Outsider Solutions

Outsider Solutions: Game One

After the past few weeks business had been slow for Outsider Solutions. It was quiet and as peaceful as it could be floating in their home above a city in Hell. It was early in the morning or at least, what the group decided was morning as Torinn Marscale was the first to rise, coming down the stairs ready to start his morning routine. He was stopped however by Bach and was informed about foot prints left by an unexpected visitor of the group’s Warlock — Barakas Creed.

Following the footprints Torinn did indeed find that they lead to the Warlock’s room who was awoken abruptly by Torinn’s panicked knocking. When Barakas had awoken, he was panicked himself in finding that there was a living face, identical to his own, on the back of his head and with no memory of how it got there. After revealing it to Torinn; they decided to make it known to the rest of the group: Content Not Found: null_, Content Not Found: null_, and Content Not Found: null.

After waking Lazuli in her lab, the group strapped the Warlock to a table to study the face. After hours of Lazuli’s investigations she found that the face was some kind of Parasite and the Cleric of the group was able to find that it was neither demonic or fiend. After serving his purpose towards the investigation, Torinn decided to leave Lazuli’s lab to find a knocking at the door.

Peeking outside the window he saw a Rakshasa waiting on their porch. Hesitant, Torinn decided to allow him into their home, not wanting to turn away a potential client. The Rakshasa called himself Subahu. The Cleric of Bahamut, being as cordial as he could with an evil being, managed to make a deal with Subahu to investigate potential Demonic activity in Vanaarus’ catacombs and act with the utmost discretion.

As Subahu was taking his leave, the rest of the group was finishing up their investigation on the Warlock’s “affliction”. They found that Barakas could feel the same pain as the face and that the face could communicate with Barakas telepathically. They also attempted a ritual to purge him of evil, but were surprised to see the parasite still attached to it’s host.

Satisfied with the information they gathered, the group released Barakas and went upstairs where Torinn was waiting to inform them of their new job. The group decided to split up to gather information on the job and to seek out the libraries of Vanaarus to see if they could find more information on Barakas’ parasite.

Lazuli took to the library while the rest of the group headed to a lead given to them by Subahu, finding themselves at Baerzum’s Fiendish Brewery, a distillery that produces the popular alcoholic beverage known as Fiend Brew. After a meeting with Baerzum, the group managed to make a deal to gain entry into the catacombs, informing her of the demons within, and their promise to exterminate them.

Interested and concerned to find that there were Demons in the catacombs, she agreed to give the party entry. While this was going on Lazuli was able to gather more information on Barakas’ affliction, she was able to find that there were indeed other cases of this in the past. All of them were just as baffling and all were unsolved. They also had another commonality, in that in every case, the afflicted committed suicide.

The group met back up at the house to share the information that was gathered on the mission and the bad news regarding Barakas’ potential fate. The group decided to rest for the remainder of the day before heading out to the catacombs.

After some exploring, the group managed to find the rumored Demons that had invaded the catacombs, they found mostly lesser Demons such as Manes, Dretches, and Quasits. The party was able to make quick work of the lesser demons and find the source of their entry, that being a small coven of witches surround the corpse of a giant demon — finding that they were trying to summon the demon know as Kvelertak.

The coven were successful in summoning the demon, revealing him to be a Vrock. However, due to the interrupted ceremony, the demon wasn’t at it’s full strength and the group was able to eliminate him and make good on their job.

After completing their work, the group met up with Subahu at his home where they were awarded the promised commission along with a bonus for taking down the Vrock, in the form of Sabahu getting in touch with one of his contacts about Barakas Creed’s affliction.

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Outsider Solutions: Introduction

After a typical adventure that brought the group to a Wizard’s home in search of magic items, knowledge, or just some good old exploration — the group managed to open a rift that sucked them and the Wizard’s home into the fiendish Nine Hells of Baator, floating directly above the city known as Vanaarus.

At first, the group was unwelcome, the only thing keeping them alive being the red tape and bureaucracy of the fiends living below, finding that the group was just outside of their jurisdiction and their laws didn’t apply to them. The group has managed to survive over the years, still unwelcome, but accepted as they have proven themselves to be useful to the fiends — not as servants or followers, but contractors.

Not having to live within the confines of the fiends rules, the group has proven themselves useful in bypassing their red tape and taking care of any problems that might be plaguing The Nine Hells for a price. The group now calling themselves — Outside Solutions: devilishly simple.

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Welcome Home Party

The group made their way back home to Riverwood travelling by airship and drill. While the group slept during their travels, Moradin found himself in his homelands during a ceremony — surrounded by totem poles and facing a great bonfire. Baern, the Minotaur from the outpost walked from the fire, missing one horn. He thanked Moradin for avenging his death, but stated that beings he was put to rest without being whole, he would be stuck in the spirit world and not be able to find peace in the after life.

He informed Moradin that he would like to give his essence to Moradin, so that he may live through another warrior. Baern took Moradin’s battle axe infused it — turning into a powerful magic item. When Moradin awoke, he found that the weapon was with him.

After a few days they made it home but found Riverwood to be in turmoil. They found that two walls were built that split the city in two and that a man named Lord Elkenrod was the cause.

At their manor the group found that Aggro and Gren had been captured and that their town guards and the orcs had done their best to keep what part of the city that they could safe. Also, much to the groups surprise, they had found that Fritz had been killed during the “civil war”.

The group decided to push diplomacy to the side and that an all out assault on Elkenrod was in order. The group made a deal with the goblin pirates for the use of their airship and made arrangements with the orcs to make a separate assault with the drill, to rescue those who had been captured.

Things went as planned, the airship bombed Elkenrod’s manor, catching parts on fire and creating massive holes in the roof. There was some resistance in the form of catapults, so the group decided to drop into the manor to meet Elkenrod head on while the goblins took care of the catapults with their bombardment.

