Adventurer's Log

Even though I abhor turning D&D into anything resembling a video game, we’re starting to get a lot of cogwheels turning with different characters and plots. Organizing the seperate threads will lessen headaches, so here’s your quest log. Also included are the party’s exact current level of XP, Fame, and Pretige with known factions.

A Note to the Players: The comments alongside each of these plotlines are my interpretation of the party’s level of interest or intentions. They are absolutely NOT meant to be any kind of boundaries or suggestions, so feel free to change your mind in a sudden twist or develop and interest in something previously thought uninteresting.

XP: 15/30 to Level 7
Fame: 18 (5000gp Limit)

The Seven Lords: Respected
The Enclave: Suspicious
The Watch: Indifferent
The Merchant’s Accord: Indifferent
Clan Boldbrew: Friendly
County Fourswords: Acquainted

What do the numbers mean?

The Artifacts of Ethas

Many centuries ago, Ethas, the first king of Cardea, used these three objects together to forge an empire from a dark age of ruin. This story is repeated many times throughout scattered records of a time before the Avencian Empire, which is built on Cardea’s bones. It is believed that the artifacts remained in the hands of the Cardean royal family until the end of the Empire long ago, under the reign of Emperor Galtius III, when they were lost. The exact nature of the three objects is speculative, but the party has gathered clues that they are:

- A Sword with the power to control men.
- A Chalice with the power to create unbreakable pacts.
- A Crown theorized to either block out or store energy.

Having unwittingly aided in the recovery of the crown, the party was employed a second time, by the aging professor Kardebrandt, to locate the Cardean Royal Seal, which opens the way to the Chalice. Though it was guarded by an ancient and sinister spirit, they succeeded. Meanwhile, they were accosted by agents of Victus Vondreaux, a collector of antiquities. Now, some time later, it’s becoming clear that the recovery of these artifacts is of concern to the city’s greatest powers:

- The Circle of Seven Lords, a secret society of well-connected and powerful individuals who seemingly work in the city’s best interest, outside of the law. They are represented by Celshire Kardebrandt, a venerable archaeological pioneer.
- Victus Vondreaux, and incredibly wealthy merchant lord whose true intentions are unknown, outside of his assertive interest in the artifacts. Though he is a member of the powerful Merchant’s Accord, there is no evidence they are all involved.
- A mysterious third party who scarcely mentioned that the heroes are becoming a liability as they know too much about the artifacts. This unknown party engineered the loss of the Bellerose, the world’s first prototype steamship, to the Dread Cross pirate fleet.
- Undoubtedly, the incredible effort expended to recover the artifacts will catch the attention of other interested powers; it’s safe to say that any power group that becomes fully aware of the situation will want a piece.

Dissention among the Seven Lords drove Kardebrandt to set up a secret meeting with the heroes, in hopes of handing the Seal over to them for safekeeping. Unfortunately, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the group was unable to avoid his unfortunate death. The Sealm which was on his person, was subsequently stolen by the Dead Man.

Status: At present, the Crown is locked away in Lord Marley’s vault, on his estate, while the Seal has been stolen by the Dead Man on behalf of MAVEN. The sword remains missing, and the Chalice is presumably still within its chamber below the city.

The MAVEN Conspiracy

Either through luck or misfortune, it appears that the group has become caught up in a major conspiracy that involves releasing a deadly plague into the city’s drinking water… as only the first phase. Two letters the heroes have recovered so far name specific agents involved with MAVEN, whether that be a person or an organization. Esmos is supposed to be checking up on the distribution of the plague into the cisterns, while Nym, also knows as the mysterious Dead Man assassin, is stealing something from the museum on their behalf.

Evidence suggests that this plague is closely related to the Blackblood epidemic 13 years ago, and the famous Doctor Isaias Devahl, who cured the original strain and is vacationing in Wightlade, is to be murdered to prevent his involvement.

Status: The group has become aware of the conspiracy, but finds their position very disadvantageous. They have elected to leave the city for a time and see what changes in their absence.

World’s First Steam Ship: The Bellerose

A technological wonder both in form and function, the Bellerose was the first prototype intended to prove the viability of steam power at sea. The heroes were on the maiden voyage, and met the Benitons, wealthy investors who funded much of the building of the controversial ship, alongside Victus Vondreaux. A last minute change in the scheduled cruise route, and an act of sabotage; left the ship adrift in dangerous territory. A poison gas bomb nearly sealed the heroes’ fate and that of the other passengers, but revealed clues to the identity of the one responsible… someone seemingly opposed to Vondreaux and aware of the existence of the Artifacts of Ethas. As the party escaped aboard a shipping crate jury-rigged to the underbelly of an airship, they saw red sails on the horizon, in the path of the drifting Bellerose.

Status: The heroes count themselves lucky to have escaped, and though they are keeping an eye out for news of the Bellerose, they’re not actively pursuing it’s recovery.

The Mysterious Assassin

Dossiers recovered from the desk of Victus Vondreaux, sealed with the image of a skull in profile against a backdrop of gears, crossed behind by two long daggers. A similar image was seen in the silhouette of an unknown figure just hours later, as it fled the scene of a grisly assassination. The heroes were able to save the victim, a member of the Circle of Seven Lords, from death by severe poisoning.

