Chaos within the Kingdom of Arrun

Session 03 - A Visit to NorthHold
GM'd by Vic

A new day dawns and looking for more work, they find each other at the contracts room at the Auric Claw, however before any of the contracts could be looked at the gnome from before that gave them the contracts last time walked in and offered a couple of contracts for them to do stopping them touching any others around them. After much pointless chatter they eventually decided to take up a contract to deal with the bugbears to the north of Northhold and just to make sure they get there they decided to take up another smaller contract to deliver or rather help defend the travelling cargo that just happened to be barrels of Earthshaker ale that was intended for a tavern in Northhold.

The group met up with the travelling caravan back in Elyisa which happened to be the same group that took them close to the orc fort a few days ago. After getting the arrangements and the caravan set to go they set off for the six day travel north with the party volunteering to stay in the middle caravan of the three with the 'important' barrels on it. The first few nights was uneventful and towards the back of the caravan while it was quiet Nemeia spoke more about druid craft with Pod Rick out of ear shot of the rest.

However like most trips it is never a smooth ride the third night on Nemeia's watch the terrain had changed they had gone off course realising this Nemeia headed up front and on to front caravan to find the driver unconscious. Nemeia quickly jumped over the driver and grabbed the reins and attempted to steer the horses back on course however in front of them was four odd looking black trees before she could of done anything  the four tress fired a barrage of black needles in to the white Tiefling with pinpoint accuracy causing her to also fall back unconscious on to the driver's seat the horses now slowing down as she still held the reins in her hands as she fell back.

The rest of the party now awoken by the sudden slow down of the caravans as the one in front slowed down. With a curious look outside, Melech was the first to look out of the door of the cabin they was in to be met with a stray needle sticking out of the wooden frame just above his Tiefling horns. Sir Tarquin and One Shoe jumped down to meet the blighted trees while Melech took to the safety of the cabin and shot out of the entrance way at them making the group making quick work of them. Once they had been slain Sir Tarquin, Pod Rick and Sariel went up to the front caravan and found Nemeia with a lot of needles sticking out of her. They brought her back around however the driver that was under her had died from the initial attack that caused the caravan to go off course and could not be saved by the time they had gotten too him.

A new driver was declared and they got back on track tacking the dead driver with them to send off properly later. The rest of the trip was uneventful and the group arrived at Northhold another city to the north similar in size at Elyisa with walls surrounding it and gates to enter. The caravan made their way quickly through the commoners area to the wall that cuts through the center of the city splitting the rich to the north and the commoners to the south. With Sir Tarquin Rose showing he is of nobility and the caravan personnel showing the papers to get in they pass on through and with a short travel distance they arrive at the tavern called the Tooth N Trent this is the intended destination, the caravan owner meets and introduces the tavern over Marcus Scythe as they conclude the contract and roll the barrels in the group decided to split up and look around the city Sir Tarquin Rose stayed at the tavern and procured a room and spoke with Marcus Scythe over a few drinks and friendly banter he finds out there is a curfew now and a lot of silly laws put in place by the nobles, the curfew  is in place because of a rise in recent thievery that seem to only happen after dark. He also found out that in a couple of days Marcus is heading off with a group of people to hunt down the bugbears that live in the forest to the north as they have been getting bolder attacking the north gate more regularly.

Nemeia decided to take a tour of the city while One shoe moved on eventually coming across a locked tavern Melech eventually after having no luck with convincing the nobles to change laws again makes his way to the same tavern and unlocks the door with a key he has allowing him and one shoe in to the quiet place after a few minutes a woman comes walking down the stairs another Tiefling she recognized Melech and introduced herself to one shoe as Elisa this happened to be the city that the law Melech changed by rallying the people against the nobles in charge but not long after he left more stupid laws got added while he was away. Elisa is a part owner of this tavern named Trash N Ape and so is Melech and one other, she had closed the shop as there wasn't enough hands but with Melech here to help out she would reopen it. Melech convinced One shoe to help out play waitress with nothing better to do the gnome did so as he also took his time to try his stealing ability on the customers.

