The Brazen Bollocks Mercenary Co.

Episode 7: Drums in the Marsh

*Throstugrael slept. He had come to this place in the Twilight Marsh from his lair in the sunken temple. Rumors of  the existence of a tree where powerful dragons had laired throughout the ages. It was also thought that the tree may contain the lost remains of the ancient and once powerful Black dragon, Chardansearavitriol, also known as Ebondeath. Legend says that he died in 1202 DR and that the remains of his body were never found. Throstugrael’s recent contact with the Cult of the Dragon had also sparked interest in the rumors, so it was sought out by Throstugrael and the Cult over the past months.

As he slept Throstugrael could hear the whispers from the darkness of the tree. Other legends recounting the death of Ebondeath stated that the disembodied spirit of the dragon still haunted the remains and if that were so, Ebondeath was a Dracolich in spirit form and Throstugrael thought perhaps he could learn the secrets of lichdom from the whispers…

The Bollocks were spending a quiet night at the Tea Kettle. The rain on this evening was nothing more than a gentle mist and the people of Phlan were taking advantage of the fairer weather to revel and exchange good tidings in the streets of the city. A grim half-orc named Thark, entered the Tea Kettle and approached the Bollocks with a proposal.

The Welcomers had been acting as protectors of the city for months; working against the tyranny of the Black Fist and keeping tabs on the streets of the city trying to root out the plots of the Cult of the Dragon. Tonight, they wanted to chase down the Black dragon they believed to be residing in the Twilight Marsh and kill it. The Welcomers had recently heard from travelers that Lizardfolk had been attacking settlements near the marsh. They feared that the encroachment of the Lizardfolk into civilized territory and the threat of an actual dragon so near the city need to be dealt with. Thark asked the Bollocks to join forces with the Welcomers to search out the dragon in its lair, tonight. The Bollocks related their recent experience with the dragon Rynthrax, and expressed their regret at not having killed the dragon.

The Bollocks joined many Welcomers and some other adventuring parties to form a 40 person search team to blanket an area of the swamp where the lair was believed to be and work in a grid formation to search the marsh thoroughly. The Bollocks formed their own team and set into the marsh in search of a dragon.

The Bollocks encountered some creatures in the marsh, but they also discovered and trailed a party if Lizardfolk marshalling a raft of prisoners through the dense terrain of the area. The Bollocks followed along until a conflict erupted on the prisoner raft. The Bollocks took action to eliminate the gards and free the prisoners. A captured Lizardfolk and freed dwarven merchant, named Rolk, explained what had been occurring. The lizardfolk tries had been spurred to action after a Balck dragon attacked and killed the tribal leader of the Lizardfolk a few weeks ago. The dragon had destroyed a large village of Lizardfolk and they had all relocated to the Ringcurrent Islands just off the coast of the Moonsea. Approximately 150 Lizardfolk had gathered and about as many prisoners had been taken to offer as tribute to the dragon. The Bollocks decided that a an assault on the gathered Lizardfolk tribe would most likely result in their deaths, so they opted to deliver information regarding the events and continue their search for the dragon.

The signaling spell was triggered by another party and the Bollocks followed the beacon deep into the marsh. The gathered parties stood in the ruins of an ancient stone circle on a patch of high ground in the marsh. Hundreds of thorny branches tangled together to form a covered walkway into the area where the dragon was lairing. Approaching the lair the Bollocks saw a massive Mangrove tree surrounded by a wall of branches and plants about the size of a stadium. A large moat of swampy ground and water stood between the parties and the Mangrove tree where they had seen the dragon Rynthrax enter a large cave at the root of the tree.

Rando scouted the area and found a safe way into the lair and up to the large patch of land raised in the center of the lair. The groups rallied together and entered the lair. They successfully navigated the swamp and as they arrived on the island, Rynthrax was emerging from the cave. The Bollocks went into action and killed the beast in about six seconds. Considering how frightened they had been of the beast, they were surprised how easily it had been slain. It was then that Rando, hidden in the shelter of the tree roots, felt a large object move next to him. Looking up he saw the enormous form of an Adult Black dragon awakening and dislodging itself from the Mangrove Tree.