Unsure of how to pursue the assassin, Lidya consulted her grandmother, a nomadic fortune teller and spirit-speaker. The spirits revealed that whatever this assassin’s nature, he has no soul to speak of.

Further information requested from Mr. Morgeaux, at a price, reveal that he is theorized to be a shapeshifter of some kind, who favors a very specific poison and is seen most in the Gate Ward.

Status: The party has positively connected the Dead Man to MAVEN and the plague being released into the drinking cisterns. They’ve received information from Mr Morgeaux regarding theories about his identity and his methods… as well as the name Nym.

The Boldbrew Clan

Having performed incredible deeds of bravery on behalf of the canyon town of Narrows, Mogrir earned the respect of his thane and clan by turning their fortunes. Thane Tolke Boldbrew assured Mogrir that he had big plans for the Boldbrews, and would invite Mogrir and the other heroes to join in the glory when the time comes.

Status: Awaiting new developments.

The Man with the Gun
-A prim and proper thug with a wide-bore pistol confronted the heroes in the Fair Winds Alehouse soon after they returned to Valcora with the Crown of Ethas. He demanded they hand over the Royal Seal of Cardea, having mistakenly believed they were the party sent to recover it by Professor Kardebrandt. The situation erupted, and the Man with the Gun shot a crossbow-wielding bartender in the chest, killing him. When a threatening note was slipped under the door of the heroes’ hideout, they chased down the delivery boy and discovered that the Man with the Gun had skipped town for a while to escape legal ramifications.

-He later made a serious attempt on the heroes’ lives in an alley behind the Black Gull Tavern, but was dispatched. He was then kept alive and interrogated, revealing he’s held a grudge against the party ever since they forced his hand in killing that Osprian bartender. It caused a major investigation and Vondreaux, a promising employer, fired him. The party left him with his life in exchange for his loyalty; he was sent to offer his services as an informant of Lord Marley, former Constable of the City Watch and now one of the Seven Lords.

-Status: Seemingly no longer a threat, but a reluctant, indirect ally.

Horrors of Notchwood

Pursuing an end to the possession of Rose by an evil spirit, the heroes were compelled to venture into Coaldust Marsh; the haunted Northern tip of Notchwood. There they stumbled upon the hut of a legendary hag, known as the Grey Maiden, and barely escaped with their entrails in order. Soon after, the group met Briarmarrow, and ancient cypress treant with a malice toward those who bring destruction to the forest. Rose decided that being rid of her torment was worth the consequences, and Briarmarrow accepted the ancient elven spirit Saern’Sindel, becoming even more twisted than he already appeared. Both the Grey Maiden and Briarmarrow remain deep within Notchwood, and the consequences of the heroes’ time there are as yet unknown.

Status: A distant concern.

Moloch’s Research: Aeonic Fire Cults

In his quest to understand his uniquely combustible gifts, Moloch secured access to several restricted sections of Valcora’s Grand Library. Over the course of his research, he followed up on a trail of references to the nature of fire, leading him to the understanding that Aeon, deity of the New Faith, has another side; the concept of fire as a means of purificiation and a vessel of communicating with the divine. This discovery led to the possibility of seeking out a rare and secretive Aeonic fire cult to investigate their interpretation of the flames.

Status: Intended follow-up, but not an immediate priority.

h3. -The Murder of the Diva

-While attending an opera in Valcora’s famous Poet’s Ward, the heroes witnessed a murder as the lead singer of the production collapsed on stage, apparently poisoned. Rose’s close friend Mora, a singer of much lesser note than the one murdered, had invited the party, and had been a close friend of the deceased. Fearing that she knew why the murder had taken place and might be considered a loose end, she was eager to leave the city as soon as possible. As the heroes’ attempted to take her to the docks, where she could find passage on a ship, they were stopped by an Inquisitor Frey of the Enclave, Valcora’s secret police concerned with all things arcane and demonic. He accused Mora of being a spellcaster and demanded the party turn her over to him. Despite her objections, the party was eventually convinced of Frey’s intentions to release her if cleared of charges, and let her be taken.

-Status: Mora appeared on the doorstep of 13 Shallow Street, the heroes’ headquarters, with a few bags and her pet snake. She said she had been released when not enough evidence was found, but was unwilling to return home. The heroes agreed to take her in.

13 Shallow Street

The heroes’ continued efforts to fortify and utilize the old manor home they acquired in the Gate Ward never cease. Having shored up construction and ensured a basic level of security, they’ve now turned their attention to the creation of facilities for their less mundane activites; advanced engineering, alchemy, the storage of vast wealth, and the housing of an extremely valuable clockwork carriage.

Status: Ongoing.

The Arcane Sphere

During the party’s foray into the tomb of the famous alchemist Zerich Treason, they removed an unusual object from the center of a device resembling and astrolabe, which was purportedly designed to locate ley lines and places of power from afar. Created by a combination of advanced arcanistry and engineering, the exact nature of the device remains unknown. It is a sphere of bronze, seemingly made up of hundreds of interlocking parts, with three tiny circular ‘windows’ spaced seeming at random. Each window is covered in glass, and nothing can be seen within. A casting of detect magic revealed arcane energy inside the sphere.

Status: The group is examining and investigating the object in their spare time.

Adventurer's Log

Age of Ascension Grimstead