A group of men made their way in to the tavern with a mark of the Woodmen's guild on them. The guild is known for having the best rangers in the city. also at the same time a young boy had been running from tavern to tavern asking for help his mother had been attacked but nobody would answer his aid eventually Nemeia in a city cat form came across the woman's body and the child later on the same woodsmen that was in the tavern seemed to be looking out for the child as the city guard eventually came to the scene, a few words of telling the city guard they should do a better job etc between the woodsmen people and the city guard before the guild people left the area. Nemeia eventually found the party Sir Tarquin and Pod Rick had moved to the same tavern not long before Nemeia had arrived so everybody was together as the curfew had arrived. Nemeia explained the scene that had transpired in the streets.

The next morning the group asked around and looked about as they had been told by the nobles and Elisa (for Melech and One Shoe) and Marcus (for Sir Tarquin and Pod Rick) in their conversations that if these thieves could be dealt with the curfew would be lifted and the businesses could reopen for longer meaning the taverns didn't have to be closed so early. Although not really any business of theirs, Melech felt compelled to help out and so eventually the group tracked the thieves with the help of one shoes rogue skills to a building just off the way. After taking a few looks around the place and finding it would just be easier to go through the front door, the party took it up on themselves to teach the thieves a lesson. Nemeia, Melech and Pod Rick kept to the entrance hall and ranged while Sir Tarquin, one shoe and  Sariel moved into the main room dispatching the foes and as expected the last few attempted to escape from the other room to the other side of hallway to go out the front door. However Nemeia, Pod Rick and Melech had been watching out for any movement in the hall and did the best they could at stopping them only one person got away and from what they could gather that was the person in charge the rest got apprehended by the party and that is where the session ended.

Session 02 - The groups first contract
GM'd by Dave

The next day the group got gathered together to meet a gnome in the Auric Claw contract hall the place where contracts where stored  and separated out in to pigeon holes over seen and to be given out by this gnome. after some idle chit chat and the gnome getting Pod Rick to show him that he could use druidic magic how ever this was kept away from Sir Tarquin Rose and the others who just thought of young Pod Rick as just another squire, however Nemeia, being a druid her self noticed the simple magic spell he had done to give life to a small plant in a pot.

The contract once signed by them all asked for the head of certain orc leader at an orc fort off to the NE of Elyisa that had been raiding traveling caravans on their trade routes, there was also a bonus for burning down their fort as well. The guild had provided a caravan for them to guard and after much discussions between the party members they came up with a plan!

It was a quiet trip to which Nemeia spoke with Pod Rick about druid craft and some simple spells. Once the caravans got near to the area that they have been attacked alot, the group put the plan in to motion and split the caravan only the barrels of oil, wine and the empty barrels for each of them to get in and await being captured. Sure enough the small caravan they was on got attacked the small crew left to guide them gave up the caravan quickly and left with out getting harmed and the Orcs took their rewards in to their fort.

Several hours later once it got dark the party quietly as they could be escaped barrels and started to set the oil barrels in to position how ever a couple of the patrols caught the sight of the big green orange haired Tiefling and so the fighting began on top of the forts walls. Mean while keeping out of sight and out of the way of the fighting Pod Rick continued to maneuverer the barrels in to position  evntually all that was left was the leader who only had time to put his breast plate on at the sudden night attack and was quickly dispatched as this was going on the oil had been spread and lit on fire. 

Once the head had been taken back and proof of the place had been burnt down they got their contracted reward for the job well done.

Session 01 - A Festival to start it all!
GM'd by Ian (Seth Drake)

The player character's all for their own reason's or already live here find themselves within the city of Elyisa, that resides at the heart of the kingdom of Arrun. Elyisa is a big city surrounded by a tall wall that encircles it with the only access in and out of the city is through the 4 gates that connect directly to the central plaza.
It is at this plaza that most of the market stalls and people are, and today it's a lot more crowded as there is a festival going on. The guild of guilds festival where people compete in general tests of skills that most guilds look for in people. In this very busy street held all sorts of races; humans, gnomes, halflings, dwarf, elves, half elves, various dragonborns and the odd tiefling here and there enjoying themselves with drinks, merchandise and competition with even some betting going on. The player character's who don't know each other at this time are all mingling in with the crowd.

