Scurry

Sprung Trap
No innocents were harmed in the murder of this noble.

June 6, 1050 AD

The crew used critical information received through Schtein’s organization to determine where and how they were going to spring their trap on Baron Pagiel Weathernel. After considering the two most likely choices, a run down light-industrial area or a street leading off of a busy market, they settled on the cover of a crowd. Besides, you never know what kind of explosions might get set off around old alchemical factories.

Terep, a bard, and his dwarven toughs were recruited for extra muscle. It was rumored that Baron Weathernel’s blind guard is good enough to apply to House Fell and it was thought wise to bring some extra help. The crew soon found the truth in that.

Schtein also revealed that the Baron’s intermediary destination of a Fell Administration building would secure the petty noble additional reinforcements. While the cost of such services is exorbitant the Baron’s own sources probably had informed him of dangers afoot at his manor and within his House. He just underestimated his opponents.

Several alchemical weapons and enhancements were purchased designed to allow movement amongst the crowd and the slowing or stopping of the crew’s prey. For the first time Abban, Spike, Linooh, Raj, and Raif began tapping into the power of alchemy. They weren’t quite quick enough on its use, however.

Prepared mentally and martially the crew spread out and hid in the crowd in the target area. Raj would give the signal to attack by summoning a column of lightning. The crowd was not considered a major concern as each of the crew is skilled enough to only kill when they want to.

As Pagiel approached with his guard Aba’ye, Pagiel’s blind guard, spotted Abban’s killer intent and attacked. With one attack from his gruesome weapon, Aba’ye severely injured Abban. Before the crowd had time to react, Raj cast fireball to cover Abban’s retreat, laying out dozens of uninvolved bystanders.

The fight continued in brutal fashion, exchanging blows and blood. Pagiel attempted a ‘tactical withdrawal’ but the crew hadn’t lost sight of their true goal and concentrated their efforts and bringing the Baron down. Right as Pagiel dodged into a building, one of Terep’s dwarves managed to knock him unconscious.

The fighting became a chaos of pain as Pagiel’s three guards attempted to close ranks and the crew began breaking them like a stone striking a snail. Steel and magic swirled, slashed by bursts of Sol, until the Baron was not only down but dead.

Shortly thereafter Aba’ye was knocked unconscious and Pagiel’s thugs scattered. Raif tossed Aba’ye over his shoulder and the crew sprinted through the dwindled crowd. Apparently Raif always has his eyes open for new recruits.

Baron Weathernel is dead. Long live House Weathernel.

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Time passes by
Opportunity doesn't always knock, sometimes is breaks down the door.

June 1, 1050 AD

Through a series of covert operations, slip-ups, and quick recoveries Spike, Linooh and Raif managed to reach an accord with the Weathernel sisters in which the Baron Weathernel will be killed, Elrad inherit, and everybody (except probably the Baron) will get what they want.

The Baron will arrive in Atar on June 6. In preparation for his arrival the crew recruited a new member, Raj, commissioned some intelligence gathering and is looking to take some smallish jobs to gather resources and information.

One of those jobs involved taking out Greghor, the owner of a fertilizer business that was beginning to squeeze out competition. Accepting the commission, the crew set out to case the job. Greghor ran a large business, employing several hundred workers at his local warehouse/redistribution center. He had about 30 staff in addition to the day labor.

The crew trailed Greghor home and discovered that he and his 30 staff shared a tenement. Growing suspicious that a better opportunity wouldn’t present itself in the next several days, the crew broke and quickly identified where Greghor was likely sleeping.

Right when Spike was about to break open the door of the suspected room, a hue and cry went out and the crew was suddenly under attack. Having gotten strung out in the narrow hallway they had a difficult time. Greghor, who had indeed been in the room, fled after being seriously wounded. The crew took advantage of the confusion and hesitation to give chase to their target.

They caught up with him at his warehouse where he had gathered a few dozen laborers for his protection. Just when it seemed the opportunity may have been lost, Soreka and Chaya Weathernel stepped out of an alley.

Soreka quickly established that she was willing to help her ‘employees’, especially since it would give Chaya an opportunity to test out some new Alchemical weapons. Soreka left her sister, confident of success. While the crew was still deciding the best course of action, Abban came out of the shadows. He had returned from whatever business the Fell administrator had with him and had been trailing the group for the last several hours.

Abban also offered his assistance. The greatly strengthened crew resolved to try a feint and flank maneuver, causing a large disturbance in the warehouse’s main entrance while Abban snuck around the back to assassinate the target.

