S.P.I.R.E.: Sharn Private Investigation and Risk Elimination

Prologue - Part One
How I Put the S.P.I. in S.P.I.R.E.
Former Sharn guard commissioner, Michael Mallory, couldn’t believe it had already been 7 months since his “retirement”. He remembered the hashed together ceremony, hastily thrown together to quickly usher him out. He was still sour about it, the whole thing stunk of… well, despite his keen investigation skills, he couldn’t quite pinpoint what it stunk of. Perhaps they were right, though, perhaps in his age he was losing his edge. Michael shifted uncomfortably in his chair, sorting through a stack of papers in a vain attempt to distract himself.

Outside, the well-crafted sign, emblazoned with the acronym and words “S.P.I. – Sharn Private Investigation” clattered in the wind and rain, making an awful noise throughout the building itself. It was always raining in Sharn, Michael remarked to no one in particular. It was maddening. He couldn’t believe it had already been 6 months since he went into business for himself, hoping to use his honed skills in the private sector. But, nothing interesting had turned up; a few unfaithful spouses here and there, a missing person or two – certainly, they fell into the purview of what he was capable off but… Michael was restless.

Amidst the rain pattering against the windows of his building, and the relentless racket of the sign outside, he heard something else. A soft slap against glass, some bit of debris sticking against his back office window. Half-hoping it would provide him with another distraction, Michael rose, approached the glass, and found it obscured by an errant bit of parchment. Opening the window, he pulled the paper inside. It was heavily damaged from the storm outside, sloughing off the window in pieces as he dragged it off, but still remained legible, albeit torn.

Placing the soggy parchment on his desk, he gingerly reassembled it, like a puzzle. He was displeased to find it to be an advertisement. “Deathsgate Adventuring Guild!” it proclaimed “Join our ranks to explore the vast wildernesses of Khorvaire and the wilds of Xen’drik for untold adventures and riches!” He scoffed at the pamphlet, rolling it up into an oversized spit-ball, tossing it into a nearby bin. There were more adventures in the city of Sharn than the world over, if only you knew where to find it, he thought.

And it struck him. That was it. Storming out of his office, to the lobby, he approached his secretary, a young half-elf girl who was referred to him by a family friend.

“Juliet,” he began, “Juliet, listen hon, would you be a doll and get the preliminary paperwork for registering an official adventuring guild.”

“Uh huh,” Juliet replied, half-bored, half-distracted, “Shore thing, Mikey.”

“And contact the Sivis house,” he continued, “I’m going to want to put out advertisements as well.”

A bit more interested now, Juliet looked up and asked in her heavy Southern Brelish accent, “Huh. What brought this awn, Mikey? Got an itch for adventohin’ alla sudden?” She stood, getting ready to put on her robe and heavy hat.

“Just a gut feeling,” Michael beamed, “been in the business as long as I have, you have to go with your gut.”

“Awright, Mikey,” Juliet sighed, “so long as you’he shore ‘bout this.”

“Never been more sure about anything in my life.”

All the World's a Stage
And All the Men and Women are Merely Crashing, We're Crashing! AAAAAA

Session One, Part One

The scene is above Sharn, nighttime. At the hilt of the Dagger river, you can see the myriad lights that pinpoint the various communities within the city, some brighter than others.

The scene is above Sharn, closer now. The countless towers dominate the skyline, and even this late in the evening, the bustle of activity is hard to ignore. The city comes alive at night.

The scene brings us closer now, to the Firelight district, where a gang known as the Macabre Theatre is barreling through, narrowly avoiding bridges and their occupants with a recently-stolen elemental vessel.

Grinning beneath his mask, one of the gang members remarks, “I think we lost ‘em.” He looks back over one of the bridges, where Sharn’s guard is on foot, trying to find a path to cut them off. The vessel soars through the air with ease, with another member of the gang at the helm.

It’s an unusual vessel; one half of it looks strikingly like a boat, as many elemental vessels do, but the other half has a high wall, curtains, a raised stage – the billowing ring of air that supports it flies through an aperture cut into the wall. This ship was made for mobile performances; just the sort of ship that the Macabre Theatre has been looking for.

Turning back to his superior, the lookout on the vessel confirms his previous thought, “Yep. No way they’re catching up to us now.” Having more fun than he’s ever had, the pilot barnstorms yet another bridge. As they pass under it, there is a thud; a half-dozen new forms appear on stage. S.P.I.R.E. has made the scene, seemingly out of thin air.

