The Brazen Bollocks Mercenary Co.

Episode 3: Secrets of Sokol Keep

*Harae screamed when she saw what Grim had done. Igan lay slumped over the altar that the group had found beneath Sokol Keep. Harae had haunted this keep for  centuries, but had not known that a temple to the ancient and evil god Dagon, had resided beneath the Keep. Her primary interest had been to lead Igan to the Shrine of Tyr located beneath the mansion so that it may once again be consecrated and perhaps, then, she could rest. As the life drained from Igan's body, the waters near the idol of Dagon began to churn. Skeletal guardians armed with bows and swords were crawling up from the water. One of the Black Fist guards moved to attack, but the speed with which the skeleton warrior attacked and killed the guard was unexpected. Grim gave the order and the rest of the Black Fist moved to the small room to the north and barred the door from inside. Harae hoped that they all died in there. She ascended through the floors of the keep to emerge in the courtyard of Sokol Mansion. Her scream had been a curse upon this place and the lighthouse beacon would remain inactive until justice was brought to Igan's killers. If no one came, then the lighthouse would be eternally dark. Harae finally found a sense of satisfaction that her actions as a spirit in the material realm, would finally have a meaningful impact. She had been here, waiting, for so very long.

The Bollocks were hired by Aleyd Burral to investigate Sokol Keep after the lighthouse beacon had gone out. Aleyd had her suspicions that Guard Sergeant Grim had been up to no good. Checking the rosters to find out who had been assigned to the Keep had turned up information showing that Grim had been assigned the Sokol post several times in the last few weeks. Grim was always looking for a cheap thrill and a way to get rich. She had no doubt that the long told rumors about treasures beneath Sokol Keep had drawn the troublesome man to the post. If he was responsible for the beacon being out, there would be all of the Nine Hells to pay. Alyed also alerted the Bollocks to the several other issues occurring in the city, Overpopulation was becoming an issue as winter set in and the fallout of the recent battles, ending at Hilcant Run, led refugees and the homeless to take shelter within the walls of Phlan. The city was bubbling with energy and supplies were beginning to run short. Aleyd knew that it was only a matter of time before the insignificant number of Black Fist Guards in the city would be too overwhelmed to properly patrol for trouble because trouble would be everywhere.

The Bollocks traveled to Sokol Keep via ferry after speaking with a Black Fist officer regarding which members were deployed there. The Bollocks also spoke with Leila Sokol and discussed some of the history of the Keep and the personnel that currently maintain the post. Upon arrival, the Bollocks were granted free reign and they began to explore the Keep. They found that nothing mechanical appeared to be wrong with the beacon. Investigating the various rooms of the Keep, they found a library with information about the Keep's history, and an excavation of the dirt floor that exposed a stone slab with a handprint cut into it that appeared to lead downward.

*Harae had never seen such a strange group of people on the island before. Halflings and men were common in her time as well as now, but the dark woman with devil horns and the tall humanoid that resembled a dragon were new to her. She wondered if the group was here to search for Igan and to deal with the lighthouse beacon. She certainly hoped that they were, and despite their appearances, they seemed to be looking for clues. She wished that she could help more actively, but the clues Igan had left behind would have to suffice. Maybe if she stood near them, they would feel her presence and call out to her. She hoped that they were not simply treasure hunters here to take advantage of the darkness on the island to loot the holdings of Igan and his family. She watched as the halfling placed his hand on the print in the stone slab and spoke the words that Igan had written in his journal. The slab vanished and the halfling yelped as he dropped 10 feet to hit the floor in the temple complex below. He called out to his friends above, and when they stopped laughing, they began their descent.

The Bollocks descended into the system of caves beneath Sokol Keep. The caverns seemed to be ancient and had long been forgotten beneath the keep. Rando scouted ahead wearing his newly acquired Mask of Night to see in the dark. He passed through a room layered in barnacles and shells into another room, where a muddy sinkhole of unknown depth acted as a natural barrier. Rando scampered across the slick surface edges and secured a rope to a stuck iron door in the opposite wall. The sound of approaching footsteps triggered him to hide; and the animated suit of barnacle covered armor turned to head toward the rest of the party when it saw nothing. The rest of the Bollocks engaged with animated suits of armor that attacked and mindlessly tried to destroy the temple's invaders. Once the suits of armor were down, the party navigated the rest of the way through the tunnel. The cavern slowly wound in a spiral toward the center and a dimly-lit room housing an altar to Dagon and a jade idol carved in the image of the god. A human corpse was draped over the altar and another laid near the rear of the room with its body half-emerged in the pool of water where the jade idol sat. The Bollocks were wary and when the corpses rose from their resting places and were joined by skeletal warriors from the pool, they were ready to fight. A ghoul surprised Frost when it came from behind the party, after emerging from the flooded sinkhole, and attacked her, leaving Frost paralyzed and vulnerable. Krev annihilated the ghoul with a Prismatic Orb. The battle ended with the Bollocks victorious. They had to chop the animated corpses of Igan Sokol and a Black Fist guard into so much meat, to, you know…prevent them from getting back up to pursue their undead compulsions.