The gnome One-Shoe…yes that's what he goes by, practices his thievery skills pick pocketing small change from the bystanders as a voice is heard over the crowd a human calling out for people to join the competition with the prize of being a part of a guild that proved to be the guild of guilds. Without even questioning the man, a noble man Sir Tarquin Rose steps up with his squire, Pod Rick behind him, he looks at the list of events that ranged from each type of activity each guild would basically need upon reading though the list he eagerly wrote his name down for the combat event. Enticed by the reward a green Tiefling with orange hair boasts of his abilities and calls for the crowd to make way for this male Tiefling calling himself Melech. Even though there was some rather odd looks from the people around him they did move out of the way and some seem to have heard of his name before maybe it was from a tale in a tavern or word from far off village something to do with changing a law..?? Either way he stepped up and instantly put his name down for the archery. A female red Tiefling dressed in simple but spell caster like robes steps up and places her name, Megrim on the spell casting event. One-shoe sneakily placed his name down on the stealing event. At that very moment The next wave of participates had been called forth to enter the tall building behind a fenced off area near where the people had been signing up.

The tower stood in the center of the city in the middle of the central plaza, it has 4 spires sticking out of the top of each of the corners of the building, this building is used on the ground floor for communal and travel as there is  rooms with teleportation rituals and stones that go to many places there is 1 in each of the 4 pillars that go to the farthest capital cities on lands across the seas in each compass direction however those travels tend to cost a lot or discounted if on guild business. The crowd was lead down a corridor with several doors on either side each with an event name written on the top of the doors in common. The guide stops the crowd and raises his arms to the sides as he tells the group to disperse and head to the events they have put their names down for. As Sariel Galanoded approached the combat event door the attendants ushered the female elven cleric to join the group of people that was designated as healers to the side once all the people gathered inside their rooms the attendants gave the rules of the events the most common one is to not attack the people in white robes these are the designated healers and will save their lives in the worse case there is no outright killing allowed. 

With that we start with the Combat event for Sir Tarquin Rose point of view the room lit up and opened in to a circular arena style room although there was no audience in sight there was certainly sounds of them as the cheers rang out with the participates spreading out around the circle  sir Tarquin took his rapier from Pod Rick who held his items like a good squire before he got pulled away and the event began as a every man for themselves style combat. All the combatants eyed each other and seeing the noble standing out charged towards him but others took the opportunity to attack each other, in the confusion sir Tarquin stayed back and only engaged those that attacked him and won each fight without a fuss. Sariel rushed in with the rest of the healers as the bodies dropped and healed those that needed it and even dragging them out of the arena, this ensued until there stood Tarquin the last 1 standing barely but making it look easy.

In the mean time One-Shoe's room was more of a dark room set like a small alley of houses with a tower at the end the objective, to retrieve a Jewel at the end unaware to them there is traps along the way and fake walls blocking the sides off. Being the cautious gnome took his time and end doing so found most of the other in the traps set up, however it was not all fun as he got to the tower he came across old rivals, Halfling siblings Devina and Derrick Pipkin who had arrived at the base of the tower before him and the race between them to get the jewel ensured climbing up the outside of the tower and some quick footed moves, one-shoe managed to get around them, grabbed the jewel and headed back hastily down the tower wall again. Devina trying to give chase fell out of the tower window and landed on the  ground hard and Derrick in his climb down misplaced his hand on a fake foot hold also ended up meeting his sister on the ground. With several curse words being shouted at one-shoe in the distance, he carried on as fast as his gnome legs could take him to the finish line and hand over the jewel to the attendant to prove its the real thing securing his victory.

Over in the Spell casting event, well it became a blaze as the Tiefling Megrim pretty much destroyed everything with a fireball and burnt the contestants as well. Archery however started well based on a point score on the distance and where the arrows land determined who in the groups passed on eventually after a few thunderous sounds and gestures to try and put the competition off we got to the last 2 people, a blonde female Elf and the green Tiefling who seemed to be firing wildly or matching each other to try and make it seem like a challenge at this point with it dragged on long enough the other winners Sir Tarquin Rose, One-Shoe, Megrim, along with Sariel and a white tiefling with midnight blue hair made their way in with the main attendant to watch what was going on, eventually it was called a tie and Sir Tarquin and One-Shoe pulled out their crossbows and landed a bolt at the same time in almost the same spot on the same target that these 2 rangers had been struggling to hit just to show them up.