Throstugrael greeted the parties and derided them for bringing a group of 40 humanoids to kill one tiny dragon. As he fully dislodged himself from the massive Mangrove, he spoke of his need to leave and deal with the selection of a new chief from the assembled Lizardfolk tribes at the Ringcurrent Islands. Throstugrael turned his head to show where the skin had been burned from his skull and left the bone exposed. A  green light flickered in the ruined eye socket and stared down the assembled group before taking flight and leaving the lair via an opening in the top of the wooded canopy.

The Bollocks and assembled companions looted the lair and made their way back to Phlan as fast as they could. They took the body of slain Rynthrax with them and stowed it in a shed outside of town.

The threat of Rynthrax had been displaced by the emergence of Throstugrael onto the scene of troubled Phlan.

*Rynthrax spoke into the Sending Stone and waited for Sharrak to respond from the other end. Rynthrax had just returned from delivering orders to Narle Shieldbiter, Chieftain of the Burning Banner Orc Clan. The chieftain had made a pact with the Cult of the Dragon and they would soon attack the troublesome Claws of Tiamat and eliminate their mad leader, Jeralla. He spoke openly despite the presence of the Imp floating invisibly nearby. It would seem that visitors had arrived. He did hope it was someone he could eat, he had flown a long way to arrive at this lair and he was hungry. He knew for certain that if Throstugrael awoke, he would have nothing to eat, so he changed from his elven form back into dragon form and stepped from the cave. He did not expect to see the Dragon cultist Frost and her companions, especially not in this place. How did they get here and what exactly did they want? The crossbow bolt that struck Rynthrax in the neck, mortally wounding him, gave all the answer he would need to know..

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Episode 6: The Scroll Thief

The Scroll Thief

The Bollocks were alerted late in the evening by Aleyd Burral of a series of robberies that occurred under the cover of rain and night, in various locations around the city. Homes and offices were broken into rather brazenly and some citizens were assaulted in the course of events. The robberies were thought to have been perpetrated by small humanoids, possibly Halflings, and some human counterparts.

The Bollocks visited Martin Foss and Aya Glenmiir. They each had books stolen from them. Marten lost a numbered journal detailing the adventuring exploits of Ren O’ the Blade and the Pool of Radiance some 150 years past. Aya lost a book detailing the mysteries of the Weave and how it creates Pools of Radiance, specifically the one that used to be located in Phlan, under Valljevo Castle.

The Bollocks were distracted and subsequently attacked by a group of Kobolds (posing as Halflings), a Dragon Cult Cleric named Soares, and a transformed man in the shape of a monstrous dragon-powered creature. The fight was dangerous, but the Bollocks prevailed and gathered some clues. The man had been wearing the armor of a Black Fist officer splattered with green paint. It was strange. This must have been one of the groups that participated in the series of robberies.

The Bollocks went to the Library and spoke with several people, but specifically Cassra Brandywine, who is in charge of the scriptorium. Cassra indicated that an attempt to break into the library had been made, but that it had not been successful. Upon investigating some suspicions, the Bollocks found that a man they had investigated once before in conjunction with other stolen documents, Ellison Berringer, was also missing. It was believed that Ellison was in league with the cultists Spernik and Tibeem, and may have been acquainted with Halvin Graingle (Tales Trees Tell). The Bollocks followed Cassra to the archives below the library to search out companion volumes to the books that were stolen. Their investigation led them to discover the body of a Library employee who appeared to have been murdered. A sudden, loud sound like a thunderclap shook the archive room and the bookshelves collapsed on the party, trapping a couple of them undershelves and books.

Cassra led the Bollocks further into the archives where they were attacked by some Shadow creatures awoken by the loud noise. They then found a secret chamber with the collected histories of Phlan prior to the takeover by the Zhentarim. The items were stored by Denlor the Sage. The Bollocks looted the place and took a Headband of Intellect from a trapped box. Another thunderclap alerted the party to an opening in from the archives to the sewers of Phlan.

