House Ravenlocke

The Cliffs of Insanity!!!
A deadly struggle on the edge of the precipice

A the edge of the stormy sea our heros arrive just in time to save Yargos Gill and his three friends from the Tavern from certain death in the rough seas at the foot of the cliff outside of Absalom.

Returning to the city, they spot the signal to the first stage of the Silent Tide Operations. Six flashes from a red lamp from the steeple of an ancient temple. Mastiah takes the form of an eagle and flies to warn the Duke. Lem and Tiberius use magic to fly to the temple and apprehend the signaller. Fod, Gavrus and Wu ride like the wind to the Granary to stop the poisoning of the city’s grain reserves.

Lem and Tiberius arrive only to find that the signaller is long gone and the Temple has lost one guard.

Fod, Gavrus and Wu arrive to find the dead and wierdly murdered corpses of the granary guards and the door to the granary open. A heavy fog lays about the Granary and it’s environs. Within the building they are attacked by the hideous undead Operatives of the Siltent Tide. A Salt Mummy, a Drowned, a Boneclaw and an Entropic Reaper. Fod and Gavrus are brought low before Lem and Tiberius arrive to turn the tide. The battle is joined on all sides and despite the healing potions administered, Fod is once again slain and on the heals of that tragedy, Tiberius is found and destroyed by the Agent Xaphos the Drowned Assassin and the Agent Kevros the Forsaken, the accursed Salt Mummy. Gavrus and Wu wisely flee to find re-inforcements and Lem el’ Set flies to safety and spies upon the acts of the undead agents.

Mastiah Tane arrays the Watch footmen of the Duke and prepares to go forth to the granary when Wu and Gavrus arrive and explain the horror of the situation there. Lem retrieves the bodies of Fod Dur and Tiberius Zaxtonia and burns them to prevent them from becoming undead. Returning to the Dukes Manor after retrieving all of Fod and Tiberius’ gear.

Losses are mourned and the Dukes Men prepare for the next stage:

THE BURNED MAN OF THE SIPHONS

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The River Pirates / Homecoming / The Silent Tide affair
Terror from the Sea

Upon return to the town of Marian Leigh on the banks of the Moldavian River that borders southern Canterwall, Gregor Moldavi, a barge-man, approaches the party as representatives of the Duke. He tells of how he and two other river-plying tradesmen have suffered at the hands of a band of River Pirates who have stolen the harvests that they carry for nearby villages and ranches. These shipments are part of the trade that the Duke collects his taxes from and so by extension, these riverbank scoundrels are also stealing from the Duke’s coffers as well. Naturally our heroes aren’t going to let that sit by and they make plans to accompany the bargeman and ambush the pirates. The plan comes together and they do indeed fall under attack. Their counter-attack is swift and the River Raiders are soon dispatched. Questioning the survivors, they discover that they are in possession of a back of new-minted Chelaxian gold. A suspicious clue when Ravenlocke is constantly under attack by the wily House Vorstagg of Cheliax. The dukes men return to Marian Leigh, turn the captured river-pirates in to the authorities and collect the Widow Anna and her daughter and the new Worg-pup and head for Ardis and the Lightning Rail.

Returning home, our heroes settle back into their daily routines in service of House Ravenlocke. The Duke is pleased with their success and agrees to take the widow and her daughter into his household as servants, under the proviso that they be the wards and responsibility of Fod Dur. He also grants the Worg a place in his kennels so long as he can be kept under control and not endanger the rest of the duke’s hunting dog pack.

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The 3-eyed hunting horror / Against the Dog of the Witch Queen
Hunted by the Headhunter, The Giant awaits

Game Time: Starday, 4th of Rova, 4708 A.R.

Picking up the trail of the Raiders, the Duke’s Men carry on through the woods. Near mid-day an exodus of forest animals catches the attention of the Druid who mystically speaks with a fleeing squirrel and finds that man leather clad bowmen are approaching from the north. Guessing these to be the raiders, they set an ambush and as the Hunting Party passes, they strike. They strike down the Rangers and Rogues quite handily at first. The Druid’s Wolverine form leaps upon a wounded and fleeing Red-Shoulder Ranger and bears him to the ground mauling him into unconsciousness. Gavrus Firth, The Ustalavi Inquisitor handily guns down two more of the brigands. Wu the Monk of exotic Tien Xia unleashes attacks with blinding speed against the hunting host, smashing them with fist and foot. However, when the Shoanti Tribesman Carl Three Eyes quite nearly kills the Druid in his Wolverine wildshape, the party recognizes the serious threat bring their most powerful attacks to bear on the evil savage. Fod sunders his shamanic scythe and deftly avoids his vorpal Tomahawk, hacking the wily cannibal grievously as he tries to make his escape. And Tiberius the House Wizard unleashes a powerful Lightning Ball and fells him to the forest floor. The Duke’s Men emerge victorious! The four surviving Bandits are taken prisoner and Gavrus demands they take them to their encampment. The first refuses, terrified of the horrid, bloody vengeance that their leader, Torak the Dog of the Witch Queen will mete out on them if they betray him. Gavrus spares his life and questions the next prisoner. This hardened tough wont talk. Fod Dur brings out the barely conscious but still alive Carl Three Eyes, condemns him for his crimes against the duke and bloodily beheads him right in front of the captives. Still the laconic Bandit wont talk. Gavrus kills the taciturn first prisoner and offer the second one last chance to speak and to lead them to their Chieftain. He refuses again and is killed for his loyalty to the evil barbarian. One prisoner remains and he has a change of heart, re-evaluating the wisdom of his association with the Forest Raiders and agrees to help the Duke’s men if they will spare his life. Gavrus agrees not to kill him but advises that he will still be given over to the authorities for judgment though he promises to speak on the prisoner’s behalf for leniency in return for the help he will give them. The party rests and just past the witching hour that night, they make their way through the dark woods at night to arrive at the bandit camp in the darkness before the dawn.

