The Mercenaries of St. Vicious

The First Job
  • You are mercenaries brought together by Dougulus, the Lordling who loves slumming, to complete a job.You are all independent contractors for the Red Company. Your team has been put together through a combination of foresight and chance. The classes of each team are determined by the fixer (in this case Dougulus) for each job. The people filling these class roles are determined by lottery.Some of you already have a history with each other. Some of you don’t.
  • You run jobs out of St. Vincent, aka St. Vicious, the largest city in the known world. The city is very diverse but segregated. It is overpopulated and home to the lowest villainy and extravagant wealth in all surrounding lands. St. Vincent is located in fertile river lands, which are no longer sufficient to feed the population of the city. The river lands abut a region of rolling hills, which rise quickly into the long mountain range.
  • Your job contract requires you to recover a black sword – Malfincus – from a demonic statue in a dungeon high in the mountains for 500 coins. This dungeon is located above a mountain pass. You have a map showing a hidden entrance. The dungeon is located a week from St. Vincent. You know that the dungeon is an ancient fort held by various groups over the years. It’s like a storefront that has no consistent ownership.
  • You delved into the dungeon and encountered a bunch of skeletons and a couple vampires. The skeletons seems to regenerate. The vampires seem to hiss. You dispatched them. They were first alerted to your presence when Damian botched a simple light spell. But Hawk was a flat out beast, and Brynn is pretty handy with a bow. A particularly cool move was when Sargatanus intercepted a vampire in midair as it descended upon Brynn. It was also cool when Cavario did 10 points of damage to Sargantus as he was rolling around on the floor with the vampire.
  • You then recovered the ebony blade from the massive demon statue in front of a long, rectangular pool. The sword is 6 feet long but quite light. It’s still a pain in the ass to carry around. It’s just awkward. The sword has a series of circles running down the blade. Cavario realized that the symbol is that of Etherox, a primordial god predating Sarin and Lok. In many legends, Etherox gave birth to Sarin and Lok (among other gods) and held a blade described just as this.
  • Instead of exploring an open passage or a large wooden door, you retreated back the way you came to return the blade Malfincus to Dougulus. The spiral stairs took forever. You’re not sure how long, but clearly they were enchanted. Upon leaving the dungeon, you encountered another group of skeletons. They stood on a small rock landing immediately outside the dungeon opening. Damian turned them, and they fled down the goat path – the only visible way down.
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Back into the Dungeon
  • This episode began with another party being sent out by Dougulus. Wolendra, and elven bard, was to chronicle the adventures of the mercenary group and create a catchy company jingle. Wolendra set out with two other adventurers and camped on the mountain path. The group was woken by the skeletons fleeing from the glory of Lok a couple switchbacks above.
  • A great battle with the skeletons ensued, ultimately culminating in the meeting of the two groups. Highlights included: the druid and elven wizard tumbling off the cliff, the druid turning into a mammoth, the elven wizard retreating after parting the mammoth’s balls, the cleric skreeeeing down the cliff and striking a pose with the warhammer, the fighter spending way too long with a single skeleton, and many more.
  • The party camped, and when they woke from the rising sun, they spotted a horde of skeletons massing in the pass below. The druid transformed wayne’s world style into an owl and got a closer look. The skeletons numbered approximately 5000, and they carried about 100 wooden boxes. The horde didn’t move. After some arguing about how to get around the horde, the party retreated back into the dungeon in the hope of finding another way out.
  • In the dungeon, the party encountered a few notable rooms. Of course, the room with the statute of Etherox (no longer carrying a sword). The elven wizard recalled some lore to learn more about Malfincus. The torture room with the blood hole. Here, the wizard could’ve tortured someone else as part of a ritual to gain knowledge of other creatures in the area. But after a 10 minute discussion (in RL) they party decided not to engage in torture. The room with the fire beetle tunnels. The room with clawed up and sucked down bandits.
  • The group also found another exit with another goat path. This path would dump out the party approximately 50 yards in front of the horde, but at least past the horde. As the group checked out this exit, it say the sun setting. Damn those weird timey spiral stairs!
  • The party delved back into the dungeon hoping for an even better exit. It found some crappy shit in some trapped chests and the lair of the bandit king. Who is now a vampire. The party fought and murdered this foul creature. This room was filled with old, mismatched, beautiful tapestries. The party had a couple promising moves, like the fighter positioning himself in the doorway and funneling the vampire straight into the ranger. It didn’t amount to shit, though, because the ranger rained arrows upon the vampire and failed. The bandit vampire also bit the hell out of the elven wizard. That’s when the vampire really died.
  • The party then tried to destroy the other vampire standing in the back with its arms crossed. The party did a pretty good job. But when the elven wizard started spouting off some lore about how to kill a vampire for good, the vampire turned to smoke and escaped through some cracks between the tapestries. Uh oh.
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A Narrow Escape from an Undead Horde
  • The session began with the party in the dungeon theorizing about where the vampire had gone. Had it gone to warn the others? After some searching, the party found a series of old fire beetle tunnels behind some tapestries. A way out. The party cautiously made its way through the tunnels and exited onto a mountain ridge. Shit was freezing up there.
  • Sargatanus sent Mother off to scout. When she didn’t come back immediately, Grendump transformed into an owl and followed. The dog was squared off against a vampire, who quickly disappeared down the mountain. The party found a way down into the pass.
  • At this point the party headed toward the sounds of hissing. Pretty smart move. They were overwhelmed by a large group of vampires, some held at bay only by Damian’s divine power. A cool fight ensued with some ass kicking, but the skeleton horde was rumbling down the pass. The party narrowly escaped through a smaller pass in the rock that was too cluttered for the skeletons to clamber through.