*Harae did not think  she was capable of experiencing horror in such a way as a spirit, but when she saw Igan's body rise from the dead, she experienced a chill deeper than that which she knew as death. As ghastly as it was to behold, she prayed to Tyr, thanking him for sending the brutish Cleric of Morrigan, to free Igan from the curse of undeath. This odd group of people were certainly effective at whatever it was they were doing. They dealt with the creatures in this room like children play with toy soldiers; by smashing them into one another until one breaks apart. She hoped that they treated the Black Fist traitors in the other room with similar aplomb.

The Bollocks heard a call from a locked room to the north of the idol. Black Fist Sergeant Grim and his cronies had run away from the undead guardians of the fane. The Bollocks spoke with them and dug out the truth of the situation. Grim had stabbed Igan in the back in a greedy rage. Grim and his men were not prepared to deal with the consequences of their decisions, so the Bollocks helped them come to a decision. The Bollocks arrested the renegade Black Fist guards, looted the temple, and made their way back to the city. The lighthouse was working again, for whatever reason. Now, there were Ghost Pirates to deal with.

*Grim looked up from the blank space on the floor where he was focusing his attention when the sound of a key in the lock of his cell made the familiar clanking sound he had heard hundreds of times. The man standing with Guard Durant looked familiar to him. He had seen him in the cells before. It was that Dragon cult guy. What was his name…..Spernik. What in the Nine Hells did he want?

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Episode 2: Dues for the Dead

*Rorreth regretted that he did not have more time. The meeting with the dragon cultists had been quick due to both time and increasing pressure. The Knights of the Black Fist were more vigilant following some of the recent events in the city and that at least one of the Dragon cult followers had been captured. The Black Fist were aware of several other sources of trouble that may end up distracting them, if all went well. He was cautious as he moved through the streets of Phlan and toward the back alley where he had established a teleportation circle in an abandoned shack. His tattoos and red garb were covered by a hood and cloak, as a Red Wizard being spotted in Phlan would surely bring about more scrutiny. A few coppers into the hands of street urchins had assured the safety of the circle and Rorreth as he moved back and forth between the base in the graveyard and the city. Laryth had been keeping the place free of roaming undead from the Necropolis, but the few zombies that had stumbled into their base were easily controlled and useful to a necromancer of Rorreth’s skill. Hopefully they would have the time they required to tunnel towards the Keep and, ultimately, to the Pool.

The Bollocks were hired by Doomguide Glandon to secure the catacombs beneath Valhingen graveyard from recent undead incursions and to see if there was something going on that had stirred up the dead. The graveyard had been secure for many years previous to the recent activity. The party descended into the catacombs and explored the parts of the place that were used for receptions and viewings. They bypassed a door where some bizarre burning and burying rituals were still performed by members of unusual cults in the city. Once inside the deeper catacombs the party was attacked by a couple of zombies who appeared to be trying to get through a locked door. Once dispatched, the party was contacted by people on the other side of the locked door. Three members of the Welcomers, including the rogue Thark, were behind the door. They had snuck into the catacombs via a grate open to the air of the graveyard. The zombies had trapped them. The Welcomers were sent out of the tombs by the party with no trouble.

*Thark and the two klutz’s he had with him had managed to wreck the wooden stairs on the way out. Hopefully those adventurers were resourceful. Thark was grateful that the people who found him had been the ones calling themselves the Brazen Bollocks. He only knew of the Bollocks by reputation and recent news stated that they had all been killed at the battle of Hilcant Run. These must be the remnants of the group trying to meet up with any other survivors. He stopped short of reaching the exit to the catacombs when the sound of a door opening behind him caught his attention. These two idiots were looking around and talking about looting the place, still. They had no idea how lucky they were that the undead had not killed them and that the Bollocks had found them rather than Black Fist guards or some other, less reputable, adventurers. He whispered as loud as he dared to the others behind him and directed them to stop messing around. They responded and moved to catch up to him. Now, had either of them remembered to bring the picks so they could pop the lock and get out of here…

