Solutions Simplified: The Race for Turrack's Artifact

Chapter 2 Session 2 (for real this time)
Extracts from Darloc's journal

Darloc’s journal: first day of the second session

Evening: It seems we were successful in clearing out the old tavern. All the hell scuttlers in the tavern were defeated and Landen Piper was happy with our performance… At least the performance that we were paid for. Clearly Rhivaa and Dude were a little less liked.

Night: we have taken shelter within our newest acquisition. In the end, we got to choose between money and an entire floor of the tavern we saved. Pretty much unanimously our team decided to live in the tavern, which was a great upgrade from our original table. Every one took a room and I decided to write this journal within the new office we got.

Darloc’s journal: Second day of the second session

Morning: The rest of the team woke up within the new establishment and we met up with a man called George Willenburgh. Apparently he held a very high position within the city and was able to actually get our little company off the floor. He promised us a permit for our endeavours within the city if we helped Glitterhaegen to get back some bread. Specifically, the baker Jacob lost his building to the hell scuttlers and we needed to help him out.
We accepted the proposal and found the baker downstairs. After telling the man who we were, we made a deal to defeat the creatures and get some money out of the deal in the meantime.
We left for the bakery and prepared ourselves. We heard several rumours in the meantime. Specifically:

  • A lighthouse about 20 km north of the city disappeared.
  • The nobles of Glitterhaegen lost most of their possessions to thefts. No proof was found every single time. Baron Blackling even lost most of the things in his vault while two soldiers were stationed in front of it, without as much as a scratch in the entire room.
  • In horizon a necromancer was arrested because of use of his powers in the middle of the street, in the light of day (the stupidity).

We arrived at the bakery, but were followed by a certain baker. Apparently he did not trust our judgement. I ordered my father to give the baker a little bit of a scare and made him catch on fire while he stood behind the man.
After this, we entered the bakery and decided to take a quick look around. We found a lot of baking goods and a hidden passageway to the basement. The baker had given us a magic sentence to open the way (Dagrank Gajn Lad Badzat) and make sure that two elementals defending the way down did not attack us.
We found and defeated four hell scuttlers that had awakened elemental powers. Apparently a magic circle was drawn within the basement room that empowered these creatures. We made short work of them, found some sort of scroll of divination, but the baker still has some explaining to do, even after his payment of 50 gp. Surprising that Rhivaa didn’t steal even more from him. She’s clearly the type.

Afternoon: We set up positions within the organisation. I’m not willing to give up full power, but seeing as I don’t purely want to lead this band of… friends, we decided it would be best to hand out work to every one:

  • Decisionist: Grumpy (At least decisions will be made quickly)
  • Documancer: Me (Clearly the best for the job)
  • Treasurer/hoards person: Lilith (No, I’m not letting Rhivaa anywhere near the gold)
  • Cartographer: Druid Dude (As long as he doesn’t get his information from animals)
  • Strategionist: Rhivaa (She at least gets the intel, if she’s going to strategise well remains to be seen).

Evening: I went back to see the baker, curious about what he did. He said he was only a beginner in magic, but honestly his elementals and the fact that he had perfect control over them was not merely the work of a beginner. I told him I was impressed. Apparently he had a wish to become an adventurer. I understood what he meant. I was once lead by my dreams as well, and look where they brought me, so I encouraged him. Let’s just hope Glitterhaeghen will still have bread after this. It might give the others… problems.

Darloc’s journal: Third day of the second session

Morning: I woke up with a message from Stivras. I was planning on calling him anyway, so at least he saved me the trouble. He gave us two interesting directions to go in. First of all, apparently the hell scuttlers should have a queen. Seeing as most of the smaller ones have been spawning in the city, more than that, near our building, it’s safe to say she’s hiding somewhere around here and we should try to defeat it. Perhaps it will give us some more insight into the constellations that vanished.
Also, the old base of Hidden Wolf is located in Glitterhaegen. Seeing as Amanas and Sadly stole the key, they might have something to do with this disappearance of the constellations. Stivras asked us to go towards the base and find out if any information lingered there.
I called together a meeting with the rest of the group. Grumpy wasn’t too happy about it and decided to walk to the bottom of the inn naked. I honestly first thought that one of DruidDude’s transformations had gone the wrong way. So much hair… Seriously… Front and back… It was half-bear, half-dwarf…
Several ink blotches are situated here because Darloc was so horrified of the event that he accidentally spilled some ink onto the parchment