  • The party came upon a stronghold of the Order of Sarin, its flowing spotify banners and all. It had been taken over by an elven war band, the likes of which had not been seen this far north in quite some time. Apparently, there were no paladins of Sarin left. Another cool battle happened in the concert room. Remember the time when Grendump missed the guard and flew through the door into the elven soldiers? And how he turned into a furry squirrel with a furry vest? And how Hawke slammed the door shut and bent the bar with his amazing strength? Remember that cool map with the red and black spots, and the X? Don’t forget that book Cavario took! And remember the escape through the secret passage when the skeleton horde overwhelmed that stronghold? Wow!
  • The party crossed through foothills and fertile riverlands, passed through some crappy villages that bear little mention, and made it to St. Vincent. There, they hooked back up with Dougulus after a day or so. He was psyched the party returned with the sword and kept talking about how big this deal was. how it would make him. He then offered the party a new contract – get 300 coins now and 1000 later to sell the sword for him. At that point, Dougulus brought in a scruffy guide to show them to the designated location.
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Sell Sword
  • The party spent 3 days rearming at St. Vincent.
  • Hobart determined that the elves have barred the doors to their district of St Vincent. Citca ticked off the human guards outside the elven quarter. Damian informed us that these guards are pussies. The party inspected the door to the elven ward and determined that the door is locked from the inside. Citca pisses off the guards and Damian gets shot with an arrow. Hobart fails to pick pocket on the way out of the encounter – gets away with 10 coins. Yay! The party learned that following the barbarian is a terrible idea.
  • The thieves contemplated fencing the blade, Maleficus. They engaged with the local thieves guild presence. They offered 1500 for the blade. Pennies compared to the 1000 each that Dougulus offered for bringing the blade to his fence. Lemroh spouts lore and learns that Maleficus opens the door to another dimension. And can be used to kill a god just as Etherox cut off the heads of his kids before eating them.
  • After way too much deliberation we go to meet the fence at the Tower of Morton. Brynn is rendered invisible by Lemroh. She scouts the tower along with Grendump who is in Owl form. Damian knows the fence from the Shadow Wars, his name is Jamin. The fence has left the order of Lok. Damian gets pissed and bitchslaps him. Lemroh gets bored and jumps from the bushes to break up the fight. Damian threatens the truth from the fence.
  • The halfings decern reality and learn that we are in gang territory.
  • Damian learns from Jamin that the stories may be wrong: Etherox did not kill his children. It was the opposite, the children actually killed the father. And we can kill Sarin with Maleficus. That’s the plan of Jamin and his group.
  • The halfings check out the inside of a building and hide as the followers of Lok storm passed them. Meanwhile the raid siren goes off, signaling the undead horde is Attacking. Lemroh charms Jamin and learns that his crew wants to bring back Etherox. His people suck. But the tower is probably safe.
  • The Lok disciples storm out of the building and attack. Hawke lays down cover while he and Citca move through the Lok disciples. Hawke, as usual, destroys the opposition. And they make their way toward Sargatanus. Damian bumps a wall and causes a cascading failure of the structure. Citca and Hawke bring down the hammer and kill dozens of Lok followers. And they try to carve a way towards the tower to get cover. The party takes a stand and fends off the mob of Lok followers. Some of the group gets caught under the rubble of the collapsing tower.
    Grendump as a mammoth tries to rescue the adventurers. Brynn tries to rescue the people below but falls on her ass.
  • Separated from the rest of the group, Hobart sets a building on fire, travels through the sewers, has a close call with some undead, and escapes.
  • The party decides to keep the sword after all. What kind of mercenaries are these?
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There and Back Again
  • While Hootie, I mean Cavario, was away he hooked up with Cee-Lo Green Ursher, who taught him how to bard it up. He is now a Palabard or Bardadin….whatever.
    The party attempts to flee the city toward the harbor which appears to be on fire. We stop at a well known tavern in the area to get beer. Unfortunately the bar was occupied by a banshee. Bitch was loud. We ran away.
  • When we reached the harbor we found it to be completely in flames and the skies were filled with undead birds – we later learned these were nighthawks. The birds attacked Hawke and lifted him in the air. Damian tried to save him but was carried off as well. Anus shoots the eagle. The players fall and take a bunch of damage. Anus and Dump are carried off as well. With some fancy arrow work Anus escapes the fall but Dump falls to the pavement.
  • The party determines that the birds are being directed by the a figure on the top of the mast of a tall ship. And we see a lone unburned ship and make run for it.
  • On the way out of town we see another figure on top of the tallest tower in the city. It is holding the amulet of souls with its tendrils spiraling out into the city. Anus knows all about this amulet and we learn that this is the necromancer that we’ve been chasing. The party decides to return to town. Landing the boat just outside of town we head back and immediately encounter the devourer (the figure that was on top of the ship mast.) It attacks grendump who turns into a mammoth to counter the attack. The rest of the party comes to aid of dump and defeats the devourer. The devourer in its dying gasp knocked hawke into the river. Due to his extreme armor he sinks. Dump jumps into the water as a mammoth and saves him – mammoths can swim, who knew http://youtu.be/RYXAoAYKhio
  • The party makes its way toward the tower where the necromancer was first spotted with the amulet. When we approach the tower we see that there is a skeletal dragon perched on the top of the tower. Apon approach the dragon attacks. Damian provides a bubble of safety with his turn undead ability. Hobart scales the wall like Spider-Man. Cavario, Anus and Mother go through the front door and start climbing the stairs. The party inside is attackerd by zombies and cavarios axe/guitar is thrown to the bottom of the tower. Meanwhile on the ground the dragon attacks. Dump turns into a polar bear and drags the dragon to the ground but gets a huge bite taken out of his bear shoulder. Damian protects the party with turn undead and Hawke slices off the dragon’s wing. The party inside collects their weapons and continues up the stairs fending off zombies the whole way. Outside Hawke attacks but gets his sword caught in the dragons spine and loses his weapon. Hawke pulls Malefincus and slashes at dragons neck, severing it and killing the undead dragon.
  • With the dragon dead the whole party makes its way up the stairs toward the necromancer above. Damian covers the stairs and dump turns into a wolverine and bites the shit out of the necromancer. Anus and mother attack and destroy the Necromancer. On his way out he states that Anus should take the amulet to the Anvil so at least someone will survive. What?!?
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Two Adventures for the Price of One