Enters Bastion Vice, a mad Q’barran dragonborn; Echelon Thrice, inventor, explosives expert; Pepper Pinchpenny, an invoker of the Flame itself; Ironwood, a vine-covered warforged; Nocturne, an ever-changing shadow; and Rayan Kirsdarken, a storm summoner, if nothing else. Six cameos in a play that the Macabre Theatre was hoping to get rave reviews in. And now it’s looking like they’re about to be upstaged.

Not a moment is wasted, as the members of S.P.I.R.E. and the Theatre clash swords and all manner of other weapons. The Theatre is clearly outmatched, however, as they’re more accustomed to play-acting than actual sword-play. Bastion engages half of the Macabre crew by himself, while their leader (wearing the most ostentatious of the costumes) draws swords to try to fend off Nocturne and Ironwood.

It’s almost over before it begins. Echelon began, immediately, empowering his allies armor and weapons as they entered into the fray. Rayan and Pepper make use of the elemental ring, and fling a pair of the gang into it, sending them spinning and flying off into the night of Firelight. Bastion, distracted, catches a swift kick in the dragonbits from one of the gangmembers, and may have overreacted in his retaliation – only the smell of a strong acid, and the sloughed-off skin of the offending gangster remained. Ironwood held their leader in position whilst the sly Nocturne introduced a few superfluous holes into him, filling the air with arterial spray, after which Ironwood knocked one of the remaining cronies between Pepper and Rayan, two seemingly towering figures now.

Wordlessly, Rayan looked down upon the cowering Macabre member; throwing his sword aside, and throwing up his hands, he said, “Alright! OK! I’m done! But…” looking over towards the melting remains of a fellow gangmember at Bastion’s feet. “You killed our pilot.”

Nocturne wiped off his blades, sheathed them and said, without an ounce of worry on his voice, “No problem. Echelon can pilot this thing.”

Echelon, a bit less confident, looked up at Nocturne, and asked a simple question, ”...what?”

Florida Session Info - 1

Attendance: Ed, Colin, Shannon, Donald, Rob, David
XP per Attending Player: 525

Welcome to S.P.I.R.E.

Session One, Part Two

One week earlier.

The members of S.P.I.R.E. sit in their headquarters, with the Commish, patiently awaiting for Caraji d’Sivis to arrive and give them their orientation material. New hires to S.P.I.R.E., they chit-chat with one another, killing time, barely aware of the rustling of papers in the next room.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have you all here,” the Commish beams, “This is exactly what I’ve been hoping for. I tell you, when I was with the Gua—” he stops short, with the approach of a particularly serious-looking gnome.

“Welcome to S.P.I.R.E.,” she announces, barely looking up. “You’ve been gathered here today for a number of reasons – one of which is your first assignment, and second of which is for training, so that you all understand the rules by which S.P.I.R.E. adheres to.” Moving quickly about the room, this figure in fine Brelish garb, she distributes piles of papers to the waiting employees. The Commish moves quietly out of the room as she begins her speech.

She goes through each point in the employee handbook, meticulously, making sure not to skip a single word. Satisfied, she finally raises her gaze from the packet at hand, and at the slightly stunned members of S.P.I.R.E. “Any questions?”

They raise some concerns, mostly in regards to holidays and the specifics regarding the wearing of antlers, but, overall, they seem to understand. All signing, in their own ways (Bastion crudely drawing a B where his signature is needed), they hand back the packets to the gnome, who then wordlessly begins to leave the room. At the doorway, she turns, remembering something.

“Ah yes,” she continues, “You first assignment is in regards to a playwright, whose prize possessions, one, a new manuscript, and two, her mobile stage, have been taken from her. It is your charge to find the thieves, and retrieve her belongings. Juliet awaits you in the lobby with all the details we have.”

And as quickly as it began, their orientation was over.

Bastion's World

A loud, thunderous crash echoed through the S.P.I.R.E. headquarters, sending Bastion flying out of his bed and onto his feet, hands already grasping his massive axe (which lay beside him night after night, hand always tensed around the haft). Realizing where he was, he threw the axe to the ground and stormed out of the room, bellowing at the top of his lungs in Echelon Thrice’s direction. Bastion knew the odd human was a good ally both on and off the battlefield, but his constant alchemical tinkerings often led to some rather unnecessary events. After a few seconds of his yelling, Bastion harrumphed and went back into his room to put on his training gear. Every morning right after he awoke, and every night right before he slept, Bastion would commit to a strenuous workout in order to keep himself large and strong.

