Marshal Solutions, Inc.

The Death of Tasks
Stop Shadraxil's Escape!
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The Secret Room
The Statue's Riddle
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Crypt of Shadows
"WHAT?!"
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Battle In The Torture Room
His name is Splug?
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Shadowfell Keep
Also, pit trap.
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Basement Brawl
Support Your Local Cultists!
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The Dragon's Burial Ground
Attack Of The Chair?
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In The Kobolds Lair
Don't split the party!
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Ambush!
Out With The Old, In WIth The New

After the last patron of the Inn had left for the night, Lenore Jenkins waited a while, and then made her way to where she knew Salvana’s living quarters were located. The woman, still under the mistaken impression that the child-like halfling girl was trying to seduce her, wasn’t happy to see her at her door, but also wasn’t terribly surprised. Still, Lenore did manage to get some more information from the woman. She learned that the newest residence of Winterhaven was Bairwin Wildarson, but that it had already been several years since he had moved to the town. She also learned that several weeks prior to Martial Solutions, Inc’s arrival, another traveler had passed through town, claiming to be there to study the remains of an ancient dragon that rested to the south of the city. When she learned that the only place in town the man had visited besides the Wrafton’s Inn was Bairwin’s Grand Shoppe, Lenore felt it prudent to bring the information to her companion’s attention. Agreeing that it was worth looking into, Criv decided that they would head out to the dragon burial ground the next day, and ordered his employees to get some sleep.

The next day, the party was bothered to discover that Vara-Kai and Amnon were both missing from their rooms. As there were no signs of a struggle, it seemed that they had merely awoken before the rest of the group and stepped out to take care of some business in town. Deciding that they couldn’t wait for their companions, the group headed out for the dragon burial grounds. Luckily, waiting for them outside the town gates were their old companions: Vanessa, halfling vampire, and Thom Thumb, a human mage specializing in necromancy. The two were partners and though they agreed to join Kriv’s company, they had unfinished business that they needed to take care of, and promised they would join their allies when their task was complete.

How fortuitous it was that they joined them, for as the group traveled down the East Way, they were once again set upon by a group of Kobolds. Thankfully, with the addition of their allies, they were able to deal with the threat with little difficulty, though several times, Thom almost met his end. As Runor slew the last of the kobolds, a Wyrmpriest, he noticed a small pendant fly from the creature’s body. Upon further examination, the party discovered that the kobold’s pendant was was in the shape of a dragon, and featured an emblem that they recognized as being a symbol of Shar.

DM Commentary

Heroes of Shadow had just been released, and Vara-kai and Amnon asked if they could role new characters using Shadow classes. I figured that since they were only level 1, I might as well let them do it. Vara-kai rolled Vanessa, and Amnon rolled Thom Thumb. In the long run, I think this was a bad decision on my part. One of my biggest things when I envisioned this campaign was that the players wouldn’t be allowed to Evil or Chaotic Evil. The worst they could do is Unaligned. Yes they were mercenaries, but I still wanted them to be heroes. But trying to play a heroic vampire and necromancer is hard to do, especially when your players are more interested in playing their class then their alignment.

At this point, Skar wasn’t playing anymore. I don’t know if he was bored or if he was just using us as a distraction to stem some temporary boredom, but he’d pretty much just show up at the store and play the WoW TCG.

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Arrival In Winterhaven
Cultists. It just HAD to be Cultists.

The group headed over to Wrafton’s Inn to procure rooms for themselves. As they entered the Inn, Skar noticed an attractive elven woman sitting by herself, a bow and arrow quiver hanging from her chair. He approached her and attempted to strike up a conversation with her, and she seemed very interested in himself and his companions, and there business in Winterhaven. Ultimately though, Scar ended up striking out and the woman left alone.

After acquiring rooms at the Inn, and figuring that they still had some time before their client, William Portals, came to retrieve them, Kriv felt that this would be a good time to sell the loot that they had liberated from the kobolds that had attacked them the previous day. He eventually found himself in the town smithy run by a dwarven man named Thair Coalstriker. Here, he was able to sell off most of their loot for a reasonable price.

While Kriv was busy at the Smithy, Amnon wandered the town trying to find a shop where he could replenish his empty Alchemy stores. He eventually found himself at Bairwin’s Grand Shoppe. As he entered, Bairwin Wildarson, the shop’s human owner, greeted the Tiefling most enthusiastically. He seemed most interested on weather or not the Tiefling followed any gods, and seemed most disappointed when he lied and said he was a follower of Chauntea. He tried to sell Amnon on the glories of serving Shar, the evil Mistress of the Night, but it seemed as if the Tiefling wasn’t interested. Eventually he had simply sold the Artificer the alchemy supplies that he wanted (though at a slight discount) and sent him on his way.

Eventually both Kriv and Amnon arrived back at Wrafton’s Inn, where they found Portals waiting to take them to meet with his cleric. Kriv, Lenore, and Amnon followed him to the town temple. Awaiting them was a middle-aged human woman, who William introduced as Sister Lenora. Lenora explained that she had stumbled across evidence that a cult of Shar has been operating in Winterhaven, and requested that the company look into the matter. After some negotiations on the matter of payment, Lenore was able to convince the Sister to speak with the merchants and farmers of Winterhaven, and see if they may be able to aid the company by giving them discounts on certain wares.