Unfortunately, the laborers’ weapons were shovels they had been using for their work, and as the battle progressed Linooh, Spike, and Raj contracted the Effluvium disease. However, the crew was able to handle themselves, even when Sol-corrupted humans entered the fray.

The plan worked in less than a minute Greghor was dead, his workers cowed, and the crew victorious over their foe. Shortly after the fight ended, a squad of Fell guards walked by. Initially the crew was worried about the bodies lying around but it soon became apparent that the guards were aware of a weapons smuggling operation being conducted by Greghor and that they weren’t bothered by the owner’s recent demise.

Following this startling turn of events, the crew acted swiftly to take control of the business. They seized the property, recruited Greghor’s old staff, and managed to find the hidden office where the necessary, official paperwork was kept.

Having secured the business, but having absolutely no interest in running a fecal factory, Spike persuaded the crew to get the man who had hired them for the job to run the business on their behalf.

The man’s name ended up being Bahmat who, after some persuading, was willing to run the business for a 30% cut of the profits. The crew gained a source of steady income but hadn’t yet sorted out to do with the tons of weapons that were in their possession.

With five days until the Baron’s arrival Linooh, Spike, Raif, Raj, and Abban have little time to prepare. They gained some critical information from Schtein Balebatewe’s organization about time and place to attack the Baron. But it remains to be seen if their current resources are sufficient for the task or if Hadara, the mercenary group who the Baron had hired, will interfere.

Beyond their immediate challenge, they also have to decide how to build their budding empire and how to defend against those who will want a piece of what they have. To say nothing of those who are already established and ready to defend what’s theirs.

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Opportunity stabs
In the left eye, generally

May 28, 1050 AD

Abban, Spike, Linooh, Raif, Hektor, and Elrad used some hit-and-keep-hitting tactics in a short but brutal fight to bring down Chozal of Hadrara’s mercenaries. It was lucky for the raiding thieves that they had such numbers as Chozal’s innate toughness and use of Soltech equipment made him more trouble than one dwarf is usually worth. Still, the little titan fell, was looted, and then promptly ignored.

Once the group regathered in the manor’s solar, Elrad divulged the ‘business arrangement’ he had mentioned earlier. It was simple, murder his aunts before his uncle Pagiel Weathernel arrived in Atar two weeks hence. Elrad has four aunts and there is little love lost between them and their nephew. Elrad could only provide limited details as none of his aunts made social calls on the young noble.

As part of the venture, Elrad would hire the adventurers as bodyguards, recycling Chozal’s license to carry Soltech arms to clear any problems with House Fell. In a burst of enthusiasm and bravado Elrad went to the local Fell administration building still covered in blood to demand his ‘rights’ as a noble. Linooh went along to keep an eye on Elrad and to help him lie, when necessary, since even passing peasants can tell when he’s about to speak mistruth.

Hektor, meanwhile, refused to participate in assassinating nobles. His deep fear of House Fell became apparent as his belligerence resurfaced. In the course of a somewhat heated conversation it came out the Hektor had been holding back some funds from the sale of excess knock-out powder. Abban and Spike were close to murdering the dwarf, but decided to relent due to Hektor’s significant contributions in the night’s festivities.

Hektor entered into retirement, for how long is uncertain, with a commitment to be willing to work with Spike and Abban in the future. Hektor’s three other crew-mates died in the raid and it will probably take him at least a few weeks to be ready for action again, regardless of other circumstances.

The crew split the treasure, deciding to keep the dowry and drugs instead of cashing them in, and spent a day picking up equipment and gathering information about the four aunts. Elrad had told them their names: Adara, Soreka, Chaya, and Gavrilla.

Adara is the second youngest and the heir apparent to the Weathernel estate. Soreka is the youngest and involved in merchant activities. Chaya is the oldest and is a journeyman Alchemist/Scholar/Tinkerer/Etc. Gavrilla is the second oldest and is a guard.

The crew was uncertain whether killing the four was actually the best course of action. Elrad’s behavior did not inspire confidence, to say the least, and Spike was particularly vocal about the importance of maintaining other options. It was at Linooh’s suggestion that the group decided to do some reconnaissance before committing one way or the other.

Death is permanent, in Atar as most places. Before aligning their fortunes with an arrogant, possibly incompetent, halfling with a penchant for stabbing servants and friends in the left eye, the adventurers wanted a bit of background.

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Don't cry uncle
Families these days

Abban, Spike, Linooh and Raif rushed into the solar of the Weathernel Atar manor. The torch that lit the room concealed as much as it revealed, and the soon-to-be victims used the shadows to their advantage in defending against the party.

