Shattered World

Session the Second
Chapter 2: In a Manor of Spooking

The heavy bag of gold coins made a solid thud as Jukkuk plonked it on the table in front of Fred, along with a wooden cross bearing the same engraving of a young woman.

“What’s this?” retorted the Argent Order Watchman, casting a wary eye over the loot. He had sent the party off to investigate a suspicious case they had no leads on, where bodies had been turning up in the Watch cells with the same unidentifiable coins in their pocket.

“Evidence, just like you asked for” was the young Tengu’s brisk reply.

Looking confused, and mildly annoyed, Fred took a moment to think before blurting out, “What, from the mission we sent you on 4 weeks ago!? Where the hell have you guys been? We thought you’d skipped town. We finalised your pay and started clearing your shit out of the inn. We gave up on that case, and the murders and thefts stopped 3 weeks ago. Quite frankly, we are suspicious of you and your possible connection to the case.”

Confusion erupted as Taranaich rushed to a window to stare at the Sun and sky for a few a minutes. After a bit of verbal two and fro it was confirmed that four weeks had indeed passed, spurring Lucky to give a lively recount of what had happened in the single evening that had lapsed for the party since they were last at the Watch.

“We went up to this creepy manor, where the coins on your dead bodies had come from” he began (Yonten was able to identify the coins based on local knowledge), "And there was a massive gate and two scary fuckin’ looking guards who exploded into light when we killed them, and the gate swung open for us. So we went up to the manor through a misty marsh and ended up at this creepy ball, where everyone was wearing fine clothes, looking happy and dancing and talking with each other as if they wanted to dance, but they really didn’t want to be there. There was this creepy as woman who looked really nice, nice lookin’ lady wearing fine clothes, but she wasn’t under the enchantment, but she kept talking about how cool it was that everyone was enchanted. She’s clearly the one who murdered all those people including the children, and when I asked about it she had nothin’ to say, so I tried to dazzle her and she killed everyone on the dance floor without moving, and very nearly us, and then disappeared leaving us to fight this weird butler looking dude who we killed and tore in two pieces, and now we’re back here.”

To make sure nothing was missed, Jukkuk told the story again, using pretty much the exact same words, with more pauses and a heavier tone.

“This requires more investigating” said Fred, “We’ll take the coins and give you their market worth in Ajax gold, and we need you to report back here first thing in the morning. We’ll take this wooden cross too.” He would not listen to the adventurer’s manic pleas to burn the entire place to the ground, instead suggesting there was something deeper to uncover.

Lucky asked if he could keep one of the coins, which had been found on every ballroom dancer now lying dead with no markings, just as the bodies that had been turning up at the Watch were found. It was agreed he could keep one as a personal token of the adventure.

As the perplexed and uneasy troupe made their way back to the Saucy Bulwark where they were staying, they noticed the long silver hair of The Wraith flashing as he turned away from the alley where he was watching. He saw that they had seen him, but he took in his stride, always off to be somewhere terribly important.

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Session the First: Part 2
Even deeper depths..

While at the office of the Argent Order, the party were asked to investigate the recent disappearance of a mining party of dwarves.

They managed to track the dwarves to a cave on the coast to the north of Port Ajax, briefly being attacked by a group of giant crabs who were quickly pacified.

Investigation of the cave revealed some Giant Penguins, who did not seem perturbed to be there, or particularly reactive to the appearance of the party.

As they delved deeper, dwarven bodies started to appear – with clear markings of violent death, armour ripped open, weapons dripping a thick dark blue ichor or blood. In the distance the party ocassionally heard a bird-like cry ‘Tekeli-li’. Taranaich, who was raised with a deep affinity to birds could not place this cry, yet it inspired a deep fear in each of the hearers, temporarily shaking Yonten.

By the largest group of dwarven bodies the group also found the body of one of their assailants – a barrel bodied monstrosity, from it’s star shaped head, down through it’s multiple appendages and sets of wings, to it’s tentacle legs, this creature was nothing that any of them had ever dreamt of, and it reeked of not belonging to this world.

Moka Toa attempted to impersonate the bird-like sound, resulting in the apparent summons of a giant ooze-like creature, of no fixed shape, apparently producing eyes and limbs and other features as needed. This creature approached the group and hesitated before moving on.

Eventually the party was attacked by one of the creatures responsible for the cries of ‘Tekeli-li’, proving to be the same type of creature as the dead body found by the dwarves.

The party quickly agreed not to fight it, instead backing away. Unfortunately this was not quick enough and Sevik was knocked unconscious before being able to withdraw. To cause a distraction Moka Toa attempted the call again – this time to great effect. It once again seemed to summon the giant ooze, which immediately attacked the star-headed monster.

With their attacker well and truly distracted the party was able to drag Sevik to safety and withdraw from the cave.

