“We are mercenaries, all of us, but only a precious few have honesty enough
to admit it. Whether we sell ourselves for coin, for honor, or ideals, we all have a
price whose continued payment leads us inevitably to our end. But when that
end comes, will you admit to your balance sheet? Or will you lie when you claim
that the blood on your hands was spilled for just cause, not simply your hunger
for glory?”





A Handful of Heroes...
A city in need of help...
A few bad guys causing trouble...
...and a Destiny to unfold...



This is the story of the rise of new heroes during a time of crisis and a clashing of gods.

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Modra and the Wraiths
The song crescendos as the paladins charge into the white marbled room.

"Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory
Of The Coming Of Pelor!
He Shall Trample Out The Temple
Full Of Wraiths That We Deplore!
We Shall Loose The Fateful Radiance
Of Our Right And Holy Swords!
His Truth Goes Marching On!"


Even from her near-death state, Patience moans with a new agony as their song reaches her ears. "No! Not THEM!" she thinks...

Those who are still fighting are glad to see the cavalry arrive.

The battle has now turned, but only moments before, things were at their darkest.

Tiiren had just fallen under the psychic screams of the mad wraith and the ghostly claws of another. He slumped between the wheels of the cart, and was pulled under it by a pair of small, dark hands.

In the confusion of the battle hymn, radiant blasts of power, and screaming wraiths, Modra darts from under the cart, now carrying the portal key. He wisps in a flurry of cloak and ethereal shadows, around the teleportation portal toward the other room where the shadowfell gate stands dark and ready for him.

He dodges arrows launched by Quinn, sneers at the fallen body of Patience, then laughs as he inserts the key, activates the portal, and steps through the shadows. He is gone.

Where did things go wrong? It was Modra.

<rewind>





Bharhash pushes the doors to the White Temple in. Modra stands at the portal whispering to it, trying to get it to open. He sees the intruders and spins into a whirlwind of shadow and vanishes.

A moment later, his voice echoes in the chamber, summoning the guardians of the portal to attack the heroes.

Wraiths pour from the boiling shadows of the portal and whoosh toward the party. Mad whispers begin to fill the room. Tiiren steps forward, raising his holy symbol, and challenges them with his holy retribution. He drives back several of them as they cower from his radiant faith.

The other wraiths attack and surge toward the heroes. Quinn devises an instant plan to evacuate and escape through the shadar-kai teleportation portal. He retreats and prepares covering fire.

Modra's voice whispers to him from behind, and sharp blades find their marks between his armor's protection. "Give me the key and I shall call off the wraiths and spare you a terrible doom."

Quinn turned him down, and the dark one's blades went snicker-snack. Quinn, fell bleeding to the floor. Modra snapped, "Then I shall search you for the key myself. And if you don't have it, I shall search your friend's corpses as each of them falls in turn!"

Gralamin and their new ranger friend, Reniss, descended on Modra as well, trying to save Quinn and fight him back.



But this also left fewer in the other room to defend against the vicious wraiths.



The fight went from bad to worse, with Modra holding his own and the wraiths gutting the others in the next room.

Again, Modra vanished into a swirl of wispy shadows, but the wraiths followed Tiiren as he retreated back into the other room to help heal Quinn while escaping the maddening whispers from the Seething Wraith.

This left Bharhash and Patience in the White Temple against the rest of them, and it looked to be a losing fight.



Patience fell, and Bharash retreated hoping to draw the wraiths away from her so they could not turn her into one of their own. But even he was overcome by the wraiths a they swarmed him with their icy claws.



The vile undead seems to regenerate, if that is even possible, unless radiant powers were used against them. The battle was clearly lost, and it was only a matter of time before all of them were overcome by the shadowgate guardians. Tiiren mad a desperate move into the thick of it, to try to raise Bharhash back to consciousness, but he himself was overcome by the wraiths, and Bharhash fell again as well.

Tiiren's body slumped by the cart, and all seemed lost.

What is that? Singing?