The Bollocks followed the sewers to a drainage area and were attacked by two Carrion Crawlers. Dealing with the creatures and sliding out of the sewers and into the Stojanow River set the Bollocks on a path to the Twilight Marsh. Some information gathered form a found backpack indicated that the Cultist Ellison was headed to the Marsh to meet with someone named Rynthrax. Following the trail into the Marsh led the Bollocks to a small island surround by water and reeds with a cave opening leading into the earth. Ellison was sitting on the beach tending to a fire. Rando snuck into crossbow range and shot Ellison in the back as he headed into the cave. Ellison cried out and fell out of sight. Seconds later the wingtips of a horse-sized Black dragon portended the appearance of the dragon itself. It took to the air as the Bollocks approached the island.

The dragon, Rynthrax, used its control of the area around its lair to attack the Bollocks with the water from the marsh and drag them to the ground. It also created an area of magical darkness over the cave entrance. The Bollocks fought Ellison and tried to stave off the strafing acid breath attacks from Rynthrax. In an inspired moment, Frost used her magic to speak to the dragon. Rynthraz was convinced to land and parley with Frost, who worked hard to convince Rynthrax that she was a member fot eh Dragon Cult and that Ellison is a traitor. Believing her, Rynthrax used his acid breath to attack Ellison and destroy him.

The Bollocks parleyed with Rynthrax for several more minutes. They exchanged some books from Rynthrax and he went off on his own errand for the Cult, thinking that some new allies had presented themselves. The Bollocks headed back to Phlan for some much needed rest.

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Episode 5: Tales Trees Tell

Episode 5 – Tales Trees Tell

Halvin Graingle sat uncomfortably in his run down hovel. He had been sending letters to the elven village of Greenhall. Some ridiculous system of birds, wooden whistles, and boxes on trees…he didn't know what was going on with it, but he sent several letters and received many acorns in return. He didn't really know what to make of it, but he had a mission and he wanted to fulfill it. He had places to go. After all, he had been sent on this special mission by the Cult of the Dragon, and that was a sign of confidence. He asked Pipyap again why he shouldn't just go into the forest and call out for what he wanted. Pipyap stated that not all ancient and evil things are as harmless as Imps, and that Halvin should wait for a response from the creatures within. Halvin spoke the words to dismiss the imp back to his holding area, closed his eyes, and imagined what it would be like to be leader in the cult someday.

The Bollocks arrived in the farming village of Kabel's Hill on a rainy afternoon. The town appeared quiet, no one was on the streets. The Bollocks found the majority of the citizen gathered in the Leaky Bucket, the local tavern. The Bollocks were welcomed by the villagers who explained that they were in the middle of a meeting to decide a course of action. Halvin Graingle, a stranger to the village had moved to a ramshackle hut near the edge of the Quivering Forest several months ago. approximately 20 days ago, he disappeared. His abode was searched by the locals and evidence that he had gone into the forest had been found. The villagers feared the worst as violating the borders of the forest meant that an ancient pact between the fey of the forest and Phlan and the surrounding villages may be in jeopardy. The nature of the pact was poorly understood by the villagers, but they seemed to believe that extreme danger awaited them due to the breaking of the pact. Their fear overcame them and they sent a rescue party into the Quivering Forest to try and find Halvin and make peace with the fey residing there. They pleaded with the Bollocks to go into the forest and find out what had happened to Halvin and their search party.

The Bollocks agreed to go and took the evening to rest. In the middle of dinner a scream of terror from outside alerted the village and they ran to the town square. They found a member of the search party with his eyes removed and tongue cut out lashed to the post where notices were hung. He was pierced through with a 12-inch long hairpin made of bone and silver. The wounded villager was taken down and treated. The Bollocks set out the next day.

The Bollocks searched Halvin's abode for clues. They found that he was a member of the Cult of the Dragon who had been attempting to renegotiate the treaty between the fey and Phlan. He wanted the fey to stand down as the Cult of the Dragon took over Phlan. While searching they also encountered an Imp named Pipyap. He stated that Halvin was a wizard who worked for the cult, but he had no idea what his plans were. Pipyap advised against going into the forest and stayed behind when Halvin embarked on his journey. Pipyap accompanied the party on their trip. Next stop was at the house of an elven ranger named, Sariel. She gave the Bollocks the info she had regarding the pact. The Bollocks showed her the bone hairpin they had and Sariel was repelled by the object. She noted that the pin was a scrying device and that the hag who owned it, Jeny Greenteeth, had heard everything the Bollocks had said to this point. A sudden thump on the door of Sariel's cottage announced the arrival of an animated scarecrow and several Needle blights, that attacked the party. Sariel was wounded by the Blights, but the creatures were otherwise swiftly dealt with.

