wanting to get in the way of the PCs preparations.

Perhaps because of the distressing events of the evening so far, or maybe just because it had been a few hours, Brigga offhandedly asked Bern if he had a bar in this place. Their host's face lit up with delight and he replied that he had a WONDERFUL bar in his sitting room, and he invited the PCs to join him there. The PCs agreed.

Bern's sitting room was lavishly and tastefully appointed, and Brigga's eyes lit up at the rows of expensive looking liquor and crystal glasses. Bern poured drinks for his guests as he reassured the PCs that he perfectly understood their decision to leave Farweald. In fact, he understood their adventuresome spirits quite painfully well, since his own beloved daughter, Gwendolyn, long ago left Farweald, seeking a life of adventure. Having finished with the drinks, Bern took a lit candelabra and walked to the far wall to illuminate a large portrait of a beautiful young woman with flowing blond hair and a mischievous twinkle in her eye.

With shock, the PCs all immediately recognized the face in the portrait, the same way they had all recognized each other when they first met! This was their former companion, Gwendolyn, who had been captured by the FireLord, whom the PCs had tried and failed to rescue, willingly (and unwillingly) sacrificing a portion of their souls in the attempt!!

With that realization, buried memories burst into the PCs consciousness; Gwendolyn urging them on, always eager to explore every nook and cranny, to solve all of the mysteries, to take risks, to see what was around the next corner, over the next hill, beyond the horizon.

And yet, you also now remember many little moments that didn't necessarily register at the time but now seem to make more sense. You know you had been around this region quite a bit but you had never actually been to Farweald before, and now you can remember all of the small ways in which Gwendolyn seemed to steer you away from ever coming here. "I was there once and it's terribly dull" you recall her saying. "You can't find that there" she would say when you were looking for markets to unload recovered treasure. "We're just as close to Rookroost and that's a much better place to visit", she would urge you. What's not clear, even with your recovered memories and what you have discovered up until now, it just why Gwendolyn seemed to always steer you away from Farweald. Was it simply the desire not to return home, or was it something more? Given the sinister undertones that you've discovered in town, you can't help but wonder if your companion was steering you away from Farweald for altogether different purposes ...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:08 am 
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The PCs asked for some privacy to discuss their plans and ultimately decided to tell Councilman Haupt as much as they knew about the fate of his daughter. They also decided to find some members of Shining Justice, preferably Dapple, and bring news of Frahuel's brutal murder.

Bern Haupt took the news about his daughter about as well as could be expected, which is to say that he was confused and upset and didn't really know how to process that information. Leaving him to process his tumultuous feelings, the PCs left to find Dapple.

The PCs found both Dapple and the herbalist, Elaidha, at the Wheel Inn, where Dapple was performing. At a break in the performance, Dapple came over to enthusiastically greet the PCs. After they managed to get a word in edgewise, the PCs were able to convey to the cheerful halfling that his mentor was dead at the hands of some terrible clawed monster.

Dapple immediately went into hysterical crying and sobbing which attracted Elaidha's attention. The PCs re-explained the situation to her and she insisted that the PCs take her to the body so that she could prepare him for burial, and also suggested that they bear the news to Erbard of Pholtus, leader of Shining Justice. The PCs agreed, somewhat hesitantly, knowing that this would bring them into contact with the Constable again, which was likely to be uncomfortable.

The group made it through town unmolested, with Dapple continuing to sob and wail inconsolably, though as they turned down the street toward the Constable's office they were met by Deputy Hania leading a troupe of 10 guardsmen toward them. Deputy Hania immediately demanded that the PCs come and explain themselves to the Constable, and the PCs agreed.

Constable Tierney wasn't thrilled to see the PCs but wearily agreed to hear them out. After explaining themselves, the Constable urged them to try talking before attacking in the future and that he considered the matter closed. The PCs obtained permission for Elaidha to begin preparing Frahuel's body for burial. Still wary of danger, Quarion agreed to stay with Elaidha and help her while the other PCs took Dapple back to their rented house to find Erbard and Pembrooke.

In the basement of the Constable's office, Elaidha went about cleaning Frahuel's body and preparing it for disposal. She informed Quarion that Frahuel wished to be cremated, then, while searching around, Elaidha somewhat urgently asked after Frahuel's fancy cloak. Quarion sheepishly handed the cloak to her, still sopping with blood and caked in gore from Frahuel's murder. Elaidha took the brightly colored cloth and put it in a bag.

While she was doing that though, Quarion's keen senses detected a strange mist forming in the basement. He barely had time to call out a warning to the distraught herbalist when the mist coalesced into the powerful form of a humanoid/tiger!! Hravja wasted no words as he lashed out with his strangely clawed hands. With clinical detachment Quarion noted that the beast's paws were flipped around opposite of human's hands, with the palm facing upwards instead of down.

