Post Greyhawk Wars: 585 CY
Thronyn , a ranger from Veluna, Nao-ta “Roa” Yamaguchi , a magic user/wu-jen from the far east, and a small group of adventurers: Niles , a halfling thief, Sunblayze , a fighter/magic user, Mitchifer , a cleric of Pelor, and Peregrine, a paladin of St. Cuthbert, answer an add posted at the inn.
The adventurers are hired by a merchant of Hardby, Marsham Keldren, to recover property stolen from his barge by thieves, who drugged his bodyguards and stole his goods in the night. He offers 500 gp for recovery of three bales of silk, 500 gp each for the recovery of two locked boxes, and 1,000 gp for the recovery of a locked coffer which he says contains promissory notes. Marsham gives a contact address in Greyhawk‘s High Quarter where the goods can be returned. He knows that the thieves were seen riding horses south via High Road at dawn and has ascertained that the horses were stolen and were almost spent, so the thieves will soon have to continue on foot. He believes they will be crossing the Mistmarsh to head back to Hardby.
The paladin, Peregrine , feels uneasy about Keldren. He tries to explain his instincts are telling him this is not a man of good and should be avoided. The others do not listen to him. He decides it is time for him to head back to Veluna. “May St. Cuthbert guide your way” he says and leaves the inn.
“This damn goodie good guy has been nothing but a bore since we met em in Verbobonc City just a few weeks ago. Maybe it’s for the best so we can finally ave a lil fun” says Niles.
The adventurers stay for the night and enjoy ales, beer, and cider, as well as the mutton stew
8th of Reaping, 585 CY
Heading south on High Road, parallel to the The Selintan river, the party reaches Ford Keep.
Some 60 dwarven engineers and stonemasons are at work. A force of twenty men-at-arms, with a sergeant leader, is stationed here to protect the laborers.
The party rests for the evening
10th of Reaping, 585 CY
The party marches for 1 1/2 days wihtout rest and finally reach Two Ford
This village has a population of some 325 humans and a couple-score gnomes and dwarves.
Almost the whole population makes its living in some service industry (inn-keeping, blacksmithing, selling rope, tar, tack and the like to boatmen), or as merchants, most often selling perishable produce from local farmers for sale in Greyhawk or Hardby
The PCs are able to find lodging for the evening and also find out the bandits they are looking for just passed through 2 days ago.
11th of Reaping, 585 CY
The party reaches Peculiar Manor late that evening.
This fortified manor-house incorporates a very fine hostelry and good stabling, with rudimentary wharfs for boatmen to tether their vessels and rest overnight during their journeys. The place derives its name from the extraordinary ale brewed by the owner, who is something of a local legend himself.
The PCs meet Sanjaray Mohsin; a man of Ekbir, who bought the manor ten years ago. He is in his late forties, of typical Bakluni appearance. He shaves his head (save for a long, sleek pony-tail) and oils it. He has only one arm (his left); the other, he claims, was ripped away by a blue dragon in the Yatils just before he decapitated it with his gem-encrusted scimitar. This blade is wall-mounted above the bar. He tells the PCs the money from the hoard bought him this manor. Later that evening he is seen lifting a fair-sized pony off the ground, using one arm to grab its saddle. He offers the adventurers what he calls “Old Peculiar.” It is brewed in his cellars to a recipe he says was given to him by an ancient Clatspur dwarf clan chieftain in return for some astounding service. Old Peculiar is jet black, and so heavy that some say it is best not drunk, but eaten with a fork. It tastes like liquid peat, and is served in half-pints
The adventures are lead to the basement where a makeshift fighting ring is set up. It is dark and hard to see. In a dark corner are 2 drow making and taking bets. They are a very rare site in these parts. No one is interested in asking questions or starting trouble. Both Thronyn and Nao-ta step into the ring against the drows. A few rounds of bloody brawling and it is over.
Sanjaray shares with them (for a fair amount of coin) that the individuals not only passed through his establishment, but left their horses and headed east into the Mistmarsh. Just like Marsham told them.
13th of Reaping, 585 CY
The PCs decide to push forward for the next 1 1/2 days again until they finally reach Marsh Keep
It is strong, stone towers with stockaded horse corrals. It contains some 40 militiamen. Regular patrols around the edges of the Mistmarsh are mounted from here, although the Marsh isn’t entered by these men.
After answering several questions about their business and the militia adding their names to the daily ledger, the party is allowed to rest for the evening. The militia have not seen the thieves
14th of Reaping, 585 CY
The adventurers head in to the Mistmarsh
It is an area of wet ground, grassland, shallow streams, and strange hazards that rests in a bowl-shaped depression in the middle of the Cairn Hills. The marsh is over sixty miles across at its narrowest point. It has no clear border, as it is surrounded by a fringe area of drier grassland. It is named for the harmless mist that lingers from two hours before sunrise to until mid-morning, and again from several hours after sunset; the mist limits visibility and also seems to muffle sound.
Undead, particularly ghouls, are becoming more of a menace for those searching the Mistmarsh’s fringes for a rare species of duck said to produce the most tender and sweetest meat in all the Flanaess.