The PCs moved cautiously through the tomb complex and encountered many unusual rooms where old and forgotten burial practices had been left for the ages. A room with the bones of many people interred in the plaster and stuck to the ceiling proved surprising when several of them dropped from their perches and attacked the party. After a few rounds, Rando was surprised by the appearance of a ghoul and zombie that came plunging down the stairs and into the room where the PCs were fighting the animated skeletons. The party dealt with all threats and moved forward into the deepest parts of the catacombs. Rando scouted ahead and he was the one that discovered light and the sounds of voices from a place deep in the underground chambers. While scouting he accidentally knocked over a few loose bits and caught the attention of several more zombies. This, in turn, alerted the others in the chamber and set the final confrontation into motion.

*Rorreth was stunned by the swiftness of the attack that came from outside of their quarters. A human, halfling, teifling, and dragonborn; no doubt that they were adventurers of some kind. Probably hired by the Kelemvorites to secure the place. He had been careless with the amount of undead that he had raised and a zombie had gotten loose and spooked the graveyard staff after killing one of their night watchers. Rorreth wished that it had been members of the Black Fist rather than an adventuring party. Some members of the Black Fist were more malleable than others and had not proved too difficult to bribe, if they were so inclined. Rorreth gathered the last of the things he would need and moved towards the teleportation circle. The he was violently struck by both magic and steel. Before he could react he was down, dropped to his knees and spitting blood. This was unexpected. Thankfully he had his things and with a word, Misty Step took him to the circle and he was gone. Just before he disappeared, he saw Laryth draw her hooked sword and move to engage the warrior swinging a huge two-hander. His life was most likely forfeit because the Thayan Knight was a skilled killer and he had seen her in action enough to know that she would be fine. Besides, the invisible Dragon cultist was sneaking around the room and would deal with anyone lurking behind the melee.   Rorreth knew that the Dragon cult would be disappointed that the plan to secretly access the Pool had failed, but Rorreth had gathered a great deal of information and would pass it on to the Dragon cult, and his masters in Thay.

The Bollocks engaged with the villains in the tomb. A Thayan Knight proved to be a dangerous challenge and an invisible cultist created a threat in the back lines. Some Kobolds also lent their weapons to the battle. The Bollocks nearly killed the Wizard of Thay in the first round of combat. He was badly wounded, but had his own tricks ready and managed to teleport away. The others were cleaned up in a matter of rounds. The Bollocks discovered that the Wizard of Thay was here under assignment from the Cult of the Dragon to seek out and reactivate the Pool of Radiance. The Bollocks looted the place and headed back to the surface to report their findings. They made a brief stop to retrieve an offering box from a small shrine to Morrigan that was hidden in the Necropolis. They arrived at the surface to find that the lighthouse on Thorn Island was not lit and the city was darker than it had been in many years.

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Gundar's Tale, Part 1

Culhwch watched the dwarf enter the smithy and thought today was the day, to talk to him about this ritual he now knew his short friend took to take his mind off of the Bollucks matters. He waited patiently a while, then got up from the bale of hay he was lounging on and strode toward the brick building the dwarf had entered. Near the door an ornate worked sign proclaimed the place the Mithril Mallet Craft House in dwarvish runes and common alike.

Walking into the dark confines of the building, Culhwch's senses were assaulted with the tang of burning steel and the ring of metal meeting metal. The heat was unbearably stifling almost at once. He looked around and frowned. Where Gundar was always the easiest figure to pick out due to his stature and slovenliness, here there were about a half dozen "Gundars" all working at various tasks. Culhwch stood patiently for a while until the real Gundar looked up from his work and waved him over.