Session: Facing Modra and the Wraiths - Sunday, Sep 25 2011 from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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I'm sick of the stench of...
I'm sick of the stench of cities. I can't remember the last time I slept under the stars. I've had to be lenient with filthy necromancers, endure the tone-deaf noise of Pelor's faithful...and now there are wraiths. I hate wraiths. Modra will pay!

Begging Melora's pardon. My teachers always did say my name didn't suit me.
Session: On the Trail of Modra - Sunday, Sep 11 2011 from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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Hunting Modra
The Defenders, and Reniss, toured the Happy Beggar looking for signs of Modra. It seems that all of them were a little put off by the excessive piety of the proprietors, Preshant and Ausma, retired Paladins of Pelor.



After talking briefly with a nasty, coughing old man named Branat, Gralamin learned a little more about Modra, as this Branat seems to be the only person here to know of him...and he was pretty free with advice about him. Branat was a mercenary as well, "back in the day" and killed a few Dark Creepers as a sellsword for many a lord. He gave some free advice to kill Modra quickly if they find him. Make no bargains with him as he will simple use the opportunity to kill them.

But more interesting was that Branat disclosed that he thought Modra had not been around for at least 2 years, but back when he did come here, it was to confer in secret meetings with cohorts...in the cellar.

Gralamin tossed the old man a few silver coins, which seemed to excite him and give him ideas for how spend them. He got up and slowly started to totter about. The Defenders gathered outside to discuss the new information, and waited a bit for the old man to come outside, but he never did. When they went back in, they examined the celler, where the kitchen is, and looked more closely at a caved in side room. Tiiren discerned that the stones were not all as they would be from a natural cave-in and suggested that they had been placed in such a way by hand on purpose. Sure enough one large slab, carefully balanced, swung to the side revealing a narrow passageway behind.

They followed it and at a steep slope at the end, Tiiren and Patience slid down the last 10 feet or so, ending in a heap at the bottom. They were now in a dark cave lit only by the floating lantern Quinn had sent ahead.

The cave was home to 4 shadow hunter bats that attacked them immediately with swooping fly-by attacks. They eventually defeated them, and made a zip-line to get to the lower part of the cave to avoid the Deathspore Mushrooms that covered the cliff-side.

Further down the cave, the walls turned to well-hewn walls with marble floors. At a corner Gralamin spied ahead and found a room that looked to have once been an ancient temple of some sort, but now seem to be used as some sort of transfer station. In the center of the room was an active teleportation portal of some sort. Crates and barrels were stacked here and there, and 3 Dark Creepers and a Shadar-kai woman were trying to push a cart with 2 shadow hounds caged in it through the portal.

Content to stay hidden and allow that to happen, the hounds topped the cage and broke out. No longer trapped by the enchantment of the cage, they teleported away and the Dark Creepers vanished into shadow. The hounds tried to flee up the hallway where the heroes were hiding, and they attacked them.



The fight was a lot harder against these teleporting hounds than the bats, but it was not long before they had killed one, and then the other. But no sooner had they done that, then the witch stepped around the corner and commanded her minions to kill the intruders as she blasted necrotic fire up at Patience.



One Dark Creeper appears out of nowhere and snatched the floating lantern into his robes, snuffing the light and leaving everyone else in pitch black. The other two Creepers used the moment to attack two others.



Gralamin pulled out a sunrod and lit it...so the game was on. The party quickly combined on them and brought them down with some great moves. Bharhash charged forward after his foe was toppled and threatened the witch. So she started a strategic retreat back into the temple.

They all pressed her, and when she fully routed, they cut her down before she could reach the portal to escape.



After a short rest, they checked the door on the far side of the room. They could not hear anything, so Bharhash shoved the doors open. They found two other portals in this room. One against the wall, inert, and the other roiling with shadows like smoke in a wind storm. At the portal another Dark Creeper was whispering to it, but turned to see the heroes enter, and he vanished. Echoing in the chamber, the heroes heard the incantation that brought the portal to life enough to summon 6 wraiths that came through and immediately flew toward the heroes to attack...
Session: On the Trail of Modra - Sunday, Sep 11 2011 from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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The Heroes of Overlook
Back in Overlook, having returned with most of the troops from Bordrin's Watch, were given high praise, medals, and 1000 g.p. award for their bravery and heroism in saving Overlook and Vale from the Tusk's Orc Horde.