Rhivaa of course didn’t show up, she had already left. But with the rest of the group we made a couple of decisions. We decided that the vanishing tower north of the city might have been a good bet of where to go. Also, we decided to go and look for Rhivaa before making a move.

Afternoon: We found Rhivaa after she got denied access into the home of Lord Blackling. She was keeping watch on it from a Golden Wyrm tower that happened to be situated nearby. Ironically enough, it didn’t really teach us anything. However, the woman wouldn’t give up and we decided to go towards another noble house, perhaps teaching us some extra information.
We found ourselves at the house of Duke Livingham. Rhivaa was able to get us into the building by telling the butler about her noble heritage. From there we were allowed to investigate the crime scene. In it we found nothing more than dust, footsteps and emptiness. Grumpy however, was able to smell a certain scent. The scent of a special metal, commonly used for a specific kind of armour. Coincidentally, Sadly Grove is also a wearer of such armour. I didn’t sense Amanas his doing in this vault, but I still have my suspicions that he has something to do with these thefts.
After finding out this information, we still decided to go towards the disappearing lighthouse first. I want to go to the old hideout of Hidden Wolf, but if not necessary I don’t want to go in fighting. And without the password, I’m not going to be able to pass through even the first line of defence.
We heard a small group of people talking about a monastery that had collapsed because of an earthquake.
We arrived at the lighthouse and looked for clues. In doing so, Rhivaa handed out a couple of mushrooms. Her and Lilith weren’t affected, but DruidDude started seeing strange things.
Apparently he saw the mushroom coming to life, then melting, then the tree in front of us came to life, turned into a lighthouse. He freaked out, we all looked at him weird and I just couldn’t help but want to slap the bastard for the… I lost count, MOVING ON!
We figured out that a part of the cliff had gone down, probably because of the same reason as the monastery. An earthquake, or some semblance of it, might have destroyed the cliff and sent the tower to the bottom of the sea. Druid Dude found some giant hole at the bottom where it might have fallen into, but it was too deep to decently explore. Perhaps we’ll have more luck with a diving belt next time.

Evening: Sleep hasn’t overtaken me in years. I still wonder what all of this will bring to us. My only worry is that Amanas and Sadly Grove are responsible for all this madness and that I should have been able to stop them. I never enjoyed their company, seeing as they never saw me as an equal. But I do feel sad, because they were my companions. Still, tomorrow I should try to figure out a plan to actually complete one of our two tasks. More than that, we should clear up this madness as soon as possible.
However for now, I will continue working on my actual destiny. I will try to find ways to stop the Lich King as I feel his presence draw ever closer. I will keep working on my experiments. Perhaps I can even upgrade my powers and one day stand against the monster that I used to work for.
I will find a way

Some day…

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Chapter 2 session 1
In the wake of the betrayal

Extracts out Rhivaa’s scribbles during her adventures with Solutions Simplified
Carefully selected out of all the crap she wrote in her journal by apprentice cleric Brand Nylgogh
Period: The year of the greatest heist
Stored at Wing C, section 31.B.The Wyrmstadt Familia, The Amber Library

Extract 1

After all the things I endured during my journey after I got the vision of the goldwyrm himself, I thought the worst was over after my infiltration in the diabolist camp.
By amber’s grace was I wrong! One moment we were singing praises of our triumph after completing the sea dungeon, the next moment I wake up on the damp floor of that same dungeon by an angry Darloc mumbling something about betrayal.
Apparently mister “I am the boss”1 and mister “Moody paladin” left us for some unknown reason. I never really liked them.2

