Between the eastern edge of the Great Forest and the Torgen Mountains lies a dangerous and desolate region known as the Deadlands. This area is littered with scattered ruins and inhabited by creatures that defy death itself – the undead!
These unholy legions are said to serve a powerful master, a centuries-old lich known as Vedroth. The lich-lord inhabits a towering citadel located deep within the Deadlands. Simply reaching the Citadel of the Dead is a dangerous proposition, and few adventurers are brave enough to make this journey.
The Lockenport Irregulars have been commissioned to send a group of adventurers to undertake a scouting and surveillance mission to the Citadel of the Dead.
The sponsor of this mission is Karaden Greshtik, one of Lockenport's most powerful merchants. According to his intelligence reports, the lich-lord Vedroth recently left his lair and travelled with a large contingent of his undead followers to a location in the Torgen Mountains. While he is away, Greshtik wishes to gather information about Vedroth's lair.
This assignment requires that the candidates travel across the Deadlands to the Citadel of the Dead. Once there, they are to gather strategic information about the tower. More information on exactly what this entails will be provided during the mission briefing. Irregulars with skills suited to scouting and surveillance will be useful, as will those who can protect their companions from undead creatures.
A generous purse of 3000 gp is offered for this mission. Alternatively, Greshtik has offered to have a magic item (of up to 700 gp in value) specially created for each member of the expedition. Upon the successful completion of the mission, the participating Irregulars may choose to keep their items in lieu of their share of the mission purse. Irregulars wishing to take up this offer must indicate their desired item on the mission sign-up sheet below.
Case number: 209/11/084
Summary: The mission (as commissioned) was to travel to the Citadel of the Dead and release a clay scout inside. Once the scout had completed its surveillance, the group was supposed to transport it safely back to Lockenport. A secondary mission, added as the behest of the Guild, was to gather information from the mainland that might be of interest to the Irregulars. Although the group failed their primary mission, they had good reason to abandon their plans and the client provided a letter requesting that they be rewarded for their efforts despite failing to return with the scout.
Fatalities: Apparently, Rodakan came this (→ ←) close to not returning. Especially when he was attacked by the skeletons. And again when he was attacked by the wraiths.
Declarations: A greatsword, some gloves and a
towel cloak. The clothes were uninteresting, and they kept those. The sword was a really nice one, but the client has requested that he be given the opportunity to purchase this from the guild, and at the price he's offering, it would be hard to refuse. A pity, because it is a really nice sword.
Commendations: Zulak impressed for a change. Apparently, Wizen's spirit was also quite useful.
Leadership: “Who was the leader?”
Sevian Delmar is a tall, thin-faced half-elf. Her office in the guildhall has a sign on the door which says “Intelligence and Investigations (Mainland)”. It is two days since their return from the Citadel of the Dead mission, and Clunk, Zulak, Wizen, Rodakan and Stoella have been summoned for a follow-up interview.
After offering the adventurers seats in her tidy and well-kept chambers, Sevian begins to ask them questions about the recent mission. She quizzes them on their run-in with the skull lord and cultists in the abandoned outpost on the edge of the Deadlands, and asks a few pointed questions about the tentacled creature they encountered near the overturned wagon and blood-drained corpses.
Once each question has been answered, she pauses to make meticulous notes in a large bound journal open on the centre of her desk. Zulak can see that like the furnishings and few ornaments decorating Sevian's office, her hand-writing is neat and precise.
Only when they reach the part of their adventure where Vedroth returned to his citadel with a skeletal dracolich in tow, does Sevian's demeanor change. Her quill moves more quickly across each page, and she even has to stop to mop up an accidental ink stain with some blotting paper. She is particularly interested when Wizen describes the detailed physical appearance of the dracolich and the rest of the undead horde, and nods to herself — seemingly unconsciously — as she writes. After a few more questions about the Citadel of the Dead and the wraiths inhabiting the shadow of the tower, she seems satisfied with the information she has gathered, and sets down her pen.
“You did the right thing to abandon your mission,” she says, “I've lost count of how many promising Irregulars have had their careers cut short because they didn't know when they were outmatched. The intelligence you gathered is valuable by itself, and it would have been a significant loss to the Guild had you died in the Deadlands.”
“I see that Gralik has recommended that you be offered permanent accommodation in the Guildhall,” she continues, “I have reviewed your files, and I agree that most of you have earned residency. Rodakan, although your performance during this last mission was commendable, you have not completed quite as many missions as your companions. I have added a recommendation to your file, and if you complete one more mission successfully, you will also be offered residency.”