Halvin could not believe what he was hearing. He had made a strong case and presented all of the facts for why the Cult of the Dragon would be triumphant, but this old fey bitch, this hag, she wouldn't budge on the pact. He couldn't understand why she wouldn't just stand aside. The people of Phlan were doomed. The Cult was already in the process of taking Phlan. He had received word from Spernik recently that stated the plan was moving along as expected. This spurred Halvin to make one more attempt at convincing the hag to see reason. He thought that the letter from Spernik would help to sway her, so he bent to retrieve it from his pack. He never saw the 12 inch bone hairpin that pierced the back of his neck and exited at his throat, but he saw the old woman transform into a monstrous visage, and he knew, at last that he was dealing with a real Hag.

The Bollocks and Sariel headed for the elven village in the forest, Greenhall. They arrived at Greenhall and were greeted with hostility. The villagers had visited the village and asked for assistance, which the elves reluctantly offered. They had not seen Halvin. They did not want to deal with the Bollocks, but due to some diplomacy from Sariel, they managed to not be attacked and to obtain direction to Jeny's lair in the forest.

The Bollocks were ambushed by displacer beasts in the forest, they managed to drive off the creatures, but Sariel was again, badly wounded and in need of healing magic. The Bollocks traveled a while longer and found the lair of Jeny Greenteeth, an ancient Hag. The glade where she resided was idyllic. Clear sky shone from above and the ever present rain, since the events at the Isle of the Fisher Folk, seemed to shy away from this place. Several old-women were seen working at various tasks around the glade, and a large cook pot was simmering a delightful smelling stew. Jeny greeted the Bollocks and all of the old women in the glade spoke the same words, with the same voice, in unison. It was creepy. The Bollocks engaged in conversation with the Hag and learned that Halvin had been by and made his proposal, but he was rude and summarily killed by Jeny. She also encountered the rescue party of villagers, some of whom were helping to serve dinner, and some of whom were not present. The Bollocks accepted her hospitality, but were cautious of eating the offered stew. They discussed the pact, the villagers, Phlan, and the Cult of the Dragon. Jeny had been unaware of the Cult as active in the modern day, but she spoke of the notions held by Halvin as ludicrous. She believed that summoning Tiamat to the world would be bad for all of Faerun. She noted, however, that the pact had been broken and that such things are inflexible in the world of the fey. The Bollocks spoke further with her and gave their best effort to convince Jeny to restore the pact, but she would not relent. Finally, the Bollocks asked that the villagers be allowed to leave with them. Jeny stated that the still living villagers could go in exchange for telling the villagers to stay out of the forest. The Bollocks agreed and made their way back.

The villagers rejoiced at their returned comrades. They mourned the loss of the fallen. They agreed to stay out of the forest, but wondered what the breaking of the pact meant to them and their families. The Bollocks strongly advised them to stay out of the forest. The villagers offered up a boat passage and the promised reward money, most of the town's savings, and saw the Bollocks off. Hard rain accompanied the Bollocks downstream to Phlan.

They had much to report to Knight Alyed Burral: Dragon Cultists were on the island of the Fisher Folk and in the village of Kabel's Hill. The islanders were some sort of devil worshippers. A pirate ship and storm came from the Nine Hells, and is probably responsible for the constant rain. They left an active, magical dracolich statue on the island, but they do not know what it does. Some kind of ancient pact between Phlan and the fey of the Quivering Forest has been broken; and if Phlan is in trouble, they fey will not assist the city. A Hag killed several villagers, but also, a dragon cultist. And, the Bollocks killed several members of a group called the Gray Patriots, who they heard about from Aleyd, when she was drunk. Aleyd paid them and dismissed them. She was embarrassed and had too much to discuss with the Lord Regent.

The Bollocks took a month off, and the rain never stopped.

