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

Bastion Vice
Not Just Wandering Off

Bastion Vice, blood pumping and adrenaline still coursing through his body, spun about when he heard footsteps coming from down the corridor. Kos, their field leader, Came through the doorway and alerted the team of a group that had followed him. Bastion, though, wasn’t listening. Not to Kos, anyway. A voice was calling out to him, beckoning him. Neither male nor female, and most certainly not connected to any visible being, the voice echoed around in Bastion’s ears, “Executioner… Executioner.. come to me, Executioner… follow my voice… Executioner… Executioner… ” and so the titanic Dragonborn listened and followed, leaving behind his allies without a word to them.

Rushing through the underground hallways, Bastion payed no attention to his surroundings, wanting only to find the source of the voice in his head. It felt familiar, the voice, but he could not place how or from where he could have first heard it. As Bastion sprinted through the labyrinthine tower, the voice grew stronger and louder, calling out to him with more and more urgency, “Executioner! Executioner! Come to me, Executioner! You are almost there, Executioner!” And finally Bastion came to a solid oak door, reinforced with thick iron plates and bars. The voice was almost at a fever pitch, and Bastion, close to succumbing to the wild rage within him, let loose with a mighty roar and, with a surge of incredible strength, rushed the door, bursting through the ancient portal in all the might and splendor that a Dragonborn Barbarian could muster.

“EXECUTIONER!” Bellowed the voice a final time as Bastion broke into the room.

And what a room it was- The now-broken door led to a massive natural cavern at least a hundred feet wide and five times as long with a ceiling so tall it disappeared into shadows and darkness. Some time ago someone or something had erected stone pillars that could dwarf even the largest of giants, on which were engraved some of the oldest and most intricate carvings Bastion had ever laid eyes on. Equally distant from each other and the walls, the pillars were placed maybe every fifty feet leading into the room. Upon closer and heavy investigation, one with enough time on their hands would realize that not a single inch of any of the pillars held the same carving. The floor was home to an equally intricate carving, but this one entirely Draconic, rather than the mix of seemingly random etchings on the pillars. One knowledgeable of Draconic lore, or any descendant from a dragon would recognize the floor to be telling the entire history of dragons, beginning with Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber.

Despite all this, Bastion paid no mind to it. He was intently focused on the only object in the room. At the far end of the massive cavern was a small, blue, swirling cloud. Occasionally lightning would flash and arc around it, plumes of flame akin to a solar flare would spew forth, and a rushing wind would gush forth, pushing the cloud into a different direction. Bastion moved towards this shifting, swirling, chaotic cloud as if in a trance. One foot after another, eyes fixed upon the target, everything else forgotten. In seemingly no time at all, bastion was standing less than arm’s reach from the cloud which was about the same size as he. Incoherent whispering was faint, but still audible above the endless roar of the blue cloud. The air around it crackled with energy to chaotic to be contained by whatever or wherever it originated from.

Then the voice returned, “Executioner, see your fate. Know your destiny- step into the cloud if you dare. No harm will come to you, but know that you will be marked forever by my symbol if you take my offer.” And with that Bastion stepped forth, no hesitation, no fear.

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At the Scene of the Crime

It’s time for some more exciting screenshots!

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Reldin "King" Renaldo

A late entry, but, another HeroMachine picture, this time of Reldin “King” Renaldo.

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Raan-Skag the Unyielding

And here’s Raan-Skag the Unyielding, again courtesy of HeroMachine.

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Nocturne

Here’s Nocturne, by the player under the same name, courtesy of HeroMachine.

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"Books'" Synopsis, Part One

I’ve started adding little notes from “Books’” point of view in regards to the many and varied NPCs and PCs in the campaign. I also want to encourage anyone that would like to contribute to the campaign to provide their own notes about any given NPC. I’ll add them promptly in the same manner as “Books’” reports. Below are what I’ve done so far:

“Commish” Michael Mallory: Human, former member of the Sharn guard, proprietor of Sharn Private Investigation and Risk Elimination (S.P.I.R.E.). Reportedly forced into retirement from Sharn guard under unknown circumstances. Reckless in his regards to how the law should be upheld, but of good intentions, so far as can be observed. Has lofty ideas for S.P.I.R.E., and has shown nothing but high hopes for current employees.