The groups dropped into the manor and found Elkenrod and his guards waiting for them. The guards dressed in black leather armor and wearing black collars. Elkenrod lifted his cane and twisted the silver top and his guards transformed into were creatures much to the groups surprise.

The battle commenced with Wilhelm controlling much of the battle with his magic while Jonathan hanged back and expertly sniped creatures with his bow. Moradin charged upstairs to tackle Elkenrod from the 2nd floor balcony to the first floor. Again, to the groups surprise, Elkenrod made his true form known as he turned into a Black Dragon and flew out of the ceiling of the manor, leaving them to deal with the werecreatures. After a hard fought battle, they managed to dispose of the weres. Realizing that the cane transformed all of the guards outside as well, they figured out how to use Elkenrod’s cane to transform them back into humans.

The group went into the dungeon to make sure the Orcs accomplished their side of the mission and found that all of the prisoners were gone from their cages and there was a giant hole in the floor where the drill had come in and left.

When the group came back to the main floor, they found that Ripper was waiting for them — wearing a demonic looking set of armor. There group knew that he wasn’t there to talk and immediately went into combat. After a long hard fought battle, the group found that the armor Ripper was wearing made him immune to fire and decided that a hasty retreat was in order. The group used their new grappling hooks gifted to them by the goblins and made for the roof.

At the roof they found that Elkenrod was assaulting the goblins and was about to bring down their ship. Moradin used his grappling hook to fire it into the dragon and climb on top of him. The dragon swooped down and rained acid on his companions and nearly rend Wilhelm to death with his claws.

The group managed to take the Black Dragon down, with Moradin landing the final blow with his magical cleaver. The group was victorious, but now have a town to rebuild.

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Set Watches
Courtesy of HunterBahamut

Itch was being louder than usual, much to Set’s annoyance. The silverwrought was busy scribbling away in his books and maps, and Itch was…well, Itch was watching the mirror again. After they had found that group of adventurers, the goblin seemed rather thrilled to see what they were doing and how they were progressing. While Set was curious, and in fact making notes and cataloging events, Itch could be rather loud while he tried to work.

This time around Itch was louder than before, seeming excited about what was happening. He kept calling for the Set’s attention, so much so that the kobold finally grumbled and headed over to see what was going on.

Of course, it was the adventurers, but the scene was…not what he expected. They were attacking a makeshift fort of the Unis, a crazy idea for sure, and things were crazy; Set certainly didn’t expecting to see the goblin pirate Smokestack take his airship and bomb them for sure.

Set was taking notes as he watched events play out; the party returned to the Manis outpost and the adventurers were finally making their way back to Riverwood. The goliath of the outpost asked the party to take a group with them, a group of kobolds…

Set paused for a moment and looked at the mirror as he saw the kobold group; and something seemed wrong they seemed rather gray and slow, very sluggish. This was rather unusual for normal kobolds., but they seemed…different, like they were affected by something. While this was curious, there was something else bugging Set. These kobolds…seemed…familiar in some weird way, but he didn’t know why…what could it be?

The minotaur adventurer seemed to be trying to talk to the kobolds before they all gathered around the airship and the weird gnomish machine. The way the kobolds behaved and looked meant something was wrong…or right, sometimes it was hard to tell when you weren’t right there. Set twitched; he might have to keep an eye on this…


These adventurers certainly knew how to find and cause trouble, and they were taking him away from his own tasks.

Set’Rial was watching events with “their” adventuring party unfold for the past two days. They had made it back to Riverwood, but things had taken an amazingly…bad turn for them, so to speak. Feuds with lords and the like was pretty common, but to see that a black dragon was there and causing something like this? It seemed like no one was expecting that at all, but during that commotion there was one thing that caught Set’s attention but was missed by everyone else; when the orphaned kobolds made it to Riverwood, their scales had started to change color. The silver-wrought had heard of this happening before; wayward kobolds loosing their way an color without a dragon to follow and adopting a new one if they found one, but he had never seen it himself. With an orphaned tribe like that just laying around, that meant that any dragon could just walk in and sway them without any trouble, and it could be a small disaster for the adventurers.

That was only the start of their problems though, now they had an epidemic brewing in their midst as well as a potential ‘infestation’. Set had seen this happen before; the adventurers were starting to be put everything all at once and it was starting to show. Now with everything happening, they were struggling and being distracted them from the larger task ahead.

That made Set think of something and he scurried back to his work space and started to go through his stuff, looking for something. He looked through piles of papers and maps before he pulled out an old and ornate looking envelope with an emblem of an hourglass in a clawed hand embossed on it. Once they hear about things, maybe they would send some help.

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Finding Their Way Back

The group unloaded their treasure from the Spectator’s maze, when they came out with their last load they ran into a group of Yuan Ti waiting for them. Hearing that more were on their way coming down the road, the group decided to take Kitty and their horses and ride off while they still had a chance to.

Leaving in a panic as the Yuan Ti spotted them and gave chase, the group managed to get lost in the forest. As night fell, the group decided to make camp until daylight to regain their barrings. As they took turns at watch, the group spotted a fire off in the distance, as the night went on, the fire in the distance faded out.

The group decided to investigate the source of the fire in the morning and found that it was a cave with a camp fire within. Inside they saw livestock, a straw bed, and a pile of treasure.

Moradin decided to go inside the cave to take a closer look while Wilhelm and Jonathan kept watch. While Moradin was inside a Cyclops emerged from the forest. After seeing Wilhelm’s feats of magic, the cyclops decided to wall himself into his cave with Moradin, where a one on one battle commenced.

The rest of the group managed to get inside the cave, the Cyclops being impressed by Wilhelms feats of magic, came to think that he was a god. The group used this to their advantage to grab what treasure they could and flee from the cave.

After getting a safe distance away, Moradin looked their new found treasure, and amongst the gold he found a small bag. When opening the bag he breathed in it’s contents — dust. The dust cause him to sneeze the powdery substance of the rest of his companions cause them to poof away and appear inside of hearth where they found a hag.