"Hey there manling, what brings you to tha Mallet today? Is this chance or were you perhaps curious about what else I do besides drink in ma free time?" Culhwch said, "I've seen you come and go from this place a time or two. It's no secret, but I was curious what you might be about when the Bullocks are running shite errands for The Black Fist". Culhwch emphasized this last with a crude gesture that made Gundar chuckle. "Well manling, I'm sure you know all about the dwarves' reknown and natural skill for smithing. And it's true that even me own grandsire was the great armorer Drathnior Drudkh". Gundar raised his meaty hands up in a gesture of homage. Culhwch simply raised an eyebrow, having never heard the name before. "I'm a bit, eh, different if you will. Very few dwarves take to crafting more, eh, ehem, delicate objects". Culhwch looked into the bucket near where Gundar was sitting and realized he was looking at cutlery. To emphasize, Gundar picked out a heavy fork and began to buff it with a dirty cloth. "The finest dwarf forged utensils for the nobility to jam up their stuffy arses". Culhwch looked at the fork and thought it actually looked quite fine. He said, "so while we've been out on Bollucks business, you are here, making forks? Forgive me, but a fork makes for a poor weapon. You really can't kill with one, unless it's very big. And that one there, well, it's not big enough". Gundar glowered up at the big man. "Aye. This is what I do to make a few extra coins, but it's also a way to connect with me kin. Every dwarf you see here is clanless, including meself" Culhwch nodded. He knew the dwarf had hinted that he had no home, but he never pressed the issue. There was always a haunted look that came to Gundar's features when it came up. Gundar continued, "I've been doing some digging around, so to speak, spending some of the coin I've earned in our last few successful endeavors. Reaching out to contacts, particularly dwarf ones, but also the Emerald Enclave". Culhwch nodded as Gundar continued. "I've been thinking about how my clan's hold fell, and also, about how those few of us left have been falling as well. There's a tale to this, but it will take time. Let me finish up here, and I'll buy a few rounds at the Teakettle tonight and tell ye all about it." Culhwch nodded and said "That'd be fine. I just hope this means you'll be joining us on the next mission." Gundar nodded. "I will manling. Can't let you be goin and takin all those grobbi ears without me." Culhwch shrugged, not exactly sure the next mission even involved goblins, but Gundar seemed particularly obsessed with killing the little fuckers. "Let's talk tonight manling, and you can get me up to speed on what this next task will be"

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Frosts Journal (pre-Brazen days) #2

Frost looked both ways, double checking to make sure the coast was clear. She has only been working at the warehouse for a few days, but had made sure to know where the logs were kept, and who was in charge of them. Frost then slipped into the office and went straight over to the big oak cabinet and gentle pulled on the doors. The doors resisted of course, Erza had told her that this would be a quick job. Frost pulled out the key that Erza had copied for her and slipped it into the lock. Here goes nothing, she thought to herself as she turned the key. With a simple pop, the doors unlocked and Frost pulled them open easily. She quickly grabbed the large brown tome and took it over to the table and began to skim through it. Erza had taught Frost how to read and duplicate a ledger pretty easily.  Soon she found what she was looking for, the Onyx orb, said to have some pretty powerful magic abilities. It was going to be picked up by a buyer by the name of Lucy Heartfilia in two days. Sadly that didn't give them much time to plan, but they had a name and a date. Plus, it had already been paid for in full, so they wouldn't need to come up with fake money. "What are you still doing here Lisana?" A gruff voice asked, the sudden noise startling Frost. Damn it Erza! You said that the night guard didn't normally show up until after dinner. Frost was going to have to add this to list. Frost looked up at the guard and offered a smile. "Sorry, if I had known that Grey was going to order another barrel of fish, I wouldn't have taken that long lunch today." Frost looked around the office and out the window, allowing her gaze to drift off, as if lost in thought. "You know, with the extra increase in our fish and camping gear sales, we really should tell Laxus to give us a raise… I mean, does he have any idea how much extra work we have to do with this increase in business?" The man stood in the doorway for a moment, eyeing Frost up and down, trying to get a read on the situation. Finally, he spoke up "Aye, but there is just one problem with that." He said as he slowly entered the room. Frost just maintained her smile and turned again to look the man in the eyes. She knew that with the help of that magical headband that Erza had lent her, that there was no way the man could see through her disguise. "Whats that?" Frost asked slowly shutting the book and standing up. The man stopped half way to the desk and cracked a grin "If Laxus ever gave up a single copper in profit, it would be a sign that the end of the world has started" The man finished with a laugh. Frost laughed as she walked over and put the tome back and closed and locked the cabinet. She moved quickly past the man and into the door way. "Hey wait" the guard called out, advancing slowly towards Frost. "I am pretty sure I saw some shady looking people out near the allyway. I wouldnt be a very good guard if I just let you get attacked like that." Frost saw the intent in his eye and started walking slowly back out of the door into the hall. The disguise was good, but it was just an illusion after all, and she knew it wouldnt hold up to someone touching her, let alone doing what this guard clearly wanted to do. Frost smiled sheepishly and said, "Thats very nice of you, but I think i'll be fine on my own." The guard kept advancing until Frost was against the wall. "I don't think you understand what I mean by that Lisana." Frost rolled her eyes. "I know exactly what you mean you disgusting pig" Before the guard had time to react, Frost had slammed the bronze Orb paperweight she had stolen off the desk into his head. The guard dropped like a stone. "Well shit" Frost muttered to her self "I hope he still remembers Lisana when he wakes up" She dropped the bronze orb and walked down the hallway. As she neared the exit, she dropped the paper, detailing the raid and the target items that was going down next week and listed the names of the people helping Lisana and who was helping her. Frost smiled, pleased with herself as she walked outside. The shady group of men near the ally saw her and started walking towards her. She silently willed the illusion to drop and tossed the band back to her friend as they got closer. "The decoy is in place, and the prize moves in two days" She reported and she and her friends melded back into the shadows. 