A good part of the following two adventures seems to be lost in the mists of memory, located somewhere in the annals of time, in turn located somewhere in Etherox’s butt.

Having defeated the Necromancer, secured the the Soul Keeper, and the blade Malfincus, the party left the tower and headed out. There was a vicious fight with some of those flying undead bat/bird creature. A couple people were lifted into the air. They fell but rolled a 7 or something, so they didn’t really get hurt (just lessened in the eyes of their companions).

They finally got to the boat they had stashed on the Arteriol, and they headed North. It was overridden with undead. Blech. Along the way, they encountered some will o the wisps, but they opted not to follow the notoriously mysterious and fickle creatures. They fought a triad of manticores who had faces of some followers of Lok – indeed, they were close brothers of Damian during the Shadow Wars. Riding one of the manticores was NAME. It looks like he’s dead now (having been shot by an arrow through the head before plunging off his manticore into the depths of the Arteriol).

At last they arrived at Hawke‘s family estate. They fought Hawke’s undead mom and dad their (who were simultaneously hanging themselves with their own intestines) and saved Hawke‘s older sister Melva. She’s now along for the ride.

They also found Hawke‘s folks’ liquor cabinet, uh, I mean, magic vault. The 15 foot golem guarding it pretty much killed Hobart until that dastardly devilish rogue lawyered the shit out of a rules loophole. Though, it should be noted that it was a good kill shot: Hobart was pimp slapped so hard that he flew through the air, hit a wall, cracked it, and skid down its face. He left a splat 10 feet up and a blood trail like some wounded snail.

There, they found a couple magic items. It was reward for “not dying.”

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Elves!

