Revenge - Chronicle Part 1

Midwinter, July 1010TA - From Riches to Rags.

The campaign begins midsummer of the year 1010, in the city of Midwinter. The main characters are citizens of the city, from generally a wealthy background. Their parents are friends, meeting each other over several years, mainly through their work. For several weeks leading up to the beginning of start, their parents seem to be busy, rarely having time for them. They have many visitors, both familiar and unfamiliar. Then, a few days ago they tell you they are ‘Going on a long journey. They will be back soon. Be good for their guardians.’

Several weeks later, they are visited by some officious looking men. A large, friendly man tells them that there has been an accident, the fleet of ships their parents were traveling on has been sunk in a fierce storm and all hands have been lost. They wont be able to live here in their homes any more. The older children are told that their parents mortgaged their homes and business to raise money for the expedition. With the loss of the fleet, the debts have been called in and the surviving children are homeless and penniless.

The children first ask Karl’s solicitor, Amon Alardov, for help, but he is able to offer little, only that they try talking to the Merchant’s Guild. This they do and the Guildmaster, Amos Cressmar, tells them he can find them work and accommodation on a farm to the north of the city. They are allowed to pack one change of clothes and take a favourite teddy bear etc before being taken away. Following a long journey they find themselves together in a large brick factory, a grim workhouse run by an unscrupulous merchant, Eric Burden and his guards, James and Henry.

Burden’s Mill, August 1010TA - Attempted Murder.

During the first night 6 riders are heard coming to the mill. Ash, Aaron and Bruce make out that a cowled man has come to talk to Mr Burden. The men all wear the same insignia, a red surcoat with a white or silver ship on it. Aaron recognises the insignia as one used by a shipwright that made one of the ships for his father some months ago, a ship used on the expedition. The cowled figure was overheard as he left Mr Burden to say, "...take care of it. I don’t want any loose ends." The children plan an escape from the workhouse, helped by another workhouse inmate, Bobby Derello. After several days of back-breaking work with little food they make their escape and head for the countryside, hiding by day and traveling by night.

A couple of days later while keeping watch, Bruce and Aaron realise that Bobby had gone missing. When mercenaries appear in the distance they realise he has sold them out to the cowled man. Ash tries to lead the other children away, but when he discovers they are surrounded climbs into a tree to prepare an attack. Luther gets scared and simply vanishes from view.

Ash spots a camp of gypsies close to the copse and runs there for help. The other children are surrounded by the thugs and brought together. Ash tells the gypsies what is going on and gets them to help. The cowled man arrives amongst the thugs holding the children and uses magic to begin killing them one by one. At that point the gypsies attack the thugs to rescue the children. During the fighting the cowled man uses magic to make his escape. The thugs are quickly dealt with and the children lead away to the gypsy camp. After hearing the children’s sorry tale and the obvious danger they are in the gypsies agree to take them north with them.

Ten years pass as the children grow up, adopted into the Romero gypsy family.

The Vale of Erryn, August 1020TA - Following a Dream.

Ten years have passed, some of the orphans have gone their separate ways, some have remained with their adoptive family. Rowley has been studying with Mother Romero, head of the extended gypsy family. She has been teaching him the power of dreams, how they can be used to manipulate people and how they can be used to foretell future events.

During a heavy meditation session, Rowley receives a prophetic dream. He sees himself in a wood-paneled room. On the wall is a tapestry showing a silver ship on a red field. A symbol he has not seen for ten years. He looks around the room and on a desk he sees a ring. He moves closer and examines the ring. He recognises the symbol, his mother’s symbol, that of the Bluewater family.

He speaks of the dream to Mother Romero. She believes that Rowley has been sent a vision by some other power. The ring should be at the bottom of the Narrow Sea, where the ships went down, not on a desk. Certain that their has been foul-play in the deaths of his parents, he speaks to his closest friends; Ash, Luther, Aaron and Bruce; telling them of his dream. Together they agree to return to Midwinter and investigate their past.

The party set out for Midwinter, a journey of nearly two thousand miles by boat down the river Tooze. The journey passes peacefully until they reach Tanglewood Town. There, Bruce and Luther discover Ash having a secret rendezvous with an old man. Ash asks the group to help the old man by delivering a package to a distant village, Whiteoak.

They agree, mainly in an attempt to gain some extra money, and head deeper into Tanglewood Forest. Over the next couple of months the party defeats a group of bandits in the area who are kidnapping mages for some local goblins. Following their adventures and with a secure base in Whiteoak they weather out the winter.

Ironbridge, Spring 1021TA - First Contact.

With the winter over, the party continue their journey to Midwinter. Late in April, they arrive in Ironbridge, a busy trading town on the river Tooze and the northernmost outpost of Midwinter. While entering the town, they pass the river docks, where barges load and unload cargo. They while watching the activity, they spot a barge bearing the Silver Ship symbol. Aaron investigates the docks while the rest of the party find a place to stay. He discovers that the symbol is that of the Runewind family, a powerful Old Family from Midwinter.