The hag demanded that they give her back her soul bag, Moradin gave no resistance so the witch agreed to send them back to where ever they wanted. The group asked to be sent back to Riverwood.

As she send them away she wished them luck at Ravenwood. The group found themselves outside of Ravenwood manor, home to Count Radu — a vampire lord. Radu insisted that they spend the night; which the group had little choice in having been chased into the manor by a forest full of Blights. The group explored the manor finding undead and Dagon reading a tomb of flesh golem.

With the help of a restless spirit the group managed to slay Radu, which brought down the mansion and lifted the darkness on the forest that the blights were feeding off of. The group managed to find a smooth round stone covered in runes in Radu’s coffin, but thought it best to cover it and tuck it away.

The group rested outside of the fallen manor and set out in the morning finding the abandoned town of Ravenwood, pits of fire burst at certain points in the streets — but the group decided to see if they could locate a map within to get a better idea of where they were. After a bout with Gnolls and Owl Bears, the group did find the map they were looking for, along with a Devil who left them the gift of a Flesh golem, formed out of the piles of dead gnolls and owl bears that they had slain. The group managed to bring down the flesh golem and decided to leave the town to try and head back home. After taking a long rest, Jonathan dreamed of riding on the back of a golden griffon, firing radiant arrows into hordes of undead and finally awoke as he started to fly into a Lich. When he awoke, he found that his petrified egg had hatched, and there was a baby griffon with golden fur and feathers.

Along the way home, the group checked over the map and found that they were on the border between the Manis and the Unis, a better realization of this came when they spotted a platoon of Unis soldiers marching in their direction.

The group hid in the forest and watched as they went by. They saw that they had a cart filled with prisoners and were dragging a massive drill along with them. The group decided to follow the Unis and found that they had built a small fort out of trees.

Wilhelm using his new mask and his gift for impersonations managed to infiltrate the forest and found that the Unis had captured a gnome and a dwarf who they were interrogating about the drill. He also saw a cage full of various races that they had captured. Wilhelm managed to start a small fire and release all of the horses in the camp to cause a distraction.

When Wilhelm joined the group, they spotted a group of Unis chasing the horses into the forest. In an attempt to cut down their numbers, the followed the Unis into the forest and cut them down, finding they they were using strange weapons that fired balls of fire and iron (muskets). Wilhelm took one of the weapons, but had no idea how to use it.

The group decided that now was the time to make their attack. The group fought heroically, fighting through explosions, and gun fire. As they laid waste to the last of the Unis, they heard more marching in their direction. Luckily an air ship of goblins emerged, dropping bombs on the marching troops and fortress indiscriminately. The group released the gnome and dwarf to find that the drill was actually a means of transportation. The group took the prisoners into the drill and tunneled their way out of danger.

They re-emerged into a small outpost of various races, where they met a goliath named Solomon who ran it. He showed the group where they could resupply and thanked them for taking down the Unis fortress. The group also learned that the gnome was Flint Bizwittle, cousin to Blitz Bizwille — their accountant. He informed that he was on his way to Riverwood to see his cousin and show off his new invention and agreed to give them a ride.

The group also met the goblins who manned the airship and their captain, Smokestack. The group offered them a deal to make them a trade ship in return for passage to Riverwood. The goblin agreed as his wife was among the prisoners they rescued.

Half of the group decided to ride on the airship while the other half decided to go with the drill. Before leaving Solomon informed Moradin about another minotaur who had been staying at the outpost — Baern. He informed that he died defending it and asked if he would like to stay for the funeral. Moradin saw that Baern was missing a horn and quickly realized that one of the men he killed at the Unis fort was using it as a gun powder horn.

After the funeral, Solomon showed the group a small band of Kobold outcasts with dull grey scales. He informed that they found them in Ravenwood and couldn’t keep them any longer. The group decided to take them along.

The following day, the group set out. Half with the goblins and half with the drill.

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First Day on the Job

Lights shines through the trees as the morning sun rises, The Wolverines are already up and ready – some taking the time to take in some rations, others outfitting themselves for the day ahead. Stryke walks through the ranks of his grunts, making sure no one is wasting time.

A small group of the orcs come crashing out of the forest, making their way to Stryke, Coilla is leading them.

“Captain. There are a small band of human guards making their way towards our camp, it looks like they might be the guards from Riverwood. They weren’t making any effort to be quiet anyway…”

Stryke nods.

“Go get them and bring them here, probably lost if they haven’t found the camp by now.”

Coilla smirks and heads back into the woods as commanded, taking two other grunts with her. Haskeer makes his way towards Stryke, Alfray following not too far behind him.

“Guard duty huh? You think these piss pots will be able to behave themselves?”

Stryke doesn’t give Haskeer much of an expression, but answers.

“If not; make sure that they are aware that there will be lashings – guarding Riverwood and keeping the peace is a direct order.”

Haskeer nods. The three lieutenants turn their attention to Coilla, now leading a small group of human guards. Leonard is among them. Leonard looks around nervously, he definitely isn’t used to being surrounded by orcs. He clears his throat, trying his best to not sound intimidated.

“I’m Leonard, captain of the guard. We have lodgings, food, and weapons ready for you back at Riverwood. There are more of you than we had originally thought…”

Stryke tries to keep from smirking at the promise of better weaponry. Haskeer makes no attempt to hide a wide smile on his face. Stryke gives him a slight elbow.

“Good. It’s nice working with a group that keeps their word and you have ours that we will do our best to keep your town safe.”

Leonard gestures for the orcs to follow, Haskeer immediately begins barking orders; getting the rest of the grunts to fall in line as they march towards the city. Leonard briefs them on parts of the town and where he expects them to keep watch – as they approach the road; the group comes to a halt as they see another group of guards making their way to the town; surrounding a carriage. Stryke looks slightly confused at Leonard’s hesitance, and makes a hand gesture to his Wolverines to make ready for a fight.

“Why have we stopped? Are these not friends of yours?”