Am currently investigating any former ties with the Sharn Guard that might prove either a help or a hindrance to future endeavors.

“Grumbles”, the Master Knife-Thrower: Human, member of the now-defunct Macabre Theatre. Allegedly a master knife-thrower, S.P.I.R.E. (Bad News) first encountered him during the Macabre Theatre’s raid upon the Diamond Theatre. Bad News did not have to deal with him, as they talked their way past him.

Agatha Cannith: Human, former associate of Echelon Thrice. Not much is known other than her membership within the Cannith dragonmarked house.

Bastion Vice: Dragonborn, employee. Former Q’barran tribesman, Bastion came to Sharn through means unknown. Shows various degrees of barbarism in combat, and a simple-minded pleasure in his work. While effective, he may prove a liability in the future. Originally a member of Bad News, transferred to the Meanwhiles, as he is better suited to work outside the city.

Baza the Bone Blackener: Bugbear, arcanist. Not much is known of Baza; she has been a successful operative in one mission for S.P.I.R.E. and has kept a low profile since. It is known she originates from Darguun, and traveled through the Mournlands on foot to reach Sharn. Often displays the maladies of one who has encountered things beyond the Dead-Gray Mists. Is accompanied at all times by an animate, floating skull.

Captain Nathan d’Lyrandar: Half-elf, dragonmarked member of House Lyrandar, captain of a small garrison of Brelish soldiers just outside of Sharn. Employed the Meanwhiles to clear out family property of bandits. Did not elaborate on his connections or future plans about the “Goldenhawk” tower.

Caraji “Books” d’Sivis: (No reports are filed on Caraji d’Sivis.)

Davash: Falcon, companion beast of Thykim. Tenacious and vicious creature, well-suited to the Meanwhiles particular calling. Has an almost unnatural constitution, and is capable of withstanding injuries that would cause most others of its species to perish.

Echelon Thrice: Human, artificer, employee. Graduate of Morgrave University. While a talented inventor, and an enthusiastic employee, shows lack of confidence in actual combat situations. However, he proves as an important keystone to group integrity, second only to Kos in the Bad News agents. Seek to improve his confidence in battle.

Flex Mentalo: Human, arcanist, member of the Deathsgate adventuring guild. Has repeatedly flustered and insulted members of S.P.I.R.E. (Bad News), accused of attempting to rob Bad News of their prizes on one occasion. Employees view him with mixture of bewilderment and contempt. Have had no success in contacting Deathsgate guild about his whereabouts, but his reputation is as such that he is apparently not very well-liked within the adventuring community in Sharn.

Gii: Demon, familiar of Rayen Kirsdarken. Uncooperative.

Gustav, of the Emerald Claw: Human, member of the Order of the Emerald Claw. Was defeated by S.P.I.R.E. (Bad News) during their mission to investigate rumors of a certain artifact in the ruins beneath Sharn. After subject to humiliation by the group, was released, naked, into the general populace of Sharn itself.

Ironwood: Warforged of unusual construction, appears that his fibrous materials are mostly of livewood. Stalwart and stubborn, has a particularly uncanny dislike of doors of all constructions. Particularly well-versed in the natural world, and exercises unusual control over it. Rumored to have violated rules in regards to wearing of antlers on several occasions, although I have not seen proof of this.

Jeras Falck: Human, deceased, later discovered to be a member of the Emerald Claw. For reasons unknown, was conducting rituals within the “Goldenhawk” tower outside of Sharn, employing a number of Bloody Knight gang members from the city itself. Attempted to flee the tower, however, the Meanwhiles prevented her escape (killing her in the process, however, although as she had been trespassing on private property and the Meanwhiles were representatives of the owner, they were well within their rights to do so).