While he watches he sees a young man, wearing the Runewind crest, leave a barge and enter the town. Never one to miss an opportunity, Aaron attempts to pick-pocket the young man, unfortunately he botches the attempt and is spotted. He trades a few blows with the man and then flees, injured, into the town. When Aaron returns to the party he tells them of the Runewind crest. They decide to investigate the town to find if there are any offices belonging to the family. They soon discover that there is an office building shared between three families, the Runewinds, the Talarrys and the Heartstars. As they are watching the office, one of the men inside recognises Luther. The man, Jeremy, was one of the guards sent to kill them ten years before.

That evening the party break into the offices looking for information. Unfortunately they find nothing, but they steal all the petty cash they can find anyway. On their way back to their inn they meet up with the Jeremy, who has hired some thugs to apprehend the party, A battle takes place and the party escape by the skin of their teeth, leaving Jeremy and half the thugs dead in the street. Quickly grabbing their gear they flee the town.

As they head south they return again to Burden’s Mill. Luther, who has the uncanny ability to turn himself invisible, enters the mill. Inside, little has changed, young children are still used to operate the mill while the owners reap the benefits. Luther breaks into Burden’s office looking for information. He escapes with some ledgers and account books. Inside the books the coming and going of the orphans is recorded. The head of the Merchant’s Guild, Amos Cressmar, is solely responsible for sending young children to the mills to work. They also discover that the Runewind and Fairwind families buy older orphans when they have lived out their usefulness. There are also some references to a woman named Zayara Carroth buying children from Burden. Incensed by Burden’s activities they continue to Midwinter.

Midwinter City, May 1021TA - Return to Midwinter.

On the 14th of May the party finally arrive in Midwinter, their previous home. They enter the old part of the city, called the Shambles, finding rooms in a riverside inn called The Curious Gnome. They first visit the Tinker’s Island in Midwinter’s Harbour. There they make themselves known to the local gypsies who offer them a warm welcome. For the next week they familiarise themselves with the city.

Luther visits the Cathedral of Phaedra where he meets with Ysmar Marangath, Mistress of the Novices. She recognises him immediately, saying she knew his mother and that they all thought he was dead. She tries to pressure him in to entering the church for formal training. Unsure of her motives, he declines her offers and leaves. While traveling the city over the next few days he becomes that his moves are shadowed by an unknown woman.

Bruce joins the Guild of Mercenaries and Freeblades, commonly known as the Warrior’s Guild. Aaron sinks into Midwinter’s underworld, seeking to join the Shadow Guild, Midwinter’s thieves guild. Ash and Rowley join the Midwinter Academical Society, the centre for magical training in the area.

After a few days they begin their investigations. They begin by visiting the shop once owned by Ash’s aunt. Ash speaks to the girl working there, she says the shop is now owned by Heslor Radizar, a powerful member of the Academical Society. They stake out the shop, waiting for Heslor. Later that night Heslor arrives and while the party listens, they overhear him conducting a drug deal with a mysterious sailor.

The next day Ash goes to the Mage’s Guild to find out about Radizar, while there he meets Esla Mornyr, a fellow student. They sense an immediate attraction and hit it of straight away. The party begin to realise that their enemies are much stronger than they are and with more contacts and influence. They decide to begin earning some extra money. Bruce takes on a caravan contract, delivering goods to Zale, and a job to find a rare substance near Zale. Ash and Rowley take on a job for an alchemist, Belbyr Blademoon, to pick up some rare documents in Zale and return them to Midwinter. Unknown to the rest, Aaron takes on a delivery job for the shadow guild.

Before they leave the city, they visit the gypsies on Tinker’s Island where they hold a late night party. While there, Luther finally meets his mysterious follower. She says her name is Lauren and she is his half-sister. She warns him that the church want to use him for their own ends. While they seem benevolent at the moment, they will seek to bring him into the church.

Midwinter City, June 1021TA - Making Some Money.

The next day they set off westwards to Zale. Ash introduces the party to Esla, who he has invited along. They are guarding a caravan of animals bound for Zale. A few days later they arrive in Highpine, a border town. There, Aaron is to deliver his Shadow Guild package. He asks Aaron and Rowley for help as backup. Together they set off for the Goblin’s Groin. They return later to the campsite sporting cuts and bruises, saying they were caught in a tavern brawl. Aaron is now a fully-fledged member of the Shadow Guild.

They continue the journey, as they leave the borders Esla tells Ash that she has been approached by a group of bandits seeking to waylay the caravan. Together they hatch a plan to turn the tables on the bandits and when the bandits attack, they are prepared and they are able to overcome them.

At the end of June the caravan arrives in Zale and they receive their payment. They set off for the coast, hunting for an uncommon mollusc that will supply then with the rare drug they are looking for. Following a couple of fishing trips they secure some of the molluscs and return to Zale. There they pick up the package of scrolls and books to return to Midwinter. Bruce also picks up a contract to escort a merchant back to Midwinter. They are joined on the journey by two dwarves, who are traveling back to Midwinter. Together they set off on the month-long trek home.

Midwinter City, August 1021TA - Dwarven Deceptions and Hidden Gods.