Leonard lets out a sigh as he inspects the guards black uniforms, wearing the sigil of white elk antlers.

“Looks like Lord Elkenrod has returned.”

Alfray chimes in.

“That a bad thing?”

Leonard straightens his chain mail.

“Not bad in the sense that you are probably thinking, but he is an asshole and so are his guards. At least we won’t have to keep an eye on the rich district, at least not if Elkenrod has anything to say about it.”

Haskeer grunts.

“Suites me.”

Elkenrod’s guards notice Leonard and the Wolverine lieutenants at the side of the road; the rest of the warband is hidden within the foliage of the forest. They approach the group.

“Orcs? What the hell are these scum doing here?”

Leonard’s face instantly gets a look of worry as he looks back to Stryke for his reaction, he seems stoic at the moment though as if he is sizing the guard up.

“They’re working with the new Lords of Riverwood manor, helping to keep peace.”

The guard lets out a chuckle.

“There is only one true “Lord” of Riverwood and it isn’t anyone who would work with orcs. Do they even know what peace is?”

Leonard struggles to find an answer, Stryke chimes in.

“You better hope we do, Human.”

Stryke raises his hand; his warband behind him in the forest makes their presence known. The guard takes a step back.

“Well… You see that you do…”

The guard quickly turns and heads back to the rest of his group. The Wolverines wait for the road to clear before Leonard leads them back into town.

“Thank you…”

Leonard says nervously. Stryke tilts his head slightly.

“For what?”

Leonard clears his throat.

“For not slaughtering those men… Despite Elkenrod’s demeanor, he is well liked in Riverwood. Among the wealthy at least.”

Haskeer chuckles.

“It would have been worse than a slaughter.”

Coila and Alfray smile. Leonard lets out a nervous laugh.

“Yeah… I’m afraid there is a bit of business that we do need to have looked into. This morning, one of our guards was found dead; hung at the gates of the city. It so happens that this guard used to work for one of our locals – Aggro Seabreeze.”

Stryke looks to Leonard.

“And you think this Seabreeze is responsible?”

Leonard tries to hide a scowl at the mention of the name and nods.

“Yeah. The guy used to work for him and gave his name up when our new Lords captured him, gave the guy a second chance as new town guard. I want this scum locked up and I think you and your band are the best ones to take care of it.”

Coilla chimes in.

“Don’t you think that might be over kill?”

Leonard shakes his head in disagreement.

“Not for Aggro, he’s not just a local. He’s dangerous, more so than he lets on and he lets on a good bit despite his false good nature.”

Styke nods his head.

“We can handle it, I’ll take a group of grunts myself and take care of it today.”

They stop at the gates of the city. Stryke gestures for the band to stop.

“Leonard. Take my grunts to get outfitted; they’ll follow your orders until I get there. I need to talk to my lieutenants in private.”

Leonard nods his head, Stryke barks an order to his grunts to follow Leonard; then looks to his Lieutenants.

“Looks like we’re walking into a bit of a shit storm… Trolls, rival lords, a murderer…”

Coilla shrugs.

“We’ve been through worse.”

Stryke nods.

“Alfray, I want you to take charge of the guard duties. I’ll take a small group and take care of this Aggro character, like I promised. Go get yourself some weapons.”

Alfray salutes and heads into town as ordered. Styke looks to Coilla and Haskeer.

“I want you two to take four grunts and take to the woods to scout. Keep your eyes out for that damn Troll, but don’t try and take him by yourselves; come and get me if you spot him… or anything else.”

His Lieutenants nod and salute.

“Get yourselves some weapons.”

Haskeer heads into town as ordered, Coilla stays back and waits until Haskeer is out of site.

“Why do I have to take that lumbering oaf? He isn’t built for quiet work.”

Stryke chuckles.

“Yeah, but I fear he wouldn’t fare much better ‘keeping the peace’.”

Coilla smiles and nods in agreement. Stryke puts his hand on her shoulder.

“Make sure he doesn’t try to fight that fucking Troll by himself. He’s an idiot sometimes, but we need him. Now go get some real weapons.”

She nods.

“Don’t take any shit from that Seabreeze.”

Stryke smiles.

“When do I ever take anyone’s shit?”

Coilla winks.

“Mine.”

She heads into town. Styke takes a few moments to look over the outer walls and their current forces, he looks into the sky as if expecting something to descend upon the town before making his way in to get himself geared up.


Aggro stands behind the counter of his tavern “The Dancing Weasel”. There isn’t anyone there at the moment aside from Robert, who is sweeping the floors and cleaning table tops. Aggro leans down under his bar to grab a bottle of something and as he raises; he sees a group of orcs at his door. Aggro shouts towards them.

“We’re closed, come back tonight.”

Stryke smirks, now wearing hide armor, a shield at his back and a long sword sheathed at his side. Three of his grunts stand behind him.

“We’re not here for drink.”

Stryke smiles as he takes a few steps forward, his grunts follow his lead.

“I have to admit, I’m kind of glad you’re not a human. It’s not every day I get to take down a Dragonborn.”

Aggro slams his fist on his bar.

“What is this?”

Stryke unsheathes his sword, his Wolverines follow his lead and do the same.

“You can’t go around hanging guards, especially now that we’re doing the guarding.”

Aggro straightens himself, showing his full height and build; trying to show that if they were to fight it wouldn’t be an easy one.

“I didn’t hang any guards. I’ve been here. Who sent you?”

Stryke looks a bit disappointed that the fighting hasn’t started yet, but answers.

“We work for the new Lords of Riverwood, it doesn’t look good for you Seabreeze. Hanging one of your own men, one that gave you up before and doing it behind their backs when they leave town.”

Aggro reachs up on to the mantle behind his bar and takes down a spear, he looks to Robert and points to the door.

“Robert. Get out.”

The orcs let Robert leave the bar. Stryke holds his hand up to his Wolverines for them to hold back.