Up or down, the beast's claws screeched across Quarion's armor several times in succession, but Quarion's father's armor held true, giving the elf time to call down the wrath of Rillifane upon the unholy beast in front of him. After several spells failed to affect Hravja, prompting nothing more than a wicked grin, Quarion ordered Elaidha to run for it while he held off the monster.

Needing no further prompting, Elaidha scampered around the two combatants and fled upstairs and out of the building. Hravja watched her go then stood back from Quarion and grinned again. "I'll be seeing you soon, Quarion. Sweet dreams ..." the monster mocked as he faded into mist.

Quarion raced after Elaidha, fearful that Hravja was trying to catch up to her. Quarion caught up to Elaidha just as she reached the house that Shining Justice had rented, where the rest of the PCs were just entering with a still inconsolable Dapple. Out of breath, Quarion gasped out that they had just been attacked by Hravja, as Erbard and Pembrooke were coming out of their rooms on the second floor of the house.

Elaidha called out to Erbard that Frahuel had been murdered by some terrible beast, and that it had just attacked her too, in the basement of the Constable's office. Erbard and Bannock exchanged a few terse words, after which, Erbard sighed and said, 'well, this was going to happen sooner or later anyway, and I believe we have sufficient cover just now, so, Shining Justice, show them who you are!"

At that, Dapple immediately regained his completely cool composure and stabbed Brigga deeply in the side, making sure to twist the blade as he dropped the pretense of the innocent halfling. The PCs were momentarily shocked as the rest of Shining Justice launched themselves into battle against the PCs!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:18 pm 
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The battle that followed was fierce and loud. Bannock burst back into the building at the sound of fighting, and summoned his Legionnaires to the upstairs balcony where Erbard and Pembrooke were preparing to fight. Dapple quickly darted behind furniture in the fray and Elaidha pulled a shield and dagger seemingly from nowhere and started casting protective spells.

Bannock's Legionnaires began attacking the two members of Shining Justice but Pembrooke threw down a strange figurine, summoning a hulking demon to fight for him, then he jumped over the railing to the floor below. Elaidha threw a stinking cloud spell at the bunched up PCs, causing several of them to be overcome with retching and nausea, as she cackled something about 'poison and flame'. Undaunted by poison, Jareth shifted into an earth elemental and was able to use his tremorsense to pinpoint where Dapple was hiding and then his fists to pummel him.

Several of the Legionnaires lept over the balcony, after Pembrooke but were unable to get past his magical wards to land any solid blows.

Erbard dashed toward the fight but several Legionnaires followed him and kept him occupied, until Pembrooke lined up a good shot and unleashed a bolt of lighting from his wand into the Legionnaires. Though several looked hurt, none fell, and Shining Justice began to reconsider their attack. Erbard ran out of a side door and disappeared into the night. Elaidha flourished the blood and gore soaked cloak that she seemed so eager to recover from Frahuel's body just a few minutes before, and disappeared in a puff of smoke. Pembrooke held out his hand and the hulking demon lept to him, shrinking into a heavy figurine, which was quickly stowed in Pembrooke's own voluminous cloak and chanting a few quick phrases, Pembrooke opened a doorway of garrish red light and quickly stepped through.

The red doorway snapped shut behind him, and the PCs turned their attention to poor little 'innocent' Dapple, abandoned by his colleagues. Brigga managed to magical hold Dapple while Jareth worked out his rage at being deceived. Jareth did pull the final blow, though, leaving the halfling barely breathing, but secure for the moment.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:21 pm 
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So that's where the PCs are right now. It's the immediate aftermath of the unexpected battle against Shining Justice, wherein they displayed several surprising characteristics. You have an unconscious captive. I'm not sure how wounded everyone is, I think not too much (Brigga was hit a little bit, Quarion was hit once by Hravja in the basement of the Constable's office).

Questions? Plans? Exclamations of horror/shock/anger? :P

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:10 pm 
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Upon her return (from wherever absent PCs go between sessions), Onarra will ask to be filled in on what has transpired. Then, she will say something in Elven that sounds very beautiful, but anyone who understands her will know otherwise...

-killing two birds with one stone here, she will...

...grab the elven hand crossbow from the unclaimed loot, point it at the unconscious Dapple for a tense moment, opt to kick him in the balls instead, then take a post somewhere nearby to keep watch for any sign of Shining Justice's return.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:41 pm 
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Fen's Ego wrote:
Upon her return (from wherever absent PCs go between sessions), Onarra will ask to be filled in on what has transpired. Then, she will say something in Elven that sounds very beautiful, but anyone who understands her will know otherwise...

-killing two birds with one stone here, she will...

...grab the elven hand crossbow from the unclaimed loot, point it at the unconscious Dapple for a tense moment, opt to kick him in the balls instead, then take a post somewhere nearby to keep watch for any sign of Shining Justice's return.


All of the inactive characters and NPCs were waiting back at the Grandwood (Councilman Haupt's manion/former 'resort' for high ranking officers in Iuz's army).

So Onarra can easily take the crossbow and catch up to where the PCs are.

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