Ellison hated that he had had to kill Garda Greenleaf. She had always been so sweet and helpful. Even when he was new, and a stranger to this place, she had always offered to help. She had been happy to take him down into the archives to look for his books this evening, but she became suspicious when she saw the Dragon necklace spill out of his pack while he searched it. He had stammered and panicked a bit, but when she threatened to go to the Black Fist, he acted decisively and ended the issue. "Praise Tiamat and the favored of the Dragon Queen." Ellison quickly went about searching the books they had retrieved for the information related to the Pools of Radiance and excising the necessary pages. He had to get out of here soon, someone would be missing Garda. He had done his research and the deep archives down here exited out to the sewers and he could make his way out of the city in secret. Thankfully he had stolen this Horn of Blasting from Aya Glenmiir earlier. He hoped that he could make the rest of this endeavor cleaner than this part had been. Spernik had sent him that threatening note earlier this week that had spurred him to action. He guessed that the urgency associated with the tasks was due to Rynthrax having a deadline in Scrape, across the Moonsea, to deliver these books and other items for the leadership of the cult. The plots seemed to be escalating quickly at this point. Ellison had been in the city for moths just working as a a scribe before orders to act had been issued. Halvin had received his orders first and departed for the village of Kabel's Hill. Tibeem and Spernik were prompted to act months ago, and Spernik had been acting inside Stojanow's brig ever since he had been arrested. Ellison wished he knew what was going on, but his desire to carry out his mission overrode his curiosity.

He had what he needed. He sounded the Horn and created his exit. He would have to work quickly through the archives if he was to meet Rynthrax tonight, but he felt good about his ability to accomplish this task.

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Episode 4: Shadows Over the Moonsea

Shadows Over the Moonsea

*Thark watched from his position near the west gate of the city as the Brazen Bollocks embarked out into the countryside. Rumors were that they were doing some more work for Knight Burral and the Black Fist. Thark was glad to know that; as the other rumors related to the Bollocks were more sinister and quite dangerous to the mercenaries. Thark was always on the streets looking out for the city and he had managed to use a bit of his time to keep tabs on the Bollocks as well. They had saved his life on two different occasions and he had a vested interest in helping to keep them alive and to assist them as necessary. They didn't seem the type to do anything altruistically, but the work they had done for various powers in the city had been extremely helpful. At least two different plots of the Dragon cultists had been foiled by the Bollocks and from his experience, extremist groups like that did not take transgressions lightly…

The Bollocks headed out of Phlan to some poorly named and barely known island just off the coast and north of the city a few days to investigate rumors of ghost pirate attacks along the coast. This island was believed to be the next target. They headed swiftly up the coast until they discovered a group of bandits terrorizing a man and his son. The Gray Patriots, as they called themselves, pushed the Bollocks into a fight that they could not refuse. The bandits lost, very badly. The Bollocks rescued the man, who turned out to be a merchant. He travels the coast of the Moonsea selling staples and a few unusual goods. He also works for the Lord's Alliance. They all camped together and traded rumors about the Gray Patriots and Claws of Tiamat, large outlaw forces that were raiding and warring along the Iron Route. The merchant gave the Bollocks some info regarding the island they were seeking and the parties parted ways.

The Bollocks arrived at the ferry to take them to the Island of the Folk. The unpleasant ferryman did not give a good impression of the people who live on the isle of which, he was one. Upon landing on the isle a young woman greeted them with curiosity. Elisande was a young orphan girl who followed the party and watched as they worked. The rest of the islanders were unfriendly and somewhat hostile. A crazy man in a collapsed hut had items in his possession that identified him as a member of the Cult of the Dragon. The Bollocks were tiring of these half-assed dragon worshippers running around the countryside stirring up the locals. They looked into a few other places on the island and prepared some defensive lines to protect the village from the supposed ghost pirate attacks they had been sent to investigate.

The pirates attacked that night. They turned out to be kobolds and humans in poorly made costumes. They were good enough to fool the uninitiated, but the Bollocks had faced several types of undead monsters during their time in Phlan, and these trivialities, were neither undead, nor monster. Also, the villagers were some kind of devil worshippers.