 

A few days later after celebrating the acquisition of their new Onyx Orb, news had leaked out that Lisana had been arrested for assaulting a guard, and planing a hiest against the warehouse. When Erza heard the news she just laughed, "Thats why you have a fall person. At this point, they will blame the theft of the Onyx Orb on her too and no-one will be the wiser." Frost nodded and made a mental note of it. Erza was right, shifting the blame was the way to go. But knocking off warehouses was small time work, the best money was to be made.. legitimately. 

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Episode 1: The Courting of Fire
"What is it, and how much does it pay?"

*Spernik was enjoying the change of scenery over at the Tea Kettle this afternoon. Those Halfling gals were really hitting the spot, in terms of his mood. He thought that Tibeem and Ellison were too somber for this place. They were off on some errand or another for the Kirk of the Dragon and had to meet with some Black Fist guy they had in their pocket. It felt, like an afternoon off; and he was taking in the scene with glee. He didn't get here much because they were working double-time making these forgeries of some books with the info they needed for their errand. Supposedly there was an old dragon worshipping Druidic Kirk in the hills not far from the city. Spernik had not spent much time in the country as a child and he really reveled in the chance to camp out for a few days before they had to start digging, and searching old, dark places…

               The Brazen Bollocks were hired by Aleyd Burral to look into the theft of several books from Mantor's Library. The Bollocks spoke with a the bar staff at the Laughing Goblin Inn and learned a little about the thieves and that they had a third companion. They also had the opportunity to speak with a person from Cogburn's Grocery, Tad Staslep. He was delivering supplies for Spernik and Tibeem, the thieves. The Bollocks then spoke to the Lord Sage of Phlan and learned about the thieves, their jobs at the library, and what books they stole. They also asked around about the third companion, but were unable to locate him. Krev spoke with a librarian regarding some draconic histories he wanted to read later on. The Bollocks decided on their travel plans and made for the Circle of the Scale; the site of a Druidic Dragon worshipping cult that came to a bad end at the spear tips of an orc army about 150 years ago.

*What in the Nine Hells was happening? The dead bodies they had seen in the outer chamber had been walking around when they came out of the Black chamber. Thankfully the kobolds of the Red Scale tribe were fierce warriors. They managed to kill a couple of the things and drive the rest back so they could secure the door. Once inside the main chamber, their group could work on retrieving the other parts of the key. A couple of hours ago there had been voices and torchlight coming from the other side of the door. The sounds of battle probably meant that the walking dead were taken care of, but that meant armed people were also out there, and Spernik now only had six, increasingly agitated, kobolds left with him. The kobolds were in  panic because the armed people from two hours ago, they were busting open the door…

The Bollocks traveled for two days on foot and by cart. They arrived at the Circle of the Scale and knew for a fact that the circle of standing stones was a full blown ambush. They engaged the enemy in similar fashion and the restless kobolds sent out a winged scout to spot the party, leading to an engagement which the party quickly wrapped up. Descending stairs into the earth, the Bollocks explored the Temple of the Scale. They found some coins amongst the old bedding and kitchen supplies. They battled some zombie followers of the Druidic cult, some underwater ghouls, and a very aggressive skeleton. They set about breaking down the door to the next chamber where Spernik and his kobolds were holed up. Spernik had a couple of spells ready to go and froze Gundar with a hold person spell. Krev hit Spernik with a Ice Knife spell which did not do much damage, but it exploded a few seconds later and shredded five of the remaining six kobolds into meatloaf. The final kobold turned on Spernick and screamed at him in Draconic "What did you get us into?!", before trying to stab him. The party finished the last kobold and captured Spernick.