Around noon the PCs come across the body of one of the thieves (not stripped of equipment; he has 20 gp and mundane equipment lying beside a heavily reed-fringed shallow pond. As they approach to investigate the PCs are attacked by four swamp lampreys
At the end of the day, the PCs come across three dumped bales of silk; the weight was slowing the thieves down too much. The silk is muddy and wet underneath. The PCs, as best as they can, rest for the evening.
15th of Reaping, 585 CY
Life now gets complicated. The PCs follow the thieves’ trail, and after an hour, they find the sword-hacked bodies of two lizard men on the trail. Shortly after, they are ambushed by a group of four lizard men hiding in vegetation
After a few rounds the lizardfolk drop their weapons and beg for mercy. One of them knows a smattering of Common, and with extra hand gestures can manage simple conversation withihe PCs. The lizard men captured the thieves this morning, and they have taken them to their village. They have done this because the “dead that walk and eat flesh” might accept the thieves as sacrifice and leave them alone. They wanted to capture the PCs for the same reason
The village has 22 lizard men and the captured party of seven surviving thieves, bound and tied. The captured thieves are all dwarfs from Hardby: Their leader Curtley, Christoper, Joseph, Mugless Mike, Rugged Rich, and Zephyr
The tribal leader tells the PCs through the “interpreter” of the walking dead: they are like humans, they smell bad, they can touch lizard men and then the lizard men cannot move, and they eat flesh. They raid by night, at unpredictable times.
If the PCs want the thieves, the lizard men want the PCs to help them destroy the walking dead. The lizard men will also wish to keep one of the three boxes the thieves had for themselves: they have not yet been opened
Their leader, the bald dwarf, is Curtly Prisamen. Curtly tries pleading with the PCs. He tells them that Marsham obtained the goods by cheating Curtly’s brother, who was bankrupted and is in jail in Hardby as a result.
Curtly resorted to thievery because Marsham has enough money to bribe his way to Greyhawk and sell the goods, and it would be very hard for the theft to be proven, anyway. Curtly warns the PCs that Marsham is an evil, cheating blackguard and almost breaks down with frustration and anger during his speech.
16th of Reaping, 585 CY
The walking dead are a pack of ghouls that raid just before dawn. Half of them attack in the region of the PCs, and half attack other camp areas where lizard men are.
The PCs are forced to release the thieves. The adventurers need their help. Several of the ghouls are killed and many flee back into the marsh.
While giving chase to the ghouls one of the PCs notices a a crouched lizard man observing the scene. The lizard man is slain and the tribe is shown the body, they point excitedly to a patch of purple skin on its neck and start waving weapons and spears and getting very worked up. A tribal conflict is about to break loose.
At this point the adventurers are convinced that Curtly is telling the truth. Later that night, everyone armed and ready, the lizardfolk tribe is attacked by another tribe. It is a fight that leaves 2 of the thieves; Christopher and Joseph, dead.
The adventurers head to Hardby to return the goods to Curtly’s brother Iran (this will get him out of jail). Curtley explains if the PCs return the goods to Iran, Marsham will take actions against them, setting thugs and muggers on them if they return to Greyhawk.
Thronyn leaves for the Gnarley Forest to train with The Ranger Knights of the Gnarley Forest. He will meet the others in Hardby in 10 days.
16th of Reaping, 585 CY
Niles will eventually head back to Elmshire where he is from. He is a slaver himself and is part of the abductions that have been and are taking place.
Marshan: Will have his slaver friends watching the mercenaries while in Hardby.
They will attempt to kill or kidnap PCs
They will everything they can to catch each 1 by one alone
Trained by Karistan of The Wood (7th ranger), meet him at Corustaith
Thronyn swears a personal allegiance to him & to protect the integrity of the forest, to always help others in need.
19th of Reaping, 585 CY
Party finally reaches Hardbyaround 11PM or so
They enter through the entrance that leads through The Great Wall in North End
North End, also called Highchapel, is the smallest district in Hardby and is the location of the barracks, city watch stations, and courts.
19th of Reaping, 585 CY
Takahashi sends an assassin to Hardby for Noa-ta, He has received word that a spy of the Scarlet Brotherhood (Diran) has seen the ninja/wu-jen.
22nd of Reaping, 585 CY
A monk spy from the Scarlett Brotherhood sees Aleeta taking to Noa-ta. They are zeroing in on him.
22nd of Reaping, 585 CY
Aleeta approaches Noa-ta and begins to ask questions about Zephyr. She says she will pay a good price for any helpful information about the Hardby Marine dwarf.
24th of Reaping, 585 CY
Heavy rains cover the city. The evening seems even darker than usual and makes it almost impossible to see.
Noa-ta’s search for his brother has not gone well. He cant seem to turn up 1 clue that might help him find
Noa-ta knows his presence in a major city will certainly create a spectacle and eventually attract those he is hiding from, for now.
He notices someone outside his window, decides to change into his ninja outfit, and then quickly climbs to the roof of The Spotted Cow Inn in the Dock District.
He is suddenly attacked someone that reminds him too much of himself: another ninja
A monk attempts to help his ally
Noa-ta overpowers them both. The ninja falls from the roof and dies. He is forced to get rid of the bodies to preserve his secrecy. They are getting closer and closer…
To be continued…