“As for the rest of you, here are keys for your rooms. You may find the rooms on the second floor a little sparse, but they should serve your basic needs, and you are welcome to request additional items of furniture from Quartermistress Uggard, if there is something specific you require. Stoella — I see that Gralik has suggested that we offer you a room in the Guild's lodge on the western outskirts of the City. The rooms at the lodge are even more basic than those here, but you will certainly find the surroundings more to your taste. When you get to the lodge, speak to Pella and tell her that you've been assigned room seven. She'll get you settled in.”
Sevian opens a desk draw and extracts three numbered keys. She is about to hand them to Wizen, Zulak and Clunk, but then she pauses.
“Oh yes. One last question before you leave. I understand you spent some time traveling with once of Greshtik's associates.” She glances at her journal. “An eladrin named Siara, I believe. I'm somewhat familiar with Siara's history. Tell me, during your travels, I'm sure she suggested that you might like to join Greshtik's employ. Was that the case? And if so, what did you tell her?”
There is an uncomfortable silence, as no-one responds to Sevian's question. She raises one eye-brow and waits for one of the adventurers to speak…
Wizen speaks up. “If an opportunity comes along to be employed by him I would consider it. But only if the task does not conflict with my moral beliefs and standards. It is just odd jobs that I would do to gain more skills and extra gold and to adventure.”
Stoella nods. “Above all we wish to preserve the excellent relationship we have with the guild.” She bats her eyelids and smiles.
Sevian smiles. “How very diplomatic of you, Stoella. I don't think that there is any immediate danger of damaging your reputation – the mission reports in your files demonstrate considerable diligence and loyalty to the Guild. And I'm sure you are aware that while your contracts don't expressly prohibit you from doing 'side jobs' when you are not busy with Guild assignments, taking on other work could mean that you are ineligible for future missions, if they conflict with your other clients.”
“But that wasn't the point I intended to make. I wanted to warn you that Greshtik has a reputation for demanding absolute loyalty from his… um… associates. You might find that signing up as one of his employees is a more permanent arrangement that you expect. Please exercise caution if his agents approach you again in the future.”
“Anyway, I'm sure you are keen to see your rooms. Here are your keys. It was good to meet you all. I think you are some of the most promising new guild members we've had in some time.”
Zulak silently and patiently waits for everyone to leave. When Zulak and Sevian are alone he walks to the door and while closing it asks, “Do you mind if I asked you something in private Sevian?”
“Of course, Zulak. Feel free to speak your mind.”
Zulak turns to face Sevian. “I was wondering, if at anytime during your investigations you may have come across any mention or information pertaining to a rod?”
Zulak walks around the office, sliding his fingers over the many books that are on tidy shelves. Still focused on the books, Zulak continues, “This is not just any rod, it is a rod that allows a warlock to, mmm… how can I put it… enhance a curse? I think it is called a Rod of Reaving if I can remember right. It was lost thousands of years ago during the time the Arkhosian Empire was at war.”
Turning to face Sevian again, he says “Any information would be most appreciated.” Zulak bows gracefully to show his eagerness for an answer.
“That sounds like an interesting device, Zulak and I'm flattered that you think I might know something about it. Unfortunately, though, I am not the best person to ask questions about magical creations. Quartermistress Uggard is likely to known about common magic items. The sort that you might come across in the city, but she's… well, not always the most helpful member of staff. You could also to speak to Yozian Tammelnor; he heads up Antiques and Relics and never passes up an opportunity to talk about unusual artifacts. Just make sure he doesn't talk your ears off. But you said this rod is an Arkhosian creation? Then perhaps you should pay the University a visit. There's a chap working there who is an expect on dragonborn relics; he's the head of Draconic Studies and might know something about your rod. I think his name is Dean Cagul or Cardle or something like that.”
“Thank you for your advice Sevian, I will be sure to come and see you in the future, when I need to know someone in town's profession or interests. You have been most helpful”.
Zulak takes the key to his new accommodation and heads out the door thinking to himself, “I need to update my journal!”
/===============================================\ | XP notes: Session 1 | |-----------------------------------------------| | Skull Lord = 300 XP | | Skullborn Zombies (2 x 125) = 250 XP | | Human Cult Fanatic (2 x 175) = 350 XP | | Human Cultists (6 x 63) = 378 XP | | Canoloths (2 x 300) = 600 XP | |-----------------------------------------------| | Total = 1878 XP | | Per person ÷ 5 = 376 XP | \===============================================/ /===============================================\ | XP notes: Session 2 | |-----------------------------------------------| | Gravehounds (2 x 150) = 300 XP | | Decrepit Skeletons (8 x 25) = 200 XP | | Blazing Skeletons (2 x 200) = 400 XP | | Skeletal Tiefling = 350 XP | | Mad Wraiths (5 x 250) = 1250 XP | | Quest: Citadel of the Dead = 750 XP | | Quest: Gather Information = 150 XP | |-----------------------------------------------| | Total = 3400 XP | | Per person ÷ 5 = 680 XP | \===============================================/