Juliet Potts: Half-elf, employee, secretary. Juliet is a typical South-Brelish girl, and a friend of Michael Mallory’s. She is well-organized, although her taste in attire that she thinks is appropriate for a work place needs some attention. Is apparently obsessed with the Silver Flame, although is not particularly familiar with many of its tenants. Idealist.


I’ll be updating this even more as the week goes on; the NPC list seems to be exploding with unique characters, although they seem to die off at an alarming rate. Check out the NPC tracker if you get a chance, and see if I’ve missed anyone important.

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Online Session 1 Info - 3

Attendance: Mike, Tom G., Tom S., David W.
XP per Attending Player: 563

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"Books'" S.P.I.R.E. Reports
Filed Under "002-003"

Reports:
Location: Ruins of “Goldenhawk” Watchtower, Breland
Synopsis of Risk: After dispatching the known murderer, Lurash, the Meanwhiles (currently consisting of Raan-Skag, Reldin, Theras and Thykim) pursued the shape-changer down the hallway into a room featuring an overly-large cauldron. However, upon entering the room, said shape-changer was nowhere to be found. They instead puzzled upon the cauldron, filled with an unidentified necrotic substance, and the room filled with various goblinoid skulls, painted a variety of colors. After attempting to pass through the doors leading West out of this room, to explore the ruins further, they found them impassable, and turned to the skulls and cauldron for an idea for entrance.

While Raan-Skag and Theras strugged at the doors, Reldin and Thykim rummaged through the skulls – and upon looking through one pile of skulls, they re-discovered the shape-changer, who was hiding amongst them; while wounding some of the party a small amount, they eventually overcame the rogue, and, in what was to be a bit of poor planning, dumped him, still screaming, into the cauldron of necrotic goo.

In violent reaction to this, the party was surprised to find two angry-looking undead leaping out of the cauldron. After a few moments, they quickly realized that they did not have the means to defeat them. Instead, they quickly went about solving what they thought was the correct combination of skulls to be introduced into the cauldron – and, while Reldin was knocked out during the process, they succeeded, thus unsummoning the undead; Raan-Skag, surprisingly, was able to bring Reldin about in an unusual aptitude towards healing, considering complete lack of training and general misunderstanding of anatomy (other than the basic premise that hitting a biological creature hard enough will often result in it not moving any more).

With the cauldron corpses dealt with, the Meanwhiles took some time to recover before attempting to open the large iron doors before them. After doing so, they deposited the same skulls into the cauldron, and pushed the doors aside, finding a number of undead awaiting on the other side, commanded by a necromancer (later identified as Jeras Falck of the Emerald Claw). Jeras demanded that the Meanwhiles turn face and leave the ruins, but, in typical fashion, diplomacy failed rather quickly, and violence broke out.

The zombified corpses of the Bloody Knight bandits fell quickly, and Raan-Skag made his way towards Jeras quickly, thinking first to deal with the skeletal dogs; he discovered he was flanked by skeletal archers on high, however, and quickly found his way up towards their perches instead of directly assaulting Jeras. Theras and Reldin ascended stairs towards the archers to deal with them firsthand, while Thykim delved into the fray with Davash. Reldin distracted one of the skeletal hounds with a bone (much to my surprise, he actually convinced the undead dog to play “fetch” with the remains of one of his allied archers), however, after tricking the hound to pitch itself into a flaming brazier, the now immolated hound decided that it was in its best interests to follow the halfling salesman until it stopped moving.

After pummeling the other archers to dust Theras and Thykim (Thykim making a spectacular show of leaping from a wall and scattering the bones of one such archer to pieces) made their way to the necromancer, which Raan-Skag was already engaged with. After Davash made a fly-over attack on the necromancer (after which he was knocked out of the air, but, quickly recovered), he used his considerable strength to haul Reldin all about the room to safety away from his new flaming hound friend. About two minutes of non-stop combat ensued, finally resulting in the necromancer attempting to flee in an ephemeral form, stopping only for Reldin’s scathing magic.

