Eckhardt Swan is a human cleric. He is a member of the Brotherhood of the Swan, and tipping fate and luck in his favour is his specialty. During his training with the Brotherhood, Eckhardt excelled at games of chance, at one point upsetting his instructor, who lost a lost of money.
Were you born in Lockenport, or elsewhere?
Lockenport, born and raised.
Do you have a big family? Do you stay in touch with them?
What are your religious beliefs?
If you stumble onto the truth by chance, then you are both lucky and blessed.
Do you have any famous ancestors?
Not exactly famous, no.
What sort of education or training have you had?
I was schooled in all of the 'best' ways money could buy, but I'm much happier now.
Do you have a trade (other than “adventuring”)?
I am a gambler, a minister and a philosopher. Weddings at gambling dens are becoming quite the fashion!
Do you have many enemies?
I owe quite a few people gambling debts, and some are downright nasty characters from the criminal underworld. They are less religiously inclined than they make out to be, as debt is just another way of life for some.
What style of clothes do you favour?
The Brotherhood of the Swan's Robes are constantly changing, the significance of which is known only to initiates. A medallion of a white, black or gray swan usually accompanies the robes as the only constant sign of office.
Have you ever killed someone?
No! Well, I've helped to defeat some vicious monsters to protect the town, yes. But I don't like violence; it gets messy and often out of hand.
What is your opinion of the Lockenport authorities?
The Lockenport authorities are a necessary evil; they are tolerant of the Brotherhood of the Swan's activities and protective of our priests, but periodically they require hefty bribes from the Order to continue their enduring tolerance.
They have caught up with me. I always knew they would, since I could never hide to begin with. But my feeble attempts to distance myself from them has only revealed that I've never been free, and I'm still bound by avarice and greed. A curse on the Brunstead clan!
I must seek out a way to sunder these chains, and be free from this servitude.
Many adventuring parties have descended into the feared Pit to look for aid in the face of the oncoming undead threat, and I was shocked to discover that we were the first known band of Irregulars to return.
We were instructed to look for a staff of some power, and had to descend into the darkness, holding on to life only by a rope. We narrowly averted disaster, as many of our companions started wildly insisting to enter a crypt. Luckily I was able to assume a position of authority and we continued our way down, with promises to return at a later date.
We passed nests of what appeared to be cave dwelling stirges, but these didn't offer us any difficulty. Further down, though, a nightmarish scenario ensued with massive and grotesque spiders assaulting us, and attempting to cut our life line. We aimed for solid footing, and was able to defeat one of the beasts, while the other retreated.
Only later did we find him ensconced in his nest of webs, summoning a gigantic arachnid abomination. My holy fires could only clear so much webbing, and many of us were plastered against the wall. The mad dwarf Xav leapt into action, and assaulted the beast from atop its back, joined swiftly by a curious genaasi known as Ignus.
After a nerve-wracking battle, we managed to defeat the monstrosity and its smaller aide, before continuing our journey down.
En route we arrived at the opening to a silt-filled field, and our trackers determined the likelihood of tracks, but we deigned to not investigate and to keep on track with our own mission.
Finally arriving at an opening framed by stony teeth, our party members each sacrificed a drop of their life blood in exchange for a small boon. The passage gave way to a maze of corriders in the darkness, with some evidence of previous adventures. Our trackers once again suggested an ingenious method to track our progress, and we bravely ventured into the twisting dark maze.
It was not long before we realized we were not alone. Scuttling little figures emerged from the dark, grotesque in their deranged figures! Horrified, we calmed our nerves and cautiously tried to communicate with the beasts. They did not attack, and after a terse exchange of food and other organic matter, we were escorted to a central clearing. Here, a twisted figure with tentacles was beseeching us in common to oppose his foes. In exchange, he would show us the way to our quarry. Agreeing to his terms, we were led through the maze by one of his servants.