Extract 2

We could not receive our payment for clearing the dungeon, however they said that we could receive our payment by clearing the sea of sea monsters that spawned from the dungeon. Something we could not ignore since we now have a whole boat of extra dwarven mouths to feed. If I knew how much monsters we had to kill I would have run after Amanas & Sadlygrove in the blink of an eye. It took us months to clear that sea, and although I love the sea, this robust dwarven ship is nowhere as fun as the smaller and agile ships my mother has. I do understand now why my mother called me a land loving duckling that didn’t know the sea, the amount of things I saw and learned these couple of months are staggering. I believe that even the rest of the party is more knowledgeable of the sea than I was before our trip. I’m glad I have Quenth here with me to keep me company in the boring hours of sea travel on a clear sea.
Tomorrow is the last hunting day before we get paid and I’m looking forward to all the shopping I can do in the beautiful city of Gliterhaegen!3 I will finally get some things worthy of my status!

Extract 3

Today our day started with Quenth returning with a message and a new quest, I should have made a bet on the outcome. Yet another pest control quest, but after a few months of pestcontrol on sea it is on land this time. (Not looking forward to that…)
I spend most of the day relaxing in the sun forced to listen to the dwarves singing, something they always do when they know we are going on land for a long time. Dwarves are dwarves I guess, even if they are sailors.
The sun was already wel on it’s way to evening when we got attacked by the strangest sea dragon, snake, eal? I had ever seen. Before we knew Mister DoodDood was gone in 1 snap of it’s jaws, I thought I would never see him again. After a short battle we killed it and found out it was hollow inside when a bright light escaped from it’s wound.
Right now while i’m writing this mister deadman is scared and staying with the hide of the monster like a newborn baby, probably wants to revive it? I’m looking forward to tomorow for…4

I JUST SAW THAT SOME STAR SIGNS HAVE DISSAPEARED! I consulted the rest of the group and we even had a magicianny conversation with an old wizard man through an illusion stone, and we all agree that they are just not there anymore. It’s probably hard to believe but the always pale Darloc became even more white after hearing this news.
This reminds me of…5

Extract 4

I have the feeling that the job this evening wil be late so i’ll write my journal now.
Today was awesom, I … [You thank me for cutting this part, she bought some rings, a fine cloak and her holy symbol of the great wyrm – Brand] , after finding this beautiful necklace of the great wyrm I wanted to buy some pesticides for the pest control quest and came upon a lovely shop called Miranda’s potions with an amazing bargain in with necrotic talk potions. (She sold it as healing potions and as pest control) ….. [more cut content (Brand)]
While going back to the inn I saw Grumpy mug the goldsmith’s ring with one of the most beautiful diamonds I have ever seen, heading straight to the inn to propose to his love.
They were the center of attention, not really smart with a mugged ring if you ask me.
(Note to self: I might want to look into forging a fake one, to replace that beauty with. Not so difficult if she keeps showing it to everyone to boast what her darling proposed with.)
Lilith also went on a shopping spree, I don’t know the details but she bought this cute chubby dog that is intensly looking at Darlocs father’s bones. I loved the irritated look on Darlocs face when he saw the beast. (Note to self: a lot of pranking possibilities here)

Extract 5

Tonight was the worst, although the pest control went pretty well I got ignored by a paladin. And I got a worse performance than Mc DD on top of it, now I need to train becoming a better performer or I will never recover from this blow. While going to the exit, I printed every face that boo-ed me in my memory for later inquiries, however I have the feeling I know the couple from the table close to the bar. I just can’t place the link in my brain…

1 A note from Brand is written on the paper: “Apparantly she was to angry to write the real names of the companions who betrayed her. We can assume that she talks about Amanas and Sadlygrove.”
2 Comment from Brand: Clearly she did like them and was hurt. I can tell it from the handwriting and and the sudden ending of her journal entry. Normally she goes on and on about the most random stuff.
3 Sidenote from Brand: What is it with woman and shopping? I’m afraid I’ll never understand…
4 Note from Brand: There is a big penslip and some ink spilled on the paper which indicates the break in the journal entry
5 I cut this fragment here because she starts writing about the most random things after this. Yours sincerely, Brand Nylgogh

