The Beginning of Blackwater…
The Goblin War has taken its toll on our adventurers, but is finally over. Only a year has passed since the treacherous conflict has ended, but it has brought together the unlikely allies. It was a time of rest and reconciliation as the friends formed the Blackwater Adventuring Company. As unsung heroes, they have decided to move forward and continue a life of adventure.
Their first stop would be the town of Glasspine. Immediately upon their arrival, they were met with trouble. A hanging was being performed in the town circle. Three men, convicted of unknown crimes were to be put to a gruesome death publicly. Duke Eldeen, the head of all political power in Glasspine, took the platform and gave a passionate speech. These men were of The Red Torches and their acts of terrorism were deserving of death.
And as the lever was pulled, Eldeen took a bolt to the chest. The shot had come from the crowd and Johann suddenly had a crossbow tossed into his hands. The secretary of Glasspine, Rsaklir had successfully framed the newcomers for the assassination of Duke Eldeen.
On the run, the company found themselves surrounded in an alley. It was a rock and a hard place until members of the Red Torches revealed themselves and aided them in a swift battle. They took guidance from their new allies and weaved through the back alleys of Glasspine. Eventually, they reached a dead end – a brick wall. A spell was spoken and the walls opened. It was a path the Torches would not follow with them, but they promised it lead to someone who could help.
A dark and cautious walk down the corridor brought them to a humble room where a man sat before a fire, smoking his pipe. Red haired and moderately bearded, he welcomed them. He already knew what occurred, but it was not supposed to end this way. His name was Julian Torch, and he apologized for the inconvenience. He explained to the veterans that there is still a war at home; This one between the Glasspine government and The Red Torches. Glasspine was slowly moving away from a thriving, democratic, happy community to one controlled by fear. Eldeen was slowly becoming an emperor and trade was being cut off to use all goods for the “betterment of Glasspine.”
His group, The Red Torches were liberators. Men and women who fought for freedom. He went on to say that killing Eldeen was not the solution he wanted. His mole, secretary Rskalir, had gone too far. As Glasspine scrambles for a new leader, they would naturally choose next in command and that just so happened to be Rskalir. It would seem he wants to take over and may have his own agenda.
Julian had to head to the outskirts of a town that he hadn’t walked the streets of in five years. His work from a magical sanctuary was about to be ruined and the men posted on the outskirts needed to be called to arms. He needed Blackwater’s help to get there and they needed a way out. He had one…an entrance to the sewers. The company decided to take to the sewers and aid Julian in his escape to the outskirts of Glasspine.
The first tunnels revealed an early ladder. A curious climb brought them to a basement. Dark and full of cases, a few decided to commit some thievery. They proceeded up the stairs into the living area. Sneaking about, Kraiven bumped his toe (rolled a 1) and screamed aloud. A light came on from atop the stairs and a man out of view shouted to the intruders to reveal themselves. Another roll of a 1 brought the adventurers into view and the man cowered. A knock came to the door, and Glasspine Guardians called for the blacksmith to open up. They were searching for the killers of Duke Eldeen.
With some clever wizardry (a ghost sound to distract the additional guards outside the door), only one remained knocking. Threats on the blacksmith’s life bought the company some time to hide before the Guardian was let in. He went up the stairs, but was knocked out by Kraiven before doing any harm. It was a guard they had seen at the town circle and no doubt one of the higher ranked officers. With him knocked out, they were able to get back into the sewers.
Once there, they continued through the unpleasant maze until reaching a gate. Backtracking a bit revealed a lever that had to be pulled. A lever that unfortunately shared a room with a giant alligator. The battle was not an easy one. Some fell into the waters and attacked the beast at its underbelly while others jumped onto its snout and sliced away. The only casualty was the scaly creature. Carving into its stomach, loot was found and Blackwater continued into the sewers to find the river it emptied into.
The town lay ahead over the hill and Julian led the way. Once at the top, they realized the gloomy fate of the Red Torch outpost. In flames, the strongest of Julian’s ragtag army lay lifeless among the rubble. Only one could utter final words to his leader. Rskalir had betrayed the Red Torches and brought the Glasspine Guardians to the outpost. They were severely outnumbered and were taken by surprise. Their normal tactics had no room for functionality in an all-out assault.
Julian had only one word reverberate through his mind and bones – revenge. Revenge had to be had…but his movement had lost so much. He had one last chance. Julian offerred coin and power for Blackwater’s further assistance. They agreed to help Julian infiltrate Glasspine and murder Rskalir. Only then could he continue his work. Now bearing the armor of the few slain Guardians, they devised a plan to bring in the Barbarian as a prisoner in their disguises. If it all went awry, the safety phrase was, “Light the torches.”
They arrived at the entrance to Glasspine they once walked through as innocent travelers and met with the Guardians. Their story checked out, but one thing did not – the Barbarian’s temper. One headbutt later, Kraiven sighed and shouted, “Light the torches!”. The battle was quick and precise to allow the adventurers to penetrate the entrance toward where they figured he’d lay low – the heavily guarded North Tower.
In disguise and with a decent story, the guards permitted their entrance. Yet, one seemed oddly wary. He approached Julian, who bore a Glasspine Guardian’s armor and gave him a once-over. He eventually seemed to let his guard down and allow them to relax as he prepared the proper paperwork for the prisoner. Unbeknownst to the adventurers, he was in fact warning one of the guards to leave the tower inform the barracks. A check revealed their readiness for a battle with a very unfortunate end for the Guardians. Even more unfortunate was that Rskalir was nowhere to be found.
Taking futile chase, they came upon the barracks. It was the second most secure structure in the city and a likely shelter for the secretary. It was a big risk that had to be handled with delicacy. A deft ear to the door revealed a squad of Guardians ready to take patrol and hunt the assassins of Eldeen. It was even rumored Julian Torch was sighted, so they could kill him while they’re at it!
The adventurer’s took to hiding. Some very well and some (Kraiven) not so much. However, still in disguise, he bluffed with a convincing, “I was peeing outside,” and was ordered to get into the building immediately.
Another ghost sound around the corner alerted the squad and they took leave. The others snuck in and barricaded the door behind them. They swiftly continued on and found themselves in the mess hall. A rather large soldier and his friend met them there, so the company made an even bigger mess out of the hall. It would seem Rskalir was on the other side of the barracks.
They hurried back the way they came and then up the other hall. Rskalir had to be here.
Rskalir had to be killed.