Next, the Bollocks tackled the trapped altars holding the keys to the next room. Rando breathed a lot of poison gas, retrieved the Green portion of the key, and took a short rest. Krev nearly got his leg sliced off by a scythe trap set in the stairs of the White Altar's dais, but he tossed a kobold body on the trap and disarmed it for good. Frost tried to sneak into the Blue room to retrieve the last section of the key, and got shocked a bit for her efforts. The Bollocks set the keys in place and opened the embossed metal door made to look like a dragon. Stepping into the inside they saw the reliquary they saw a tiled mosaic made into the shape of an enormous Red dragon with its open mouth facing the party. A voice boomed from the dark warning them away from the place. Scalebinder Skovac confronted the party with his robed druidic servants. He was an ancient undead guardian watching over the reliquary. The bones littered on the floor are proof of his honed ability to kill. Skovac spoke bireifly with the pasrty and confessed some of his sins, but in the end, the Bollocks had to get paid and they went for the Relic. Skovac spoke a word in Draconic and the Red dragon's maouth flared to life and covered Skovac and his companions. The fire revealed Skovac wielding two blazing swords and his cohort became enraged burning ash zombies. The combat was brief, but not without some cost; as Frost was savaged by a trio of the ashen zombies. The Bollocks, once again, stood alone.

*Spernik counted himself unbelievably lucky. A dozen kobolds had come from the Red Scale tribe to see how the project was coming along and to offer their assistance. They arrived to find the bodies of their tribesmen dead in the stone circle outside the temple. They found Spernik tied up in the chamber outside the reliquary and quickly cut him free. He explained the situation as the sounds of battle began in the chamber beyond them. He had no doubt that the group of ruffians would win the day. They seemed to be too fortunate for their own good. Quickly taking stock of the room, Spernick grabbed his pack with food and supplies, a knife and spear from a dead kobold, and hustled out of the temple. A couple of kobolds had been on watch and they stated that some men  were making their way up the road and if they moved fast, they may be able to intercept them and get their horses. Spernik knew the only way to escape these mercenaries was to get away fast. They hadn't killed him, but they seem to have killed everything else in the temple. He urged the kobolds on, and they set out.

Going back out into the previous chamber, the Bollocks found that Spernik was missing and that his bonds had been cut. The party set about tracking him and followed his trail into an area adjacent to the Quivering Forest. The Bollocks were confronted by a band of elven rangers who warned them away from the forest. Soon after another group of elves appeared with Spernik tied up. They stated that the kobolds with Spernik had been killed. The Bollocks exchanged some pleasantries with the elves and headed back to town. They turned Spernik over to the Black Fist and went back to the Madam Freona's for some much needed rest.

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Frosts Journal (pre-Brazen days) #1

Note to self, you should have listened to that Erza girl. I still can't believe they kicked me out. One little embezzling scheme.  Its not like the gods really needed that few hundred gold anyway.

Frost stopped and looked down at her book. The amount had clearly been scribbled out several times. She shrugged and closed the book. "The key to a good embezzling scheme is to make sure that you have a cooked book already, that matches up perfectly." Erza's words echoed in Frosts mind. Frost still remembered the smirk that Erza had given her when she found out what Frost had been up to. Erza had been the first tiefling that Frost had ever met and so she took an immediate shine to the woman.  She didn't know exactly why Erza had opted to take her under her wing, but she wasn't going to argue. Even though Erza was a few years older then Frost, they quickly gained an affinity around town.  They became known as the Twin Devils due to what they were, and the fact that where you saw one, you knew the other wasn't far behind. While Frost had began to dabble in the life of crime, it was Erza's teachings, that really helped her flourish. 

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Beginnings

Gundar sat at the nearly empty bar, turning over the day's events in his weary mind. He was well into his cups now, it having taken nearly a dozen flagons of the weak piss-swill these humans called ale to gather his thoughts in their proper place. The battle had been a right mess. Roric was gone now, as perhaps Gundar had known would happen sooner or later. Dealing in bloodwork for coins was ever a risky business. Roric was one of the better ones too, practically a Bearded One he. Could fight and drink and think these dregs to glory and riches. Gundar had been with him from the start. It had been Roric, and that healer Culhwch, and a few others, together to clear out that abandoned mine those goblins had been raiding that backwater from. A humble beginning for a new life on the surface. For seasons the band worked, and added or lost numbers as needed. Always Roric made the calls, and the reputation of the group grew in the area. These others that now remain found their way to the ranks over the years too. The halfing, the she-devil, and last, the dragon-man. All had shown skills that had served well. They were also loyal, or was it foolishness? Both amounted to the same some would say. When the battle seemed lost after Roric fell, several of those who could had fled for their lives. Gundar cursed their names under his breath. This caught the barkeep's attention "More drink, fair dwarf?" Gundar snorted derisively. "Ain't never been fair in any adeed manling, but 'spose it dunna hurt to kiss the arse a'tha one that's payin the tab. And ya, more drink if it please ye." The barkeeper moved off to pour another drink, eying the dwarf with unconcealed suspicious fear. Not only did the dwarf smell awful, but he swore he saw clots of blood matted in his thick hair and beard. Gundar barely noticed the man's look, already back to brooding and in doing so turning back to the past. 