Walking outside, Bastion marveled at the early morning rays of light, reaching out from the sun just above the distant horizon. After a quick stretch, the titanic Dragonborn began his 5-mile run through the city of Sharn. Along the way he would stop periodically and execute a series of calisthenic exercises. Since his time in Sharn, Bastion had come to be known as, well, what he was- a large, imposing, highly intimidating beast with a short temper ready to rip apart any fool that got in his way. Because of this, most of the citizens that saw him kept a wide birth. Occasionally one or two brave (or stupid) souls would get close, before running off in fear. Some kids, too young and too curious to know any better, would watch in awe whenever he stopped long enough to bust out some push-ups or sit-ups, before their parents whisked them off and scolded them.

When Bastion finally returned to headquarters, half of the team was busy putting out another fire started by Echelon. Cleaning his hide, and tossing his clothes into a corner of his room, Bastion went through the second part of his twice-daily ritual and prayed to the gods he revered most above all others.

When he finally finished, Bastion and the others were called in to the Commish’s office to complete their final mission based around this particular case. Standing in the back, Bastion remained silent. He was a being of fighting, not words, but the Commish and the others were always talking and writing. He briefly recalled when the Gnome known as “Books” had them read and sign some packet of papers. Bastion looked through the packet, barely able to make out a few words here and there. He had never bothered to learn to read and write more than the basic alphabet in Common, but did make up for that by knowing Draconic extremely well, going so far as to recall a few ancient words here and there (nothing major, but simple ones like ‘chair’ or ‘war’). Finally the Commish allowed them to leave and go do what they did best. And for Bastion, that was cleaving bodies and knocking skulls.


S.P.I.R.E.’s field team hung from ropes suspended over the river beneath a massive bridge. A bridge massive enough to allow a magic airship to fly underneath. At the right moment, the team gave the signal to those still on the bridge, and the ropes were cut, sending the team crashing into the airship deck. Bastion landed in the front, his giant axe already out and ready for blood. Having surprised the Macabre Theatre gang that had stolen the ship, Bastion charged forth, closing in for the kill. He lost sight of his teammates, and instead focused his fury and strength upon three humans before him. Bastion struck down with one of his more powerful blows, and landed a good, solid hit on the nearest human, but the next good hit wouldn’t come for some time.

Somehow the humans were able to break throuh Bastion’s defenses and hurt him considerably, one going so far as to sneak in an attack between his legs. This move enraged the Dragonborn, invoking a titanic blow from him, severely weakening one of the humans. But the kick to his manhood took a lot out of him. Bastion needed more strength, more defense. Had to have more. He prided himself on being the first into battle, but here he was about to fall to three actors?! He detested himself, and vowed silently to Dol Dorn that he would strengthen his body greatly.

Luckily for Bastion, he did have partners to help him out. A small vial of liquid came crashing into the side of his head, giving him extra strength and healing a few of his wounds. Then the magic users cast one foe into the vortex surrounding the boat. Going off of this, Bastion struck another heavy blow on one of the last two, but that kick still dazed him a bit. These last two would not have happy ends to their lives. Bastion then raised his axe above his head and landed a devastating blow on one of gang members, when the human Echelon neared them, and aided in killing the last. But Bastion wasn’t done with the last human. Reaching out, Bastion grabbed the human and kept him from falling over the side of the airship- which had been careening through the skies all the while- only to clamp down with his jaws and release a tide of acid onto the human. If he wasn’t dead before, he surely was now. Unaware of what the others were doing, Bastion let the remnants of his fury leave him, failing to take note of the ground nearing the airship at an alarming rate.


“I think I may have eaten the pilot,” Bastion said groggily, the fight still ringing in his ears, the hapless humans blood fresh on his tongue and lips. He hated these after-mission meetings. More talking that Bastion was uncomfortable with. He would much rather spend his free time training, eating, or sleeping, and he had yet to do his nightly routine. When the Commish let them all go, Bastion immediately went to his room where he was able to change into his training gear and take to the streets once more. At night, he trained differently, running along the river until he reached the trail leading out. From there, Bastion would lose himself in the woods, caring for nought and ignoring more. Out here, in the wilds where he was born and raised, it was just him and himself. He would run until he was nearly exhausted, then he would reluctantly turn back, pushing himself to the last until he reached S.P.I.R.E. headquarters again. No calisthenics, only running at night, and for an untold number of miles. Bastion knew he just ran.