Not interested in falling into boredom, the group was back to roaming the city looking for trouble. Gralamin and Quinn went to check out that suspicious looking "Grey Redoubt" in Shantytown, while Tiiren headed off the Temple of Bahamut to get some rest and prayer in. Bharhash joined him. Benn stayed behind that the room at Potifer's to work out selling all the unwanted treasures for gold.

On the way out to the Grey Redoubt, Gralamin and Quinn meet Patience s paladin also interested in finding out more about this odd structure and its inhabitant, Rufus Crumley, a known necromancer. Patience is ultimately concerned for the "rightness" of not letting the dead bodies return to the earth from whence they came. Gralamin is concerned with a potential undead threat rising against the city.

Gralamin knocks at the door as the paladin approaches. No one answers, so he thinks to leave and return later, but Patience (who doesn't seem to really have any...at all) challenges him. Some witty banter goes back and forth when suddenly a chamber bot empties from above, splashing near enough to get them both before they could move out of the way.

Gralamin, of course, sees this as an invite into the tower "to return what as lost from the upper window" so he makes quick work of the locked door and enters. Patience is right behind him.

Inside the dark ground-floor chamber, the dark shadows shroud a single humanoid form standing but slouched. It does not respond to Gralamin's greeting. Instead a voice yells from up the stairs for them to leave, that they have no business there, and should leave, or there will be trouble.

But that is precisely why they went there in the first place, no? Quinn prepared an arrow from outside, just in case.

The necromancer is an older man, decrepit with age, but halfway there. He told came halfway down the stairs in his black robes and angry red face. He challenged their reasons for barging in, saying that they were obviously trespassing on private property and should not have been close enough to his tower to get splashed from above. He demanded they leave under their own power immediately, or he would have them assisted.

They cautiously agreed, when on command "Tom" lurched into a slow, mechanical motion toward the door. They backed out, covered by Quinn, and Tom closed the door and apparently slumped against it.

They decided to wait around until after dark and see what kinds of things Rufus was up to. Meanwhile across the city, Tiiren took the magic Kukri and tried to sell it. He was frustrated that no one wanted to give him what it was worth, but he finally sold it for just barely over half its value. The Freemarket's a bugger, yes?

After several hours passed, and the sun had set, two men pulling and handcart approached the Grey Redoubt. One tentativly knocked and the door opened a few minutes later. Rufus paid the main with a small bag, and after checking it, the two men unloaded to body-sized cloth bags through the front door, dropping one of them due to nerves.

The three were watching from nearby and approached to confront Rufus. He declared that the transaction was perfectly legal, and these cadavers were to be used in his theoretical studies. They were purchased from the Stone Anvil fair and square. The heroes, rather than raise the ire of the old man any further at the moment, decided to check his story at the Stone Anvil and return again if he was found to be lying.

On the way back they passed near Poliver's so they decided to stop in. The cleric had already returned to their room, and found Benn absent. He did a quick check and found most of the treasures had been sold, and the money was distributed in a sack to each of their lockers.

Tiiren went back outside to look for Benn but was stopped by the doorman who gave him the brass key they had found. He said Benn had left in a big hurry, but gave him this with instructions to give it to someone else from his group when they returned.

Tiiren met the others as they walked up and told the mysterious story. They checked out the room again and found a scorch march by the window from a magic missile spell, and the window was ajar. Bharhash looked outside and said that it looked as though someone had been pushed from the window. He leapt out onto the slanted rooftop and skittered down, finding a torn piece of clothing caught on a nail as he went. The others went out the more traditional way, and met him at the side of the building.

The clothing was not Benn's, and it appeared that the body of whoever fell was dragged away for a shot distance before tracks were lost.