 

The faces of the past surfaced, dredged up from memory like bloated corpses. Of his clan, his holdings, his family and friends. So much in the past, those he knew, had known, had fought for, or with. All gone now. The past was like a rich vein of silver, stripped out, where nothing remained but rock spoil, dust, and abandoned workings. He decided it was time to check on the manling again. He downed the last of the ale with a grimace and slapped coins onto the bar with a sizable tip for the service. In his mind he was already thinking of tomorrow, and if death came all the coin in the world would not stave it off. At least that poor fellow behind the bar might have a chance to live a little. 

 

Culhwch was actually awake now. His one good eye fixed on the dwarf as he moved into the room. "Bout time you showed up, drunkard. I was getting worried you were going to spend all the profits while I replaced these bandages myself". Gundar chuckled. "N'ver think it you foolish human, that stuff might serve for rabble like yourself, but I could only take so much. And those bandages don't need a changin yet". Culhwch knew the dwarf was notoriously filthy and had already decided he would not be a good indicator of when anything needed "a changin". "Where are the others?" asked Culhwch. The dwarf shrugged in response. "No doubt mourning in their own way, or spending the earnings, or maybe both?" He shrugged again. "What do we do now I been thinkin? We should have a meetin, and work out what our next step is going ta be." Culhwch said "I believe the path will reveal itself to us soon. Morrigan has spared me, and in doing so must have a purpose for us all". The dwarf glowered at his friend. "You know she seems like a fine god manling, but what possible purpose could she have for a bunch of scattered vagabonds like this group?" Culhwch just looked at the dwarf with that gaze that Gundar associated with the mad or really gifted. "You will see. We all will see, in time." Gundar might have said more, but at that moment the door to the inn below crashed open. There were loud shouts, then the odd bellow of a beast. The two sat listening for a moment. There were more shouts, more bellows. Gundar's hands were moving to his belt where the axes sat looped near his waist. Then he moved his hands away as he recognized the bellowing sounds. The thud of heavy footfalls on the stairs outside. Then the door burst open and the dragonborn stood there, plumes of fog shooting from his nostrils in little jets. He looked at Culhwch, and what passed for a smile spread over his face. "I thought you might die, like Roric! But you are here, and alive! This is good." Krev's face had returned to something of a neutral look. He looked as though he were thinking about what to say next. Emotions were interesting with Krev. He always seemed to be struggling to decide how to act next. There was no doubting the power of his origins though, so as far as Gundar was concerned he could pretty well act however the Hells he wanted. Krev finally spoke "So Roric is dead, and I've been wondering what we are to do next". "Well me fine silver friend" Gundar said, "me and the medic here was just talking about the same. Let's gather anyone who's left tomorrow morn and discuss it to'var first meal. Perhaps we can still take small jobs in the area. Who knows? It might even be more lucrative and dangerous than our last arrangement!" And with that a grin split Gundar's lips, revealing what remained of his teeth.

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The Battle of Hilcant Run
The Medic's Tale

Roric came back to the company's camp the morning of the battle in a foul mood. 

"The son of a bitch has put us on the left side of the line!", he told Culhwch. Culhwch was a favorite drinking companion of the captain in part because the dour man could concoct an effective hangover potion. 

Culhwch had been with Gundar when the scout had found out what was on the foe's right flank. 

"Those things are fucking big," Culhwch had commented. 

"It's cuz their bloody ogres!", Gundar spit. 

"Left side of our line is fucked," Culhwch decided. 

Now the Brazen Bollocks were on the left side and Roric was enraged. Culhwch saw the man about to kick the barrel they had used as a table the night before and picked up his flagon just before the barrel took flight. Roric raged and spat and after a few minutes of that he vented his vitriol on his companion, "Why the hell are you so calm about this?"

"Morrigan guards my death, and yours too."

"That bitch better gird her loins then because my death is looking fairly certain!  Yours too!"

"Then I get reborn into the Tairngire."

"Where does that leave me?", Roric accused Culhwch. 

