Session 11 Numbers
Now for the more exciting part
- what happened. There’s a juicy confession at the bottom so don’t just stop reading upon seeing all the text :) Although there was a low-temperature gang war going on between thugs, the head of the organization had been severed and its power broken. The PCs had been basking in the adoration of the city for a few weeks while mending cuts, bruises, and broken bones (Ogres hit hard). That wouldn’t last forever and three independant investigations - Vimalk seeking the Winter’s Children crows, Ketu following a suspected murderer throw the alleys one night, and Arweal tracking an Emerald Claw assassin—brought all 3 to the same abandoned building on the edge of Varna. Yes, you read it right, Arweal is back (and badder than ever). The Cyran government-in-exile has released him from service and Wathi has slunk away. Now our 2 leaders can rejoice with their 2 defenders and the shadows have a bit more room for our shadow-loving gnome. Back to the story … The heroes soon learned that the Children of Winter and 2 Emerald Claw necromancers were rapidly building an army of undead (yet unfinished) from dozens of murdered Varna citizens. In a fun fight with half-animated corpses, fantastical machines, and necro-worms, the PCs prevailed and slew all but one (the new tradition) while the Winter Witch just barely escaped (I had forgotten how good Arweal was at locking down villains … grrrr) as a crow through the window. The necromancer was soundly interrogated, turned over to Warwick to likely be hanged (whoops for him), and a mysterious map was found.
The heroes did not have long to investigate the map as a mysterious woman led them on a paranoid trip (Puck’s an amateur :) all around town to help them shake off the Royal Eyes that have been watching the party. She turned out to be Helena, an King’s Sword of the Brelish Citadel, who was acting on her own to pursue a mission she clearly felt strongly about. Unable to tell them anything but that it was of the utmost seriousness and they had to travel 600 KMs south within 24 hours, she still was able to convince them to take on the mission. Her initial thought was to steal a Lhyandr airship from Passage (45 KM’s away), but Vimalk came up with a better, faster, and much cooler mode of travel—giant eagles. Newton was awoken, the ritual was purchased, and within 2 hours the heroes were screaming southward through the night.
The morning revealed that they had reached the BlackCab mountains in Northern Breland. Not only disputed territory with Aundair, but full of dangerous terrain and deadly creatures. Upon landing, Helena let the PCs in on the full story. Her best friend Jelia - a Citadel Artificer - had become obsessed with an unlikely conspiracy rumour of a Creation Forge that was not built in Cyre and not destroyed in the Mourning. To Helena’s surprise it appears Jelia had discovered that it actually existed and set out to capture it. Still unsure, Jelia was also acting without Citadel knowledge and had hired a mercenary company to deal with any dangers in the Forge. This happened 2 weeks before Helena had discovered her assistant’s notes and learned what Jelia was doing. Now she feared for Jelia’s life and the lives of thousands. This nation-shaking situation is why she needed to be so secretive and had demanded such speed. Worse still, flying over the mountains had revealed at least 2 other military groups in the area, possibly seeking out the forge.
Using a combination of wits and skills, the PCs located the “dynamited” entrace to where the mercenary company might have entered the lost forge. The heroes entered and defeated the advance guards awaiting in the first large cavern. There the mystery deepened—the mercenary company appears to be gnolls (too stupid to know the significance of this place) but the guards were lead by a Satyr with a strange tattoo. Ketu remembered seeing the tattoo somewhere and is sure it relates a rumoured secret organization with a lust for behind-the-scenes power. The last gnoll also implied that the mercenary company had turned on Jelia and was now holding her hostage to force her to start the forge and turn it over to them. Whew, I know what’s going on but I’m still excited to see how things play out :)