Trouble Brewing

Alain's Journal - Current Studies 1

I’m almost reaching conclusions with several arcane studies. Both spells originated from the native practices of Rhythia, and I trust that both will prove effective in this current mystery here in Thornhold.

Shadow Serpent: emphasis on third somatic sequence & slightly less hiss on first verbal sussuration…

Float: don’t forget the hop at the end!

Also, I think I can find a way to safely attach Alchemist’s Fire/Frost/Acid to arrows & bolts with a little more experimenting. Not that I use a bow, however, it could bring in a little extra gold.
Supplemental: Very close to completing Tanglefoot formula. Need to get into University library for “Vyren’s Alchemy vol. 4”.

Rowan thinks that fellow “Rambo” is pretty “awesome”.... I guess it’s a Dragonborn thing. I wish he’d stop complaining about his new body, it was his choice to come back in the first place.

Spotted some Amanita growing by the courtyard fountain! I can get down to some serious work on that infuriatingly complex healing poultice recipe..

Bizarre Hobgoblin shapeshifter.. perhaps caused by disease, or possibly cursed. Which is the original form, or is it a unique species? Definitely a top research priority when I’m allowed back in the University.

Alain's Journal - Day 2

What a good rest, I recommend this B&B to anyone who’s willing to pay the 15 gold a night.

So, setting out to continue our investigation, I notice that the Inn we stayed at in the past has changed. No external decor, save for a small sign emblazoned with a jawless skull. Curious, I knock, and a voice on the other side asks our business. Warryn, in an impressive display of wordcraft, convinces the doorman, and everyone else in the place that we are part of this apparently secret meeting among the higher echelon members of the half-skull gang, and a manifestation of their boss, accompanied by the same mysterious symbol that was on the burn victims. The people in the room are ordered to go back through the portal, retrieve the spectrograph, and kill the carrier. Deceiving one of the two groups of leaders on a wild goose chase, we run hot on the heels of the Elf and his coterie of Lizardfolk bodyguards.

After killing one of the lizardmen in the dark of night, we entered the same Inn. Spotting some young gang-members, Warryn and I form a plan to get info on the carrier from them. Laying an illusory half-skull tattoo on the gnome’s arm, while he trapped them in threats and deceit, the young men told him that a boy named Revin has the device. A visit to the boy’s house reveals an empty room, and a clueless grandmother, though she says that he frequents the courtyard barricade often. We found the boy impaled on the barricade, and after distracting the guards, we deduce that the Elf killed him, took the Spectrograph, and returned to the present. After a hectic chase through the market district, we lost him…

Returning to Orin’s home, we find the place empty.. I do find a secret door in the residue-stained wall, and stairs leading down to a hidden subterranean lab. I find a veritable hoard of alchemical supplies; I’ll sort through them later, and three Spectrographs!!! Curious at this new development, we all delve deeper in this tunnel complex. We find Phillip, vivisected on a slab, with some strange notes regarding a parasitic host experiment..? Further within, Lucious slices through a soft section of ceiling, and discovers a way to the courtyard in present-day. Interesting. Deeper in the tunnels, we enter a large cave, with a rune bedecked altar. It’s origin is unknown to me, but I can sense a power about it. We battle a trio of fiendish Hyenas, and a bizarre shapeshifting Hobgoblin. I sure hope we don’t have to encounter another one of those vicious and unpredictable creatures. It seems that our initial goal of finding this device is solved, but why did those people have to burn? What is the gang / cult really up to?

After the tense battle, we proceeded to investigate the strange pool of viscous gray muck taking up a large area of the cave. After summoning an Unseen Servant to dig through the slime, a host of bizarre alien Fell Taints emerged! Barely achieving victory with our minds intact, we drove on through the darkened corridor from whence the Hyenas came. Soon after, we arrived in Orin’s secret workshop, lit only by a brilliant blue light emanating from a teleportation circle flanked by two large brass tables. Investigating a large bookshelf on the left wall, we were nearly crushed as the Elf and his remaining Lizardfolk servant pushed the bookcase over. I received a nasty blow to the shoulder, and was scorched by that treacherous little Gnome bastard when he slipped out from under a table. Poor Warryn was nearly rent asunder by the Elf’s twin blades, yet we carried swift vengeance upon all, including Orin, as he made an attempt to escape from us.