"Are you looking to convert?", Culhwch cracked with that maddening grin. 

Roric shook his head, more as a response to Culhwch's attitude than the question. "I guess we'll just have to win then," the captain replied, but Culhwch saw the doubt on his friend's face as he looked across the field at their enemy. 

They did win but the victory was a hollow one. Roric, the toughest fighter amongst his men, fell under the club of an ogre. Club was an underestimate of the weapon. Culhwch had seen smaller battering rams. Nearly half of the Brazen Bollocks had fallen at that point. The remaining members were divided in their reaction. One half fled. They were in this for pay and with their leader down they had no remaining reason to risk their lives. Of this handful, several died serving as targets for ogres hurling boulders the size of a man's head. The other half of the Brazen Bollocks charged in after Roric's body. 

Culhwch, Gundar the scout, a halfling who always made Culhwch think of a well armed child, a tiefling spellslinger, and a dragonborn sorcerer exacted revenge on Roric's killer.  They then turned to fend off several ogres when a boulder struck Culhwch in the head and he collapsed. 

He woke later, a raven perched on his chest. The sounds of battle were absent but he could hear the groaning and dying of men all around him. The sound was wet and pitiable.  Where was his helmet?  The raven looked down at Culhwch's face and it's beak sought the man's eye. Culhwch jerked his head to the side and nearly retched.  The pain in his head was blinding, or had the raven plucked out his eye?  He blindly reached out and grabbed the bird. The motion had caused another blazing shock to rip through his head but he would be damned if a raven was going to take less than all of him. 

Morrigan's arrival was heralded by ravens and crows.  She was the Devourer and battlefields were feasting fields. Now one of her heralds had taken a piece of her priest and Culhwch was determined to demonstrate the pecking order to this damned scavenger. He rolled over onto the flailing bird letting his weight and that of his armor crush it. He heard the hollow bones snapping and then nothing over the sound of his retching. The world spun and swam and his vision faded to black. 

Gundar woke the cleric of Morrigan later. Culhwch held the raven by the neck and it was no more. Gundar poured water into his companion's mouth, slowly. "Easy, lad.  We won, I suppose.  I got your pack. What the blazes happened to your face?"

Culhwch couldn't string together the words to reply so thrust forward the bird. "Ah. Thought you were worm food, eh?  Ok, going to bandage your head.  This might, er, hurt a bit."

Culhwch stifled a shout and then there was only black. 

He woke in a proper bed with light assailing his eyes through the window. His head was still wrapped and hurt like hell but he didn't feel like vomiting. Hell, he felt hungry. Starving. There was water and bread on a dish on the floor. He kicked at the rat that was tearing pieces off the hunk of bread and picked up where the creature left off, hungrily biting off chunks. The water was stale and warm. 

He stood and wobbled but stayed upright with some help from the wall. Struggling over to the window he was annoyed at the view that greeted him, "Phlan."  He was in the piss hole of the Moonsea. He looked around the room and saw his armor piled up. The helm was ruined. It looked like a maul had smashed it. Had his head been in that?  Then he saw the dead raven. What a shit storm. 

He stumbled and staggered his way down to the first floor of the Teakettle, nearly passing out due to the spinning that had renewed it assault on his senses. "Water.  Boil it", he told the wench who helped him sit. She gaped at him, a sorry sight he knew. "Water, please", he repeated, "I need to change these."  He pointed at the bandages on his head.  Culhwch put his head on the table for a short rest while he waited. 

Movement, retching, a cool sensation on his head, a soft bed where he only memories of what came next. When he woke again Gundar was there, "I guess you ain't gonna die after all," the dwarf rumbled. Culhwch grunted. He blinked his right eye and then his left, which gave him intense pain. He winced and Gundar wore a pained expression. 

"The good news is you got two eyes still. The bad news is you are uglier than, well, ever!" 

"Your bedside manner is shite. No wonder I'm the chirgeon," the wounded man replied. 

"Ah good, that damned raven didn't eat your tongue then!  Now shut up and listen for a moment. The Brazen Bollocks is probably done. There ain't more than 5 of us, all told, after that damned fool battle.  If it hadn't been for Sir Schtilten's cavalry, we'd all be smashed to paste, or worse!"

"We buried Roric. Built him a cairn. I'll take you out when you can ride, or walk, or crawl. I know you are damned fool stubborn. Your bandages is changed. Hilda seen to it and she ain't no worse with wounds than you are. You'll bear some scars but you can get yerself a new helmet to protect that softened melon of yours."

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Welcome to your campaign!
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1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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