As the last of the "ghost pirates" were slain, a peal of thunder overhead portended the eruption of a massive portal between the island and the Nine Hells, from which a blazing pirate ship and an unnatural, hell-born storm arrived. The Audacity was crewed by the damned souls who landed on this island 100 years prior to hide their treasure. The islanders did not take well to being oppressed by these "outsides" and they summoned up some diabolic powers and made a pact with Tiamat from her abode in the Hells. She granted them the powers to escape from subjugation and to curse the crew of the Audacity to living damnation in the Hells. They held that pact for more than a century, before the Cult of the Dragon arrived.

The Audacity flew from the portal and the storm came with it. Both crashing into the island with dreadful force; smashing apart the ship used by the ghost pirate imposters, and sending it flying. A whirlwind grabbed the remnants and scattered them across the beach. The Audacity collided with the shore and came apart, scattering the infernal crew across the beach. They gathered themselves and set upon the Bollocks at their beachhead. The battle was tense, but the Bollocks prevailed and the hell-damned crew of the Audacity was sent back to their punishment, for good. Another portal and a massive vortex dredged all that remained of the ships and the pirates from the beach. All of the islanders were taken away as well for breaking their infernal pacts. The only thing left, a large statue of a dracolich, half-buried in the sand, its eyes glowing red.

The rest of the island had been whipped by hellfire and would burn from now unto the next Sundering.

The Bollocks explored the island and found the alter where the villagers conducted their devil business. They found several books there with information about the island, the crew of the Audacity, and their victims in life. They wrecked it and took the books and loot. They found a usable raft and ferried back to the mainland. Elisande tagged along, of course. Business concluded, they headed to the town of Kabel's Hill to see if the Black Fist job they had there was worth taking. Damn this rain.

Chaab was traveling with a small band of his fellows, back from near Zhentil Keep, where they had met with suppliers and traded news, before heading back to the base they had established in the old Circle of the Scale Temple. Rumors from the coast were that the Cult of the Dragon was moving their treasure horde, meant as a offering to the Dragon Queen, to a place called the well of Dragons. They were gathering an army. They were growing. Chaab traded rumors of a growing force in Phlan calling itself the Tears of Virulence. They had seen evidence of meetings and heard whispered rumors, but its secrets were not yet revealed. Chaab also reported on the general state of the city. Phlan was bursting at the seams from the influx of people for a variety of reasons. Unrest in the countryside due to bandits, monster activity, lizardfolk raids, and rumors of dragons in the swamp were also pushing people to the shelter of the walls. Phlan was overripe, and any variety of crisis may cause it to burst apart.

Chaab's attention was caught by a flicker of light in the night sky, out over the Moonsea near a small island. He didn't even know people lived out there, but he could see on the beach, the motion of torches that must be held by someone. The flicker of light suddenly grew to massive size and  peal of thunder so loud it caused them to clap their hands over their ears, rolled off the water and up to where they were standing on the road like a wave. Fire and lightning tore out of the portal and scoured the island. The light show revealed a ship out on the water and suddenly another ship came flying out of the portal and smashed the floating ship, scattering its bits across the island. Chaab watched the new ship crash onto the beach and scatter, and he saw the motion of the torches become more frantic for several minutes before the whole thing was taken up again by a vortex.

Chaab and the rest of his party looked at one another and silently concluded that they would hide in the woods nearby  for a few days and see if anyone came off the island, before they moved in to loot whatever remained.

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Gundar's Tale, part 2

A strange group of 3 customers sat at the bar in madam Freona's teakettle. The hour was late, and the place had mostly cleared out, save the worst of the drunks and those who had a seat at Rando's nightly poker game. The group consisted of a dwarf, a large man, and a dragonborn. Adventurers, no doubt, for where else do the unusual races of the world mix and share their skills to cast out the darkness and its servants?