Stripping off his clothes, down to the barest of cloth covering his nether region, Bastion bathed and prayed to his gods, before clutching his axe and falling asleep once more. There was a new mission in the morning.

A Blade in the Night - Nocturne's Views

I woke with a start, instinctively bringing my dagger to the throat of the figure standing over me in the blink of an eye. Echelon rose his hands in the air and took a step back. I relaxed and swung my legs out of my bunk, cracking my knuckles.

“You should know better than that, Eche. You’ve known me long enough.” My friend smiled awkwardly and lowered his arms.

“Sorry, Noc. Didn’t mean to startle you. Mission is a go in 3 hours, I figured you’d want to get ready.” I looked out the window with a sigh. From the position of the moon, it looked to be about 11 PM.

“Thank you… And sorry about the… You know,” I said, vaguely gesturing to the small, bleeding nick on the human’s throat. He grinned.

“No problem, man. I’m used to it by now.” He walked out of the room and shut the door, leaving me to my solitude. I took a deep breath, feeling the welcoming embrace of the night around me. This was my time, my world. Tongues of light flicked under the door from the ever-burning torches in the hall. I rose from my bunk and strapped on my clothes and leather, belting my rapier at my hip and sheathing my dagger on the small of my back. I grabbed my climber’s kit and slid it into place on my belt . I stretched and limbered myself up, preparing for whatever the coming night might hold. I opened the door and wandered into the hall, squinting in the sudden light. I could hear Bastion bellowing incoherently in the other wing of the building. I smirked. Dear Bastion, my polar opposite. Yet somehow, we had an understanding and worked well together. I walked by Echelon’s workshop and peeked in. He was carefully pouring some sort of liquid. I coughed loudly and he jumped, the liquid spilling too quickly and turning blue. He spun around. “Damn it, you son of a bitch! Look! IT’S BLUE!” I shrugged and walked away.

Hours later, our team gathered on the bridge we had designated as our ambush point. Echelon Thrice, standing nervously with his myriad vials and flasks hanging off of bandoleers across his chest and waist, staff in hand. Ironwood, standing silently and sturdy as an oak by my side. Basion Vice, Shifting his weight excitedly and gripping his huge axe with both hands. Rayan Kirsdarken, lightning crackling behind his eyes and he gazed off into the distance, his mind elsewhere. Pepper Pinchpenny, our small yet powerful holy warrior. Finally, I stood to the side. My name is Nocturne. I am the half-glimpsed shadow in the alley behind you, the knife in your back and the laughter in your ear just when you think you’re safe. I gazed calmly into the night at the elemental ship careening towards us and balanced myself on the edge of the bridge.

As the machine passed under the bridge, I rolled neatly off the bridge and landed lightly on the deck of the theater ship, hearing the others landing heavily behind me. The Macabre Theater members turned, surprise obvious behind their ridiculous masks. Bastion wasted no time, charging recklessly into three of the pirates. Echelon, Rayan, and Pepper hung back, ready to lend any support needed, while Ironwood and I squared off against the troupe leader and his crony. I drew my rapier and dagger, neatly parrying the overly elaborate attacks the troupe leader threw my way and chuckling derisively. Actors, no more. I slipped under his wild swings, rolling behind him as Ironwood landed a solid blow, dislocating his shoulder. He turned his attention to the Warden, and it was all the opportunity I needed.

In one motion, I parried a clumsy attack from one of the actors and speared the troupe leader with my rapier. I shoved the blade cleanly through him, bringing my dagger hand around and opening his throat smoothly. Blood sprayed over Ironwood, who wordlessly turned and took care of the simpleton who continued to harass us from the side. I looked over at my companions, who had taken down most of the other troupe members. One remained, threatening Rayan with his blade. I flipped my dagger in my hand and sent it flying through the air, taking the human through the hand and causing him to drop his blade. He knelt, clutching his ruined limb as my dagger rematerialized in my hand. Rayan and Bastion towered over the shaking man. He cowered at their feet, spewing something about a dead pilot.

I looked over at Echelon, hoping he had the know-how to pilot this monstrosity. Noticing my gaze, he shook his head. I sighed and cleaned my blades, re-sheathing them and bracing myself for impact.