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Session 5
Finale Chapter 1: the dungeon

Report coming soon

Basically: went through dungeon, killed a guardian demon protecting the demonic key. Darloc took the key and then… (what happened slightly after will be discussed at the start of the next chapter)

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Session 4
Sailing to the dungeon

session_4.pngWhen entering Concord, the entire party is welcomed warmly. (Even Darloc for once.) Grumpy is approached by a fellow dwarf, in a uniform of the Royal Guard. Apparently Grumpy has been appointed as the first captain of the royal dwarven navy. And let it be said, the “Howl of the Warhammer” is quite a magnificent ship.

FE4_Ship-UpperDeck_bg.jpg

After some recruiting (red 36 as the quartermaster, apparently he followed the party for Yvette, Addolin (new guy) as the sailing master, and Nienna (their secretary) as the boatswain) they all get aboard and take off in the direction where most sailors reported unusual activity.

When arriving at the spot, a trading galley is noticed. It seems eerily abandoned except for 3 figures standing on the deck. Rhivaa recognizes their robes as diabolist cultist robes. They decide to attack them and a battle across the water begins. Moments later (when fireballs, arrows and lightning are flying between the ships) two squid-like creatures appear in the water and one of them directly attacks the ship, although it seems to be unharmed. Sadlygrove decides to jump on top of the other one and attack it before it can get close to the ship. The battle continues and when the cultists are almost defeated, Ammanas decides to attack the second beast. The second beast seems to be unharmed by the attack and when Sadlygrove finishes off his beasts, the second one disappears instantly.

Recovering form this battle the party decides to dive underwater and enter the dungeon.

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Session 3
The road to Concord

The party discovered the artifact is in a living dungeon somewhere in the wake islands. To get there they decide to follow the Koru Behemoth Migration routes to a little past Nomad and then pass through the Queen’s Wood to Concord.

session_3.png

A few days after leaving Forge, just when they’re about to arrive at the migration route, part of the party is overwhelmed by a feeling of awe. Quenth, the family bronze dragon of Yvette, introduces himself to the party and drops a wooden crate. In the crate, Yvette finds a magical set of armor, and when she puts it on she transforms into a half-elf. Apparently Yvette is really called Rhivaa and this armor contains a curse placed on her some time ago when she was discovered as a Great Gold Worm spy in the Diabolist’s mids. After this, Quenth flies off again.

Some time later, the party is happily following the migration route, though in opposite directions of the Behemoths of course. At that moment they start noticing some light earthquakes. After a few moments a band of Nomas emerge from the distance sprinting towards them. They keep yelling to run and when they get close some even try to steal the party’s cart. Sadlygrove and Ammanas in particular, saw this as an act of aggression and they attacked the nomads. After a quick victory, an enormous beast appeared from behind the corner (which was hidden by the mountains) stampeding at an incredible speed for such a beast.

MC Drood Dude tried to calm the beast down by talking to it, he of course completely misunderstood what the beast told him. So the High Druid, feeling the pain of this beast from the other side of the empire, decide to intervene and gave MC Drood Dude a spiritual knock on the head. MC Drood Dude then understood that the Koru Behemoth standing in front of them had been tormented by a sea creature ever since his last drop in the Kuro Strait (close to the Wake Islands). The party decides to help the Koru by killing the creature. They easily defeat some giant crabs and kelp zombies, but eventually discover the kraken living inside the Behemoth’s shell. By working together as a team, the manage to scare the kraken away without even fighting it.

The Behemoth has to walk a fair bit back, since nature’s order must be restored. He invites the party to travel on his back for as long as they like. It doesn’t take long for them to reach Nomad, where apparently almost the entire settlement is murdered brutally. The party decides to pass on and move into the woods by foot. Eventually they reach Concord.

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Session 2
The search for Turrack

In the mine, they find a female halfling, claiming to be a cleric. Good thing since Lillith had a job offer for a position in a restaurant.