"Ok human, I promised ye a drink and a tale, and now ye have tha drink, so I must tell the tale", said the dwarf. "Well", said Culhwch, wiping foam from his beard, "I believe this single drink won't cover your long-windedness Gundar. You better talk quick!" Gundar eyed the human, made a face and said "You humans are so hasty. Those short lives don't help with your sense of respect and patience". Culhwch rolled his eyes and laughed as he made a twirling gesture with his finger- hurry it up already. The dragonborn watched this exchange and took it all in. Gundar had asked him to be here, and, although he personally had no stomach for the ale these two consumed in such quantity, he was glad to be a part of this sharing of friendship with the members of the band. "I think you both will want to hear this. It's relevant to tha jobs we've been doin in tha area" said Gundar. "I thought you were going to tell me about your people, dwarf" said Culhwch. "I'm getting to that you fool!" Gundar practically roared at him. Culhwch laughed and decided to stop riling up his old friend. It was far too easy. "Aye, my people. What happened to me clanhold, me past life". "As you know the dwarves are a proud folk. We of the Heldenhammer clan is some of the proudest. We kept our hold beneath the Dragonspine for some 800 or so years. Fended off the foul dark elves and dark dwarves, both of which wanted our finest works. I've told ye in tha past that I was a tunnel hunter, a type of dwarf scout sent out into the tunnels to see beyond the borders of our hold. Ye see, unlike the castles and fortifications of you surface dwellers, the underground races always have ta be thinkin attack could come from any angle. The dangers we faced living under the rock and soil were many, and the dwarves are not a numerous folk. Often we rely on the best weapons and armor, as well as some truly nasty traps to keep our foes away". Gundar chuckled at this thought, and Culhwch smiled a little as he though of how many souls much have been sent to Morrigan's realm at the hands of dwarven ingenuity. "We lived in relative danger, not because our enemies were so numerous, but because there were few nearby we could count on for strength if we were attacked. We had trade agreements with some surface lands, and at least one long standing treaty with the sverneblin gnomes of Tasthnelingorp, but those little fellas were hardly warriors." There was a commotion at the halflings' game table that stopped the story. One halfling with an eyepatch was yelling in the highest pitched voice at another across the table, accusing him of cheating. The other was saying something about how the first fellow's feet smelled like rotting cabbage. Madam Freona starting yelling across the bar at all of them, telling them they'd better settle down before she called the Black Fist in. The three at the bar knew this was an empty threat. Ever since the Bullocks took up residence here Freona hardly needed the help of the Fist and there was seldom any real trouble. Rando had whatever situation had broken out back in hand, no doubt soothing feelings so he could bilk more of the diminutive crowd out of their earnings. "As I was sayin " Gundar continued, shooting a dark glare over his shoulder, "we were able to hold our own and did well understandin' the threats in the area around us. We protected our hold and tha material wealth we had acquired fiercely. There were a few extremely rare and highly valuable items that had been crafted or found over the centuries. These were mostly sealed away in the thane's treasury. 'Twas hardly a secret we had these, for they was the pride of our hold. I might even presume our downfall was due to one of these items, though I know not specifically which. I can tell ye that I was away on long patrol, several weeks in the underdark. When I returned, well, it was scene of the most heartbreaking loss I can tell ye." Gundar's face became stoic and sagged a little further here. "All of me friends who weren't away were dead. They died at the hands of an odd and crude force. From what I and the other surviving scouts could see, a very large group of goblins, kobolds, orcs, ogres, knolls, and assorted beasts descended upon the hold. They clogged our traps with their dead, and many of our folk showed evidence of dying under the effects of some sort of poisonous vapor. Me people sold their lives dearly, taking perhaps as many as 10 of the invaders for every dwarf. The thane's treasury had been breached, and its riches looted. In many ways this assault appeared fairly straightforward, but it was the makeup of the force that was most unusual. These normally useless dregs had been formed into an organized band. They appeared to use tactics as well as have at least some knowledge about their target. They suffered a high number of casualties, yet pressed on despite this. Me and the surviving tunnel scouts followed their backtrail as far as we dared and there couldn't have been more than 100 bodies left. They had traveled back to their destination urgently, never really leaving the signs of rest. Driven you would say. That was odd too. Our hold was thoroughly destroyed, and there could not be another similar threat to such a force for many wheels." Culhwch and Krev sat awestruck, silent as the dwarf went on. "Me and the rest of the tunnel scouts, we had nothing left to cling to. We made for the surface and each went our separate ways. We were all too stunned and really there was nothing left of home. We all felt a tremendous amount of guilt over being away in our hold's hour of need. We were looking down for a threat instead of up you could say. The guilt had driven our little group apart. We all went to find new places, but we agreed to always stay in contact with one another, in case one should happen upon the architect behind our home's downfall. It was during all this unrest here locally in Phlan that I started to feel an itch." Culhwch looked like he was about to say something, then the dwarf cut in "I swear human if you make a joke about me rashes we are gonna go ta blows!" Culhwch smiled and innocently gestured "who me?" The dwarf went on "this itch I speak of, involves the gut. You start to feel like you see something or feel something and it goes with something ya seen or felt before. Well all this dragon business, these cults and the issues with the Fey folk, it reminded me that an awful powerful being was behind uniting those lesser mobs and sending em into Heldenhammer Hold. It reminds me of the work of a dragon, if I'm being specific." Here Krev suddenly got excited, and spoke for the first time since the tale began. "What makes you say that? There are many powerful creatures that could command such a force". Gundar replied. "Oh I know. I thought of that too at first. But like I said, an itch. It really began when we heard about that dragon Skrollwerx. He be the red devil that had so many factions working and dying just to grovel at his feet." Gundar nervously rubbed the warm metal of the red ring he had taken from that fool Spernik. "So I started asking questions, and spoke to some with the Enclave. I recruited a few minor scholars to dig into records for me and turn out anything having to do with those beasts right around that time." Gundar paused here briefly for effect. "There weren't a lot- I suspect a monster that cunning leaves few survivors. But there were stories, and sightings, and at least one tale similar to mine. It fits, but I know not which of the tyrants to pin the crime to yet. And now, I find, that I may be the last." "What do you mean?" Krev cut in. The excitement that his ancient kin might somehow  be involved had him as on edge as either had ever seen him. "I mean," said Gundar, "that when I began to ask questions I had reached out to all my surviving scouts. I wanted to know what they might have discovered. And I couldn't reach a one of them. All gone, vanished as though they never existed." Culhwch looked troubled. He said "maybe they just moved away, out of touch?" Gundar shook his head. "No manling, we was kin. One or two maybe, but not all. And that itch, it grew more nagging than ever. This was the work of whatever monster was responsible for making me clanless, I'd bet me finest axe on it. And when I finally figure out which one it is, there will be a great many dwarves I'll need ta be avenging." Gundar banged his empty mug on the bar to signal he was done talking. Now, it was time to drink to the dead.