With these set of events completed they got called back in to the main room just down the corridor they had all been in moments before, to be told to appear here tomorrow for the next part of the events for now though go and enjoy the rest of the festival. For the rest of the night Sir Tarquin Rose and Pod Rick went to the Sailors Arms tavern close to the plaza but in the nobles section of the city. The noble's section runs from the west gate to the northern gate with the castle for the royalty of Elyisa resides towards the middle of the nobles section and  back in to the NW of the city. Enjoying a few tales and drinks more within the company of the noble men than the woman leaving Pod Rick to deal with them. Sariel went to the temple of Enthias 1 of the 4 temples in this city that was in the South East section which mainly houses crafters workshops  ie blacksmiths leather workers etc in that direction. She found a place to stay among the fellow holy people of her deity for the night. One-Shoe being from this city went to the Smoking Arms tavern that was in North, North East section just on the outskirt of the central plaza, a tavern he knows is relative safe for him to stay at just in case the Devina & Derrick came looking for him. 

Melech Found himself at the Midnight shake that was selling it's specialty, Earth Shaker drink, the green tiefling tried to woo a couple of elven ladies but using his cantrips to make his eyes glow red while talking to them, changed the mood he was going for, he pondered on why he had  failed to get any interest from them but never the less that did not stop him from enjoying the night drinking and again using the cantrip he made the ground shake for those nearby him while starting rumours about the drink in the tavern. Strangely that night he found a place to stay and while unaware of his efforts the barkeep gained a lot more profit than usual that night.

Sometime in the morning after getting breakfasts and sorting out hangovers they eventually made it to the front doors of the same tower in the middle of the central plaza that was now quiet with only a few people setting up their stalls for the day, the white tiefling female who had not spoken a word to anybody had already been there waiting against the wall for the people, as one-shoe turned up he stood against the wall next to her trying to imitate her. Sir Tarquin Rose without asking or waiting once he got there, pushed the door open to a unexpected seen. The corridor was dark, the lights had gone out and the smell of blood seemingly fresh was brought to them by the rush of air from the outside. Not fazed by this sight the noble man walked in followed by the rest of the winners from last night that had turned up. 

The walls had blood here and there and the door ways to the rooms the events had been held in was now walled up as if they hadn't been doors in the first place and there was no longer any room names above them. At the end of the corridor by the door to another room ahead of them, they came across a couple of people who seemed to be assessing the situation, well until Tarquin spoke up announcing their presence. There was a tense conversation between the human with a greataxe in his hands and the noble along the lines of what's going on here and if Tarquin and his group knew what was going on, which was then explained that there is several people inside holding an a valuable person hostage but before Tarquin could ask any more a female with a shortbow waved and the man with the greataxe busted in to the room the VIP was held behind a desk with his hands tied up behind his back and  the sharp edge of a longsword held across his neck with another human behind him holding the handle of that longsword.
To the back corner of the room was 2 people with shortswords rummaging through things and to the right poised to fire an arrow another person who shot and missed and was the target of the greataxe man. The rest of the group lead by Tarquin ran in as well, Sariel immediately cast hold person on the man with the longsword to the VIP which made him easy pickings for Tarquin and his rapier while one-shoe jumped between the 2 in the corner and the cleric helping out in melee, the white tiefling and Pod Rick stayed at the door and entangled the oncoming people from the outside. The Greataxe man felled the female shortbow person and as this happened a necklace broken on her, however Tarquin didn't notice this and when he eventually dispatched the person with the longsword who had no way to defend himself the necklace on him broke and right after that Tarquin stabbed him again to make sure he was dead. The greataxe man noticed this action and shouted out "what have you done? you've broken the rule…." and with that he attacked Tarquin and those of his group hearing this the other 2 that was the greataxe man also attacked the group. Noticing the light that had came from the necklaces upon the next person to go down the cleric realized these was necklaces of deathward warned the rest of the group to refrain from attacking them after the necklace broke.

As time progressed Pod Rick called out to those in the room that he could hear heavy footsteps heading in their direction but within a matter of seconds of the last 1 surrendering, one-shoe attempted to make an escape but ended up being pushed back in with the white tiefling and Pod Rick by the city guards which a member of the greataxe man's group had already sent for before the players group had appeared. The VIP had been freed and saved however breaking the rules of the trial and killed a person they was sent to the city jails with the after a brief conversation of what transpired his last words 'you attacked and killed as a group you shall take the punishment as a group'.