Lucious heard scuffling and voices from the tunnel, and we quickly pursued them to the courtyard. After some searching, we ended up at the door of an out-of-breath Tiefling. With careful negotiation, he let us in his home, and admitted his spying on us. To complete the revelation, the Tiefling “Mercy”, told us that he was responsible for killing the Eye servants at the burned home, and him being the leader of the Half-Skulls. According to him, his gang has been trying to eradicate the Eyes from within, posing as innocent hired muscle for the nefarious cabal. He asked for our help in strengthening their numbers to take this cult down, however, it meant we would have to join him. I disagreed completely, joining a gang of savage cretins and lowly ragamoffins is a preposterous idea. With a lengthy debate, Warryn and Mercy convinced me to join, for the good of Thornhold. I’m still unhappy with this whole ordeal, Mercy has sent us to Rhythia to find recruits, seeing as how I spent 4 years there….

Alain's Journal - Day 1

What a horrible day it has been. My first day back in Thornhold after 4 years of fruitless travel, and I’m welcomed back with not so much as a bow from the gate guard. To think that they would forget the proper respect due to a member of House Azuril! To add to such nonsense, I find that the first tavern I walk into is about as clean as a Rhythian fisherman’s galley. Complete with a sputtering imbecile of a beggar at the door.

This is when the fun begins. Three guards walk in, demanding that a robed Tiefling accompany them to a crime-scene. Unwittingly, they drag me into it as well, even after explaining that I have no relation with the swordsman! An annoying Gnome Bard ‘detective’ and his giant, inebriated Dragonborn friend come too. After examining the charred remains in a burnt house, we discover a silvery residue on the bodies, accompanied by a bizarre symbol branded to their foreheads. My knowledge extended far enough to identify the substance as alchemical in nature, but nothing more. It was at my revelation of this fact that one of the guards pointed us in the direction of an uptown alchemist by the name of Orin.

After a truly barbaric threat at Orin’s door by Thael, the alchemist quickly let us in his dwelling. After explaining our situation, the gnome told us that the substance is produced by a device called a Spectrograph, and revealed that a spectrograph of his was stolen 3 moons previous. As Orin pushed us out, I noticed that more of that silvery substance was all over one of the walls. Maybe something to ask about later…

After Warryn convinced the guard, Phillip, to stand guard over Orin, we proceeded to investigate for leads, and ended up in the Street of Red Lanterns, inquiring about the mystical half-skull goblin gang. After some deft verbal maneuvering by Warryn, we entered the inner sanctum of the gang’s domain to meet the boss. All was going smoothly, until the same bum at the tavern burst in, armed to the teeth and sheathed in iron scales. A fight ensued, and in the scuffle, I was pushed through a kind of portal to a sunlit courtyard. We slew every aggressive goblin, and after a time it became clear to us that the portal crossed the bridge of time itself, taking us some 40 years in the past!

Upon investigating, we discovered that the half-skull gang was still active, yet still a fledgling organization, comprised solely of local human citizens, young and impressionable. Lucious, the avenger, slipped into the dark of night to spy on a meeting by the courtyard. Chased by guards, Lucious was in dire straits, but we got away in time and barely escaped them with our lives. We returned to the present, and things were the same, except that nobody in the club recognized us… strange considering we very recently killed a lot of their buddies. After resting for a bit, Lucious relayed to us his findings.. he witnessed a robed figure ordering the gang to start recruiting from the more savage races since the gang isn’t growing fast enough. He also approached one of the youths and gleaned from him information regarding the spectrograph & that it has been used in this time period. Lucious says he killed the boy in self-defense.. but I’m not so sure about that.

This has intrigued me immensely. I can feel something big coming from this, and how ironic that I have found more adventure and more promise of power, after 4 years abroad, in the very place I left!


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.