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Ira of Frost (A magic item)

Frost wasn't sure how she knew how to create this pact. Maybe it was something all Devils knew how to do by instinct, maybe it was something from her white Dragon heritage. Which would make sense, both Devils and Dragons were well known for making pacts with lessor beings.  It also might have had something to do with the pact that she had bled on that the villagers on the island had with their infernal masters. Looking around the small room, she studied every detail of the magic circle that she had drawn up. It wasn't easy with pipnip chattering away. He was odd for an imp. But maybe he wasn't. Frost hadn't really met any other imps before. Satisfied with her work, she exhaled and began to chant the ancient ritual in Infernal and ethereal chains lashed out from a clear diamond necklace in the center of the circle, and wrapped around Pipnip, binding him in place. He let out a yelp and was suddenly silent as the chains paralyzed him. Frost pulled out the silver ritual knife and cut the imps hand. Blood dripped from the knife and Frost licked part of the blood off the knife. Visions flooded into her mind as the memories from the Imp flooded into her mind, along with a name. The true name of the Imp. "Abarax" Frost spoke aloud. A flash of light burst out from the imp, and all the light in the room was pulled into the necklace in the center of the circle. Frost touched the Diamond with the bloody knife and the clear diamond absorbed the blood and turned a dark crimson color. And with that, the Ira of Frost was created. Abarax was bound to the necklace, and more so to Frost herself.  As the light slowly came back into the room the Imp was released from the chains and fell to the floor. He looked up at frost, awaiting his new masters orders. Frost looked down at him "Your new name is Trex. Now come Trex, we have work to do" Frost said as she picked up the necklace and put it around her neck.

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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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