In separate cells and stripped of any weapons and items on them the 6 player characters finally get around to talking with each other and finding out who they each are, and that the wood elf Sariel has a hard to understand accent. A couple of guards walk in with the VIP from before who revealed he is the Grand Mage Reginald, part of the high council for the king and queen of Elysia and was helping run the guild of guilds festival which was held every few years to show case the guilds from over the kingdom of Arrun however they had disrupted a basic trial for a few of the low members of the Auric Claw and as such either enrol with them and be magically bound to that guild for killing one of their members or to stay here in jail and await the punishment for killing a 'defenceless' person as he was unable to fight back. After a few quick witted comments they agreed to join and as such was released and given back their gear and half of their money back as part of the penalty, then lead by the city guard to the Auric Claw's front in the city to the north edge of the central plaza. Sir Tarquin's squire Pod Rick had headed to their home to explain what's happened to Tarquin's father.

Inside they was greeted by a human male relaxing at the main desk who seemed a bit amused at the sight and quickly waved in a half orc by the name of Brutus to lead them the way. After going down a corridor and leaving the city guards at the main door they took a teleportation circle to another dark corridor that lit up by torches the moment somebody arrived one after another down the path and in to a large dark cavern with the rock flooring leading to a plateau in front of them. Slow heavy thud and then another made their way towards the group from the dark end of the cavern. A witty comment later from Tarquin and then a loud roar as a set of fangs snap shut in front of him as the sight of an ancient golden dragon suddenly emerged from the darkness of the cavern his body and claws resting on rock plateau before them.

A conversation was had and some annoyed tapping of claws to Tarquin's over joyous words of what he would do just too of met such a creature. The ancient golden dragon gave a brief explanation of what the bounty hunters guild does and that the contracts of the bounty are magically bound and as such a contract to fulfil however didn't say what would happen if it was broken, some contracts are requested by others for parts from creatures some are to kill creatures. special ones are given by him to protect the lands. However their contract is different to the other members because of the circumstances as such towards the end of the conversation his claw gestured over to the side as a blonde elven woman, the same one Melech had been having a competition with earlier that day, upon on him mentioning that she was a bad shot with bow, an arrow had suddenly passed by his head to prove a point before holding out the contract for them to sign. One after the other starting with Sir Tarquin they signed their names in full and upon the name being correct and completed in full it'd glow blue and a mark, the symbol of the guild was magically branded up on their right shoulder a circle with an open claw in the middle of it. One-Shoe had to put in his full real name as the name one-shoe didn't work. With them all now a part of the Auric Claw the ancient golden dragon turned to head back in to the darkness of the cavern leaving with the following words 'Welcome to the Auric Claw…. Brutus show them to the proving grounds'. The golden ancient dragon had refused to give his name when Sariel had asked what to call him only to be told 'that name has to be earned'.

The group noticed on Brutus the same symbol however there was a couple of marks under the symbol representing that he was a higher rank within the guild, after passing back through the teleportation circle and entering another area that seemed more like an actual guild hall with a mixed bunch of dwarfs humans half orcs, tieflings etc drinking playing cards. a few eyes watched them pass by while there was a few happy welcomes from others always happy for fresh meat. Finally being lead to an open pit with cage doors lining the walls and members of the guild in the stands above and without warning once the group was in the pit the 1st cage was opened, a low growl emitted out from the cage dead ahead of them as a creature with a big human like face with a lot of sharp teeth, lion like mane and body, with wings, and a tail with many spikes. A Manticore came charging out and attacked Sir Tarquin Rose as he was ahead of the group and taking the full brunt of the attacks allowing one-shoe to get around to flak behind and the others to range the creature took it down with relative ease, but with no time for a breather now as another two cages opened, one on either side of the first cage and two more Manticore's stalked out slowly this time these creatures kept their distance and ranged the group flinging spikes from their tails to the group.

It was a tough fight and having been tired from the previous fights that day didn't help but with a team effort and focusing on one at a time they managed to prevail although bloodied and spiked to a bad state at the end of it. The members that watched from above cheered and welcomed them as they had now proven they are at least strong enough to survive that encounter, they are now treated as members of the guild and are greeted to drinks and friendly faces from the fellow guild members and allowed to stay in the many rooms here free of charge now, if they are empty which they do so to recover and rest to see what tomorrow brings. 

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