Having cleared the ruins completely, and taking a number of artifacts from the ruins themselves, the party confirmed the new security of the “Goldenhawk” ruins to the Captain; payment has been received, and this case is now considered closed. No major injuries reported.

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Off a Boat

Keeping this post short, as I’m tired as anything; getting back into the swing of running a game, after a week at sea. Will be updating the NPC tracker with Books’ take on things, and updating Klooge as we speak for the online game and its new players.

Hope people are looking forward to playing – I’m looking forward to running it.

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Forging of the Weapon (or, while I was away)

The door was locked with countless locking mechanisms to prevent anyone from trying to disturb his work. I do not need an explosion nor toxic vapors hitting the air, Echelon mused. That would end poorly and I would be kicked out for sure.

Echelon had picked a good time to forge his staff. The others had left for some concert that same night. Thrice had sold his tickets. No reason to go when there are experiments to be done. Especially this one.

Echelon had finished the markings of the array on the large parchment, while the mercury sulfide mixture was boiling into completion. Various amounts of sulfur, salts, and balms littered the array and covered his old staff. Special gloves were needed for this, as the mixtures would all be very poisonous to the touch. Echelon carefully added ressidium to the boiling solution as well as onto the staff. He smiled as the mixture turned into a deep vermilion hue.

“Excellent!” Echelon yelled with glee towards his construct Hogarth. “The cinnabar colloid is complete! I have to act quick before it starts to precipitate.”

Echelon placed the cinnabar ressidium container next to the staff. With the mixture, he began writing gobinloid runes across the staff. Various words of magic and glyphs of the arcane circled the wooden quarterstaff. Echelon stepped away and smiled at his work. This would be his most powerful magic item he has created.

“Hogarth, bring me the sodium!” Echelon commanded. The iron giant obeyed and walked out with a small iron container. “Thank you friend. Now, for the fun part.”

He sprinkled the sodium powder over the array and staff. The powder shimmered across the parchment, already littered with other powders. Echelon grabbed a waterskin from his waist and poured water all over the staff. The whole parchment ignited in bright yellow flames. Echelon held out his hands and began chanting in goblinoid.

“Rhec daan dhegaan or al’daalkec, dhuugaan a daakhuuc or akuukhakaan ghec!” His eyes glowed a bright azure as arcane energies flowed from his hands, surrounding the inferno and shaping it into a tornado of flames. The cinnabar balm covering the staff glowed and began burning into the staff, as the sodium and other powders were melding into the staff.

Echelon continued chanting as the fire engulfed the entire parchment and all chemicals on it. He constricted the fire until it was no more, then released the area from his arcane hold. Upon his table was his new staff, now with a metallic composition and covered in red-hot sigils that were burned into the implement. Hogarth covered the staff with water to cool the metal and treat it.

Once it was cooled, Echelon picked up his new staff. It was still lightweight, but much stronger. He could feel the magic flowing through the implement. This was a success, he thought. An incredible success.

“With this Hogarth, I will be come that much closer to becoming the greatest artificer in Eberron. And soon, my notoriety will help Agatha find where I am!” Hogarth nodded and let out a mechanical whine of happiness.

Echelon placed the staff on the wall as he turned to the table. Or should it be said the charred remains of the table.

“Oh dear…” Echelon turned to Hogarth. “If anyone askes… Nocturne did it.” Hogarth nodded.

Echelon grabbed his new staff and unlocked the door. “Come Hogarth, we have much more research to be done. We must master a new ritual as well as other uses of the mercury ressidium sulfide compound! Make haste!” Echelon and Hogarth ran to the library to ask Books for more information about books.

OOC: So for my quest, its simple… finding Agatha. Echelon thinks that by becoming one of the leaders in alchemical research in Sharn, she can find him easier and he will have the resources to find her.

Also: Rhec daan dhegaan or al’daalkec, dhuugaan a daakhuuc or akuukhakaan ghec! = By the fires of alchemy, forge a weapon of unstoppable might!

Courtesy of http://www.coveworld.net/eberron/goblin_translator.html

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