Gralamin employed a new trick he learned recently, and summoned a small spirit to track Benn down and report to him his location. They continued their search in the surrounding area until the spirit returned and directed them to a place, an alley, in the Tradestown District.

When they arrived they were ambushed by Lost Ones thugs.



Patience and Bharhash made quick work of the first berserker, bloodying him together in the first moments of the fight.

He was finished off while the other engaged Tiiren and Gralamin. Gralamin and Bharhash moved toward crossbowmen who were hiding behind barrels and a wagon across the alley. A wizard also popped out from around a corner and started firing magic missiles that Bharhash. The crossbowmen dropped their crossbows and hoisted polearms instead, both swinging with deadly accuracy. Between the wizard's attack, and two nasty halberd swings, he was dropped to the ground unconscious.



Unable to break away from his melee to help, Tiiren kept trading blows with the berserker while Quinn fired on all enemies from his vantage point.



The guards began to advance, jeering that at least his friends put up a better fight than the stupid wizard did. They prefer the challenge rather than such an easy kill as he was. This angered everyone, of course, and the backlash was more than the guards bargained for.

The berserker took some big hits from Tiiren and Patience, and before he fell made some kind of remark that the stupid key was not worth all this. That raised a couple of eyebrows as well. Had Benn left the key behind for them because he knew these guys were after it?

Gralamin moved up to attack the wizard and took a swift kick from the big horse that was nervous as could be by all the violence in the alley. That hurt, and by the time the wizard has retreated back up the alley and fired another MM at him, Gralamin was teetering on the edge of consciousness as well. So he use an opportune time to teleport and run to cover in a dark corner behind barrels where he tried to get his Second Wind and recover a little.



Quinn helped down another guard, and miraculously, Bharhash pulled himself to his hands and knees, shaking off the shroud of unconsciousness by himself. No doubt Kord called him back to battle.



But the wizard returned to zap again from around the corner, so after dropping the last of the guards, the others closed in on him. He was getting ready to run, but Gralamin pulled another teleport out of his hat and appeared right next to him with a readied Icy Shard.

This left the wizard himself teetering on the edge, so Patience stepped forward and solidly punched him in the nose. He dropped like a sack of potatoes.



They tied him up, and brought him back around to give them answers. He was only able to tell them what he knew, that the Lost Ones were hired by someone named Modra to retrieve a brass they. They were welcome to keep any and all other treasure and magic found on their bodies.

He would not tell them anything about the Lost Ones, knowing he would be killed for doing so, so rather than kill him they dragged him to the city guard.

From that point, a duel-purposed investigation began: Find out who Modra is, and find out why this key is so important to him.

They were able to learn through various means that Modra is a dark creeper and an arms broker. He has been seen a few months ago asking to buy information from people who knew about the mines under the Stonehome Mountains. He was also more recently seen in Overlook about a week ago. But rumor has it he has gone into hiding because a deal of some kind had gone bad.

They also learned that Modra was not the one in charge, but that there was another power behind him that was feeding weapons to many small cults like the Red Hand of Doom, someone that no one has seen or dealt with and probably never would. Dark purposes are in motion though, and the feeling is that Tusks's offensive was small potatoes compared to what else is to come...

As they continued their search they discovered they were being followed by someone cloaked in green and leather. Quinn and Bharhash snuck around to the flank while she followed the others while Gralamin led everyone into the Tombs.

At the temple of the Raven Queen there, they confronted their tail. Quinn spun the cloaked ranger around and met the woman who introduced herself as Reniss, face to face.

Session: SoW: Heroes of Overlook - Sunday, Aug 21 2011 from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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The Mark of Kord
I have felt changes within since the time we defeated the troll and orcs between the Vents and the Nexus. The God of Storms and Battle, has filled my mind with pictures, war songs, and his mark has appeared on my scales. His thunder has shaken me...and bolstered me.

New breath has formed within me. Storm breath of lightning. It is amazing...and Kord has granted me a Divine Boon for my bravery in battle.

This should be interesting...I am dragonborn anew.
Session: The Vents - Sunday, Jun 05 2011 from 12:00 AM to 7:00 AM
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