“Just one of you, eh?”

Aggro nods, gripping his spear.

“Hold.”

Stryke orders his Wolverines.

“I guess it’ll be just you and me then.”

Aggro lets out a sigh.

“There’s no way out of this?”

Stryke smiles.

“You could disappoint me and surrender.”

Aggro chuckles.

“Won’t take bribes?”

Styke raises his sword and shield.

“I’ve got orders.”

Aggro shakes his head.

“Typical orc.”

Aggro lunges over his bar, jabbing his spear at Stryke who brings his shield up in time to buffet the blow away. Stryke comes at the dragonborn, slashing at him with his long sword. The dragonborn dashes backwards, moving with grace despite his size to avoid the blow.
He comes back at the orc, jabbing with his spear as Stryke fences with him; knocking the tip of the spear away with each strike. Aggro lunges forward with a kick catching Stryke in the chest knocking him back hard, he crashes into a bar table, smashing it.

Aggro leaps at him, trying to come down on him with the spear. Stryke manages to bring his shield up in time to catch the spear as it plunges through its wood. The tip of the spear is just a few inches from his face. Stryke lets out a hardy laugh as he rolls into the spear with his shield, snapping the tip.

Aggro leaps back before Stryke can continue with the roll and follow up with a slash of his blade – Stryke scrambles to his feet in time to see Aggro take a deep breath and let out a burst of lightning from his mouth.

Stryke leaps behind a table in time for it to catch the brunt of the lightning as it catches fire. Stryke stands up from behind the table, seeing that Aggro is unarmed; he drops his sword and leaps over the fire from the table – coming at the Dragonborn; swinging with his fists.

They trade blows, neither giving way until Stryke catches Aggro just right under the jaw, sending him flying over his own bar. He jumps over the bar to join him, stomping at the Dragonborn; doing his best to render him unconscious.

Aggro grabs Stryke’s foot, and lifts upward causing the orc to crash to the ground with him. They both struggle to their feet; Stryke is surprised to see that Aggro managed to get up before him; much quicker than he expected – waiting for him with a heavy haymaker to Strykes head, causing him to stagger back.

Aggro charges forward, looking to tackle Stryke who manages to catch the massive Dragonborn, they go into a test of strength, grappling for advantage. Styke manages to get the upper hand, tossing the dragonborn into his shelves of alcohol; the bottles of glass breaking around him. Aggro struggles to get to his feet, but Stryke rips a tap from bar, and smashes it over Aggro’s head – knocking him unconscious.

Stryke pants heavily looking back to his Wolverines as they watch on with approval.
“Take this scum and lock him up.”

The grunts follow their captain’s command with glee as they round up the unconscious Dragonborn and carry him off. Now alone in the bar Stryke collapses on to the bar, grabbing a cloth to wipe blood dripping for his swollen face. He laughs to himself and shakes his head.

“Tough fucker.”

He gathers up his broken shield and sword, dousing the fire on the table before leaving the bar.

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Setting Camp

Stryke watches as Moradin, Wilhelm, and Jonathan leave their camp; when they seem to be out of earshot, Haskeer chimes in.

“They seemed half decent for Manis.”

Styke nods in agreement and looks to his lieutenants.

“Ready the grunts. Haskeer, I want a head count. Coila, take inventory of our supplies. Alfray, with me.”

Haskeer and Coilla head off to take care of their duties as Styke and Alfray take a seat by the camp fire. Styke looks to Alfray.

“What do you think?”

Alfray ponders for a moment, staring into the dancing flames of the camp fire, and then back to Stryke.

“I think i’m getting too old for this shit.”

Stryke shakes his head, trying to hide the grin coming over his face.

“You fight as well as any of the grunts here.”

Alfray spits into the fire.

“Hmph. I’ve seen a lot of summers. I can guess what the young ones say behind my back.”

Stryke shakes his head as he stretches out, leaning back into a tree.

“Then you guess wrong. You’ve got respect. So take it easy.”

Alfray smirks and looks up into the night sky.

“Was a time when you’d see a lot more stars, before the humans fouled the skies.”

Stryke looks up from his resting spot.

“You remember that?”

Alfray nods.

“The Manis are different, but not by much… Helping these people Styke, remember that it is just a means to and end.”

Styke yawns.

“Yeah, don’t worry. The whole reason we’re doing this is because i’m responsible for these grunts. If I can help it, i’m not going to let them die by the hands of Unis, Manis, or even our queen.”

Styke grabs at the Cylinder on his belt, making sure it’s still in his possession.

“Go check up on Coilla and Haskeer, then make sure everyone gets some rest; we’re going to need it.”

Alfray nods and gets up from the fire, he makes his way towards shouting; seeing Haskeer barking orders at the grunts.

TEN-SHUN!”

The orcs fall in line, some caught off guard as they were rough housing, some stirring from slumber. Haskeer continues his shouting.

“The best part of you might have run down ya mother’s legs, but listen up! ROLL CALL!”

The orcs start shouting out their names as Haskeer keeps count.

“Zoda!”

“Darig!”

“Noskaa!”

“Prooq!”

“Orbon!”

Haskeer yells at one of the orcs, sleeping as they stand in line-up.

“Eldo! Wake up!”

The orc startles as Haskeer shoves into him, the rest of the orcs continue.

“Talag!”

“Jad!”

“Calthmon!”

“Reafdaw!”

“Liffin!”

Two orcs tug at each others arms, trading friendly punches. Haskeer snaps at them.

“Kestix and Breggin! Cut that out!”

The rest of the orcs continue.

“Hystykk!”

“Gleadeg!”

“Mesklun!”

“Gant!”

Haskeer gets into one of the orcs face, shouting at the top of his lungs.

“Bhose! Wipe that grin of yer face!”

The rest of the orcs keep going with the roll call.

“Finje!”

“Nep!”

They reach the end of the lineup, Alfray walks up to Haskeer as he counts at his fingers — then looks up to the older orc.