The Shadow
The Shadow!

The scene now takes us back up to the right timeframe; after returning from the wreckage of the playwright’s airship-stage, Potts was awaiting the shaky adventurers, eager to hear how things went.

“Hey boys,” her common greeting, “Hey Peppa,” not wanting to lump the only woman in this team in with the others, “How’d things go t’nite?

“Pretty well, I think,” began Nocturne, “What happened was—-”

“We crashed the ship,” Echelon interrupted.

“Oh my,” Potts replied, shaking her head, “You got the ‘script though, didn’t ‘cha?”

They had, in fact, and the ship crash wasn’t as bad as it had sounded. Some cosmetic damage, to be sure, but, nothing irreparable, like setting the elemental free from the rigging. Juliet took in the information they had, to pass along to Caraji, and then informed them that another job had come in – business was really booming. The Commish met with the team briefly, asking them to meet up in the office in the morning for a full run-down.

Job was from a priest of Aureon; name was Yazeth. His kid, Kerstol, apparently ran with a rough crowd somewhere in Highwall, a group called the Bloody Knights. Still, this wasn’t his major concern. Instead, Kerstol had informed his father of strange goings on down in Highwall. A number of parties, “shadowy figures” as described by Kerstol in the letter sent, had been snooping around – whispers about an artifact of The Shadow and some long-lost keep, temple, what-have-you below Sharn proper. Yazeth had come to ask S.P.I.R.E. to check it out – see if there was any truth to this lost artifact, and, as an aside, see if this wasn’t some sort of message from his son trying to get him out of a bind.

To Highwall they went. And the only trouble Kerstol seemed to be in was that which Nocturne got him into. Disguising as a member of the Bloody Knights, he walked into a tavern where they had been known to hang out (the others waited outside, for trouble). Nocturne then laid it on their apparent leader. Kerstol had been informing the Sharn guards about their activities! He was a rat, and Nocturne (who was still under the guise of a Bloody Knight), said he wanted to talk to him in private.

This, of course, was a lie. However, it worked, at least for some time; Nocturne whisked Kerstol away to a corner to get more information out of him, while the members of the Bloody Knights seethed, waiting for their turn with Kerstol. Turns out, Kerstol was perfectly happy with the Bloody Knights, at least until Nocturne walked in and painted him a rat. But, information was passed. Kerstol dropped what knowledge he had. Then the Knights got impatient. Then there was violence.

Violence seems to be a specialty of S.P.I.R.E.’s.

The broken and now bloodied Knights sat tending their wounds in a corner, while the crew drilled Kerstol for more info – he didn’t have much to give. He pointed out, however, there were a number of strange parties stalking about. Cultists of Khyber, members of the Emerald Claw, and followers of The Shadow – all skulking through Highwall, looking for SOMETHING. S.P.I.R.E. set to work immediately to find out what, and to find out before the crazies did.

Ironwood dug up some old maps, found a place where an old temple/keep might be structurally sound; Bastion and Rayan TERRORIZED the local populace for every ounce of information they could; Echelon and Nocturne stalked, misled and outright stole from the Emerald Claw to get their information; and Pepper kept her eyes on various cultists of The Shadow that seemed to be disappearing into their deity’s namesake.

Five hours passed, and in that little time, the investigative side of S.P.I.R.E. shone through; they had found themselves an apparent entrance into a former keep where The Shadow had held power. One of many abandoned buildings housed an old sewer latch, and through that, they descended. Deeper still into the Depths, they eventually found a rusted old door, fitted into walls that supported one of the many structures above it.

A swift kick does a good entrance make. The doors slammed to the ground, with Ironwood and Bastion side by side. Within the room, made of black worked stone, lay a pile of coins and other treasures (which they discover, later, to be fake, painted wooden coins), as well as a statue of what some recognize as being one of the many forms of The Shadow – a highly detailed figure, with a featureless face. Being curious, Echelon stepped into the room, peering for pressure plates and other such mechanisms.