This is the second of the two adventures for the price of one that are partly lost in Etherox…

The party left Hawke’s family estate and headed north. They sailed well and encountered nothing. They docked the boat and set off for the X on the map. This is usually frontier land – the border between orc and human territory. On the human side is, Barklay, the second largest city in human territory and a citadel on the frontier. On the other side is a landscape dotted by constantly shifting orcish clans.

The landscape past the beginning of the Arterial is hilly and dotted with trees. Ancient ruins are scattered about. The party encounters a group of armed humans from Barklay, led by the fairly reasonable Foles. With the undead horde having passed through here and the fertile riverlands to the south, food is scarce. They parley a little and consider going back to Barklay, but some elves show up. They talk a little, but tensions are high. The elves seem to have some kind land grab scheme going on. Because their land is fucked too, along with the halflings’. But wait, oh shit: it’s that elf who recognized Sargatanus back at the fortress of Sarin. He whispers to his leader Vick, and they want Sargatanus. A fight ensues. Sitka challenges Vick to go one on one, cuts off his hand, and steals some of his elves.

The party then says this place is dead anyway and goes toward the X. They get there, and over the lip of a hill they gaze into a hidden valley, bursting with thousands of orcs.

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The Druid with Mammoth Balls

The party needed some new blood, so they picked up a few noobs at Barklay. They then went back to the hidden valley to see what’s up with the orcs.

There were thousands of those fuckers, and they all had eyes painted on their armor. The three thieves(!) from the party infiltrated the camp after dusk. The ranger provided some backup. The orcs were just waking up, but they began to party fast. The thieves found an orc shaman doing some weird dance around a crucified elf. The elf screamed bloody murder. He had already lost an eye. Hobart was in telepathic contact with one of the noobs and they formed a plan.

The rest of the party stormed down the hill and provided a “distraction.” It was more like a suicide run. Most of the team got into serious trouble, but Grendump got it the worst. He transformed into a mammoth, ran into the center of camp, got jumped by a mutant orc berserker with 4 arms, and died. It might have been worth it had the elf survived, but those halfling thieves were weak as hell and couldn’t drag that skinny ass elf out of camp. All he muttered before dying was “eyes.” Lots of good intel there.

The biggest (and really only) win came at the end of the night when one of the noobs spouted some lore. It looks like the eyes are a symbol of Organa – goddess of life and death. She was one of Etherox’s first children and also the first to die. Etherox sent his three hounds after her to continually eat her corpse, for it would always regenerate. The only thing they ever left was the eyeballs. As legend goes, one eye has the power of life, and one has the power of death.

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Back into Orc Eyeball Valley

After their defeat at the orc eyeball valley near Barklay, the group regrouped and headed back into the breach. They talked to Foles back at the ranch and arranged for a cavalry diversion if needed upon the signal from a flare arrow. The group also made a deal to get some extra cash by finding the “Prophet” at the center of the camp, and even more if they brought back the head of Jungwasser, an orc leader with a tattoo of a heart on his face who had relentlessly harried Barklay over the years.

The party pulled a strategy from Spies Like Us – some of them dyed themselves blue and called themselves the Triumverate of the Eye. It actually worked. They fooled some orcs and gained access to the camp to find the Prophet. But surprise! Sargatanus’ old nemesis Mordan emerged from the camp to bring them down. He recognized Sargatanus and talked smack to him, but Sargatanus held his cool.

After some logistical nonsense, the entire party made it to the ruins at the center of the camp. Mum Tar was there. That dude is a 20,000 year old elven battle mage conqueror, and he has been resurrected by necromancers age after age to do their bidding. Now, the necromancer is dead, and Mum Tar doesn’t want to be resurrected again.

The party made a deal with Mum Tar: He’d tell them how to find the Eye of Organa (the eye of life), and they would give him eternal peace by bringing him to the Anvil and killing him with Malfincus. For what it’s worth, Mum Tar also gave the party the lowdown on the artifacts. Each age, a necromancer always seeks them. Malfincus kills gods and opens a dimensional gate to a hell realm. The eye creates life so that the necromancer can create armies. And the soul amulet acts as a necromantic battery.

The party the descended stairs in the ruins into a labyrinth. It was confusing and magical, and it housed cyclopean minotaurs. Damian was separated, but everyone found each other, defeated the minotaurs, and retrieved the Eye from the central chamber.

Hobart rubbed some oil of etherealness (that he purchased at Barklay) all over himself and fled with the Eye to a tent near the outskirts of camp. Brynn booked ass up the stairs and fired a flare arrow at the door. The rest of the party ascended. Sargatanus attempted to supplant Mordan as Mum Tar’s man, but Mum Tar just stared at him. What will happen to Sargatanus now????

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