Raif solved this problem with a well placed sunrod, but the brilliant light in the dark and misty night caused a problem of its own. Beacon. Several guards from the walls came running toward the room, ready for action.

The light revealed the party’s opponents, two halflings. The male halfling was armed with a rapier and obviously used agility for attack and defense, though initially he stayed largely out of the fighting. The female halfling had wrapped her robes around her and used arcane energies to blast the party with acid. She focused her efforts on Spike, but the light revealed her position and allowed Linooh to reinforce Spike with some energy blasts of her own.

The defending sorceress was soon bloodied and the rapier-armed defender rushed over to snuff the sunrod, allowing the other to slink back into the shadows.

During this time Abban had made quick work of a guard running for help but other guards that had seen the light beagn to arrive. The assaulting party still had the advantage and Raif, in an attempt to lessen bloodshed and perhaps gain useful information, called for the defenders to surrender.

The female sorceress cried out that Elrad, the rapier-wielding halfing, had an uncle who would not forgive him if he surrendered. That motivated Elrad to keep fighting as one of the stronger guards, Chanan, moved into the melee. The other guard rushing in from the misty air was dropped by Hektor’s quick and surprising strike from behind. However, Hektor quickly retreated once again and hid in the shadows.

Raif and Spike managed to flank Elrad and soon made short work of him. Sensing his defeat, Elrad surrendered. Chanan and the other halfling, Paziah Weathernel, refused to give up. Paziah made a run for the open door, dodging Hektor’s hasty attacks. Just as she was about to break past the party Abban put a well placed bullet into her skull, knocking her unconscious.

With that, Chanan surrendered and the party was able to talk with Elrad. Elrad Weathernel turned out to be the bailiff, or person-in-charge, of the manor. He was convinced by Linooh’s silver tongue to divulge the location of what the party was looking for and even mentioned the possibility of a business arrangement if they were successful in their raid.

Spike and Abban, overwhelmed by sudden victory, took a few moments to gather themselves before they could explain what they wanted. Once they told Elrad they wanted the rumored dowry for the four Weathernel daughters Elrad became a willing accomplice.

Elrad explained that the dowry was of no use to him and if the thieves would give him a cut he would gladly help them find and defeat Chozal, the mercenary hired to guard the treasure. Chanan, now bound and gagged, began making noise at Elrad’s helpfulness, so Elrad stabbed him in the eye with his icy rapier.

Elrad then guided the party to the ‘hidden’ part of the garden where Chozal was hidden. Elrad warned them that Chozal was easily worth several of any one party member and that extreme caution was needed.

Taking his advice Abban, with Spike acting as lookout, silently eliminated several guards strolling along the garden’s paths outside the secret area to assure the group an uninterrupted party with Chozal.

With the way cleared the party prepared to rush Chozal, sneaking through the hedges. With a silent hand signal Elrad, Abban, and Chozal darted forward hoping to end the fight quickly. To their dismay they found that Chozal was built like an ironworks and unhappy realization came upon the whole party.

Chozal was not going to go down easily.

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Obscure Beginning
Out of nowhere is a good thing for thieves

May 26, 1050 AD

Abban and Spike met at Hoggin’s Place to discuss their next move. A couple of unusually sharp adventurer’s overheard talk of a job and wanted in.

Abban was a bit suspicious of anyone butting into his business, and put them through a quick test. Linooh, a halfling sorceress, and Raif, a human warlord, were willing to prove themselves. Linooh was enthusiastic in breaking into an unimpressive warehouse to steal and hawk some goods. Illegal activity was of no concern to her.

Raif was less eager to do harm in the name of personal gain, but played along by distracting the guards with urban legends. A couple of verbal fumbles by Raif and literal stumbles by Linooh led to some close calls. By mutual agreement the guards were put to sleep with weapons instead of words.

Proven, the two joined the raid on the Weathernel Manor. Hektor defended his authority over the group against Spike and, to a lesser extent, Abban. When the crew came together to share their progress, Abban and Spike were a bit less than satisfied with the rumor and half-measures brought by others.

Abban, in a feat of unseen serendipity, snuck in and out of a Fell Administration building to steal plans of Weathernel manor. Plans obtained the group struck out for the manor, only briefly distracted by Linooh’s attempts to tame a goat battle steed.

The Mists came with night to offer their obscurity to the adventure. With their help, the adventurers were able to sneak with Hektor to the backdoor of the manor. Abban opened it quietly, but apparently disturbed a resting guard. The time for blood letting had come.

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Work for it
Work hard, steal hard

May 23, 1050 AD

Having gotten the license and the warehouse location for the knock-out powder, Abban and Spike had only one task left in their assignment. Actually getting the powder.