They have only been traveling a week when disaster strikes. Esla and Ash are on watch one night when they hear a disturbance. They see the two dwarves racing away from the campsite on horseback. They look around and discover a series of traps laid by the dwarves, Quickly, after waking the party, they rush to disarm the traps. Only one goes off, creating a huge fireball and destroying some of the merchant’s goods. The traps used a series of small ceramic jars, which when smashed cast fire balls or fog spells. They also discover that the dwarves had stolen the books they were taking to Midwinter.

The party head off after the dwarves. They track them to a ruined keep. They see signs that the two dwarves met up with four others and that something happened at the keep, killing one of the dwarves. The group follow the tracks down into caverns below the keep. They discover that the dwarves have been captured by giant spiders. They kill the spiders and find all of the dwarves except two.

They continue to search and find tracks leading deeper into the caves. They follow them and are soon fighting for their lives against lizard men and strange, white elves. Overcoming the bad guys, they continue to follow the tracks to an underground temple. Luther identifies the idols there as Zaw, one of the ‘Lost Gods’. Inside they kill a high priestess and her attendants, find the dwarves bodies and recover the stolen books.

The party return to the surface and return to Midwinter. There they deliver the books to Belbyr, describing how the dwarves tried to steal them. Belbyr thinks that they were employed by Baukest, a rival alchemist at the guild who wanted the scrolls.

Midwinter City, September 1021TA - The Runewinds, a Spontaneous Decision.

The party spend some of their hard earned money. Ash and Rowley take the promotion exams at the guild, rising to Associate rank. The party invest some of their money in a large house in the Norn Hill area of the city.

After spending their money and re-equipping, they visit Amon Alardov, Rowley’s old solicitor. Rowley casts a powerful suggestion spell on the solicitor and they begin to question him. They learn that their parents embarked upon a colonisation expedition to the east. The members were carefully chosen by Amos Cressmar, the Merchant’s Guildmaster, at the orders of The Grey Wind, a mysterious cartel. Amon gives the names of the Grey Wind members. They include the Runewind, Fairwind, Talarry, Radizar and Carroth families, names already known to the party, as well as others. The party decide to investigate the Runewinds and so begin to search for information.

At the Freeblades, Bruce is introduced to a man, Leo Marelli, who is also seeking information on the Runewinds. A lifelong friend, Luke, is being held prisoner at the Runewind shipyards, east of the city. Leo wants to break in and rescue his friend, but does not have the resources himself. Bruce introduces Leo to the party and they agree to help him.

The next day Aaron decides to invest some of his money in a pleasure barge, so using this as a cover story they visit various ship builders in the city, ending at the Runewind offices. There they seek an audience with Rufus Runewind, the senior family member at the office. All goes well until they enter his office. Rufus is unfortunately the man that Aaron tried to pick-pocket four months ago. A fight ensues in the offices. To cover their tracks Rowley casts a powerful spell on Rufus, turning him homicidal. Rufus goes on the rampage and is eventually killed by guards at the office. Aaron, Ash and Rowley flee the scene of the crime.

The next day, Aaron, Ash, Leo and Rowley return to the scene of the previous days action. While watching the offices, two carriages bearing the Runewind crest stop outside the offices. From one gets an old man, Ash recognises him as the man who ordered their deaths ten years ago in Burden’s mill. Together with some other family members he enters the Runewind offices.

The three are shocked to see him, their emotions get the better of them and they hatch a plan to assassinate the Runewinds. Aaron take some of the fireball-flasks and turns them invisible. He then fastens them to the wheels of the two carriages and returns to his friends to await the Runewind’s return.

Later, the Runewinds leave the offices and enter the carriages. The drivers cracks his whip and the horses move forward, crushing the flasks and setting off the fireballs. The two carriages are immolated in the ensuing fireball, killing all occupants. Shocked, Leo heads for the carriages to try and rescue any survivors. Together, Ash, Aaron and Rowley leave the scene, The first part of their revenge is complete.

Midwinter City, September 1021TA - The Aftermath.

Ash, Aaron and Rowley return to the Curious Gnome. They tell Bruce and Luther what they have done. Bruce storms out in a rage. Luther, saddened by their actions, locks himself in his room and does not come out for three days. During this time, the rest of the party scour the city for news. They finally discover that the Mages’ Guild were called in to investigate. They identified the fireball-flasks as belonging to Baukest the dwarf, who promptly skips town to avoid capture. The party breathe a sigh of relief.

Luther finally reappears from his room, following days of meditation and prayer. All back together, they decide to rescue Leo’s friend Luke. Hoping that the confusion will make the place easier to infiltrate. They travel to the Runewind estate. There they find the number of guards has reduced and many of the artisans and workers have fled. They free Luke and return to Midwinter. Investigation show that the explosion killed every member of the Runewind family except his young daughter Gemma and the Merchant’s Guild has expelled the ailing business.

While visiting their new house to check on the renovations, they find they have received an invitation to a ball at the local Bath House. Surprised, but looking forward to a good bash, the party buy some new clothes, ready to hobnob with the rich and famous.

On to Part 2 of the Chronicle.

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