“Twenty grunts accounted for.”

Haskeer counts at his fingers again, silently saying names to himself.

“Were missing five, killed at the mine.”

Alfray sighs and shakes his head.

“They’ll be missed; too bad we couldn’t give them a proper burial. It’s surprising though.”

Haskeer raises an eyebrow.

“What?”

Alfray grins.

“I didn’t know that you could count.”

Haskeer takes a deep breath as though he is going to start a shouting match with Alfray, but only manages to let out a frustrated sigh as Coilla joins them; cutting him off.

“We don’t have much, but all of the equipment and rations are accounted for. Where’s the Captain?”

Alfray looks to Coilla.

“Resting and he’s ordered that you two do the same. I’ll set up a guard rotation among the grunts; you two have already done enough.”

The both nod and rest for the night.

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Treasure Hunt

After their battle with the Hags, the group retired to their manor for some well earned sleep; one of the members of the group however — Wilhelm had a restless night; dreaming that someone or something was watching him from his window as he slept.

When the group had awoken, Jonathan noticed that their was a bean missing from his Bag of Beans, after asking other members of the group he found that none of them had anything to do with the disappearance.

Wilhelm went to speak with Blitz to ask him about the state of their Refinery and Blitz brought up that after some studying; he found that there was a small, abandoned, temple of Kol Korran that was likely a site for treasure. Wilhelm asked that Blitz make arrangements for the would be adventure.

Moradin decided to take to the kitchen and put his magical cleaver to use, making breakfast. As the group sat down to a meal, Gren came into the kitchen, claiming with pride that he had planted the seed that they had left in his room for him. The group was confused until Jonathan mentioned that he had awoken to find one his beans were missing and Wilhelm made the group aware of his restless night.

The group followed Gren outside, before going to the garden they saw that people from the town wanted to show their appreciation for finding the missing children and taking care of the hags by leaving them baskets of flowers and foods. The group was grateful, but decided that it would be best to distribute the food to the poor and had Blitz make arrangements.

The group also noticed however that one of the baskets had a gray mask inside; which Wilhelm claimed, satisfied with their decision about the food and with the promise of a new magic item; the group followed Gren to the garden. As they arrived in the garden, before Gren could fully lead them to the spot he had planted the seed; as statue burst from the earth resembling Gren.

The statue began berating Gren and did it’s best to convince the party to murder him. The group ultimately ordered that the statue be carried off and tossed into the ocean. While in the garden, the group decided to investigate outside of Wilhelm and Jonathan’s window.

The group was surprised to find Troll tracks outside of Wilhelm’s window and tracks that resembled small hooves outside of Jonathan’s window. More concerned about the troll tracks, with further investigation to group found that there were claw marks going up the side of their home.

Jonathan took to the roof the find more claw marks, but no other signs of a troll. While Jonathan and Wilhelm were on the roof, Clancy approached Moradin to inform him that they had a visitor, Moradin was surprised to find that it was Roach and was even more surprised to find that Roach knew about their ship.

The rest of the group joined Moradin and Roach told them his tale of escape and of him finding an Orc warband that called themselves The Wolverines. He confessed that he told them about their ship and they too were in need of a sailing vessel. He let them know that the orcs were camping just a few miles outside of Riverwood.

The group decided to meet up with The Wolverines and met up with their Captain, Stryke. The orcs seemed civil enough (for Orcs) and the group was able to come up with a tentative deal. The orcs offered to man their ship if they shuttled them to their desired location; they were reluctant to give specific details at the time.

The group informed that they needed bit more time to raise funds, but thought that they would likely be able to come to an agreement. The group also asked if the orcs would be willing to help and guard that town and informed them about the potential threat of a troll. The orcs seemed somewhat reluctant, but agreed.

The group returned to town. Moradin made arrangements and promoted the most experienced guard as the new Content Not Found: leonard-iron-shield. He informed him of the orcs and asked that he made the town aware before sending some men out to greet the orcs and make arrangements to arm them and make sure they were well fed. The new captain seemed happy with the promotion and agreed to help.

While Moradin made arrangements, Wilhelm sought out someone who might be able to identify his new mask. He ultimately found a Tiefling by the name of Content Not Found: chance who offered up his services, Chance was able to find some of the masks secrets, but not all. Wilhelm decided to take a risk and put the mask on and immediately passed out after being overcome with searing pain.

Chance decided to return Wilhelm to his manor, after going through his pockets and getting a good idea that he was one of the new people who took over Riverwood Manor. The rest of the group came home to a panic Clancy, who had taken the unconscious Wilhelm to his room.

It didn’t take long for Moradin and Jonathan to locate Chance and get enough information out of him to get an idea that the mask is what caused Wilhelm to fall unconscious. By the time they returned to the manor Wilhelm was up and awake, having discovered that the mask had the ability to change his facial features; but couldn’t be removed.

After taking a few hours to rest up, the group decided to set out to the temple. As promised Blitz had things prepared, horses suited up with a weeks worth of rations, along with a giant lizard with a cart attached; the cart will with three empty chests. The group found that they had found the lizard washed up on the shore a few years ago, with a collar identifying the lizard simply as “Kitty”.

Before the group set off, Blitz let them know that they would be going into Lizardfolk territory and told them about Chief Blue Jacket, who was friendly to Riverwood.

Having a map, the group was able to find the Lizardfolk village easy enough. The Lizardfolk in the tribe able to speak common being Blue Jacket. He confirmed to the group that the temple did in fact exist, but it was currently under the control of the “Snake People”. He informed that some of his tribe went off to join the “Snake People” believing them to be gods. He agreed to point out the location of the map and continue his truce with Riverwood if they would clear out the “Snake People” from the temple, which he hoped would drive them out of his territory.

The group agreed and after some time, they found the temple. The temple looked to be mostly intact, but heavily altered and adorned with snake like statues and designs. The group was able to make quick work of the guards outside, being some Lizardfolk who were converted, and two men who looked like they were human at first glance; but had snake like eyes and patches of scales on their skin.