The warehouse where the powder was stored is owned by Eliyahu, an extremely efficient and well-regarded business man. Part of his efficiency is found in the numbering system he uses in his warehouse. While Abban had gotten the number, neither he or Spike had any idea what the number, 8.36.C.5 meant.

With some casual conversation amongst the local workers they were able to find out the gist of how the system worked, but they also needed access to pinpoint the powder’s location. So they went to work. Normal practice is to hire people from a local square every morning and then pay them for the day’s wages once they’re done.

Spike and Abban each found their own way to get noticed by Eliyahu’s hiring foreman. Once they were working they simply kept their eyes open until they spotted the goods they needed. Having heard that stealing from the warehouse was a crime that could only be committed once, they decided to do a night raid and spent several days gathering information and materials.

One problem, how to get in. Then there were about 15 more problems, the guards and their dogs. Getting in proved the more difficult part, as the windows were heavily barred. Abban took to the wire jungle and found that the warehouse had numerous skylights that were virtually unguarded. Abban acquired some acid from the waste of a machine cleaning plant and used it to eat away the bolts holding the thick glass to the roof.

Then he and Spike used stealth, strength, and luck to break in, grab a crate of knock-out powder, and get out without the guards being any the wiser.

Spike offered to carry the crate to Hektor’s warehouse for storage but was interrupted by a self-important guard. Fortunately, Abban had been trailing Spike and a hard flung stone took the guard out in one shot.

Goods delivered, Spike and Abban got some sleep. They have only a few days left before Hektor’s deadline on raiding Baron Weathernel’s manor. It’s time to gather the crew and get moving.

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In and Out

May 17, 1050 AD

Spike Cole and Abban Whitely finished their hit on Jor Jarn’s inn. The task was straight forward but limited available intel required them to search nearly every room on the bottom floor. Their previous scouting did aid them somewhat, however, as they were able to avoid searching the common room and guest floor.

The pair had to subdue multiple guard dogs, killing one in their hurry. Finally they reached what seemed a major administration room for Jor, with paperwork on multiple desks and in rows of filling cabinets. After their first pass, it seemed as if Spike and Abban would find no clues about their goal, the inventory list.

Fortunately Spike had Abban double check one stack of documents. Luck favored them as a clerk had made a mistake, though seemingly minor. The clerk had referenced documents in room ‘XX’ instead of using whatever code Jor had established. It was clear to Abban that ‘XX’ stood for hidden files where Jor tracked his illegal activities.

Armed with this confirmation that what they needed did exist, Spike and Abban finished their search. Two fierce dogs guarded a dead end hall. Seeing no reason to guard an empty hall, the pair assumed Jor had a hidden door near that area. Abban found it, disarming an alarm set to go off when the door opened.

It was nearly 3:00 am by this time and a sense of urgency restricted Abban’s searching of the small hidden room he had found. He hurriedly copied the relevant inventory list and he and Spike covered their tracks on their way out.

They agreed to meet at Hoggin’s Place for breakfast the next morning. Spike took the dead dog and found a lonely rubbish heap on which to dispose of it. Abban actually passed Jor and his band on his way out, but they didn’t recognize him and the moment passed.

Now that the group has the alchemy license level 5 and the index to tell them where the knock-out powder is in the warehouse, all that remains before they raid the noble’s manor is to go to the warehouse and get the powder.

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Skunking the skunk
Don't steal from a thief

May 17, 1050 AD

The party did a hit on a low-level administration building. To cover their real goal (stealing an alchemist license) they organized a hit on the confiscated goods. They recruited three people to assist: Gavish, Sarig, and Abiel.

Gavish proved he was skilled and willing to do more than the minimum on the job, helping Spike and Ishshah while they were distracting the guards.

Sarig is muscle. Simple, easy, cheap. Don’t expect anything amazing here.

Abiel is a burglar. He broke into the side door to allow Gavish and Sarig into the storehouse. It became clear later that he did not share his haul with the group, as agreed. Spike, Ishshah, and Gavish took Abiel out to a lonely cove and beat the location of the loot out of him. Meanwhile Abban picked up some local info and found the loot in Abiel’s inn room.

Abiel wasn’t killed but he was definitely shown the error of his ways.

During all of these proceedings Abban concealed himself from Gavish, Sarig, and Abiel so that they are currently unaware of his involvement.

The party began to scout out the inn of Jor Jarn in an attempt to locate his inventory list. With the list the party will be able to locate the knock-out powder Jor keeps in a warehouse.

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