Finally we arrived at yet another clearing, with an audible stream flowing through it. Horrific creatures were busy with their own alien intentions, and oblivious to our presence. They resembled floating brains with beaks and tentacle masses drifting from them. Deciding to seize on the initiative, we approached fearlessly, and our mage Shah-Kar(n) cast a sigil of distraction, which seemed somewhat successful on the beasts.
Unexpectedly, another pair appeared from our right, and engaged us in combat. These beasts were tough, and their insidious poisons and alien minds caused us to mistrust our own abilities and allies. I was even blinded for a time, and panicked when I could not ascertain the battlefield. Eventually, though, we pulled through, and the team of Irregulars really shone in their coordinated efforts.
Victoriously we returned to that wretched creature, only to have him spit in our faces. He begrudgingly dragged us to the precipice at the entrance of the maze, and claimed that he threw the staff further down the Pit. Strange as his ways were, I somehow sensed that he was telling the truth, curse him.
We decided to have a rest, after which we would return to the surface with our report. And face whatever sinister force was trying to beguile us from within the crypts…
Entering slowly, we came face to face with a towering Devourer of Souls! Leaping into action first Xav, then Ignus were entranced by the fiend, and both were almost consumed entirely. Through a concerted effort, and by Avandra's light, did the creature succomb to our onslaught, but vanished mysteriously, as if banished. It is my suspicion that he will return to the same place, until a proper exorcism is performed. Curiously, we also stumbled on another unlucky dwarven adventurer, and this seemed to fluster the Irregulars on reporting back. We were asked to forget about our discovery, and the map about a ring, further down in the Pit. Curious.
Moments after making our report on the Pit, I was sequestered to travel to Lodren's Gate in an effort to assist another group of Irregulars. It seems that they encountered strong opposition and that their Leader, a Drow Ardent, was slain in the encounter. It was a confusing start in taking up the mantle of leader, as we were looking for clues regarding a 'Mysterious A'… returning to the site of their deadly encounter, I managed to snag a torn and burnt letter from the debris- there was obviously some kind of explosion. Our shifter Druid detected the wheel markings of a wagon coach, and we followed it back to the Rowdy Dolphin inn, which my compatriots identified as a den of inequity (and lycanthropy).
Arriving through a back door entrance, we scouted the area, when suddenly our trusty guide fell through the stable roof, and onto a beholder! Chaos erupted, as his eyes shot deadly multihued rays of magic at our party. Sadly, our scout turned mad and attacked the Warlock before she succumbed to a ray of death. Our fierce warforged managed to hold the inn's doors shut, keeping hordes of henchmen at bay, but their leader, some vile undead apparition, teleported herself into the fray.
We were ready to run, when the Goliath (who savagely attacked me more than once due to the beholder's influence), raged himself into a frenzy and would not retreat. We managed to defeat the beast, and interrogate one of the surviving henchmen, which lead us to the home of a prominent society member of Lodren's Gate.
And by home, I mean fortress. From here he dispatched messangers to the undead horde to coordinate attacks on the town. We decided that he had to be stopped at all costs. Apprehending a messanger, our wizard enchanted him to become friendly with us, and follow us to a more secluded setting, where we beat the password out of him. Confident with our newfound knowledge, we sauntered up to the gate, where the wizard once more impressed with his guile, as he took on the form of the gate keeper once we were inside. This confounded the simple minded barbaric guards, and lulled them into complacency. It was to our great fortune, as it gave us some time to position ourselves and strike!
Joining the fray were a horrendous multitude of beasts set free from their pits, a mind flayer and the homeowner. He turned out to be quite a character, and when we attacked him, transformed into an amorphous horror. Ideally we would've loved to question him further, but our Goliath's magnificent plunge from the walls, great sword first, brought that option to a close.
I can't believe it. Nevermind the dizzying heights of seeing two different worlds for the very first time, but the plans of the gods! Oh, if it is true, then I am having a serious crisis of faith. My cursed vision has seen a lot, and I fear what it is yet to see.
Something is very much amiss in the realms these days. All the encounters we've recently faced, all of them seemed so dire, as if one misstep from our side could turn into an irreversible advancement of the abyss. I tremble as I write these words, and take my rest now.