After clearing out the mine, the party goes back to the main branch of the Undermarch. There the Captain of the Guard is waiting for them, together with the mayor of Anvil. They thank Grumpy and the party for their efforts and the captain gives Grumpy a badge of the guard, so he can work for them whenever he’s bored of travelling. They also invite the party to a feast, but the party decides they need to leave at once.

There travel through the Undermarch goes fairly smooth, although MC Druid D00D doesn’t sleep that well. And soon they arrive at the gate of Forge, capital of the dwarven kingdom. Forge is a massive city located inside a mountain, with a giant lava lake at the bottom and houses built into the side of the walls. In the lava lake are large pillars with buildings on.
Grumpy decides to visit his favorite tavern “The Orange Shield” while the rest of the party decides to search for an inn in the non-dwarf sector of the city. They soon find the address of Turrack’s house, but they also hear rumors that Turrack is arrested by the dwarven guard.

Upon arrival at Turrack’s house, the party notices that the house has been raided, although there are conflicting clues about the raid, who would be interested in stealing most of Turrack’s clothes? After looking around Ammanas finds an interesting machine, but it’s missing a few components. Grumpy, in the mean time, finds a safe in Turrack’s bedroom.
After Grumpy, Ammanas and Darloc all fail to open the safe, an effort from the orc Sadlygrove captured in the mine before finally gets the safe to fall open. There is a note from Turrack and blueprints of parts of all the machines. Solutions Simplified decide to repair the machine.

When trying to get the machine outside, a party of The Saved arrives. Purple Two, Sadlygrove’s (or should I say White Six?) commander and weapon trainer, demands that they give up the machine. But after some discussion a deal is struck: they have one week to repair the machine and give them all information they find. If the week goes by without them repairing it, Purple Two will claim the machine and take it back to his master.

The party goes around the city looking for craftsmen and materials to repair the machine, and when they do, they discover the location of a rising dungeon.

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Session 1
The assignment

The shareholders of Solutions Simplified and their new interns return to Glitterhaegen. In this city the primary (and only) seat of their company. (A table at one of the local bars, to be specific “The Venomous Unicorn”) Today is an important day for the interns, since they will become official shareholders of Solutions Simplified. While they are discussing the amount of shares they receive, Nienna (their female secretary) warns them that Master Thief Elmon is coming.

When Master Thief Elmon arrives, he is accompanied by Stivras, a mage. Stivras informs them that he wants an artifact to be retrieved from a rising living dungeon, so it wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. A dwarf named Turrack is the one who detected the dungeon, and is the only one who knows its location. Sending this information is dangerous, it can be intercepted, thus the party needs to go talk to Turrack directly. They agree on an advance of 500GP and another 1500GP when they bring back the artifact. The party gets a cart and some documents to get into Anvil from WOLF.

Sadlygrove visits Zarusam that night, and buys his services to translate the name of the artifact.

The next morning he talks to Elmon again, and tries to convince him he didn’t wipe the offer away just yet.

Amanas, Grumpy and Lillith buy some nice clothes that night. The next morning they all decide to take the safe route to Anvil, were they will take the Undermarch to Forge were Turrack lives. When they arrive at Anvil, the guards are hesitant to let this weird bunch of adventurers in, but after a bribe, all doubts vanish.

In Anvil, Grumpy is contacted by the gate captain they bribed before. He says he can arrange free passage through the Undermarch if their party clears one of the newly regenerated mines. Apparently, orcs and kobolds love to mine the newly regenerated veins of ore. Grumpy agrees and the next morning Solution Simplified goes on its way to this mine.

During these battles, one of Darloc’s minion is so grateful to be redeemed from the Lich King’s grasp that he decides to activate the real magic in the Lich King’s hand. One of the orcs they killed was also carrying a dwarven battleaxe. When Grumpy laid his hands on it, he felt the might of this weapon coming alive, and his love for gold dying. When searching the mine for loose valuables, they find some gems the orcs and goblins didn’t seem to be interested in. The estimated value of these gems would be around 600GP.

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