The group also found three cages, one empty, the other two had Lizardfolk trapped within. The group decided to free the trapped Lizardfolk who were grateful.

Inside the temple it sounded as though there was a ritual going on. The group smashed their way inside as Moradin crashed through the front door, while Wilhelm and Jonathan crashed their way through the side windows.

The group entered the temple just in time for what appeared to be a Yuan-Ti drive it’s sacrificial blade into the heart of a Lizardfolk, a portal immediately opened behind it. As the group moved into battle, they were surprised to find giant snakes emerge from wells within the temple; the battle was going in their favor until a Red Slaad emerged from the portal.

The group had to make a temporary truce with the Yuan-Ti to take the creature, but after felling the creature they immediately continued their battle with the snake men. During the battle, Jonathan was surrounded by a bright light and found that a petrified egg was resting beside his feet. The group was victorious, but were left with a portal to Limbo, and without a way to close it.

Knowing that the couldn’t close the portal themselves; the group decided to carry on and found a stairway that led underneath an altar. The group found a lone leaver that seemed to open and close the door.

Being cautious, Wilhelm and Jonathan decided to enter the room under the alter; while Moradin guarded the lever. As they entered the room, Wilhelm and Jonathan were delighted to find that the room was loaded with treasure and immediately began filling their pockets with treasure. As they dug deeper, a Spectator burst out from the coins.

The group was unable to talk their way out of the situation as the Spectator blasted Moradin with a beam that teleported him into the chamber. To the groups surprise, an Imp burrowed itself out of a pile of treasure and ran out of the room; pulling the lever and trapping the group inside.

As the door closed, the group saw that rather than there being a closed door, there was a hallway that looked as though it lead into a different room. The group battled with the Spectator who ended up teleporting away after getting the worst end of the battle.

Moradin immediately recognized that the structure of the room resembled that of a maze. After some deadly traps, puzzles, a screaming clockwork construct, a little old lady, and a boy demanding a sad story; the group was able to make their way through the maze and engage in a final battle with the Spectator and come out on top.

The group found the true treasure and a lone mirror and finding that a chain devil was trapped inside. The chain devil offered to help and close the portal if they agreed to free him; under the condition that he doesn’t harm them. Jonathan decided to speak the devil’s name — Dagon and free him.

Dagon did his best to coax the group into additional offers, but they refused to make any further deals. The devil closed the portal as promised and left, but the group realized that this probably wasn’t the last time that they would encounter him — now that they knew his name. The group however was able to leave with an impressive haul of treasure and are closer to being able to fund their voyage.

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Long March

The Wolverines run through a forest, the light of the moon shining through the trees overhead; washing over their backs as they march onward. They have been on the move for days now; non-stop with no food or rest – doing their best to make as much distance as possible between themselves and The Mine. Coilla makes her way to the front of the warband to meet Stryke.

“Captain, the grunts are starting to get restless… We need to stop and make camp.”

Stryke keeps his gaze fixed onward as he keeps the warband at pace, he doesn’t respond immediately as if contemplating and weighing the circumstances. He slows his pace, his Wolverines following his actions as he raises his hand to signal a halt; then looks to Coilla.

“Just a few hours, then we need to get moving again. I fear there are worse things following us than guards or Trolls.”

Coilla nods and begins barking orders at the grunts as Stryke takes the cylinder from his belt; he tries to hide his panting, doing his best to mask any hint of weakness from his Wolverines as he whispers to himself, pondering his next move.

“Like our queen…”

Haskeer and Alfray make their way towards Stryke, their arms looped underneath a Hobgoblin who looks to be struggling to walk. The orcs stop a few feet away from Stryke as Haskeer pushes at the Hobgoblin’s back who drops at Styke’s feet – panting heavily. Haskeer sneers.

“Practically had to carry this lazy bastard since we left The Mine…”

The Hobgoblin is on his hands and knees, panting heavily. Styke looks to Alfray and Haskeer.

“What the hell do you do to him?”

Alfray looks to Haskeer who shakes his head.

“I didn’t do a damn thing to him; just needs to learn how to march.”

Stryke sighs.

“Pull yourself together…”

Alfray leans down to the Hobgoblin and helps him to his feet, he rests his hand on Alfray’s shoulder – doing his best to keep his balance; still gasping for breath.

“You said that if we went this way, there would be a town, and that you knew some people with a boat.”

The Hobgoblin nods his head, starting to catch his breath.

“Yeah… We shouldn’t be far now.”

Stryke crosses his arms, skeptical, but he doesn’t have much else to go by in the way of a plan.

“And these people are friends of yours?”

The Hobgoblin nods.

“Yeah…”

Styke stares at the Hobgoblin, who begins to shift uncomfortably.

“…of course…”

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A Hag of a Night

Having finally made it to Riverwood, Moradin and Content Not Found: jonathan_ decided to make their way to The Steel Keg to clean themselves up before their meeting with _Content Not Found: crix while Wilhelm decided to go directly to the Lord’s manor.

In The Steel Keg, Moradin and Jonathan found a welcoming Halfling by the name of Rodney who was happy to rent them a room and give them a little bit of information about the town of Riverwood. Moradin and Jonathan spent time in their room washing away the grime from their stay in The Mine.

At Lord Crix’s manor, Wilhelm was graciously greeted by Crix’s butler — Clancy; informing that he was happy the group was able to arrive and was happy to show him to his room that they had prepared. Wilhelm was fed and given a change of clothes and took the time to rest and clean up while awaiting his companions.

Jonathan and Moradin made their way to the manor, finding that they too had accomodations awaiting them, along with food, and clothing — even for the large Minotaur. After removing their prison garb for more appropriate clothing the group decided it was time to meet up with Lord Crix. The group was sad to see that Crix’s letter held true as the Half Elf lie in his bed, a mere shadow of the man he used to be; he was very gaunt and could barely move.