Following their meeting with the priest, Amnon found it prudent to inform Kriv and Lenore of his experience at Bairwin’s Grand Shoppe. Finding it suspicious, Kriv gathered the rest of his troops and decided it would be best to confront the strange man. However, it was already late in the day, and the store was closed. They attempted to break into the store, but even despite Vara-kai’s considerable dexterity, they somehow couldn’t pick the lock. Eventually they gave up and decided to head back to the Inn.

When they returned, they found the Inn packed with people. It seemed that the entire population of Winterhaven had packed itself into the small building. Deciding to not question their luck, they began trying to gather some information from the gathered crowd. Kriv approached a sagely looking man, who introduced himself as Valthrun the Prescient, and stated that he was the sole inhabitant of the lone tower that stood within Winterhaven’s walls. Criv questioned the sage regarding the possibility of a Sharran cult active in the area, but Valthrun found it unlikely, stating that it had been over a century since there was any solid evidence of cult activity following any deity in the region, much less one devoted to the Mistress of Night. Kriv then questioned the man on his knowledge of kobolds, and asked if it was at all likely that they would be a part of such a cult. Valthrun explained that it was unlikely that they would be actual members, but it wasn’t unheard of for the creatures to be working as hired muscle. He told Kriv that he would check his book to find out any information regarding these matters and would let him know of his findings.

At the same time as Kriv was trying to acquire information, Skar noticed the elven woman he had spoken with earlier that day had returned, and attempted to retry his luck at wooing the lass. However, as he was attempting to strike up a conversation, Runor approached in a drunken stupor, and attempted his own amorous advances. The woman quickly lost patience with the two men, and began asking them to leave. Lenore, noticing her companions situations, tried to defuse the situation, but it seemed that the woman’s impatience even extended to the kind halfling, and she demanded that they leave her to enjoy her meal in peace.

Unsatisfied with the little information that he received from the sage, Kriv continued to search for information. He approached a man that was dressed in relatively grand clothing compared to the other patrons, and learned that he was speaking to Ernest Padraig, Lord of Winterhaven. Kriv informed the Lord of the kobolds that had attacked his group on their way into the town, and Padraig explained that the kobolds had always been an annoyance in this region, but had grown more aggressive and daring in recent months. One to always recognize an opportunity for profit, Kriv offered his company’s services in dealing with the beasts, and Padraig promised that they would be greatly rewarded should they manage to rid them of this growing annoyance.

As Kriv was trying to hammer out the details of their bargain with Lord Padraig, Lenore attempted to gather some information from Salvana Wrafton, the owner of the Inn that they were staying at. She asked her about the cross elven woman, but Salvana assured her that Ninaran, the woman in question, was just like that, and that she didn’t mean to offend. Lenore attempted to get some more information from the woman, but Salvana mistakenly thought the halflings questions were amorous advances, and told her that she had to get back to work. Frustrated, Lenore thought she might have better luck speaking with the woman alone.

DM Commentary

I think most DMs will agree that the weirdest situation you can come across during the coarse of your game is when one of your players tries to get flirty with one of your NPCs. Especially when the player is REALLY into it. Not so surprisingly, this is even more awkward when you don’t really know the player that well, which was the case with Skar. At the time of this session, I had only known him for a week, and we only met because of mutual friends. In case you’re wondering though, Ninaren’s behavior during her second appearance really had nothing to do with me not wanting to RP with Skar. There was actually a legitimate reason.

The character Amnon provided our group with a LOT of lulz. In our particular little section of Miami, there are really only two game stores. The one that we don’t play at is run by a man who can only be described as despair incarnate. Anyone who’s a fan of the television show Firefly will recall that a popular theory about Reavers were that they were regular people who stared into the Black at the edge of the ‘verse and were driven mad by the vast nothingness. I can’t comprehend what staring into the vast nothingness at the edge of space would be like, but I can guess that it’s only slightly more disturbing then looking into this particular shop owner’s eyes. It wasn’t intentional, but when Amnon’s player would RP, everything from his tone to his inflection would perfectly match this nothingness man. It actually comes into play later on in the campaign.

I feel that his meeting with Bairwin was my first major fuck-up as a DM. While in the original adventure, he’s just a random shop-keeper NPC, in the Realms Revision, he’s actually in charge of the cult’s activity within Winterhaven. He takes an interest in evil characters or characters of traditionally evil-aligned races or classes, and tries to subtly convert them to worship Shar. Not only was I completely _un_subtle about the whole thing, I made the big mistake of RPing the private conversation between him and Amnon in front of the entire party, instead of just taking the player to the side and RPing it outside the store.

That bit at the end with Lenore and Salvana was actually me trying to get a little bit of payback on Lenore’s player. In another game we were running, my character had a little sister, and Lenore’s player decided that his character had fallen in love with her. Now, normally, I wouldn’t have any problem with that, but part of the reason that little sister was there was so that if for any reason my main character died, I could just switch over to her. If this were to happen, I didn’t want to end up having to deal with my male friend (who was playing a female character) constantly trying to put the moves on me. That’s just a bit too creepy for my tastes. Unfortunately, my frustrations at my futile attempts to derail that particular plotline just amused him, so instead of doing it because it provided plausible character development, he now pretty much just does it for the lulz.

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