15 Spring 2979
Upon the morning, the group finally reaches their destination, the port city of Masshiro. From their hillside vantage point, the group can easily see most of the city and what they find is not a happy site. An unusally high number of firelight was coming from the central castle which prompted the group to hurry to the north gate to see what was going on.
The guards at the north gate gave the group only a little trouble, explaining that the city was in the middle of civil unrest due to the recent death of Warlord Hawk and the kidnapping of his daughter, Alegra Hawk. Surprised, sort of, the group quickly made their way inside and down the main street to the castle where a large gathering of townsfolk had encircled the main castle and appeared to be on the verge of rioting. A few questions to the people gave them the same information as the guard had told them, their leader was dead and the winkar of Alakar were responsible.
As the group watched, Commander Wilcor Ralma came up to a balcony overlooking the group and held up his hands as if to gain their attention. When he spoke, his voice echoed throughout the area.
“People of Masshiro, you have been wronged! Our beloved ruler has been slain and his heir has been taken from us by the winkar of Alakar. You know this to be true! Shall we sit back and allow this to go unpunished? Shall we lay down our lives for winkar justice? No! Raise your arms in defiance! Do not accept their aggression! Stand up and fight! Fight with us. Fight for Hawk! Death to Alakar!”
As the commander’s voice faded, the crowd exploded in a frenzy of hunger, a hunger for the death of anything winkar. The group of heroes looked to one another in amazement that things had spiraled out of control so fast. They quickly made their way out of the crowd and away from the fanatic people. “I don’t trust him,” growled Hedge after they were out of earshot from the crowd.
“Neither do I, and I don’t know anything about him,” replied Thumper as he kept an eye on their surroundings.
“Well, I guess we should see if we can dig up anything. If something secretive is going on, it would help us try and stop this insanity,” said Feloryn.
Jarett simply nodded in agreement and Laxmi looked to the group, “Um, sure? But no one should travel alone, especially right now.”
The group split up to try and cover the most ground they could in the short time they figured they had. Thumper and Tolim headed over to the north gate to speak to the guards once more while Feloryn and Laxmi headed to the castle to try and gain an audience with Commander Ralma. Lastly, Hedge and Jarett headed out to Grace’s house in hopes that she may have uncovered some information on what had happened.
A couple of hours later, the groups rejoined back at the Vortex at a table near the back of the room to retell their findings. Thumper looked pleased with himself as Tolim recounted their experience with the tiefling guard Mangalar. The guard explained that he was on duty when the report about Alegra’s kidnapping came in from one of her bodyguards named Fremel. Fremel was gravely wounded but explained that they had been attacked by winkar and Alegra was taken prisoner. He wasn’t able to explain much more before Commander Ralma’s elite guards came in and took him away from the castle. No one has heard from him since.
Feloryn recounted his short trip to the castle where guard put them on a list to see Commander Ralma, but it was doubtful that they would see him anytime soon due to the current situation.
Hedge and Jarett carried long faces as they recounted their trip to Grace’s house. The door had been forced open and the house was a wreck as if a fight had taken place. Most of her insects had gotten loose, but they did manage to find her lightning hornet alive for a few moments, before it too died. Though there was no body, and they feared the worst – that she may have been killed.
With only the Alegra lead to work off of, the group left the Vortex to make another round of investigation when a unit of guards encircled the group and were very forceful and aggressive in their stance. The group took an immediate dislike to the situation and demanded to know what was going on. The corporal explained the Commander Ralma would like to see them immediately at the castle. All but Hedge and Jarett agreed to go with the guards.
The trip to the castle was short, but the wait was long as the group was shown to the same meeting room they had been in before their trip to the winkar temple. Some time later, Commander Ralma arrived with the seneschal close behind him. He sat at the head of the table and asked the group how their mission had gone. As Feloryn went over the details of their adventure, the Commander displayed a rather pronounced lack of interest in the story, though he seemed pleased that the winkar at the temple had all been slain. He then thanked the group for their work and told them they would be paid in short order. Uncaringly the commander left shortly thereafter.
The group sat quiet for several moments at the table until Thumper spoke up, “If I didn’t know better, I would say he didn’t care how the mission went.”
“Almost like this whole thing was just a formality,” piped in Tolim.
“But why would he send you guys out to look for information about winkar involvement if he didn’t care what the result was?” asked Laxmi.
Feloryn frowned, “Because he didn’t care what the result was. This was just to get us out of the city. He was already going to go to war, it was just a matter of making sure people didn’t get in his way…we better get back to Hedge and Jarett.”
The group quickly left the castle and made their way back to the Vortex, where they met up with the cushani and half elf in short order. Hedge explained that the halfling Skeeter didn’t know much but did confirm that things were not right with the city and that Grace’s disappearance was definitely involved. Feloryn then recounted the meeting with Commander Ralma to the pair.
“The whole thing sounds like garbage,” spat Thumper and the rest of the group agreed. “So what are we going to do?”
“I’m going to find Alegra. She’s the key to this whole thing. If we can find her and get her back to Masshiro, she can put a stop to Ralma,” stated Hedge. The rest of the group nodded in agreed.
As they began to discuss the particulars of their new goal, a disturbance behind them caught their attention. They found standing in the Vortex a pair of tieflings dressed in dark red and black clothing in a flame design. Behind them were three figures with even more demonic features than the tieflings. Two of them were in heavy armor with greatswords and bat wings. The third was a woman of amazing beauty, even with her bat-like wings. The group said nothing to the heroes, they only drew their weapons and attacked, the camboins quickly charging the group while the darkblade tiefling closed in for a quick kill.
Both sides were about evenly matched in one to one combat, however, the heroes quickly formed a defensive line and worked together to section off each enemy to take them down before moving onto the next one. Jarett, Tolim, and Laxmi worked from range using their spells and summoned creatures to hamper the tiefling wizard and the succubus. Within half a minute, only the succubus remained, and she tried to flee in hopes of living to fight another day. Thumper, however, would have nothing of the sort. Charging like a madman, he pummeled her back down to the ground at the doorway, ensuring that whoever had sent the assassins would get no word back.
The group looked to one another. “Time to go,” said Laxmi with a weak smile.
XP per Player: 583
Treasure Found: Platinum Necklace (250gp), 600gp