Tal'Dorei Twilight

An Arrow to the Shoulder
We start at the beginning...

Coasting down the mountains of the FROST-IRON RIDGE and over the VISTA-POINTE GORGE, the clouds break and sun shines on the city of VEL'THARA. A small city by all accounts, but has a stable economy of trade both by land, and by sea.

Down the cobblestone streets and through the bustling city life, we come upon a desolate dive bar known as The GILDED DWARF. Situated at the far end of the Marketplace, buried in an alley just to the east of the ALIENAGE, it is a place of rumors and tales. At The Gilded Dwarf, you are neither friend nor foe to its patrons. Everyone has one thing in common here: Ale. But tread lightly, you are as lucky to get a free round as you are a black eye.

Dust and grime has gathered on the glasses and the rags are presumed to have been white at one time or another. The characters around have a story for every scar and strangers are often met with skepticism but a cold, Cliffkeep Stout is always flowing.

Our heroes find themselves all occupying the same bar but not yet discovered the shared need to help. Most people in Vel'Thara pass through without a second thought. It is a city of missed opportunity. A bard entertains in the corner while a soldier and a monk enjoy a friendly arm-wrestling match. As the sun sets and cascades an orange-glow througout, the door opens and in walks a lithe, somewhat naïve, elf, named ARYNN.

As the night drones on, the barmaid AJA CORRYN, ensures that everyone is tended to, fed, and has plenty to drink. Music fills the room, cheers, and laughter as the bard, KARL, makes his way to every table and introduces himself. Aja is hurriedly bringing drinks to and from the bar and spills a thick stout all over RYON ANGMAR, the resident drunkard. Quick to anger, Ryon attempts to lash out at Aja but easily intimidated by VALTRAX, a paladin of Pelor. Sobbing, Ryon spins a tale of woe and mayhem. The patrons and our heroes ignore it as the stuff of a man way too deep in his cups.

As thanks, Aja approaches the group, asking if they would be willing to help with some strange disappearances in the elven slum known as, the Alienage. The group obliges and offers their help freely.

Taking her direction, and deliberately avoid the sewers as per Karl's request, the group finds their way to the Alienage. Outside, a guard by the name of TRISTTON, does his best to maintain his role, but ends up helping our heroes.

Inside, the group successfully snuck through the slum without alerting the guards to their presence. As they approached the Orphanage, the group was ambushed by shadowy figures wherein our Bard took a crossbow bolt to the shoulder. Something that he will lament about and tell you about every chance he gets.

Recognizing this as a defensive effort, the monk ARVEENE, was able to talk down the assailants as they were sent by Aja. As such, the leader of this group introduced himself as SORVIN, leader of the Resistance here in Vel'Thara and escorts the group to their destination.

 

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Griffin! In the Hall of Judgment!!
Just thought you should know...

Sorvin escorted Arveene, Val, Karl, and Arynn to the Orphanage that Aja had sent them to. Though it was by no means a headquarters of the Resistance, it was a temporary stop to get medical attention and plan on how best to investigate the disappearing children.

There, in the basement, the group met GHAZ. A half-orc fighter assisting Sorvin was being tended to by a human Cleric. The Cleric saw to Karl and Val's injuries and introduced himself as THANDRAS. Our bard was dogged in his determination to know how a human could walk freely in the Alienage and what brought him to Vel'Thara. Distraction set in as Karl realized that he and Ghaz were, as he put it, "situationally halfsies" due to Karl being half Elf and Ghaz half-Orc.

Thandras excused himself for the evening and the group discussed the disappearance of the children from the Alienage. 

 Sorvin speaks of the problems arising from the issuance and placement of the new Governor, CAL AUGUSTIN. Stating that, "he is a detestable, insipid, and repugnant man."

Though Sorvin and the Resistance have no hard evidence that Cal is to blame, it would be unsurprising as Cal is above all else, an opportunist. Finally, a clever ruse that would disguise Arynn as Sorvin emerges and Sorvin approves sending the group with his armor as additional proof. Karl dyes Arynn's violet hair a golden-honey and mimics Sorvin's features through minimal countouring and makeup. Thandras, watching this unfold, reluctantly offers to join the party as he is certain that he will have to heal them later anyway.

Heading off towards MURK KEEP, our adventurers get passage from the exterior guards but are told to leave their weapons. They reluctantly comply, until Thandras causes the guards to immediately fall asleep through a powerful Suggestion.

Gathering their gear, they approach the main gates with confidence until they see another set of guards. This time however, they are greeted by a familiar face. Tristton aids our heroes and escorts them to the Hall of Judgment, where the Governor sits to hear all grievances.

Entering the hall Val and Thandras approach with news of the capture of Sorvin. Summoning the remainder forward, including the disguised Arryn, Cal's interest is peaked.

Cal is a man gluttonous with power and self-righteous indignation, but certainly not in weight. His leg casually dangles over the arm of his seat. A thick, leather boot swaying in time as if listening to an imaginary troupe of musicians. The pommel of his over-sized morning star spins in his palm creating a small groove in the stonework, the grinding sound echoing against the empty chamber. He emanates and exudes military excellence.

“Ah, what have we here. Finally, the elusive White Wolf of Vel’Thara has been caught.” He rises from a simple throne made of unfinished wood. Twisted and carved to resemble a ram that shares a single body with a small domed back, his steps echo across the empty hall. 

He places his hand gently under the chin of the faux Sorvin, he grasps firmly. Party members flinch, anticipating a fight, but resist. The disguise holds as the cold grey stare of a man irked is suddenly broken by a grin of relief from a long itch, finally scratched.

“You have been most troublesome. Shame that you failed to inspire those as I do. You could have learned much from me, had you taken my offer.”

Cal shoos the group away insisting that payment for Sorvin's bounty will be sent to the Gilded Dwarf. Arveene feigns compliance and on her way out, summons a griffin from her Wonderous Totem. Guards seem to rush in from every door and port and Cal engages. The fight persists until Cal is disarmed and held fast. The guards stop the attack as their commander is seemingly captured.

Demanding answers, Karl casts Zone of Truth, encompassing the entire group. Rather than take the opportunity to ask about the missing children, Karl instead presses Thandras due to his cagey answers about his reasons for being in Vel'Thara. It is revealed that Thandras is looking for his brother, Alastaer, and is a name from Val's past.

Meanwhile, Arveene has inspected Cal's person for additional weapons and items finding a gold purse, a boot knife, and a small smooth stone tucked between Cal's belt and tunic. As the group interrogates Cal for answers, Ghaz finds a letter with information about a meeting to take place in three days. As he reads the letter aloud, the stone Arveene found glows white-hot and she drops it immediately. Upon closer inspection, Thandras divines that the item is a seeing stone, imbued with Power Word: Death, a rather severe enchantment which appears to be buying Cal's silence.

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