The Raider’s fortified encampment is built with clever defenses. An oily moat surounds a terraced, defensible zigurrat with impeding hindrances and traps built in along it’s ramped ingress. Tiberius cloaks Gavrus in a glammer that changes his appearance to that of a Red Shoulder Ranger. Fod and the prisoner approach the encampment in the open calling for help and announcing that pursuers are on their heels. Tiberius takes to the air in magical flight as the Druid shifts into a Falcon and alights to scout the area as well. Fod and Lei Wu sneak in under the cover of a solid fog spell. Tiberus is narrowly missed by a hurled boulder that flies from out of nowhere and in response he explodes the camp-top with an enourmous fireball, blasting off the hide tents of the raiders and setting alight the stores of their ill-gotten loot.

Torak continues to fling boulders at the heroes, protected by a powerful invisibility dweomer and eventually is revealed by Mastiah’s simple Faerie Fire spell. Then the true battle begins in earnest. Torak disarms Fod with a boulder, pinning his sword to the ground. Lei Wu attacks in a blinding flurry of snake fist techniques and Gavrus unloads blunderbuss barrells and revolver shots into the giant with lightning speed. Torak reassesses the battle and leaps for a lower level of the ziggurat. Fod, hot on his heels, charges and attempts to tackle him and drag him down into the moat but it surprised to find that the hulking Viking possesses the strength of a giant and is nonplussed by his attack. The Druid collapses the earthen rampart of the ziggurat ramp tumbling the Dog of the Witch Queen into the moat. Fod Dur grapples the Dog and holds him in the water as fire is rained down on the moat, igniting the oil on the surface and finally killing the northman. The group gives a sigh of relief.

In the aftermath, the pillaged tradegoods stolen fromt he villagers are returned with the help of a wagon and the last Brigand prisoner is brought back to the village for trial. Despite Gavrus Firth’s request for leniency, the villagers are out for vengeance for their many dead and he is summarily hung and burned to ash to the satisfaction of the Ustalavi peasants.

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Into the Dark Forest
Led into the shadows by a villainous prisoner

Game Time: Wealday, 9th of Rova, 4708 A.R.

Mopping up the Bandit Raiders with aplomb our heroes turn back the horde in the burning fields and even manage to capture one of their number alive for questioning. Fortunately, the Duke’s own Inquisitor has this line of work well in hand.

What Luck! The man they have captured is a Ranger and among the only members of the Bandit Gang that could possibly lead them back to the Raiders encampment. After a good night’s rest and the laying the rest (and by that I mean complete and thorough burning) of the slaughtered victims of the Bandits, they see to the welfare of a widow and her daughter, pledging to secure them a place in the Dukes household as servants. Next they purchase the now-ownerless home of another of the Bandit’s victims as a ‘base of operations’, and with the purchase of a few more arrows from the Village’s hunters, they are off in to the Black Forest of Ustalav. With the serious warning of the Inquisitor about the sort of fate they can expect while wandering in these shadowed and haunted woods ringing in their ears.

The wily Ranger tries to lead them to the lair of a pack of Worgs whose alpha male he has befriended some years ago and one of whose pups he now raises as a one-day animal companion back at their camp. But the party is too fast for him and stymies his plan.

Game Time: Fireday, 11th of Rova, 4708 A.R.

After a night’s camping in the forest, they start off on their second day and soon find themselves in an uncannily quiet place. The very trees come to life and the towering colossi attack them, shattering their steel weapons with almost supernatural blows. These ancient defenders of the wood will brook no trespass of man’s hated steel in their holy grove. Only when they bring to heel the grottoes millennial Tree-Ent guardian and make gestures to amend for their trespass are they treated to some of the ancient arboreal shepherd’s gathered treasures from a hundred fallen travelers. Securing a Javelin of lightning that once belonged to a Centaur hero in a bygone age.

They leave that shadowed ruin of a forgotten age and make their way, minus their only guide through the wood who died in the fracas with the tree-guardians, deeper into the forest. With no way of knowing where they now must go…

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Your First Call to Glory
Bandit Raiders in the Dark Forests of Ustalav

Game Time: Wealday, 2nd of Rova, 4708 A.R.

Called from your daily duties to a special audience with the Duke. You are tasked to travel to far away Ustalav, the storied kingdom of dark forests and black mountains haunted by werewolves, vampires and packs of ferocious worgs and dire wolves. The duke’s farmlands are under assault by a band of vicious, plundering raiders who burn and destroy what they don’t loot. Your service to your lord shall be bringing to justice these horrible brigands.

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The Back-Story
Ravenlocke's Story

House Ravenlocke has entered it’s second generation after beign established by then-Duke Victor Ravenlocke of Andoran in 4669AR. Victor’s son Kastan exceeded all expectation and grew to be an intelligent, resourceful, courageous, heroic warrior even exceding his father. In 4690 he succeeded his father as Duke and ruler of the House and quickly won his Noble House’s place in Andoran politics by strength of arm and nobility of deed in the Third Mendevian Crusade.

Kastan’s hereditary fortune and cadre of world-class advisers and agents continue to keep House Ravenlocke popular despite the ever-present rivalry and machinations of the notorious House Vorstagg of Cheliax.

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