Unfortunately, he was being too mechanically minded, as motes of shadow sprung from previously unseen runes, and the statue itself, and set themselves upon the party…

Echelon's Journal
Chapter 1

Interesting night we are having. As I write this, I’ve just recovered a bit from a magic trap that I sadly tripped. Alas, I was too focused on the main traps to sense the shadow magic coming from the statue. Luckily, with the help of Pepper, I was dragged out and taken cared of enough to help disable the trap. Next time, must remember to check everything meticulously before stepping foot into anything…

Anyways, we seem to have stumbled upon an old hideout of worshipers of the shadow. With a little intimidating, some clever tricks, and approximately 45 ml of Heartflow, we found it. Apparently they have been skulking around the city looking for some artifact. Note to self, more research required on said artifact. Hopefully we can gather more knowledge about this Shadow and what powers it may hold, as well as why i have some fascination with echoing “The Shadow” whenever I hear it.

Now I must go and brew some more potions as some were used on me for my carelessness. Good to keep my mobile workstation on me. Of course, I’ll have an interesting potion for Nocturne for making my potion blue. Blue I say!!! It was supposed to be red!! But he’ll be in for a surprise when he grabs one of my potions!! Mwuahahahahahahaha!!!

Note to self, no writing my evil laughter.

Echelon Thrice, Arcane Scientist and Alchemical Savant

DM’s Inarticulate Musings
So Much to Do

Hey folks, just thought I’d throw my thoughts out there – it’s been a harrowing week for me, with work, but, even while mindlessly testing computers, I’ve been thinking a great deal about the campaign. There’s a lot of stuff I haven’t been able to do due to working all weekend, but, I thought I’d share the list so that you can see where I’ve been intending on working.

  • Insert stats into Kloogewerks
  • Get players to test connection
  • Post last part of 1st session
  • Post any submitted stories
  • Post badge perks – how to get badge perks
  • Find better index/tracking cards
  • Encourage Ed to get a damn table
  • Submit pin-up idea of Juliet for SPIRE flyers/insert
  • Get/organize minis
  • Find an adventure for online group
  • Look/ask about extra Klooge client license
  • Upload/scale maps in Klooge
  • Start backing up files on flash drive
  • Update Druid Wrestling/crosspost
  • Upload all sheets/badges

This is just a short list of things that don’t include adventure ideas, plays on your character’s backgrounds, and so on, even events that might span from the one adventure we’ve had already. So, despite work, I’ve been as on top of this as I can – it might not show as much on Obsidian Portal/Druid Wrestling, but, there’s stuff up-and-coming. And with a 3-day weekend now (oh god, thank you), I can really get into doing the above list, and other things I may not have mentioned.

First online game should be Friday evening (although that’ll be more a test-run than anything else), and another table-top (I use that word loosely) game on Saturday. Rock.

Updated: more things done.

Big One or the Little One?

The animate darkness have now given way to simple shadows, the light restored to the eyes of those that were blinded by it. S.P.I.R.E.’s first encounter with the denizens of the temple of The Shadow was a difficult one, but, they survived.

Taking time to examine a pile of goods stashed in a far corner of the room, they were frustrated to discover that most of the contents were fake. A few real coins mixed into the mess, as well as a robe with some magical properties, but, for the most part, it was a testament to someone’s time put towards painting a great deal of wooden coins with golden paint.

Footsteps followed; someone had found their way down into the temple after them. Ready to pounce on any intruders, the group piled up at the doorway again, only to find that their field leader, Kos. He had found his way down into the temple after them. However, he wasn’t as lucky as the others in that he drew too much attention in his search – he had been followed, he informed the group, by another search party, perhaps one that S.P.I.R.E. had come across before.

Bastion, still hotheaded from the fight with the shadows themselves, took matter into his own hands, quickly moving down towards the entrance they had found, and promptly went the wrong way, getting lost. The rest who remained behind prepared an ambush.

There was little hope for the intruders; members of the Emerald Claw, they made no effort to conceal their approach – many of the recruits in their ranks fell immediately to Pepper’s visions of blood, infecting their minds with a horror that never actually came, but, was vivid enough to convince them the fight was lost. With Ironwood stomping heavily into their ranks, and the rest of S.P.I.R.E. introducing them to their particular brand of violence, the Claw quickly realized the mistake of following so soon after an adventuring party. It began with a bang, and ended with a whimper. Rayan’s dominating presence and Kos’s cutting words broke their spirits before Ironwood and Nocturne could break their spines.

It was Echelon’s idea to send them, naked, back into the city above.

With their retreat secured, they pressed forward deeper into the temple; and soon found that even more shadows awaited them, so much so that the stone itself gave way to darkness, and their lights were almost strangled out entirely.


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