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Session the First
New Friends delve into the depths of Ajax!

Deep in the Wild Islands two souls have unknowingly taken the first steps down a similar path, though the greatest seers couldn’t contemplate the twists and divergences that each is likely to take before they reach their destinations as great defenders of nature.

Perhaps drawn together by fate, perhaps just chance, or possibly by far darker design, Moka Toa and Taranaich Ap Aerie happened to meet on their journey southward, with the shared goal of reaching majestic Port Ajax! As a metropolis of diversity, unmatched in the known world, it was here that they each expected to learn more of the world, and of it’s varied inhabitants.

On arriving at Port Ajax it wasn’t long before these two nature worshipping elves came across a scene of abject cruelty, as a ratfolk teamster harassed and abused the giant Armadillo pulling his wagon. Ignoring the elves entreaties for calm, the driver quickly escalated his abuse, smashing a lantern on the armadillo, spilling burning oil across it. At this Moka Toa snapped, charging the wagon and hurling the driver to the ground. The other ratfolk teamsters quickly rallied, attacking the two elves. As Moka Toa freed the armadillo, things started to look dark for the two elves. As luck would have it, a passing Samsaran by the name of Yonten Dhargey joined the fray, lending ranged support to the elves. This quickly turned the tide, and despite an attempt to avoid killing, several ratfolk would not return to their families. Just as the last teamster was dealt with, a huge ratfolk warrior leapt to the fore, growling a challenge to the growing party. Judging that it was time to leave, Yonten lead Taranaich to a nearby patrol of the Argent Order, who pacified the ratfolk, and ordered that Moka Toa return the armadillo to it’s rightful owner.

Relieved by their victory/escape, and the discovery of a new friend in an increasingly hostile city, the trio paused to share a hug in the street. While hugging, they became aware of a fourth participant – a small crippled gnome identifying himself as Lakschmir Bodechai, or Lucky for short. On hearing of their recent attempts to ease animal cruelty, Lucky informed the party of a cult he had heard of who were reknown for their torture of animal sacrifices, adding that he had recently heard the cult leader bragging of a new dagger that he had found. Suddenly the party was joined by a fifth member, Sevik Wen, who expressed interest in the finding of the dagger, and pledged to help the elves and Yonten in their plan to face this cult and end their cruelty.

The next ceremony wasn’t to occur for 2 days, which passed quickly.

Following directions from Lucky, Yonten lead the team into the Waterways – a dark system of canals infiltrating the underbelly of the city as off-shoots of the main shipping canals. On approach to the cultists lair the group was attacked by a large dog-otter, identified as a Dobhar Chu. Despite surprising Sevik in a moment of vulnerability, the Dobhar wasn’t able to inflict much damage before being knocked unconscious – on suggestion from Moka Toa who recognised the Dobhar as being renown for their vengeful tendencies, and recalling legend of the mate of a killed Dobhar Chu hunting the killers for days.

Following this brief battle, the group came upon the cultists lair which was, as suggested by Lucky, a doorway guarded by two hooded men. Initially Sevik attempted a diplomatic approach, but this failed and resulted in a response that was almost lethal for Sevik. Luckily the rest of the party wasn’t far away and quickly incapacitated the guards, looting a key and proceeding into the lair.

Sneaking in, Moka Toa noted 4 cultists and the leader, who had clearly already sacrificed some animals, but had cages in the back of the room housing several more. Once again spurred by witnessing animal cruelty, Moka Toa charged the cultist leader, drawing the party into combat. Two cultists went down quickly, before Sevik tried the diplomatic approach again, this time with limited success – the cultist leader was happy to accept that Sevik would turn against the party, particularly as he had sensed a chaotic aura around Sevik. The new alliance, however, was shortlived. Sensing the pending victory of our heroes over his henchmen, the priest channelled negative energy, finishing off some of the wounded in the room, including his new friend Sevik!

After a frustrating dalliance with the ‘Fog Cloud’ spell, the party eventually pulled together and Taranaich beat him up with his shillelagh (if you know what I mean) while the priest cried that there were others like him, and that the great one was coming regardless. Sevik, who had healed himself, discovered that the priest’s dagger was not the one he sought, but was pretty good so he kept it anyway.

Before the party could depart an officious/cold/asshole swept into the room, generally putting people down and being important, stated that he had been investigating this cult due to suspicions that the cult leader was linked to one of the Border Princes. After looking at a ring snatched from the dead leader’s hand, he gave it to Taranaich and suggested that the party report to the Argent Order offices for repayment.

Reporting to the Argent Order, the party were informed that they had met with ‘The Wraith’, a legendary member of the Obsidian Watch – basically medieval federal police. The Sergeant performed a magical scan of the ring Taranaich presented, and informed them that they would be paid for any services rendered to the Order while carrying the ring, stating that it was a seal of the Obsidian Watch.

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