He gave the group information about ruins at the island of Mormato; where he believes they may find answers in how to end the war between the Manis and the Unis. Wilhelm took some time to check Crix over; unable to pin point the disease that afflicted Crix. After answering some questions about the island and giving them more information about Riverwood. Crix mentioned that his butler Clancy would have more details and that a friend of his —Content Not Found: jup-bronzebeard was awaiting them at The Dancing Weasel.

After leaving Crix’s room, Clancy gave them his condolances and thanked them for coming to pay their respects. The group was surprised to learn that Crix had actually passed away just three days ago. Finding it hard to believe the group went back into the room and found the room to be empty. Disturbed and unsure of who they had just spoken with, the group took to their rooms to wrap their minds around the loss of a dear friend and to take the night to rest.

When the group had awoken, they found a hot breakfast awaiting them, and Clancy who informed that he had Crix’s will. The group decided to take to Crix’s office where they found that all of Crix’s estate was left to them, including the manor, staff, parts of Riverwood, 2000 GP, and a sailing ship, along with whatever else was in the manor. Clancy introduced the group to Crix’s accountant Blitz; who gave them more information about Crix’s finances and the group was relieved to hear the Crix’s estate was mostly self sufficient with it’s current setup.

The group was also informed about a current problem that has been plaguing Riverwood, that so far three children had gone missing, and that they have been going missing at a rate of once a week. Knowing that they would need to hire a crew and raise money for supplies to sail to Mormato, the group decided to handle the more pressing matter at hand and deal with the missing children. The group learned from members of the town that so far two girls and one boy have gone missing, all aged 13, and that they were going missing at the beginning of every Friday.

Through the group’s investigation, they found that every house was being marked, and figured out the suspected kidnappers pattern to found out which house he/she was going to hit next. They few clues that they could find lead them to knowing that one of the children had died already, tracks that looked like they had belonged to a giant bird, and the symbol itself being an eye.

The group decided to hold up at the house that was going to be hit, Jonathan awaiting on the roof of a house nearby while Moradin decided to take to the streets. Wilhelm decided to wait in the child’s room while the rest of their family stayed in the main bedroom. As it neared midnight Jonathan and Moradin noticed two shady characters standing at street lights outside while one walked up to the door and started slamming on it.

Wilhelm decided to leave his post to answer the door, finding that the man had come for the father of the family (Robert), claiming that he had come for what’s owed. After some back and forth, Wilhelm figured out that Robert owed a large gambling debt and the thug was there to collect. Wilhelm opened to the door of the house to take care of the thug while Moradin rushed up behind the Thug and pushed him into the house and shut the door. Wilhelm managed to quickly bind the thug.

Seeing the altercation outside, the other two thugs waiting at the lamp lights sprung to action to aid their friend. Jonathan fired off a warning shot at one Thug that cause him to change direction; while the other approached Moradin who charged the thug; launching him in the air with his horns.

Wilhelm, realising the thugs wasn’t there for the child ran upstairs to find that the child’s door was shut and locked; he didn’t leave it that way. He kicked the door open and found it to be empty, but found that the locked door in itself was also a distraction as he heard a scream come from the parents room and the shattering of glass.

Outside the home and just under the parents window, Moradin felt glass shower on top of him as a shadowy figure lept from the house to the next building, Jonathan spotted the figure from his vantage point as well, and could see that the figure was carrying the child under it’s arm. Moradin quickly sprung to action, climing a lamp post to the top of the house and lept to the other building to join the creature; he stumbled slightly as he lept but managed to catch himself on the edge of the building.The creature look down at Moradin with one great eye, grinning while bearing his razor sharp teeth. The creature’s gaze gave Moradin an eerie feeling.

Now in the parents room, before Wilhelm could act the thug that Moradin had clobbered in the street ran into the hoom and upstairs, demanding Robert. Wilhelm managed to bribe the thug and convince him to help them take down the creature. Jonathan, from his vantage point launched a fireball at the creature, managing to rock the beast and knock the child from his arm; luckily the boy fell on top of Moradin who decided to let go of the building to get himself and the boy away from the creature.

Moradin landed hard, but the boy fell safely on top of Moradin. The creature hissed angrily at Moradin and glared at Wilhelm through the window; that same eerie feeling Moradin had felt overwhelmed Wilhelm causing him to wretch in terrible pain. Taking advantage, Jonathan took another shot the rocked the creature while Wilhelm ran down the stairs to join Moradin outside.

Realizing he was in a bad spot, the creature jumped down from the roof, rending Moradin with his claws, demanding that they hand over the child. Now that they were face to face with the creature they saw that he was wearing an amulet with a human eye inside; they could see the eye moving as though it was still alive.The group rallied together and with the “help” of the thug they were able to take down the creature. After searching the creature they found a map showing the location of a cave.

Wilhelm smashed the creature’s amulet and showed the map to the group and then took to interrogating the Thug. They found that the thug was hired to collect a debt from Robert and collect him for Aggro. The group gave the Thug a choice of joining the town guard or the stockades. The Thug chose the town guard.

The group decided that they would take time to rest and speak with Aggro in the morning before investigating the cave. The group managed to work out a deal with Aggro, that they would take on Robert as part of their crew for their future expedition, and Aggro would receive half of his wages to go towards his debt. After settling things with Aggro, the group went to the cave.

After battling some Ochre jellies, the group found a coven of hags who had made the cave their home. They found the source of the tracks to be their shack that stood on two large chicken legs and saw that there was a large opening to the cave that went into the ocean. The group also found all of the evidence they needed to confirm that the hags were responsible for taking the children, seeing that they had the remaining two locked up in small cages like animals, one of the children clutching at his eyes where it had been cut out.

The party sprung to action, taking on the hags — the hags proved to be a difficult challenge but the group managed to come out on top. Moradin managed to boil one of the hags in her own cauldron, while Wilhelm destroyed the other hags mind with his bardic magic.

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